I COMPLETED THEM ALL :B thank you to everyone who requested, I hope these will suffice. o(><)o
(OH MY GOD IT WAS TOO LONG FOR ONE POST!!)

[livejournal.com profile] inarticulate, Baku!Len and Ammy (夢食い白黒バク)

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Nightmares have different sorts of flavors, just like anything a mortal might eat. He prefers them at their freshest, while they still crunch between his teeth and wriggle upon his tongue; other than that, he doesn't consider himself particularly picky.

Tonight he has eaten well, his belly round and heavy. In a world that has grown industrialized and harsh with the progression of technology, a man was attacked by imps as a boy and carried the memories into his adulthood, where they incubated into nightmares of amazing delicate complexity. It reminds him of a fine daiginjo sake, and he doesn't mind admitting that he is, perhaps, the tiniest bit tipsy from their intensity. Even so, he walks with confidence. The night is aging but it is not yet over, and there is nothing he fears.

It takes him a few moments to realize he is no longer alone. Someone is walking beside him on feet that are even lighter than his own. The grass does not even rustle to mark his companion's passage, but it bends to follow their movements. Flowers stretch their fresh heads above the earth through the cracks in the cement and asphalt just to bask in their wake. The hair on the back of his neck prickles.

"I thought your sort had already moved on," he ventures finally. He is proud of how even his voice sounds.

A breeze picks up from nowhere, smelling first of car exhaust, and then of the fresh clean smell of grass after the rain. Something curls in the pit of his stomach like embarrassment, as if he has just been laughed at.

"I have to be able to eat," he says, too fast, face hot. "If they call for us, I'm allowed to ask a price--"

His companion picks up the pace suddenly, enough to move before him before spinning, until he is looking upon a Presence whose true appearance has long been forgotten by mortals. Once long ago, he had eaten a dream with this very face in it; it had fulfilled him longer than anything else he's consumed in his long, long life. His feet trip to a halt and all he can do is stare, unprotesting, as she takes his hands.

I am glad, she says.

"Glad? I ate a man's dreams tonight--he won't ever again--aren't you supposed to be against that kind of thing--?"

I am glad, she says, and for a moment he is flooded with images--the village of the koropokkuru closing its gates forever, the amakitsune climbing their white ladders to the heavens, the spells of the onmyouji fading with their numbers. His own people have grown scattered, lean, and hungry. For a moment there is a sense of heavy lingering sadness; he sees a cold gray world where even the weeds struggle to grow.

Take my nightmare, then, and may it feed you well.

There is a flash that is as bright as the sun, and instinctively he flinches away from it. For a moment he can't move, as if trapped in place--then suddenly the grip on his fingers is gone and he falls back, landing hard.

When he looks up, he is alone. His palms are burned and red. In the distance, he can see the first blush of sunrise over the horizon.

His belly, so comfortably heavy just a few moments before, feels like lead.

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[livejournal.com profile] tatsuta_hime, Original, just desserts

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"Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of." Melissa chews on the end of her hair, enjoying the way the heavier strands crunch between her teeth. "Umm, but I think everyone's sweet, deep down, if you dig hard enough."

Gary says nothing. The newspaper rustling is the closest he gives to an answer.

"Or maybe you just need extra stuff to sweeten your disposition! Don't you think?" She leans forward a little, excited. When Gary doesn't even look up, she shrinks back, hunching her shoulders and hooking her ankles together. The silence is long and awkward in the minutes before the oven beeps twice.

"Oh! It's ready!" Melissa pushes herself forward and off the counter, still chewing on the lock of hair between her lips. She bustles over to the oven and pulls it open, leaning back at the first cloud of steam that coughs out before peeking inside. "And it looks like these are ready, too! Mm-mm, don't they smell good?" There's no answer, but she doesn't expect them, and pleased by her success, she isn't even terribly upset. The muffins come out in a waft of cinnamon-scented steam, and she breathes deeply before putting them down.

"I got this recipe from Liz, you know, down the hall," she says, as she takes a toothpick to poke at one; it comes out with bits of crumb clinging, but otherwise clean. "She swears by it, says her family does too. Wasn't that nice of her? Sharing a family recipe like that ..." Melissa trails off, a little wistful, staring down at the little mounded tops of the muffins. It takes a minute to shake off her gloom, and then, using her fingertips, she pulls one out of the tin. "Here, Gary, I'll let you have the first one."

She brings it to the table and sets it down next to his coffee. "I think it'll taste pretty good," she says, only a little nervous. "I put a lot of heart into it, just like Liz told me."

He doesn't look up from his newspaper. Melissa frowns. "Are you embarrassed because I made you help? Don't be silly, there are plenty of men who bake. I won't tell anyone."

Gary still doesn't move. Melissa bites in the side of her cheek until she tastes blood and tries very hard not to simply stomp her foot or shout--she is a grown woman and she is above displays, she tells herself. Throwing a tantrum is something that spoiled girls do--girls whose spices have grown stale and whose sugar rotted. Not her. She's done her best and she's worked hard. Even if Gary doesn't appreciate all the work she's done, she tells herself, once he tries one of the muffins, she knows he'll be glad to have her. Maybe once he tastes the amount of love she's poured into this, he'll understand--his eyes will be opened and he'll realize how much she's also sacrificed, how much work she puts into this relationship, and she manages it without ever raising a hand at him ...

Absently, she swats away the fly that tries to land on the muffin. The smell was worst over here. Perhaps she would gently suggest that Gary take a shower after he had his muffin. The shirt was probably unsalvageable at this point, being white originally, but she thinks that with some cold-water soaking she can clean out his jacket and his pants without too much of a stain.

She really hopes he likes these muffins--as easy as they'd been to actually put together, as nice as they smelled coming out of the oven, some of those ingredients had been terribly difficult to obtain. She'd had to use nearly the entire heart for them, and she's not sure if the amount she has left is good for anything but scraps. Maybe she would bring a couple to Liz later, to thank her for the recipe, and ask where she got her supply.

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[livejournal.com profile] theboxization, Gil/Vince (in that order)



(I see, Raven says, something deeply mocking in the gravelly tones of its voice. That's the sort of man you are, 'Master'--)

The smell of blood hangs thick and cloying in the air. A sour acid taste burns in the back of his throat. No matter how many times he does this, there is always this one moment where everything is overwhelming and terrible. The one woman of the group lies a short distance before him, her long pretty hair spread in a tangle of gold shot through with pink and green from her ribbons. She is not a Vesalius but there are some striking similarities in the tilt of her nose and the line of her mouth and her coloring and every time he glances at her face he feels sick all over again.

"There were quite a lot tonight, weren't there? Brother." There are soft footsteps and the whisper of fabric that precede Vincent kneeling before him. He smells like cologne, strong and sharp enough to cut through the stink of blood. The gloved hands that cup Gil's face are soft and powdered. When he looks up, he sees that his brother is dressed again for a night out, a white rose in his lapel. His hair is pulled back from his face by a length of black ribbon, but enough floats free to frame his face. "You did well."

"Did I?" he croaks. He hates the sound of his own voice in that moment, small and hesitant. "I tried ..."

"My brother always does his very best," Vincent says. There's an odd echo in his voice, something Gil can't quite catch or place. "I know he does."

"I just ..." Gil reaches up and puts his hands on Vincent's shoulders, pressing a little to feel the shape of him through the crisp lines of his jacket. There is no warmth except for the soft exhale of Vincent's breath on his cheek. He leans over just enough to see the dead woman again; the way her hair has fallen obscures half of her face, but her one open eye is a bright, wet green. "I only wanted--" Something inside of him feels more fragile than it has in years, like just the right amount of wrong pressure would snap him, and he leans into his brother abruptly, wrapping both arms over the sharp points of Vincent's shoulders. He presses his face into the soft space just under Vincent's jaw, which flexes against his cheek. The pulse beat under his lips suddenly doubles in speed, but neither of them say a word. The cologne Vincent wears is popular, though not one Gil has ever preferred himself, but for now he breathes in deep and refuses to let go, until finally, slowly, his brother's arms lift and settle around him in turn.

"Let's just go home," Gil says, into Vincent's skin.

Vincent swallows, fingers flexing, and says, "All right."

(The things you remember, 'Master.' Is this where you find your authority over me?)

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[livejournal.com profile] sigrunic, Shuri/Teito - grieving

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The news is everywhere the day after--the headlines are full of shocked exclamations over the unexpected death of a promising young soldier, one who'd scraped together the money for the entrance exam fees through hard work and persistence and graduated with good enough grades to have his decent pick of placements. A small photo is included, but there are thankfully no shots of the scene itself. Most of the newspapers still rely on sensationalism rather than outright shock value. Shuri clips and saves the one small photo and isn't quite sure why except for the hollow empty feeling in his stomach when he thinks Mikage is dead just to test the phrase out.

When Teito Klein pops up out of the blue two months later, wide-eyed and completely ignorant, he can't force those words out. Mikage is dead. If he says it to this person--this interloper who somehow managed to monopolize all of Mikage's attention without even trying--it becomes real. More real. So Shuri lies and he feels a little guilty for it, though not enough to make that one awful reality finally, absolutely true.

I hate you, he wants to say, after the lights go out and they've both retreated to their separate beds. I hate you so much because when you showed up everything changed. One more week and I could have gotten Papa to switch the room assignments and you would have never come into our lives, Teito Klein. Then Mikage would still be--

That's not true, he knows. The hawkzille accident isn't Teito's fault, unless he somehow managed to spook the creature in midair. It was more likely Mikage had been distracted by something--or even more that he had been just that little bit too careless--and had lost control of the creature when it was too late. Even though he wants to, Shuri can't maintain that line of resentment.

He can--and does--however, still feel that same old tired hurt from before, when one day he strolled into class and saw Mikage draping all over a sullen green-eyed boy who had been, to look at, nothing particularly special. And that much had remained true the more he learned--a former battle-slave, Chairman Miroku's special pet, all the most scandalous rumors that hinted the sort of disgraceful person that Teito Klein truly was.

Not that Mikage cared. Not that Mikage had ever cared about that sort of thing. Once he made a decision, nothing could change his mind; that had been something both wonderful and terrible about him. Had Teito known anything about that? Did he even remotely understand the gift he'd had, and what he'd dishonored by not even bothering to check--?

I hate you, Teito Klein, he thinks again, though the words are obviously feeble even to himself. Mostly he feels tired now, as if all his actual hate has been used up in the two months since Mikage's death, and all that is left is a dull aching hurt that he can't quite articulate. I hate you and I'll make you give me back everything that's been owed to me.

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[livejournal.com profile] herongale, Original, palindromes, or not quite.

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When Elizabeth Semord turned twelve her family moved into a new house. It was bigger than the old one and, most importantly, she and now had have their own separate rooms. Elizabeth's bedroom sat at the very end of the upstairs hall and Melanie's was right next door, which in Elizabeth's opinion was still too close--but it was still a room that was hers and without a little sister to always be getting into her stuff. She had room now for her own bed and her own desk and anything else she wanted; it had a good view of their backyard and a full-length mirror on the door. Melanie pouted especially hard over the mirror, which to Elizabeth made it the best part of the room.

On the first night she set up a little party for herself--something she felt she was almost too old for, but as long as no one else knew, she thought, it would be fine. She took every stuffed animal she could find (including some that belonged to Melanie, though she didn't tell her sister that) and set them up under a blanket tent with her. With a flashlight she wrote in her diary: "I like this new house very much. Melanie is jealous but I am older so Mom said I could have this room."

She slept with her cheek pillowed on the belly of her largest teddy bear.

At some point during the night, she heard a loud crashing sound. The surprise jolted her out of sleep, sitting up fast and dislodging the animals piled around her and atop her. It took a few minutes to claw the blankets aside and she looked around, heart beating hard and fast in her throat. Across the room, in the full-length mirror hanging from her door, she could see that the window was broken. When she turned to look, though, she found that her actual window was still intact.

Elizabeth turned back to the mirror. The window was still broken; she could see the glass spread across the sill, and a few larger pieces glinting in the moonlight. She watched her reflection in the mirror, reaching for one of the larger pieces, careful just in case--and found her fingers closing only over cloth. In her reflection, though, the other her picked up the glass and cringed a little; she saw a little blood and automatically put her own fingers to her mouth. They tasted dry and normal; when she looked at them, they were shiny and wet but unharmed. She looked at the mirror and saw that the window was fixed there, and everything appeared normal again.

Though she managed to sleep again, it was uneasy and fitful. Her mother took one look at her face the next morning and scolded her to actually sleep when she was told. Elizabeth thought about telling her about the thing with the mirror, but at the last minute bit her cheek instead and nodded, accepting the scolding without protest. After breakfast she went back to her room to unpack more of her boxes. First she smuggled Melanie's animals to her sister's room, and when she returned she glanced back at the mirror. On the reflection's bed, the five animals were still there.

Annoyed and a tiny bit afraid now, Elizabeth closed her door and stood in front of the mirror, hands on her hips. She frowned sternly at her reflection, who made the exact same face back. She held up both hands and wriggled her fingers and the mirror copied her motions. She reached behind herself to grab one of the stuffed animals that only existed in the reflection, but only her reflection came back holding anything. She mimed throwing it, then paused when an odd expression crossed her reflection's face. It looked almost hungry for the moment, narrow-eyed and alien on her own familiar face. It drew its arm back, then threw the stuffed rabbit in its hands. The thing bounced off the mirror and made the whole thing wobble. Elizabeth fell back with a squeak against her bed. Her reflection, though, turned away, picking up the scissors on the floor and opening boxes. It pulled out one of Elizabeth's soccer trophies and smirked.

"Mommy," Elizabeth squeaked, though she couldn't find the breath to scream. "Mommy--"

Her reflection threw the trophy. The mirror cracked. Its smile got even wider.

+++

"Mommy! Mommy!! MOOOOOOOMMYYYYYYYY--"

It took a few minutes before the door opened, and Elizabeth's mother Lisa looked in before staggering back with a shriek of surprise. "Elizabeth! What just--"

"Mommy," the girl burbled, and held up her bleeding, glass-studded hands. There was glass all over the floor, sparkling in her hair and in the folds of her clothes. Her eyes were glassy and dim. "Mommyyyyy--"

"Shhh, baby, Mommy's here, Mommy's--here--" Lisa went to her daughter, thankful for her heavy shoes, and gingerly put her hands on her daughter's hips, lifting. To her relief, she felt no glass digging into either of them with the gesture. "Let's get you downstairs and cleaned up."

The door swung shut behind them. In one of the largest pieces of glass left from the broken mirror, a little girl, twelve years old, beats her fist helplessly against the smooth mirrored surface and screams for a woman who can't hear her any longer.

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[livejournal.com profile] vulchu, Jack/Oz in that order plus recent spoilers, "swallowed up by darkness I lost myself"

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The years have been long and dark ones of waiting. He's a little surprised he hasn't gone mad with it. After so many years of being formless, faceless, clinging to his one single desperate little hope, to finally have shape again--even a temporary one--is the most amazing thing. He wishes he could revel in it longer, but there are more important things to deal with first: the surprised confused suspicious sheep of Pandora, and then Alice--and then Gil.

Poor little loyal foolish Gil.

Alice is a good girl who listens; Gil is a willful boy who can be used. While he's in Oz's body they both practically throw themselves at him. It's so easy it's laughable. Laughable! Even he can't help but smile at how elegantly everything falls into place before he (reluctantly) relinquishes control of the body once more.

Only one thought has kept him going for the long dark years--long before he himself died--just as there has only been one bright spark in all the dark and disgusting world. The real temptation continues to exist of just slipping in and staying, taking over all the pieces of a life that is already destined for him. He has to stop himself each time he finds himself reaching out for the curved rise of Oz's shoulder. Not yet. Not yet. Even if it would be so easy, there's still too much to be done first.

To comfort himself he lets himself fantasize instead--how it will feel like to have a body that is well and truly his own again, to be grounded from the vagaries and darkness of this half-existence into someone solid. Someone living. Someone real.

Someone who can take Lacie into his arms and never let her go again.

Oz's body is still young, still waiting to grow into new limbs and new height, but perhaps Lacie would prefer that at first: someone closer to her own physical age, who won't tower over her in either height or weight. Maybe she would like someone who is ticklish and sensitive in odd places, whom she can play with like a child and love like an adult.

Oz's body will be good for that sort of thing, he thinks. There is a strength to it that is belied by his still-slim limbs and a healthy glow that comes from being well-fed and cared-for throughout the hungry years of childhood. (Let the boy sob about his father's rejection all he wanted; he at least has never known the impossible dark cold of crowded streets, surrounded by people and yet completely alone, as if he were nothing more than another stone in the road.) This is a good and proper thing to give to his Lacie, he thinks. This body will be perfect for his final utopia, the world where Lacie looks up at him with her gentle eyes and tells her love. He has tested it before himself, a hand on his chest and down his belly, but coyly avoiding any lower and satisfied still with its response.

It is slim and delicate with fine collarbones and pink nipples--it is still untried and reactive to touch--it is real and warm and soft over the hard edges of muscle and bone.

And it has his face, so he can look down upon her with proper eyes and adore.

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[livejournal.com profile] ningen_demonai, Allen x Rinali, the Order - Fixing up something Komui's robots broke?

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"We went to Greece once. I don't remember very much about it." Allen rubs his nose in an attempt to keep a sneeze at bay. "I got sick nearly as soon as we arrived, and Master had to take care of me. I mean, I guess he didn't have to, but the madam we were staying with had a soft spot for children. So I guess he wanted to play the part of doting father in order to get in good with the lady of the house."

Lenalee covers her mouth with one hand to giggle. It leaves a smear of oil on her cheek. "I can't imagine ..."

"He told them he was my uncle. My uncle! At least he didn't try to say 'father' or anything." Allen hefts the trash bag up before he ties it shut. "There's nothing paternal in the whole of that man's body."

"But he could have done worse," Lenalee says. "He raised you well, didn't he?"

Allen glances at her. Instead of answering, he tugs a handkerchief from his pocket and leans to swipe the smudge on her cheek; when it's gone, he smiles at her and he says, "With himself as an example? He could have done worse."

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