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Silvered Writings
Whisper Dreams Into the Night....
Darker than BLACK
Prompt: "As long as it involves Hei naked, I don't care"

HanaCollapse )

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
Happy Birthday, thesilentpoet. This smut's for you.

Aya/YohjiCollapse )

Vash/Wolfwood - Sorry this isn't smuttier.Collapse )

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"detective work"
[Benny/Ray, dueSouth]

When Constable Benton Fraser came back from his vacation home, the Ray that was waiting for him at the airport was not the same Ray as the one who had dropped him off a week or so earlier. Being a detective by training and temperament, Benton chose to put together a case file of evidence. He checked dental records, medical records, interviewed coworkers and family, asked far too many questions of this new Ray.

By the time the Chief was forced to explain what was going on to Benton, everyone in the department was fascinated by his quest. No one could believe how much he knew about Raymond Vecchio. From his taste in clothes and shoes to how much he loved his car and his family, Benny had taken in every aspect of Ray while they worked together. Ray was not just someone that he collaborated with to solve crimes. Ray was his best friend, and in some ways, his only friend.

This new Ray, Stanley Raymond Kowalski, was a nice guy. Steady, good at his job, friendly enough. But he was not Ray Vecchio. And Ray Vecchio is who Benny wanted to be around. Over time, he came to understand and forgive; it was in his nature to do so, after all, and he was a professional also, so he could understand the secretism. And over time, he came to enjoy this Ray's company as well.

But he never stopped missing his Ray.

That was how he thought of him: his Ray. The Ray who had followed him into meat lockers and dumpsters, out of windows and through windows, to a high school dance while Benny was dressed in drag, to the cold wilds of northern Canada. That was his Ray. The Ray who was willing to do anything for him, and knew that Benny would reciprocate.

Even Diefenbaker knew that this Ray was not their Ray; he wouldn't touch the donuts that this Ray bought. Oh, he'd steal other food, and he never growled or snapped at this Ray, but the donuts were perfectly safe, even though they were the same exact kind that their Ray would buy.

Benny knew he just had to be patient, that eventually, his Ray would be able to come home. So he spent his days with this Ray, solving crimes or just wandering around, and he dodged his Ray's sister's attempts to get him to date, and he avoided all the other entanglements that threatened to engulf him.

And he waited. Because eventually, nothing would keep his Ray from finding him again.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Touma/Seiji, Samurai Troopers]

The fighting began a few months after she disappeared. Seiji couldn't hold onto any hope, couldn't see how she hadn't deserted them. Touma wanted to believe that something had happened, that she hadn't had a choice.

They fought, over who was right, and who was wrong. Over the various theories behind why she did it. Over what they could do next, to try to find her.

Eventually, the fighting turned into cold silence, and eventually, just silence.

After that, they drifted apart, Touma to college in Osaka, Seiji to college in Kyoto. They saw each other only when they were called upon by Ryo or the others or the armors. They were distantly polite, and no one could figure out what had happened between them. No one dared to ask, after the first time that Shuu inquired about her location. Touma had gone perfectly still, silent and unblinking, while Seiji, quiet, polite, reserved Seiji, had snarled and cursed and stormed out of the room.

They went from friends, to best friends, to lovers, and faded out into acquaintances without a final fight. They walked away from each other, just as much as Kat had walked away from them. Neither of them was willing to see the other's viewpoint. It wasn't until Touma saw Kat at the college he was working at, and she visited Seiji in his dojo, before they began to talk again. Really talk, deep and emotional, the way they had when they were teenagers.

As much as Kat broke them apart when she left, she pieced them back together when she came back. Like shards of pottery, glued back together to reform a whole. It was tentative at first, a testing of the hold they had on one another, but slowly, as they united in their search for Kat's missing daughter, it built into the same strength that they'd started with. Slowly, over the many years where they were unable to find the child, it grew into something far stronger.

They built a world and a wall, and created a family inside of it. They joined the family that Kat's cousin had similarly built up. They merged and grew and watched the other children grow, even as they searched for their missing daughter. It was easier, when they were together, to remember why they had loved one another. To hold onto that love, to move past the bitterness over lost time and secrets and lies.

Kat had faith that they would find Maya one day. Touma had faith that Kat would lead them down the right path. And Seiji learned that, deep down, he had faiith that neither of his beloveds could believe in something so strongly and not have it come true.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Fai, Tsubasa RESERVoir CHroNicLe]

Fai couldn't remember a time when his magic didn't sing sweetly through him. It was simply always there, as much a part of him as his smile or his eyes or his lanky build. It was a rushing harmonic within his heartbeat, a trilling melody when he breathed deeply. It was there in the vibrations deep within his bone, as though a chord had been struck that resonated perfectly with him.

Giving his magic up was a dear price. But he'd known of Yuuko, known what to expect. He'd done his research carefully, before he set out to make his wish. And somehow, she hadn't taken all of his magic. Perhaps even she, the Time Witch, could not take every particle of magic out of his body, perhaps that would have killed him. His magic was his body; it made up the blood and bone and sinew just as surely as anything else.

Fai counted the cost of using that carefully horded and stores magic. He misered it out, tiny dribbles of power that crept and manipulated where once he could have commanded or forced. It might be better for the world he was in, less of a strain on the boundaries holding the universe apart, but Fai hadn't worried about that much before; it was an unlikely thought to cross his mind after.

Every time he was able to spend a second or two in a spell, the thrill raced up his spine like ice. Whistling, chanting, gestures and ritual - he'd learned all of them, leaving nothing small overlooked. Better to be overprepared, one of his mentors would tell him. Better to have as complete an understanding as possible, another would say.

Fai simply loved knowledge, soaking it all up, asking questions and demanding more. "Why, why, why" was all that they heard for years. But eventually, he left the halls, and it was quiet again, and every Mage Tower in the country, in the world, were trying to recuit him.

Fai didn't care where he worked, so long as it was with magic.

And so he followed Syaoran on his quest to find Sakura's memories, because it allowed him to escape what he needed to, and still find ways to do magic.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Allen/Gaddes, Tenkuu no Escaflowne]

Allen loved his ship, his crew, and his country. But he'd learned that the only things that he could count on, were his crew. The ship could be damanged, and his country could sell him out. No matter that Millerna's family still ruled, after everything that had happened, Allen didn't quite trust that his loyalty was worth anything to them. Instead, he stayed with his ship, stayed with his crew, and stayed with his guymelef.

If nothing else, it gave him far more time with Gaddes, which turned out to be an excellent proposition. In addition to being smart and capable, his first mate was a good man. So when Gaddes sat him down with a serious look on his face, Allen prepared to listen to him.

"Don't marry the princess."

Allen blinked. This was the last thing he'd expected Gaddes to say. "Why?"

"Because she's not good for you. Because you don't love her. Because you broke free of your duty once, and they're always going to punish you for that."

The swordsman nodded. "I'm too strong, so they're going to try to fire their large guns and circled it.

Aaaaaand, I just fell asleep during the middle of that sentence. Clearly, I was dreaming something awesome that got cut into my poor Escaflowne fic. Escaflowne does not get nearly as much love as it deserves, and I'm sad that I apparently am not going to get through this one. There was going to be a climactic guymelef battle, and possibly some hot captain/first mate smexing. Instead, you get strange English, and I'm going to go and try to walk off the sleepy before I screw up any more posts.

7:30. Yay. Sleep at 9!

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"lake monsters"
[Frank/Joe, the Hardy Boys, hints of Nancy Drew]

Frank had been doing this job since he was about fifteen, and he'd seen some weird stuff. Usually, he and Joe could figure it out, puzzle piece by puzzle piece.

It had gotten harder when Joe decided to quit. He'd been the perfect partner for Frank, but that was because they were brothers, and they'd grown up knowing each other's minds. Nancy was great, and Frank enjoyed working with her; they'd always done well together, and once they had admitted to the attraction that had always been between them, it had gotten more comfortable. But Joe was always going to be the best in Frank's mind.

This particular case was driving Frank nuts, rumors of lake monsters and strange lights conflicting with boat fog horns and spot lights. Nancy was busy wandering through town, chatting with the various townspeople to find out as much as she could. Sighing, Frank pulled his cell phone out. He had just enough signal to get a call out.

The voice that answered was familiar but harried. "What?"

"Quick question - what could masquerade as a lake monster in a river?" Frank leaned against the railing, staring out over the water.

"Why the hell do you need to know that? Frank, for god's sake, stop calling me with stupid questions that you know the answers to. It's a damn submarine of some kind." Joe's exasperation apparently knew no bounds, and Frank chuckled.

"What are the kids doing now?" He could hear the shrieking in the background.

"They're waging war. On me, apparently. When are you and the little mother going to get home?"

"As soon as we can wrap this up. Not more than another day." Frank grinned. "Since you so kindly explained what we're looking for."

"Good. The children are monsters, the bed is cold, and I miss you guys." Joe's voice softened a little.

"We miss you too. And the monsters. But, Joe, you were the one that decided you wanted to play house-daddy." Frank tried not to laugh at the disgusted snort. "It's not my fault."

"I know, I know. And usually I don't mind it. They're just being particularly annoying today." There was a loud shrill scream, and something crashed to the ground. "Crap. I gotta go. Love you."

"Love you." Frank hung the phone up, smiling as he felt Nancy come up beside him and take his arm, leaning against him. "Joe says we need to find a submarine of some kind."

"Perfect. I think I found an abandoned factory where they manufactured submarines. How much do you want to bet that it's going to be there?" She smiled up at him, pleased that they'd all gotten to the same page at the same time.

Frank nodded. Puzzle pieces. He smiled down at his wife, and hugged her. "Joe says that he misses us, and wants us home. Apparently the kids are driving him up the wall."

"I told him he shouldn't have retired. We could have hired someone to stay with those hellions." Nancy rolled her eyes. "Well, maybe this summer he'll finally cave and we'll get him back on the team."

"I hope so." He let her guide him away from the river, towards where they'd parked the rental car. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a man and his wife, trying to finish up some crime-fighting so that they can go home and ravish their brother. He grinned. He might have lost out on Joe at work, but at least everything else had fallen together perfectly.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"Wild Harvest"
[Hiro, Gravitation]

Hiro had always wanted to have the band with Shuuichi. It had been their dream since they could remember, and when it finally came true, it was amazing.

Hiro had just wished for enough energy to care. Between all of the events and promotions and recording and interviews and so forth for the band, he had to study for his med school classes. He'd scribble his papers on a legal pad on his music stand, during recording times. He'd read his textbooks in between sets, while Shuuichi was changing his costume. He caught cat naps in cars between appointments. It was worth it, of course; the dream was worth almost any price.

And eventually, when he'd passed the pre-med classes and gotten into the bulk of the tough stuff, he was successful enough to be able to say to his parents, "I'm done," and mean it. He walked away, secure in the knowledge that his music wasn't going to go anywhere. With Bad Luck as big as Nittle Grasper had been in their heyday, and the only competition actually being Nittle Grasper, Hiro was confident. As long as Shuuichi and Ryosuke could keep their weird dynamic from fucking both of them up, Bad Luck would be fine.

Which didn't mean that Hiro didn't have plans. He'd talked Shuuichi into playing some smaller gigs, more intimate, with a totally different sound. The idea had sparked off a flurry of creativity that had resulted in not only a set list for the new band (Wild Harvest, which Hiro had come up with), but also an entire new album for Bad Luck.

Even Eiri Yuki had to admit that some of the new songs were solidly good.

There was plenty of places for Bad Luck to go. There was different sounds to try out, new arrangements to bicker over, and whole other countries to attempt to storm. Though Hiro wasn't sure how well that would work. While Shuuichi's English wasn't completely atrocious, there was almost no way to teach any other language to him without severe loss of, you know, everything else in his brain. Sometimes Hiro was amazed that Shuuichi could remember Japanese.

No, Hiro wasn't worried. The foreseeable future was set. It hadn't been a gamble that had led to his decision to leave med school. It was a cold, rational decision. While Hiro didn't want to stay at something he couldn't be successful at, he also didn't want to have to give up his passion.

Nothing could compare to the rush that he felt every time he got up on stage and the lights began to flash. The weight of his guitar pulling at his shoulder, his fingers flying across the strings, his long hair whipping around him as he moved to the music. The scent of Shuuichi's sweat as his best friend danced up to him and stood close so that they could share a microphone for a moment before continuing on.

It was as high as Hiro thought it was possible to go, and no drug, no sex, and no alcohol could ever compare. It was everything that he'd dreamed of when Shuuichi first began talking to him about forming a band, and it was what he saw in his mind's eye every time he touched a guitar.

It was a good dream. It was an even better reality.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"forgotten soldiers"
[Shannon/Fulle, Scrapped Princess]

Shannon didn't know exactly what happened when his little sister was apart from them. Raquel wouldn't say much, especially around Pacifica, and Pacifica wouldn't admit to how much she remembered, though he noticed that she spent a lot more time alone, and sometimes she was a bit red-eyed in the morning.

But Shannon heard enough to know that Pacifica had been found by Fulle, and Fulle had taken care of her.

Fulle had died for her.

Shannon could sense it, deep in his heart. He'd known Fulle once, long before. They'd chosen different paths, different loyalties, but Shannon had never forgotten him. He couldn't. Deep down, he knew that they were two of a kind. Both had taken up a cause, had taken up weapons for that cause. Just because Shannon carried his sword to defend his sister, and Fulle had carried his blades to protect a country, didn't mean that they were different on the inside.

Shannon never forgot. He'd seen too many men become forgotten soldiers, fallen to the wayside in the crush of war. He didn't want a good man who'd once been his friend to suffer the same fate, and so it was that every year, on the anniversary of Fulle's sacrifice, he found himself lighting a candle.

He knew, deep in his heart, that had he been the one to fall first, and Fulle had found out, that his old friend would have done the same for him.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"growing up"
[Lucy, Narnia]

It was strange, walking back through the wardrobe. Lucy could feel the years being stripped away, feel herself shrinking back down to the child's size that she was when she arrived decades before. The disorientation seemed to be the worst for her; Peter and Susan eased back into their lives as though nothing had happened, and even Edmund seemed to have moved on.

But Lucy couldn't let go of the differences. She had grown up once already, learned how to ride and shoot a bow and run a country. She had sat at state dinners and presided over tourneys. She had ridden to war when necessary. She had gone through all of the stages of growing up, and if she had not gone back through the wardrobe, would have concluded the preliminary negotiations on an alliance marriage within the moon.

She still missed him, his kind eyes and gentle smile.

Sometimes she wanted to throw a fit at her siblings, stamp her foot and demand to be allowed in on the secret of how they coped. She had found growing up painful enough the first time; having to go through it all again, only this time with parents around to make it all that much more complicated, was almost unbearable. It frustrated her, she who had once worn cloth-of-gold and a crown, that now she was not even allowed to choose her own clothing each morning.

Finally, Edmund took her aside. "Lu, there's nothing to be done about it. We can't go back."

"We can. Aslan promised that we'd get to go back. If we're to be allowed back, why couldn't we stay?" She looked up at him, a pout on her lips.

"I think...I think it's like a trial run." Edmund shook his head, straightening his shoulders so that he looked a little more like King Edmund, and far less like simple Edmund Penvensie. "Aslan needs us for something more, right? But if we're to be at all effective, we have to know things. Experience counts, Lucy, and without our time in Narnia, as Kings and Queens, we mightn't be able to do what will need doing."

"If thou are correct, Edmund, then it means that I have been behaving abominably." Lucy squared her own shoulders, her face set in the serene expression she had perfected at court. "I fully see your point now, brother, and I shall endeaver to do better."

"For Aslan." Edmund touched a hand to her shoulder, smiling.

She nodded. "For Aslan."

It was easier then, to remember that the experience she had gained in Narnia was not gone, but simply hidden within her. She learned how to draw on it, how to harness it, just as she had once learned how to harness her horse, or draw her bow, or pitch her voice to be heard over a field. And if her parents remarked the change in her, Peter and Susan managed to keep them from speaking of it around Lucy, who would not have appreciated having the last shreds of her dignity destroyed by parental amusement.

Queen Lucy could understand biding her time. She could stand fast, and do what was needed, so long as there was a light at the end of the tunnel. For Lucy, every day was a battle that she fought on Aslan's behalf.

Growing up was easier when it was for someone else's sake.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Daniel/OC, Ugly Betty]

When Betty announced that she was leaving Mode to go with Gio to Italy for a month, Daniel panicked. He knew he panicked as soon as he handed over the tickets and hotel reservation, hoping against all hope that she'd decide to stay.

She hadn't, and he'd had to deal with the whole "discovering he had a son" thing, which really made the panic that much worse. But with Wilhemina around, it was actually easy to walk away from Mode. Especially when his sister and mother handed his job over to his bitchy stepmother.

Which left him with a bachelor's apartment, no job, a son, and no personal assistant to help him sort everything out.

So he did the only sane thing he could think of: he called a temp agency. The next morning, a cheerful and efficient young woman was standing in his hallway, knocking on his door. Bleary-eyed, Daniel stared at her for a long moment before her identity registered. "Are you from the temp agency?"

"Yep. My name is Elise." She held a hand out to him, smiling professionally.

"Excellent. I'm Daniel." He pulled her into the apartment and shut the door. "Did they explain to you?"

"I was told that you're looking for someone to help out with finding a new apartment, with two bedrooms, as your son has come to live with you."

"Yeah. He, uh, doesn't speak a ton of English."

"That's why they sent me." She smiled, a little more relaxed. "I lived in France for a number of years. I'm quite fluent."

"Oh, thank god." Daniel wiped a hand across his face. "That's the best news I've heard all week." He led her into the kitchen, where he stood staring at the immaculate cabinets and counters. "I'd offer you coffee, but I don't actually know where it is."

"Why is that?" Elise moved into the room, opening cupboards and finding what she needed.

"My assistant Betty took care of all of that. She's on sabbatical in Rome right now. She's coming back in a month." Daniel sat at the counter, taking a deep breath. "I just have to get through a month."

"Not to worry, Mr. Meade. You'll have me here to help." She got the coffee perking, and began to make French toast, smiling as she saw the boy coming out of the bedroom. "And this must be your son." She greeted him in French, and he lit up, foreign language tumbling out of his mouth at an alarming rate.

Daniel relaxed even more when Elise nodded and smiled and answered with equally rapid French. He might not have Betty for a few weeks, but at least this new girl seemed to be settling right in. Which was good, just in case Betty decided that she didn't want to work for him now that he wasn't in charge of anything. Daniel realized that it was probably a sad statement on his adulthood that he needed someone around to tell him how to function.

Then he got a taste of the coffee his temporary assistant made, and realized that he didn't care. He had the extraordinary luck of finding incredible women who could do amazing things, and he wasn't going to knock that.

He was just going to drink their coffee and eat their bagels and listen to their problems and write them giant checks. Why mess with what worked?

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Jack/Elizabeth, Pirates of the Caribbean]

The first night was the hardest. Elizabeth sat, watching the waves splash by behind the Pearl, and tried not to give in to despair. The familiar scent of rum was what alerted her to Jack's presence, before she felt his hand on her shoulder. "So, Pirate King, what now?"

Elizabeth shrugged, scooting over so that he could join her. "I never expected you to vote for me."

"The unexpected is what I'm best at, luv. Though you don't do so badly yourself, eh?" His smile flashed white in the dim moonlight, and she laughed bitterly.

"Why is it, Jack, that we just keep hurting each other?" Her hands fisted on her knees, her voice was a fierce whisper. "I hated myself for what I did to you. But I couldn't see any other way."

"You saved them all." Jack held his bottle of rum up to the dim lantern light, drank, and offered her a taste. "Sometimes the only course is the hardest to navigate."

"Yes." She hesitated, then grabbed the bottle. "We're heading for Tortuga?"

"For now. Your happy Asian friends have a boat docked there, they say. For their 'pretty Captain', no less."

"I'm not sure I like being a pirate, Jack."

"You'll like being an unmarried aristocrat even less, Miss Swann. The illustrious Church of England is not known for accepting wedding vows proceeded over by pirate captains. At least in our world, you have some power."

"I just want Will back." Her voice shook, and Jack sighed, setting the bottle between them.

"I couldn't see any other way."

Her head snapped up at the quiet admission, and she took in the rare sight of a sober and serious Jack, honest regret in his dark eyes. "Jack?"

"No, luv." He shook his head, a wry grin lifting the corners of his mouth. "After all, it would never work between us."

She nodded, and they sat in silence, sharing the alcohol as they waited for dawn to lighten the sky.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Edward/Liliana, Anita Blake series]

He called her from the airport, apology in his voice. "I need the truck. And as many weapons as you can fit into it."

"By when?" I knew better than to ask for anything else. He was not the type of man for polite pleasantries.

"An hour. We're waiting for our luggage now."

"I will be there." I hung the phone up, and went out to the garage. The SUV was already loaded, many nasty surprises stuffed into it's numerous hidey-holes. The airport was nearly an hour away, with traffic; I would be cutting it close.


He dropped me back at my house, refusing to say anything about what he was planning, or why he was in town. But I knew. I had seen it, and I knew some of the locals. Edward would not be able to keep all of his secrets from me, not in Saint Louis.

Because he would not come to me, I went to him.

He was at a club, in the office, and I knocked on the door only once before I eased inside. "Please, introduce me, Edward."

"Liliana. You shouldn't be here." He was frowning, but my attention was for the petite woman he had been talking to.

"Is this her? Anita Blake?" I studied her, knowing that her size and gender was as deceptive as my own. "I am Liliana."

"Are you a friend of Edward's?"

"She's my weapons dealer." The assassin sighed as he gestured for me to sit down next to him. "She's the local supplier."

"Really?" Anita's eyes widened in surprise; clearly, she had not heard of me.

"Where did you think that the wererats obtained their toys?" My smile had too much amusement in it - it made her bristle. Before she could snap at me, I raised a hand. "I am not surprised that you have not heard of me. Raphael and the others would not say anything about me to an outsider. It takes quite a bit to get an invitation to be one of my clients."

"Who are you affliated with?"

"No one. I am alone." I smiled as Edward shook his head. "No, it's fine. She can hear this."

"Fine." He leaned forward, waving a hand at me. "She's half elf, and half kitsune."

"That's impossible." Anita shook her head, opening her mouth again.

I cut her off. "Normally, yes. My parents bargained with Kanzeon Bosatsu for children. I and my twin sister are the product of that bargain." I hesitated. "I would offer to help you learn the power."

"What could you possibly have to teach me?" She glared at me. "You're not a necromancer."

"No, that is true. I am not. But I am a creature of magic. Created from spirit and magic, brought to life with the touch of a goddess. I have met necromancers before. I have worked with necromancers before." I shrugged, knowing that I looked exotic enough with the fall of straight black hair and the uncanny red eyes. "I am far older than you imagine."

Anita shrugged. "I'm getting by."

"Very well, Ms. Blake. However, if you change your mind, Byron and Raphael both know how to contact me, as does Edward. My offer stands." I rose, and bowed, and touched my hand to Edward's shoulder in farewell.

Whether she took me up on my offer or not was on her. I had done what was needed of me in the asking. Edward didn't question me, but he'd known me since he was just getting started in his business. He knew better than to ask how I knew what I should do.

Sometimes, having the voice of a goddess in your head was no fun at all.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"bust at the MFA"
[Duncan/Methos, Highlander]

Duncan hesitated in front of a marble bust, narrowing his eyes at it. "Is this -"

Methos took his arm, hurrying him past. "Shut up, MacLeod." He moved him along swiftly to an area where there were fewer people to overhear. "Yes, that's me. Unnamed Roman Sculpture #437."

"How, exactly, did you let that slip past you?"

"There's actually quite a bit of my aristocratic profile spread around in the art of the world. I was a Pharoah once, you know. I even have a pretty nice tomb, even if it was hell to get back out of." Methos shuddered. "And don't even get me started on how badly being mummified hurts."

Duncan grimaced, able to imagine it, even if he didn't want to think about it. "But..."

"Oh, yes, the bust." Methos grinned. "Let's just say that it was something of a...lost bet? Yes, we'll use that. It's close enough. I lost a bet, and had to pose. Sculptor was a nice young man, very good with his hands."

"I don't think I want to know."

"Jealous?" Methos ran a finger down Duncan's cheek, ignoring the fact that the other man knocked his hand away. There was no bite to the gesture, just Duncan's normal hesitance to be too affectionate in public. Methos was willing to cut him the slack; Duncan had only managed to be bi for about two months. Methos had almost five thousand years on him. Children were allowed to be a little slow.

"No. Just...I don't want to hear any details, and I know how you get." Duncan took Methos' elbow and led him out of the deserted hall. "I want to see the rest of the exhibits. We have a plane to catch in the morning, you know."

"Yes, I do. You gave me an engraved invitation, remember? Or are you trying to get rid of me by distracting me with my past foibles?" Methos laughed, loudly enough to catch the attention of some of the other museum-goers, but no one said anything.

Duncan didn't think that was fair. Nothing Methos did attracted too much attention. Meanwhile, whenever Duncan let himself go, he ended up with an audience, clapping and whistling in appreciation. Although that could have more to do with the fact that he kept company with Amanda, and she was anything but low profile.

Methos drew his attention back to the art, and he joined in on a heated discussion over who was the more interesting out of the painters that they had each known.

It was nice to finally go to a museum with someone who wanted to talk about the art, rather than the security.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Archer/Rin, Fate/Stay Night]

Archer was bored. There was little to do, and Rin seemed inclined to keep them both at Shirou's house indefinitely. So he practiced, forging weapons and targeting tin cans, and other little kid's practice tricks.

He tried not to think about Shirou. It was uncomfortable, seeing his past self. He knew he wasn't necessarily the true future of this particular Emiya Shirou, but there was enough of a similarity that he shied away from thinking about it.

Rin still hadn't figured it out. Perhaps she never would. Archer wasn't going to say anything. It wasn't his place. Her knowing would change nothing, and possibly hurt the others.

When the chance came to step away, fight a final battle, and take himself out of this whole mess, he took it. He walked forward knowing that he was lying to all of them, and especially to Rin. All he could hope was that Shirou would take care of her. If this Emiya Shirou was like the one he had been, there would be a kiss, and slowly, over a few years, an understanding.

He walked forward knowing that he was going to a death.

And when his blood began to spill out across the ground, he threw himself forward, taking his opponent's life once, twice, five times, striking as strongly and as deeply as he could, knowing that he was all that stood between Rin and death.

He didn't want the death that he walked towards to be hers.

Better to sacrifice himself here, buy them the time to get away. Better to leave her before she discovered his secrets, because she discovered too much.

Better not to have to feel what she could make him feel.

Instead, he laughed, and drove his blades forward, even as blood stained his clothing a deeper red.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Iruka/Haruka, Naruto]

The days fell into patterns. Haruka would meet Sakura in the mornings, set her to working on something while Haruka continued to piece together the jutsu she was working on, lunchtime she would pop over to the school to eat with Iruka, then another session with Sakura. Iruka would be waiting for her outside of the Hokage's building, to help her back to one of their apartments.

Some nights, she'd be too tired to move, and he'd have to hold her up, allow her the illusion of walking on her own. When they reached the door of the apartment house, he'd lift her into his arms and carry her up. She would doze in his arms, head resting trustingly on his shoulder.

He never said anything to her, but sometimes, on those evenings, he'd just sit down on the couch and settle her in his lap, and let them both take a nap.

It was one of those nights when she woke up before him, for the first time, and found herself cuddled close to his chest. "Iruka?" Her voice was soft, and his head lifted. His blush was immediate, and he practically shoved her out of his lap onto the couch. "Oof." She blinked at him. "What was that for?"

"I - you - I mean - " He stuttered, trying to find the words, but nothing came to him. She giggled, still sounding tired.

"I didn't mind, Iruka." She shifted so that she could lean into his shoulder. "Why do you get so..."

"Uptight?" Wry humor infused his voice. "I...was raised in a very proper household, and there were very strict boundaries. I haven't been able to shake it off."

"You can relax with me." She bumped her head against his arm. "I'll let you know if I ever feel you're being inappropriate."

"Why thank you." He chuckled, and carefully put an arm around her. "I just...it was nice to not feel alone."

She nodded, the movement shifting his vest. "Yes." She sat up, looking at him. "Could...could you just hold me?"

"Wha -" Iruka's jaw dropped.

Haruka flushed. "I've been having nightmares. The further into this jutsu I get, the worse they get. I...I think I'm seeing what happened to Kakashi-san when he was trapped in the Mangekyou Sharingan."

Iruka nodded slowly. "Ah." He lifted his arm, inviting her to come back, but she shook her head, rising instead. She took his hand, and pulled him to his feet, and led him into his own bedroom. She untied her obi, and allowed it to slither to the floor, followed by her outer kimono. Clad only in the shift she wore underneath, she climbed onto his bed, waiting silently.

Sighing softly, blushing red, he rummaged in a drawer for pajamas, and crossed the hall into the bathroom to change. It was strange, getting into a bed that already held someone, but as she snuggled into his side, and he figured out where to put his hands and arms and where she wanted to put her pillow, the more he realized how addictive this sensation could get.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
"shadows on the wall"
[Tatsumi/Tsuzuki, Yami no Matsuei]

Tsuzuki always knew. It was there, in every shadow on the wall, in every patch of darkness that he passed. He could sense it, Tatsumi's curious regard. It lent his life a sense of watchfulness, and he was grateful to never have to feel alone. Tatsumi wasn't his partner anymore, but obviously he still cared. And that's what mattered to Tsuzuki.

He'd lost too many people to care that some of the ones he loved didn't want to be around him 24/7. He'd lost Tatsumi, but it wasn't over anything that he'd done. Oh, sure, Tatsumi said all sorts of things, muttered about bad habits and recklessness, but Tsuzuki knew the truth.

It was in every shadow he passed.

Tatsumi cared too much. He cared too much, and worried too much, and didn't feel capable enough of protecting Tsuzuki from himself. So he refused to stay as Tsuzuki's partner, and took a desk job instead, and only watched with careful eyes and controlled power.

But he was still there a lot of nights, holding Tsuzuki while the nightmares wracked him, shadow arms around solid body. Soft words of comfort whispered into sleeping mind. Gentle presses of kisses to temples and jaws. Concern evident in every soft movement, as he soothed away the demons that plagued Tsuzuki in his dreams.

Tsuzuki never said a word. Even when Hisoka moved into his rooms, the nightmares didn't end. Neither did the shadows. Hisoka would sleep through it all, wrapped up in his shielded mind, and Tsuzuki would suffer alone until the shadowy figure eased out of the corner and came to him, whispered to him, stroked his hair back and promised him that it would all be all right.

Tsuzuki never said a word to Hisoka in explanation, and never said a word to Tatsumi. Instead, he would smile brightly whenever he passed a shadow, whenever he would feel the weight of Tatsumi's regard.

And it was enough for both of them.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Loki/Yamino, Matantei Loki Ragnarok]

Loki had always liked snakes. It was an affinity that served him well, with his son. It saved his life when he allowed himself to be captured. He had particularly enjoyed that excursion. The look on the faces of the two men had been deliciously nervous when they saw Loki sitting completely unharmed and unconcerned, staring into the eyes of that snake.

When Yamino had come for him, shown his true colors, as it were, Loki's amusement had only grown. When you were trapped in the body of a child, you had to take your power where you could find it. And if that meant using his son to terrify humans, that was fine with him.

Though gaining his true body had been pleasant. It was nice to again be the subject of feminine approval, though he was still a trifle worried that Mayura was more interested in his child-form. He was hoping that it was simply because she was afraid her friend was missing. Yamino only smiled secretively, and left the room. Which did nothing to alleviate Loki's worries.

Sometimes, he almost regretted bringing his son with him on this exile, but then he would remember the delicious meals and clean sheets, the spotless house and immaculate yard, and the regret would pass. Yamino had proven himself quite capable in the human world, and that was what was important. Loki could ignore the chuckling at his expense. Though he did find little ways to get back at his child.

Cutting off the credit cards was a particularly fun day.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Atsuro/Lucy, Kaikan Phrase]

He found her already on the dance floor, hair in wild curls around her face as she writhed to the music. When she spotted him, she shoved her way through the crowd, wrapping herself around him and rising onto tiptoe to meet his eyes squarely. "Come here often?"

"Not really." He flashed his grin at her and shook his hair out of his eyes; he was still sweaty from the show they'd played. "I didn't see you at the show."

She pouted at him. "I was in the back, taking some crowd shots." She licked a droplet of sweat off of his jaw, and his hands tightened on her hips. "Come dance with me."

"I'm not much of a dancer." Atsuro laughed when she playfully nipped at him. "All right, you've got me."

"I know." She turned in his arms, keeping their bodies close together as she led him back to the middle of the floor where she'd been. Her hips swayed against him in time to the music, and he followed her, the sizzling aftershocks of adrenaline from performing zapping through him. He threw himself into the music, a fast, driving beat that he'd heard somewhere before, and drew her along with him.

She'd been right. He was a rock star, famous and practiced, and he had moves that she'd only seen on stages before. Executed up close, against her body, they were moves that inspired far more lust and energy than she'd ever gotten from a show. He ignored the fact that they were both dripping with sweat, that other people were crushing in around them, and just moved with her.

Lucy lasted through six songs, and then she caught his hand, dragging him off into the rest of the club, out into the alley behind. She shoved him against the brick wall, plastered herself against him, and kissed him, nipping and licking as her hands threaded through his hair. Off balance from the sudden assault, it took him a few seconds to bring his hands to her hips, lifting her higher and fitting them together. She was heat and slick desperation in his arms, and he flipped them, wrapping her legs around his waist as he put her back to the brick. He was strong enough, having kept the muscle from when they were their own roadies, to be able to hold her up with one arm while he traced his fingers across the skin bared by the deep vee of her collar, while he kissed his way from her mouth to her throat. She made soft noises in the back of her throat, and he groaned, resting his forehead against her shoulder.

"Not here. Lucy...." He met her eyes. "Where?"

She grinned, arms around his neck, legs tight around his waist. "Wherever you want, baby." When he mock-glared at her, she laughed wickedly. "My place, then." He leaned back, and she slid down his body to find the ground again. Her knees were weak, but she was steady on her high heels. "Come on. There's more dancing to be done." He pressed a kiss to the knuckles of the hand he refused to relinquish, and she smiled at the sweet gesture, so at odds with what they'd just been doing. "Oh, baby, you're a dangerous one."

"No." Atsuro shook his head. "That's Sakuya. Don't you know? I'm the innocent one."

Lucy laughed until tears pricked her eyes, leaving Atsuro to throw his hand up for a hack at the curb. "Oh, no. Atsuro, you're a lot of things. Innocent is not one of them."

"Maybe not." He ran a finger down the side of her throat as they climbed into the car and she gave her address. "But you'll have to wait and see what else I can be."

"Not for long." She snuggled into his side, hand tracing up his thigh. "Not for long."

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel
[Jared/Kyle, Pretender]

The first few nights were the worst. Overwhelming grief, desperate rage...all of the extremes of emotions that Jared wasn't entirely sure how to cope with.

He was curled in the bed, tears drying on the pillow, when the door opened.

Looking up, he squinted into the light from the hallway, straining to see who was standing silhouetted.

"What are you doing?" The voice was familiar, rough and hoarse, but definitely Kyle.

"What -" Jared sat up, staring in shock, as Kyle shut the door behind him and flipped a lamp on.

"As it turns out, this not dying thing? Not a one-shot deal." He managed a grin. "It hurts like hell, but apparently, it takes a lot more than that to kill me now."

"Where have you been?" Jared held his hand out, drawing his brother down onto the bed. Exhausted, Kyle dropped like a stone, rolling to bury his face in a pillow.

"God, where haven't I been? The morgue. Escaped from there, had to steal some clothes, find a ride, track you down. Had to switch fucking hotels, didn't you?" The anger in his voice was tinged with loving exasperation.

"Miss Parker nearly caught up to me. Sorry." Jared lay down, leaning his forehead against Kyle's shoulder. "Welcome back."

"Yeah. I'm just going to sleep now." Kyle's eyes were already closed, but Jared nodded anyway.

Kyle was back. It wasn't a fluke. He didn't have to worry anymore, tonight. He wrapped himself around his brother, and let himself drift to sleep.

The lamp stayed lit, protecting them both from nightmares.

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Whisper dreams my fallen angel