Feb. 7th, 2007

alainn_aislinn: (Time)
The first time he turns that savage wit on her, she flinches away, stunned, and finds herself gasping for air around sobs that shake her whole frame. It's not the cruelty of it, not really. She's too used to the knife slashes of the Sidhe court, the smiles that hide daggers, the words that wound even deeper. She's heard crueler, had sharper words sliced through her skin than these. No, the shock of it is that it comes out of that perfect mouth, the shattered paradise she thought she had left hell for.

The first time he hurls something at her, she stumbles, glad that the drink has made his aim poor. Memories of shattered pottery, shattered windows, glass that left you bleeding flashes through her mind. Already, she's learned that paradise is just for dreamers, and that monstrous beauty is mirrored in humanity from the patterns she learned in childhood. Everything repeats itself, and she starts to follow the patterns, because that is the best way to predict when might be a good time to be gone.

The first time he hits her, she falls, lip bruised from his hand and cheek bruised from hitting the table. The bruises heal quickly, aided more by Fergus' gentle touch, warm on her skin in the garden. He makes love to her there, after, wooing her with sweet promises that would have won her just two years before. Distraught at her refusal, he begs her to at least not go back, saying it shouldn't be like this. Artists should respect their muses, cherish them, woo them out with honey and cakes. She looks at Fergus, and she laughs that someone so old and wise can be so naive.

The truth is so much darker, more desperate. She needs him. His genius is unlike any to come to the islands' shores in so very long. He shines, and he makes her shine, and in him, she finds her purpose, her glory. To flit away to a lesser flame before this one had burned itself out would be folly. So she strokes it, she fans the flame, she makes him light up the whole world and set it on fire. It dazzles him along with the rest, and his excesses match the blaze inside him, growing and surging higher, tearing into him until they have nowhere else to go but to lash into her as well.

No one should be able to withstand that heat, that soaring toward heaven. Even Icarus was burned and fell, shattering on the ground below.

But Aislinn doesn't shatter.

She learns to snap back, taunt him with his own words until he has no outlet but to spill them across the page.

She hurls things back at his head, feeding his rage then turning it toward injustice, hypocrisy, those he is truly angry with.

She learns to duck, a mocking smile on her lips as she whispers that he'll never tame her.

She doesn't break.

She bends herself. She bends him. And when she is done, there stands a man that history will never forget.

Fergus never understands, but when she comes back home heartbroken and sick at the loss of him, shaking from the knowledge of what she has done, for a moment, a flicker of pride rests in her mother's eyes. In that moment, she finally breaks.

Everything is so much easier after that.

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alainn_aislinn

December 2007

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