Discussion in 'The Queen of Cups' started by The Queen of Cups, Jul 22, 2016.
Required Prior Reading:
The Twilight World
The Queen beams at Mutt, pushing open the door to their room, to reveal a young man who looks eerily like them, though this one has wings.
"Mutt, meet Mica. Mica, this is Mutt."
Mica awkwardly offers a hand to shake.
Mutt stares, eyes growing wide. We were - he was - I was -
There had been a forest once. They had been a child.
"You got to go home," they accuse Mica, memories sliding into place. "You got to go home."
The Queen tilts her head, looking between the two. "Mutt?" She gives them a gentle nudge forwards, looking quizzical and confused.
"You got to have a family," Mutt continues. "I...I had a sister..." Their voice falters. They haven't thought about this in a very long time.
"Arie," Mica prompts, head tilted in confusion and worry. "And a brother, but he wasn't born until after."
"Arie." They'd forgotten her name, but it feels right when they say it. They look Mica up and down as their nails dig into their palms. He's so much taller than they are, and it's a clear marker that he's had a better life than them.
"You have pretty wings." What else does he have that they could have had? They don't remember much from before. They never had a chance to experience much.
He hadn't realized his wings were visible; he thought they'd been hidden under his jacket. When had he taken it off? And his shirt? "Uh, thank you?"
Mutt looks really uncomfortable, like they're angry and sad all at once. They're looking at Mica as though he's just stolen their boots in a snowstorm. It's making him nervous, and a little part of him is telling him to run.
The Queen just looks confused.
The Queen's confusion is slowly turning into something.... alien.
Face sharper, with strange angles and edges, shadow cast in a way that's just... slightly wrong.
"....children? Do you need time alone?"
Her voice sounds... detached.
Mica does not want to be left alone with Mutt, no matter if they're two halves of the same person. He opens his mouth to say so -
"Yes," Mutt says firmly. "Yes."
The Queen rests a hand on Mica's shoulders. "...I'll keep an eye on you. No matter what happens."
She smiles, then fades into nothing.
Mica put his hands up near his head, palms flat facing Mutt. "I don't mean you any harm," he says. "I didn't even mean to come here, I didn't know - "
"You took my life," Mutt tells him, and they hit him as hard as they can with the butt of their knife.
It didn't take long to find rope enough to restrain the thief, and it didn't take long to tie him up nice and tight.
Mutt sits, and watches, and waits.
Mica doesn't open his eyes for a long time after he comes to. He tries to keep his breathing steady as he runs through the situation in his aching head. He doesn't try to move. He isn't ready to find out if he can't.
Something pokes at his shoulder and his eyes fly open before he can remember to keep them shut. Mutt looks delighted that he's awake.
Mica tries to get upright but can't even move his arms. He bites his lip and turns his eyes to Mutt. "Please don't hurt me," he whispers. His voice won't go any louder.
"You're bad," Mutt tells him. "You need to hurt." They run a finger along one of the thief's wings. He trembles. Good. "You're going to hurt slow. As slow as I can make it. Do you understand?"
The thief doesn't answer, just stares at them all big-eyed. That's fine. He still starts crying when they cut tiny slits into the edge of one wing.
After a few minutes they lean back against the wall and watch the thief try to control his tears. They fight to keep their eyes open, but it's been a long day. They lose the fight and fall asleep almost immediately.
Cool hands brush Mica's cheeks, silently wiping the tears away.
"....for whatever it's worth, this wasn't the story I was expecting you to end up in." She says quietly. For a moment, she's soft at the edges. Almost human. Almost regretful... then the knife edge of fae returns to her features. "...but that's fine. I suppose... things have to be broken so they can be put back together, right?"
"I don't want to be broken." Mica strains to turn his head to look at the Queen. "Please, help me." His eyes start to fill with tears again. "Please."
"...it's too late to stop the story you're in," she says quietly, and for a moment, she shudders, and then he sees Emberlynn, eyes wide and tears bubbling down her cheeks like drops of crystal. "I'm so sorry, I thought it would be a happy story, I really did, I. I wouldn't have brought you, if I knew. I'm so sorry-"
Her countenance stiffens back into the shape of the Queen,who brushes a tear from her cheek, perplexed.
"...I'm not going to stop Mutt. They stopped others from killing some of my players who couldn't defend themselves. It. They deserve a reward. Even if you don't deserve this."
"...but I'll take care of you, in the end. I always do."
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