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Pairing Names for KH  
07:37pm 14/11/2011
So yeah, I recently got into the YuGiOh fandom. LOVE their pairing names- psychoshipping, tendershipping, puzzleshipping, thiefshipping, puzzleshipping, ettushipping, silentshipping, etc- so much better than our AkuRoku and Zemyx. So I've decided that I shall come up with pairing names of my own! Del, Medo, you've seen some/most of these.

Islandshipping is Sora/Kairi
Keyshipping is Sora/Riku
Trioshipping is Kairi/Sora/Riku
Heatshipping is Axel/Larxene
Foundshipping is Mickey/Riku (don't ask. just don't.)
Friendshipping is Kairi/Riku
Traitorshipping is Axel/Larxene/Marluxia
Gentleshipping is Demyx/Namine
Mindshipping is Zexion/Riku
Captiveshipping is Larxene/Namine
Dollshipping is Repliku/Xion
Mirrorshipping is Kairi/Namine
Darkshipping is Van/Ven
Stormshipping is Ven/Aqua
Coastshipping is Aqua/Terra
Identityshipping is Roxas/Ven
Mouseshipping for Aqua/Vanitas
Trickstershipping for Axel/Zexion
Memoryshipping for Sora/Namine
Windshipping for Sora/Ven
Steamshipping for Axel/Aqua
Rainshipping for Sora/Aqua
Returnshipping for Axel/Xion
Fragmentshipping for Sora/Xion
Selfshipping for Roxas/Xion
Outsideshipping for Riku/Namine
Thundershipping for Larxene/Demyx
Othershipping for Roxas/Namine
Originshipping for Ven/Lea(or Axel)
Abductionshipping for Kairi/Axel
Impostershipping for Roxas/Kairi
Revengeshipping for Roxas/Riku
Shadowshipping for Vanitas/Sora
Ghostshipping for Sora/Axel
Emptyshipping for Vanitas/Roxas
Stalwartshipping for Terra/Aeleus(or Lexaeus)
Catshipping for Vanitas/Kairi
Saltshipping for Axel/Roxas

Feel free to use these pairing names, remind me if you're Del/Medo and I've forgotten any you saw, tell me what you think, or ask for names for your favourite pairings! Seriously, I plan on using these. Islandshipping is SO much better than SoKai xD
location: Fandom Hearts
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
music: Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series (Bonds Beyond Time)
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Invisibility Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be  
07:48pm 04/08/2011
I feel like the bloody Invisible Man ever since I got back from France (which, by the way, was awesome). Why?
- the ONE requester I have on kh-request; not sure if he/she likes what I wrote (no reply), and the fact that I said I'd take three requests and have one. I did post the ad about a month ago, so maybe it's just not been seen yet. (edit: thanks Medomai!)
- my best RL friend changed her phone number and isn't responding to my emails. Then again, she does this a lot.
- I know Del's back now, but she still hasn't replied to any of my messages (and since she's my beta this actually poses a problem). Or the comment I left her. Sigh.
- my mum keeps misplacing me. Don't ask.

And since I'm actually posting, I shall now ramble. My newest drabble, Shadowed Games, has gotten the most reviews out of any of my fics :D which is to say, six. Also I have been reading some of medomai's stuff, and if you haven't, you should really check her out. For one, she treats Kairi as an awesome character in her own right!!

I've got a backlog of sporks piling up (just need to get to a computer on which I can post them), and the latest one is getting awfully shippy... I never really thought about Larxene/Kairi as a pairing, but I love Larxene/Namine, and since in my Renegades-influenced head!sporking!canon, Larxene doesn't actually die... *shrugs* Then again, my sporker!Larxene flirts with everyone...

I have a great new plotbunny for a RikuRoku fic that (as far as I can tell) fits perfectly and makes sense in my own little post-KH2 world (with a Trio OT3!). This is Del's fault and I blame her completely.

Airey, are you sporking the next bit of LMM first? if not, I'll be sending you another dozen pages shortly. All for now.
location: Fandom Hearts
mood: aggravatedaggravated
music: Kakome Kakome by Vocaloids
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Writer's Block: Born this way  
02:46am 02/06/2011
If you were a cross-breed between two animals, what animals would they be, and why?

I'd be a hybrid between some sort of cat and some sort of lizard, because I've got several catlike qualities (lying in the sun, purring, my entire fighting style, etc) and a lizardlike ability to absorb lots of heat from even a little sun. Leastaways, that's my take on it.
location: Drachekeep
mood: sleepysleepy
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For Del- a list of good KaiRiku fics  
08:51pm 31/05/2011
http://m.fanfiction.net/s/3948577/1/ This one is especially awesome!
http://m.fanfiction.net/s/3744414/1/ Not quite KaiRiku, but good anyway.
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05:55pm 29/05/2011
 Now that the Keybrat was in the castle, Naminé had to be watched at all times. Even at the times they assumed were night (because it wasn’t like you could tell, here in Castle Oblivion). Tonight, Larxene had drawn the short straw and was stuck in this too-white room, watching the witchling draw. It was getting boring fast.
And then, soon enough, it was Naminé’s bedtime, or at least the time at which she wanted to go to sleep, which was much the same thing. She gathered up all her crayons into a nice and neat little pile then closed her sketchbook and laid it next to the crayons. Then she spoke, a rarity as far as Larxene was concerned.
“Larxene?” the witchling said nervously, her blue eyes wide as she looked up at the Nymph. “Um… Axel… he tells me bedtime stories.” She looked away as Larxene raised one eyebrow, then Naminé scurried over to the presumed safety of her little pallet in the corner.
Axel had always had a soft spot for the witchling, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that he told her stories. What was sort of surprising was that she was all of a sudden confiding this to Larxene. “What of it?” she snapped, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back against a stark white wall.
“Well… um… could you tell me a story?” Naminé asked hopefully, drawing the covers up to her chin. “To help me sleep?” She did not look over at Larxene again, presumably afraid of what she would see in the other Nobody’s face.
“Why would I want to do that?” Larxene replied. The girl was only still ‘alive’ because she was useful to them, could rearrange or destroy Sora’s memories. And she could do that whether or not she was happy, simply because she was scared of what Marluxia and Larxene would do to her if she disobeyed (even though she was a Nobody, and Nobodies really weren’t supposed to be able to feel). Larxene sometimes wished that the witchling would disobey, just so that she would be able to punish her.
“Never mind,” Naminé murmured, rolling onto her side and closing her eyes. She looked so alone, so vulnerable curled up there like that, Larxene thought. It was almost cute in a way. Almost like Aerlen had been. Somehow this… softened something inside her.
She sighed. “Fine. But don’t expect me to make a habit of this or anything, ‘cause I won’t.” She grabbed the chair from Naminé’s little desk and pulled it over to the pallet.
Naminé’s head shot up in shock. She obviously hadn’t expected Larxene to agree to her request (which prompted the question of why she had asked in the first place). “Oh, thank you!”
“Yeah, yeah. What’s Axel generally talk about?” Xaldin had told Aerlen stories once upon a time, but that had been before she lost her heart again, and Larxene wasn’t quite sure if she remembered.
“He calls them fairytales, about dragons and princesses and evil queens.” Naminé was quick to answer, possibly fearing that if she took too long Larxene would change her mind.
Fairytales, huh? She remembered a short story Xaldin had told her once, about princesses and dragons. It didn’t have any evil queens, but hey. “Okay, squirt, close your eyes and try to sleep.” For some reason, Naminé just reminded her too much of who she had been, so quick to obey and desperate to be needed. “Now… let’s see… Once upon a time, there was a world called Nell, where everyone was magic. Each person could turn into an animal, and no two animals were ever the same. The princess of that world was a girl called Mariden, and she could turn into a black dragon.
“However, one day, a wild dragon came down from the mountains. Mariden was picking flowers in the garden at that time for her sister’s wedding, so she didn’t notice the large flying shape until it was too late. The dragon saw her hidden dragon’s form and mistook her for its mate. It swooped down and grabbed her, then flew away with her to its rocky lair.”
Several minutes later, the story was over, the dragon was dead, and the princess was saved. Naminé opened one eye to peer up at Larxene. “For… for a bad guy, you’re not that bad,” she murmured sleepily.
Larxene frowned. “Don’t tell that to the others, I’ve got a reputation to keep. And don’t be expecting this all the time, brat.” She still wasn’t sure what had made her give in tonight, after all.
“Why are you the bad guys?” Naminé asked, curling herself into a little ball and shutting her eyes again. “If you’re nice like this sometimes.”
Pushing the chair away roughly, Larxene stood and walked away. “Because the good guys don’t try to destroy the worlds.”
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Bonding (Part Two)  
09:53am 25/05/2011

“Still haven’t got a choice,” Mariden replied as the two made their way out the door. She was Dragonborn, after all. Her bonding would surely form some important alliance- Father would have seen to that.

“Sure you have,” Izaki grinned. “You could run screaming away into the hills, I hear one of my great-great-great-however-many-greats-aunt did that. I could even come with you if you’d like.”

“Chai would hunt us down and kill us for shaming the family,” Mariden said, “or I might be even more tempted.” Not like she wasn’t tempted now or anything, because Izaki was her best friend and the one she felt safest around. She wouldn’t mind running off into the mountains with him too terribly much. It was just… she was Dragonborn. She couldn’t do it, not without ruining her sister’s life or sending the country into chaos.

They took one more left turn and then the oaken double doors of the Great Hall stood in front of them. “After you,” Izaki said gallantly, sweeping her a low bow as the two guards swung open the doors.

“We’ll enter together,” Mariden told him, taking his arm again and pulling him into the Hall. A long white carpet had been rolled out to cover the main aisle, as was customary for bonding ceremonies. Tiny pastel blossoms were scattered over it. Horns sounded in a serenade the moment Mariden was spotted, and ever so slowly the cousins proceeded up the aisle. She did not dare glance up at the altar where her soon-to-be mate waited.

“Good luck!” Kai whispered when they passed the row where she and Chai were sitting. Mariden stuck her tongue out at the little dragon in reply, prompting chuckles from a few of the older guests that were able to see.

They reached the steps much sooner than Mariden would have liked. One, two, three, four, and then they were at the top and Izaki was bowing to the man who would be her mate and stepping off to the side.

Mariden finally looked up. The man who stood there smiled at her gently, faint amusement gleaming in his soft brown eyes. He wasn’t bad-looking as she had feared, no, instead he was rather… handsome. He had the looks of a hawk… and yes, there were feathers interwoven with his rather long dark blond hair.

“We are gathered here today for one of the most important rituals in any ‘shifter’s life,” the elderly tiger priest rumbled. When Mariden turned to look at him, Hazanhu nodded encouragingly in her direction. “Well, perhaps not any ‘shifter’s life, but definitely for these two. Today is when the spirits of these two young ‘shifters will join in an unbreakable bond.”

An isolated catcall came from the gathered ‘shifters, and Mariden looked out to see a black-haired cobra boy grinning up at her and holding his fingers in the air in a sign for luck. The boy at his side clapped a hand over the cobra’s mouth and was bitten for his trouble. It was Pyrax, of course, because only he or Izaki would think to do something like that. She almost pitied Akito at times for having to deal with him constantly…

“Ah, and I see some of you are eager for me to begin,” Hazanhu continued (indeed, Mariden had noticed the same thing- Kai was bouncing up and down on the edge of her seat. It was really amazing what one noticed when one was terrified out of one’s mind…), “so I will not keep you waiting any longer. The time for objections to this bonding has now passed.” Really, it was amazing how Hazanhu had mellowed over the years…

And all she was doing by focusing on minutiae was effectively ignoring her to-be mate. She looked over at the man again- he was still smiling, probably trying to relax her. She was only nineteen, after all, and he well knew this (everyone did). How old was he? Who knew.

“Mariden of the Nagasaki clan, have you chosen this man as your mate of your own free will and without coercion?” Hazanhu was asking, and there was only one answer she could give.

“I have.” How effectively two simple words could change her entire life.

“Do you swear upon your spirit to never harm him or any of his clan?” He asked that before she even knew what clan this man was from. Well, there were no quarrels between Father and any hawk clans that she knew of, so…

“Upon my spirit, I so swear.”

“Do you realise that, once made, these bonds that link you can never be broken? If your mate dies, a part of you will as well. This is the man you will be bonded to for the rest of your life. Do you realise this, and agree nonetheless?” The words hopefully sounded far more ominous than they actually were. Still, it was something she had to do.

“I agree to take this man as my mate,” Mariden said, and her voice rang out in the silence of the Hall.

Hazanhu turned away from her, with another nod (she had done well, this one indicated), and fixed the hawk with his gaze. “Alistair of the Denetsu clan, have you chosen this woman as your mate of your own free will and without coercion?”

“I have,” he answered, his voice cool and even.

“Are you willing to swear upon your own spirit that you will protect her from all harm? And do you swear you will never raise voice or hand against her?”

“Upon my spirit, I swear never to harm the woman I love.” Did he love her, though? They had never met before, so how would he… of course. The hawk- Alistair- had deliberately worded his pledge in a way to mean absolutely nothing with regards to her. Hazanhu seemed to accept this, though, for he continued the ceremony.

 “Mariden is Dragonborn, and so when you bond with her, you swear to all her people. Will you protect her people and clan as you would your own, and do all that is necessary to defend them, even if it might mean your life?”

“By the goddess Fireoak, I do so swear. I will do everything in my power to prevent harm from coming to any ‘shifter whose allegiance lies with their Drakon.” With these words, at least, she was sure he was being absolutely honest. She hadn’t heard of Fireoak, though… oh, wait, no. Izaki had mentioned her when he came back from a meeting with the hawk clans. She was a trickster goddess of the avian ‘shifters, that was right.

“Do you swear to do all that is in your power to someday produce an heir?” Well. That wasn’t an embarrassing question at all.

“I so swear,” Alistair agreed readily enough.

 “Mariden of the Nagasaki clan, you have chosen this man as your mate,” Hazanhu roared, his voice filling the Great Hall. “Alistair of the Denetsu clan, you have sworn to cherish and protect her and all her people. Upon the words you have sworn, you are now bound for life. Do I have a witness to this bonding?”

Izaki now stepped forward, bowing to the tiger. “I, Ishmaru of the Izaki clan, bear witness to the bonding of Mariden Nagasaki and Alistair Denetsu.” As her blood relative, he was qualified to witness, and she had chosen him. Well, she’d actually chosen Chai, but her sister had still felt a little too guilty over forcing Mariden to do this to agree.

“Then it is done,” Hazanhu said, more quietly this time. He held out a hand each to both Mariden and the hawk. After they had both taken his hands, he closed his eyes and bowed his head towards them. “By the power vested in me by being what I am-“ namely, Drachekeep’s only official priest of sorts- “and the words you have sworn, I now pronounce you a mated pair.”

A tiny ripple of power flowed through Mariden, connecting her spirit with the hawk’s as long as they might live. She’d always wondered what this felt like. Sort of tingly, but good. Really good. It was like… getting a hug, almost, from someone who really cared about you and just happened to be conducting an electric current.

Then Hazanhu released them and the current abruptly ceased. “And being a mated pair, it is no longer indecent for you to kiss. You may do so now.”

Alistair leaned toward her, pulling her forwards slightly and inclining his head. “May I, Mariden?” he whispered softly, brushing a thumb gently over her lips. Her heart thudded in her chest, a mixture of excitement and nervousness. She’d done it before, of course, but…

“You may,” she whispered back, equally softly, and he pressed his lips against hers. He was warm, she noted as he wrapped his arms around her. And he smelled like cinnamon, a nice smell to have. She kissed back. Another catcall from Pyrax broke them apart, and she slipped an arm around her new mate’s waist as she turned to stick her tongue out at the insolent cobra.

Then the gathered ‘shifters were all cheering, and more than one was openly sobbing. She’d never quite understood why bonding ceremonies were something to cry at, but apparently they were. Oh, and now the ‘shifters were dispersing, that was good. Right, some sort of reception in one of the various dining halls.

“Hey, you didn’t trip,” Chai commented brightly as she leaped up onto the dais. “I’m so proud of you, little sister, for mastering basic motor skills.” Her eyes flickered over Alistair. “Not a half bad catch- you’re a hawk, I take it?”

For answer, he blurred out, then reappeared as a sleek golden-feathered hawk. He flew in a circle, then returned to hover at Mariden’s side.

“Ooooh, he’s so cute!” That was Kai, who had come over when Mariden wasn’t looking. “Can I pet you, Alistair?” The hawk nodded assent, and Kai hesitantly reached out and laid a hand on his smooth feathers. He folded in his wings as he perched on her shoulder, making her giggle. “I like him, Mari,” she announced.

“Of course you do, Kai,” Izaki replied, “you like all birds.” Mariden laughed at this- it was true, her little cousin was quite enamoured of birds. Most avians didn’t take too kindly to the eleven-year-old dragon running up and trying to pet them, however.

I like you also, little dragon. The words echoed in Mariden’s mind, and she looked around, trying to place them. No one had spoken that she could see, and everyone else was looking just as confused as she was.

“The hawk can talk,” a new voice commented, and Mariden turned just in time to get tackled by an overly enthusiastic cobra boy. “Hi, hawk! Take care of Mari, okay?” Of course Pyrax would come up here… and yes, there was Akito, who had stopped to talk with Lei after making sure his partner was safe. For assassins, they were awfully friendly.

Yes, cobra, I am able to talk in this form, Alistair agreed. Oh, yes, Mariden had heard that some hawks were… She had thought it a myth, though. How utterly remarkable.

“That’s neat,” Pyrax said cheerfully. “Hi, Mari! Akito said I could come say congratulations. On getting bonded and everything. You look really nice, did Lei make that for you?” Of course, everyone knew Lei, or at least it seemed that way at times. “Oh, hi Izaki! You look nice too, of course. So d’you, Kai.”

“Hello, Pyrax,” the three younger dragons chorused. He was a rather… eccentric friend of theirs, and that was putting it nicely.

Izaki grinned at him. “So! Killed any interesting people lately?” he inquired, leading the cobra away from the group. Mariden shot him a grateful look. Pyrax was a great friend and all, but sometimes he was a little much. This was one of those times.

That was… an interesting conversational starter, Alistair said. I do not believe I have heard it before. Oh, that was right, the hawk wouldn’t know Pyrax… then again, weren’t the hawks and serpiente in some kind of quarrel? That might have been the pantheons and serpiente, though. She was fairly certain that the snake-shifters were fighting with some other clan. They were generally quite argumentative.

“He’s an assassin,” Kai was explaining brightly. “Izaki and Mari met him when he and Akito tried to kill her, but they’re really nice and were apparently all able to work it out, because then Izaki introduced them to me.” She nodded as if it would make perfect sense to anyone. Which, actually, it did.

“Py’s my friend, Alistair,” Mariden told him, already thinking ahead to figure out what the next logical step (for a mate, anyway) would be. “Don’t try to hurt him, okay?”

If you say so, Mariden, the hawk agreed. You have strange friends, has anyone ever told you that?

“Oh, we keep saying it, but she never seems to care,” Chai laughed. “Anyway, Kai, don’t you think we ought to leave the newly bonded ones alone? Let them get to know each other? Come on, we can go back to my tower and you can help Lei and I with a new dress we’re working on.”

“Okay!” Kai chirped, stroking Alistair’s feathers one last time before he took off into the air. “Bye, hawk, Mari! Have fun!” And with that, she allowed Chai to lead her off.

“So,” Mariden said, watching as her new mate fluttered down to the floor and assumed human form. “Um. Hi.” She hadn’t a clue as to what to talk about.

“Hello, Mariden,” Alistair replied, his voice still that same cool tone.

Well. This wasn’t awkward at all.

location: Drachekeep
mood: boredbored
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Bonding (Part One)  
09:52am 25/05/2011

It should have been a beautiful and perfect day, Mariden reflected later, but it was not. It should have been the biggest day of her life, yet it was something she’d known was going to happen since she was old enough to understand speech. Somehow, the bonding ceremony had seemed a great deal more magical when she was little than it did now. It should have been so many things, but it was all and none of them at the same time. At any rate, it was done.

A rapid thudding on her door woke her, as if someone was very excited and wanted her to get up and share in the excitement. Mariden reluctantly pushed the covers off, sitting up in her bed and yawning. She ineffectively ran her fingers through her tousled brown hair, trying to at least look somewhat presentable.

“’M awake, come in,” she called sleepily. The door swung open and a small white shape hurtled into her room, bouncing up and landing on the bed next to her.

“Mari, do you know what today is?” Kai asked, staring up at her cousin with wide silver eyes. “Do you, do you?” Not content to merely sit still when she was this excited, the littlest dragon-shifter hopped to her feet and began turning somersaults on the bed.

Mariden reached out and grabbed the littler girl, pulling Kai into her lap and effectively stopping the bouncing. “Must be quite important,” she smiled, “if it has you this enthused.” Though Kai did get excited awfully easily.

“It’s your bonding ceremony, Mari! Aren’t you happy?” Ah, yes, the bonding ceremony. As Dragonborn, Mariden had known she was going to be bonded with someone she’d never even met, just to create a useful alliance. Mating for love had never even crossed her mind. Still, it was one thing to know this, and another to realise that today was the day it was happening. Happy? Not exactly.

Thankfully, she was saved from having to answer the question by a dark-haired boy slipping into her room through the still-open door. “Morning, Mari,” he greeted her, grinning his usual mocking grin. “Chai sent me up to get you. Said something about trying on the dress; boring, huh?”

Mariden yawned again, pushing Kai off her lap. The young ‘shifter squeaked and jumped down to the floor. “Sis already knows my measurements, Izaki,” she told her other cousin. “Don’t see why she needs me there.” It wouldn’t do to disobey her sister, though (Chai was scary when she got annoyed), so Mariden dragged herself from the warmth of her bed and yelped when her bare feet touched the cold stones of the floor.

“Hey, I’m just the messenger,” Izaki said. “You want details, take it up with Chai.” He held out an arm, bowing slightly. “Shall we, m’lady?”

“Don’t call me your lady, I’m your cousin. Also, I’m still in my nightgown!” Mariden protested. It wasn’t proper for one of the royalbloods to walk around in nightclothes.

Izaki simply shrugged. He’d never been much for formality, or properness, or really anything of that nature. “Not like you won’t be getting naked soon enough. Chai has several dresses for you.”

“And I want to see them,” Kai added, grabbing hold of Mariden’s hand and trying to drag her out the door. Mariden allowed herself to be pulled- there really was no arguing with Chai. “So c’mon!” Izaki dropped his arm, shaking his head and shutting the door behind them as the trio made their way down the labyrinthine halls.

Several minutes and turns later, they arrived at the entrance to the tower Chai had taken up residence (and dressmaking) in. “Oi! Sis!” Mariden called, banging on the locked door. “You wanted to see me?”

Footsteps pattered on the other side of the door. “Coming!” a voice yelled, just before the top half of the door swung in and a woman’s head was poked through. “Yes? Oh, Mariden! Izaki! Kai! I wondered when you’d get here,” she commented, brushing white-streaked hair out of her eyes. The other half-door was opened and Chai shooed them in.

“We brought her, just like you said,” Kai smiled, throwing herself down onto a pile of cushions someone had left in a corner of the room.

“I see that, and thank you,” Chai nodded. She turned to Izaki, frowning sternly as she said, “Ishmaru, if you’re going to stay here, you’re going to stay here. Kai can keep an eye on you.”

The eleven-year-old ‘shifter grinned proudly, happy to have been included. “You bet I will, Chai!” she promised.

Izaki shrugged, wandering over to where Kai sat and flopping down next to her. “Just as long as I get to see Mari in her bonding outfit before her mate does,” he replied, smirking up at the two sisters. It was a custom of Rialla that the male not be allowed to see his bondmate in her dress before the ceremony. Mariden wasn’t sure of the reasons behind this, but it was a custom. Customs didn’t have to make sense, or so Chai said.

“I said you could, didn’t I? Besides, you’re my escort, of course you would.” Mariden allowed her sister to lead her up the winding staircase and into Chai’s private rooms. When they reached the top, Chai turned to her, looking absolutely serious.

“Mari, you don’t… don’t mind having to bond with someone you don’t know, do you?” she asked, worry evident in her azure eyes. “Because if you do, I’ll understand, and tell Father I’ll do it in your stead.” For Chai, being the elder of the two, had originally been Dragonborn, but had abdicated; after their father fell ill, she had tried her hand at ruling, and wound up falling in love instead. “I’m just as much a princess as you are, after all.”

Mariden smiled ruefully. “Sis, I’ve been preparing myself for this day for about… oh, nineteen years now. It just always seemed somehow more romantic when I was little, you know? The beautiful princess meets the handsome prince, they fall in love at first sight, they get married and it’s a happily ever after. Now? I’m not so sure. But I’ll do it anyway, let you stay with Lei.” Her sister and her leopard mate, Lei, were just too happy together. Mariden wouldn’t take that away from them for the world.

“And I appreciate that, really I do,” Chai sighed. “It’s just… well, never mind. If you’re fine with it, so am I. Now, how about you go try on your dresses, hmm?”

Mariden groaned, but walked into the room nonetheless. “Do I really have to, sis? You already know I don’t like dresses, and-“ Words failed her as she looked around. Chai’s rooms were practically overflowing with dressmaking materials (not that this was anything new), silks and satins and gossamer-thin black lace. And in the middle of all the lacy chaos hung a beautifully embroidered gown. “Wow.”

“Do you like it?” a new voice asked. Mariden jumped as a tawny woman stood, for she hadn’t noticed anyone else in the room. “We worked rather hard.” Indeed, it looked it- the dress was a marvel of pale golden silk with hand-embroidered designs of tiny dragons gracing it. Little jewel droplets were their eyes, and tiny strings of coppery seed pearls decorated the wings. Aside from the embroidery, however, the gown was rather plain. Some of the lace she’d noticed hemmed it, but… it was just a golden dress, low enough to expose some cleavage, very low in the back, and the hem just above Mariden’s ankles. Thank Sehadine, she’d been expecting something so fancy she’d be too scared to move for fear of tearing it.

“It’s… beautiful, Lei,” Mariden replied honestly.

The woman grinned, amber eyes showing her amusement as she prowled over to drape herself on Chai. “Coming from this one, that’s high praise.”

“Isn’t it, though?” Chai smiled, wrapping an arm around her mate’s waist. “Go ahead and try it on, little sister. We want to see how it looks on you, and the two downstairs probably do as well.”

They fit so well together, Mariden thought, as she always did when she saw the pair. So beautiful, comfortable, right for each other. It showed in the little things- the little touches, little words, and little actions. Perhaps… perhaps one day she would love her bondmate enough for them to do the same. Although she was the Dragonborn, and that meant love was nothing… It would be nice if she loved her mate, but all that was required was that she produce an heir.

“Of course I’ll try it,” she said, giving away no hint of her sudden longing. Mariden slipped her nightgown’s straps of her shoulders, allowing it to pool on the floor in a heap of creamy satin. She stepped out of it neatly, heedless of the other two in the room (they were family, after all) as she moved over to the dress. It was even more beautiful up close; the silk seemed almost to shimmer in the light. Carefully, ever so carefully, Mariden slid it off the hanger, marvelling at the smooth texture and the way it hardly weighed anything at all.

“The strap in the back can be a little tricky,” Chai warned her. “Would you like me to help?”

“I can manage,” Mariden replied, pulling the gown over her head. She managed to get her arms in the sleeves well enough, and to get the dress properly situated, but Chai was right. The little strap in the back that held it shut was just ever so slightly out of her reach. “Okay, maybe I can’t. Help would be nice, sis.”

“Thought you might say that,” Chai laughed, detaching herself from Lei and walking over to her sister’s side. Her slender fingers made quick work of tying the strap into an elegant bow. “There, all done. Turn around and twirl, Mari.”

Mariden obligingly did as Chai had asked, stepping away from her sister to face Lei and then spinning around. The dress flared away from her legs in a cloud of dragon-laced silk.

“You look radiant, Mariden,” Lei said approvingly, her amber eyes flashing in pleasure to see how nicely her work looked. “Now go on, show your cousins. I don’t want Izaki up here pestering me again, do you hear?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Mariden teased. “I’ll make sure he comes up ‘specially for you.”

“Go on,” Chai scolded, “off with you. We’ll be down in a minute with the rest of your bonding outfit.”

“Yes ma’am,” Mariden repeated, closing the door behind her as she padded down the stairs.

Izaki looked up as she entered the sitting room, giving a low whistle of disbelief. “She sure cleans up nice,” he commented to Kai, who nodded.

“Did you ever doubt it?” Mariden smirked, twirling once more to let them get the ‘full effect’, as Chai would put it. “Really, now, what do you think?” One good thing about her cousins was that they would never lie to her (well, at least not about something important, and her bonding ceremony was definitely important). Actually, the whole not-lying thing could be a drawback sometimes, too…

“You look gorgeous, Mari, really you do!” Kai assured her enthusiastically, springing up from the pile of cushions she’d been sprawled in and running over to Mariden’s side.

Izaki stood as well, slowly surveying his cousin from head to toe. “She’s right,” he agreed at last, moving forward until he stood next to Kai. “You do look absolutely gorgeous, Mari. Your mate’ll love it.”

“As he had better!” Lei padded down the winding staircase, her arms full of pale golden silk.

“We worked hard on it,” Chai agreed, following her mate. She carried what looked to be an entire garden, though that was probably an overstatement. “Now, Lei, what sort of flower do you think would go best?”

“Something…” The leopard pondered for a moment. She deposited her bundle by Mariden’s feet, then grinned brightly as inspiration struck. “Green! Yes, definitely green, a soft green though… Chai, what do you think about, hmm, ivy? Maybe some bellbloom?” As she spoke, she pawed through the heap of silk until she found the one item she wanted- a tiny silver circlet with translucent gossamer-fine silk attached to it. “And this, of course.” Lei handed it to Mariden, still with that same bright smile.

Mariden placed it carefully atop her head, arranging the veil portion so that it cascaded down over her back. Lei nodded approvingly and began rifling through the assortment of flowers Chai still held. She soon pulled free several ivy vines and a few clusters of tiny blue flowers, then stepped back to Mariden’s side and began tangling the ivy in her brown hair, flipping the veil over Mariden’s head to cover the dragon-girl’s face.

“Hey!” Mariden sputtered, but did not try to brush the fabric aside. She trusted that there had been good reason for it (though Lei was quite playful, and had a twisted sense of humour), and it wasn’t stifling her or anything.

“Hold still,” Chai chided. “Lei, try tucking some bellbloom behind one ear, see how she looks then. The ivy’s looking good, maybe twist some around the circlet?” Lei followed her instructions dutifully, then (once she ran out of flowers to play with) stepped back to admire her work.

“It’ll do,” she announced.

“Yes,” Chai agreed, “it will.”

Izaki had remained silent this whole time (really quite an accomplishment for him), but not anymore. “Hey, now you really look good, cuz,” he grinned. “All green and blue and gold, you know? It suits you.” He poked Kai teasingly. “You got anything to make this little squirt cute, Lei-lei?”

“I told you not to call me that,” Lei growled, but did pull something free of the silken heap. She held a little sash out towards Kai, a pretty gold one tipped with crimson and embroidered with roses. “Here, squirt. You can pick out some flowers too, if you want. Goodness knows Chai and I have enough.”

Kai beamed as she eagerly took the sash and tied it around her waist. “Thank you so so much, Lei!” she squealed. “It’s beautiful!” She grabbed Izaki’s hand and tugged him over the chair where Chai had set down all the flowers in order to go fuss with Mariden’s gown. “Oooh, orchids, look, ‘Zaki!”

Kai really was easy to please, Mariden thought. Just give her a new toy and she’s happy for weeks on end. And she was still young enough that pretty shiny things counted as toys. “So, anything else you want to tell me before I go out and face the crowd, sis?” she asked. “Sisterly advice? Um… anything?”

Chai shrugged and grinned. “Don’t trip.”

“Oh, that’s useful,” Mariden muttered.

“Also, I’d like you to have this-“ Chai was undoing the clasp to the dragon-shaped pendant she always wore, the one their mother had given her as an infant- “as a token of my… appreciation? And definitely love.” Gently, she reached over and fastened it around Mariden’s neck. “Well, and you’re about to be bonded, so consider this my bonding present?”

“Can do, sis,” Mariden replied, and then she was crying and clinging to her older sister, because no matter how well she tried to hide it from herself, she was terrified. Terrified of having to get up in front of all the important ‘shifters and be bonded to a man she’d never even met before. Terrified of… well, everything that was to come, really. Because as soon as she stepped out of these doors, Father would find her and call the ceremony to order. Everyone was assembled, yes- it was now just a question of waiting for the bride.

Though, really, what sane person agreed to have a bonding ceremony this early in the morning?

The clock hanging on Chai’s wall bonged eleven sols. Oh. So it wasn’t that early after all…

“Well, princess?” Lei asked, fixing her with an amber gaze. “You ready?”

“Have I got a choice?” Mariden tried to laugh, but somehow it came out all wrong as the nerves set in at last. She let go of Chai, swiping at her wet eyes with the back of one hand. “Let’s get it over with already…”

Chai stepped away from her, reaching out for her own mate. “You’ll do fine, Mariden,” she promised, then held out a hand for Kai as well. “You’ve still got Izaki, after all. Surely he’s more terrible than any ceremony could ever be.” At that, Mariden managed a chuckle. “All right, the three of us have to go alert Father that you’re ready, and of course find our seats. You’ll do fine, little sister. Just fine.” And with that, the trio was out the door and gone.

“She’s right, you know,” Izaki said, watching the door close with an inscrutable expression on his face. “You’ll do just fine, Mariden, you were born for this. Well, to be Dragonborn anyway, I’m not sure if that’s quite the same thing.”

“When you think about it, it really kind of is,” Mariden sighed. “I just hope he’s nice.”

“If he’s not, I’ll kill him for you,” Izaki promised. He was absolutely serious, too, she knew he was.

The two waited in silence for some time- Mariden trying desperately to get her nerves back under control before the ceremony, Izaki not wanting her to feel like she had to talk when she obviously didn’t want to.

Their peaceful quiet was broken by the high, clear notes of a flute that came from beyond Chai’s door. It was a signal that everything was in place and that Mariden really ought to come out now. The sound of the flute faded away as its player scampered back to the Great Hall.

“C’mon, Mari,” Izaki said, holding out his arm for her to take- and this time, take it she did, grateful for someone to lean on. “Let’s go meet your mate, shall we?”

location: Drachekeep
mood: groggygroggy
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11:18am 18/05/2011
Title: Blinky
Prompt: Stuffed animal

Ketheria always talks to her stuffed owl. Keller got it for her on her third birth’s cycle, and Ketheria hasn’t let it out of her sight since (even though she just passed her seventh birth’s cycle and Mother says she’s really getting too old for such things). She calls it Blinky, and she always, always talks to it. Sometimes it even replies. It’s really much more fun when it replies…

“Kell left for Drachekeep today,” Ketheria announces, hugging Blinky tightly to her chest and trying desperately not to cry. “She wants to be a warrior. And she’s a good fighter, don’t you think? She can take care of herself.” She doesn’t want her older sister to come back in a casket, like poor Selas- the boy next door- had. Selas’ death might have been the reason her sister decided to join, Ketheria thinks. They’d been very close.

“Yes-she-can,” Blinky agrees, its voice an emotionless monotone as usual. Ketheria doesn’t care. It’s just nice to have something that always listens to her and occasionally (when it feels the need) replies.

“I want to do something to help, too,” she tells it. “Only not fight- I’m not good at fighting- but something. Do you think I could be a healer? Kell always used to say I’d make a good one, and this way if she got hurt I could fix her.” She’d heard about an ex-dragon healer up at Drachekeep- Amu, was it?- and wanted to learn from her. She still does, too.

“You-would-be-good,” her stuffed owl says flatly. Ketheria smiles, hugging it even closer to her.

“Thanks, Blinky. I think I’ll ask Mother if I can…”

“Wait-a-few-years. Then-try.”

“Okay, I guess…” Keller was just barely thirteen. The Drakon surely wouldn’t send her into any real battles into she was at least fifteen, right? That gives Ketheria two years to prepare…


“Mother?” Ketheria is nervous, but she’s nine now and wants to do something. Something more useful than sitting at home worrying about Keller every chance she gets.

“Yes, dear? What is it?” Mother asks, turning to face Ketheria and frowning to see that she still clings to the childish stuffed toy.

“Ryu from school- my teacher, you’ve met him- says that there’s a position up at Drachekeep. For a healer’s apprentice, and Mother, you know I’d make a good healer.” It’s so terribly important that she convince Mother of this. Blinky agrees with her, at least, that she just simply has to go to Drachekeep, has to make herself useful.

To her surprise, Mother agrees. “I was wondering when you would ask,” she laughs, and begins helping Ketheria pack a bag.


Ketheria is curled up on her tiny cot in the healer’s rooms, still clutching her ratty stuffed owl. “Kell’s dead, Blinky,” she whispers, stifling a sob. The two years she’s spent walking through the carnage of battlefields has taken its toll on the just-barely-eleven-rotations-old. She doesn’t speak much anymore, except to Blinky, and hardly bats an eye whenever she sees some horribly mangled body. She’d thought tears were lost to her forever after her first field.

To her surprise, she now finds that isn’t true.

“It-will-be-okay,” Blinky says tonelessly. For the first time ever in the rotations she’s known him, Blinky lies.

location: Fandom Hearts
mood: boredbored
music: Skullcrusher Mountain by Johnathan Coulton
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Not Really There  
11:16am 18/05/2011

Title: Not Really There
Prompt: Hallucinations/visions

Pyrax has always seen strange things, people and objects that aren’t really there. He never used to know they weren’t really there, but eventually he figured it out, when no one could ever see his friends but him, even when they spoke. He doesn’t care that they aren’t really there, though, because they’re his friends. Do they need to be real to be friends? Seth says no, and that’s enough for him.

He’s always liked the name Seth, too- such a strange name in a world of Alinas and Pyraxes and cute draconic Maridens. So he supposes that’s why his friend is named Seth.

“What about you?” he asks aloud, not caring anymore if people think he’s crazy. Alina doesn’t think he’s crazy, after all, and she’s the only one who matters (even if she calls herself Akito and insists that she’s a boy). Sometimes he can’t tell if Alina is really there, but she always assures him that she is and he doesn’t know any better, so he believes her. She doesn’t look like his other friends anyway- she’s beautiful and deadly and a she-viper who wants to be anything but.

“I like the name, too,” Seth says, nodding. Pyrax grins at him. He knew Seth would agree, because his friend always does. “I mean, it is my name and all, so I sorta have to like it, don’t you think?”

“Alina doesn’t like her name.” Pyrax points out the flaw in his friend’s logic. “She tells me to call her Akito.” So he does, because he likes it when Alina smiles. “Not everyone likes his or her name.” Well, mostly Alina. And Ishmaru, the red dragon prince who comes to visit with Mariden sometimes. Ishmaru and Mariden are really there, are real people who’ve taken an interest in Pyrax and Alina for some reason. He doesn’t know why, because they met when he tried to kill Mariden. He wouldn’t do it now, of course, he’s told Ishmaru as much and the dragon boy finally believes him.

“Or would you?” Seth asks reasonably, switching from one train of thought to follow Pyrax’s more interesting one. “What if I asked you to kill Mariden, or Naomi did? What if Alina wanted you to?” Seth was making a valid point.

“You’re not there,” Pyrax decided, “so I wouldn’t have to listen to you. I’d do it if Alina asked, though.” He’d do anything Alina asked.

“Very well, then,” Seth agrees. “I’ll get Alina to ask you.”

“Okay,” Pyrax nods, not really paying any attention to what his friend’s saying anymore- he’s spotted a pretty butterfly. “That sounds good, Seth.” Flitterfly-butterfly lands on a violet-hued flower, causing the stalk to bend. That can’t be good for the flower.

“Who are you talking to, Py?” Oh, it’s Alina again. That’s good, she hasn’t forgotten about him.

“Oh,” Pyrax replies, “no one.” Because that’s all Seth is, no one, for he isn’t really there.

“That’s nice,” Alina sighs. “Was it a nice conversation?”

Pyrax nods. Of course it was! “The best.” Now, what had they been talking about again?

location: Fandom Hearts
mood: boredbored
music: Skullcrusher Mountain by Johnathan Coulton
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11:14am 18/05/2011

Title: Void
Prompt: Sensory deprivation

It was dark. No, dark was not the word… it was too empty to be simply dark. This was nothingness, a coldly oppressive nothingness that (now he had noticed it) crushed down on him. It burned along his skin (but no, he thought it did but only thought, he had no skin not anymore).

“Where… where am I?” he whispered, he knew he did, but he heard no sound. There was no sound in this empty realm. There was no sound, no light, no anything except the nothing that was really a thing all in itself. Except for him, of course- no, not of course, because was he really here at all? He looked down at where his body ought to be, but there was nothing except emptiness. Was he even looking down at all? Was there even a down in this hideous empty realm? He knew his eyes were open, because he had opened them, but… the only conclusion was that there was nothing to see.

 All of a sudden gravity decided there was no use for it anymore (not here not now) and left the nothingness spinning madly around him. No, not spinning, because something needed to have substance to spin, and this place was devoid of all substance. Devoid of all substance (just like him?), and yet made of nothingness so thick it choked him (except there was nothing to choke on or with). 

“Where am I?” he tried again, but still no sound… No! A sound! Scuff, scuff, scuff, as of something (or someone) walking across a hard floor. The sound rattled and echoed around him, the void catching it and rejecting it in all directions. It came from all around him (because over under left right inside up outside down were all the same) and yet from nowhere.

Words came next, the letters ripped apart, mangled and reflected over and over again in a cacophony of not-there whispers. Someone (something) called out, shrieking through the emptiness, trying to break the oppressive silence-that-was-not-silence (because it was nothing) and failing, the pitiful not-quite-sound falling flat. It was him, he realised later, because he was screaming and couldn’t hear a thing (did he have any way to hear?)

“Where am I?” he shrieked soundlessly. “Who am I? What am I, when am I, why am I?” How was he? He was doing fine, thank you very much. Now to answer his own questions- nowhere, Galen, a hawk, now, because. Wasn’t the point of asking questions because he didn’t know the answers?

“Galen?” he asked himself (no, not himself, the void). “That’s me?” Why did he bother to talk aloud when he only spoke to himself? “No, no, nothing,” he protested weakly, silently, his words echoing and shattering around him.

Of course he was nothing, that was why he was here. He had been something before, but that had changed, hadn’t it? What had changed? Everything, of course. Oh, it was impossible for him to escape, because everything that was something that was nothing wound up here. It was amazing he was still not completely dissolved. But… the end was already decided, so wouldn’t it be that much better for him to be comfortable?

“I suppose,” he decided uncertainly, feeling himself (what was left of himself) slowly begin to drift apart.

“I suppose,” he said aloud again (though it wasn’t a loud if it was a quiet), unsure why he said it this time or why he couldn’t see.

“I… suppose,” he murmured, confused because why had he meant to say those words? Why could he not open his eyes?

Oh. It was dark. No, dark was not the world… it was too empty to simply be dark. Had he had these thoughts before?

Yes, he had. It was déjà vu all over again, and so terribly, terribly dark…


“He’s gone,” Amu whispered, her eyes filling with tears as she stepped away from the fallen hawk-shifter. “I’m so sorry, Mariden, but he’s gone.”

Mariden bowed her head in silence, not allowing her own tears to fall as she mourned the man. The Dragonborn could not display any sort of weakness before her people. Even if Galen had been the last surviving member of the Wyverns, her elite honour guard. Even if the first of the Wyverns to fall had only been seventeen, Mariden’s own age. The guards had tried so hard, really they had, but they simply hadn’t been able to keep up with her and died trying. One by one, the eight best warriors Father had been able to find had died in battle- died because they would not leave her, the inept Dragonborn who wanted so desperately to fight but did not truly know how.

“He was… a fine man, and a great warrior,” she said, turning away from Galen’s body to face the small crowd gathered at the foot of the dais where she stood. “I never knew him personally, but I’m sure some of you did, and that you now grieve. I… respected him, I always have, and… I’m sorry that it is my foolishness that led to his death.”

This decision had been hard to make, but Mariden just couldn’t let more of the ‘shifters die trying in vain to protect her. “I forswear the battlefields now,” she announced, her voice ringing out clearly in the silence. “Let the noble Wyverns be remembered well, but… I cannot allow eight more of you to die, some before I even learn your names.”

The assembled ‘shifters stood in silence for a moment, then slowly, one by one, approached her (and the brave hawk Galen). “Good-bye, Daddy,” she heard a little girl whisper, tears in her eyes as she and her mother stood over the body. “I’ll always love you.”

Her heart shattered in that moment, and heedless of all those watching, Mariden began to cry.

location: Fandom Hearts
mood: boredbored
music: Skullcrusher Mountain by Johnathan Coulton
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Wow. Just wow.  
07:17pm 10/05/2011
So (for once) I was on the hunt for KH goodfic, and I found this little drabble that is made of sheer amazingness.

It's a goodfic. About the Princesses of Heart, who are so amazingly badass. There are almost none of those- Anderling, Lightning, Airey, anyone else, READ THIS, FOR IT IS AWESOME AND A BREAK FROM BADFIC. Sporkers need that every once in a while, right?

Fly free. Roar to the skies. Peace be ours.

location: Fandom Hearts
mood: jubilantjubilant
music: Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
tags: goodfic, recs
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November 2011  

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