pospreterito: two hands conjuring fire ({stories} ..dae fire and fire)
[ pos.pɾe'te.ɾi.to ] ([personal profile] pospreterito) wrote in [community profile] copreterito2012-04-06 03:25 pm

{bracketverse, 31_days} gold light

Title: gold light
Rating: PG13 if we’re being strictly cinematic (swearing)
Wordcount: 884
Story / World: bracketverse
Challenge: [livejournal.com profile] 31_days: January 06 2012, rules were always bent, but never broken
Other: After but not long after they won’t be stopped, before (among other things) ...Wings.
Characters: Cosma Noline, January Salt, Theresa Kyle, Arcturus
Notes: Arcturus’ lack of surname makes him awkward to tag for; Cosma’s speaking habits throw my ratings off; January Salt generally takes bad news much better than anyone else would expect (see also: her entire character arc).


shadows and their sources stealing away with you
gold light shining on so many things

Cosma's always learnt rules by osmosis more than anything; it's not like she has anyone to actually ask what the regulations are, at any given point, because once she's wondering probability says she's broken at least one so she won't get any unbiased answers. Who could she ask who would give her responses anyway? Ciel? Like she's going to get something useful out of him.

So she picks things up by what other people do, and by what they say, and sometimes takes it out of the language with tweezers when she feels an unappeasable need to prove to people who aren't looking how obviously clever she is. Depending on who's asked, she's well aware, said condition could be either never, for her, or always.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle, probably, but she's not that reliable an observer, so who really knows?

There are certain things that can't just be picked up, though, or that her own conception of what is right keeps overriding until she gets strong enough proof that what everyone else thinks may be wrong but it's widespread enough to matter. Like the back-lighting on her mother's hair as she explained that breaking the noses of nice young men was not a way to demonstrate affection for said, or Ciel hanging immortal from a ceiling.

Like Arcturus, apparently, with his arm drawn up behind him, held still by sharp-shiny Theresa Kyle with sharp-shiny fury in her eyes and every line of how she stands.

Cosma thinks it would be a challenge she wouldn't want to be assigned to strike that kind of rigid fury down onto paper; how does she even do that, make herself look as much a weapon as the sword she always carries the promise of at her hip? It's weird.

Cosma thinks, white-knuckled, hair swinging into her face to hide her expression just in case anyone notices her loitering in the doorway. If anything was going to get him in trouble she'd think it would be the amateur chemistry, really; among the things friends are not supposed to, apparently, allow friends to do is probably haphazard magical drug dealing, but no one's ever called Cosma a good friend.

But no, not that, although now it'll turn up and call against him worse. She wishes she could go up and serve counters to every proof in the form of sewn-up scars and fresh bruises, but Cosma's lost her chance to be the hero now: who cares about that kind of thing on an effectively defenceless kid when the victim's forfeited their dubious claim at humanity by dabbling in necromancy?

She feels a bit dizzy, but that's the least that could be expected. Cosma knows this feeling, though, the way it's building up behind her breastbone, and the least she needs is a snap of red-gold out towards no target, light in her eyes and blood on her hands -- one of them should stay here, maybe she can still help.

At this point all she can do is let her head spin itself down, wind a circuit with anger and vindictiveness.

Five minutes later she's found January and backed her up against a wall and the poor innocent doesn't know the news yet, which is pathetic, Arcturus is her boyfriend-thing, favourite person to practice medicine on, whatever, something that she'll miss.

"I hope you appreciate that fucking dove," is all Cosma manages to get out, and then, unexpectedly, she's crying.

The tears scald raw little burns down January's hands when she reaches up apparently by autopilot, but that's by all accounts to be expected. And it's funny, too, a proof part of her -- albeit a part Cosma currently despises -- files away as knowledge to use someday: that a Healer's reflex to go towards anywhere someone's hurt kicks in for things that aren't purely physical, too.

At some point in the future she'll be able to use this as a weapon, as a trap, she's sure, but right now it just reminds her of her best friend and his tendency towards being one big bruise, and that doesn't help at all. She's not the Untitled Lady yet, she's just an unfortunately super-powered teenage girl, she has no point of appeal; the inevitability crashes down on her to the point that when January moves as if to duck out from under Cosma's outstretched arm she's not even going to stop her.

Unexpectedly, though, the chalk girl hugs her instead.

"I'm going to fucking kill you if you ever use this against me," Cosma hiccups to the discovery that January's just the right height for Cosma to be able to fit her chin against braided white hair.

"Yeah, sure," January mumbles halfway into Cosma's coat. "You're a battery, you know that? God. Much better. I have an idea, it might not even get any of us more thrown out or dead than we already are."

Cosma pushes her away counter-intuitively and draws the sleeve of her coat across her face, wrapping a glamour with it. She knows her face well enough, even this brand-new variation, to at least rid herself of the embarrassing sting of having been crying, for an audience.

Her voice goes flat and level with a bit of effort.

"Yeah?" she says. "I'm listening."

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