[Fic] “We Hold On” - Chronicles of Narnia
Summary: Old Narnia went into hiding, but there are more places to hide than the wilderness. The hardest secrets to find are the ones in plain sight. (1,100 words)
We Hold On
"But why aren’t there any Talking Beasts anymore? And why can’t I say anything about them at school?" Bethany asked as she climbed into her bed. "Teacher smacked my hand with her ruler and said I was telling lies! Papa doesn’t lie to me, and he says there were so Talking Beasts, for years and years and years, before they went away.”
Edith fought to keep a worried frown off her face. She knew she should have been firmer when she told Lir to watch his words around their daughter. Bethany was too young still to understand the importance of keeping secrets.
But done was done, and all she could do now was try to fix the damage.
"Your papa didn’t lie, but it’s a secret story, dear heart, very long and sad. It makes the kings and lords and gentry look bad, so they don’t want anyone to remember it," Edith said as she pulled the covers up to Bethany’s chin and smoothed out the wrinkles. "That’s why you got in trouble at school for asking about Talking Beasts."
Bethany blinked in sleepy confusion. “Because I said bad things about the king? But I didn’t! I didn’t say anything about him, or the lords.”
[Fic] “Sense and Sensitivity” - Harry Potter
Summary: Harry doesn’t know if he’s ticklish. Ginny thinks this is a crime. (700 words)
Note: This story was written for Cotton Candy Bingo Round One, in response to the prompt: tickle.
Sense and Sensitivity
Ginny stopped halfway through putting the breakfast dishes into the sink. “Are you telling me you’ve never had a tickle fight?” The cleaning spell whined soundlessly, bubbles stretching upward in beseeching strands. One popped on her wrist and she blinked, then lowered the plates and flatware the rest of the way into the basin and let the magic get to work.
Harry shrugged, looking a bit baffled at her reaction. “No? I didn’t have anyone I wanted to tickle, or to touch me in general. Dudley never bothered. He was more interested in ordinary fighting, or breaking things and blaming me. I suppose I wouldn’t have minded if Ron or Hermione had tried to tickle me, but they never did. So, yeah. No tickle fights. Sorry.”
Ginny crossed the kitchen and plucked the battered mug of tea from her boyfriend’s hands.
"Ginny?" he said warily as she set the mug on the counter and started pushing him toward the tiny main room of the Diagon Alley flat he and Ron shared.
"Do you even know if you’re ticklish?" she asked.
"Dunno. You can’t really tickle yourself, right? I think I read that somewhere. I mean, once or twice your hair’s brushed inside my elbows when we’ve been hugging or lying around in your mum’s garden and that’s felt a bit odd, but nothing I needed to laugh about."
His left leg hit the sofa. Ginny gave him one last push, and he sat down still looking puzzled.
She sat down on his lap. “Ron’s out for the day, yeah?” she asked as she reached for the hem of Harry’s t-shirt.
"Good. I’d rather not do this in your room. It’s a little too… well, I’d want to push and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable," she said. "But I’d also rather not have to explain to my brother why we’re half naked on the sofa."
She slid her hands under the thin cotton fabric of the shirt and let her fingers and palms rest on her boyfriend’s skin — not nearly hard to enough to hurt, or light enough to tickle. Just firm, to let him feel the calluses from wand and quill and broom, to let her feel the heat of his body and the slight motion of his breathing.
Ginny was really looking forward to the day Harry felt ready to have sex. She missed getting to go further than kissing and maybe a little groping above the waist. He’d be awkward at first, just like she’d been awkward with Dean, but learning as you went was half the fun.
And that would definitely be easier if Harry was used to laughing with her at how silly human bodies could be.
Harry swallowed and set his hands on Ginny’s waist, pressing the fabric of her own t-shirt to her skin with damp palms. “Er. Right. Is nakedness strictly necessary for a tickle fight?”
Ginny grinned. “Not at all. But it’s easier to experiment if we can see what we’re doing and don’t have clothes getting in the way of any place we might want to touch. There are so many other ways to take advantage of ticklishness — and even if you’re not ticklish at all, I promise that I am. You’ll just have to figure out where for yourself.”
She pulled her hands out from under his shirt and grasped the hem. “May I?” she asked, tugging lightly upward.
Harry was silent for a long moment — Ginny started to lower her hands, ready to back off — and then he nodded, eyes clear and fearless as he caught and held her gaze. “Yeah. And thanks for not making fun of me, or making it a big deal.”
Ginny thought about a little boy too isolated and neglected to realize all the parts of normal childhood he was missing. And she thought about herself after Tom and the diary, and how much she’d needed for people to treat her like she was normal instead of an irreparably broken victim.
"Any time," she said.
Then she yanked her boyfriend’s shirt up and over his head, tangling his arms and knocking off his glasses in the process.
She wanted a clear shot at blowing raspberries on his stomach.
End of Story
I started this during an evening shift at the smoke shop last week, but broke off after about 200 words and only finished last night, possibly spurred on by spending an hour or two crossposting some old HP stories to AO3. It feels weird to be writing new HP fic that isn’t in direct response to a request from a specific person. But I guess one never really leaves one’s first fandom, no matter how distant the relationship may become over the years.
(Apparently I will never get over the whole Ginny-and-Tom thing either. Well, I did spend eleven years elaborating on that topic. I really should not be surprised when it sneaks into unexpected places.)
[Fic] “Giant Robot Mayhem Doesn’t Happen in a Day” (and two others) — Homestuck
Today is Jadefest reveal day! I wrote three stories — Giant Robot Mayhem Doesn’t Happen in a Day, If Kaiju, Therefore Mecha, and Linnaeus Never Had a Robot — all for ratherrumpus, all in response to the same prompt. I am going to talk about them all in one post, since they are all heavily interconnected.
First, here is the prompt from which I was working: After their session is complete, the game’s resident robot experts, Jade Harley and Dirk Strider, team up to rebuild Skaia Labs. Is this merely a shallow excuse for them to build giant robots together, pilot said robots, and annoy all their team members who dislike wanton giant-robot destruction? Perhaps. Is it going to be awesome regardless? Absolutely.
Ratherrumpus made two other prompts. The first was about Jade as a boxer, possibly with Vriska as a rival, and, well, let’s just say that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being watching linoleum peel and 10 being Homestuck itself, boxing is a very firm 0.5 on my scale of “Things I Find Interesting.” Even if it might involve humans and aliens living together. So I didn’t even try to work with that one. (I am quite happy that other people enjoy boxing. To each their own! But it is so far from being my thing that boxing and I ought to live in separate galaxies.)
The second prompt I didn’t use was about Jade going grimdark instead of Rose, which I kept as a backup idea in case I couldn’t get the giant robots to work. I can do grimdark, I can do desperation and angst, and I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a split point where it made sense for Jade to bargain with the horrorterrors… but when given a choice between horrorterrors and giant robots, I’m sorry, but I had to try the giant robots first. :-)
It turns out writing giant robots is harder than it looks.
Or at least it is for me. Which is probably because I have a curse known as world-building, which meant I couldn’t just say, “Okay, giant robot time!” I had to figure out why Jade and Dirk would be building giant robots, and apparently “Because they’re awesome!” doesn’t cut any ice with whatever part of my brain deals with plots and character motivations. :-/ I spent nearly a week spinning various ideas that died horribly within the first two sentences, assuming they even made it that far.
The first attempt that clicked enough to be worth trying to write was the third fic I posted.
If you’re still interested in creating Treats from the Jadefest prompts that have been made public, inklesspen was kind enough to put together a sorter for us. It will let you search the prompts for the kinds of things you’re interested in, instead of wading through all of them at once.
Treats are found in the Jadefest Treats 2014 collection. We welcome anyone to add to it. It will be open indefinitely. Thank you!
Oooh, such possibilities! *ponders options*
Jadefest is live!!!
It’s a couple hours early, but the archive is open! I cannot, obviously, direct you to the story I wrote, but let me point you toward the gift I received, because it is GLORIOUS.
carry it with you: This feels like this is the type of space where if she puts her hand on the door and starts to push, something will stop her and ask if she needs to save her game. There’s a danger to it, and a finality. But Sburb doesn’t offer those types of safeties. Sburb isn’t that kind. [Jade meets her Denizen.] (2,000 words)
The narrative is pitch-perfect Jade, toward the end of the frog quest, with all the things she so carefully isn’t thinking about and all the things she so fiercely promises to do, and why she makes those promises even though she has no way to know if they are even possible to fulfill.
[Fic] “Some Company Would Be Nice” - Homestuck
Summary: Rose Lalonde meets Dave Strider for the first time on a college tour. They’re not emotionally well equipped to have a touching, heartfelt reunion, but that’s okay. They wouldn’t be comfortable with that kind of thing anyway. (1,300 words)
Note: This fic was written for Cotton Candy Bingo (Round One, belated), in response to the prompt: comfortable / content. It is also an attempted 15-minute fic — specifically, a response to the 11/5/13 15_minute_ficlets word #184 — that got wildly out of hand once I realized it was heading into Alpha Timeline Fluff territory and figured I might as well see if I could knock off two birds with one stone. :-)
Fair warning for standard alpha timeline background levels of angst, plus Rose and Dave being their own special morbid selves. Also, yes, I set this in Ithaca because that obviated the need for research. I have never denied being lazy. *wry*
Some Company Would Be Nice
Rose stands near the back of the crowd at the front of Day Hall, listening absently to the tour guide give a standard spiel about Cornell University. She already knows she won’t spend four years at this school, though she will, naturally, apply. (She’ll also be accepted. Or at least she’s had extremely vivid hallucinations of a sheaf of acceptance packages spread over the black and purple comforter her parents gave her for her seventeenth birthday. It was a relief to open the package and see the familiar patterns. Unless, of course, that familiarity is simply a hyperactive sense of déjà vu.)
But it’s a warm, sunny day in mid-spring, however — “Don’t expect this very often!” the guide says, laughing, “but make the most of your luck. Ithaca’s putting on her best face for you. You should go visit some of the gorges— no, wait, how about Buttermilk Falls or Taughannock Falls while you have the chance!” — and if nothing else Rose intends to enjoy the walk and the pleasantly Gothic architecture of several buildings she can already catch glimpses of behind the bulk of Day Hall itself, rising over the arts quad at the heart of the central campus.
She enjoys them so thoroughly, in fact, that before the tour gets past the two main libraries she finds herself separated from the group by nearly fifty feet and several gaggles of undergraduates. She swears under her breath. Hurrying to catch up is so undignified, and she’s been doing so well convincing people to treat her as a very-nearly-adult on this trip, especially since her parents are finally willing to go play tourist on their own instead of hovering over her shoulders, relentlessly grilling admissions offices for cheat codes, and generally cooing at her as if she’s a beloved and hapless kitten.
"Oh damn, looks like we’ve been abandoned. Welp. Tell you what. I won’t tell anyone you got hypnotized by the gothic glory of a big-ass penis metaphor, otherwise known as a clock tower, if you ditch the tour and come explore the gorges with me. I heard some poor asshole jumped off a bridge on Stewart Avenue last week and there’s still a makeshift shrine. You seem like the kind of girl who’d enjoy morbid shit like that," a male voice says from behind her shoulder.