The trial was a scam. Had been from the beginning.
Hazel set in her chair, head held eye, staring at the judge, expression neutral. Before the sun set they would have her burned.
She would be known as just another witch meeting er rightful end. The books would glos(more)s over the fact that she had indeed saved a member of the royal court.
"You say you didn't curse our queen, but how can that be? All witches are connected after all. You know and approve of everything the others do."
Hazel took a few calming breathes before she answered.
"That's what I have been telling you for the last ten minutes. We are not connected. I am only responsible for my own actions," the answer came out sharper than she had wanted it to. "Why would I heal the queen if I had cursed her before?"
"Because you want us to trust you."
"What I want is to be in my house, far far away from here. With a fire, a blanket and a nice tea."
"But if you don't want anything from us why did you heal her? Why didn't you stay in front of your fire?"
"Because a friend asked for my help."
"A friend you do not want to reveal." Hazel shook her head.
"When there is nothing to proof your claims. Guards, we are finished. Lead her away."
Masayoshi was not technically supposed to have a key to the apartment. He didn't actually live there, of course - he still lived in a hotel room that he was spending increasingly less time in, but that didn't change the fact that he wasn't supposed to let himself in(more) to Gotou's apartment whenever he felt like it.
("Don't get all happy like that! This is just a spare, just in case-" "In case what, Gotou-san?" "..." "In case...?" "It doesn't matter." "It does matter, Gotou-san matters very much to me!" "...idiot.")
There were no lights on inside the apartment - the curtains weren't drawn, and the streetlamps painted the room in shades of orange.
Gotou was sitting up on the bed, arms folded over his knees, phone dangling from his fingers. He didn't lift his head until he felt the mattress dip, as Masayoshi tentatively put his knee to it.
He looked at Masayoshi - up at him, and the shadows fell just right and Masayoshi couldn't see his face. "She won't talk to me," Gotou's voice didn't sound right, and Masayoshi wet his lips and swallowed, couldn't think of a response to that so he put his arms over Gotou's shoulders and pulled him in for a hug. Gotou's hand dug in to the fabric of his sweatshirt, pulled it tight. "Why won't she talk to me?" he asked, voice muffled, small like a child's.
He didn't drop the cell phone. Masayoshi could see the new one on the charger, its battery light green and blinking across the room, but Gotou's grip on the old phone was like steel. "Gotou-san," Masayoshi said quietly, his voice somehow level.
"I miss her," Gotou said, and Masayoshi tightened his grip on Gotou and squeezed his eyes closed.
Panic is more bitter than tobacco, and the taste of it was still on his tongue as his breath dragged ragged from his lungs. He'd meant to yell immediately - to lash out, to do something but exhaustion made his words falter. Masayoshi stared down at him, expression gone(more) blank, gone white as a sheet as the hood fell from his head - and the words rattled around in his chest, no, /no/, he didn't mean that, Masayoshi - but they weren't the words that tumbled raw from his throat.
Masayoshi's expression jumped from confused to hurt to angry and back around to ashamed faster almost than Gotou could follow. He wasn't focused on Masayoshi though, he was focused on that tight dark knot in his chest, that gaping hole he'd carefully filled with emojis and mindless chatter. The cracks had been growing deeper lately, how could Masayoshi dig his fingers in and pull like that, why didn't he understand that peeling these layers away didn't help, why didn't he leave well enough /alone/...
Maybe he /did/ mean them, those words that he spat out like they tasted bad, hard and heavy like gunshots. "I don't ever want to see you again!"
The heartbeat of silence that followed could fill decades, Masayoshi's blue eyes wide, glittering - the wash of rage thudding in Gotou's ears drowned out Masayoshi's voice, his apologies - he stumbled backwards and away, tripped into the umbrella stand and was gone out the door.
Gotou stared after him - anger and anguish turning him numb, turning him inside out - he put his head on his hands and closed his eyes. The noise that escaped him wasn't human; it was the broken keen of a wounded animal.
On the table, his cellphone vibrated cheerfully.(less)
This is volcanic;
a brewing mix of thoughts and panic
bellowing below my feet to my fingers
feeding the haunts that linger
listless and eager
I am all but free
in the lava crust machinery
churning hopes of the industry completely.
Mutating like the step sons she once sold to me
They said "kill me, stop this wrench weather, believe in more than just rain and misery"
in moments of absolute clarity jinyoung would find himself standing over gatlin's bedside in the early hours of the morning, his fingers tacky with sweat, forehead melting into his eyes like the caustic sting of shampoo, and finally, with the soft slowness of sheets being pulled away from a(more) warm body, his heart beating in the base of his throat.
"i had a dream i killed you."
groggy with sleep and tugging the sheets over his fluttering eyelids, gatlin grumbled into his pillow. "i could say the same."
"you don't worry about it?"
"why?" he whispers. "why worry about the inevitable?"
gatlin's lips pulled into something of a grimace, hands reaching for something on the bedside table until, at last, they scrabbled over the smooth surface of an orange pill bottle, label peeling around the edges.
"you think i'll kill you?"
"either way," gatlin sat up, hair flattened on one side of his head, and popped the top off the bottle. "one of us will die by the other."
one. two. three. four. gatlin shoves the medication into his mouth, swallowing a few times to get them down. they stare at each other.
"what?" gatlin laughs, poking at the sweat stains around jinyoung's collar. "did it really scare you that much?"
it terrified me, he wants to say. i feel like i'm losing control right now.
Under the darkening night sky within small medium and large flimsy dwellings that are buzzing with artificial lights
Hanging onto the false sense of security that lingers in snug familiar family units before the day dawns
Inaudible speech of man woman and child - laughter or cryin(more)g or snoring or shouting or whispering
or the noise of purchased electric moving pixel pictures before the solitary eyes of one in a bed big enough for two
For the moment
Under the false belief - independent separate - apart from one another and flesh of their own -
Reality being one giant sea - tossed hither and tither by invisible intelligence -
Puppets on strings
All a protective wall in their imagination - demanding "Create this and repair that" - which was only the copy from what has already been or the fix of what the sea itself has broken - as though power and right was in hands of weak and feeble and dying flesh
The puppeteers laugh - before cutting the strings and disappearing into the abyss
In the darkness
The stars will rise
Awakening in the night
As rain crashes
Against the ground
Setting the stage
(more) As tragedy resounds
For there will be misery
In the morn
When light's hope
Will be never more
The near sunrise
Eve pulled up, rounding on the plains to the east from the height of a dusty plateau. Her courser snuffed at her impatiently. She dismounted and offered it some water from her skin. Satisfied, it nosed around in the dry air and began nibbling at the scrub.
(more) A light wind picked up, and Eve turned her attention to the east. A column of dust was being kicked up in the distance. She unpacked her seeing glass and pointed it at the disturbance. It seemed the rumors were true.
The stone kings of the east had made forays into the desert for centuries. But this was no raiding party, out to relieve the simple desert folk of their meager possessions and return to their cities in triumph. No. This was a caravan of war. A moving city that bore in its midst the desert people's unbecoming. Only they probably didn't know it.
The train appeared to be miles long, but even a great distance Eve could see it was not made up of siege engines and armored knights. There were pack mules hauling dozens of drays loaded with what looked like heavy machinery. Beleaguered laborers bearing satchels with picks and shovels, walking on foot. yellow-robed Riders of the Sun, bearing their serpent staves, limned by an armored escort.
She took note of the train's pace and direction, and ran some numbers in her head. An epiphany struck her, wrenching at her gut with sickening force.
The deserts of the motherland did not possess much that kings of metal and stone would covet, but what little it had, it hid well. Now it appeared that one of its greatest secrets was under threat.
Eve whistled to the courser, mounted, and took off with great haste. She had to warn the others. (less)
I can't speak about it for too long. If I must I have to joke, casually play off the pain with my words and gestures, lest anyone see my weakness. I can only talk about how I want him to die, painfully and slowly, knowing what he's done and(more) how much it hurt. I can only speak of revenge, or with the sharp tongue of sarcasm. I can only write about it. I can only write out the anger and pain, the shit he put me through. He angered at the slightest provocation, yelling and cursing and throwing the nearest object, shattering it against the wall. He used my weak points against me, said things I wouldn't say to my worst enemy. Everything was his, to sell or take if it wasn't being used, but his collections were sacred and ever-growing. His obsession with his possessions overrode any love he had for anyone else, most of all our son. He once pushed him down because he was getting too close and might damage one. My son was one year old. I always rushed in to console my child, too often hurt by his own father. When we finally left, the bruise on his face was one I couldn't kiss away.(less)
Ironically, Kageyama hates winter. He loves summer, in fact, even though Hinata sometimes says the cold would suit his icy eyes better, and though he says it like an insult Kageyama can hear the thread of a compliment in it (that doesn't mean he doesn't kick Hinata in the(more) leg when Daichi and Suga aren't watching, though.)
The spring frost has given way to hot, and then /hot/, weather, and so Hinata and Kageyama spend more time practicing outside after school than in the gym. The sun has just begun to set, casting shades of red that dye the trees a brown-green that Kageyama finds himself liking more and more, mostly due to the promise they hold, of milder days in fall. Hinata climbs down the tree, shaking the volleyball in his hands with a mock scowl.
"Stop getting so distracted! It's easier to hit them back when you're actually focusing like you're on the court, you know?"
"Dumbass, I am focusing."
Hinata sticks his tongue out, but (badly) tosses the ball back into Kageyama's reach. "It's nice out here today," Hinata says anyways, preparing for a good receive.
Kageyama hits the ball with a good smack, and Hinata hits it up with a similar noise. "Uwoooah! That one felt great!"
Kageyama wipes the sweat off his nose, nods as he hits again. "It looks nice out here."
Hinata makes a noise of agreement and they're quiet for a while.
"You wanna get meat buns after this?"
"I thought that was the plan."
"No, I mean-" This time the ball jumps to the side when Hinata tries to hit it back, and Kageyama swallows down a shout when he sees how red Hinata's face is.
"Like a date."
While summer leaves, Hinata stays. And Kageyama nods.(less)