Mirrors

Feb. 22nd, 2017 04:01 pm
selenias: (Default)
[personal profile] selenias
Title: Mirrors
Fandom: Tales of Berseria
Characters/pairing: one-sided Magilou/Velvet
Prompt: #6: let not light see my dark and deep desires. - Macbeth
Rating: T
Word Count: 720~

Spoilers @ Titania, late game.

Magilou wipes the blood from her nose on the back of her hand and smears it halfway up her forearm instead. With a wave of his hand Melchior thrusts her soul from her body with an ominous crack and she falls through the leaves and the grass with no indication for how long or far down her dark descent takes her. It was the weight of her years falling with her -- or whatever, she just got knocked flat on her ass and that’s all there is to it.

Across the hard ground she watched Velvet’s feet approach. Smoke curled from her charred figure like a desert mirage, except duller and less magical somehow, and maybe she was finally coming to choke the life out of her. All of the solipists in the world be jealous of her now.

Humans wrote about an afterlife where their psychopomp would gather them up from their desecrated human body and lead them to their eternity. For some reason it was located across a deep and raging river, and how come no one ever thought to build a bridge? She could walk herself, thanks.

Reality came crashing back. Laughter bubbled inside her chest. No, Velvet couldn’t possibly be that.

She ran over what could have been said in the course of several seconds and didn’t like any of them.

One was a joke: “Gosh, I was about to meet the Empyreans for real. They’re real pissed now!” The second was a confession: “I was really counting on your death so I could finally depart, too. You wouldn’t guess it, but I’m definitely going to end up in the same hell as you, Velv--” The third, a half truth she dare not ever voice: “I was never counting on you to win. You don’t know it, but you and I? We’re so alike it kills me. You’re the me that might actually win. Do you know how lucky you are? I would give anything to feel a tenth of what you do. How can you not see me the way I see you?”

“I was about to start up a card game,” she blurts out instead. “--if you took any longer.” The grass is cool but splashed with her blood and like this it simply looks like an early autumn. Bienfu tiptoes through it to put his arms around her neck but it’s on him too, staining the rim of his hat purple. So maybe she got smashed around more than she could recall.

Velvet says nothing, shifting her weight from hip to hip and it brings Magilou the greatest pleasure to hate her for it. Sure, she wasn’t expecting a congratulations on your-most-terrible-and-one-sided-duel-that-was-basically-a-suicide-attempt, but --

“You’re really strong,” Laphicet says, admiration clicking across his teeth. He fills up Magilou’s vision with white light and the relief his arte brings her trembling hands and vibrating teeth is enough to almost make her weep. She sucks on the inside of her cheek and wobbly thrusts herself from knees to feet instead. And -- someone needs to stop demarcating the lines between feeling and not feeling anything. This entire situation is humiliating.

“Yeah,” Velvet says, echoing the sentiment. “Sorry for interrupting. He looked like he was about to run screaming toward the capital.” She inclines her head to meet her gaze for the first time. “I’m sure we’ll see him again.”

There’s no helping it. Velvet’s obsessed with her dead brother and Magilou can’t tell anymore if that’s strength or weakness. It’s both. It’s something else altogether. It’s a conglomeration of everything the Abbey tried to wrestle out of her. She hates it by nature but part of her can appreciate it -- she wishes she could be brash, too.

Someone hands her her hat where it lies like a dead thing in the grass, but Magilou’s too focused on the pain in her head and how vibrant and green the grass is next to Velvet's boots to thank them.

The only curses in the world are the people who exist in it. If that makes this quest a fool’s errand and her the biggest puppet, at least she knows her place. She wants someone to use her. She wants to be a blade.

Really, it shouldn’t matter that Velvet came back. But it means the whole world. It means that she can, too.
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