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Thread: Fear in the Dark [Kara no Kyoukai]

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    Fear in the Dark [Kara no Kyoukai]

    This fic is written as a sequel to Made to Break.


    Fear in the Dark
    NSFW/lemon content follows




    The morning after does not seem very strange. She lets him use her washroom, and that isn't unusual. She lets him make her coffee and shares it with him. That isn't unusual either. It is not even the first time he has awakened on her couch with early morning, gray light coming in from his left, through the windows in the strange office she keeps. Coffee on his breath reminds him of something he can't quite place, something familiar and something strange. It is almost like he has never tasted coffee before, and he cannot quite understand why.

    He sits across from her – from Miss Touko – in front of her desk, which they are using like a kitchen table. She is reading something intently, indifferent to her surroundings and calm. Any normal person might have been reading a newspaper in its place, but she seems to be reading a bound manuscript of some kind that seems quite a bit older than the morning press. She turns a page, takes another sip of her coffee, then finally draws her eyes away. They do not flit to him. Rather, they settle on the carton of cigarettes resting somewhere to her left. She lays the book to rest to free both her hands, then goes about lighting one of them.

    Mikiya, still puzzling over the taste of his coffee in silence, understands at that moment what he had been searching for. The taste of coffee is the same as it has always been, he thinks. What has changed is the way he understands the taste of cigarettes – the immediacy, the lingering taste of smoke in his mouth, on his tongue. The way it's similar to, and entirely different from, the bitterness of black coffee in his mouth. He watches her take a draw from the cigarette, watches the play of orange and red embers and blackening ash on its tip, watches her breathe in, watches her breathe out... smoke...

    He swallows hard tightly – his own saliva, not more coffee – and he thinks she must hear it. She finally glances up at him, and he takes a sip of his coffee. It is not terribly marked by panic or fidgeting, but he feels almost dutiful as he carries on, like normal. He does not immediately look away from her eyes. He blinks before he feels the need.

    She looks down at more or less the same time, snuffing out the meager remains of that particular cigarette in her ash tray. He has seen it a hundred times before, and he breathes in and out, noting the familiar scent – no different from yesterday.

    “Are you hungry?” she asks.

    The question is a little unusual but fairly unmarked by tone or inflection.

    Mikiya clears his throat softly. He isn't hungry. The coffee he is drinking fills some habitual need to be awake, to begin a new day with some ritual that makes sense on either side of the night before, but he notices that his stomach seems to quietly resist the thought. It is tight, not quite knotted, but the anxiety is not enough to push through to any other part of his body.

    “No, I—” he says, but apparently a little too late, because she speaks over him without the apparent intent or awareness of interrupting him.

    “I thought you might run out to buy us some breakfast,” Touko says, briefly tracing her finger along the page of the aged manuscript where she had left off. Her fingertip taps it without much commitment to continuing to read it. It seems she has not decided whether or not she wants to. There is a brief pause before she speaks again, but not one long enough for his response, agreement, or refusal. “There's some money in there,” she adds, indicating one of the many, random artifacts scattered around her domain that is in the approximate shape of a box. It sits between two books on a shelf, apparently acting as bookend and a gulf between two subjects. He had never thought to open it before.

    He notices that she has already prepared a dismissive and consenting gesture in her fingers, just waiting to wave him off without looking.

    “Of course,” Mikiya says, not knowing whether this is anything to take note of or not. He rises to his feet, fully dressed, cleaned up, but somewhat less tidy than the morning before in yesterday's clothes. He retreats to the bookshelf, lifts up the lid, and notices aged trinkets – some of them jewels, some of them coins – in a velvet tray. He inspects it briefly and soon notices that this tray easily lifts out. Beneath it, there is a moderate, if not entirely alarming, amount of standard currency. He judiciously takes out enough of it to buy breakfast for two and respectfully places the tray back in its cradle. He closes the lid.

    He leaves the half-finished building with a half a word he never speaks on his tongue. He looks back at her, noting how little anything has changed. The morning air is more or less the same as it had been when he had left his apartment the morning before. Something feels just a little bit backward, a little bit new, as if something has shifted one degree to the right or left. Then when he takes a step, the feeling is gone.







    It is not until the following Saturday that Mikiya feels anything that resembles an unanswered question, nagging in the back of his mind. He is up early that morning, as always, with a familiar, warm, happy anticipation blanketed over him. His step is light but purposeful, and he is dressed typically but respectably, perhaps a bit more carefully groomed than usual. He visits a familiar florist, considers his purchase from several familiar arrangements, and chooses the one that most clearly reminds him of Shiki when he looks at it. He carries the flowers with care, through the streets and on the train.

    He passes through reception at the hospital and follows the familiar path of elevator to hallway to Shiki's room. He passes through with sufficient clearance and observation. He moves the chair he sits in to its regular place by her bed. Before he sits down, he replaces Shiki's old bouquet with new flowers. Then, he settles by her bed.

    She looks the same, as always.

    “Hello, Shiki,” he intones lowly, as if he means to wake her if she is ready to be awakened but does not wish to startle her out of sound sleep. The hope in that tone rarely wavers, rarely changes, and has been the same for a very long time. He thinks it might have been different in the early days when this had held the freshest horror and seemed like it must be temporary or lead to the immediate end of all hope that she might ever wake.

    That, he supposes, is different after all this time.

    “I did not know if you would like them,” Mikiya says, more to the bouquet than to Shiki as he considers it. There are a few sprigs of lavender interspersed with white flowers, and he watches them for a moment, as if he expects a breeze to move them. Breath and fresh air that never seem present in this room. He watches Shiki's breathing, steady and strong.

    Her chest rises and falls. Her hospital gown and the equally white bedclothes move with gentle and crisp correspondence, respectively. Her hair has grown longer and falls down over her shoulders now. It is straight but has fallen in a loop to one side, diverting its path in another direction.

    Mikiya considers whether or not he should reach out, let his fingers fix this small incongruity.

    He doesn't.

    He wonders if it would bother her, were she awake, or if it would fall into the category of one of those many things that never really seemed to catch her attention. He wonders if any part of her mind or body would know if he touched her. Her shoulder, her collarbone, her hair... He swallows tightly and he feels a knot there, much like the one he had learned to fight back long ago when he learned that his tears for her were not of immediate use or relevance.

    One part of him wonders why the knot has returned to his throat while he searches for an appropriate topic for smalltalk.

    Another part of him wonders if he should tell her.







    He never finds the words that Saturday or through the Saturday after that. He brings Shiki another bouquet of flowers.

    On Sunday, he is back inside Touko's building. Nothing – as far as he can tell – has changed between them. However, he is alone as the sun begins to set, turning the window panes brilliant orange and blinding. He squints at the latest stack of boring contracts Touko has shuffled off for him to read and settle. The paper is too fine-grained, too new, for this place. He notices only as it reflects the glint against his back and the wall and the television screens with more insistence than the empty wells of the inert tubes in front of him. He looks up and considers whether or not turning on the televisions would fill the building's silence in a way that might help him think.

    Then, he doubts he needs any help thinking.

    His hands collect the contracts into a neat stack and he sets them on the coffee table. He stares at it, remembering the last abandoned pile of papers there. Or was it the last? That isn't really the part he remembers.

    Leaning forward, elbows to his knees, he rubs his temples. He feels no pain behind them, but there is a certain strain there – as if he is looking for something and cannot find it. A restlessness. It is notable to him that his view of the sofa on which he sits has not changed very much. It is the scene of the crime, as it were, but he has not yet found the crime in it. Instead, he searches minutia of the space, especially now that he occupies it alone.

    Why then? Why that night? Why had she...? Why had he...?

    Does it matter?

    He reaches for the contracts again, fitfully, but when his fingers gently fan the stack at one edge, not quite managing to dogear them, his hand and wrist go slack. He stands up and dusts off his clothes. Maybe he just needs some fresh air.

    He follows his feet, familiar steps toward the door. He means to step outside, to breathe in evening air, to feel the pavement beyond this place cooling off as the sun sinks from the sky. His fingers rest upon the doorknob, but then he looks back. Her office seems too big and he too small without her here. It feels exposed, unprotected, and while apparently no one else ever really notices this building, he suddenly does not want to leave it unattended. His eyes flit to the box from which she'd had him retrieve some pocket money... that morning, after...

    He is not tempted by the money in the slightest. He'd been paid recently enough, and here in the dim, glowing room he can't think of anything in the world he might want to buy. Things like rent and rice and soda seem foreign and distant here while he is alone. Instead, what tugs at his mind is the knowledge of it. He knows that it is there; he hadn't before.

    His eyes scan across the room, noting nick-knacks, ancient relics, moldy books, a picture frame...

    Then, rather than fresh air, he wants to satisfy some other need that comes upon him with a sudden seizure of unbidden confidence. He is curious. He wants to know more about this place which is silently, solitarily, occupied by Aozaki Touko.







    Mikiya has only ever seen the fourth floor of Miss Touko's building firsthand. However, this has been owed to a certain amount of respect for her privacy and a certain amount of fear. Those things still echo in the back of Mikiya's mind as he breaks through what was once a barrier he might never have crossed voluntarily or without explicit permission. He still might not have gone snooping without permission if it hadn't seemed like it might... help. It might help him understand, might help him know her better.

    The lower levels of the building, its third and then its second floor, are dark. It is difficult to tell whether or not this darkness is because there is no sun, no moon in the sky, or if these places are completely shut off from any access to the outside world, to light. Mikiya has crept into the dark with a meager, dim, yellowy flashlight beam to mark his path, to guide his step, before he realizes that this has been a mistake.

    For a while, he searches through absolute stillness, shining the light on the faces, arms, legs, and bodies of beautiful puppets and dolls – most of them complete, some of them sad in their incompleteness. He is entranced by them again in a way that he had forgotten, in a way that floods back – what he had felt when he had first seen any of Touko's creations in an exhibit. Somehow, they seem all the more not-quite and very-nearly alive in this private audience. The whisper of their almost-reality, their almost-lives, calls to him like a song of pitiable sirens. He reaches out, curiously, to one of them, and threads his fingers through a silken wig – the way he had never been able to reach out and straighten Shiki's slowly lengthening hair for all the time she has been asleep.

    Thumb brushing across the apple of a porcelain cheek, Mikiya feels his thumbnail brush incidentally, causing the faintest sound of his nails on a chalkboard to draw his senses back into sharp attention. He swallows tightly, this time from discomfort, and he slowly draws his hand back down. He rubs at it, as if it might be numb, as if he does not know what sudden, ill-defined malady has touched his skin.

    A feeling like cold breath against the back of his neck makes Mikiya lift his shoulders up toward his ears. He turns in a full, careful turn. He does not want to upset the dolls, but for a moment it is difficult to believe that he is alone. He has felt something eerie in Touko's place before, but this is different. Before, he had attributed it to Touko herself, to the strange powers she has he has accepted he will never understand. But now, Touko is not here. He is alone with her creations, alone with... whatever else she keeps in this workspace he has never seen. She had left him there, trusting, walking past him out the door without his turning around or her insistence that he follow a set list of rules.

    Only, maybe he has always known better...

    As this thought occurs to him, a faint scent pricks his senses, a gentle tug over dusty, stale air. The smell of a spice on fire and the faintest tug of honey – he realizes he'd smelled that once before, wafting through the air, as Touko had left him behind. He blinks fast a few times, as if against an ill-aimed exhale of her cigarette smoke, as he realizes that he knows what she smells like... what she usually smells like, and... something else. His eyes settle on what he has turned to face when he hears nothing, sees no movement, and realizes he must still be alone.

    She would not test him like this, would she?

    He notes glinting brass fasteners that appear at different intervals in a recess along the wall he now faces. Rectangular shapes come into better defined focus, and he sees the wood grain of a particular box, or trunk. He cannot determine its age by looking at it. He shifts the light to his off-hand and lifts it up toward his shoulder and collarbone. After a moment, he rolls the shaft of the flashlight's handle beneath his chin and tucks his chin down. He rolls one shoulder in, doing his best to momentarily hold the light for himself without a third hand. Then, he carefully lifts the brass fasteners – a little resistant, but not locked by any means – and lifts the lid in turn.

    He manages to hold onto the light, angling its beam poorly but in the general direction of the open mouth of the container – right until something springs out of it.

    He thinks he sees something the color of a rose, the color of a sickly rose, the color of burnt rose, and he does not feel anything but a strange, backward dread as the flashlight clatters to the floor. The light still shines but uselessly off in the direction of an exit Mikiya cannot reach.

    His heart races as he has the barely perceptible, much too fast understanding that something has scrambled past him and off to the right. That something turns around seems to lunge for him again, but he isn't sure if it is even real.

    No, he knows that it is real.

    What he does not understand is whether or not it is corporeal.

    He lifts his arm, shielding his eyes as if from a bright light, but apart from the tantalizing and too-far exit to the lengthy room, he cannot see anything with enough clarity. He thinks his glasses have been knocked askew, but he cannot tell. His heart still races, but he knows he must move. The first thing he regains control of seems to be his ankles, and he pushes back to find his back to something hard, something solid, something he can perhaps lean back against to find a way to his feet.

    He tries.

    Then, he cannot tell if whatever he has unleashed in the darkness has taken shape, taken form. He hears something harder, something slower move and he does not want to look up. He thinks it might be the doll. He looks up, realizing that no matter how afraid he is of whatever it is he has found in the dark, his best chance of surviving is looking for one – a chance.

    Clack-clack.


    Two clear, sharp sounds resound against the hard, concrete floor.

    Mikiya's eyes flit in their direction, and he sees her. The line of her black dress is sleek over her body and makes her pale limbs look like... light.
    Moonlight? Sunlight? An orange flame arcing through the air and then sparking in blue, targeted fury.

    Nothing he sees make sense for a few moments, and he hears the clack of her shoes again, hard and fine against the floor. The gap from her heeled shoes – unusually high-heeled shoes, for her – there is a rope of tension in a defined calf up to her knee before her elegant, black dress stops somewhere just above it. He never sees her like this, but if anything her anger and her competence seem only more apparent as she steps in, just in time, from... wherever she'd been.

    He closes his eyes again, this time in relief. This time in shame?

    Hands cup against triceps, just above the bony knobs of Mikiya's bent elbows. Her fingers are articulate in the way they grip, hauling upward.

    “Get up,” she orders through a sigh.

    His eyes are open again in time to meet hers – perfectly, completely eye-to-eye. He swallows, and he thinks she must be able to hear it.







    He is on her sofa again. This time, he is exhausted but upright, seated and waiting, as he hears the purposeful clack-clack-clack of those black heels on the floor. Why hadn't he heard them as she'd left?

    He does not try to retain a correct posture. He had felt more or less thrown down by the scruff of his neck, though he imagined it had been a bit gentler than that. She'd sighed again when she'd gone into the space where it was usually his job to make the coffee. He wasn't sure, right now, if it could be called a 'kitchen.' Or if this place could be called a 'building.' Or if what he was sitting on could be called a 'couch.'

    Nothing made much sense, and the way he slumped felt altogether too tight for a slump and altogether too pathetic for any attempt at sitting up straight.

    Click-click-click
    .

    Somewhat more measured, careful steps in Touko's heels approached him. He glanced at her, down along the length of the couch, where she used the nearest available flat surface to set what she is carrying down within her reach. First, a short, rather wide-mouthed etched glass is settled into a stable position. Then, Touko lifts up a rounded, differently etched bottle by its short neck and pulls its angled lid from its mouth. The bottle has a label, but he doesn't read it – it isn't easy from this angle, and her movements seem so objective that the idea seems abstract, absurd.

    The stout little glass fills up, about a quarter full, with an amber liquid the color of that eerie, familiar smell – perfume – he had suddenly remembered. The perfume drifting from Touko's skin as she'd headed out the door. The liquid's odor does not resemble its scent, though. He reaches out, automatically, and takes the glass offered to him. It seems less an offer and more a demand.

    As soon as his hand securely takes hold of the glass and he pulls it close enough to inhale and understand the sharp smell beneath his nose, she echoes the sentiment.

    “Drink.”

    He thinks he might have done it with no question at all, but then his eyes flit up to meet hers. She is not wearing her glasses tonight. Based on the rest of her clothing, that should have gone without saying – but he notices it now. His lips hang open as if torn between taking a sip and questioning her. He makes a soft, hesitant, back-of-the-throat sound.

    She gestures toward him, then almost immediately turns to pace away, around the sofa and back toward her desk.

    “Drink,” she says again, the order filling this floor with the sound of her presence.

    He hears papers shuffling for a moment.

    For a moment, he wonders if he might be fired.

    He swallows the drink in one, somewhat graduated, gulp. His nose wrinkles as he takes in too much of some flavor to qualify, but he knows one thing for sure. It was strong.

    “You could have been killed tonight,” she says, a reprimand in an even tone. When she seems satisfied with whatever she has been doing at her desk, he hears her very audible approach toward the back of the couch. Her left hand plants down and she leans forward a little, just enough to get a sidelong view of his face. He glances up to meet her gaze. He tries to read what she means to do, means to say, what he ought to do.

    “I know,” he says finally. He does, now.

    In a disorienting flood of realization, unrealization, and a second realization that puts the two halves back together, it occurs to him that he has known what this feels like before – from quite a different vantage point. His eyes lose focus on the blank television screens until for a moment he sees nothing but a faintly prismatic reflection in them, like the eyes of a fly. Then, he looks back up at Touko.

    He tries to look back up at Touko, only to find that she has rounded the couch and quietly perched at its opposite end. She has leaned forward retrieving the bottle and removing its lid again. She reaches for his glass, takes it, and angles the bottle as if she is about to pour more for him.

    “No—” he says, steady and gently committed until he sees her glance into his eyes. His somewhat outstretched hand curls its fingers back. “Unless you meant to...”

    He imagines that she might have been pouring a drink for herself. He does not want to be rude, especially not after having snooped around in a place he'd never actually been invited.

    Touko does not respond except to replace the lid and set the bottle aside. The glass follows shortly thereafter.

    Mikiya notices that the tips of his fingers that had curled in tingle somewhat. So do his lips, his eyelids, and he notices a gentle relaxation in the large muscles of his back flood through him. He cannot help but sigh again.

    “That's enough,” Touko says, not quite a question but with some measure of... surprise? He is cautious, not quite knowing if he has seen the brunt of her reaction yet.

    “Yes. Thank you,” he says, in case it will help plead his case, though he does not want any undue consideration.

    Touko watches his eyes for a second, then looks past him, somewhere out beyond his knees. She reels her focus back in to hands that briefly fold in her lap, not quite worrying against each other. She examines her fingernails – not entirely like herself, but she looks as if she had put in a lot of effort.

    “You were scared,” she announces. It isn't news to either of them, but she corrects her meaning a little – for his sake, he's sure. “You must have been scared.”

    “... Yes,” Mikiya admits, hesitating only for an instant. At the very least, she deserves the truth about that. She had saved him from... whatever that was. He thinks he might ask her, but he cannot even begin to summon an adequate question to his lips. They seem too softened, too warm, to speak of it. Maybe another time.

    For some reason, this catches Touko's eyes for him again. She studies them, impassive, then looks at the glass left before him, between them. She moves to stand.

    “I'm taking you home,” she tells him.







    The interior of Touko's car feels soft and cool. The gleaming red of the paint on the outside seems in sharp contrast with the low hum and darkness that is rhythmically interrupted by streetlights and ordinary buildings not yet gone to sleep. Mikiya glances to the center console, to the radio. It does not make a sound, but he does not think he wants it to. He notes the time, then promptly decides that it is late and that it doesn't matter.

    He looks at the driver of the vehicle. There is a sense of the movement of the vehicle, a little too vigorous for the road, but he is still and warm enough not to mind. A soft trickle of cool air blows through a vent against his skin, and he notices that the faint, fuzzy warmth he feels is from within.

    “I understand that you're angry with me, Miss Touko,” Mikiya says.

    She glances a little away from him, into the conveniently placed side-view mirror.

    When her eyes cast forward again, she speaks.

    “I never told you not to,” she remarks with a confident lilt. She sounds a bit like she is unsure of this assertion but has decided to accept it as the truth.

    “If you say so, Miss Touko,” Mikiya says without any hint of sarcasm. His eyelids are just a little heavy, and when he breathes in, he feels like this strange warmth might hold onto him forever. He knows better, but he cannot feel any better. His attention is drawn to her warm, faintly amused eyes. She cracks her window, fiddles in a practiced way with steering wheel, cigarette, and lighter, to take a steady draw from one of them. Her eyes are fixed on the road ahead when she speaks.

    “You really are a lightweight, aren't you.” Not a question.







    Lightweight, or not, Mikiya manages to give Touko adequate directions to his apartment when prompted.

    “On the left,” is the last thing he says before he feels the car come to a smooth stop. It feels like Touko practically rips the key from the ignition.

    “You need help getting up the stairs?” she asks, all business and to the point.

    “I'm fine,” Mikiya says. He proves it by competently making it to his front door and letting them both inside without losing any footing or anymore dignity.
    He looks back at Touko who has pulled the door closed behind them. She is taking in his surroundings, and for a moment he does not know whether he is waiting to offer her accommodation or waiting to follow orders. It becomes apparently, soon enough.

    “You should sit down,” Touko says, lightly ushering him to his own sofa.

    Mikiya sits on his sofa.

    For a moment, Touko stands before him. He thinks she might see herself out. He thinks she might lecture him. She reaches up, and he watches as her fingertips briefly touch her bottom lip.

    “You can too,” he tells her, feeling all at once like he has stepped onto nearly level ground with her for an instant. With the next quarter-thought, he glances down at her shoes. She sits down beside him before he can ponder any irony with the faint, unfamiliar tug of alcohol in his system.

    Touko collapses – backward, her shoulder blades and back and the back of her neatly tied, perfectly full ponytail coordinated together like a waterfall. Her slump seems at odds with the dangerous elegance of her clothes.

    “Where were you tonight?” Mikiya asks, his eyes trailing over the dark dress, the drape over her shoulders, back down to those conspicuous heeled shoes again. He realizes he has asked it out loud.

    Touko lifts her eyebrows, and he feels she has some advantage he has not yet understood.

    “There when you needed me,” she says, a knife's edge between threatening and coy. She doesn't look threatening, melted back against his couch. He has never seen her use her own couch in quite this way. “That thing was expensive, you know,” she adds. Mikiya frowns a little, understanding the words without their meaning.

    “What?” he asks, when he has puzzled through any possibilities and come up with nothing.

    She looks at him with a light loll of her head. Her hands fold a little over her abdomen, making the sleek line of the dress appear a little more... soft.

    “Never mind,” she orders him softly. “It's okay,” she adds. “I'll just dock it out of your pay.”

    Mikiya wants to bristle, to sigh, but he cannot complain. He owes her his life tonight.

    “Fair enough,” he says instead, because that is exactly what it is. There is one glimmer of hope in her response, after all. “You're not firing me?” he asks, just to be certain.

    “No,” she says, tone drawing out just a little longer than necessarily. She sounds like she is stretching comfortably, but he can perceive no real intentional movement in her body. She lets her hands unclasp a moment later, bracing her weight and sitting up straighter. She shifts her whole body just a little toward his. “Do you want to leave?” she asks him.

    The meaning behind the question is obvious and weighted.

    “No,” he says – flat and blanket honesty. He shakes his head just a little to seal the statement as entirely true.

    She looks around the space in front of his sofa, scrutinizing now.

    “I can see why you never want to go home,” she remarks after a few seconds, apparently determining that there is little of entertainment value here.

    “I don't need anything,” Mikiya adds, the nearest he will come to defense in this conversation.

    “Mm,” Touko replies, noncommittal hum buzzing in her throat and mouth. She turns her focus to him, and only to him, but this time it his closer.

    There is caution in his eyes when he looks back at her, feeling it degree by degree – a tension running up his arms to his shoulders themselves while the rest of him feels softer, safer, rescued from an unseen fire or car crash.

    Touko takes a deep breath which she releases through her nose – the way she might with a cigarette, but the most recent one she'd had has been abandoned somewhere behind them on the highway.

    “I didn't set up my workshop to be a booby trap to you. Or anyone, for that matter,” she confesses as if she has already tired of the importance of what she wants to say. She nevertheless conveys that importance. “No one was ever supposed to be there... but me,” she explains.

    “I understand, Miss Touko. I never meant to—” Mikiya says, but he diverts himself before he says something that is not entirely true. “I was curious. I should have thought better... changed my mind,” he says, in case it is the right thing.

    Her eyes are like the embers that burn at the end of her cigarettes sometimes, but he likes them a little better. They seem... warmer and less likely to burn at once. His eyes flit down to the glint of a jewel dangling around her neck – it is some shade of the reflection in her eyes, like fire, like blood, inlaid in a gold droplet of a cradle. His eyes jump back up to try and find hers when he feels her weight shifting, her hand to one side of his neck – the opposite side from where she sits. She has turned at the waist toward his body, her knees drawing up and drawing her dress incrementally higher. He does not find her eyes, though.

    Instead, her lips and breath are on his neck. Then he feels the damp of her mouth, and after a few more faintly popping ministrations, the light flick of the tip of her tongue. He draws a sharp breath which he holds tight for a moment. Otherwise, he might have said something stupid or altogether na´ve. Her mouth changes its position slowly, leisurely, and leaves a cool, dampened trail in its wake. When he tilts his neck – jaw a little away from her, neck all the more exposed – he leans only into the warm, patient grip of her hand. Her thumb brushes up and down a little.

    “Miss Touko—” Mikiya addresses her. His eyes fall shut for a moment. When he cracks them open, he notices the glint of her hair – it looks like the colors of wine he has never tasted, hazy and just as liquid as he hesitates to open his eyes to it fully.

    Her lips no longer touch his skin. For an instant, he only feels her breath and the movement of her body. He thinks she will sit up, draw back, and move away from him. He wishes it were clearer – if that is what he should want. A gentle flick of her tongue at a certain, carefully aimed spot is what he feels next, rather than the loss of her increasing closeness and body heat. Her mouth follows and now she suckles lightly, intently, just beneath his ear, just at the joint of his jaw – just where she can feel his pulse against her tongue and lips if she tries, where he feels it when she does – his heartbeat.

    That heartbeat pounds faster against the pressure point and through his whole body. All his concern levels out like the calming of a sea until anything like worry is far, far down beneath, somewhere deep beneath steady, deep breathing. He is alive – he might have died, from whatever horror or trick he had set free in her private space – and now she feels the life still coursing through his veins on her tongue.

    I... I don't want to die...


    It is not the first time he has thought this, heard the echo of his own voice in his head. He doubts, somehow, that it will be the last. It is the first time he has recalled those words while not... terrified, though. This is something else.

    His eyes have closed once more and he is in warm, safe darkness when her lips move from his neck, ear, and jaw, to his mouth. She draws him in softly but without any doubt that he will kiss her back. She parts his lips a little with her tongue, but it is only barely present in the soft meeting of their breath. He realizes he remembers the taste of her mouth, too. Mingled with anything else – mint and otherwise – there is an underlying, half-familiar bitterness there. Not coffee – cigarettes. His hand finds her waist, parallel with her steadying of his neck. He sits up a little straighter as she comes closer. His tongue gently brushes just inside her mouth to taste hers.

    She breaks the kiss first.

    Her hand slides down a little and she flattens it a bit so she grips his shoulder instead. She has moved into place with her knees on either side of his lap, but she has not settled into it. Instead, she holds herself up – over him, so he looks far up to find her eyes.

    “We should...” She speaks, but then she waits long enough to let that version of the sentence die, to transmute it into something else. “You need to go to bed,” she announces. Then, she stands up – still wearing her shoes in his apartment. He notes that he must have mindlessly slid his off, first thing through the door. For a second, he thinks she means to clear her head. He thinks they both will.

    He knows that this isn't the case when she follows him into his small bedroom. He knows what will happen. She stands in this room like she had in the last, taking stock of what she sees. Her fingertips tap lightly on something, and he feels a bit ill-at-ease. He turns to her, perhaps to question what she needs... next, but he never gets the chance. Once turned to her, back to the bed, she seems to perceive the invitation to crash her lips back against his – and crash they do, tumbling, in short order, onto his back and bed.

    The boundaries of the kiss slowly give way when she seems to want his throat again, a little less violently than she'd wanted his mouth this time. He's glad for that at least—that much intensity against his throat might have choked him. Breathing fast, heavily, almost in a pant, Touko briefly diverts her own attention. Over him, on both her knees and shifting weight one hand to the other, she reaches back and makes a minor adjustment to each side. Her high-heeled shoes clatter to the floor a short distance below them. Then, she is back over him, hands and knees. She looks down at him, glancing with intent toward the building tension against the fabric of his pants.

    In a way that seems a little abrupt to him, she moves off to his side, that same hot, challenging look in her eyes. She leans against one loosely balled fist, resting her cheek against it for a minute, braced on her elbow. It does not look like a particularly stable or committed position. Mikiya notices his eyes darting to her body, too – sizing up before his brain can, how easy it would be to...

    “Let's see,” she prompts him.

    “... What?” he asks her, slowly enough, careful not to stammer.

    “That you're okay,” she says, a little less patiently. As if to make her point more plain, she rolls onto her back at the center of his bed, the arm furthers from him sprawling out casually. She stretches it a little, for comfort's sake, then lets it lie against the bed without contest. He glances down at her body. Her shawl has gone somewhere, and he does not know if it's on the sofa, somewhere on his bed, or in the floor between.

    Her breasts are supported, pushed up a little, even, by her dress. He sees the way she's showing them to him, and he wonders if the saliva that pricks a little under his tongue is how he should react to what she's... asking... offering to him.

    A few moments later, he has carefully peeled down the supportive cups of her dress, the arrangement of its form the least of his concerns as his tongue ministers to the warmth of a hard, hardening nipple against his tongue. She lets him feel them, his hand finding the need to squeeze lightly, to feel their weight against his palm. For a second, when he moves his hand, he feels her heartbeat, too.

    She draws him up only for lightly clawing fingers to bunch at the back of his shirt. When she has hold of it, she wrests it from over his head. Their eyes met, and Mikiya gets some sense of fair play. The last time, she'd told him not to worry... that she wanted... this....

    He resists the momentary shiver as his chest is bared to her. While he sits, a little straightened, she finds his narrow and straight waist, rubbing up and down in much the same way as he had found himself wanting to do with her curved, softer body. He seeks out her lips this time, his own lightly popping and misaiming against hers as he feels her waist with one hand, then fishes his hand beneath her back. He finds the zipper, and she freely arches her spine to let him get at it. He swears he feels each tooth of the zipper in his mouth, in her teeth.

    Soon, her loosened dress is little more than a bunched sheath of fabric around her hips. Looking down at her half-exposed body, Mikiya starts to reach up beneath the black fabric, rather than tugging it away.

    Touko's hand reaches out and catches his wrist. Then she wriggles her hips and slides the dress down as best she can, ready for him to finish the job.

    “Unless you want to pay for that too,” she says wryly.

    In response, Mikiya makes sure her dress falls to his clean, rarely trafficked floor.

    “Pants,” she reminds him, almost a request – not quite. He steadily rids himself of the rest of his clothes, sliding them off his bed in the opposite direction. She eyes him and he thinks she nods. Skin flushes along his pale, flat plane of a chest. He searches for a focal point and has no difficulty finding one.

    He finds the only garment she is left with – panties that are as black as her dress. Fabric which is mostly opaque is framed with transparent, netted fabric at her hips. He swallows at the lace pattern, at the sleek, silky fabric that contrasts it. He wants them off as much as he appreciates their beauty with a hammering demand of his blood that he almost questions. One look at her eyes, though, and he sees the way they are a little more lidded than usual. One look at her eyes, and he trusts her to understand.

    Letting her panties join her dress on the floor—faintly noticeable little damp spot and all—Mikiya finds that his sudden boldness has started to wane a little. Touko reaches for his neck again and draws him down into the slow, almost normal contact of her lips. After he falls into a soothing, steady rhythm with her, she parts only enough to speak.

    “Now,” she suggests.

    Understanding her meaning, Mikiya reaches down and grasps his erection, hand moving in a familiar motion just once and then twice – he does not know if this is for a purpose or just out of want, out of need and disbelief that there might be any better way to satisfy it. Then, he aligns himself with her body. Touko draws a breath and he looks at her face. She seems perfectly content, her eyes momentarily closed. He adjusts the head up and down from the easily parted, soft inner lips up to the spot that makes her eyes flutter open. She looks at him – not anger but something close to it.

    “Do it, Mikiya,” she chides.

    He does not disobey her any longer, and he sinks slowly into warmth, easily sliding inside. It takes him a moment to grow accustomed, but soon he draws a deep breath in.

    “You're okay,” she reminds him. He thinks she's reminding him, when her fingers reach up to brush dark, silken strands of hair from his face. He thinks she's reminding him, that gentle hum of a tone lingering and making him need her lips when he starts to find some rhythm with his hips.

    He pauses for an instant the moment the rhythm becomes something he knows is hopeless to resist. A grip of her hand with the faintest application of pressure from her fingernails lets him know what she wants. He tries to mumble and argument that she can get on top if she wants, but she silences it with a little shake of her head and a goading, if genuine, little protesting hum from her throat – another grip at his hip and the obvious, incremental, further opening of her legs to him.

    He cannot find the will to argue with her, with the rhythm, with the pleasant tightening in his body again. Beneath him, Touko's hips find a small, somewhat but only barely discordant rhythm of their own. She meets the contact of his hips and sometimes just incrementally draws away just enough to make him want herback, badly. His hips and core seem to tighten as they drive him into a little harder and higher a pitch in his rhythm when he gets closer and closer to climax.

    He thinks Touko might have thought of saying something to him but thought better of it. Instead, he hears a more vocal, inarticulate sound of approval than he's heard from her yet. And like an irresistible command, his body responds to her. He spills into her, his hips making sure it is complete, deep.

    Touko draws steady breathes to even the near-panting out. First, she is busy synchronizing her breathing the way she wants to even look up at Mikiya, still leaning over her, still a little tucked inside her. When she does look at him, she reaches up and adjusts his hair again.

    “Better?” she asks. Strangely, he is not sure whom she's asking. Stranger still, he cannot come up with any appropriate response.

    Touko's fingers move around and trace his jaw, then she lightly-lightly pats the side of his neck when she finds it. She squeezes, more deeply, into the tendon running down from his shoulder.

    “Let me up,” she says softly, when he does not reply.

    He feels a little at a loss when he lets her up and she gets out of bed. She does not retrieve her clothes and instead he sees the flare of her hips and... the rest of her... clearly from behind. He flits his gaze up and sees the remaining perfection and the faint, sweaty tangling in her ponytail alike. He can't stop himself glancing down again, something like out of concern, just before she rounds her way out of view. Her inner thighs and the folds of her body show quite clear evidence of what has just happened, of what they have just done.

    From somewhere else in the apartment, nearer the door, Touko retrieves her cigarettes. Mikiya knows this because he hears the very familiar click of a little flame ignite to catch the tip of it to start it burning. He takes a deep, clear breath before it reaches him. Some part of him wishes she wouldn't smoke in his apartment, but he hears her open up a window. He wonders if someone might see. He wonders if she would care.

    Breathing in, breathing out, Mikiya finds the peace to close his eyes. With each inhale, he smells the lingering, older acrid smell that mingles with the sweetness of Touko's perfume, with the more familiar trace of her soap or shampoo. Sometimes, he catches some trace of the fresher cigarette smoke – less pleasant, less personal, but some reassurance that she is not very far away.

    He trusts her to decide what she ought to do next. She had saved his life tonight, and the heaviness of his eyelids feels like something he should be grateful for in his own bed, rather than alone, in the dark, on an abandoned building's cold, concrete floor.

    Mikiya must have fallen into a light sleep and come around quite quickly when he feels her come back. He had not consciously heard a single sound. It can't have been more than a few minutes, but a small part of him wishes she had not startled him so. His heart is racing again in a pitter-patter that will make it hard to go back to sleep.

    Mikiya notices that Touko's fingers are in a specific place. They are trailing down, in a rhythmic, slow, soothing motion, from his belly button. When his eyes crack open, this gentle combing of fingers come into a lightly thicker patch of hair adorning his body. From there, Mikiya knows that Touko feels some lingering, some dried, dampness on him when she tries to grip softly. He knows that it is mostly hers, and his skin flushes hot and bright again, never mind the racing of his heart.

    “Don't go to sleep yet,” she says. He has never heard Touko's voice quite so much like a request. Her voice is the same as always, never without some measure of control, of frightful acuity when her glasses are off. Still, his body responds as much to that voice as to the warmth and steady, coaxing movement of her hand. His rapid heartbeat seems to be of some use after all as he feels a flood of familiar tension and warmth.

    When she is satisfied that it is just enough, Touko moves back onto the bed from standing at its side, lowering herself down over him. She settles for a moment, then her hand carefully steadies him as she adjusts her body down over him. He makes a sound, not quite one of discomfort but of something new, sensitive, different, that carries from his throat. She kisses his throat in turn, right where that sound had come from. She makes a trail to jaw, then back to mouth, lingering and slow. Her hips seem to make a counterpoint with the almost lazily delivered attention to his lips and throat. She starts to rock lightly, then with enough force that if she pushes herself up even in the slightest, the movement lightly bounces her full breasts. When she does that, Mikiya can't help but stare.

    Spent once already, and not long ago, Mikiya thinks he can last a little longer this time – even with her doing that. Mercifully, she lowers back over him and is more kind with the touch of her lips than with what she can do to his mind through his gaze. Whatever the case, however she moves, he lets her, touching her and the letting her go when her hands smooth and steady against the cool undersides of his forearms – against his wrists, at times. She keeps going until he cannot help but spill into her again, and this time – finally – she seems to gain some light, throbbing satisfaction from it – soothing something inside her that seems, tonight, to be clawing at them both.







    - - - - - - - - -
    Leo convinced me this wasn't finished. I hope you enjoyed it, Leo and others.
    Last edited by Prix with a Silent X; November 24th, 2016 at 11:25 PM.

    All heroes are broken beyond repair. And all villains are just heroes who chose truth over dare.


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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  2. #2
    Discord: Beamu#1574 just Beamu's Avatar
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    I actually think a lot of your fics could have a continuation and I'm glad Leo convinced you to write this one, good job.

  3. #3
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Well, I'm going to refuse to take much if any of the credit, but regardless I'm glad to see that it came out well. Spice on fire is a great image for a smell.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  4. #4
    Authoritarian Female Mod Snow's Avatar
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    Your writing has a very elegant feel to it that especially comes to the fore in your lemons. Excellent job.

  5. #5
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Thanks, Beamu!

    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Well, I'm going to refuse to take much if any of the credit, but regardless I'm glad to see that it came out well. Spice on fire is a great image for a smell.
    I'm just glad for any encouragement. And thanks! Sensory details are a lot of fun to write and to try to be less than boring about. You do think it came out well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Your writing has a very elegant feel to it that especially comes to the fore in your lemons. Excellent job.
    Thank you! I certainly try to be careful with language, especially when writing sex. Otherwise it might be too gratuitous or like a bad manual/cosmo article. I'm really glad you came back to read more.

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  6. #6
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    I liked it! I feel like I should try to say something more - find a few phrases that stood out, or something - but I think what you have here, overall, is really good. You've got a very well-developed sense of style, and the main thing that stood out to me, really, is how well it all flows. It doesn't feel like the 7-8k words I'm estimating it (roughly) to be. You're a solid writer, Prix, and most importantly you have your own voice, which is something that many would-be writers never properly cultivate, and it shows.
    The Manhattan Project: Is it a sin to kill for your country? In an age of nationalism, where do you draw the line between right and wrong? In the 1960s, eight people seek peace amidst war and tragedy.

    [11:20:46 AM] GlowStiks: lucina is supes attractive
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    [12:40] Neir: lucina is pretty much flawless

  7. #7
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    I liked it! I feel like I should try to say something more - find a few phrases that stood out, or something - but I think what you have here, overall, is really good. You've got a very well-developed sense of style, and the main thing that stood out to me, really, is how well it all flows. It doesn't feel like the 7-8k words I'm estimating it (roughly) to be. You're a solid writer, Prix, and most importantly you have your own voice, which is something that many would-be writers never properly cultivate, and it shows.
    Thank you so much! First of all for reading, and secondly for taking the time to comment. Even though this comment is fairly concise, I appreciate what you had to say. For anyone interested, AO3's wordcount thing calls this at 8608 words. I'm impressed with your relative ability to guesstimate that. The fic to which this is a sort of follow-up was about a thousand words shorter, give or take, but I find the temptation to include mild plot with my excuses for porn very alluring as a writing task.

    Again, I'm very flattered by your compliments. I'm curious as to how you see that I have an individual style, because there was a time when I thought about that consciously (say circa 2013) but have since just sort of started winging it a lot more again. I am really glad to hear that about flow. Sometimes, I think I have a hard time not writing compound-complex sentences. I try to vary my text structure and cadence in a way that sounds pleasant and reads well, but I always second-guess myself. If you have anything more to say, I'd appreciate hearing it. I know you think about the form of writing and its mechanics a lot.

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  8. #8
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes View Post
    Thank you so much! First of all for reading, and secondly for taking the time to comment. Even though this comment is fairly concise, I appreciate what you had to say. For anyone interested, AO3's wordcount thing calls this at 8608 words. I'm impressed with your relative ability to guesstimate that. The fic to which this is a sort of follow-up was about a thousand words shorter, give or take, but I find the temptation to include mild plot with my excuses for porn very alluring as a writing task.

    Again, I'm very flattered by your compliments. I'm curious as to how you see that I have an individual style, because there was a time when I thought about that consciously (say circa 2013) but have since just sort of started winging it a lot more again. I am really glad to hear that about flow. Sometimes, I think I have a hard time not writing compound-complex sentences. I try to vary my text structure and cadence in a way that sounds pleasant and reads well, but I always second-guess myself. If you have anything more to say, I'd appreciate hearing it. I know you think about the form of writing and its mechanics a lot.
    You've got a good handle on sentence structure/length; you use short and long sentences when they're respectively needed, and vary the two so that not every sentence is the same. It's never a precise thing, though - and it shouldn't be. Write to create flow and good cadence for reading, rather than artificially picking and choosing which sentences should be which lengths. I find that a good practise is to never edit a sentence until you've finished writing it. Once you've got it written down, reread it, and change it how you feel works best, and then follow on; editing a sentence while you're in the midst of typing it can just add more problems as you finish it. Eventually you'll make it enough of a habit that you don't have to consciously worry, though, and that's the hallmark of good writing: not actually having to pay constant attention to every word, sentence, and paragraph.

    Style is a hard thing to judge, but I think you have one, even if my sample size here is just what you've posted on BL and stuff. Similar vocabulary, ways of saying things, and sentence structure all contribute to that. Ultimately, though, a real, personal style is hard to define. I'm not even sure a writer themselves could define their own style, really, but I can use an example: when you're reading a Stephen King novel, even if it's one published as Richard Bachman, the style is there. You can tell that you're reading a work by Stephen King. Once you've read enough of someone's material, the little things that define them - usually unconsciously, for the writer - start to become more and more apparent. This is different from just writing the same thing over and over again, though; it's brought on by skill and experience, rather than a lack of such.

    The most succinct praise I can give you, I think, is that I get the feeling that you're quite well-read.
    The Manhattan Project: Is it a sin to kill for your country? In an age of nationalism, where do you draw the line between right and wrong? In the 1960s, eight people seek peace amidst war and tragedy.

    [11:20:46 AM] GlowStiks: lucina is supes attractive
    [12:40] Lace: lucina is amazing
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  9. #9
    紅魔|吸血鬼 Frostyvale's Avatar
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    In summary:

    That was good.

    More pending.

  10. #10
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    You've got a good handle on sentence structure/length; you use short and long sentences when they're respectively needed, and vary the two so that not every sentence is the same. It's never a precise thing, though - and it shouldn't be. Write to create flow and good cadence for reading, rather than artificially picking and choosing which sentences should be which lengths. I find that a good practise is to never edit a sentence until you've finished writing it. Once you've got it written down, reread it, and change it how you feel works best, and then follow on; editing a sentence while you're in the midst of typing it can just add more problems as you finish it. Eventually you'll make it enough of a habit that you don't have to consciously worry, though, and that's the hallmark of good writing: not actually having to pay constant attention to every word, sentence, and paragraph.

    Style is a hard thing to judge, but I think you have one, even if my sample size here is just what you've posted on BL and stuff. Similar vocabulary, ways of saying things, and sentence structure all contribute to that. Ultimately, though, a real, personal style is hard to define. I'm not even sure a writer themselves could define their own style, really, but I can use an example: when you're reading a Stephen King novel, even if it's one published as Richard Bachman, the style is there. You can tell that you're reading a work by Stephen King. Once you've read enough of someone's material, the little things that define them - usually unconsciously, for the writer - start to become more and more apparent. This is different from just writing the same thing over and over again, though; it's brought on by skill and experience, rather than a lack of such.

    The most succinct praise I can give you, I think, is that I get the feeling that you're quite well-read.
    Thank you so much for this. I appreciate substantive feedback. It gives me something to think about when trying to improve and think ahead. I think it is often much better coming from a relative peer than a conceited professor or something. I think the rhythm and sound of language is one of the things I love the most. I love knowing the etymology of words, choosing the right ones. Using simpler words at times is kind of a new thing to me -- a skill I'm trying to reverse-engineer.

    True fact: I read fanfiction because it's the medium it comes in. However, even though I love books, I think I like audiobooks better than reading a lot of the time. Unless something has a flow like Nabokov, it's hard for me to focus on reading without falling asleep. Audiobooks are great when you have focus issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostyvale View Post
    In summary:

    That was good.

    More pending.
    Awesome! Thanks, and I look forward to more feedback if you want to give it.

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  11. #11
    https://youtu.be/W3KYx1WDqBw Raylen Cypher's Avatar
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    Got around to reading it, I'm happy it got a sequel.

    I know you gave some numbers already, but what's the exact word count for both fics?
    Quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes
    A world where tragedy is the only measure by which a narrative holds value is not one I am going to live in even where the circumstances in a particular work are tragic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow
    If an adult themed work can have graphic slaughter and the like, it can have sex. Just do it competently if you want to go explicit.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    How dare you she's a married woman
    Quote Originally Posted by savepoints View Post
    No but why ask him to pull out right before the end tbh
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotonoha View Post
    God is dead and I'm gonna kiss all his cute girl saints
    Quote Originally Posted by castor212 View Post
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  12. #12
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    For both collectively it's 16,519 according to AO3. Made to Break is 7,911 and Fear in the Dark is 8,608.

    And thanks for reading and commenting! Why did you want to know the length in particular?

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  13. #13
    Discord: Beamu#1574 just Beamu's Avatar
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    Weird, somehow Made to Break felt longer.

  14. #14
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    It was a continuous scene. Mystery solved.

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  15. #15
    https://youtu.be/W3KYx1WDqBw Raylen Cypher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes View Post
    For both collectively it's 16,519 according to AO3. Made to Break is 7,911 and Fear in the Dark is 8,608.

    And thanks for reading and commenting! Why did you want to know the length in particular?
    Thanks for the data.

    Just something essential for me as an Illusionist.
    Quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes
    A world where tragedy is the only measure by which a narrative holds value is not one I am going to live in even where the circumstances in a particular work are tragic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow
    If an adult themed work can have graphic slaughter and the like, it can have sex. Just do it competently if you want to go explicit.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    How dare you she's a married woman
    Quote Originally Posted by savepoints View Post
    No but why ask him to pull out right before the end tbh
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotonoha View Post
    God is dead and I'm gonna kiss all his cute girl saints
    Quote Originally Posted by castor212 View Post
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  16. #16
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Finally found the time to read this fic and its predecessor. Not only does it have the Mikiya/Touko novelty going for it, but the duo of stories together weaves a narrative with solid approach to the theme of experience. Your style works handily with establishing immersion and intimacy, which does wonders for the reader's own experiencing of the story.

    Really can't ask for much more, except maybe a third one.
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  17. #17
    Lay beside you and pulled you close, and the two of us went up in smoke. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Finally found the time to read this fic and its predecessor. Not only does it have the Mikiya/Touko novelty going for it, but the duo of stories together weaves a narrative with solid approach to the theme of experience. Your style works handily with establishing immersion and intimacy, which does wonders for the reader's own experiencing of the story.

    Really can't ask for much more, except maybe a third one.
    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! Every time anyone does it makes my day, especially when they say something that is a critique I can think about when continuing to write in the future. Working in present tense for most prose actually did come from a fanfic writer's advice that it was a bit weird to write sex in past tense, a long time ago, but I haven't written fanfiction sex scenes until fairly recently. I think present tense is useful for pushing the sense of immediate experience, though. And hey, I'm glad someone likes my Touko/Mikiya novelty. I like Shiki/Mikiya, but I just kind of felt like I had a story here, so I hope if I do continue it that you'll continue to enjoy it!

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