The Tattoo

Title: The Tattoo
Author: youcantseeus
Contact info: youcantseeus12@gmail.com
Beta: Oshun
Spoilers: For books 1-4.
Characters: Flick, Seel, Pell, Cal, Orien
Word Count: 22,000
Disclaimer: The following story is a work of fan fiction based on the Wraeththu series by Storm Constantine. I am not the original creator of the Wraeththu universe nor do I own most of the characters and locations contained in this story.
Summary: Flick attempts to make a statement with a tattoo. Seel is not pleased.

Chapter 1

Sometimes, I could read Seel like a book.

For example, when Colt and Stringer came over and proudly showed us that they’d gotten rough tattoos of one another’s names across their arms, I knew that Seel was fuming. He may have smiled and made light comments through gritted teeth, but I knew that later that night I’d be the one who would have to listen to him ranting about how foolish it was to have somehar else’s name on your arm forever and how it echoed human possessiveness and human love.

As it turned out, Pell and Cal got to hear him rant as well. Seel barely waited until Colt and Stringer were out the door before he started in.

“Could you believe that?” he asked the room as I started washing the dinner dishes. “I knew that letting that har charge for tattoos was a bad idea. Now we have hara making stupid decisions.”

Cal looked up from where he was sharing breath with Pell. They were always hanging all over one another. I was surprised that it didn’t bother Seel more, given how he felt about Cal, but he seemed determined to show that he was above caring. “What are you going to do, oh mighty Seel?” Cal asked in a playful voice. “Ban tattoos?”

“Of course not,” Seel said, throwing himself into a chair across from Cal. “I just would have thought that Colt and Stringer would have a little more sense. It’s not like they’ve just gone through althaia. They’re old enough to behave seriously.”

“Maybe that’s why they did it,” I said.

Everyhar looked at me. “Well,” I said, quickly, “Colt and Stringer have been together a long time. They seem pretty solid.” I was receiving a patented Seel glare. Seel was very good at glaring. “Maybe they feel secure enough about their – their feelings,” I had almost used to word “love” which would have been a huge mistake, “that they think they’ll last.”

The glare was only getting worse. “It’s sort of sweet in a way,” I babbled on. “I mean, for some people.”

Not for Seel, obviously. “It is not sweet, it’s disturbing,” he said and then he pointed at Pell and Cal. “And I better not catch you two down there getting matching tattoos anytime soon.”

Pell made a face. “No way,” he said. “Did you see those tattoos? They were hideous.”

I rolled my eyes as I dried a plate with a dishtowel. Of course Pell’s main objection would be aesthetic.

“You can get them magically removed, you know,” Cal said to Pell.

“But it leaves a scar,” Seel put in.

Seel continued brooding long after Pell and Cal had gone to bed.

“Matching tattoos,” he muttered. “Can you imagine feeling so sick about somehar that you’d want his name tattooed on your body?”

I finished wiping down the counters. “No,” I said. “I can’t.”

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Quare clausum fregit

editors_pickQuare clausum fregit
(Wherefore he broke the close)

by Thevina

Story Notes

Email: thevina33@gmail.com

Website: www.thrihyrne.net

Pairing: Vaysh/OC (kind of PWP; rooning and character study for Vaysh in his early years in Immanion)

Rating: NC-17

Summary: A story of hope for Vaysh, that he won’t remain forever closed off to the possibility of true affection with another har after Ashmael. That’s up to him, of course. 😉

A/N: Written thanks to a prompt from heartofoshun, who requested a story set within my “Down the Whispering Well” universe. This is set two years after the Epilogue.

Disclaimer: Vaysh, Pellaz and the harish world all belong to Storm Constantine; I’m merely playing with great abandon in her sandbox and remain grateful to her imagination and creativity.

Quare clausum fregit

“I really, really hate to see you go.” Pellaz’s voice was richly marbled, conveying entreaty, wistfulness and calm authority all at once.

He’s come a long way in only a few years, Vaysh thought to himself with grudging admiration as he, the Tigron and Yazdyar walked away from the banquet hall.

“All the reports I’ve heard — and they are many — say you’re superb in the healing fields you’ve studied.”

A smile bloomed deep on Yazdyar’s lips. “They flatter me. Everyhar here is amazing, it’s not just me. I came here to learn, and I have.”

“Then why go?” Pell asked, his robes whispering sussurative messages around his feet on the marble floor.

“We need healers in Ferelithia, too. And I don’t fit in here,” he said with an easy shrug.

“The reports I’ve heard say that you’ve fit in quite well,” Vaysh said tartly and Yazdyar snorted a laugh. “You’re not going home to escape some obsessed suitor, are you?”

Yazdyar gave Vaysh a sly look, gazing meaningfully from under his raised eyebrows. “Uh, no. It’s been a great experience, truly. But I need to get back to my roots. Immanion is splendid and entrancing, don’t get me wrong. Tigron, I am indebted to you.” He placed his hand on his heart and gracefully nodded his head, now that they’d stopped at the door to Vaysh’s rooms.

“Don’t be silly, there’s no debt. It was my pleasure to have you here these six months. I only wish you’d consider making Immanion your home.”

Yazdyar snuck an imploring glance to Vaysh, who took pity on him. While they’d not met up all that often during Yaz’s training at the healing centers, he knew that he really did feel out of place despite his exceptional ability to put others around him at ease.

“I’m sure he’ll consider it, Pell. Yaz, would you join me for some wine and conversation? You’ve been so busy I’ve barely been able to hear about all you’ve gotten up to. At least from your own mouth.”

With a grateful nod, Yaz accepted and then turned back to the Tigron. “Maybe in the future. I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality.”

He reached out and took Pell’s hand, both of them bronzed by summer and with study but slim fingers. Once he held it, however, Yazdyar suddenly seemed at a loss, like a lover presented with a baffling gift. After a few seconds, he raised it to his cheek, then kissed the back of Pell’s hand, apparently reassured by Pell’s fond look.

“Have safe travels. You’re welcome to return at any time. I know that your father and hostling mean a great deal to Vaysh, and he means a great deal to me.”

Vaysh only arched an eyebrow in response. Pell was being particularly effusive, no doubt due to a successful strategizing meeting with Arahal and no small amount of wine at dinner. No matter; Vaysh far preferred Pell when he was magnanimous and relatively at peace than when he was raging against some action of the Tigrina’s.

“I’d probably fall apart without you,” Pell told Vaysh, the unhindered affection drifting over Vaysh like morning mist.

“I highly doubt that. But thank you for saying so. I’ll make sure your papers are ready before your ten o’clock meeting with the shipwrights.”

Pell sighed delicately through his nose. “Oh, yes. Thank you. I think I need to see how our guests from Sulh are faring. One never knows with them.” He murmured another set of intimate good-byes and strode confidently down the corridor. He assumed his more formal, regal stance even as Vaysh and Yazdyar watched him walk away.

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Awakening

Awakening
by TS Clayton

Story Notes

Originally posted 2006.

This is a story I wrote for the Grissecon Challenge a couple of years ago. It never made the cut for the challenge and so I thought I’d share. Enjoy.

Rating – R

Characters – Calanthe and Pellaz

Size – 1,288 words

Author web site: http://www.sennovia.com

Awakening

I lie replete, sprawled on a sea of cushions; the silk and lace caress my skin as a gentle breeze washes up my legs and chest. A sense of fulfillment flows through me. Utter satisfaction thrums deep inside my chest as a reminder of what I – we – did last night, and I know that well of power is now just waiting in the pit of my mind, needing only a spark to spring back to life, to arouse in me the splendor and unparalleled desires of my true self. That perfect, coveted spiritual state of completeness and unity that embodies and connects each and every Wraeththu alive.

But for now, I resist the urge, content to drift in a state of completion, to enjoy the silence that is no longer filled with voices – no longer filled with the unstoppable energies conjured by sex magic. The immensity of what we achieved, I think, shocked even the Hegemony. For this was the first joining of Immanion’s Tigrons, a joining blessed by the Aghama, sanctioned by the Council of Tribes in order to create a cleansing, a spiritual child from our loins that would eventually shatter the curse of madness sweeping in from the north.

I smile, stretching as the cool breeze plays over my face. I’m still tingling all over from the experience, the scent of lavender still fills my nostrils, and nothing seems real as I am lost again in the thrill of flying unbound on a plane of pure sensation. As free as the gods, infused with raw power as the earth beneath my feet vibrates in homage.

The echo of a rhythmic chanting whispers through in my mind and I open my senses to it subconsciously, only to find I am floating again on nothing, held suspended on pure ambience, searching…searching until I see him, and then with one glimpse I am drunk again on my lover’s beauty. Drawn to the scent of his hair, the warmth of his skin, the taste of his breath. With effort I turn away from the temptation and reach for the warmth beside me, needing the reminder of where I am, and who I am. Oh yes…I think we shocked the Hegemony last night.

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Grissecon

Grissecon
by niennaainur

Story Notes

Contact: nienna_ainur@hotmail.com

Pairing: original non-canon characters

Rating: There is aruna so don’t let your Gran read it…unless she’s cool

Summary: A har is lost at sea…

Disclaimer: All the pretty Wraeththu, as well as the world they live in, were created by, and belong to, Storm Constantine, who (bless her!) is gracious enough to allow fans like me to take them out and play with them occasionally. No copyright infringement, or disrespect, is intended.

Warning: ummmm…. can’t think of one

Beta read by: bigunen and other mistakes are mine.

Grissecon

The ship pitched suddenly and I was thrown against the passageway wall. I steadied myself and sent yet another plea to the dehar. I am a wanderer, a bit of an adventurer used to throwing caution to the wind, but this was more than even I’d bargained for.

I’d needed the money and had been itching to get moving again. I’d met a captain, who’d offered me a one trip deal; it had seemed ideal at the time. By the time we’d been at sea a couple of weeks and had passed through several ports, it was quite obvious that I’d made a huge mistake. The captain was not only vindictive and cruel, he was insane, and his crew hated him. I couldn’t understand why they stayed. I had so far escaped his “attentions” as he seemed to have more than enough vendettas on the go to keep him busy. The next port would end my contract with this ship and this captain. Provided we made it there.

We should have tarried awhile in our last port and let this storm pass, but the captain had insisted that we sail; “we’ll let the storm drive us farther north” he’d said. And drive us it did, but eventually it caught up with us and as the seas had begun to churn and the skies had darkened, the captain had stood on the bridge with a wild gleam in his eyes and a maniacal grin. One day we’d been shadowed by a great white shark and the crew had become uneasy; ‘an omen’ they’d murmured. That had been two days go. The waves had become as large as buildings, towering over the ship, tossing it around like a leaf. Giant waves crashed down on the deck. Nohar had slept, many were ill.

I fought my way to the hatch, and looked out into the dark, across the slick rolling deck. A lone har worked to tighten the netting which secured part of our cargo. I saw a wave surge across the deck knocking him off his feet and washing him against the portside railing. Without thinking I darted forward intent on hauling him to safety. The wave that hit me was heavy. The weight of it knocked me to the deck, and I felt like I was being crushed before I felt the cold waters lift me and sweep me into the seas.

I struggled against the water for what seemed like ages. When I finally broke the surface, gasping for air, my ship was nowhere in sight. I was surrounded on all sides by darkness and towering waves the size of mountains.

The hope that the ship would try to find me died quickly; I doubted they’d even notice I was missing for a long while. The struggle against the waves was exhausting. I was carried up to the top of the massive waves and then thrown down from great heights. The cold dark waters offered no peace and no comforts. As the night wore on all hope faded. I began to wonder about drowning, and whether the great white sharks fed in seas this rough. My limbs became numb and as total exhaustion set in I alternated between blackness and hallucinations; seeing land, sunshine, friends, and feeling warmth. As the night wore on I felt numb and the blackness came more frequently.

Pain exploded in my body as I felt myself being slammed into something hard. I could see nothing, the sea just an inkier shade darker than the air above. A second hard slam sent the world swirling into blackness.

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Maelstrom and Mage, Desire Thine Darkling

Maelstrom and Mage, Desire Thine Darkling
by Thevina

Story Notes

Editor\'s PickAuthor’s Email: thevina33@gmail.com

Web page: http://www.thrihyrne.net

Pairings: Ashmael/Vaysh, Ashmael/OC

Overall Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 49,000

Spoilers: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit

Summary: Genesis. Paradise. Illumination. Exodus. Before they went to Immanion, before Thiede manipulated their destiny, before death and despair, Ashmael and Vaysh knew and loved each other. This is one way their story may have been told.

Disclaimer: Ashmael, Vaysh, and the harish world all belong to Storm Constantine; I’m merely playing with great abandon in her sandbox.

Author’s Notes: I fell in love with the tragedy that is Vaysh/Ashmael; the desire to write a gap-filler from Ashmael’s POV up through the point of Vaysh’s death became overwhelming, and these are the fruits of that obsession.

Sequel: Down the Whispering Well

Maelstrom and Mage,Desire Thine Darkling

Vaysh burned.

I’d watched him ride into our collective, and steered away as any sane sentient being, whether human or har, should do around open flame. He would burn and scorch; he was seared into the very marrow of this mutant blood that flowed in my veins; from sight alone my cells were branded. Of course I briefly tried to keep my distance, knowing as instinctively as a plant turns to the sun, or a drowning man clings to anything to keep him from dying in watery depths, that to get close to him would cause an elemental transfiguration.

I was stone: solid, yet porous when necessary.

But you know what happens when rock is punished by relentless heat. Lava. Liquid, destructive, transient.

Could anyone ever look back at our lives and not marvel at our exploits, our so un-refined, un-controlled, Wraeththu-anathema love for each other?

* * * * *

My first thought when the small entourage came riding in was that some har, somewhere, had made a grave error in judgment. All of us, we Wraeththu, are this mutated amalgam of the sexes, two combined into one, yet presumably not both at once. Ever the enthusiastic pioneer, however, I’d vowed to myself to try and find out, which I did, successfully.

The hara who approached wore leather of rich chestnut, designed scored into them that resembled constellations. They looked heavenly, quite easy on the eyes, but also as haughty and distant as the stars, radiant and far off. We’d known they were coming, as the one who seemed to be their leader had sent out a thought-call. Our clan head, Monarch, had replied and warily bid them approach. Wraeththu hadn’t been in existence all that long then. We were still actively hunted down though of course we fought back with deadly vengeance.

Their horses were as well fashioned and groomed as their masters. I wondered if they had some kind of occult or spiritual connection to equines. Each tribe and splinter group I’d come across or heard about appeared to have taken on its own unique personality, passion, and/or perversion. I didn’t know, philosophically, what I thought of that, as it reeked of humanity to me. We all came from different backgrounds, though, had been incepted in myriad ways with tales of bliss and horror (or both), so I supposed it made sense that each small stronghold would have a very different culture shaped by their respective leaders.

A willowy har with long hair the colour of burnished sand dismounted, his presence commanding despite his fetching, sinuous body movement. Before I had become har, I’d of course been a human male, with raging hormones that had churned and bruised me though I’d not had an outlet aside from solo release. My fantasies hadn’t involved men, back when the decaying world still boasted of its male and female polarities. I’d had a love affair of sorts with the insatiable creature between my legs, dreaming of burying it in a silken heat of some secretive, foreign darkness. A flare of my former self, the insipid human part I’d hoped had been scoured away forever, raised its regressive head when confronted with Vaysh, as I soon learned this compelling har was named.

“He’s flaming.”

The ancient slur blindsided me, some dormant, pre-har wire in my brain tripped by the sight of him. Perhaps back in the past this Vaysh had favoured his own gender, and been flamboyant about it. It wasn’t for me to ferret out of him, or care. We were Wraeththu now, beyond such banal and reductive concepts of she and he. This har evoked more of the feminine in outward display, but I soon discovered he had balls of steel. Vaysh was a sword, clothed as a sylph.

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