Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

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Wind Tunnel Dreams: House Bartomn

Michael registered her presence as she approached. Hard not to. The coffeehouse chatter died to silence in her wake, resuming only as whispers. He only turned to look at her when she sat beside him. “Good morning, Alanna.”

She smiled - Alanna starter position #1, charming and almost childlike. “Michael. I hope you’re well.”

“I am.”

“I wanted to speak to you about your House.”

“What do you have to say that you haven’t already said?”

She reclined, shifting from childlike to sexual. “We have House Lhri’nahr now. The child-Kithrayn swore himself last night.”

Michael knew; he remembered his conversation with Ryan quite vividly. They’d argued for months. Every other House had given in at this point, all but Bartomn and Tamra. Ryan had argued quietly - even Donna has knelt before them. Michael had argued more passionately - we must do what’s right, not what’s politically convenient. Ryan had finally let it slip that he feared losing Michael over this argument, and… Michael had stopped fighting. Let Ryan do what he felt he must to preserve his House. Ryan was not Bartomn. And he’d have time to convert him later. “Congratulations,” he replied to Alanna, sipping coffee to mask his facial expression.

She touched his thigh. ”It’s your turn, Michael.”

“It will never be my turn.”

“Why do you resist?”

He set down his mug and regarded her directly. “You are not the Lishaya. And you know that, don’t you?”

Something flickered behind her eyes, and her jaws tightened. “You don’t like me. Fine. You don’t have to like me in order to be loyal to me.”

“House Bartomn serves the Lishaya. You aren’t her.”

“Michael.” Her voice went soft, and he inadvertently found himself leaning in to hear her - she seized his arm, nails tracing up the underside. “Michael,” she purred, looking up at him, looking like a dark-haired Tiala. “It doesn’t have to be this hard.”

It was warm in the coffeehouse. Enough to make him a little drowsy.And those Tamrani eyes…he found himself remembering what he could of Tiala, just after the Fall-

And snapped out of it, pulling away from her, slamming shields up over the defenses she’d cracked. “No,” he growled. “Alanna, false Lishaya, sequestered with the Council all your life - what do you know of House Bartomn?”

“What do you mean?”

He stood. “We are the shield of this people. Metaphorically and physically. House Bartomn protects the Dasaroi; the Lishaya most of all, but the Dasaroi as a whole. That is our charge, and has been from the moment my progenitor awoke in that grove. We have done so for thousands of years. In every war. In every struggle. In every way. We are the guardians. We have failed only once. And we won’t again. Not on my watch.”

“This isn’t a war.”

“The hell it’s not. I don’t know who you are, Alanna. I don’t know what you’ve done to the Council.I don’t know what your plans are. But I believe with all my mind and heart that you are a danger to our people. And it is my duty to protect them from you.”

“I am your Lishaya.”

Micheal shook his head. ”Were you the Lishaya…” He held up one finger. ”You’d have had the power to break my shields.” And a second. ”And you would not have even tried.” He threw down a few bills and left the table, feeling her eyes on him all the way out.

It's really hard to concentrate on writing with the whole family crashbanging around me. I may actually restrict WTD to weekdays in the future.

This is about a week before the Purges. Michael will be the first to die.
Tags: shayara, shayara.alanna, shayara.michael, wind tunnel dreams
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