|I Never Said I Was Brave
Author: lookingwest PM
La Campanella Supernatural winner and Creativity runner-up / SKoW Best Non-Romance winner / Featured on Project Fiction / Reviewed on Falling Star AwardsRated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 28 - Words: 75,261 - Reviews: 1,118 - Favs: 162 - Follows: 140 - Updated: 02-04-13 - Published: 11-10-09 - id: 2740147
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I would just like to point out that I came up with the Fus Ro Dah before there was a Fus Ro Dah...*ahem* Also just going to be honest here people. This is not my best writing and I frankly just didn't put my full editing effort into it, and I apologize for that. Otherwise...
Lara and Patrice - from Charlotte's band
Bardolph - he was Jude's Sh'marook tutor' mentioned in Ch. 12
This chapter picks up where Charlotte was left off (experiencing a hallucination brought on by Jude's magic and her blood)
Jude's older brother is the witch king
Kit has been separated from Jude and Char for the past few chapters, and in the last was shot with an arrow by Margot
Where do all the lovers leave with one another?
Sometimes after our shows, brave boys would try asking me for a drink. They thought they saw straight into my heart—my eyes in strobes and light, standing up on that stage staring somewhere else, somewhere beyond. But no brave boy ever saw straight into anything.
Jude and I were the only ones alive. The band was dead, the audience was dead. Jude should've been dead, but he wasn't. We rocked it, wowed the crowd, stole hearts, and swung screams and shouts. I was great and greater with Jude. Jude was great and greater with me. We sang together, soaked in the fame together, screamed into microphones without microphones. I just love you more, I just love you more and more, I just love you, love you, love you more! Jude's magic and my blood created everything. We were with our friends, we were with our families, we were with everyone we ever loved and lost.
This is Charlotte, Mom. Charlotte, this is Mom. Hello nice to meet you. This is Jude, Dad. Jude, this is Dad. Hello nice to meet you. Lara, Patrice, this is Jude. Jude, this is Lara and Patrice. Let's play a set together for old time's sake. Let's play together. Jude can play anything he wants. Charlotte this is my friend Bardolph, he taught me how to speak Sh'marook. Bardolph, it's nice to meet you. Bardolph, you'll never guess, Charlotte and I have met Achitophel, he's nothing like they say. Hey, let's get the band together. Let's play together.
I'd never dreamt a dream like this. Everyone loved us and we loved, we had everything and wanted nothing. So when everything went wrong, it went wrong fragmented, spread across what was real and what was inside of us. Our band played with Jude on guitar. Jude and I took our hands and raised them, we were queen and king, the crowd of our dead were also our people. I let myself stretch into them.
I sank into the surf. Jude let me go, our skin damp with sweat, his hand slipped from mine and I laughed. When I blinked, pulled away from him, everything changed. I saw him drenched in dark stains. My smile faded and I reached for him. Take me back to Jude, I said. The hands picked at my skin—it started to hurt. I screamed and fell, crooked and clumsy. My fall knocked reality into me.
We were surrounded by witches.
My head was sore, it throbbed, and my heart raced. I could hardly breathe. Magic pressed around me on all sides and I couldn't see Jude. They'd pulled me from him and tossed me like trash. I reached for my gun—but it wasn't on me. And my movements felt slow and stupid. They couldn't take Jude's magic from me. I reached inward and found it violent.
The witches sneered, there were six all together. Witches always scouted in threes and sixes. "Go get 'em, tiger," I said. I let Jude's magic go.
Jude appeared, leaping with his guitar—and the witches melted into the concert crowd, panicked. We reunited and his magic centered with a vengeance. Everyone attacked at once and all around me I watched our dead crowd fall. My father and my friends became lifeless, with rotting skin and unmoving stares. I gritted my teeth and ducked to the dirt as Jude swung his guitar into the nearest witch. It shattered what was left of our imagined world and his guitar became his sword.
I came to my senses. Jude's magic tangled into casts and defenses, already wounded.
Damn if I would go down the damsel in distress.
Bluntly, I borrowed and drew what magic I could and sent a clumsily malicious cast at one of the witches about to throw a spell towards Jude. When my cast hit him, it was blunt enough to send him reeling backward, his own spell untangling. I only watched long enough to see him cough up blood. I knew what Jude was planning and tried scrambling out of the way.
Cover your ears, said Jude.
"Wait!" I shouted, ducking and trying to gain useless cover by pressing myself behind a thin pine trunk.
Now, Charlotte, said Jude.
I pressed my ears closed and bent down like a bomb was about to go off.
Jude let out a war cry. It cried shades of hate and frustration, of love and loss. It shook everything in me and crawled under my skin and into my heart. It went to my head and pulled it apart until I felt faint and weak. My limbs were not my limbs. My hands slipped and I swooned, I felt myself sinking into soil wet with blood that wasn't my own. Jude's magic—this terrible thing, this powerful thing. It sheltered and shook me from my brief unconsciousness.
When I came to, he was holding me to him in his lap, his head buried in the crook of my neck. The late afternoon sun filtered through the trees and stunned me. I went rigid, an old fear, and pushed away. My heart caught, and my back pressed against the pine. I took deep breaths. We looked at one another. Jude was stained in fresh blood, colors black and bright, mixed with old and new. He looked concerned.
"What happened?" I said, still reeling from the blood trip—our dream. I felt disorientated.
Jude reached towards me and I flinched.
He stopped. "They were scouts," he said, "did they hurt you?"
I remembered how infamously entwined his magic and his voice were. Once, I couldn't stand listening to him speak, but now it was easy, now it was nothing. And he would do anything for me—and I had this power. His voice. I looked behind me, towards the dead witches as lifeless as my dead father in my dream. The nearest one had blood spilling from his neck, large chunks gouged through muscle, I thought I could see the bone.
"No, they didn't hurt me," I said, uneasy. "You killed them."
He killed them, he drank their blood. He looked dizzy now, like he was far away, but he nodded.
"Good," I said.
I took his bloody hand and his wounded magic twitched. I kissed him on the cheek.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I didn't mean to hurt you."
He moved forward and kissed me, and I felt his strange pain. He knew two of the six he killed, he knew them and he didn't want to hurt them. He second guessed himself, he feared himself, he killed them without thought because he couldn't hold back. Our kiss deepened. There was too much blood and he couldn't hold back—too much blood and he wanted it, and he needed it, and he wasn't sure anymore—if that was such a good thing after all.
We stopped and I touched his neck. "It's going to be okay," I said. "We just have to learn to work together better."
His head slipped to my shoulder and we held one another in thought. I ran my hand through his dark hair, and we calmed. We'd stick together because we were strongest together. And Achitophel—we'd win back his freedom. We just had to keep our cool and never let each other go.
"Those scouts were the king's," he said, "let's find Kit and Ephraim and get out of the area—the wind's gone bad here."
Foreign magic spread across me, first like a nagging sore and then quick, enveloping me. At first I thought it was one of the dead witches. It pressed onto my chest and made it hard for me to breath, I gasped and panic started taking hold, I reached for Jude with wide eyes and he growled as I felt something cold and sharp slip behind my ear. "My, my, if it isn't our dead prince," the voice was cold, "here—alive! Imagine that. And oh, I wouldn't dare move or the poor woman will have her throat cut."
Jude made a motion to flit and I cringed as the blade pressed close enough to draw a shallow line of blood. I tried to speak but the bad magic wound into my throat. Jude's already wounded magic was no match, but I felt it fight.
"I see you're as careless as ever about attentiveness towards enchantments."
Jude's expression darkened, but he smirked. "Fuck you for noticing, Elliot." His eyes never left mine.
"The king's been looking for you Judy, it's unlike you to ignore his summons."
I tried to get a look at Elliot but I couldn't see him without moving my neck. Jude's magic told me there were two others surveying our damage, checking the dead bodies. One of them was trying not to cry—we killed his brother. I closed my eyes, sympathetic and sorry. But it wasn't worth anything.
"I think it's time to visit the king," said Elliot. "And won't he be pleasantly surprised to meet a woman so close to our dead prince's heart."
Jude's magic spread and drew with anger and sorrow. It mixed and hurt us both.
We had no choice. I looked into Jude's eyes.
"Fine," said Jude, "we pay the King his visit."
Title from Lovers Who Uncover by Crystal Castles
(C) Emily S. Lundgren (lookingwest) 2009-2011 (id423768); protected under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License; view via my profile link.