Title: A Dark and Grinning Face
Rating: T, for lots of implied things (including sex and destruction of some kind)

Summary: An ethereal bassist finds what she needs in a tiny bar.

Author's Notes: Meet Insanity. She's one of a pair of supernatural twins; Inspiration is her sister. I don't know what I want to do with them yet, but I'm sure having fun finding out! Enjoy.


Private little bars were as close to home as Insanity came, when she visited mortal Earth. She was more comfortable there than anywhere else, reveling in the smoky, intimate atmosphere that often got overwhelmed in the bigger, nicer clubs. She'd picked tonight the kind of bar that her people frequented the most often; it wasn't a dive in the traditional sense of the word, but it was small, it was dingy, and it was frequented by the angry, dispossessed young men and women who fancied themselves agents of the changing world.

She mounted the steps with her Bass slung over her shoulder and an amp in hand. The amp was the first one she'd run across on her way here, a normal enough piece of equipment, and one she needed only for image. Her Bass, of course, was her own, the same one she'd possessed for as long as she could remember.

She could imagine how she'd look to the people in the audience; they wouldn't see her as she truly was. They clothe her in humanity, softening her delicate, pert features into coarse, human ones, denying her divinity as completely as they could. To them, she'd just be a girl, a tow-headed girl with strange eyes and an elaborate hairstyle, and too many piercings to ever be hired by a respectable employer. To almost everyone out there, she would be just another Goth girl playing at fame.

But she hadn't come for those people. She'd come for the ones who could see, the ones who looked at her now and saw her for who she really was. Already she could begin to pick them out down there, lifting their heads up out of their drinks, straining with eyes that wouldn't quite focus, trying to figure out why she looked so familiar.

This was how it always went. Her people would come to her--her people always came to her--she just had to remind them, every once in a while, of who she was. Blinded by normality, they wouldn't recognize her until she tickled and touched them and made them remember.

She strummed a few experimental chords, but her Bass was on perfect pitch, as was to be expected. Without preamble, without even waiting to be introduced, she began to play, launching into a song with a quick, heavy beat. She played entirely extemporaneously; just because her sister Inspiration had control over the artists of the world didn't mean she wasn't creative herself! She could see the music, wending its way into the crowd, seeking the ears of those who would listen. She could feel it, thudding in time with the beating of her heart and urging the hearts of the audience to do the same. She could sense it, coiling within her fingers, each successive note awaiting its chance to be born.

Insanity looked up from her strings and sought in the audience those her playing had affected most. She found them, one by one, a dozen or so people who sat alone, apart from friends or relatives, staring at her raptly. She smiled, a wide, wild smile, and modulated her song for them, dropping into a slower, more primal tune.

A man in the back of the bar got to his feet, knocking his table over and spilling empty and half-empty glasses of beer from it as he did. Immediately, Insanity focused all of her considerable will on him; this was what she had come for! Tonight, this man would be hers. Her fingers sped up again, and in a tune designed for his ears alone, she spoke to him, her music whispering about his ears and urging him to her. He began to make his way through the crowd, his expression spell-bound.

The crowd murmured, confused at this strange departure in protocol, but all through the audience her people hushed them. She may have chosen this man, but they still longed for her. With the distant corner of her fractured mind that wasn't focused on him she could sense them, straining towards her, eyes wide, believing but not believing the blazing, ethereal sight of her.

She stepped down off the stage, and though her Bass popped free of the amp, her music still reverberated through the bar with all the volume of before. They approached each other, she and her destined, drawn together inevitably, until he was close enough that she could put her Bass aside and draw him into her arms, kissing fiercely, wedding her body to his and making him her own.

The bar forgotten entirely now, she led him outside. She didn't say a word, but she didn't have to; he was incapable of comprehension. She knew that she could do with him as she wanted, and she knew exactly what she wanted. She had a job for her mortal lover, one that only he could do.

So she took him to her bed, opening his body and mind alike, and whispered of her plans in his ear as they made love.


He would never be able to remember exactly what had happened with that strange woman from the bar--where they went, what they did, what (if anything) she said to him. It didn't matter how many times a screaming officer demanded of him the information, or how many therapists laid him on the couch and tried to tease the answers free--he didn't have them. He couldn't remember.

All he had was the bright, indelible image of a face, her terrible, wild, grinning face. That face haunted him; it constantly flickered at the corners of his vision, dogging him day and night alike. She was there with him when he was crammed in with the other inmates. She was there with him when he was alone in his cell. She was there during the day, and there at night as well; his dreams offered him no respite.

She was even there on the last day, when they finally made him pay for what he did the morning after his wonderful, frenetic, tactile night with her. A ghost no more, she materialized out of the crowd and came to him. But she bore no benediction; no one else noticed her or acknowledged her as she bent in and kissed him away from the world.


Author's Notes: All feedback is welcomed; let me know what you thought! Thank you for reading!