I did it. I did the prompt early. Early-ish. Whatever. I did it before Saturday. Moving on!
This week’s prompt posted by Amanda — because Amanda drops amazing prompts and I’m currently too lazy and harried to find or make my own– inspired a lot of things. Some of which I’m not done with yet. Oh well. Maybe you’ll get them eventually. Who knows!
One of them that is done, however, gets to be below! Whee!
It’s still fanfiction, which is something I’m more comfortable posting online right now than my original work, so that’s just as well. The fandom is Transistor and it’s (comparatively) short but well worth a play through at least once. The story is amazing, the art is amazing, the villains are amazing, the hero is a strong woman who’s love interest is now her weapon.
Moving on. Have 900+ words cross-posted to my Ao3.
The Angel of Music
It wasn’t the easiest thing he had ever done, being someone’s kept man. But it was one of the nicest ones. And it didn’t hurt, either, that his keeper was Euterpe herself, with hair of fire and eyes of Spanish blue. Red was his muse, and he, she liked to say, was her own.
He didn’t believe it, of course. What could a ruffian like him ever inspire in someone like her? But what could he say, if she really did? A woman like Red, nobody told her no, and he was weak in the face of her sweet smile. Happiness like what she possessed, like what she inspired…
It was like magic, and she knew it. She knew the power she had over people, she knew the measure of it, how damning it could be. And she knew to be careful with it.
And that was what he loved about her the most.
It was a side-effect that he didn’t have to register for anything. Red was content to keep their trysts to the dark, out of the public eye. Sometimes paparazzi still staked out her apartment in Highrise. Technically she could say he was her bodyguard, and she wouldn’t be wrong. Sometimes he did underground fighting, paid off the grid, or he’d get work delivering Jan’s flatbread to the darker parts of town. But while he had made a living that way before Red, he didn’t have to. He could live. He could live, and love, and boy, did he love.
There was something precious to see Red wrapped up in her work while wearing the black and gold of him. Some days he would catch her humming, or trying out the lyrics of a new song in their apartment. All too often she stole his jacket. Sometimes when they were home, but always when she ventured out to the circuits where he fought. He was a bodyguard by profession but he was a boxer by choice, and there was nothing more thrilling than a bout between two consenting adults. Not that.. his fighting had started that way.
But he was quick, and sly, and he had a good one-two knockout.
Red was the real knockout. Red was an angel, his own Euterpe. That was why, when she asked him, dressed up in spun gold and wearing his glowing triangle and a bold, black belt around her waist, held her hands up and said, I want you there. Will you come? No one will see you backstage.
No one told Euterpe no, and he couldn’t tell Red no, not the way she glowed and glimmered with hope. Her return debut, and she wanted him there.
It was a good thing he’d gone.
It was a good thing he’d gone, or it would be Red laying here, lost and alone and dying, electric blue in his vision. They’d tried to kill her; this.. this thing would have severed her, cut her right in half. He’s too broad, it sinks in and sticks but at least he doesn’t fall apart.
He doesn’t even feel it. But he can see her when she approaches him, shivering, hands drawn around herself. It’s cold in this part of Cloudbank, and she’s bare-armed, dressed in feathers and cold silk that trails behind her like a river.
She’s pale, too, washed out with shock, breathing heavily, and he wants to wrap his arms around her and wrap her up in his jacket like he always does, except.
“Look at you,” he breathes, grateful for that. He hadn’t been sure who was walking up, only heard the quiet tap of heels on stone streets. “You’re alive. Me, I’m not so sure.” Red shivers. Her eyes water. His heart lurches in pain; he never wanted to see her cry. Crying would make her makeup run, splotch her cheeks with an unflattering scarlet mottling. Her shoulders shake.
He scrambles for something to lighten the mood. “Could use your help. I know this looks bad.” He didn’t, really. He could imagine how bad it looked, but even when he caught fists with his face, he didn’t end up this.. bad. Like a cut marionette. One the Camerata had disemboweled.
Red shivers. Hunches down into herself. Her mouth parts in a quiet sob, sucking air, unable to breath. There’s no sound. If she breaks down here, he can’t even give her a shoulder to cry on. He doesn’t know if she’s hurt if she doesn’t talk to him. He doesn’t have the strength to get up and find out himself.
“Hey, say something already.” Panic grips him by the chest, somewhere above where the sword– he thinks it’s a sword–lays lodged in his body. He is not usually one for begging. “Say something, will you?”
Red opens her mouth, still shaking, calls his name. Kneels down next to him, incautious, and wraps her arms around him, calls his name against his skin as she shakes and cries.
Realization sinks into him as clear as the blade. Euterpe is the muse of music, strong and glorious on stage and full of light and laughter. She’s the muse of song.
“Oh no. Oh, Red…”
She can’t sing. She no longer has a voice. The Camerata stole it.
He wonders if it’s because of the concert. He never should have let her do it. He should have been.. He should have been able to protect her. That was why he was there, that was all he was good at. Of all the things in his life he failed at, he hates the most that this is one of them. This is the one he should have been able to do right, that he had needed to be able to do right.
“Oh, Red. You’re okay. We’re okay.”
I think I’ll take a page out of Amanda’s book this week and heavily encourage people to do the prompt. If you do, give me a ping and I’ll link you here on this page!
Other Responses to the Prompt:
Twitter | Tumblr | NaNo Page | Ao3 | Buy Me a Coffee