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Aug 01, 2021 10:39 PM
teenage suranse serg lands on a traumatized liri
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Well.

He hugs her. The latest round of frost melts; he's pleasantly warm now, if a bit damp.

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Eventually the sobbing trails off.

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"I'm Tias," he says, snuggling her. "What's your name?"

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"Alirrani," she says with a soft sigh, leaning into him.

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"'S a pretty name."

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Hug.

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Hug.

"I guess I should have figured you were from--really far away. I've never seen someone like you before."

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"What, there's no Aluvai here—? What's your world shaped like?"

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"It's flat? But I also meant the, uh, elemental emotional flareup things."

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"—that's not from my world, that's from—whatever took me out of it."

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"Oh. Is your world--Suranse, right?--not flat?"

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"No—well, not mostly—it's—"

He disensnuggles for a moment so he can have both hands free, and tries to gesture the shape - a roundish flattish sort of thing, but not oriented vertically the way you would expect. The air between his hands ripples and shimmers, and then he's holding a model planet, with oceans and mountains and teeny tiny trees. It seems to be hollow and in two pieces, with the halves of the shell curving inward from their mostly-flatness to not-quite-meet each other at a jagged encircling rim. There are geographical features on both halves of the exterior, and more of them inside, visible through the rim and the translucent oceans and in tiny glimpses through cracks in the main parts of the shell: mountains and rivers along the inner surface, and green tangles of vegetation floating in the empty central space. There is not any sort of explanation for how the whole thing holds itself together without any visible connection between its parts.

"...I can't usually do that," he says, staring at it. "What the fuck?"

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"Wow," she says, peering at the odd planet. "That's really different."

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"I'm so confused," he says, putting the planet down on the floor and wrapping his arms around her again.

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She snuggles in.

"Ours is just flat. We don't know how big it is because there's too much ocean, no one's ever been able to reach an edge."

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Snuggles. Snuggles are good.

"I don't... I don't even know if I'm ever going to see my world again," he says. "I won't even miss it much, honestly, I'm a prince but my father's five thousand years old and not going to make me king anytime soon—I'll probably die of old age before I get the chance, if I don't get my wings in time—"

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"...D'you not have those either?"

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"...well, in Suranse, people get wings sometimes, and afterward they don't age and they're harder to kill and they, you know, have wings, and stuff. It happens when you—accomplish something—like winning a war, or—"

—maybe like surviving a long and hellish fall through the space between worlds. Maybe like being cold and exhausted and in terrible pain for a time beyond time, that could have been hours or days or weeks or years, and coming out of it still able to sit up straight and use language. Maybe like fighting an incomprehensible force through void and chaos and fire and darkness, and, maybe not exactly winning, but at least coming out on top enough to bend its power to your will. Maybe like that.

 

Everything is very bright all of a sudden. And then a few seconds pass, and the blinding light fades, and Tias is laughing delightedly and wrapping her in glittering black feathers.

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Alirrani giggles and hugs him. "I guess--whatever happened to you--counts?"

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His wings are huge; their long pointed feathers are wonderfully soft, and shine with a subtle red-gold iridescence that gleams brilliantly when they catch the light just so.

"I guess it does!"

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Mmm gorgeous soft cozy feathers. Best.

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He scoops her into his lap for optimal snuggability.

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