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Nov 21, 2019 5:26 PM
A Serg makes an ill-advised deal for power
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Okay, he'll admit it. He likes the car.

He doesn't like anything else about this arrangement. Not the school, not the town, not the apartment building with its clean shiny lobby and polite yet vaguely condescending security guards, and least of all the apartment, which looks so agonizingly Decorated with a capital Decor that he half feels like some kind of interior design assassin is going to pop out of the ductwork and gut him the moment he bumps into a painting or knocks over a vase or moves a piece of furniture an inch out of place.

Growling under his breath, he tosses his backpack into the middle of the living room, where it skids across the perfectly straight plow-lines of the freshly vacuumed carpet, marring their geometric precision with a broad smear of ruffled pile. Maybe letting his parents coax, cajole, and finally bribe him into going to college was a mistake, but there's two hundred thousand dollars waiting for him if he makes it through the first semester without getting arrested, so he might as well give it a shot.

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There's a knock at the door. 

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For a startled split second he's afraid it's the interior design assassins, and then he catches up with himself and snorts and goes to open it, wondering who the hell it is and how they managed to show up so fast without literally taking the same elevator.

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There's a man in a gray suit and a gray hat standing there. He walks right past Sean as soon as the door opens, sitting down on the couch in the room. "Nice new place you have here, Sean," he says. "Or should I say, nice new place your father has." 

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At first he's too bewildered to protest, and then the man is already on his couch and he might as well accept it and not stand here like an idiot holding open the door, and then—

He slams the door shut, stalks over to the living room, and stands with his arms crossed, glaring at the man on the couch, just barely out of the range where standing over him so aggressively would constitute an immediate physical threat.

"What the fuck do you want."

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"Oh, just to have a bit of a conversation, Sean. See, I know you've never really had anything of your own in your entire life -- well, except for that lovely new car downstairs, bought with your father's money, but still truly yours, for once. Everything you've ever wanted or enjoyed your father always put his strings in, one way or another. And honestly, I think that's pretty awful, and think you might want a way to change that. But if you're not interested, well..." he makes as though to stand, with a mocking look in his eyes. 

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He moves like he's thinking about walking over there, grabbing the stranger, and shaking answers out of him, but stops himself before he's done more than shift his weight and loosen his arms.

"...Who are you?" he asks—guarded, curious, simmering with anger.

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The man sneers and sits back down. "Does that really matter? Someone who knows who and what you are and with the ability to really change your life. To give you the power to actually take control over something, to make it yours and yours alone. Do you really care about anything besides that?" 

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"Fine. Talk to me."

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"What I plan to give you," he the man says, "Is full power over whatever it is you own, to change and reshape them as you see fit. Your own places, and your own people. Right now, well, there isn't much of that in your name," he says widening his sneer, "besides that lovely new car down there. But who knows, maybe someone as clever as you can make progress with such a paltry beginning." 

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"...you realize that sounds... insane, right? Like, literally crazy?"

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"Oh, yes. But you're secretly hoping I'm telling the truth, aren't you? And really, what do you have to lose? If you will a change and nothing happens, then your mundane life continues under your father's thumb. But if it does work, well. I'm sure you can think of all kinds of things to do." 

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"And is there some kind of mysterious magic reason you're making me this offer in the most infuriating way possible, or do you just get off on being a pain in the ass?"

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The man simply smiles. "Did you want any more details? Or should I just leave you with the power for 24 hours to try it out on your own?" 

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"What makes something mine? What can I do in a place that's mine? So far it just sounds like you're giving me the magical power to... remodel an already gorgeous car. That's not nearly as exciting as you're playing it up to be."

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"Anything and everything yours, or anything in a domain of what can be considered to be yours can be changed, as long as it remains inside your domain. Any people who consider themselves to be yours can be similarly changed, mind and body, whether they're in your domain or not. Does that clear things up for you, Sean?" 

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"So if I do something to someone and they leave my... 'domain', it's like I never changed them? If I hurt someone and then fix them, and they leave, do they come out hurt or not hurt? If I hurt someone and make them forget I did it, and they leave, do they come out remembering or not?"

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"Any changes you made will cease. Any thing you didn't... change will remain, unless changed back. They will remember as much or as little as you choose them to." 

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"...all right," he says grudgingly, "I can see some use in that."

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"I thought you might."

 

The man pauses. "So. Do you wish this power? All I ask in return is, at some point in the future, I may ask you to do something for me. A favor, if you will. Chances are, though, you'll probably never see me again. I'll even give you 24 hours to try it out, no strings attached. Do we have a deal?" 

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...he thinks about it.

This is probably stupid, and he's probably signing away his soul to the devil or something, but... fuck. The devil, or whoever he is, isn't exactly wrong, however infuriating he may be. Sean does want this.

"...yeah, all right."

(After all, with the way the stranger phrased it, Sean isn't really agreeing to do anything more than let him ask for that favour. Granting it is another matter.)

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"Excellent. In 24 hours I will contact you again. If you are satisfied with the result you will have the ability permanently, subject to the condition I mentioned. If not, the ability will be removed, and I will never contact you again." The man stands and walks to the door. "Enjoy your trial period, Sean." He opens the door, and closes it behind him. 

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...Sean glares suspiciously after the stranger, but doesn't move to follow him.

 

Okay. He didn't need a dozen reminders that this apartment isn't his, but there are some things he owns inside the apartment. His clothes, for one thing.

He heads into the bathroom and stares at himself in the mirror.

As soon as he touches the power, his eyes flash a fiery red-gold, which is, honestly, fucking cool all by itself. But he blinks and focuses on what he was actually trying to test.

His jacket changes from black to red, to red with gold trim, to black with gold trim, each time with no more than a thought. He gives it swirling flame patterns stretching up the sleeves from wrist to elbow, and they appear just like he pictured them, only prettier than his imagination could deliver.

 

He turns the jacket back to how it was.

 

He looks at himself in the mirror some more, staring for a long thoughtful moment, and thinks to himself: my body.

And—just like that, with no more than a thought, he's half a foot taller. A little broader in the shoulder, a little better muscle definition—he's actually kind of surprised that his ideal body isn't bigger and stronger than that, but looking like this feels right.

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"...fuck," he says aloud. "I'm definitely keeping this."

Okay. Next stop: the car.

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The car is as gorgeous as ever and it breaks his heart a little to even contemplate altering it but he's gotta know.

He gets in, shuts the door, rolls up the window, leans back in his seat. How much can he change the car? Like, the car is gorgeous, he doesn't want to change the car, but maybe...

...it's a little less comfortable in here at his new height. He tries adjusting that. Cautiously, very cautiously, because he doesn't want to ruin those sleek lines and he has a realistic view of how his design sense stacks up against the people at Lamborghini.

And... yeah, he has a little more headroom now. More legroom, too. But... something about the way that felt...

He gets out of the car, and checks that the outside hasn't changed in any way visible to him. But the inside is still bigger. And when he takes a closer look - yeah, the car is just plain bigger on the inside now. Not by much, but enough to spot if you're paying attention and you have reason to think your eyes aren't just playing tricks on you.

That opens up all kinds of possibilities.

He climbs back in, shuts the door, turns the windows opaque with a thought because he doesn't want passersby watching him crawl into his car's nonexistent backseat - and then he makes the tiny cargo space behind the seats bigger. And bigger. And bigger.

After a few rounds of tweaking, he has a space he can climb into fairly easily, and if you don't know it wasn't always back here, it doesn't look too crazy at a glance.

And before he gets any more carried away, he should find out what happens if he drives the car with its dimensions warped like this. (He fixes the windows first, because it's a little hard to drive when you can't see out of your vehicle.)

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Driving the car works just fine.

All right then.

Time to go looking for someone he can charm, force, or threaten into entering his car.

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