laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
Vincent raised his hand to block out the sun, hot in an orange sky, but still the light glancing from the walls of the stone city hurt his eyes. He'd been a creature of moonlight and candlelight since birth.

"You have never been to the Goblin City," said a voice close behind him, and he turned; a tall, slim man stood on the hill with him, not even a foot away. He could not hear the man's heartbeat, and he did not smell human; he smelled of lightning and earth and a little of owl. There was no human scent on him at all, not even underneath the surface.

The man smiled, a flash of uneven teeth, longer than human, with eyeteeth drawn almost to the vicious points of Vincent's own. "I have waited long to show it to you," the man said. His silver hair blew back from his face, though there was no wind on the hill.

"Who are you?" Vincent asked.

The man ran a gloved finger down his own cheek. "Oh," he said, "someone rather less human than you are."

Vincent flicked his eyes up and down, looking the man over, and huffed out a skeptical breath. The man laughed, and a sudden flicker of the sun -- a stutter of darkness in a cloudless sky -- made his face seem to shift, as if some demon looked out from his skin. Vincent drew back, startled; the sun settled again in the sky, and the man looking at him was just a man: tall, gloved, shoulders broad beneath leather armoring, cloak drifting about his body like night.

"Yes," the man said, "we've a touch in common, haven't we?" He held out his hand. "Come with me, and be my heir. Or solve the Labyrinth, and I shall tell you whatever truths you seek, at the end of it."

Vincent looked out over the mazed city; he had solved greater labyrinths than this, alone, in the dark. "I cannot leave my world," he said. I cannot leave Catherine, even though she is lost. "And not all truths are knowable."

"Wise man," the man said. "I shall tell you two truths, then, when you find my Castle: the names of your parents, and the location of the woman you love."

Vincent thought of everything he knew of magic, every bargain that could and could not be struck with Fair Folk. "And if I do not solve your labyrinth? What price do I pay, then?"

The man tossed a glass ball lightly into the air, where it hovered, spinning. "If I cannot tell you where she is," he said, "she will die. There is no changing that part of time: you must learn of her location from me, or not at all. Is that price not terrible enough?"
laurajv: Uhura says "Don't make me turn this ship around" (don't make me turn this ship around)
I'm pretty sure Catherine and Vincent Go To Anthrocon would be funnier, but I can't shake the feeling that I ought to write The One Where Vincent Is The Son Of King Jareth or The One Where Richard Mayhew and The Marquis Hunt The Beast of New York.
laurajv: Banzai Institute Logo (buckaroo banzai)
Scrubs x The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

Two words: Dr. Beardface.
laurajv: SLASH: UR DOIN IT WRONG (highlander duncan/amanda)
Chris was making sandwiches for the deli case when he heard Elmo calling him from outside. "Chris! Chris!" Elmo ran into the store and straight into Chris's legs. "Chris, Elmo has news!"

"What is it, Elmo?"

"Someone new moved in, Chris, next door to Gordon! Come meet him with Elmo."

New people on Sesame Street were often uncomfortable with monsters and grouches unless humans cushioned the first few interactions, and most of the monsters sensibly took humans along with them on new-neighbor calls. (Grouches do not make new-neighbor calls, unless you count appropriating new-neighbor trashcans.) It wasn't anti-monster prejudice, exactly, Chris thought, as he reached down to take Elmo's hand. It was more that most humans from elsewhere didn't know monsters existed.

Or talking giant birds, or talking bears, or fairies, either, come to think of it.

This new neighbor, though, was sitting on the stoop next to Oscar's can. Elmo and Chris could hear Oscar cackling in grouchly joy at something the new guy was saying. Chris sized him up: white, probably mid-30s, accent, wearing a long coat despite the midsummer heat. The guy's face creased as he smiled at Oscar, and Chris was suddenly unsure of his age.

Elmo, emboldened by someone unfazed by Oscar, let go of Chris's hand and charged ahead. "Elmo is here! Elmo wants to welcome you to Sesame Street!"

"Welcome! Hah!" said Oscar. "More like welcome back. He has a recipe for stinky fermented anchovies in cream."

"That doesn't sound very nice to Elmo," said Elmo.

"I also have a recipe for zabaglione," the new guy said, holding out his hand to shake Elmo's, gently. "Much tastier. And I know some excellent cookie recipes, if that Cookie Monster fellow still lives here."

"He does," Chris said, reaching the stoop and holding out his own hand. "Chris."

"Adam," the man said. "An uncle used to live here, long ago. I visited as a child."

"How long ago? My uncle and aunt have been here forty years; maybe they remember him."

"Oh," Adam said vaguely, "a while now. I mostly remember the monsters."

"So what brought you back?" asked Chris.

"Yes," said Elmo. "Why did Adam come back? Adam has been gone a long time."

Adam smiled down at Elmo. "Oh, I just thought it was time, is all."

Oscar laughed, and Adam shot him a look. "Heh," said Oscar. "Time. Time."

"Yes," said Adam, very quietly. "Time." He and Oscar stared at each other. Chris and Elmo looked from one of them to the other, wondering what was going on. After a few seconds, Oscar disappeared into his can, slamming the lid hard. They could hear him laughing from within.

Chris looked up at Adam, and found Adam looking thoughtful. "Grouches," Adam said, and smiled again. "I wonder if anyone understands them." The smile didn't quite reach his eyes, and Chris felt a slight chill up his spine. It worried him; he didn't usually meet people who gave him chills up his spine on Sesame Street. (Though there had been that fellow who tried to get Big Bird to move to a different habitat. That guy had been upsetting.)

"Elmo thinks other grouches understand," said Elmo, oblivious. "Does Adam want to meet the other monsters? Elmo can introduce Adam!"

"Thank you," Adam said. "That would be lovely." He nodded politely to Chris, took Elmo's hand, and walked down Sesame Street, his long coat brushing the backs of his knees. Chris watched them until they entered the Fix-It Shop, then returned to Hooper's and his unfinished sandwiches. He wasn't sure about this guy, and that was weird. He'd have to watch, and wait, and think.

At least Adam seemed to like monsters.

January 2017

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