Thanks for all the kind comments, guys!
Okay, here's part two of three (probably). A bit Morgana-centric again, but that's how the plot flowed.
Morgana didn't like to admit it, but she was utterly baffled.
Some days after Skarner had taken her last tray of induced failures, Morgana had been in the shop again when he stopped by briefly. Very briefly – he sniffed the air, made a face (as much a mobile statue could express mild disgust on it's face, anyway) and continued on. Having actually been in a good mood surrounded by the smell of cooking pastries and safe in the knowledge she'd been banned during the draft for today's matches, she'd brushed it off without a second thought. No skin off her back.
That was, until she'd been seething over being summoned mid-shift yet again (seriously, those sodding summoners knew her roster, couldn't Demacia wait another few hours before having their hollow dreams crushed?) and the Crystal Vanguard had let himself into the shop.
“Come to gloat?” she had accused her laning opponent, mentally cursing out the summoner that had gotten her impaled on the long tail several times. (Angelic was such a magnificent language to curse in. So many foul words, some of them so colourful they couldn't even be properly matched in Valoran.)
“Business,” Skarner had said simply. “I want more of what you had last time.”
Morgana had stared at the other Champion for a full minute, not sure if she should be offended or backhandedly complimented about the quality of her burnt cooking, until Skarner had procured a few more crystal shards. Figuring it couldn't do any harm, she piled all the blackened pastries she was left with on a single tray again (the same one he'd borrowed last time, the one with pincer-shaped warping on the sides) and offered it, still bamboozled when he left satisfied.
And that was how it had been since. Every time she was summoned mid-cooking, she'd return and have the burnt goods ready to throw out when Skarner would walk in the door and buy them. It wasn't like she could complain, though. After all, she was getting something back for the destroyed ingredients. Once she'd figured out Yordle and Human scientist alike would happily enter an open bidding war for the chance to study a part of an undocumented being, she was even turning a tidy profit.
No, what bothered her was why anyone would like burnt cakes. It was a silly thing, but Sinful Succulence was something she actually took pride in, the one consistent joy she had; that someone would praise her failures would have been deeply offensive had Skarner not seemed to genuinely enjoy what he bought. And it was this enigma that saw her in Heimerdinger's lab, offering a one of Skarner's payments for free if he could shed some light on the issue.
(So the speak. That was another thing she hated – her complexion burned in minutes on a mildly sunny day.)
“Eureka!” The tiny scientist chimed just as Morgana was getting bored enough to consider 'accidentally' knocking over a flask to see what would happen. “I think I've got it!”
“Well?” Morgana asked, her voice harsh after breathing the (harmless, he'd assured her) chemical clouds that hovered above the Yordle's low working environment for so long.
“A burnt cake is primarily composed of two things: variations of burnt carbon, and a certain type of crystal derived from sugar. Sugar is a fascinating substance, you see, affected quite uniquely at various heats to produce different...”
“Hundred and sixteen degree is a fudge base, four more degrees and you get caramel, jump ten times that again to toffee, and then it burns,” Morgana interrupted. “I do that every day. The point?”
“That point is, while unpleasant in both taste and digestibility to organic beings, carbon is the base of many crystalline structures, and burnt sugar itself still retains a crystal base.”
Morgana rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers impatiently. “Meaning...?”
“I hypothesize Skarner can only digest crystals or crystal derivatives,” Heimerdinger said, looking unimpressed with Morgana's lack of interest in the details. “While we see burning a cake as stripping away everything nice about it, to him, it's the opposite – it leaves only what he can use in an easily digestible form, and it's not unrealistic to assume even he likes the taste of sugar.”
Finally, Morgana thought. She spun on her hell, skirt flaring as she strode out of the lab, dropping the promised crystals on a bench to signal her thanks.
I hope I did Heimerdinger justice there. I'm not too sure about writing him.
Udyr grinned with blood in his mouth as the giant wolf fell to the ground, his pulse pounding in his veins. To catch and devour a predator is to prove one's worth. These rules of survival were so intrinsic to the monk's being that he no longer thought about them consciously. In fact, only around humans did he think consciously. For now there was nothing to worry about and a great meal to be enjoyed.
The scent of freshly spilled blood did not distract him from the subtle scent of another intruder upon his domain. He sniffed the air and caught on to the trespasser. This was his domain, and the last great serpent to... It didn't smell like a serpent. Not entirely. Something was inherently wrong with the stench, that was the only way he could think of it. The stench of something unnatural. Foul magic and a twisted soul made manifest. This monster must be eliminated.
He shifted uncomfortably and hopped and climbed onto a low hanging branch, approaching the threat from above. His muscles tensed and coiled with inhuman strength as he leaped full force from the tree and collided with his target. A scream was quickly followed by the clang of metal on his teeth. This caused him to recoil and reconsider what exactly he was on top of. Any earthly beast would have perished at such an attack, but the prey had some sort of head ornament that covered it's neck. He sniffed again.
The smell was female... breeding age... very fertile... followed by the unmistakable scent of a great serpent. Confused, he relapsed into human thought to fully consider his quarry.
"Cassiopeia. You intrude on our domain." His head hurt a little bit from the sudden shift to the human paradigm, and he was greatly annoyed at being interrupted from his 'meditation'.
The snake woman gasped and regained her breath at the surprise assault. She clutched her neck and was for the very first time thankful she wore such an ornament. Udyr watched unfazed as the Cassiopeia's eyes narrowed. He detected she was angry - she always seemed angry about something - but silently awaited a response.
"Udyr, I have a quessstion that I think only you might anssswer."
"I can't. You need to leave." He was trying to be forceful, but something about her scent was making his bestial bran go haywire. She sounded and smelled like an ideal mate, even looked the part somewhat, but he knew her form was unnatural. Or was it just strange?
Cassiopeia judged the beast-man's body language, as well as his shift in speech and the movement in his eyes over her and she realized for the first time since her transformation that someone was interested in her. She was surprised, but she had also learned from her time in Noxus how to seize an opportunity. She adjusted her chestpiece and her mouth twisted into a smile. In her sultry tone, a voice like liquid silk she insisted
"I really need help with sssomething, won't you help me? I think I could help you in return..."
"What do you want from us."
She was pleased with how easy he was to manipulate, she supposed that his bestial nature made her particularly good at charming him.
"Could you tell me what you know about barbarian magic?" She added,
The monk's brow furrowed. He knew nothing about magic, a few rumors here and there that did not penetrate his focus. He paid no heed to anything not directly in front of him. And right now the thing directly in front of him was the most important thing in the world.
"We don't know much. Sorry." He said frustrated, and visibly so. Cassiopeia was happy he was so easily visible. However, she was entirely unprepared for his next statement.
"There's another reason you came here. I can smell it. Your clumsy seduction attempt aside."
It's true, her pulse was still pounding from the encounter, and she did find Udyr reasonably attractive in a primal sense. But was his sense of smell really that good? He seemed like putty at first. Was he trying to seduce her? Despite this she was actually extremely happy someone genuinely found her attractive. It almost felt like a dream more than a distant memory. Ah, why not indulge him. Then he might talk.
"It'sss not going to be that sssimple." She said, anticipating the exact response he would give, smiling at his response. It was just like before her transformation.
"I like a fight."
Might continue this at some point, I really, really like the pairing but it's sort of hard to write Udyr.
Part three of three, and hopefully my spelling's a bit better this time around. Enjoy!
Morgana was not the type to think she had friends. But it was beginning to look more and more like she did actually have one.
For one thing, she wasn't quite so pissed off when she had appeared on the fields today in her chef's jacket and mitts, simply scowling in consternation and using a little magic to ensure the flimsy buttons would stay shut (every female in the league did something similar with any low or loose clothing. Given the amount of eye on any particular match, the memory ensured they only ever forgot once). Her teammates had stepped back, clearly anticipating some kind of belated meltdown, and she'd seen a lot of confused looks when she'd simply grabbed her amplifying tome and potion and headed into the lane.
Whatever. It wasn't her problem if their puny minds couldn't handle a change in routine.
It was right now, though, that she realized something was wrong with her. It was some weeks after that incident, and she'd been called away mid-shift yet again. Now, post-cleanup, she had her try of burnt goods on the front counter, actually waiting for Skarner. Which would have been uncharacteristic enough by itself, but she realized she hadn't seen the Crystal Vanguard and exchanged their usual blunt conversation in a few days and she caught herself actually giving a ****.
Just as worry was beginning to turn into equally irrational anger, she finally heard the comforting tinkle of the doorbell.
“You're late,” she snapped.
“Coming from you, that sounds like concern,” Skarner suggested. Morgana put her hands over her face, digging her fingernails lightly into her brow and cursing softly. Why was everyone so impossible?
And, more importantly, why did she let him get away with it?
“What kept you?” She pressed, putting the pressure back on him, where it belonged.
“Irelian incompetence,” Skarner muttered. “The city they built on my homeland isn't particularly difficult to navigate.”
Morgana smirked at that. “If they weren't on an island, they'd forget where their borders were daily. Are you here for these?”
Skarner knocked out the payment Morgana still accepted (even though most academics had agreed the small fragments were inert, uninteresting, and only worth mineral value, which meant she was back to taking a loss on the destroyed foods) and watched Skarner leave, the warm feeling of satisfaction from having her food enjoyed tickling through her.
...When the hell had that feeling ever been a part of days when this happened?
Morgana double-checked the date – she was correct, as of two hours ago, it was a year to the day from when Skarner had been disturbed by the mining over her home and returned to the surface. She needed the extra hours such an early start afforded, even if her store was closed today; it meant she wouldn't be interrupted, of have what she was doing found out.
Her plan turned out to be just as difficult as she'd feared, the situation silent mocking her. It turned out it was one thing to screw up and simply burn food; getting a consistent scorch all the way through while still holding shape took experimentation with both the batter and the oven temperature, but eventually she had something she was happy with. The intentionally over-thickened glaze piped on top had even crystalized down to a dull bronze colour while remaining legible, which was honestly more than she'd hoped for.
Her unusual creation ready, she boxed it up and began the long trek through the Institute of War's lower levels, questioning herself every step of the way as she followed the only low-security path winding through all the secure halls. She when had she acknowledged events like this? Moreover, why the hell was she going out of her way for one?
And, most importantly, why could she not find any way to convince herself she wasn't doing this for the selfless benefit of another, yet didn't feel like she was wasting her time?
Finally, having three times given up, doubled back for ten meters, then decided to go through with it anyway, she reached to stonework door that was the entrance to Skarner's quarters – the Summoners didn't much like him tunnelling through the foundations to sleep between every match, so this empty earthen chamber had been a comprise. Knowing a conventional knock was going to get her nowhere, Morgana tossed a ball of magic to noisily explode against the stone. A few moments later, it slid aside with a deep grinding noise, revealing the Crystal Vanguard himself.
“This is a strange hour for you to be active, isn't it?” Skarner questioned, looking up at her (which was easier for him than it sounded – people didn't often realize his head was at ribcage-level on the more human Champions).
“I have something for you,” Morgana said matter-of-factly, her features arrange in the half-frustrated pout that almost qualified as a smile from her. She set the box down, tugging the lid off to reveal the cake – and burnt as it was, it was precise as any other creation, made with just as much care. The effort was vindicated when Skarner's crystalline body literally lit up with excitement when he saw it, though he fixed her with another question gaze.
“What for?” He asked bluntly. Morgana looked to the side and took a moment to make herself answer, echoing the words on the cake.
“...Happy Birthday,” she mumbled.
Dunno if reposts from the old thread are acceptable, but I'm just gonna go ahead and post one of mine from the old thread. o:
The half dragon paced through the halls of the institute impatiently. She abruptly turned a corner and collided with someone. "Watch where you're going," she growled angrily as she stumbled back a bit. She was in a hurry, she needed to meet up with Jarvan. "How angry," replied a calm and sly voice. Shyvana frowned upon seeing who it was. "....Noxian," she spat.
To which the Noxian replied smoothly, "I have a name, you know." Shyvana scoffed, "As if I'll ever choose to acknowledge you as anything more." The Deceiver chuckled, the sound of her voice causing Shyvana to flinch ever so slightly. This woman was a strange one.
"I suppose that's what makes you so feisty. I am not like you, however. I, on the other hand, will choose to acknowledge you..." LeBlanc says huskily, a small, sinister smile forming on her lips. "Such a beautiful creature..." she trails off murmuring, slowly closing the gap between her and the half dragon.
Shyvana wasn't fazed, she held her ground. "Back, Deceiver. I know about your tricks," she growled.
LeBlanc however continued on with her advance. "They all thought you were a monster...they shunned you..." Shyvana shook her head, "That was then. I'm a proud soldier of Demacia now." LeBlanc smirked. "Oh, yes. Prince Charming. He came and swept you from a wretched farm life to a content palace life, yes?"
Shyvana attempted to shut her out.
"But, for acceptance you gave up your own thoughts. You have none. You only have his." The Deceiver continued on. "Do you ever wonder about your home? Your history? Your father," she murmurs, her words prying at the half dragon.
Shyvana clenched her fists. "Silence, you witch."
LeBlanc was not deterred. "You poor, unfortunate soul," she simply states, as she brings her hand to slightly brush over the half dragon's cheek. Shyvana let out a sharp hiss, connecting her fist into the wall just behind LeBlanc, barely missing a side of the Deceiver's delicate face. "I can set you free," LeBlanc continues, unfazed by the violent act, and cups the taller woman's chin ever so softly. "I will liberate you," she murmurs, leaning in closer to the half dragon's face.
Shyvana found herself speechless, chained, confused. This woman was so strange, yet, so alluring. She shuddered, feeling LeBlanc's breath on her neck. Her fist that was implanted in the wall slowly freed itself, and she brought it around the Deceiver's waist aggressively, pulling her closer. LeBlanc whispered, closing her eyes, "Shyvana."
The sound of her name on that woman's tongue...Shyvana let out a soft growl. "LeBlanc..."
LeBlanc smirked. Slowly she placed her slender arms onto Shyvana's shoulders. Shyvana sighed heavily. This felt so weird, but it also felt quite comforting. Before anything else could happen however, Garen turned the corner.
"Shyvana - " he cut off almost instantly. Shyvana cursed in her head, releasing LeBlanc and turning around instantly. "It's not what you think," she began, but Garen looked away. "I - uh, sorry for intruding, your majesty, Shyvana." Shyvana blinked a bit before turning to LeBlanc. However in the Deceiver's place was an all too familiar face.
'Jarvan' cleared his throat, "It's no problem, Garen. We were just....talking." Garen nodded. "The match is in ten." 'Jarvan' gave him a look in return, replying, "We'll catch up in a bit." Garen nodded and bowed slightly before taking his leave.
The two were alone once more, but what seemed like an eternity passed before anyone spoke. 'Jarvan' then turned to Shyvana. "You don't want to miss your big match, now." He smirked. Shyvana nodded, a bit down that their previous moment was ruined. 'Jarvan' seemed to notice this. "We'll meet again. And I'll stay in this form, just for you," he assured, winking. Shyvana shook her head, suddenly grabbing the prince's arm and pulling 'him' into a kiss.
The illusion shattered, leaving a very surprised LeBlanc. "I don't want him," Shyvana demanded as she broke off. Her arms wrapped around the smaller woman. "I want you, LeBlanc."
The Deceiver took a moment before pulling away. She placed a finger on the half dragon's lips, smiling deviously.
"Patience, darling." Was all she said before vanishing instantly, leaving Shyvana to her lonesome.
Grrr, I wish I could motivate myself to write...
But seeing as how this is a crack pairs thread it would be a shame to not mention this NocturneXLux fic I found the other day. Be warned, while it has an M rating it's pretty much T for the first 3 chapters since its mostly Nocturne's thoughts. Chapter 4, though... gets umm... messy... yeah... avoid chapter 4 if you don't want any NSFW.
Rolled Miss Fortune and Taric. I originally posted this on the old thread yesterday, unaware that it had taken up residence here. I'm a bit new to this, so sorry for OOC and excessive grimdark.
Red Suits You Better
He opened his eyes in a flash of blue light.
Before he’d come to the League, he’d never expected death to feel the way it did. One second you were staring down the business end of Caitlyn’s rifle, the next you were healed and standing next to somebody trying to sell you second-rate magic items on the cheap.
It was because of this that he now watched the five rampaging enemies bash down his team’s nexus turrets with a cavalier eye. It had all happened before. Hell, half the time he had been doing this to somebody else.
Stay in the base, the voice said to him. No sense getting yourself killed now is there? Wouldn’t want to upset the bookies…
His lip curled a little in disgust. At least this summoner was trying to make some excuses. Normally they didn’t bother – they just forced you to do or not do what they wanted you to. That was apparently why he was back in vogue now among the mages of the Institute – his mind was docile, quiet, malleable. Not like some of the newer Champions – apparently that shark-thingy hadn’t taken too kindly to having courses of action suggested to it.
Another flash of light. The woman who emerged had pistols in each hand and a tri-corner hat on her head. He has last seen her blasting at the enemy in front of their inner mid turret before Nocturne had ripped her in half. He had been under orders to support her all game: his gem-magic had stunned their foes, slashed through their armour or healed the most grievous of her wounds.
She shook her head once to clear it. Her read hair flowed in the breeze. She appeared to notice the five enemy champions and a horde of minions trying to turn their towers into rubble.
She grinned, and he tried not to stare.
She turned to him, eyes aglow. Through the mental link he shared with his summoner, he heard conflict, shouting – apparently her summoner was losing control. He was already being berated by the other four for failing during the match. Now, at the very end, her real personality was reasserting itself, throwing the novice out of her mind.
“Hey musical boy,” she said to him. He wanted to snap back, but the summoner in charge of his brain was pretty taciturn. All he was permitted to do was watch and wait.
“I know you can hear me,” her voice was loud and brash. She twirled her pistols in her hands as she spoke. She had a gunslinger’s stance that had made it difficult for him not to stare at her all match. “I’m gonna go out there and give ‘em a light show to finish things off. I need to remind them that it’s this bilge-rat who’s been in my head the whole time. You wanna come?”
Not happening. The voice in his head said. Stay in the base.
Shut up. He thought back. He suddenly felt an awful compulsion to put his hammer on the ground and sit down. His grip loosened.
She noticed. She looked directly into his eyes. He could see his blue-white armour reflected in them.
“I don’t believe what they say about you.” She said. “Your will is as strong as anyone’s.”
His hammer clattered to the ground. He immediately tried to stoop down to pick it up.
Again, something stopped him.
You WILL obey me! The voice said.
She shrugged. “ Thanks for trying.” She stepped off the summoner platform, guns raised.
With an effort he reached down and grabbed the hammer’s hilt. It glowed with cold blue fire as his fingers touched it again.
Go. Away. He thought. Suddenly the voice was no more than chatter, mindless doggerel.
She had turned at the glow of his hammer. Now the corner of her mouth twitched and she nodded at the five enemies at their doorstep, beckoning him forward.
They had no chance. Two versus five? Even with both turrets intact and a wave of minions, they were bugs caught out on the walk.
League regulations had recently limited the healing power he was allowed to use in combat. There was no way he would be able to save her if they got in close. So his solution was to stop them before they got close.
He was running into the middle of the pack, hoping to get them focus fire onto him. With a command, he called forth a ring of hard crystal that floated around him, shielding him from attacks. His shield glowed with cold fire as he readied his stun.
The magic of the gems was singing to him, an aria that only he could hear. They spoke to him of glory and power. Earth magic, from a time that man had not glimpsed.
Fire and ice. That was what they would show their enemies.
He opened fire at maximum range, his shield releasing a blast of icy power that smashed into Master Yi, stopping him dead in his tracks. With a word of command, the hard crystal ring exploded in a volley of shards, sending Nocturne reeling.
Bullets whizzed over his head as she fired, her hand cannons sending blast after blast into the enemy mass. One particularly well-aimed shot decapitated a super minion, and then bounced into Soraka, forcing her to back off and heal. A veritable carpet of lead fell into the ranks of the enemy minions as they were locked into savage battle with their own.
Then she really began firing in earnest, and he rejoiced to hear her laugh.
He was now in the middle of the enemy team. He was trying his ****edest to get to Caitlyn, who was firing with impunity from the back of the fight. He blocked a well-aimed slice from Master Yi with his shield, and smashed Nocturne aside with a blow from his hammer.
Then there was pain, familiar hot pain as Shaco appeared behind him and rammed a dagger into his back.
He didn’t fall, or collapse. Instead, he took another swing at Master Yi, trying to force him away from Sarah.
But the blade flashed, dazzling him as its bloodied surface moved too fast for him to block. It slid past his shield effortlessly, then snicker-snacked through his armor.
Now he fell to his knees. He coughed out a word, and his shield flared again to stun Shaco. He turned , just in time to see Nocturne coming right at him, blades outstretched.
The last thing he heard was her laugh, even as they turned away from him to go after her.
It was evening at the Institute for War, and he was packing his kitbag to go home.
He always kept the shield and hammer on him, but the gem-bright armour wasn’t usually necessary for his day job. Like most champions, he had rooms reserved at the Institute on a permanent basis. Like most champions, he preferred not to sleep near the site where he constantly met messy deaths. So the only thing he left behind was his armour, standing alone in the centre of his quarters.
He heard the door slam open behind him. He spun, eyes searching for the intruder.
She was standing there, silhouetted by the evening sun. The same red hair and gunslinger’s stance. He noticed she wasn’t dressed in her pirate outfit: she was wearing civilian clothes, what you’d expect a normal citizen of Valoran to wear.
“What are you doing here?”
His tone stopped her dead for a second. Even he sounded colder than he had intended. The reprimand he had received for disobeying his summoner’s orders had put him in a bad mood.
“Nothing.” She stood stock still in the doorway. “I just came to say thanks. I know that must have taken a lot out of you to tell your summoner where to stick his brilliant plans.”
He thought back to this afternoon, when he had loathed himself for being docile and malleable. How he had, for the first time in a long time, decided to do what he wanted. And he remembered how her eyes had glowed, and how her laugh had risen above the din and chaos.
“Hey.” He said. “Are you busy now?”
She raised an eyebrow. He pressed on. “There’s this nice place I know in Piltover. Blitzcrank usually rents it for his Fleshling Compatibility Events. Wanna go?”
Now the corners of her mouth twitched again. “I’m game.” She said, and there was a grin in that voice. “But ditch the blue, gem boy. Red suits you better.”
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