I started it as soon as I posted that. Ended up pumping out all I wanted to happen in this chapter. In a satisfying manner. A little less than 1,500 words, so it's comparatively short, but it should be fine, since it's the climax of this arc.
In the two weeks following the incident, Ahri attended every Pentakill concert staged.
It wasn't Karthus' high dynamic range or his ability to have both a smooth and raspy, guttural voice.
It wasn't Mordekaiser's brutal guitar riffs, backed by Yorick's forceful and melancholy bass.
Ahri attended these concerts to hear the etwahl – to hear the “voice” of the Maven of the Strings. For some reason or another, her curiosity about the Maven's condition only rose with each passing day. Information about champions' pasts usually was divulged at their discretion, and... Sona couldn't talk. Obviously, her past was confidential, by a trick of fate.
The Nine-tails Fox hoped to gain some understanding of Sona by listening to her music. This pastime seemed to give Ahri reprieve from her days of solitude (peppered with people attempting to pick her up), and she was thankful for that, if reluctantly so.
After nearly every concert Ahri attended (and they were nearly daily!), Sona made congress with her. After all, Ahri's condition needed checking on, and despite the Maven being the second most popular member of Pentakill, she managed to make time. Most likely, she made arrangements with Mordekaiser to distract the screaming fans.
Irelia, at these times, was nowhere to be found. She was a busy Ionian, after all, and the Demacian songstress couldn't quite get a translator without a summoning link.
“Sona,” Ahri muttered during one of these meetings, “you never talk. Ever.”
Sona nodded. This was obvious. She was mute, and though unbeknownst to most, by choice. The etwahl was her voice – perhaps it contained her very being. It was controlling, commanding, yet gave her the freedom to communicate flawlessly and freely. Her voice filled opera halls, clubs, ampitheatres, and all other venues of entertainment. It blended seamlessly with all the other instruments, yet was immediately outstanding. She could speak this way. The etwahl was all she needed. Lestara was someone unneeded. Sona came to understand this years ago.
“It's not like I mind,” Ahri said. “It's nice to be able to talk as much as I want without any interruptions except for pleasant ones.”
A fluttering chime of notes ascended from the etwahl's strings. Sona was laughing. It was obvious she was used to compliments, being a prominent member of the most popular band on Runeterra.
“Sona, you're...” Ahri began. She paused there and looked at the ceiling, debating whether or not to count the marble tiles. The Maven had a pretty amazing dressing room.
Sona only smiled, allowing her fingers to soundlessly pass over the strings, with an occasional muted pluck.
“...Interesting. Since I met you, it's like all my troubles have disappeared.”
Ahri blew a strand of hair out of her face. She had become accustomed to dropping the seductress act around Sona.
“They've been replaced – or hidden – by an urge to know about you. I mean, not in a creepy stalker way. It's just...”
She couldn't really help fumbling with her words. It sounded like a confession. Ahri didn't consider her feelings for Sona that strong, nor did they feel similar to that time. It was sympathy. Empathy. Camaraderie. She could relate, but Sona's struggles were foreign all the same. But through all these excuses, Ahri didn't know what she was feeling. It was different. It felt weird, even, and she felt a bit guilty for being so obsessive about Sona – meeting her using her earlier breakdown as a pretense.
“... I don't know. It feels like there is something bothering you, just as something is bothering me. Or was. I'm not asking you to tell me a secret or anything, but... I can't stop wondering, and I'd love to repay you for the therapy.”
The Maven of the Strings smiled as warmly as she could muster, with a bit of mocking coyness somewhere in there. Ahri, as charismatic as she was sharp, could tell – this was not a genuine smile. Sona was hiding something, or perhaps couldn't say it. It was at this moment that Ahri decided it was her job to extract that information. It wasn't a game, of course. The former fox felt obligated to help the maiden in front of her, who began to break her smile.
“I knew it,” said Ahri. “That's all I need to know, though; that I was right. I don't need specifics. I... wanted to know if I should try to help or not.”
Sona cast an unsure glance at Ahri. Her eyes wavered. Doubt. Not something Ahri commonly saw in the people she charmed. It was often seen in those close to her victims...
… An acute pain shot through Ahri's chest. The diaphragm area. No – it couldn't be – do I care this much? Not that again. It wasn't that again. No, she still had a promise to keep. Even if she had forgotten it.
“Somehow, I don't think this is working out,” said Ahri nervously.
And equally nervously, Sona took Ahri's hand – soft of touch – and brought it to her throat, once again.
She began to mouth words. “I don't...”
She didn't want to speak. This was violating her promise. Promises, promises...
Ahri froze up from the moment Sona touched her. A soft, ticklish sensation spread across her hands from the point of contact, and flared up into a burning feeling, permeating her body like a wildfire through dry brush once the focus of Ahri's eyes shifted to Sona's lips. She grew tense, and had to swallow and avert her eyes to quench the fire. This was the first time Sona had touched her since their initial meeting.
Ahri realized it, at this moment. Yes, these were the feelings. Different, matured from before, but still the feelings. She was infatuated with Sona. The pangs of her heart were burgeoning into full-blown love.
It felt nice. It was great. Perfect, even. Everything made sense. Even so, Ahri didn't want to break her promise. It wasn't right. She was expecting a happy return. Or at least, Ahri hoped so. But her cares about this promise diminished more and more the longer Ahri's hands intermingled with Sona's.
When Sona relinquished her (delicate) grip from Ahri's now tense hands, the temptress had to exhale forcefully all at once. She was being tempted, and not at all on purpose. How pleasant.
At last, Ahri caught her breath. “You don't want to speak. That's okay. I...”
That was too impulsive. Ahri wasn't that person.
“...Well, it's getting late. And as you can see, I don't really need therapy.” Ahri grinned. “Is it okay if I leave?”
Sona nodded, her eyes downcast a bit. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. It shot through Ahri, the pain concentrated in one area. In order to avoid more of this feeling, Ahri turned her back to Sona and exited the dressing room as quickly as she could bear to leave the Maven.
Suddenly, a figure moved out of the shadows. It was Akali.
“Are you also a Pentakill fan? I doubt it. I heard you like Sona,” she opened.
As Ahri was about to ask, “So what?”, Akali finished her regal opening speech.
“So many boobs. Will matchmaking ever find true balance?”
Ahri was a traveler by profession. She upped and left as often as she could. Getting situated would be bad.
Kyou didn't like this. She preferred to just stay in one spot and nap. This afforded Ahri the risk of being discovered, though.
As such, the two designated roles to each other. Ahri would be the “hunter” and travel from village to village to obtain sustenance for the two of them. Taken by dubious methods, of course. Meanwhile, Kyou would maintain watch over the paths they typically traveled so as to make sure they were undiscovered. She would make anyone who knew too much “disappear.” To this end, she made the center of the paths her abode, and Ahri's only permanent residence.
A place for the two of them to go home to.
It was nighttime. Ahri finished her weekly meal and brought home some trout for Kyou to eat. They watched the stars amidst the clamor of Kyou noisily eating her favorite food.
“Does it make a difference whether or not it's cooked?” asked Ahri. She had long forgotten the difference, as she never had time to catch her own meat, and never bothered.
“It does,” Kyou said. “I like it better cooked now.”
Ahri murmured affirmatively, and allowed her eyelids to shut.
“Hey, Ahri?” beckoned Kyou.
“Don't leave me alone, okay? Promise?”
A questioning hum escaped Ahri's throat.
“I love you, Ahri,” said Kyou, pressing her lips against Ahri's own.
I saw this, and...
Ahri and Sona are my favorite champions.
I was worried the internet would ruin this. I've read so many bad fics, and was afraid that what was contained in this thread might fall in the pile of things-not-to-talk-about. I even threatened the Internet that I'd stop declaring it as my place of residence if it did...
But it hasn't. It has fallen into the keeper pile. I'm greatly enjoying this one. Kudos to you, especially since I'm not the biggest fan of the true just-wants-to-be-human interpretation of Ahri, and you've sold me on it for this story.
As to the whole.... shall we say passionate side of things, honestly with the character interpretation of Ahri and Sona, it would take quite a while to really *get* to that.
Ahri's feeling lonely in a non-sexual way, and Sona is Sona (I can't bring myself to come up with some WMG's for her sexuality).
Oh and... Sona's probably a better controller of emotions, so her being "on top" sounds about right. Ahri reigns over lust alone, Sona plays all of the heart's strings. Plus hers is a more willing control, playing off of what's already there. Ahri's is more... enchanted.
In other news... I can't help but go past this and point out a (likely) unintentional comment on the game that this makes early on...
Sona was recently nerfed hard, so Ahri's "Who?" echos how badly she was hit by that nerf (so many calls of her being terrible and useless, a few tears fell for my beloved muse). Of course, they're buffing her a little with this most-recent patch, but still =P
Can't wait for the next ^_^ Keep up the good work.
Also, if you don't mind... What're the meds for?
Marty Stu, not Gary Stu... Besides, there's only ONE Gary. And his initials are GMFO.
You'd be surprised. That and there's a lot of pure smut with Ahri in it... and most of it isn't even remotely good ._.
Well, basically, once you said "The full humans whom she so envied" in the first paragraph of the first flashback, it was pretty clear this was going with the literal interpretation of her lore XD But like I said, you actually do it well, so I don't mind it so much =P It also helps that the other main chara is my second-most favorite champion (Ahri's in First).
Psh. I don't squick easy. I claim to be "from the internet". If not, I'd have been evicted quite a few years ago.
Should be interesting =P
>What Sona's Good At
Haha, I pretty much only play Sona as full support, but I'll play Hybrid Bruiser Sona in a pinch (Chalice of Discord + Triforce are your only required items). 'Course not that it matters that I'm building her FS. I usually end up racking up kills when someone thinks "It's only Sona" and tries to 1v1 me =P Last game I played as her (which was before the mana cost reduction to Q; my internet sucks and I can't bring myself t lag through PvP games), I 1v2'd their carries and got a double kill. Immediate All-Chat "***** I'm Sona". XD
I used to like Tear on her, but then I discovered Chalice of Harmony. Still haven't had a game where I actually upgraded the thing, but haven't really needed to.
A/N: I AM SO GAR FOR AHRI
Akali just sort of stared intently with a firm resolve and a face of steel at Ahri's ears.
"Those look cuddly," she said, entirely seriously.
The two met for tea-time of some sorts at Akali's (very, very green and clean-cut) abode. Actually, the balance of the interior design was ridiculously spot-on. Every stool cut in a perfect circle was accompanied by a triangular drape, and the sliding doors had amazing postmodern art; an array of shapes and colors would bombard the eye in a very relaxing manner. Ahri wondered where Akali got the budget for this, but that pondering was soon answered.
"I have called you here for business." Akali presented a small white index card to Ahri. On it were scrawled the words: "Akali, Most Balanced Matchmaker. 50% Accuracy, 50% Satisfied Customers. 1001 Gold First Appointment Only With This Card!"
Exactly how this was a good track record or price evaded Ahri.
"I see you have found the price," said Akali. "It is free for you, Ionian fox. I am an avid attendee of Pentakill's concerts, and to see Sona happy would indeed create a balance in the world. And in their music. After all, the music has been rather dissonant lately." She nodded.
"... Right," Ahri replied, her mouth hanging slightly agape.
"So, since you are in the loves with Sona, clearly I should help you. Even if your particular track record has left people... dead."
At that statement, Ahri's eyes met the floor. She didn't need her guilt to occupy her mind again. It was all in the past, after all, and there were tasks before her right now that were more important.
"Worry not," piped Akali, after seeing Ahri dismayed, "I know your record will find balance. Just promise me you will not hurt Pentakill in any way."
"You sure love Pentakill," said Ahri, amused enough to lose the staring contest with the matchmaking ninja's hardwood floor. "Of course I'll promise. I... love Sona, after all." Her heartbeat accelerated rapidly at the admission.
So many promises to be kept, and yet she was on the verge of breaking another.
"Very well," the ninja said. "I will tell you a secret I have discovered. About Sona."
While Ahri's interest was piqued, she did not find it right to win Sona through foul play. "I don't have any need for secrets. Not about Sona, anyways; I'd love to hear a secret about your clan."
"The Kinkou has no secrets. It is that no one has bothered to learn about them," snapped Akali. "Regardless, you will need to know this secret. It is about Sona's muteness."
Ahri really didn't care. Sona being mute didn't get in the way much, and she supposed Sona wouldn't be so attuned to music or other people had she been able to speak.
The female ninja continued. "Sona is mute by choice. And – before you speak – there is more. This choice was made for her by her etwahl."
The gumiho cast a quizzical glance at Akali. "How'd you know this?"
"Regarding her choice, I have read her Judgment log. The summoners hear not the voice of Sona, but the voice of the etwahl. Why, after all, would Sona speak, even through a mental link, if she chose to deny the ability to do so in a less direct, physical manner? – And yet, there is another secret. But this is not one you would wish to hear, nor is it relevant."
"Exactly how is this relevant, anyways? So what if her etwahl made it so she couldn't speak, and her etwahl talks for her? Doesn't this just mirror how she plays her music? It doesn't change anything – it doesn't change Sona."
"Don't you think that if her etwahl speaks for her, she doesn't want Sona to speak? Wouldn't she be possessive? This would get in the way."
Okay, a certain pronoun was confusing. "Why do you say she? Her etwahl's a musical instrument. I'm stumped here."
"The etwahl has a female voice, so I am assuming. Is this not to your liking?"
A ding resounded.
"That marks 15 minutes. Any longer, and you will have to pay for another appointment."
After narrowing her eyes and raising her nose slightly in frustration, Ahri exited Akali's chamber. Her own room was nearby, but the Ionian fox figured any sleep would be restless.
Once again, she was faced with the dilemma of where to go, what to do. Once again, she was alone. Yet, this time, she hungered for someone's company in a tangible way. Sona's company. Her brief smiles, her fragile yet resilient mind, and the way her fingers played over anything they touched – Ahri wanted to be witness to these again. It was awkward, though; she left Sona downcast. Sad. Just left, without looking back. Even worse, she did this with the knowledge that Sona, too, was alone.
She was scared to see Sona again, to know the full impact of her actions. But she made a promise to Akali, and if she didn't correct that action from a couple hours ago, Ahri would have broken that promise. Sona didn't deserve to just be abandoned like that, either. She may have had her etwahl, but there was a reason she was lonely, even with that instrument always with her.
The etwahl had the ability to kill. The etwahl had the ability to revive. The etwahl had the ability to heal, to hurt, to make incredibly beautiful music. But where did each of these powers come from? Sona, or the etwahl? It didn't matter. The etwahl had to have emotions to be possessive of the Maven of the Strings as Akali said, and Ahri knew how those worked by heart. Well, she knew the kind the etwahl had by heart, anyways.
It seemed Ahri would have to win the etwahl's heart as well as Sona's. With that in mind, Ahri made her way to Sona's small villa in the whatever hall of whatever wing; the exact location is unimportant! She had resolve. She steeled this resolve. And so when she found a plaque with Sona's name on it, she rapped her fist against the door said plaque was mounted upon.
Ahri's voice was shaky. "Sona, I'd like to talk to you. Sona – and, uh, Miss Etwahl?"
A hushed twinkling that wavered occasionally and resembled a yawn emanated from the door's threshold, where the little crack was. Sona was notifying Ahri that she was going to answer the door – as soon as she could get up!
A few discords and jumbled notes later (Apparently Sona had trouble getting her pajamas off and her gown on), the door slowly made its way open. Sona had on a smile. This smile had sadness. And this sadness was somewhere Ahri wanted to reach.
"May I enter?" Ahri asked, a little too stiffly.
Sona nodded, groggily, and lit a candle that rested upon the table in her living room. She warmly motioned for Ahri to follow, and the gumiho did so.
They seated themselves in silence. Ahri fidgeted a little, though it was barely noticeable, as her ears were doing all the fidgeting.
"So..." said Ahri, "... umm."
She inhaled deeply, exhaling the same way.
"Miss Etwahl," she said, looking at the instrument (though not knowing exactly where on the instrument to look, considering its lack of a face), "Is it alright if I'm in love with Sona?"
The etwahl quivered, trembling a bit. A small humming came from it. Sona was doing decidedly well in containing her panic.
"I know you love her too," said Ahri. "You're both lonely, aren't you?"
The humming rose in pitch and volume as the etwahl shook more violently. Her player swallowed. Sona's mouth was dry. She didn't want that to happen again. Her etwahl was the only important thing to her: that was the concept Sona kept repeating in her mind. But she knew. Lestara was important. Ahri was important now, too. That gumiho was the only person who kept persistent and friendly company.
"It's... going to be okay," whispered Ahri, timidly. Her voice became strong again. "I won't take Sona away from you. And I won't take you away from Sona. Love is not something that takes, and loneliness is not something that gives. I know this. And, Miss Etwahl, I love you too. Well, not in the same way I love Sona, but you don't love Sona in the same way I love her, either, do you? I promise I won't let either of you be lonely, like I was before I met you two."
The etwahl thrashed briefly during this speech before settling calmly, drooping a bit.
Sona couldn't really think at this point. Ahri, the seductress, just made a long and sincere speech about how she loved her, and that her companion, the etwahl, too, didn't need to be lonely either.
Lestara was gone.
It didn't matter, though. Because Ahri was right here. And she promised to alleviate the torture that had plagued Sona and the etwahl for years.
The guilt that was slowly eating away at Sona's mind withdrew. It was in the past. She didn't have to think about it.
Ahri took Sona's hand and placed it to her throat. She mouthed words, her vocal cords bobbing simultaneously.
I love you.
The gumiho grinned shyly after she met Sona's eyes. To tell the truth, Ahri didn't even know what she was doing. A good deal of this was outside of her field of expertise.
Sona slowly withdrew her hand.
Ahri held her hand out to the instrument, beckoning. The etwahl edged closer.
She closed her hand, all of her fingers meeting her palm except for her pinky. "You two, I'll accompany you. As long as you want. Pinky promise."
Seeing as the etwahl had no fingers, it couldn't really do the whole pinky promise thing. Ahri realized this a little too late, but before she could withdraw her hand and make up an excuse for messing up so badly, Sona reached her hand out.
The Maven gently grasped Ahri's pinky with her own, slowly tightening her pinky's grip on Ahri's. Their pinkies rubbed against each other slightly, due to Sona wiggling her small finger against Ahri's slowly.
Ahri took her breath in sharply, and blushed. She did not avert her gaze from Sona's now intense one, however, and rubbed Sona's pinky back. Her heart was squirming, and her stomach was threatening to start break-dancing.
Their faces neared each other. Their lips each brushed against the other, before both sharply withdrew, embarrassed. Their pinkies still did not leave each other.
With her free hand, Sona, played a short, tranquil melody, upbeat, yet somber. She smiled the whole way.
For some reason, the etwahl's notes sounded clearer. Ahri closed her eyes, her lips upturned, enjoying each measure.
It was too awkward for Ahri to stay the night or anything like that, so after a few more songs and some brief handholding, Ahri left, with a promise to greet Sona in the morning.
"Wh-what'd you do that for?" Ahri exclaimed, her face suddenly heated.
"Well, you never gave me that kiss I asked for," said Kyou.
"I – I don't... think I can... respond," Ahri muttered, looking off to the side.
"It's okay," said Kyou, embracing her senior in the world of former animals. "I don't mind. Take as long as you like. Just that the longer you take, the more awkward it'll be. Oh, and that promise."
"I promise you on that one, I guess," Ahri said, hesitantly. At this point, she didn't know why she said that at all. "I won't leave you alone."
"Alright!" said Kyou victoriously. She nuzzled her face into Ahri's shoulder. It was a bit too comfortable for comfort.
Ahri had just finished a meal. His sudden terror at his life force escaping after his obscene, primal grunts disgusted her. But she couldn't help but feel pity for her food. Sympathy, even. He had a son. And this village thrived on the inheritance of trades. Who would this boy apprentice under?
A tingling at the back of Ahri's head alerted her to one of the many problems she attempted to stuff away and keep from bothering her during her work.
No wonder this felt so wrong. Ahri finished slipping on her clothes and silently left the inn. How many of her prey told her they loved her? She dashed away their hopes and their love. Ahri tried to just pass this off as survival, but there had to be another way.
What was the point of becoming human if humans themselves feared you?
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