This Skin (Ahri)

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RedYume

Junior Member

04-07-2012

It was mentioned to me by my bf that I should give league fan fiction a go, given that I write in several other genres both professionally and for my own personal enjoyment. For a starter, I thought I'd tackle a bit of internal/external struggle for one of my favorite champs, Ahri.

Enjoy!

(Also, currently LFW. Editing, ghostwriting, literary coaching.)

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-This Skin-

The afternoon light shone golden against the forest floor, dappling and shivering like coins tossed across a mossy table. Insubstantial as the currency they resembled, they were there and gone, then there once more in the ebb and flow that rode upon the whim of the shifting breeze. Far above, the trees stood as sentinels, overlooking the gamble of light below like eager card players, looming over the scene as smaller creatures flitted and scampered beneath their broad branches.

It was warm and balmy, but in its midst was one creature that did not share in its gift of summer sun. She sat beneath the arms of a large beech tree, back curled forward to avoid the broken, uneven bark, with her knees drawn up loosely to her chest. She sat, completely still, as the rest of the forest teemed with subtle movement all around her, as if she was frozen, cold and unwilling to partake. But was it her place to join? The answer was becoming less and less clear as the days rolled on.

With long, raven dark hair and alabaster skin, it was clear that her heritage was something exotic. There was no skin kissed complexion or soft doe eyes that were so common in the villages surrounding her forest home. It was what made her beautiful, and in that beauty, dangerous.

She looked out over the forest, following the sunspots with her eyes, irises flashing a deep golden, as if they shared kinship with the dapples of light she watched. To any passerby, she seemed entirely ordinary, but any time studying her would reveal a less innocent nature, hidden behind the folds of her simple yukata.

A squirrel came to play among the dappled sun, tail bouncing as it hopped over the moss covered ground. Its body went from pear shaped to long, then to pear again as it stopped to nibble and scratch at the dirt, pausing to listen before continuing on.

In a flash the girl was up, bounding on all fours for two strides before she flung her hand forward, sending a blue orb of light towards the unsuspecting creature. A third stride and she stumbled to her feet, as if remembering that she walked on two legs, not on four. As she neared the fallen creature, looking down with something akin to apathy, it was as if she had another realization… this would not be her dinner.

She turned on heel, walking briskly away from the small, smoking corpse. It had come so naturally to move to action, to hunt and kill her prey without a second thought. But this wasn’t her quarry, not anymore. She had to remember that, and out in the woods, it was nearly impossible to do so. There was a war within, a sense of alienation from her native place of birth. It had always been that way, but had become far more acute since her transformation.

Briskly, she walked down the forest path, passing beneath the widely spaced torii as she stepped. At one time, they marked the entrance to a shrine, but now they were just arbors that led the way towards the village. The sun shone through the slats in great gashes, placing her from light to shade, then to light again. As she moved between them, some would claim to be able to see a pair of sharply perked ears and nine flowing tails at her back. But none were there to question the sight, and if they were, it was unlikely that they would return to tell the tale.

-

By the time she reached the village, sunset was being edged out by the inky gray of dusk, the time between times when the world slowly faded to night. Her bare feet were silent on the packed earth of the road and though her garb couldn’t boast the finery of many in her midst, none would mistake her for being poor. It was like the dust refused to rise to the hem of her clothes, to even soil the bottoms of her feet. Her head was held high, poised and with purpose as she made her way to the izakaya at the far end of town.

There was a pause by the establishment’s cloth covered door. A large, red paper lantern hung on a artfully curled hook, denoting the sort of business with a flourish of black ink scrawled up one side. She smiled at the irony, revealing two subtly pointed canines among her twin rows of perfectly white, straight teeth. By the time she passed through the portal, they were hidden again behind the pale pout of her lips, sealed there with a small lick of her tongue.

Another smile, sly and small with her closed lips, blossomed on her face, pressing back the trio of hash marks that crossed her otherwise flawless cheeks. In the dim amber light of the izakaya, they looked like little more than shadows, or perhaps finely placed scars of a battle fought and won.

But she knew otherwise. That battle was far from over, and it warred within her with every heartbeat and breath she took.

The warm smells of fire and plum wine drifted through the smoky air, curling around her like a protective veil as she walked amongst the low set tables. Unlike before, when she had taken down the squirrel, she moved slowly, each movement still finely honed to show her best attributes; the sway of her hips, the delicate structure of her ankles, and the pert and ample slope of her breasts. Her eyes caught each man’s gaze in turn as they sat drinking, her golden eyes making promises that she had no intention of keeping.

But they didn’t need to know that. This was hunting of an entirely different sort. This was where the hunter allowed the prey to believe they were the ones stalking her, undressing her with their hungry eyes. There was challenge in her own, daring them to try to catch her.

One young man caught her attention and she lingered, poising one leg slightly forward to show off the sculpt of her calf. It wasn’t an overt gesture, but she could feel a giggle rise in her throat as she saw his eyes drawn to that extra peek of flesh.

He couldn’t have been older than twenty, barely a man, but with all the bravado of someone twice his age. They were always like that, so sure and arrogant until life caught up with them, teaching them a lesson in humility. That was, if something else didn’t catch up to them first.

His eyes were dark brown, the color of freshly tilled earth, and his skin was tanned and fine. He was not overly bulky, with muscles that lay flat against his lean frame, wiry and strong. From his scent, she could tell he spent a lot of time in the sun, imbued with its very particular essence. She liked that. It made her feel less alien in her skin, less cold.

She sat down beside him on the pillow, tucking her legs beneath her slender body easily. There was a gentle shift in her hips, as if she was arranging a train of fabric that no one else could see. But that was all.

“It will be a lovely night,” she said softly, tilting her head down just enough to allow her amber gaze to peer from beneath long, dark lashes. “You should walk me home, so we can enjoy it together.”

The young man paused in his drinking, looking up in that awkward way that proved he was still unseasoned, still a boy. He said nothing.

“Is it so odd that a beautiful woman should want a little company?” She asked, bringing her elbows to the table and settling her cheek against clasped hands, rubbing against her own skin as if she were some sort of feline. “It isn’t like I bite.”

The smile that followed was wide, teeth gleaming from between her parted lips, giving fair warning to the youth who… would not heed it. She already had him in her grasp and she knew it. They always succumbed to her charms, always.

The young man just nodded, putting his shallow cup of plum wine down on the table. Why should he look at such a gift with trepidation? He was, after all, a good looking man. It only made sense that a woman would want his company. Looking down at his lap, he smiled softly at the thought.

“I would love to accompany you home, my lady,” he said quietly, voice barely audible above the murmuring din of the place. “I was just surprised because… because we haven’t met.”

“No need for introductions,” she said slyly, rising from her place to smooth her yukata back down over her elegant thighs. “I find them cumbersome.”

-

The pair walked down the dusty path in the indigo night; she walked like a wraith, sure and silent, while he was far more earthly. One foot in front of the other, making a quiet plodding noise that echoed off the building walls as the woman led him back the way she had come. She didn’t say it, but the sound hurt her ears. There was no grace to it. The night creatures drew back from his noise, giving the human a wide breadth as they passed. It was almost embarrassing, but there was nothing to be done about it.

Once again, the woman passed beneath the torii at the forest’s mouth, leading the young man from the scant light of star shine to darkness. “It’s this way, not much further.”

The man looked around as he was enveloped into the forest, his own uncertainty radiating from him in waves. It was obvious enough that the woman could feel it, and it made her skin prickle, every small hair on her arms standing on end. Why were they always so fearful?

She stopped beneath the beam of one of the torii, placing a hand against the young man’s chest. Her fingers splayed, hand pressing him back against the wood seductively as she closed the distance between them. It was suggestive, especially in the way her hips tilted gently forward to meld to his own. “This is far enough,” she breathed, looking up at him with what she hoped conveyed longing, eyes shining in the small specs of starlight that managed to make it past the canopy of trees.

“My lady?” His tone was calm, but there was unease to his voice as well. This was obviously not the woman’s home.

Without warning, she tilted her head softly to the side, her dark hair spilling over one shoulder as she reached for him. Her lips parted gently, breath escaping as if in a plea for closeness, for affection and everything else denied to a lonely soul.

He felt her lips touch his own, and it was only reflexive to meet them fully, bridging the final gap between their mouths. A kiss, soft and sweet against his tongue, deepening with the loneliness he hadn’t the life experience to truly understand. For a moment, that need was fulfilled; coursing through his being like fire that banished the morning frost. More emotions followed, everything wonderful at first, but slowly ebbing away as she drew closer, gripping his sleeves with her surprisingly strong, delicate hands.

She moaned against his mouth, the sound little more than a mewl as she pressed against him fully, one leg slipping between his unsteady thighs, pressing insistently against him. In return, he made a sound as well, more plaintive and unsure.

The emotions were changing, and that warm swell he had initially felt was slipping away. The night’s chill was creeping against his skin, stealing his warmth and leaving fear in its wake. Something wasn’t right. Each emotion had begun to bleed into the next, from love to lust, to bitterness to regret; each one singing past his ears and falling away, leaving him bare and exposed.

He tried to pull away, tilting his head to the side to break the kiss, but she held firm. A ragged breath was drawn in and he tried to scream, wrenching his face away more violently, but all that came out was a strangled cry. He pushed her away then, and she allowed herself to be separated from his quivering form. She didn’t need to be so close to him now anyway, it was done. Now, it was only a matter of time before he knew it, too.

Her heart beat quick and sure in her chest, reminding her of what it felt like to be in sync with the world around her. She was a thing of magic, a predator that hunted to survive and relished the chase. But as the boy fell to the ground, his life force exhausted; her victory left with him. It was always like that, fleeting as the dappled sun on the forest floor, there and gone, only to be there again another time.

The woman turned, heading back into the forest. As she passed the orii, her ears and tails could be seen between the slats; there and gone, and there again. She left the corpse of the boy behind, as if it offended her senses.

As the night wind moved through the trees, making soft shushing sounds overhead, she could hear a voice inside her mind. It was not her own voice, but one she had heard in a time long since past. “When I gave you this skin, I did not mean for you to take from others… what I gave to you.”

“When you gave me this skin,” she parroted out loud, voice soft and bitter as she walked. “You didn’t tell me the price I would have to pay for it.”

“If had known the currency you would choose,” he continued softly, his voice aged and papery like the wind in the trees. “Then I would have left you as you were, little fox. It was meant to be a gift… something you wanted.”

“I did want to be human. But I’m not!” she cried plaintively, quickening her pace through the forest, zipping from place to place in an effort to get away from the voice. She knew she couldn’t. She knew it was in her head, but still she ran, a pale blue from her aura trailing behind her. “I’m not anything!”

“Perhaps it’s best to be what you are,” the voice said, growing fainter as she ran. “Because that is so much better than what you perceive you should be.”

By the time the woman stopped, she could feel the night’s chill drying the stain of tears to her cheeks. How terrible that such a body would have such weaknesses as crying and regret and guilt! What good was it, if she was allowed to feel such wretched things?!

With a small sniffle, she dried her eyes with the back of her hand, looking ahead into the darkness. The forest had fallen away some time ago and she wasn’t sure where she was, but as she walked on, she could feel the moon rising to her back. It was not the gold of the harvest moon, but the eerie silver light that stretched her shadow out in front of her.

When that shadow touched carved stone, she stopped, gazing up at what she had found. The imposing building rose up before her like a monument, its marble columns and sweeping front steps a testament to its importance.

She read the large, stone carved sign above its entrance, marked with the Ionain crest. “The Ministry of… War.”

Moving forward, she scaled the stairs one at a time. She wasn’t sure what she had found, but there was a feeling, a warm feeling, that this was the beginning of something different.

She was ready.


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KuzAnn

Senior Member

04-07-2012

Very nice! Best piece of fiction I've read here, makes me a bit ashamed of my own fan fic to see something of this quality, to be honest. ^^; Love the description and your take on Ahri(really wish the people who write LoL's Lore would do more for champs like her, the sort with potentially interesting moral/internal struggles). And you know, it looks like Riot is still looking to hire people for creative writing positions.

Is there going to be more?


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JackSeven

Junior Member

04-07-2012

This is awesome!!


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RedYume

Junior Member

04-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuzAnn View Post
Very nice! Best piece of fiction I've read here, makes me a bit ashamed of my own fan fic to see something of this quality, to be honest. ^^; Love the description and your take on Ahri(really wish the people who write LoL's Lore would do more for champs like her, the sort with potentially interesting moral/internal struggles). And you know, it looks like Riot is still looking to hire people for creative writing positions.

Is there going to be more?
Thank you for the praise! I really appreciate it. Depending on the response I get on this one, I think I'd really enjoy writing more. =D

And thank you for the link!


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Mirage Night

Senior Member

04-07-2012

Excellent piece. The depth of your details are beautiful. I can easily see what you are attempting to show us through your writing. Very well done! I look forward for more.


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RedYume

Junior Member

04-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSeven View Post
This is awesome!!
Thank you very much!


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RedYume

Junior Member

04-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage Night View Post
Excellent piece. The depth of your details are beautiful. I can easily see what you are attempting to show us through your writing. Very well done! I look forward for more.
Thank you very much. You really flatter me- I'm grinning ear to ear and hope to keep you occupied with more in the near future.


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SoloSeer

Junior Member

04-08-2012

Oh wow. That is really well written +1!


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RedYume

Junior Member

04-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloSeer View Post
Oh wow. That is really well written +1!
Thank you!


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Combatheaven

Senior Member

04-08-2012

The imagery...I can see it... LITERALLY.
*badump crash*

(Yes that was a compliment)


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