Title: Faded Memories
Genre: Original Fiction
Beta: None. If anyone wants to offer suggestions, I would most appreciate that.
Disclaimer: This is an original work of fiction. All of this came from my head and are my ideas. Don't use any of this without my permission. This was not written for profit and if it portrays someone else's work it was not meant to do so. -stolen from another person, but it fits-
Warnings: None really right now. I'll post the warnings I come to. This is only the first two chapters.
The barely audible click of the door seemed to resound in L'Meiron's ears as deafening as any tolling bell. Footsteps echoed down the hallway outside, proof that life still continued in its ordinary fashion. Servants chattered amongst themselves, their light voices betraying the contentment of their lives. His steady steps never paused as they passed by his bedroom, unable to face the memories contained within. He didn't paused until reaching his lavish bathroom, shutting the door behind him as well. A mirror caught his attention, and he continued until he stood in front of its silvery surface. One hand braced flat against the cool pane, palm cooled before slowly warming the glass as L'Meiron stared back at his own reflection. No longer did the youthful face of before greet his morning, instead silver laced through the midnight strands. Fine lines decorated his face, fanning out from his eyes and lips. They deepened when he smiled, a rare event, and when he frowned, an event far more likely to be viewed.
Too damn old. His other hand reached up to slowly trace against the fine lines, then to cover his sapphire eyes. He was just grateful those had not faded with age, nor would they ever. The medics had informed him these were his last remaining years, if not year. In an way he was grateful, his life had been lived quite long enough. A glimpse of sable stands passed through his mind, bring sudden and immediate pain. What had they been fighting over again? Ah, yes. The kitten's mate. Foolish one. Does he truly believe me to be so invulnerable that loneliness would not find me as a companion? Those forest eyes that watched him, holding such contempt for his own person. Eyes as deep and mysterious as the forest, they matched completely their person. Those lips twisted in anger, cruel words spilling from them like crimson wine.
Goddess. How did my life come to this? Me, the leader of the once invincible Three. It had not been long ago, people would flee from their homes in desperation for their lives. Where I had reigned without mercy, distributing my sense of justice in due fashion. How did my life come to revolve around these people, my power dwindling with age? Similar to a child picking at a wound, his mind kept returning to their earlier fight. The way his lean body stood there with barely suppressed rage, one hand resting possessively on her. For once she had stayed quiet, though he imagined because with very little provoking Merithian could have very easily killed him in a moment. She must have known nothing would have held this fiery little kitten- no, not kitten. He was all male, fully grown into a most magnificent tiger. And yet why at times couldn't he wrap his mind around that fact? That his kitten no longer needed him, this much had been throughly proved tonight.
"You're nothing more than a damn fool, you know that?" The way he had stared at me, contempt branding my soul. "Nothing more than a washed up nothing, who still holds onto his old glory days in some pathetic attempt to recreate the past. Nothing's going to change. Nothing's going to undue the mistakes you made, the failures you never cared enough to undue. You're nothing more than a failure." he had bitten out, looking as if speaking to me was almost more than he could stand. As if by standing even in the same room, he would be forever contaminated. When had it come to this? What had I missed, to have my little one travel from quiet, adoring following to this cold fury?
A twist of the knob, and cold water splashed over his hands. Hands which he noticed were embarrassingly shaking, from cold water he would like to pretend to himself the cause. Pressure burned at his temples, directly behind his eyes. Pressure he wrote off as a headache, yet knew he lied to himself. Solemn cerulean eyes met their own across the silver expanse, though he saw himself not. Again, his cruel words poured over him, soft as rose petals, with thorns that drew blood like sharpest of daggers.
"Sometimes I wonder, I really do. Why the hell are you still wasting your time, hiding in this monstrosity of a prison you
call home. Keeping me in this velvet, gilded cage. I'm not your pretty little bird, that you can just bring out to play whenever you feel like it, and tuck me inside when you grow bored."
By now his fingers had been tightly clenched over the tags I had given him, the chain threatening to break under the force. A calm had seemed to descend over him as if he gathered his control for the final finishing blow. "Sometimes," he had continued with deadly softness, a false, almost there gentleness, "I wonder why you even bothered to rescue me from that hell-hole, if you were only intending to create your own version. So much for your noble good deed, no? Such sacrifice," he had drawn out the word. "Never expected your little playtoy would grow his own set of claws, now did you? Tell me, what are you going to do now?"
L'Meiron knew not what had happened, only something snapped within him. Whether this being the final straw of too many arguments, or the finality of his kitten's words finally reaching his mind. He had stepped quickly towards his kitten, moving too quickly to be stopped. One sharp tug, and metal links fell over his wrist like a broken lover.
"You're free," were the only words he had spoken, pocketing the chain. He turned then, striding out the doorway. He had not looked back, though only silence had followed him out the doorway. Cold water splashed against his face again, as he tried to drown the memories that rose to haunt him. Suddenly grateful he had sent all servants away from his room a few nights away, L'Meiron reached for a towel, drying his face. Recriminations and guilt weren't going to help him now. What they needed was a clear head, a steady anchor. Not some weak-willed creature who couldn't even stand up to a kitten barely old enough to be called full-grown.
As he turned, a flash of blue caught the corner of his eye. A bunny. Gentle hands reached out to cradle the clearly well-loved toy, much like one would carry something most precious. He moved to settle down at the foot of his bed, promising himself he would dress and attend the meeting in just a moment. Memories assailed him in all directions, memories of a emerald gaze, inky black hair that stood in all directions, and a fiery spirit no one could quench.
The door slid silently shut, footsteps treaded lightly across the carpeted floor. A figure glanced upwards as the other approached. Seated, his height proved impossible to calculate. Dark golden eyes set in a narrow, rather plain face, watched the newcomer with calm. Snowy strands fell over his eyes, nearly obscuring the view, falling to rest just past his narrow shoulders. His lean, lanky body casually rested against the love seat, though there was a watchful attentiveness that never quite disappeared.
“If you have come about the kitten again Meiron, I'm afraid I'm going to have to deny you once more. He is far valuable to our company to sell. A purebred such as he is most rare.” His tone as he spoke stayed firm, yet still gentle. L'Meiron sighed softly, raising a hand to run his fingers through the longish midnight-blue strands. A habit of his, the strands stood on end for a moment, before falling back to their natural position. His aristocrat features suited him well, with a nose a trifle long, lips that appeared to never smile, and sapphire eyes that watched life go by with cold cynicism. Combined with the icy expression he sent others, he often caused others scrambling for their lives. Now though, the mask had fallen, revealing only a weary soul.
“I know Sae,” L'Meiron answered in a resigned tone. Six-one with broad shoulders that matched his hands and a trim waist, he cut an imposing figure. Saeke kept quiet as the other male seated himself, knowing that his Meiron had come for a reason. He always did, even when the excuse could only be called flimsy at best. While he waited for Meiron to speak, Saeke glanced briefly around the room.
“I want to bring her, to this place. Do you imagine she will like it?” L'Meiron didn't have to ask. Instead, his gaze traveled around the sitting room. The walls were painted a soft cream, symbols painted in blue bordered the top and bottom. Matching furniture in either white leather or velvet decorated the area. He himself sat upon something he believed they called a throw-back chair. One could sink their toes in the plush, pale peach carpet.
“I believe she will, aye.” When Saeke looked relieved, he only offered his friend a faint smile. L'Meiron glanced over when something caught his eye, catching Saeke laying a gentle hand over a slightly shifting child resting on his lap. She stilled then, falling motionless in what seemed to be usual for her.
A young female, she appeared no older than five winters. With the palest skin he had seen the longest time, she seemed to rival that of the moon. A memory tugged at him, though soon proved elusive. She possessed a delicate figure, though not waif-like. Yet her eyes caught his attention and held it there. Nearly obscured by midnight ringlets, they nevertheless stared back directly at him. Eyes that were far wise for her age, eyes that stared into your vary soul, though what judgment she passed they revealed not. Those eyes.. he had seen them before. Like a sudden kick, a memory of another little girl invaded his mind. This time with chestnut curls, delicate figure, with a smile in her pretty heart-shaped face that no one could manage to steal. Her amethyst eyes had also been able to peer deep with one's self, as if there were nothing that she could not see and know. How terribly he missed his kitten only Saeke would ever know.
Realizing that Saeke still watched him patiently, L'Meiron motioned towards the child. “Where did you find her?”
Saeke answered anyway, though he knew what L'Meiron was doing. “Found her abandoned in some human country.”
“Ah, and in which you decided to rescue this misfortuned creature?”
Saeke nodded once in agreement, continuing, “My boys have already taken a liking to her. Though, I can not seem to be able to catch her little friend. I am being to doubt I will be able to.” Pinning L'Meiron with his golden gaze, Saeke demanded, “Then what do you desire Meiron? That is, besides your youth.” This produced a soft laugh from L'Meiron, as they often found themselves missing that very thing.
“If you will not sell him to me, then perhaps you will consider renting him to me on a regular basis.”
“Meiron, he will not replace the pups you lost,” Saeke told him gently, watching him with sorrow in his eyes.
“I know this Sae. I expect him not to replace my pups. Rather that he will be my chance for a second time.” He fell silent then, never one to articulate exactly what he wanted to say. Saeke understood though, as he stroked his fingers through satin ringlets. A soft purr vibrated low in her throat at the caress, though she moved not from her unblinking stare at L'Meiron. A bit unnerved, L'Meiron rose to his feet. He headed towards a tall, paned window, pushing aside gauzy curtains.
Stars twinkled in the night's sky, similar to as if an unseen hand had tossed the diamonds to lay sprinkled over a deep blue-velvet sky. The moon lay hidden behind dark clouds, and he wondered idly if she had stolen it from the sky. Still facing the window, he spoke.
“I still remember them Sae. I remember their sweet, innocent faces. I still remember the way they trusted anyone they came in contact with, of how they bewitched all that came in contact with them. I remember their bouncing curls, with all the different shades of the sun. Their eyes that matched the clearest of days. I still see their mother's beautiful face and I all am able to think is goddess how I loved her. Were you aware that I never told her that fact? It leads me to wonder now if she had ever known, or is my love forever to remain my secret.” Staring off into the midnight sky, some time passed before he continued. Saeke kept silent, listening. How did the saying go? Ah yes, once in a blue moon. It appeared the time for Meiron's blue moon to shine had arrived.
“I remember their incorrigible smiles, the way they brought you the belief that the universes were perfect and nothing terrible could ever happen. In particular, one memory I still hold close to me. Despite her promises, when she grew round with child once more, I remember her smiling. I can't... quite remember what I said to her, only that for once her smile did not disappear. There in the magnificent meeting hall, surrounded by several of the quite most dangerous creatures at the table, in walked my little ones. The others, they fell silent. I would imagine it had been some time since they were able to view such beauty. Completely unafraid, the older child, dragging her stuffed bunny behind her, motioned regally towards the table then to herself. He had appeared quite confused as he lifted my little one carefully upon the oak table. She had padded towards me then apparently changed her mind and headed towards the nearest person.
My youngest, dragging a matching bunny, had performed the same action as her sister. Apparently, he knew what to do this time, as she was lifted very carefully upon the table. I had been afraid to move, just watching as she handing me the book she had been carrying in her other hand. I moved to rise then, for there was not a thing most important to me than my little ones. With her angel's face, she had only inquired sweetly, “Seir*, do you think the scary men want to listen to a story too? They must miss their seiras* very much as well.” Regal as my princess, the older motioned primly towards the lap she wanted to sit upon. I could do nothing save gather my youngest in my arms. I believe the saying goes, wrapped around her littlest finger? There had been nothing I could ever deny them. And I remember,the way she matter-of-factly wrapped first one arm around her, then the other around her bunny, making sure neither fell off the broad surface. All of them had listened intently to the story as I, the leader of the most feared people in all universes, fell beneath the bewitching smiles of two angels.” He fell silent once more, just watching as the rain splashed against the window pane.
“You love him for himself, do you not Meiron.” Saeke's tone clearly said that he already knew that answer, and thus L'Meiron did not answer. “Very well. I will give you three cycles of my moon every winter. It is not very long, yet Ray will be unwilling to part with him for any longer. Keep him longer, and you will deal with him yourself.”
L'Meiron turned at Saeke's promise, just watching him for a long moment. “I am not afraid.”
“No, I don't imagine after dealing with Imaryn anything will scare you.” A gentle push, and the little female slid off his lap as Saeke rose to his feet. “Take her, just for a day. I have meetings to attend, which I fear will not be safe to her health should I bring her.”
L'Meiron rose one silky brow at Saeke in disbelief. “Are you sure you would trust her with the likes of ourselves?”
Saeke only pinned L'Meiron with another of his golden-eyed stare, watching him seriously. “What is better Meiron? To be afraid to for the safety of your children, or a creature who plays ki'eta* with every abandonment that matches theirs?” When L'Meiron only kept silent, Saeke inclined his head towards his friend. “I will never tell the secrets of those I hold dear Meiron,” A soft murmur to the child, and she transferred her grasp of Saeke's robes to L'Meiron's pant leg. A sudden image of Saeke as ever dignified and calm leading the operation of the Omigadoi, with a little child attached to his pant leg that matched his every step. A soft laugh, as Saeke could only offer him a slightly sheepish smile in return. “Be safe,” came the only response as he laid one hand on her head, teleporting them both away. Saeke only murmured the same to the empty air, before turning to his room to dress for the meeting.
Greeted at the doorway by an anxious figure, L'Meiron paused. His other companion, a giant of both height and width, looked a bit upset. Dark auburn hair that looked as if he had forgotten to brush them again flew every which direction. Ruby eyes calmed when they caught sight of his companion. He knelt when he caught sight of the child, gently tugging on a ringlet. “I am glad you are here. Imaryn is in quite a temper. Apparently he wants you to perform an action for him, one that only you can do. About to answer Roean, another person swept through the doorway.
“I thought I felt you Meiron. Listen, I'll distract him for a moment, if you want to a moment to refresh yourself.” A beautiful female, she had auburn curls that fell across a face that defied the logic of beauty. Combined with the figure she kept perfect, and forest green eyes, she suited Imaryn's tastes to the letter. There were no secrets between the Three, and the concern in L'Meiron's eyes was clearly visible.”I will not tarry long. Do not occur his wrath.” She nodded, before laughing softly and gently smoothing Roaen's wild strands. Intently, Roean watched her, saying only, “I agree Sole.” A quick incline of her head, and her robes swept behind her as she headed to where their master waited. When L'Meiron reached for her hand, she moved it away herself, attaching her hand to Roean's pant leg instead. She was immediately swung into his arms, giving L'Meiron a chance to slip away to refresh himself to Imaryn's preference. He only prayed that the task would would be swift, for if he were to deal with anymore idiots he would be highly tempted to watch them crumble into dust.
*Similar to a child calling her father Daddy.
*Similar to a child calling her mother Mommy.
*The equivalent of a child playing with dolls.