Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Fictitious Interlude

What you see before you is not another chapter of Orion, but a few little ficlets.
So you're probably wondering how these came to be. Have all of you heard of the game "Apples to Apples"? If you have, great. If you haven't, this will be confusing. My brother and I picked out four of the green (adjective) cards per "round" and had to write a fic about one of them. See if you can guess what the words are from just reading them :) I'll tell you at the end what they ACTUALLY were.

Alek bit his lip. This was going to be harder than he thought. What could he possibly get for Deryn on her birthday? He had barely any money, and his first idea had been to make something for her—a card, or something of the like.

But then he had remembered that Deryn was an artist, and he most certainly was not. Anything he could make would pale in comparison to the simplest of her works. So Alek was back to square one. He sat in one of the high backed chairs in their hotel room, miserable.

Flicking at a tassle on the stool with his toe, he didn’t notice Bovril scamper in. It lept onto the back of the chair and down to his shoulder, startling him.

“Any perspicacious advice for me?” He asked, defeated. The loris’s nose twitched, and it cleared it’s throat.

“Be creative,” it said simply, and Alek thought he saw it’s shoulders shrug, if that were even possible.

“Thanks,” he replied drily, sighing. Then it hit him, and he stood abruptly, knowing exactly what to do, and Bovril tumbled off his lap. With a yelp and what was possibly a new curse Deryn had taught it, Bovril stalked out of the room.

A day later, Alek led a blindfolded Deryn through an iron door way, grinning like an idiot. “Why on Earth didn’t you warn me about the elevator?” she growled. “Dummkopf,” she added halfheartedly, not really in the mood to be upset with him. It was her birthday, after all.

Alek didn’t say anything, just reached behind her and slowly untied the cloth over her eyes, letting his arms rest on her shoulders relishing in the touch of her soft golden hair on his fingers. He resisted the urge to lean in and kiss her, but he didn’t want to ruin her view.

She let out a small gasp, taking in the entirety of the London skyline. Then she shrugged, “Nothing I haven’t seen before,” she said, but he could tell by her tone and the way her face was lit up that she was amazed. She’d always liked being as close to the clouds as she could get.

“Ah, yes, but not with such a wonderful dinner to go with it.” He pulled out a seat around the table he’d set up earlier that day, perfectly placed for her to admire how high up they were—the highest building in London. Or, at least, the tallest one open to the public—and himself. The food steamed as the cover came off, and Deryn smiled.

“The potatoes are a nice touch,” she said appreciatively, sitting down. “How did you come up with this?”

Alek just smiled at her. “I had to be creative.”

“Well, that’s delicious,” Newkirk said, his lip curled.

What?” Alek asked incredulously. “How can you find that ‘delicious’? If my English is correct—”

“Did your English classes teach you sarcasm?” Dylan said, not taking his eyes off the enormous pile.

Newkirk coughed and took a step back, waving a hand in front of his nose. “That is one big piece of clart.”

“Well, what did you expect, Mr. Newkirk? The bears are the size of houses, after all. I’m glad I don’t have to clean that up.”

Alek shook his head. “What are we even doing here?” His eyes wandered along the trail, stretching as far as the eye could see in either direction. He was comforted by the fact that the Leviathan was moored a mere hundred meters away, ready to take them from the strange lands of Siberia.

“How old do you reckon it is?” Newkirk wondered aloud, ignoring Alek’s question, and picked up a stray stick from the trees that surrounded them, poking at it. “A few days, at least.”

Alek stumbled backward, thoroughly stunned. “Why would you do that?” He would never understand Darwinists, he supposed.

Newkirk shrugged. “For fun,” was all he said, and turned abruptly toward the ship and picked his way along the trail back toward it. Dylan was chuckling a high tone, and when Alek turned his gaze toward him, the boy paled.

“What?” he asked defensively.

“Why ‘delicious’? Of all words, why that one?” Alek shuddered, and the color returned to Dylan’s face. He chuckled nervously and cleared his throat, leading Alek back to the ship.

“I haven’t a barking idea, Your Princeliness.”

Deryn could feel the color rising in her cheeks, making her face hot. She wanted terribly to avert her eyes but couldn’t bring herself to.

Barking spiders, but the boy was trying to flirt with her.

Alek had his forearm laid awkwardly on the table, low enough that he had to lean over in what could not have been a comfortable position. The top button of his shirt was undone. A piece of hair fell over his eyes, and he furrowed his brow for a moment before he blew it from his face with an undignified noise that could only be described as that of an elephant.

“Yes?” Deryn asked, trying to sound more amused than embarrassed.

He propped his elbow up against the table now, running his fingers through his hair. “Hey, there… you.” His voice was low, an attempt at being seductive.

“Hi.” She replied hesitantly, and Alek cleared his throat, standing up and taking a slow step forward.

“I was wondering,” Alek began, and when he voice squeaked at the end, he paled and cleared his throat once more. “If you would like to—um—have dinner tonight. With me,” he added hastily.
Deryn let her mouth drop open slightly, her eyes wide and eyebrows slightly raised. “If you’ll stop doing that.”

“Doing—doing what?” He tilted his head toward her, gazing at Deryn through his lashes.

“That. Flirting.” The word stumbled from her mouth unbidden. She grimaced, almost ready for him to scoff and deny it.

“Oh. Am I that terrible at it?” Alek asked, redoing the button and straightening his shirt.

Deryn nodded. “Hopeless.”

“Well, I’ve reserved a table at that cafĂ© you like for this evening, if you’d like to join me.”

“I’d love to, Alek, just, please, don’t ever do that again.”

Alek smiled at her, hooking his arm around hers. “I hadn’t planned on it.”

Deryn flexed her bicep. Alek’s eyebrows shot up, and she fought off the grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.

“See it and weep, your princeliness,” she gloated, admiring her own muscles. Deryn looked up in time to see him take a glance at his own arms, slight and thin without a few months of climbing about in the ratlines to have strengthened them up, even though she’d been off them herself for nearly a month.

“I guess I can see the appeal of an airman to a lady,” Alek admitted, eyebrows slightly raised in amusement. 

“Quite masculine, I’d assume. Although, that’s really not what I’m looking for…” he trailed off, waggling his eyebrows at her. Deryn felt her stomach do a little flip, but squashed down the feeling. A barking sod she was if that was all it took to get her insides twisting.

“And what, exactly, is it that?” she asked. Alek chewed at his lip as though trying to form his thoughts into words.

“I think you know, Mr. Sharp,” was all he said. Alek grinned widely and reached out for her hand, leading her away from the crowded courtyard of the Society and into a more secluded area.

Deryn raised her eyebrows as he leaned into her against the wall, his lips inches from hers. “Are you sure about this, Alek? I may be a little too masculine for you to handle.”

“Quite sure,” he murmured against her mouth, and any reply she would have had was smothered by his kiss.

[Insert all your guesses here]

The words were:

Hope you enjoyed these! :)

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