[SE] The Candle and the Mirror
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,194
MP:
#1
The night brought with it a faint chill to the air, a reminder that the year was yet early and spring could be cool as well as warm. Or perhaps it was Frey’s way of encouraging people to cuddle close together during this festival of Rae, to bring them together to share warmth as well as good company. The stars were twinkling brightly overhead, clearer than ever they had been before the barrier fell, but this night they were rivalled by the candles far below, arrayed on a great wheel that echoed the sun that had been lost to them all for a week during Long Night.

The glow of so many candles was a beacon in the night, calling a slow, steady stream of revelers to its edges. As some candles burned down, others were added to their stubs so that the Wheel of Fire stayed alight, continuing its silent vigil over the night until its counterpart in the sky could rise again come morning.

The music continued on behind them, some stalls closing for a little while, while their owners stole a few hours of sleep while others continued on, brightly lit by lanterns and fresh help for the overnight crowds. Children were thinning out, and couples were drifting closer, and three familiar shapes had somehow found their way together again in spite of the shadows that held sway wherever lantern light didn’t fall.

Hair white as starlight reflected the colored glow of lanterns as Jigano walked beside Rory , fingers firmly intertwined with his companion’s as they walked together in comfortable silence. Amalia had joined them, after tucking a sleeping Isuma into an empty bread basket back at the Devas Bakery stall, and by wordless agreement they had begun to walk towards the great Wheel. The lorekeeper was curious – wasn’t he always? – about it, but he hadn’t found time yet to ask about it in the hustle and bustle of the day’s activities. Now, at last, they had a moment of quiet and he smiled to his friends, squeezing Rory’s hand with shy affection. ”I heard about the grilled worms and the games and the dancing,” he said softly. ”But not about the candles. What do they mean?”
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#2

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Night falls, as it always does, but tonight the night holds no fear. It is alive, bustling and billowing with candlelight and song, the festivities perhaps wound down a moment but nowhere near complete. Having retired to a time back into the bakery stall, Amalia is ready to return to the festivities, her fingers shifting restlessly upon the cracked wood. She wishes to light a candle; she has brought a bag full, old and new, and so when her friends find her at last it is all she can do to keep from bounding over the counter, sweeping them up in the whirlwind of her enthusiasm and carrying them to the sun.

Bright eyed and red-cheeked, Amalia wraps herself in a shawl as she trails beside Rory and Jigano, content for the moment to walk slightly behind, her keen eyes flitting between their close proximity to their entwined hands. Perhaps at another time she might have felt lonely, jealous and left out of their duet of warmth, but the girl has enjoyed a sunlit Fiat Lux, merriment and laughter leaving her breathless and benign. Her face is gentle and mischievous, illuminated by a smirk: she is happy they are happy, that in the middle of all this chaos, they have managed to find love.

Uncharacteristically over-enthused, aroused and invigorated by her daytime exploits, Amalia is a not still for long. A strain of music rises through the air, and Amalia twirls into it, skipping barefoot in the grass as they near the ring of fire and coming to stand before her friends, walking shakily backwards as she smiles into their silver and gold faces, an air of faux innocence glittering in her eyes. "Oh, was Rory too busy to tell you about it?" One brow arches delicately as she shakes her head at the tall, feathered-hair man, mockingly chastising. "I bet he forgot to tell you to bring a candle, too. Absolutely useless. You really should just run away with me."

An almond eye winks now at Jigano, and for a moment she sidles up to him, nesting her head upon his shoulder before laughing and spinning away, coming to a stop beside an empty place on the candlelit sun. She is a giddy thing, a lantern on the wind, the best of her brought forth from shadow, a far cry from the morose ghost of the morning.

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 389
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#3
Things were different, even just in something as simple as the way they stood, the way they held each other's hands—but what exactly it was that was different was difficult to put your finger on. Perhaps it was something in how they angled their bodies without noticing, perhaps they were a little closer than before, or perhaps it was just the way in which Rory did not sneak quite so charged glances at Jigano anymore. Something had been sated (for now). Oh, he knew that he could prod it back into hunger with very little effort, found his eyes lingering too long on the way the firelight drifted over Jigano's skin, but he found that he could look away.

It was better that way, too, at least when in the company of others. The last thing he wanted to do was alienate or exclude Amalia, which he might very well have ended up doing if they had found her while his body and mind had been wanting one thing and one thing only.

Though, calling Jigano 'a thing' was hardly fair.

As it was, he walked in contented silence, warmed by Amalia's rather uncharacteristic exuberance, his heart welling with affection against the cool spring night air trying to encroach on them. It was good to see her like that—to see her smile so effortlessly, to watch the warmth in her dark, bright eyes, the way she broke into a little dance, carried by a stray bit of music. Rory's smile was warm and lopsided, and then they were by the Wheel of Fire.

And oh was she suddenly a devil: her eyes glittered, she was bold and brazen, not fooled by the chaste way they held hands.

He put on a straight face, fighting down the urge to either grin or blush (which was a strange reaction coming from him). "Yes, I had my hands quite full," he agreed, voice mild, but the corner of his mouth quirked rebelliously.

Then she spun in close, a whirlwind of mischief, quick and lithe, resting against Jigano for a moment before disappearing just as suddenly—Rory's laugh was warm, and he reached out to stroke the myriad of candle flames with his mind. They grew a little brighter, shifting and capering in a way that did not match the breeze. Contained, controlled, fire was beautiful...

"It is the Wheel of Fire," he said, watching Amalia, backlit against the night-sun: wild and wicked and adorable (he was practically her brother at that point, so he considered it his brotherly right to think of her as adorable). A wry, affectionate smile curved his mouth.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#4
Amalia was a spring storm, a flurry of flower petals in full bloom sweeping around them and catching them up in her joy. Jigano so rarely saw his heartsister in such unabashed gaiety that he laughed softly at her happiness as it infected him as well, and he pressed closer to Rory. On this night his fractured heart was full to overflowing with light and for now, at least, his past no longer shackled him to self-imposed guilt. His thumb traced small caresses over the hand he held – that held his – in idle reminder of other caresses, the fires they had stoked having been banked… for now.

He still stole glances at his tousled partner, a little smile curving his lips when he did, an expression almost out of place on his sharp-featured face: soft and sweet and no little vulnerable, but much of that softness lingered when he glanced back to check on Amalia as well, his smile flashing into a grin at her buoyant energy. When she danced and spun it made her look even younger – or perhaps, it made her look her proper age, carefree and hopeful and bright as sunrise as she overtook them and captured them both with a wicked innocence that delighted the fox.

And nearly set him to coughing at her pointedly gleeful teasing. Was it really that obvious? He started to raise a hand self-consciously to his neck – but stopped himself halfway, considering a suitably clever reply—

Rory spoke up first and this time the lorekeeper’s eyes widened and he almost stumbled as he shot his lover a look that held laughter and a fierce blush rising in his cheeks. ”I, ah, didn’t want to interrupt him…” the bard managed, but an Amalia suddenly landed against his shoulder and he planted a laughing kiss to the top of her mischievous head before she escaped to the side of the wheel. A wheel whose flames suddenly seemed to dance against the breeze, bowing and flickering for the mage at his side. Jigano knew how they felt, burning brighter when Rory was around, and finding strength he’d thought long-since lost.

His heartsister, too, brought out his better facets, and he reached out to tuck a wayward tress back behind Amalia’s ear with a lopsided grin. ”As if I could keep up with you!” he laughed at her taunt. ”No… I think I’m finally done with running,” he added more softly, stealing a warm, shy look to the man who held his hand. ”Though I wish I’d known to bring a candle. Are we supposed to say a prayer as we light them? A wish? And do you think anyone would get mad if I stole one from a lantern to add to the Wheel?” he teased his friends lightly, blue eyes bright beneath the galaxies that spun by overhead in their ancient, stately dance.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
MP:
#5

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Amalia crinkles her nose in mock dismay at Rory's pithy response, not quite willing to think of what his hands might have been full of. There is teasing and then there is actually speaking of such things, and for a girl of twenty-two who recently had time travel magic sex with a god, Amalia remains remarkably innocent, educated yet inexperienced.

Besides, the two times has tried were... Well. The memory of Frey stills her a moment, sending a shiver of something indiscernible down the girl's spine. her eyes glaze in distracted thought, anxiety making a hungry return. Distinctly Amalia recalls the strange dischordence of lust and malcontent, the feelings of failure and sadness offset by pleasure, desire. She hasn't spoken of that day, has tried not to think about it, because she does not know what she should think and..

And this is not the time.

Swallowing, the girl returns to the present, wicked grin stretching back across her face as she catches another exchanged glance between the men. "So when's the wedding?" Amalia drawls, giggling as Jigano's hand brushes across her face. Fluttering away once more, she turns back to face the wheel, her expression going somber as the candles flicker and dance. "The wheel represents the sun." Leaning forward, Amalia examines a candle that sits in the center, firelight flickering across the sharp lines of her face. "Every year, we light candles for the people who were lost during Long Night, as well as to celebrate the life we continue to lead. It's meant to remind us that the world keeps turning, that loss and darkness are balanced by rebirth and light, just as Rae would want it."

The baker thinks of the ghosts they led to Ludo, souls lost to the endless night but rescued now, returned to Mort. Blinking back sudden tears, Amalia turns back to her companions, smiling bittersweetly, a low chuckle leaving her lips at Jigano's teasing joke. "Lucky for you, I was taught to be prepared." Well, taught is a strong word- Amalia has been driven by her anxiety to ever over-prepare, but never mind that now.

Reaching into a bag at her side, the girl extracts one red candle of slightly questionable age. "Look! An extra!" Extending it sweetly toward the men, she abruptly recants and snatches it back, the twinkle of mischief again in her eye. "But which of you should I give it to, hmm? A precious commodity such as this? Make me an offer, gentlemen." She looks between them, mock innocence on her face, the curl of a smirk pulling at her lip. They don't need to know that there are four more where those came from. Not yet, anyway.

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 389
MP:
#6
Rory was not a shy creature: he wasn't loud and crude, but he was unapologetic, unashamed, unafraid of skirting around the edges of truth wrapped up with dry humor. Between the blush rising in Jigano's face and Amalia's wrinkled nose he laughed (or snorted with amusement, more like). This wasn't the first time the bard's composure had slipped, just more proof of that it was him they saw, with no (or just very thin) masks to temper his reactions. The feeble response earned a smirk, but then he stilled, because Amalia had stilled.

A slight frown furrowed his brow as concern pricked at his heart; it wasn't much more than a moment, a heartbeat, but it was enough.

Then she returned to the present, the faltering grin recovering, but Rory's eyes asked a silent question: are you alright?

But he let himself be swept off and away again, carried by the tide of her energy and wicked teasing. This time, he left it for Jigano to answer, partially because it was only fair that they took turns, and partially because he had no witty comeback. His fingers closed more firmly around those he held at the glance—the sentiment—sent his way, silent reassurance. He knew some of what Jigano had been running from, and he knew most of the things that he had tried to keep himself from, too.

His failure on staying apart was not something he dwelt on, listening instead to Amalia's explanation and studying her shape in the firelight.

One sister for another.

He licked his lips and swallowed, the merriment in his gaze going out for a brief moment as he let his eyes fall to the ground. Every year he lit candles, not because he had lost someone, but because he loved the sun and the long, warm summer days, because he loved watching the bright flicker of the candles at night—but suddenly, against the backdrop of Amalia's words, placing one into the wheel seemed like making up his mind on what had happened, when he still didn't know.

Then she spun back to them, wild and fey again, and Rory promptly walled off the part of his brain that wallowed in indecision and loss. The flourish with which she brandished the red candle pulled his lopsided smile out of hiding again, though it was still a shade bleaker.

"Oh, you little devil..." he breathed in appreciation, his quiet voice rich with laughter at her hard and teasing bargain. He still felt lost in the moment, a little drab and distant though his soul swum up towards the warmth and gaiety again, but figuring out playful, suitable offers wasn't his strong suit anyway. "I'll let you ride my ponies."
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#7
For a moment the gaiety fled Amalia’s face and he caught his breath against its loss. He tensed to step forward, to catch her and pull her back into their embrace, to let her feel the warmth of the present holding back the chill of the past—

But her smile returned before he could move, and though the concern in his eyes lingered he didn’t want to bring back whatever ghost had momentarily haunted her. He might not know what had arrested her thought, but she was striving to move past it and enjoy herself, and he wanted to bolster that joy and let her be happy for as long as the festival’s spell would last. Afterwards there would be time for darker things, but now was the Wheel of Fire, and the light it threw so defiantly towards the sky.

She was also taking no prisoners, it seemed, her teasing wicked and well-meant all at once and Jigano grinned ruefully at Rory for a moment. So this is what it’s like to have a sister? his arched brow seemed to say before he looked back to the third point of their triangle, as fey and wild as any nature spirit tonight. ”Didn’t you get the invitation?” He teased back, mischief in his own grin. ”We wondered why you weren’t there!” He slanted a glance to Rory that was not quite an apology, but wanting to make sure that his partner didn’t mind the liberty of the joke.

The pressure of Rory’s hand against his was welcome, that silent language of acceptance and care that they shared warming and reassuring him. Amalia explained in more detail, and Jigano nodded understanding of the tradition, gaze softening as he looked out over all the candles that had already been placed. So many lost… and so many still living, still hoping… still loving. Again he looked at the man at his side, and he caught the flicker of shadow that went through him then, the lightest tension of loss, and the fox couldn’t help but wonder who it was that the hunter was missing. He didn’t quite dare to pull Rory into a hug, not with Amalia right beside them, but he leaned against his partner’s shoulder to offer his silent support, as the blond always did for him.

Amalia wasn’t going to let them fall to their sorrows anymore than she would give in to hers this night, though. She fetched an extra candle and teased them with fire enough to set the whole wheel ablaze with her wicked laughter, and Jigano tilted his head back and laughed in appreciation of her bargaining. ”Minx!” he declared fondly, at the same time as Rory spoke. The hunter was quick to make an offer, but the bard pondered a moment longer before tilting a sly glance at both his friends. ”Is there a rule saying that we can’t share a candle? Light it together? Because otherwise I’m afraid all I can offer is a poor little song, and we all know that ponies are a much better deal,” he concluded, laughing.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 1,745
MP:
#8

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Jigano's reply is met with a grumpy harumph, mock indignation ripe in her voice. "I don't think it even counts if I'm not there," she replies haughtily, turning up her nose with a wicked grin. "Good thing I'm a magnanimous sort, willing to give you another opportunity to get it right -"

And suddenly her face grows serious, almond eyes steely as she stares intently at the silver-haired man. "- but if you fuck this up I promise you, a leopard can take a fox."

Another moment, and then she thaws, illuminating with mischief once again. Leaning forward, Amalia presses a cheek on Jigano's cheek before turning to respond to Rory's offer. "Ooh, ponies," the girl coos appreciatively, hands clasped together in mock delight. Again she twirls, her hand resting gently on Rory's arm as she coils behind him, stopping to put her head on his shoulder and peer at Jigano through fluttering eyes.

"You absolutely cannot share a candle." Shaking her head with a tsk'ing motion, Amalia turns her gaze back on Rory as if to say, You seeing this?

The promise of a song is interesting, though. Amalia leans closer to Rory, producing a slightly smashed roll from her bag and offering half to her friend. "I know the ponies," the girl muses, biting into the sugary treat, "But I've yet to hear one of your songs. I'll need a sample before I decide. It's the only way that's fair."

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 389
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#9
Rory's blood-sister had taken more after their father, or perhaps that was simply an expression of having grown up with him: down-to-earth, practical, focused. There was little time for whimsy, and through fractured conversations and broken moments Rory had pieced somewhat of a truth together—Karlia had been born as whimsical as him, as whimsical as their mother, but she had learned to not be that way in her first four years.

It had been a lesson that had stuck deep in her, but even so, he had been subjected to a fair share of teasing growing up. Jigano's rueful grin and questioning eyebrow earned him the ghost of a grin, a twitch in the corner of Rory's mouth; there was something oddly satisfying about watching Amalia's onslaught, how she took absolutely zero prisoners in this game.

His fingers closed around Jigano's again.

The whole exchange tasted like family.

And family looked out for each other. Both of Rory's blond eyebrows arched upwards at her dead serious declaration, a knight in shining armor for her wolf-brother, a sentiment (threat, promise) he hadn't expected.

He didn't know how to feel about it, so he merely watched with a mild, unshocked expression until the river ran freely again: Amalia twirled and teased and Rory felt something he wanted to call walled in by affection, but it made it sound so.. bad? Because it wasn't a bad thing, but a cage nonetheless, Jigano pressed against one side, Amalia leaning on the other.

The wild and reckless thing in his soul was afraid and twitchy, wanting to break free and run, but he held it down with a breathless laugh—

(it's just something new, it's okay, everything is always changing anyway)

—and a knowing gaze leveled at Amalia. "Barbaric," he agreed in mock indignation and horror, fingers running over Jigano's skin in silent comfort, his free hand suddenly full of half a sweet roll. He took it with an eye-smile, a glimmer of sunshine from within, eating it in silence as his gaze slid to Jigano. He tried to look innocent, unaffected, but he wasn't doing a very good job of it: he looked sly and eager, waiting to see if he'd be baited into song or not.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 10 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 32 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 35
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3,194
MP:
#10
”Ah well, perhaps we’ll do it again someday,” the fox murmured, stealing a glance – a smile, a heartbeat, fragile and wondering, aching and joyous – at the man at his side. Rory was quiet, but his eyes spoke volumes, the twitch of his lips a benediction, and Jigano’s hand slid into his more easily than breathing.

A silver brow arched at the sudden fierceness in their friend’s voice, a protective instinct he understood and lauded, and he placed his free hand over his heart as he offered her a slight bow and a promise. ”If I ‘fuck this up’ I’ll submit to your claws willingly, sister-mine,” he vowed, fingers flexing in his lover’s in a more personal echo of his words. In the moment he couldn’t imagine doing something to lose what he had found, not with Rory – and not with Amalia, either. He had starved his heart for so many years that now that the light was breaking through the cracks he found himself helpless against the affection that had grown and twisted between the three of them like flowering vines, beautiful and stronger than they looked, supporting rather than constricting.

If he lost this… if he lost them… what would become of him?

What would he become?

A question and answer he shied away from, throwing himself into the banter and laughter of their bartering game. ”If two cannot share… can three?” he teased back. ”Surely that’s better than one of us being left without light!” He looked out over the Wheel once more, though, and the solemnity of the lights of loss and hope slid through his laughter, tempering his humor and the fey, wild joy of the night towards something both sweeter and more serious. He reached up to tuck a loosened tress of silver back behind his ear as his expression softened – not at his companions, this time, but at the Wheel itself and all it represented.

”Ah well… if there are only two candles, then you two should light them. Songs really do have nothing on ponies,” he finished with a lopsided smile for Amalia as he brushed his thumb over Rory’s knuckles, stealing some of his offered comfort – or perhaps, giving some of it back in return. ”Another night I’ll sing for you, when my voice isn’t so raw from a day spent with the musicians,” he added, a flicker of self-deprecating lightness back in his smile.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 30 - Luck: 31
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,745
MP:
#11

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Amalia laughs, suddenly a little bit abashed, the ferocity of her threat an echo on her lips. Jigano responds with his usual grace, but it is Rory for whom she is concerned, unsure if she has overstepped her bounds. They are not siblings, are not family- Rory has a sister already, and no further need for her. The wolf does not smile, concealing silver fangs behind dispassionate stoicism. For a moment there is a cloud between them, obfuscating the girl's view: he is hidden from her, made distant by her attempt to bring him close, and she wavers, regret a raising tide against her mind.

The moment passes, as they always do, crumpled away and wiped clean, only the streaks of it remaining, invisible if she does not look too close. For once the girl's vibrancy outshines her anxious mind, burning holes in shaded hopes and leading her to push for more. She wraps herself around Rory, takes solace from his blank expression by falling back, behind, unwilling to surrender her hold on him and hopeful he will not ask her to.

The teasing continues, warm exchanges shot back and forth. Is this what family feels like? Warm and welcome, even when you make mistakes? Her grandmother was kind and accepting, always forgiving, always wearing a smile- but when she died that all died with her, and Amalia was left with nothing but Rishima, the brightness she once new eclipsed by the moon. But at least a lunar eclipse casts light: it was only after her mother died that the child knew real loss, found herself utterly bereft and alone.

And now - and now - what is she, exactly? Jigano calls her sister, Rory calls her radiant, Deimos calls her brave. Is she any of these things (is she all of them)?

And does it matter- because if they believe her to be all this, what can she do but aspire to oblige?

Tsk'ing again, the girl shakes her head, underwhelmed and unimpressed by Jigano's failure to rise to the bait. "Sounds like an attempt to back out. If you were afraid to compete you might have said so." Mischief lightens the barbed words, sparkles and softens their jagged ends. Stepping away from Rory's side, she sighs a little, reaching back down to rummage through her bag. "And now you're trying to escape our traditions... I suppose you wouldn't even want my third candle, hmm?" From the pack the girl extracts it, this one yellow, a beeswax thing. Amalia hands the red to Rory before carefully inspecting the two that remain, spinning them lightly in her hands, her dark eyes glittering with playful challenge as she glances, sidelong, at Jigano.

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you




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