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[personal profile] onceakoala
Today I wrote a bit about two of my OCs meeting, because the prompt was a chance encounter, and I love my OCs, and never give them enough attention. Devonte is a self-absorbed genius asshole mechanic, Sheol is mysterious, and they are both inconsolably gay. ~1750 words.

You meet him in line for your morning dose of caffeine at Royna’s, the cafe a few blocks from your workshop (their beverages are all disgustingly sweet and you can’t live without them, and lord protect anyone who comes between you and your morning -- occasionally also afternoon -- Royna’s). 

 When he was just a blue figure wrapped in navy cloth you didn’t really notice him. Individuals who cloak themselves in magical illusions are plentiful, so blue skin isn’t something that really surprises you, or mysterious, dark robes. Even though he does wear them quite well -- and how you know this, given that robes are probably the least shapely or flattering form of clothing, you aren’t sure, but you totally do, this guy is chiseled and you can feel it in your bones.

But you don’t really notice him until he turns just enough that you can see his eyes, which are a sparkling, bright golden color, like honey, but infused with burning licks of flame.

You see his eyes, and you’re shaken, as everything stands completely still.

You’re not sure how long the stillness lasts, it could’ve been an hour or an instant, your perception seems to bleed out nebulously. After you pull yourself together, a slow re-knitting of the fabric of yourself, and the world slowly continues to flow forward, you find yourself at the counter, and the bell over the door tinkles for a moment.

By the time you turn around, all you see is a wisp of blue fabric slipping around the corner, out of sight.

You order your coffee, and by the time you leave, you’ve forgotten the encounter entirely.
Your favorite bookstore is Zelmir’s place, a little hole-in-the-wall that accepts trade-ins and specializes in rare and obscure finds. Not so much because it’s a convenient place, or well-priced, because in reality Zelmir overcharges for everything (although you actually love that about him).

No, it’s your favorite because Zelmir is highly susceptible to bribes and intimidation. So while it might take a while, with enough money or coercion -- or sometimes, a carefully constructed combination of both -- you always manage to get what you want.

The day you’ve decided you absolutely need the newest volume of Encyclopedia Emmeron, you set out for Zelmir’s shop with excitement a sparking, live wire in your ribcage. Once you have this volume, maybe you will finally be able to finish that damn rythmirator for your buyer, as much as you are enjoying drawing the project out and sucking every coin you can out of him. But the solution so far has been eluding you, and you’re getting irritated at your own shortcomings.

So, new book. New book is bound to have the missing piece, and then you can finish the job and move on to something new, something more exciting.

And hopefully, more dangerous.

Trying and failing to keep yourself from rubbing your hands together, you enter the shop, a bright smile on your face, and take a breath to call for your best buddy bookshop-owner, but the breath leaves you in a sudden rush, as though you’d been punched right in the solar plexus, when your gaze falls on blue skin instead of Zelmir’s rich brown.

He ignores you, at first, which infuriates and delights you. You meander between the shelves, trying desperately to overhear, but somehow the man’s broad back and shoulders are always facing you, the fabric of his robes muffling his voice in the distance between his mouth and your ears.

You resist the urge to stomp your feet, loop around the store, and peek out, only to see nothing but blue fabric once more. You curse softly, spin around to come up with another plan of attack, staring in thought at the books in front of you.

You’re finally about ready to try again -- walking up to Zelmir, acting as though you’re friends, inserting yourself blatantly into the conversation, heedless of their desire for privacy -- when a voice speaks from your right.

“Feeling a bit lost, are you?"

You are deeply mortified at the sound you make as you jump, jerking to face the golden-eyed man, whose approach you hadn’t heard at all. Whether he was inhumanly silent or you were merely absorbed in your thoughts, you aren’t sure.

“Pardon?” You manage, your voice only cracking a little, as you attempt to regain your composure. The corner of the man’s lips quirk upwards in amusement, and he gestures to the books you’d been intently staring at for several minutes.

You find that you’ve been standing for quite some time in the self-help section.

Heat creeps up your neck, and your entire face burns. But if you deny it, he’s going to just know you were trying to listen to him. Your mouth opens and closes a few times, soundless, as you grasp at some, at any explanation for your behavior.

“It’s-- It’s for… my mother!” You blurt, trying not to cringe. You hate lying when it’s so unnecessary, especially because your mother is dead. A bit pathetic, you think, but you’re not about to back down, now. Especially if your mother can help you out with a guy -- you think she wouldn’t be so offended at that, probably. You hope. You wish you knew her well enough to know for sure.

“She’s been a little, you know. Getting to that age, so I thought… if I knew, err, how to help, you know.” You trail off a bit, risking a glance, trying to gauge whether your deception is working at all. Whatsoever.

The man still has the ghost of a smirk, so you’re pretty sure there’s no way he bought it.

"That’s quite thoughtful of you,” he says, and reaches across you to pull a book from the shelf. You think you might have stopped breathing.

“This one actually has some useful advice in it, and I’d recommend it if you weren’t full of it,” he says, pushing the book into your chest. “I’d advise you to keep out of others’ business when interference isn’t welcome, or you might get yourself into trouble.” There’s still amusement dancing across his features as he spins, graceful and divine, and sweeps out of the shop.

You try not to swoon into the shelves.

When you regain your composure enough to approach Zelmir about your book, you casually try to get the guy’s name out of him.

“What, the sorcerer? Hell if I know, that was his first time in here, and he didn’t give it,” he says, gruff, and dismisses you with a wave. “Barely told me anything at all, seemed to be the private sort. Best not to pry,” he adds in a whisper, seeming a little skittish. More so even than with you, you think.


Zelmir agrees to get you your book, tells you he’ll have it by next week.

You wonder if the mysterious blue sorcerer might by chance be back to the shop next week, too. You then berate yourself when you realize you’re actually hoping for it.

You wish you were surprised at your own taste.

It’s several weeks later, at the Duke’s grand ball, when you see him again.

You don’t notice at first, as he’s dressed in a clean-cut white suit with faint, decorative blue embroidery swirling along the edges and seams, and across the front. His head is still wrapped in cloth as well, although it’s now white to match the suit. But then you notice the familiar flash of gold, and you’re right back in the bookshop, when he cornered you and pushed the book into your chest.

The really hadn’t been necessary. He didn’t have to do that, right? Had he --

You forcefully redirect your attention to the Duke’s renowned punch bowl, the one known to intoxicate even the most veteran consumers of alcohol, in a single glass. You opt for a small flask of champagne, instead, picking at the fruit arranged around the various beverages, alternative with tiny cubes of cheese. Both fruit and cheese have been artfully carved into different shapes, because the Duke adored nothing so much as needless frivolity.

And you loved it.

“You’re quite connected for a mechanic,” a smooth and very, very familiar voice says from behind you, and you manage not to drop the cube of cheese -- shaped to look like a mouse, with two peppercorns for eyes -- on the floor.

“You again,” you says, breathless, wracking your brain for something intelligent thing to say. “Did you find your book?”

“I did, though that man outrageously overcharged me,” he says with a slight frown, and your stomach flutters at the way his nose crinkles slightly. “And you?”

“Of course, but when he overcharges me, he tends to find a significant decrease in his supply lines and customer base, so he knows better… You called me a mechanic?” You study him, biting on your lip as you focus on his expression, his hands, the way his posture shifts. He seems…completely at ease, which is surprisingly uncommon at a party like this, with everyone desperate to get someone’s attention.

You try not to think about how, for the first time, that includes you.

“In the bookshop, you had a smudge,” he gestures across his nose, and your feel your cheeks warm. “It smelled faintly of oil or grease, so I made the leap. Was I wrong?”

You tap your finger to your lip, sizing him up. “Not entirely,” you says slowly, still appraising, trying to discern some kind of… motive? He certainly seems to keep finding you, and you’re starting to wonder if it isn’t intentional.

Nearly everyone you meet ends up wanting something.

You try to ignore the sinking feeling, and the welling disappointment, tugging you back to the ground, and down below the surface. He just looks at you, his expression unreadable, posture still at ease. Not impatient, or pushy. Just… casual.“I’m Devonte,” you say finally, extending a hand.

“Sheol,” he replies, the name lovely and rhythmic, the way he pronounces it. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Devonte."

“Likewise,” you say, noticing his handshake is warm and firm, but also gentle, somehow.

“May I have this dance?”

It takes you a minute to process the question, sudden and unanticipated, but you recover quickly, because you are suave and quick on your feet. “Of course,” you say with a smile, and he sweeps you onto the dance floor, smooth and confident and just a little silly, and you think, shit.

What am I getting myself into


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