slippage: (m ~ what do i have)
Mirabella Swan ⌛ "Mira" ([personal profile] slippage) wrote2014-07-21 08:06 pm

like glass

Mira would rather have a fairy than not have a fairy. All else being equal. In fact, right at this moment she is particularly glad to have one rather than not. So why does the fairy have to be so infuriating?

"Will you keep protecting me from her?" Mira asks.

The fairy looks like an insect-winged cross between a child's drawing and a masterful sculpture of a person - proportioned wrong, colored wrong, sized wrong, but absolutely exquisitely sleek and luminous in every detail, like she was carved from yellow jade and is supposed to have her too-big eyes that far up on her face and meant to have legs that long and be three feet tall yet have fingers longer than Mira's own. And this isn't even, if Mira understands her correctly (only modestly likely), what she "really" looks like.

"Yes," says the fairy.

This is a straight answer. Straight answers can be trusted. Mira relaxes, partly.

"What about Chals?"

The fairy shrugs. "Promised you."

"He's important to me. He was important to Rinay too." Mira's not clear on how much referring to the fairy's prior human charge helps, but it doesn't seem to hurt. "Please."

"Breaking rules," trills the fairy. And she's starting to fidget, if you can call it fidgeting, bored or impatient or left the fairy equivalent of a teakettle boiling wherever she goes when she's not attending Mira. Her wings flicker out of existence for a moment, then come back in different colors. Blue and red becomes white and orange and pink.

"If you won't help me what am I supposed to do?" Kill her stepmother in her sleep? The fairy would then go to one of Kelsey's children by her first husband, in that case, and then the child would be furious, Mira doesn't have a plan for the perfect murder, she'd be caught. Hell, depending on how thoroughly Kelsey's fairy's magic wore off, Chals might turn her in himself. If it didn't wear off very thoroughly in a damn hurry he might outright kill Mira in revenge, she doesn't know, she can't predict him anymore.

"Hmmmmmm," says the fairy. There's an unpleasant buzz in the air while she thinks, and then she says, "Ask a human."

"Who?" She's not even sure Kelsey's technically broken the law. Fairies are a fuzzy area of jurisprudence. And if Kelsey were absolutely in the legal wrong, the person Mira would normally go to would be Chals, but.

"Oh! I know!" says the fairy, making as though to clap her hands but not quite connecting and making a sound like chirping frogs instead of an actual clap. "Here."

She waves her hand, a beat behind the actual magic she's doing, a signal that isn't made with an understanding of why there would be a signal.

Mira's outfit transforms into what is frankly a magically spectacular dress. Her boots disappear only to be replaced with the most staggeringly impractical glass heels of all time, she feels her hair restyling itself on her head, and when her fairy is in a mood like this she can only assume that there's makeup magic going on too. A gourd on the edge of the pumpkin patch swells and changes into a coach and nearby rodents are transformed into horses and a driver. (Mira remembers that she did in fact extract a straight answer from the fairy, once, years ago: she does not make people. This is a human-shaped magical automaton of some kind. When the fairy inevitably elects to destroy it, only a mouse will die.)

Mira looks at the resulting tableau: coach, driver, horses, fancy dress, ridiculous shoes that she inexplicably hasn't already fallen into the mud just from standing still in.

"Here, what?"

"Go! Ask humans," giggles the fairy.

The fairy cannot harm her, the fairy cannot send her into danger - but the fairy can do some bewilderingly stupid things sometimes. "In formal wear?"

"You don't like it," says the fairy. Her wings change again - black and brown and gray. Mira doesn't think this represents any emotion so human as disappointment. "Well, then, it will stop bothering you at midnight."

"I -"

The fairy's wings flicker out, and then so does the rest of her. Mira could call her back, but she's not convinced at this point it would be helpful.

Technically Kelsey wants her home half an hour ago to make dinner and scrub the floor and do the laundry, because if Mira can't be "civil" she can at least be useful.

Mira thinks that if Kelsey gets anything she wants that's a dreadful tragedy.

Mira gets in the coach. The slippers - damn it, the slippers that she complained about that will now disappear at midnight - they guide her steps. She could probably dance in these things. That'll teach her to question the usefulness of a ride to some extremely formal event when what she needs is an assassin.

Maybe she can get the fairy to reconstruct the shoes later, but probably not. Fucking fairies.

---

The coach takes her to the palace.

There is a party ongoing at the palace.

...Okay.

Mira looks like she belongs at a palatial shindig, doesn't she? She does. The fairy outdid herself.

She sails right in.

And immediately corners someone holding and hors d'oeuvres platter and asks them where she should go with a problem that needs delicate handling. The servant suggests the crown prince. "He's very nice," he assures her.

Mira twirls her way through the dancers and goes up to him.

"May I have this dance?" she inquires. Like it's a private joke, because it is.
works_like_a: (Default)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
The crown prince is currently not busy, and he's supposed to be - mingling. Some bizarre part of learning how to be a monarch - how to manipulate people and treat them like puppets. He'd rather treat them like people, but if he wants to keep his crown princehood, he gets to play the king's game. He wants to keep being the crown prince, because of what he'll be able to do with it. So, here he is, playing the game. Learning useful things, like how to judge people for what they can do within reasonable levels to their pride and their assets, but also utterly useless things like how to smile pretty. He was forced to master that one, and it was only after he had it that he realized its use. Dealing with people you don't like but have to deal with? Use the smile. The smile works.

Oh, look, someone he doesn't recognize. The king would be disappointed in him, he's supposed to know all of these people already. Right, well, there's nothing to be done for it now but figure out who she is and how important or useful she is. Hopefully she won't flirt with him, but he's supposed to smile at her anyway, no need to be rude.

"Certainly," agrees Adanir, using the smile. It can be accurately described as 'dazzling.' Too bad it's not his natural one.
works_like_a: (Outdo the king)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 03:31 am (UTC)(link)
All business, then, that's absolutely fine by him.

"That's reasonable," he agrees. "Even if I can't solve it myself I usually have a good idea of who could, I am getting the feeling that you have a problem?"
works_like_a: (Thanks 'dad')

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
"A fair amount. They attend a particular person, only one at a time, and can be passed to someone else upon death. They're extremely powerful, somewhat helpful to their person, but often in bizarre ways. It's more helpful to have one than not, at least for the person that has one. What's the disaster that involves fairies?"
works_like_a: (Swat you with political power)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 03:43 am (UTC)(link)



"Brainwash in what way?"

The dazzling (and fake) smile is gone. Look, now the prince is all business, how nice of him.
works_like_a: (Bastard son)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
Adanir takes three seconds to digest - that disaster. That is a big disaster, wow.

"If anyone is annoyed with you for sneaking in tell them I invited you," he says, reasonably. He's already got one 'stray,' no one will think he's gone mad for inviting another to a ball. "And then if it was ever a problem it will cease to be one. I can possibly help, but I will certainly try. I don't have a fairy, but what I can do involves sending people that do to go arrest this woman and try to get her to - stop it, and verify that the fairy isn't acting on her own, trying to be 'helpful.'"

He is not going to let the king hear of this. Ever. One, because he'd be annoyed with Adanir so readily committing to helping this poor girl, but also because Adanir is genuinely worried about what he'd do with a person who had a fairy that willingly and consistently brainwashed people. The thought is terrifying.
works_like_a: (Unpredictability of fairies)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
"... I would like to know more about the situation, and try other options, before having graduating to execution. I do agree that the consistency is a bad sign, approval for this sort of thing is - disturbing. But casual killing, just as much."
works_like_a: (Default)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
"Thank you. I don't want to make it worse, but I'm really not the casual killing type. You know the situation better than I, what other options do I have besides sending protected people with fairies to arrest her and get her away from the people she's brainwashing?"
works_like_a: (Swat you with political power)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
"There are prisons that accommodate that. I can even throw people in them. But if the effects are persistent - will they go away just because she dies? Do we have anything to gain from her death at all, aside from stopping her from continuing?"
works_like_a: (Only one way)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
"Then our priority should be, throw Kelsey in person-with-fairy prison, and then figure out who her heir is and whether or not they would be better than their mother. If they're the same or worse, there's not much to be gained from killing her."
works_like_a: (Contants and variables)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
"Hmm. Okay, I'll talk to them myself once Kelsey has been arrested and the entire situation has been investigated, with the understanding that they're also probably brainwashed. Are there any other telling behaviors that are easy to verify? I do believe you, but I like having proof before I throw people in jail."
works_like_a: (Default)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:52 am (UTC)(link)
Adanir realizes that he wants to give this girl a hug. Of course, he can't, because he's still playing the game. Damn.

"I'll look into it," he assures. "Don't worry about - all of that, I'll take care of it. Is there anything else I can do?" Pause. "Not just - 'take care of this particular problem' but also 'send you to a friendly person to talk to' or 'find a place for you to stay that is away from her.'"
works_like_a: (Bastard son)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
"Okay," agrees the prince gently. "Do you want to stay here at the palace close by so I can easily find you and let you know of progress, or in a nice house somewhere where you can have your privacy?"
works_like_a: (Contants and variables)

[personal profile] works_like_a 2014-07-22 05:02 am (UTC)(link)
He nods. "You're quite welcome. By necessity, you'll be near a - friend of mine, I don't control the entire palace." Yet. "Do you want me to tell her to leave you alone entirely, or let you two - interact however you like?"

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