I had planned it all from the beginning. From the moment of my husband’s death, I wanted to cheat Death. Was I not in essence immortal? Could I not use my own blood to strike some sort of bargain? Every magical tome that I could lay my hands upon, every grimoire I could pour over, every Sorcerer and Magus I could consult, I was determined to find a way. I owed it to him, I owed it to the daughter that he never knew, and above all, I owed it to myself.
Everything was in alignment. I calculated the position of the stars and planets. I fashioned every sigil by my own hand and I had crafted them to perfection. Every magical detail was seen to a thousand times over. For over four hundred years I had waited, and when everything was exactly as it should be, I worked the Rite. I shed my own blood to mingle with his, to awaken him and in all fairness it should have worked. But alas, it didn’t. For four more days I waited, and still, nothing. I was devastated. I left the family crypt. I decided that I would think about it tomorrow. Now I needed to call the one person in the world whom I trusted. Hsu Danmei and I had been friends for centuries, and in my depths of sorrow at my greatest disappointment, he came to me from his home in Toulouse to my husband’s ancestral home, the Château de Rochefort. We talked for hours, shared dinner and later that evening we fell into that familiar space of what it was to be what is called ‘friends with benefits’.
My life had not stopped, even though I had failed to accomplish what I set out to do and the one whom I consider my oldest friend reminded me of this fact. It was not until I awakened from a satisfied slumber; the bed empty, only to hear hear Hsu speaking to someone in the library that I realised something was different. It took a moment for me to actually realize who it was he was talking to.
“If you are whom I suspect you are,” Hsu’s voice growled quietly, “I know someone who will be very relieved to see you. But be that as it may, you are in fact wearing my robe.”
“Yes, however, you were sleeping with my wife. So I do believe that rather makes us even, don’t you think?”
I turned the corner and there, before a roaring fire, was my once-dead husband. His one eye assessed me then Hsu. A smirk twitched at the corner of Sebastien’s mouth.
“I trust you slept well, Faelyn, in spite of the storm?”
At that point, I wanted to take the nearest, heaviest object and hurl it soundly at his head but I couldn’t move. I was in that moment absolutely dumbstruck. When at last I did find my voice, it was not what I had imagined that I would say to him after all of these years.
“You’re late, Sebastien,” I glared at him.
“Mon enchantreusse,” he all but purred at me, “surely you know by now I tend to be a late riser.”
It was an answer that was truly him. Sebastien was as I had remembered him – as sharp and as stroppy as ever. All of my planning and efforts had paid off. And so I ask you….what greater triumph can anyone ever achieve than over Death itself?
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 533
A special thanks from the mun goes out to all_forme and civ_barbarian for their indulgence in my plot bunny madness! 😉
5 responses to “Triumph”
Ah, mon couer, four hundred years apart, and that is how you chose to renew our loving acquaintance once more? I’m shocked, Faelyn, truly shocked.”
Oh and there was a mile-wide smirk on his face at that moment, were she able to see it. Alas, he had his goblet of brandy up just far enough that his lips were hidden from view. His tone of voice however, that could not be concealed.
Faelyn could hear the tone in spite of the raised glass and her eyes mirrored back the pleasure.
“Acquaintence?” her tone had a feigned displeasure, “You, who were the one whom I pined for endlessly for those four hundred years, dare refer to our marriage as an acquaintence? Lucky for both of us that the swords are in the other room. After four hundred years, I doubt you are on your mark quite yet…..just having woken up and all.”
‘Oui, acquaintance. Loving acquaintance. ‘Relationship’, ‘companionship’, ‘intimacies’? Surely language has not changed so much in all these years? And have no worries in that other regard, Faelyn. my sword is as sharp, my weapons as keen to strike as they ever were my lady, be they the ones in the other room, or those before you.”
He took a sip of brandy. “But shame on you, mon petit guerrier, for taking advantage of a man who’s just awoken from such lasting slumber and been cast into this time of confusion and chaos.”He gave a sigh, and that one eye winked at Hsu as he spoke once more. “I fear I must retire to a place of somber solitude and reflect upon my current lack of linguistic comprehension.”
“Unless, of course, you would choose to end my ignorance of current customs and teach me? ” He lowered his goblet to the table, then reached out towards her to caress her cheek. “There are likely many words that are outdated, and no longer used, I think. Perhaps a private lesson in the new terms and phrases might be arranged, should you find the time for your poor, archaic husband?”
“Things have changed, Sebastien,” Faelyn sighed,”You are French. You should know of subtleties in language better than most, mon amour.”
Faelyn regarded his words, filled with double and even triple entandre’s about weaponry. The sparring match between them had begun when he was but barely out of the grave, she mused. “But I am sure you will recover,” she said finally.
Faelyn placed her hand over the one that rested on her cheek, “Aye, no doubt I will be teaching you plenty in time.” Her eyes filled with tears, “You are not archaic,” She said simply.
At last the moment she had been planning for over the centuries had arrived. Surely she had explained to Hsu, but had Sebastien figured out what she had done? There would be time enough for that.
Her words were met with a simple quirk of the eyebrow, a slight nod accepting her view that – yes, of course he was French, and yes he knew certain subtleties. “My body may recover, Faelyn, but will my – aah, mon chere”. Those fingers that were on her cheek slowly moved to wipe the wetness on her lower lashes, and suddenly their guest, as formidable as the other man was, was completely forgotten in that moment.
“Mon couer, non. Do not cry.” His voice soft, soothing, Sebastien other hand put the glass down and reached up to caress her opposite cheek. He took a step closer, and suddenly they were well within each other’s space, very close. Close enough for him to smell her hair, that delightful yet unusual scent, smelling faintly of jasmine and musk. Close enough to caress her skin, to see where her heart beat, the blood pulsing in that vein in her throat. Close enough to finally believe that he was truly alive, or – if dead, then someplace closer to heaven than he’d ever thought he’d be.
“No crying for me, Faelyn. You’ve shed far more than enough tears on my behalf already, and far more than I deserve. Come now, can you show me a smile? A little one at least?” His whispered words brushed the warm scent of brandy at her, and his lips tasted of that as well, as he gently pressed his lips to her own. Brandy, and warmth, and something else. Life, and ancient magics, and love.