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the first cut (deathfic, malcolm and family)
blame choowy for this! and the weather, i guess. it is snowy and cold and blustery and it inspires moods. everyone keeps malcolm’s beard to the standards he—and they—have grown accustomed. just a short little exercise in making myself miserable. then choowy made some amazing pictures for it which i feel so like, sneaky and naughty posting here, because obviously she drew them and not me and just look at the pictures. OKAY? okay.
THE FIRST CUT
The first thing Leandra noticed when they met was the beard. ‘That’s…quite a beard,’ she said, and for a moment thought she sounded like her brother, which made her ashamed. She hadn’t meant it that way—it was thick, well-kept, obviously a point of pride and personal grooming, but it came before everything, even before the glint in its owner’s warm eyes or the flash of teeth when he smiled.
‘I thought,’ Malcolm confessed a few weeks later, ‘that I was going to have to shave it off because of you. Carver had a bet running and everything—Tobrius lost five coppers saying I would.’
‘And you?’ Leandra asked. ‘What did you bet?’
‘I bet on the beard,’ Malcolm replied. ‘…And on the triumph of romance too, of course.’
Leandra touched it for the first time that night, fingers against dark bristles, thumbs against the corners of Malcolm’s mouth.
She holds him steady the same way now, on the bed beside him, but his back rests against her chest, and he doesn’t cover her hands with his. She wets the blade in the bucket and dries it against a rag, folded neatly on her lap, dark hair scattered stiff on off-white cotton.
‘You know just the way I like it, don’t you,’ Malcolm says.
Leandra approval system
- escaped Lothering +5
- STOP ARGUING OR I’LL TURN THIS CAR AROUND -5
- your sibling is killed by an ogre, IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT -25
- you got a ride to Kirkwall with the Witch of the Wilds [no reaction]
- indenture yourself to a year of servitude to get into the city +10
- but you live in a dump -10
- Gamlen is an asshole but this is somehow your fault -5
- why aren’t we nobility yet seriously -5
- you found the will? that’s great but YOUR SIBLING IS STILL DEAD -10
- you’re going WHERE? to do WHAT? -10
- you’re taking your little brother/sister into the deep roads how could you -20
- your sibling left/was taken and you weren’t there to deal with it -20
- you did come back with a pile of gold that’s cool I guess +5
- back in the family manor +15
- you still come in bloody and trample dirt everywhere -5
- why aren’t you married yet -5
- you represent the family at the fancy dress ball +10
- you bring Isabela -10
- you bring home handsome young men for her to oogle +10
- but they’re all in love with you -10
- you support her dating again +10
- whoops it’s a crazy serial killer -15
in the end
- she’s dying, so forget all that other stuff: she’s your mom and she loves you +100