I’ll Title It Later, Pt. 1

“Ah, Inquisitors,” Josephine calls up the stairs. A moment later Ataash appears in the door, her shirt sliding off one shoulder, and a second later Shan pops out under her arm, just his head and one bare shoulder visible around the doorframe. “I have received a letter from Valo-kas and–Shokrakar in particular. She says that she will send a letter to my parents, offering to–negotiate an arranged marriage.”

Ataash and Shan stare at Josephine for a moment, and she can feel the color rising in her cheeks. The two vashothari look at each other, then back at Josephine.

“Let me see,” Shan finally says, and squeezes between Ataash and the doorframe. He’s in just his smalls, and Josephine tries to not stare at his abs, or the freckles that cover him, or his biceps, much larger than a mage’s have any true right to be.

A grin slowly creeps across Shan’s face as he reads the letter, and as he reaches the bottom, he bursts into laughter. Ataash shuffles over to look at the letter, hikes her shirt back up onto her shoulder.

Shan says something to her in qunlat, and she laughs and grabs the letter out of his hand. She traces a few of the words he points to with her fingers, and then she looks up at Josephine.

“This is good, yes?” Ataash asks. “it is politics, and it is a good solution to the…problem? Of you not being married.”

“Of course, in theory it would be a perfect solution to our current problems, however, it would mean Shokrakar–and likely all of Valo-kas, if you have led me to believe correctly–having to visit Antiva in order to, ahem, ‘seal the deal.’ Judging from other stories you have told me, this…may not be a viable plan.”

“It will,”Shan disagrees, waving one hand as he rereads the letter, still grinning. “The kadantaam knows how to behave when they have to. Marchers hired us to guard their balls all the time. I’m sure Antivan balls will be different, and we’ll be dancing instead of looking scary, but we all have at least a little training in how to do that.”

“There is also the matter of there being three of you as marriage candidates, as compared to the more traditional one.” 

“We can share,” Ataash says.

‘That is not my point,” Josephine replies. “One of you will likely need to be presented as the marriage candidate, and the others will have to be–not ignored, per se, but not highlighted in the same manner.”

“Shan,” Ataash volunteers. “He is not as visible as Cassandra, who will not like trappings anyway, and he is not as visible as me.” She pauses, rolls her shoulders; Josephine catches her giving Shan’s back muscles an appreciative glance. “Also he is a man, which should make him less objectional to your parents. Not that I imagine he is that much less objectionable than me. I am friendlier.” Ataash giggles and Shan twists to glare at her, kick one foot back to hit her in the shin. She jumps back out of the way and grins up at Josephine. “It is your decision, who you want to be your betrothed according to your traditions.” Ataash shrugs. “Our traditions are very different, where they exist at all.”

Josephine looks between the two of them–one set of orange ,earnest eyes, and one set of red, earnest eyes, meeting hers, their voices silent, waiting for an answer. Josephine stares a while longer, until Ataash jerks like she just realized something.

“If you do not want Shokrakar to send the letter she has written, tell her so. She will not send a letter if you do not want her to. The vashothari are very good with asking for permission.”

“I will…consider,” Josephine finally says, her brow furrowing. Shan holds the letter out to her, and tucks his arms across hsi chest when she takes it, though he’s smiling.

“We wait your decision, lady ambassador,” he tells her, and bows deeply. Behind him, Ataash tips her chin up until her throat is exposed.

Josephine first bows to Shan, then mimics Ataash’s tipped chin.

She turns and leaves quickly, leaving the rumpled vashothari to their own devices.

“D’you think she’ll take Shokrakar up on her offer?” Ataash asks, slipping back into qunlat.

“Dunno,” Shan replies. Ataash places her hands on his shoulders and rests her chin atop his head.

“I hope so,” Ataash murmurs, and Shan grunts in agreement.

I was tagged in a thing by my favourite sunflower punkxmen:

  • okay if u had to choose because ur life depending on it, what song is ur all-time favourite?
    so I thought about this for a while and tbh I’m still not sure but this is a rly important song that’s helped me a lot over the years and. yea h

  • tell me a bad joke.
    what do u call a tiny primate that goes through your stuff without asking?

  • do u believe that the multiverse exists?
    yeah son

  • can u knit?
    not v well but yes

  • based on ur personality, what kind of superpower would u have in an alternate universe?
    mind reading and/or animal telepathy

  • dogs, cats or birds?
    all of the above I’m not picking and u can’t make me

  • what’s the most embarrassing thing u’ve ever done for a friend?
    so about two years ago I pretended to be my friend nick’s Straight Date for his aunt’s wedding
    it wasn’t that awful tbh I got to wear a cute dress and eat fancy canapes but blending in with the heteros was a nervewracking experience

  • would u save the life of the last person u texted, even if it meant sacrificing urself?
    yes a roo

  • are u sleepy rn?
    reasonably sleepy. I’d guess about 30% sleepy.

  • can u drive, or do u prefer public transport?
    can’t drive but I rly rly like car journeys?? public transport freaks me out a little tbh bc Noise and Germs and me don’t really get along too well

  • who is ur precious cinnamon roll, too good for this world, too pure?
    eugene roe/remus lupin/this one nerd called gene i think u might know them maybe idk

    I’m tagging gcneroe, jmesbarnes, that-was-pretty-fuckin-ninja, wolfandwildling, and gingerwerk, and my questions are:

  • what song best describes how you feel rn?
  • talk about your favourite character without using their name.
  • if you could transform into any dinosaur at will, which kind of dinosaur would you pick and why?
  • favourite season?
  • favourite colour?
  • describe an outfit you enjoy wearing.
  • three places you want to visit at some point in time
  • what is your opinion on the minions epidemic?
  • I’m only leaving eight bc I am TERRIBLE at these things I’m so sorry ily all
What’s Left In The End || Rooftop || OS

A soft wind blew across the rooftop of the training center as I sat perched on the edge of the building, staring down at the busy city below. The lights were bright and I could hear the sounds of city life floating up to me on the breeze. People were out and about, chattering and taking care of business that was not finished earlier. It was everything I’d always wanted, so close, but what felt like eons away.

Ten was always so dark. We had electricity, sure, but most of it committed to powering the factories in the ‘city’, if you could even call it a city. Lights went out when the sun went down, and it was as if the whole District had stopped, frozen for the duration of the night, before coming back to life the next day.

I hated it.

But in my head I knew who it was I was looking down at, maybe not personally, but I knew who they were. Socialites, fashionistas, the rich and powerful. None of those things guaranteed knowledge though. In fact, I was more inclined to believe that the intellectuals of the Capitol were holed up in libraries or labs, rather than being out on the town for the evening.

The longer I watched them, the more I could feel my dull dislike of the stupid, empty Capitolites grow to a hatred. They had no idea of the opportunities they were being provided with, and they then proceeded to waste each and every opportunity that passed by. It was becoming clearer every day I was here that stupid people were not from Ten, or even the Districts, alone.

I still wanted it, though. I wanted the opportunity to be able to walk the streets freely, perhaps meet up with a colleague or fellow intellectual for a late meal and discuss topics that I had only conversed about with myself. That opportunity seemed to be getting further and further away with each day, though.

While I do not regret my decision, I do worry about the outcome of the Games. An 8 was an acceptable score, but it was by no means something to be proud of, really. Angus didn’t seem bothered by his 7, but I don’t think he really understands what the scores are for. If I’m being honest, I don’t understand how they determined, but I do know that Tributes with higher scores tend to do better in the arena.

Well, barring a few outliers, of course. After all, Merona had scored poorly, and so had a handful of other Victors. But I’d always been the type of person to rely on the numbers, and the numbers were certainly not looking so good for me right now. There were still the interviews to come, though, so there was still time.

At the end of the day, though, humans liked to disregard the odds. When we were all in the arena, the numbers would have to take a back seat behind reality, and in reality, people are so less predictable. It would be imperative that I be one of those people, but it was becoming clear that, to do so, my whole mind set needed to change. If I allowed that, though, what would be left of me in the end?

Shaking my head, as if to dispel those thoughts, I turned, planting my feet onto the roof and heading into the Training Center once more. Dwelling on those sorts of things would certainly not do anything for me. The most important thing was to fight, and survive and win. The rest could wait. After all, if I don’t return as Victor, I won’t be returning at all, and the only thing that will be left of me is nothing.