Whelp. I never thought I would’ve got this card. Basic Island. Arguably one of the most powerful cards in magic. This card is fantastic. It lets you play all your other cards. This card has been printed over and over again for over 20 years, and has stood the test of time. Strictly better than nonbasics because you can play around wasteland. Notable combos: Literally every blue card. Gotta cast our spells.
There was a nervous jitter to the way Ezreal shifted his weight from one hip to the other. His back was arched too straight, jaw clenched too tightly. The silence was agitating in the way that it clung to the air like an oppressive humidity, miserable in that it couldn’t be escaped. He felt his hand twitch, or rather, the gauntlet.
Ezreal glanced down at the carved stone and metal encasing his arm. The weight of it tilted his balance, only furthering his discomfort. He still hadn’t adjusted to the feeling of the artifact fused to his skin. A grimace twisted his expression as the thief tried to flex the claws. The disturbing way he could feel his flesh pull under the stone made him shudder. He wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to it.
Gods, why couldn’t they just let him into the meeting room already? Wasn’t he supposed to be a part of this court now? They’d called him the Ace of Spades. They’d gawked at the gauntlet on his arm, whispered about some sort of rumor of powers reshaping. First the King, then the Jack, a Queen in the South, even the Wild Card in the court again. Now the Ace. Yet the Jack had told him to wait. He’d fetch him when the time was appropriate. It’d felt like hours though. Just pacing about until his legs hurt from the tension. He’d finally stopped to simply bounce his weight off the sore muscles and glare at the ornate wooden doors. Waiting around had never been something he enjoyed. But this? This was hellish.
An irritating kind of white noise made his thoughts grow muddled the longer he waited, and the more riled he became. He couldn’t focus on exactly why he was so uncomfortable. Was it just the inconvenience of waiting? Was he nervous? Was it spite for these people- taking him away from his life to be this figure? This Ace of Spades? A culmination, perhaps.
This place made him angry. A cramped foyer, alone. Just himself in the deafening pressure of the not-quite-silence. There wasn’t a single noise outside his mind, but his thoughts were so damned loud- and for fuck’s sake what was taking so long? It’d been hours!
Ezreal took to pacing again, like a lion in a cage. He could feel the way his teeth ground together, bared in annoyance. The pain in his legs only grew worse, but if he didn’t move, he was certain he’d go insane. He flexed the claws again; the skin beneath felt as it were peeling from his flesh. A hiss of pain, and the growl of something in the back of his mind. It prowled the very corners of his thoughts, a savage, feral thing. It buzzed like the pressure in the air, irritating and unidentifiable.
And just as Ezreal was certain he’d lose his mind waiting. Sure he’d claw the doors down with bleeding fingers, they finally creaked open. Just a sliver, enough for the tall Jack to slip through before shutting them with a soft click. But welling in Ezreal’s mind, the indecipherable snarling picked up. A hiss of contempt, as if from a rabid beast, that pierced too loudly, and made him flinch.
Lashing out, Ezreal threw a murderous glare at the man clad in red. He grabbed his arm, the metal claws a terrible vice that seemed to startle the other.
“What the hell took you so long!” Less a question, more an accusation laced into his venomous tone.
“The nobles were quite irritable today. We decided it best not to cause any further issues by bringing you in.” The man was steady, calm, entirely in control despite the snarling spitfire with a death grip on his wrist.
That was probably the worst part.
“I’ve been here for hours!” Ezreal roared, yanking Fate down to be eye level with him. Where that strength came from seemed to startle them both. Ezreal had never been particularly keen on physical violence, probably hadn’t intentionally used that kind of malicious strength on anyone before. But something in his boggy thoughts pushed him to use it. To be rough and awful, to be fueled by his ire. A shiver ran up his arm, coinciding with another hiss in his mind.
Whatever initial emotion had flickered across the Jack’s visage quickly melded into a patient smile. With his free hand, he brushed his fingers lightly across the still sore aether burns on his cheek. The spade marks burned against Fate’s touch.
“I see it’s finally decided to claim you as its paragon.”
But Ezreal barely heard him. It was like a fog lifting, evaporated by the soothing aura that accompanied the Jack’s touch. Suddenly he couldn’t explain why he’d been so upset. Couldn’t explain the noise that no longer drowned out his thoughts, and couldn’t even begin to understand where any of it had come from. Sure, he hated waiting, but Ezreal had never been a violent person. Not like that.
“You’ll get used to that,” Fate drawled, slipping his arm free now that Ezreal’s grip had gone lax. “It’s taxing taking on that kind of power when you’re not used to such dark magic. The idol of the Spades was not forged by any civil means.”
Ezreal took a step back. The tension in his muscles drained to absolute exhaustion, and he exhaled a trembling breath. What the hell had happened to him? Was… was Fate implying it had something to do with this wretched thing on his arm? Bewildered, he absently touched where the lingering heat of Fate’s hand had rested on his cheek.
“Part of my charm,” the Jack explained, “Hearts magic at its most basic.”
That hardly told him anything, but Ezreal assumed he meant the way Fate had cleared his head. He didn’t fully understand it, but at the very least he was grateful to be rid of the sudden anger plaguing his mind. All he could do was nod in acknowledgement, uncharacteristically unable to find his voice.
Fate tilted his head, then offered him a kinder smile. Setting a hand on Ezreal’s shoulder, he gently pulled the boy’s attention to him.
“C’mon, nobody’s given you much of a tour of this place, have they?” He didn’t wait for an answer either, simply nudging Ezreal towards the foyer entrance. “I’ll show you the library. I go there anytime I need some peace and quiet.”
Ezreal was compliant and grateful in his exhaustion, easily worn weary by such unknown anger. Wherever the Jack wanted to take him, he was glad to go. Anywhere to be away from this room and his own dreadful thoughts.