relentless fire

“I just killed two people.” It comes out of her chest almost hysterically, hitting her twice over as she hears it out loud. “I did something terrible as well. Does that make me a terrible person too? As bad as you? As bad as Giovanni?”

He stares. The fire roars, relentless. “Do I deserve to die too?” she asks again.

He hauls himself to his feet. His knees nearly buckle and he doubles over, pressing a hand to his ribs with a grunt. He looks back up after a moment.

She stands as well. “Answer me,” she insists. The hand holding the gun shakes. “Do I deserve to die? Do I?”

“…You had to do that,” he says. A whisper, barely. She shrugs.

“And so did you. So how is that different?”

He doesn’t answer. Her voice rises, halfway between a sob and a growl: “How is that different? Come on, answer me! I deserve to die too now by your logic, don’t I?”

He still says nothing. She closes in a step the distance between them and grabs his arm, forcing his hand on the gun. The barrel against her chest. “Go on, shoot me. If you deserve to die so do I. So shoot me and then shoot yourself if that’s what you want.”

He tries to pull back. “Stop it.”

“Shoot me!” She digs her fingers into his wrist. “If you think you’re as bad as Giovanni come on, prove it!”

“Stop it!”

“Shoot me! You can’t, can you?”

(A scene from the last chapter of my fic, Returning Home.)

10

I want to talk with you today about a subject that touches every one of us: loss. Sometimes we’re faced with things we think we just can’t handle. The death of a loved one; a father, a child. And we strive to find the reason behind it all. And when those reasons don’t make sense, we question God. We look up and we say, “God, how could you do this to us? How could you put so much on our plate?” But we’re not operating on God’s timetable, are we? We don’t understand God’s plan. How can we? But let me tell you, this is where faith comes in. Faith can help us see His message in our own lives. Perhaps this loss is there to teach us not to take the ones we love for granted. To cherish the simple, mundane moments. To love others as fiercely and as bravely and as compassionately as we can. And in that love, human love—forgiving, relentless, unconditional love—you’ll find peace. Amen.  requested by anonymous

Thank you all so much for getting me to 1k followers! I love & appreciate every single one of you. To celebrate, I’m doing my very first Follow Forever. This is essentially just a list of all my favorite mutuals in no particular order (because I’m too lazy to sort them alphabetically, sorry).

@sirenja-and-the-stag @dancey94 @relentless-fire @delphinecxmier @eattheboring @laxantr @hannibalage @ill-graham @gayphine @hannimeow @jaderriven @tygerandthelamb @hannibalsdong @redlipstickcankill @dancing-clone-sestras @artbalism @ishannibalinlovewithme @delphine-cormigay @alternativesky @fragile-teacup @some-achieve-greatness @hannihaal @bloodywendigo @kinglecter @crave-that-mineral @already-obsessed @holnes @axmxz @hanniballovee @exactlywhereimmenttobe @the-scarlet-rabbit @maskythedefault @he-got-involved @fannibalmonica @i-am-hannibal-trash @yrlocalgaykid @cocklesia @artbyvictoriaskye @thedanishboymads @heda-lives-within @versatiledoom @cannibal-tears @shaunamyrise @thisisnaysdesign @allegralovelace @aurandir @hannibal-da-cannibal @abloodredsettingsun @ebrolutionary @thirstyforhughdancy @lovingcrime @spanishdandy @nerdyniehaus @ohgodthisismydesign @samui-sakura88 @hannibal-hannigram-4ever @unpredictable-m0ngoose @daemon-days @ravenstag-faghag @desperatelyseekingcannibals @hannibalacious @elegant-suffering @sexheda @broken-desires @moonloverforever @bu0nanotte @murderhusbands-honeymoon @marlana-tho @cosima-kneehaus @smoothtalkerheda @always-eighteen-ninety-five @sorrowandsparkle @macelhenneys @whiskeyandflesh @orangejuicex2 @taeaelin @carolinedhvernas @snaxo @backwardabyss @wendigoqueen-willgraham @loveroflectr @meduszoa @rathofthelamb @azuresky2011 @countesslecter666 @hannigrambabies @bedeliadufromage @mysteriouslysexyphilosopher @mongoosesandshatteredteacups @kristen-and-hugh @hermaia-moira @spicywillgraham @thewendigobunny @lovely-little-hellfire @mycunningboy @midwest-pluviophile @hammblwllgrhm @hannibal-and-will @chocolate-scissors-and-corn @murder-boyfriends @vulcanplomeeksoup @dark-will-graham @hanniscats @hahahannibal @classy-cannibals @hannibatchsmuse @felineladyy @cableknitpanties @swanstiel @hannibananigraham @marrkhamill @xenagogy @chesacakeripper @slayerangels @bhc89 @between-mads-and-hugh @hannigrammatic @heartandseoulx @cruciotheravenstag @theaveragedayofatinygay @queerasstronomer @canniboob @realityn @chessapeake-cannibals @beddelia @murderinthecar @entratalibera @thepansexualcannibal @jewelcas @octuse

Masks

Dorian is a beautiful thing. He is cultured and pampered; manicured and articulate. His voice is a weapon wrapped in layers of smooth silk, lovely and dangerous. His looks are a gift and also a smokescreen. Another illusion, controlled and directed. Purposeful, like every part of him.

In the field, however, in a fight? Dorian is a weapon of a different kind, glittering and sharp and terrifying. Black death whips around him like a gale, dark violet seeping from long fingers. Mages slinging spells is usually a spectacle of some sort–it is magic, after all–but Dorian is something else entirely. It takes a stern will to make the dead rise up. Dorian’s puppets do not simply rise. They surge. They launch their assault with deadly purpose, dragging once-allies screaming into the dirt. They are as relentless as the fire and lightning that strike around them, burning the air as they pass.

Dorian directs it all with fluid motions and gallant, gleeful cries. It’s just one more mask he wears.

Bull sees it in the silver eyes, sees it as they go wide in the moments when the masks shift. Dorian fears, scans the battlefield in a rush as the hum of adrenaline fades. Every time he pans, frantic, until he’s found them all. His chest heaves, his forehead glistens. It only takes a breath before the confident smile emerges. Another blink, and the swagger slides smoothly into each step.

That moment before, though, it makes something in Bull’s chest roar. He knows that man, masks and all, but the moments in between are what make this something different. He feels it in the gentle brushes of Dorian’s fingers when he allows himself, a whisper of skin against skin. He sees it in the creases around his eyes, carved from sincere smiles secreted away, let out when no one’s looking.

Every time, every fight. Dorian freezes just for a moment until he knows the ones he cares about are safe.