How excited do you think Kravitz is the first time Lup pulls out a violin, or Barry sits down at a piano? He’s just watching them super intently and maybe it’s kind of weird at first until he explains. Eventually they all play together and it’s a really nice thing that they share. They’re at each other’s houses after work, and those houses are filled with music and laughter and light.
(All three of them keep trying to teach Taako to play an instrument. Any instrument. It hasn’t worked so far mostly because Taako hates to practice.)
Kravitz has people to talk about music with, people who don’t get lost when he gets to the technical stuff. And it’s like he’s been saving up everything he had to say all this time, because when Kravitz gets started on music he doesn’t really stop. Have they heard this piece? Do they know this artist? The really great thing about this or that period of music is what they did with sound, how the whole tone of popular music changed in response to… Kravitz is adorable when he gets excited about music, his whole family thinks so.
Kravitz has a new family and he couldn’t have picked a better match if he tried.
“You’re taller than I am,” Kravitz points out, amused, but he ducks as he moves into Magnus’s study.
The scent of fresh-brewed tea and scones waft with them up the stairs. Higher in the house pervades the scent of raw wood, lending the top floor a permanent earthy smell, accompanied nicely by the food cooking downstairs. There’s another picture on the wall. It’s tucked between the image of Taako and Kravitz on their wedding day and Carey and Killian on theirs. (Magnus was best man for both.) The new one is of Angus, playing catch with Magnus: it’s composed of thick, dark strokes, clearly sketched in Lucretia’s hand, and the frame is of hand-wrought oak, the same oak of the trees surrounding Magnus’s home.
“Here we go!” Magnus says, retrieving the letter with a pleased a-ha!, and handing the letter to Kravitz. “For Julia.”
Kravitz accepts the letter with a reassuring nod, tucks it in the pocket of his suit. There are creases around the corners of this pocket where he’s tucked a letter in there hundreds of times before.
Angus is teaching Magnus to write more neatly, to line his letters correctly, where to use commas and where to use periods instead. Kravitz never reads Magnus’s letters, but Angus tells him that Magnus makes excellent progress.
The invitations to his and Taako’s wedding were written in Magnus’s own, painstaking hand.
Magnus shuts the drawer and says, almost absently, “Tell her I love her, okay?”
Kravitz pauses, debating. He takes a deep breath. “Magnus,” he says, and Magnus, detecting the shift in his tone, looks up immediately. “You know that she already knows, right? She knows that you love her,” Kravitz says gently. “You do tell her every time.”
Magnus chuckles, rubbing a sheepish hand along the back of his neck. “I know,” he says, turning a bit pink. “I just - I love her, you know? I really do. And I guess, when you love someone, you want to tell them that every chance you get.”
Kravitz thinks of Taako. Kravitz finds himself nodding, then finds himself blushing as well at Magnus’s knowing look. “I suppose you’re right,” Kravitz concedes.
Magnus smiles, gaze drifting to the picture-laden wall. The entire wall is pocketed with dozens of pictures of his family, all smiling back at him. “I can’t wait to tell her myself,” he says, voice wistful.
Kravitz stiffens. He struggles to find words. “Magnus….”
The hesitation in Kravitz’s tone breaks Magnus out of his reverie, and he laughs. “Don’t worry, Krav. I don’t look forward to dying anymore,” he says, and gestures around his home with one hand, the other clasping his Stone of Farspeech, a small smile suffusing his face. The smell of tea and scones drifts lightly around them, the burnished afternoon light cheery as it dapples off the wall. “I’ve got too much to live for.”
“Good,” Kravitz says, and means it. Magnus slings a companionable arm over his shoulder as they head back down the stairs, and after so long in the man’s company it’s a comfortable weight.
“Do make sure you tell her though, yeah?”
Kravitz laughs, a glint of humor in his eye. “Ten years and I’ve never failed you once,” he says, and Magnus chuckles at that.
“I know, I know,” he says, and his smile softens. “But I can’t tell her myself, so I’m entrusting it to you.”
He pats Magnus’s hand reassuringly as they reenter the kitchen. “Okay,” Kravitz promises, smiling quietly. “I will.”
Taako doesn’t believe in words. Words are too easily manipulated, he claims, and his manner of speaking reflects that: he is flippant, his inflections curling up with indifference. It’s not often that he makes promises or declarations with solemnity.
So when he says I love you Kravitz treasures it, not because it is a sacrifice, but because it is an absolute truth - it’s an admission of trust, that Taako loves him enough to hand over a part of his very soul and know that Kravitz will care for it, gently.
For a while Kravitz wondered, because Taako doesn’t say it often - not nearly as often as Magnus, who says it every time Kravitz retrieves this month’s letter. Then he realized: Taako cooks. He says I love you all the time; he just doesn’t use words. His affection goes into the pot roast that Magnus marks as his favorite, the perfectly-grilled salmon that Kravitz loves, the oolong-and-scones for Merle and the cinnamon-chocolate cookies for his sister, because Lup loves peanut butter but Barry is allergic.
In this regard, Kravitz is more similar to Magnus than he thought. Magnus, brave and brash Magnus - when he’s not crushing people in an embrace, or slinging a casual arm around them, or letting them rest a head on his shoulder, or pulling them into a noogie reminiscent of a bear’s iron grasp - sticks with his tried-and-true “I love you,” which he says with such painful earnestness that he leaves no room for doubt.
Where Magnus says those three words, Kravitz says “Thank you.”
Thank you, to Taako, for the salmon. Thank you, to Lup and Barry, for a tirade of relentless jokes after a long week of reaping. Thank you, to Merle, for the nuggets of wisdom he dispels and the return of Kravitz’s green thumb. Thank you, to Magnus, for the hand-crafted piano that is their living room’s crowning jewel.
Magnus’s wall is full, now. His pictures spill over to the opposite wall, ringing the window that leads to the field outside, where Angus and Johann scamper around the yard. The most recent addition is a group photo of the Starblaster crew at Merle’s beach bar. Twenty years after the Day of Story and Song, Lucretia and Davenport are arm-in-arm.
He hands Kravitz a letter. His handwriting is smoother these days, but he retains the thick lines that demonstrate just how similarly Magnus wields a pen and an axe. Before Magnus can say anything, Kravitz stops him.
“Thank you,” he says.
Magnus looks up, a smile on his face that suggests he knows exactly what Kravitz means. “What for?”
And Kravitz says, simply: “Everything.”
Magnus dies surrounded by family, smiling.
In the white space between life and death, Kravitz steps forward and outstretches an arm. Magnus accepts it gratefully. He’s as young as the day Kravitz first met him.
Kravitz leads him beyond, gently, easing the passing as much as he can. Magnus slings an arm around Kravitz’s shoulder as they go. They step onto an island, a cottage that is familiar to Kravitz. Kravitz can hear barking inside, as he always does, and Magnus steps forward, about to rush in, and -
Kravitz turns. “Yes?”
Magnus looks at the cottage for a long, long moment. Already, his eyes grow red, and Kravitz feels his own prickle sympathetically. Then he reaches into his jacket and pulls out a sheath of letters. After so long, the words are perfectly-formed. He hands them to Kravitz.
“You know what to do, my friend.”
Taako, says the first letter. Then, as Kravitz shuffles through the stack: Merle. Lucretia. Angus. Lup. Barry. Davenport. And at the bottom: Kravitz.
When Kravitz is confident he can speak without choking up, he says, “I’ll send these along.”
Kravitz laughs, quietly. “Of course, Magnus.”
Magnus watches him for a long moment, then steps forward and pulls him into an embrace.
Kravitz returns it gratefully. This is certainly not goodbye, but it’s melancholic all the same.
Magnus’s voice is almost small. “Tell them I love them, okay?”
We already know, Kravitz thinks. He thinks of the wall full of photos, the ever-present scent of homemade food in Magnus’s house, the vines curling up the woodwork. He thinks of the sketch of Julia, sketched in thick, dark strokes, that was created on their wedding day by a woman with curly black hair but a hood tight over her head. He thinks of the thumbtack under which Magnus has pinned every single one of Davenport’s postcards. He thinks of the second stack of letters Magnus keeps tucked right next to Julia’s, addressed in the same small, neat hand that taught Magnus how to write.
Angus McDonald normally wears his hair buzzed down pretty close to his scalp. It’s easier to manage that way. But in recent months he’s been very busy, with school and new cases and making sure to spend as much time as he can with all of his new family, and now it’s much longer.
Lup told him yesterday that she liked his little ‘fro, but Angus can’t shake the feeling that this particular hairstyle is not conduscive to inconspicuous detective work. He’s with Taako and Kravitz for the week, and is just about to buzz the whole thing off, when he hears the familiar tearing noise that means Kravitz is back, and gets another idea.
“There you are Angus, Taako told me you’d be here, I’m sorry I wasn’t around to welcome you home last night,” Kravitz says when Angus walks into the living room downstairs.
“It’s alright sir! But, umm, actually I was wondering if you could help me something? It’s alright if you can’t or don’t want to I imagine it takes a long time and lots of work and I know you’re probably tired and-“
“Angus,” Kravitz interrupts, “of course I’ll help you. What is it?”
“Um,” Angus tugs at his curls for a second or so before answering. “I was wondering if you could help me do my hair… so that it’s like yours…”
Kravitz blinks, and then smiles.
When Taako gets home he finds the pair of them in the living room, Kravitz is sitting on the couch with Angus between his knees on a little cushion. While Kravitz is carefully parting and twisting together Angus’ much shorter locs, Angus reads aloud from the newest Caleb Cleveland novel, squinting a bit without his glasses. It looks like they’re about halfway done. In the doorway of their little house, Taako’s heart swells (twice over, actually, when he spies the little pile of enchanted silver beads Kravitz is picking from every now and again).
They haven’t noticed him yet, and so Taako loudly clears his throat, and says, “I suppose this means you haven’t started dinner yet?”
They both look up and give almost identical sheepish grins and Taako is nearly floored by the domesticity of it all.
“Sorry Love,” Kravitz answers. “He asked for my help.”
“No, no it’s fine, I’ll just do everything around here like always,” Taako replies, strolling towards the kitchen to make those little personal pizzas that are Angus’ favorite, that he’d already been planning on making anyway.
Kravitz is a section away from being done with Angus’ hair by the time dinner is ready. When he’s finished, Angus darts up the stairs to the bathroom mirror and comes back down a minute later wearing a smile so big it looks like his face might split in two.
So here’s the animatic I’ve been making since the TAZ finale so big spoilers ahead! Just in time for reaching 200 followers haha.
I love all the romantic couples in TAZ but since Magnus is my favourite out of the Tres Horny Boys, it was a given that I would love Julia. This ending was so satisfying and I was in a flood of tears after this. I hope you guys like it!
Since we’re on the theme of Emissary of Fate and Reaper Taako today, how about this?
Taako rolls up to Day One of his brand new job as a reaper wearing A Look, but it’s not the reaper aesthetic. No dark colors, no skulls, no feathers. Specifically, he’s wearing a white sundress that sparkles like a piece of cut crystal, a floppy sunhat, and some rose-pink sunglasses. On a chain around his neck is an unusually long, ornate pair of silver scissors.
The Raven Queen takes one look at him and whispers “What the fuck,” and then pulls a mirror out of a drawer at her desk and says, much louder, “Istus what the fuck.”
“Good morning to you too, Raven.”
“We talked about this, Istus, he’s a reaper and he’s representing me you can’t just dress him up in whatever you want and send him over here.”
“He’s also representing me and I don’t appreciate the amount of skulls you use in your decorating. It’s morbid.”
“It’s my brand, Istus.”
While the goddesses argue in the background, Taako models the dress for his family. Kravitz knows he should be siding with the Raven Queen, but Taako looks… really good in that dress. Barry is grinning at Kravitz in that way that just promises that Barry’s going to tease him about this later, and Lup is interrupting the argument to ask Istus if she can have a dress too.
“Of course, dear, just let me know what color you’d like.” The Raven Queen groans in frustration. She opens her mouth to continue the argument, but Istus interrupts. “Taako, have you shown them what the scissors are for yet?”
“Oh shit, yeah, check this shit out!” Taako tugs on the scissors lightly and they come away from the chain without breaking it. “It’s a wand too, of fucking course, but…” He opens the scissors, and the room dims, and they can see a complicated latticework of strings, shining with their own light.
“They’re not as sharp as my own pair, so they can only cut so much,” Istus explains from the mirror. “The thread connecting a person’s arm to the Prime Material Plane, for example. Or the one connecting them to the source of their magic. I trust the rest of you can get him close enough to use them.”
Kravitz didn’t know Istus could make weapons. “I didn’t know you could make weapons,” the Raven Queen finally says.
“Have you just conveniently forgotten about the Chance Lance? Yes, I can make weapons.”
“That’s… badass,” the Raven Queen admits.
“Thank you, dear.”
(The outfit is negotiated, and requests for more custom looks are accepted. Soon the whole reaper crew have full wardrobes provided by the goddess. And eventually, the snk of scissors snapping shut is associated with the approach of death.)
okay but why just limit urself to drawing taako in a dress/skirt?? i want to see angus in a skirt! and kravitz in a dress! and magnus in a skort (for tactical purposes)! rewire how u think about gender and clothing, do not fall into the trappings of western society
Come on, she’s amazing! I recently saw Fight Club again. We’ve been doing movie nights at my house. Me and my boyfriend [actor Karl Glusman] have been hosting; we’ve got a really good projector set up with great speakers. We’ve been trying to start a weekly movie night. It’s a fun activity when it’s so cold outside and nobody wants to go anywhere.
Zoë Kravitz talking about Helena Bonham Carter when asked what actress’ work has most inspired her