For Kim

Jul. 16th, 2009 08:37 am
takiena_called: (Quirky smile)
Finn walks through the door after Kim, dressed in jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt, carrying a big red backpack.

Immediately he looks to the left, and the Tor, tilting his head at it slightly, before looking back to the right. "You live down there?"

He has listened to several rambling lectures on England from Henry, completely failed to read the book on the 1980s he got from the Bar, and has a folding switchblade in his pocket.
He is totally prepared. And enthused!
takiena_called: (the brother who was all his joy)
When Finn’s eyes open, he’s on his back outside watching the stars, and his brother is nestled up next to him drowsy and half-asleep.

"Dari?" Finn asks, startling, half-turning and placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder, half-expecting his hand to go through, for the dream to disappear. Instead it contacts warmth, the thick wool fabric over his brother’s small five-year-old frame.

Instead of disappearing, his brother’s eyes flutter open, bright blue and kind. "Hi," he says, laying his head against Finn’s arm. "I missed you," he adds, softly.

Finn pulls Dari tight against him, surprised at how unfamiliar the motion feels (though natural, and Dari seems unsurprised). "You too," he replies, quietly.

After a comfortable, warm silence he asks. "Where are you?"

"Here," Dari replies, and bursts into giggles like the answer was the wittiest in existence. "On the road to the Halls," he tells his brother, once his giggles have died down.

"How long have you waited?" Finn asks, soft and friendly, though there’s a gnawing concern in his heart. If his brother has been waiting for him the length Finn has been in Milliways—if time has not stopped, and Dari has been lonely on the road with only the passing dead for company, looking for his brother’s face and not finding it—if that is how it is, then he’ll leave the moment he wakes up. Nothing’s worth that.

So there’s a quiet dread at Dari’s silence. When he looks down at his brother, he sees the sadness on his face. "You died really quick." Dari admits, after a moment. "You weren’t supposed to—that was the point."

Finn closes his eyes, hard. "It—"

"I know," Dari interrupts. "Everyone would’ve died. Both times. But I didn’t want you to."

Finn doesn’t know what to say to that, and just curls around his brother protectively. He didn’t want to leave the first time, or the second—but that seems always his curse, to betray and break one brother for another.

Eventually Dari falls asleep next to him. Eventually Finn falls asleep, too.

When he wakes up he’s lying curled up by himself, in his bed.

(It takes him a couple of minutes of panic to remember that it was a dream.)
takiena_called: (Lying awake)
The first night Henry is back, Finn falls asleep by his door.

When Henry wakes up in the morning, and finds him, he tells him quietly not to worry, he won’t leave in the night.

Finn doesn’t make the same mistake again -- it is easy for him to switch from his restless sleep into one which he wakes from quickly at the first noises from Henry’s room, so that he might sneak back into his own and await a knock.

Once, exhausted from his semi-vigil, Finn falls asleep while still in his room and does not wake for hours. There’s a note under the door saying that Henry is downstairs, and thought it best to let him sleep. Whether he’s realized what Finn has been up to or just thought he was not sleeping well enough, Finn doesn’t know. Whatever it was, there's a flurry of panic before he finds him outside.

He’s keeping an eye out.


Oct. 17th, 2007 11:04 pm
takiena_called: (Thinking)
Finn is sitting outside, back to a tree and sketchbook in his lap.

He's not sketching, though. In fact, he seems to be on the verge of falling asleep.

It's quiet out here, and there are no walls closing in.

(And if the chirping of the birds in the tree or on the lake are a distraction, well--they're a distraction he grown used to.)
takiena_called: (Thinking)
Finn has taken the time since the time since meeting Jamie hit the week mark and passed it to sketch more. Now there is a tidy pile of about a dozen colored sketched on one side of him, and perhaps twenty in black-and-white. He also has a small sturdy journal in which is written

Plor (2-color)
Jaelle (?)

Prices: Dinner or two? Ask Jamy.

and a sketch. He is half-concentrating on the sketching and half keeping an eye out for his business partner.
takiena_called: (Tears)
Mornings are hard. Finn can't handle being alone in the mornings (it's easier later in the day, but in the mornings--when he's just woken up from dreams that leave him in tears--it is impossible). So no matter when he wakes up--and this morning it was very early, before the light had started streaming through his window--he stays under his covers until Henry knocks on the door. He can pretend, underneath his covers, that the room is not empty, that he's not going to be faced with the fact that there is no one else around (Finn has always been a family person. The Hunt just gave him more brothers to be taken away).

Finn can't see the clock as the sun grows higher and higher but he knows something is wrong. Henry usually knocks early in the day, soon after the rays peek over the window. It is--halfway through the day, maybe--when he finally realizes he has to look for him (what if he's hurt? Henry wouldn't forget him--but maybe he did, maybe he just doesn't realize, maybe he should go find him. And if he's hurt--then triply, quadrupally so). He pulls back the covers and hastily gets changed (the clock says it is 1:00 pm, and Finn worries).

He first goes to knock on Henry's door, a hurried, insistent beat of where are you, where are you but he doesn't answer so he runs downstairs and out through the green grass into the small shipyard where they have worked these many mornings. But Henry's not there. He doesn't even notice that the Black Pearl is gone (when it moved it was harder to see already, so the empty spot on the lake does not register at all).

He runs back inside and prowls around the interior calling his name. When people look at him worriedly or ask what's wrong, he just asks them if they know where Henry is and none of them do and he continues on without explanation (they're not important, he doesn't even know their names).

Then Finn's outside again, crying "Henry!" with a voice that's gone raw, and he finally sees it. The Pearl is gone.

Henry said he'd been going to work on it with his Captain Sparrow later in the day, yesterday (he'd asked if Finn had wanted to help, in that sort of offhand way which implied that his help wasn't actually needed, and Finn had smiled and said he would be drawing and would see him later). And it is gone.

Finn's a bright boy, and has lost enough people to know what that means.

There's a soft, wounded and inhuman keening out by the lake, and a teenage boy staring into where the Black Pearl once was.

(He's alone.)

Wellard OOM

Jun. 8th, 2007 10:25 pm
takiena_called: (Default)
Finn didn't sleep well last night-- this hasn't been a strange occurence, recently. It was different, though, from destruction and laughter, speed and freedom.

He dreamt about his brother, small and bright, and woke to find his pillow damp with tears.

He's recovered, mostly, by the time he joins Henry downstairs for breakfast, though he's even quieter than usual. Soon enough they are on their way outside, to work on Henry's strange flying boat.

(He's going to have to tell him what happened to Dari, eventually. He's not sure he wants to.)
takiena_called: (Default)
If someone were to ask Finn “How have you been?” he’s not exactly sure how he’d respond.

Well, if he were to respond truthfully. He’s figured out that you’re just supposed to say “fine” and get on with it, after a confusing blundering conversation with Henry soon after he first came in (in which he tried to explain that he wasn’t hurt, and couldn’t understand why that wasn’t the correct answer).

He has been mostly in his room these past weeks, or helping Henry with working on his boat or the repairs to his friend’s ship. Finn doesn’t know much about this process, so he mostly implements Henry’s instructions quietly and listens to his friend’s discourse on almost everything under the sun. It is, he knows, the man’s way of trying to make him feel comfortable. He appreciates it, though he does not often respond.

But that doesn’t answer the question, not really. It is like the world is a strange sort of dream that he’s experiencing from afar, except sometimes it gets too close and he has to lash out or hide. The loud, clashing noises that sometimes ring through the main bar make him think of attack and it does not scare him— but feeling his blood rise and avoiding crowds and keeping from turning and quieting the noise of raised voices and silverware and…

Well, he knows that isn’t right, or normal.

So he stays with Henry (whose name slipped out when he asked absentmindedly for something while they were working on his strange, flying boat and Finn didn’t realize until hours later that he’d actually remembered it) or away from people, at least, if he is not in his room.

That doesn’t answer the question, either. But Finn isn’t exactly sure what he could say that would.
takiena_called: (Default)

In Dana’s temple in Paras Derval, leaning against the altar built to her, the new High Priestess Leila grieves. Her voice, heavy with prophecy, sent the boy she loved to a destiny that destroyed him. Her voice, filled with power and love, called him back and sent him plummeting to his death. He is gone, and it is her fault. Her goddess knows the death was necessary, but in her heart she grieves.

On a battlefield, the fiery Jaelle (faithful High Priestess for many years, though now another holds the name) sheds rare tears for the death of the boy and thinks this came too soon.

There was death in this—Dana warned them, long ago. The Mother Goddess is full of power, rage, and war. But she is also a mother.

And Finn dan Shahar, whatever else he might be, is still a child. A child loved by those the Mother calls her own.

She is not always merciless.

Dari chose well, he hears and understands with joy, though there is a grief to learn that his bright, beloved brother has died in the choosing.

He breathes out, and his head lolls in his father’s lap as his spirit escapes (someone shuts his eyes, but he is not there to notice).

There is a path ahead of him, but a voice calls to him before he begins to tread it and says “Finn!”

He turns and sees a woman with hair so red that he at first thinks she is Jaelle, though he knows she is not. Jaelle is fierce and young, and while this woman can be the first (the Child knows her, and fears her) her face and outstretched hand are gentle. And her eyes are more ancient than all but the oldest of myths (he should know. He was one, not an hour ago).

He takes it, not knowing why he trusts her, and is pulled into an embrace. He does not cry, not now (not here) but feels utterly
like he hasn’t since he realized that his mother was fragile, and it was his place to make certain she did not break. The woman moves to hold him at arm’s length and says, in a voice like the hearth fire, “You will see your brother again, child, but you have had much of your childhood taken away. Will you not see if you may recover it?”

There is a door, and at her nod, he opens it.

And steps through.

takiena_called: (Iselen)
They explore the world, and beyond it, as Iselen and her kindred trample the ancient hidden pathways between the worlds that they have been kept from for so long.

With them are their Riders who, in this time of (ha!) peace, are reveling in the freedom of the sky and all that it entails: chasing the clouds and overcoming them, herding the stars.

It is not a timeless experience, but even time has no hold over Owein and his band.

The Child is at ease, here, in the comfortingly familiar presence of his brother Riders (his memory had been fuzzy, at first, of the first time he rode with them—but as they retold story after story, things began to clear, until he laughingly remembered an ancient interaction down to the very words spoken and the whole band whooped with pleasure.

Of course, they do that often).

They know there is war in Fionavar, how could they not? They are creatures of war, as much as they are creatures of anything, and they have been held from it far too long. So when the calling-horn sounds, their fierce grins turn feral and they ride to battle.

The black swans of Avaia are plentiful, and the Child inexplicably knows how to fight them and rend them and laughs as their gruesome forms fall. He knows many inexplicable things, though, and is no longer surprised by it.

They ride into their phalanx, from between the stars, before the swans have time to scatter, and laugh as they find the horn-caller and raise their swords in salute. But the swans are easily killed, and the wolves, urgach, slaug, and svart alfar are fleeing as they wheel and kill overhead.

Then there is a choice.

Owein is going to veer and attack the bright lios and riders below (he knows it almost as if he can hear the king’s thoughts, though of course he cannot, and he knows also that Iselen will want to follow).

Someone has to go after the fleeing Dark, though, and some small part knows that the screams of the bright ones will not amuse him. It is less than a split second, but he turns Iselen and leads four of the kings into an airborne pursuit Maugrim’s forces, leaving the others to go with Owein.

He hates them. That is a surprise, he has not felt hate since (before)—he does not know when.

And then, the voice of the immeasurably young green goddess comes, putting her will against theirs, and the hate increases tenfold.

She will pay for interceding where she has no right, but for now they are sent back to the sky.

And the first battle the Hunt has been called to end in ages beyond memory, they have left incomplete. There are, after all, some warriors left standing.
takiena_called: (Leila)
From first waking in the morning after the storm, Finn has been uneasy. His heart will begin to race inexplicably, and his palms are damp. He thinks he might be ill. Finn played with Dari, earlier, and they’d found flowers for their mother in one of the rare green places in the forest. That’d raised his spirits, a bit.

But Dari is sleeping now, and Finn’s walking along the lake outside their cottage, still very much on edge. The grey waters splash frigidly against the stone where he always stands, looking out over the cold but unfrozen lake. All of the other lakes are frozen, and he likes to think that the story he tells Dari is true: that Jennifer, Dari’s majestic mother, is guarding them against the winter. Finn would never forget when his brother was born and she had asked Finn to take care of Dari for as long as he could.

As long as he could.

And on the thought, as if she’s been waiting, annoyingly, for her cue, Leila is in his mind.

What do you want? He sends, sharp and unaccommodating. This had been a secret pleasure, once, talking from mind-to-mind with his best friend across the distances. But Leila has changed, now, and seems to enjoy making him uncomfortable. He knows this has to do with her passage from girl to woman, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating.

Do you feel it? Leila asks, making his heart skip a beat (he’s never sensed fear in her, before).

I’m uneasy, a little, he says, trying to reassure her. What is it?

And then his life begins to end. For Leila sends Oh Finn, Finn, Finn, and with it an image of the ta’kiena on the green, when she had chosen him.

So that’s it. For a moment he quails, and cannot hide it from her, but the moment passes. He looks out on the lake, draws a deep breath, and realizes that his uneasiness is gone. He is deeply calm—he’s had a long time to accept this thing, and has been a long time waiting.

It’s all right, he sends to Leila, a little surprised to realize she is crying. We knew this was coming.

I’m not ready, Leila says in his mind. That’s a bit funny: she isn’t being asked to do anything. But she goes on; I’m not ready to say good-bye, Finn. I’m going to be all alone when you go.

You’ll have everyone back in the sanctuary.

She sends nothing back. Finn supposes he’s missed something, or not understood. But there’s someone else who will miss him more, and if he can’t find the door to Milliways, he will be more alone than he hopes Leila ever will.

Leila, he sends, confident in their friendship, take care of Darien.

How? She whispers mentally.

I don’t know. But he’s going to be frightened when I go, and…he hears voices in the storms, Leila.

She is silent, again, but in a different way. He can’t wait for her answer, though; he feels the wind and he knows it is time to move. He doesn’t know how he knows that, or even where he is to go, but it is the day, and coming towards the hour.

Good-bye, he sends.

The Weaver grant you Light, he hears her say,  a farewell with fitting implications of finality. And then she is gone.

Walking back to the cottage, Finn already has enough sense of where he is about to go to know that her last wish is unlikely to be granted. And the cottage door opens into where he feared it wouldn’t.
takiena_called: (Lying awake)
Night came, and with it another storm worse than any yet. Wind howled and whistled down the Plain into the High Kingdom, carrying a wall of snow. It buried farms and farmhouses. It blanketed the woods. It hid the moon, and in the inhuman darkness figures of dread seemed to be moving within the storm and the howling of wind was the sound of their laughter.

Darien lay in bed listening to it. He’d thought at first it was another nightmare but then he knew he was awake. Frightened, though. He pulled the covers up over his head to try and muffle the voices he heard in the wind.

They were calling. Calling him to come and play outside in the wild dark dancing of the storm. To join them in this battering of wind and snow. But he was only a little boy, and afraid, and he would die if her went outside. Even though the storm wasn’t so bad where they were.

Finn had explained about that. How even though Darien’s real mother couldn’t be there with them she was protecting him all the time, and she made the winter easier around his bed because she loved him. They all loved him; Vae his mother and even Shahar his father, who had been home from war only once before they had come to the lake. He had lifted Darien up in the air and made him laugh. The he had said Dari would soon be bigger than Finn and laughed, himself, though not the funny laugh.

Finn was his brother and he loved Dari most of all and he was the most wonderful person in the world and knew everything besides.

It was Finn who had explained what Father had meant when Dari came crying to him after, because there was something wrong with him being bigger than Finn. Soon, Father had said.
Finn had dressed him in his coat and boots and carried him out for a walk. Dari liked it more than anything when they did that. Finn would throw Dari in the snow, but only where it was new and soft, and then fall in himself so they both got all white, rolling about, and Dari would laugh so hard he got the hiccups.

This time, though, Finn had been serious. Sometimes he was serious and made Dari listen to him. He said that Dari was different from other little boys. That he was special because his real mother was special, and so he was going to be bigger and stronger and smarter than all the others boys. Even Finn, Finn said. And what that meant, Finn said, was that Dari had to be better, too, he had to be kinder and gentler and braver, so he would deserve what his real mother had given him.

He had to try to love everything, Finn said, except the Dark.

The Dark was what was causing the storm outside, Dari knew. And most of the time he hated it like Finn said. He tried to do it all the time, to be just like Finn was, but sometimes he heard the voices, and though mostly they frightened him, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes he thought it might be nice to go with them.

Except that would mean leaving Finn, and he would never do that. He got out of bed and put on his knitted slippers. He pulled back the curtain, past where his mother slept, to the far wall where Finn’s bed was.

Finn was awake. ‘What took you so long?” he whispered. “Come in, little brother, we’ll keep each other warm.” With a sigh of pleasure, Dari kicked off the slippers and crawled in beside Finn, who moved over, leaving Dari the warm part where he’d lain.

“There are voices,” he said to Finn.

His brother didn’t say anything. Just put an arm around Dari and held him close. The voices weren’t as loud here, when he was beside Finn. As he drifted to sleep, Dari heard Finn murmur into his ear, “I love you, little one.”

Dari loved him back. When he fell asleep he dreamt again, and in his dream he was trying to tell that to the ghostly figures in the wind.

[Pages 143-145, from The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay]
takiena_called: (Lying awake)
Finn isn't able to get back to sleep. The walls of the little cottage in the valley are shuddering from the snow-laden storm winds. If this place, protected by some magic or blessing of location, feels the storm so violently he can’t imagine how everyone in the farms and city are surviving it.

But though this is what woke him from his initial slumber, it isn't the reason why he lies awake in bed, breathing quietly as he waits. He knows Dari is awake as well, in his curtained bed across the room. His brother hears voices in winds like these, calling him outside; winds that would kill a small boy even in this sheltered valley.

There is a small rustle, finally, and the quiet padding of slippered feet across the floor.
"What took you so long?" Finn whispers when Dari pulls back the curtain around his bed. "Come in, little brother, we'll keep each other warm."

Dari sighs happily, kicking off his slippers and crawling in as Finn moves so that he can sleep on the warm space left behind. "There are voices," his brother says, confirming his fears.

He doesn't know what to say, so he just holds him close as Dari relaxes into sleep. As Finn himself drifts off, he murmurs "I love you, little one," before, secure in the knowledge of his young brother's safety, he falls asleep as well.

[Based on this scene from The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay]
takiena_called: (Leila)

When Finn walks out the door and into Korim Lo Ish’s shop, he quickly buys the candles his mother requested and runs home through the snow, trying to think of a reason to explain his lengthy absence.

But when he opens the door to the shop his mother smiles, surprised, and comments on his speedy return. He’s shocked at her reaction (did he really go to the end of the universe?), and shrugs in response, going to put the candles away and help in the shop.

Later that night he calls Leila?

She responds immediately, relieving the worry that she wouldn’t answer here either, What is it, Finn?

A bit embarrassed, Finn asks Can people travel to different times, like they travel to different worlds?

Of course they can’t Leila replies, irritation coloring the thought. Then, after a moment, Why?

I was just wondering.

And that’s that.
takiena_called: (The little one)
It is a frigid winter night in Paras Derval, a city near-empty of men (gone to fight a war, a war for which Brennin has been waiting for a thousand years), though the late night does not betray that fact.

Vae and Shahar own a shop, just off the green, and live in the home above it with their son Finn. And if Shahar is gone to war, well, son and mother are there to hear the knocking at the front door.


takiena_called: (Default)
Finn dan Shahar

July 2009

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