Posts tagged ‘Allen/S. Cygma’

Forgetfulness, exaltation, silence.

Allen flinched when a crash sounded from the other room. He sighed softly and looked at Ian. Although he was almost afraid to ask, he found himself speaking the words just the same. “What was that?”

“Jeffrey?” Ian said, shrugging. He stood and padded to the other room.

Shaking his head, Allen followed. Ian’s shoulders were shaking with silent laughter as he approached. That was never a good sign. He peered around Ian and then bit his lip to stifle a growl.

Jeffrey was sprawled on the floor, the shattered remains of Allen’s tea set around him. “I forgot it was there,” he said, grimacing.

“Great job,” Ian said, grinning brightly. He chuckled and looked at Allen. “Sorry, Allen, but I always hated that tea set. Now, I have an excuse to get you a new one.”

Allen was stunned. A million arguments sprang to his mind, but he couldn’t find the power to speak. Instead, he merely gaped at his brother and shook his head.

Awful, but cheerful.

Allen frowned slightly when a sound that could only be described as a cackle reached his ears. He looked over his shoulder at Ian. “Noellie?” he asked.

Ian nodded. “I’m not sure I want to know what she’s laughing about,” he said. Pulling a face, he added, “She’s got an odd sense of humor.”

“At least she’s happy,” Allen said. He smiled faintly. Hearing her cackle was by far more preferable than hearing her growl at some unfortunate soul.

Chuckling, Ian nodded. “There’s that,” he said.

Try to praise the mutilated world.

“It’s… nice,” Ian said, his voice soft. He gave Allen an uneasy smile and shrugged. What did Allen expect him to say? He was uses to rolling hills and greenery, not pavement and towering buildings. If he were honest, the place looked frightful to his eyes. He was trying to be kind.

Carlo, seemingly oblivious to his true meaning, just grinned and slapped him on the shoulder. “Thanks,” he said, sounding cheery. “I think it has real potential!”

Giving him a sidelong glance, Ian frowned. “You’re welcome,” he said, sounding just a bit unsure.

Who are these children, who scheme and run wild?

Ian stepped into the house that he’d shared with Allen for nearly as long as he could remember. He froze when two little children ran by him, nearly knocking him over. His brows furrowed. He moved deeper into the house, searching for his brother.

“Allen?” he called, as several more children careened by him. Others were playing in the living room or the garden.

Allen, looking just a bit frazzled, came out of the kitchen. He was wearing an apron, which was covered with flour and something that might have been chocolate sauce. A brown smudge of chocolate was on his cheek as well. “Ian, thank God,” he breathed. “Can you help me round them all up and get them settled?”

“Where did all these children come from?” Ian said, shaking his head slightly.

A wry chuckle escaped his brother. “Our people are colonizing the Point,” he said, sounding less than pleased. “Every time they settle a new island, another one of these – these children just appears here!”

“Oh, goodie,” Ian said, sounding anything but pleased. There were far too many islands in the Point for his liking. “Maybe you should tell our government to give them autonomy?”

“I’m about two seconds away from doing just that,” Allen called from the kitchen. To hear those words coming from someone who was normally so protective of his colonies was surprising. Ian felt it said something about the situation they suddenly found themselves in.

lookin’ kinda cool

Ian looked outside and scowled slightly. He looked over at Allen. “What should we wear, do you think?” he asked, blinking.

“It’s going to be very warm,” Allen said. “Dress appropriately.”

Blinking, Ian cast another glance outside. The sky was gray and overcast. The wind was swirling. It looked as if it were going to pour down rain. Yet, Allen was saying it would be warm?

“The storm won’t make it cold out?” he asked, blinking.

Allen shook his head. “If anything, it’ll feel hotter and stickier after the storm blows through,” he said. He saw the confused expression on Ian’s face and a faint smile came to his lips. “It’s how things are in the south, Ian. Trust me.”

“If you say so,” Ian said, nodding.

His Little Bird

The corners of Allen’s mouth turned downward slightly as he watched Jeffrey sleep. Things were so much simpler when he’d been a young colony. He’d depended on Allen for nearly everything. Now, he wanted to do everything for himself.

Almost without meaning to, Allen began singing softly. It was a song he’d sung for Jeffrey for as long as he could remember. He didn’t even remember where he’d first heard it. He finished the song and slipped out of the room.

Ian looked up from whatever book he was reading and gave Allen a weak smile. “It’s not that he doesn’t care about you, you know?” he said, his voice soft. He shrugged. “This is how it’s supposed to be, Allen. We take care of a colony until the people can take care of themselves. Then, they get their independence and we have an ally we can rely on.”

“It’s so simple for you,” Allen said, his voice coming out as a soft hiss. He shook his head. “He… grew up so quickly! What if he’s not ready?”

“How are you – or Jeffrey – ever going to know if he’s ready or not, unless you take the chance?” Ian said. He shook his head. “We both had colonies in the Point. Most of them are already independent. What makes Jeffrey so different?”

“He’s… closer,” Allen said, shrugging.

Ian chuckled. “They aren’t meant to be a constant drain on your resources, Allen,” he said. “If you really care for him, let him go and stretch his wings. Just… make it clear that you’ll be there, if he needs you.”

Allen sighed and nodded. “I suppose you’re right,” he admitted. He shook his head and slumped down in a chair beside his brother. “I’ll talk to our boss in the morning.” As he set his head down on his arms, he felt Ian rub his shoulder.

desperate situation

Ophelia tried very hard not to roll her eyes at Carlo. The man truly infuriated her. He acted like he knew everything about everyone’s circumstances. However, he really knew very little about her people or those of her siblings. Finally, she’d had enough.

“Hey,” she said, her tone sharp. When Carlo stopped speaking and all eyes turned to her, she stood. “You don’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation. The resources of the homes our children have chosen – out of necessity – are insufficient for their needs.”

“They can’t move and there’s not enough food for them to sustain themselves,” Madeline said, her voice soft. “Without help from you, our children will starve.”

Allen’s brows furrowed. “The state of affairs is so dire?” he asked.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you,” Cecil said, rolling his eyes.

Ian nodded slowly. “Then,” he said, glancing at the other, “how can we do anything else, except to help them?”

“You understand what it means, though, becoming protectorates of ours?” Franklin said, his voice soft.

“We don’t seem to have any other choice,” Hana said. She shrugged and said, “At least, a protectorates, we’ll retain some level of autonomy.”

“If we let Berklia conquer us, we won’t have any,” Noellie said, grinning brightly. “We don’t like it, but we have to do what’s best for our children.”

“Fair enough,” Allen said, nodding.

I am within you

“What are you doing here?” Allen said, sounding just a bit cross.

Jeffrey flinched and then his cheeks warmed. He gave a nervous chuckle and rubbed at the back of his neck. “Hey, Allen,” he said, forcing a smile to his lips. “How’s it going?”

“Don’t chuckle and ask me how I am,” Allen said. He shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. “What are you doing in my garden, Jeffrey?”

“How’d you know I was here?” he asked, shaking his head. He wasn’t quite ready to answer Allen’s question.

Allen sighed, recognizing the stalling for exactly what it was. “You’re in my lands, Jeffrey – in my garden. How could I fail to realize that you were here?”

“I’m like… inside you?” Jeffrey said, blinking. Put that way, of course Allen knew he was there. He gave another nervous chuckle. He couldn’t figure out a way to stall any further. That left him with no choice but to answer the question. “Well,” he said, “you see, it’s like this…”

Depend On Me

Ophelia slipped through the darkness. Her feet hardly made a sound in the soft slippers she wore. At the sound of low voices, she skidded to a stop and pressed herself against the wall of the nearest building.

For a moment, she listened in the shadows. Guards… they were moving towards her. Distracted as they were by their conversation – something about one of their wives – they walked right by her and continued down the block.

As their voices faded into the distance, Ophelia peered out of hiding. Then, she hurried forward once more. Peering into the cell that the guards were meant to be watching, she smiled. “Ian,” she hissed.

Ian bounced forward and smiled at her. “I knew you would come,” he said. He shot Allen a look of his shoulder. Ophelia couldn’t see Ian’s expression, but Allen looked a bit chagrined.

“Ian can always depend on me,” Ophelia breathed. In moments, she had them out of the cell and they were hurrying back the way she’d come. If their children were going to become independent again, they’d need their nations at their side, not languishing in some Berklian prison.

there’s always fire

Allen decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to try to tell Jeffrey he couldn’t do something. He was always so stubborn. He did things the way he wanted, whatever Allen might say. If Allen tried to argue, the young man’s eyes would flash. He’d lose his temper and they’d end up in a fighting match.

Now, arguing didn’t do him any good. What he needed to do was to make Jeffrey think it was his own idea. If he could get Jeffrey to want to do what Allen needed him to do, then he didn’t have to deal with the younger man’s fiery temper.