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The consequences of dealing with the devil...
Who: Puck and Tiny
What: Puck returns to hold up his end of the deal.
When: A few days after this thread.
Where: The Sleeping Woods.
Rating: G

Puck had been a very busy faery the last few days, traveling all over Pentamerone to gather this and that, meeting new people - like a certain hunter that his king would be interested in meeting. However, now he had an appointment to keep with a faux faery. The precious flower he'd promised her, one he'd found deep in the damp Rajani jungle, was safely secreted away in the pouch at his waist as he made his way through the Sleeping Woods to the spot beside the stream where he'd first met his unsuspecting dupe. Puck arrived at his destination soon enough and he crouched by the running water, letting his fingers create little eddies in the flow while he waited for Tiny to show.

It took a bit, but Tiny showed. She was on a hunt for food, and had managed a basketful of berries before deciding to get some water. She carried the berries tucked beneath one arm, and held a leaf-woven bucket in her other. As she approached the water and moved to set her berries down, she gasped upon seeing Puck. He was back! The one who promised her the magical flower that would take her to her mother was back! And here Tiny had thought it was hopeless, that he was never coming back. She left her berries and baskets in the grass and flew in front of Puck, waving her arms. "Mister Goodfellow! Oh, Mister Goodfellow! You've come back!"

It was an accident, really, an instinctive response to something suddenly buzzing in his face. Not really registering the voice - or face, for that matter - that went with the fluttering wings, Puck swatted at Tiny. And not a moment later realized his mistake. "Oh! Princess Puny! Sorry, I didn't notice you there." His smile was suitably apologetic, though his tone was entirely not. Catching the tiny girl in a loose grip, he cocked his head and chastised, "I told you I'd come back, didn't I? We had a deal. I gave you my word." And a faery's word was unbreakable. "So. Are you ready?"

Tiny released a squeal when she was swatted. Thank goodness only the tips of his fingers got her, but damn did her head hurt. She was staggering in the air when Puck caught her, and it took Tiny a moment to shake herself out of the daze of being swatted. "Tiny. My name is Tiny. And oh, I know we had a deal, but I was so sure that maybe you had forgotten about me. I know I'm small and easy to forget, and-" Was she ready? Was he crazy? "YES! Oh, please, Mister Goodfellow, show me my mother!"

"Feh. I didn't forget, I just got busy. But I got what you wanted..." He set Tiny down so he could rummage around in his pouch for the flower. What he came out with was a blossom that vaguely resembled a tiger lily, but instead of being orange, the petals' tips began as a deep royal blue then bled down into a vibrant yellow; it was filled to the brim with almost clear, yet pearly liquid that had somehow managed not to spill a single drop while in the faery's bag. "A sip should be enough. You don't want to overdo it or you'll be ill. Also, you'll want to be sitting down, it has a bit of a kick." He held the flower out to Tiny, allowing her to drink, but not handing it over completely lest she accidentally drown herself in the nectar and waste a perfectly good Absence blossom.

Tiny let out an awe-filled gasp. "Oooh....It's beautiful." She listened to his instructions, and sat in the dirt below. Soon, she'd be with her mother! Tiny smoothed out her long hair, trying to look as presentable as possible at the last minute. "I can't thank you enough, Mister Goodfellow, for giving me this chance...I do hope she hasn't forgotten me, either." And then Tiny took a sip, making sure to take just enough as he had said. And she waited, but not long. Maybe a second. And there was her mother, standing right in front of her. She was in her garden, but to Tiny, the flowers in her hands looked just like flowers that were around them. Tiny cried out, and stood quickly, arms outstretched. "MOTHER!!" Little tears of joy filled the girl's eyes, and while trying to touch the vision in front of her, she tripped over her own feet...going completely through it. Tiny blinked, and whirled around. Where-? What-? HOW? Those tears turned into little tears of frustration as she attempted it again. And again.

Most anyone else would have been moved by the touching scene. Puck just watched Tiny with some mix of callous boredom and cruel satisfaction. He'd kept up his end of the bargain, he'd shown the girl her mother. Now all he had to do was wait for the nectar to run its course, for the visions to fade, and then they could start discussing the favor Tiny still owed him.

Poor Tiny was dashing back and forth for a bit before she finally flopped back to the ground, the tears running down her face. The image faded, and she stared at where it was. Her small fist came up and rubbed at her eye, and then she looked up slowly at Puck. He had lied to her? Or tricked her? It was baffling to her. "...Why did you do that?" She managed to ask through her tears, her voice small and sad.

"Why did I do what?" Puck asked, all innocence. As if he didn't know. "I did exactly as I said I would, didn't I? I showed you your mother. I kept my word." He placed the flower carefully back into his pouch. "Now, about that favor you owe me," he continued, business as usual. "I think there's a way you can work that off."

Tiny stared up at him with huge eyes and her mouth slightly open. "But!...But you knew what I meant! You knew I wanted to be with her! You tricked me!" She stood, fists clenched at her sides, and her face flushed with anger. "No! No, the deal is off! I won't do anything for you, not after that!"

He arched a brow, arms crossing as he stood. "I did no such thing. I did exactly what I said I would." He shrugged a shoulder. "It's not my fault if you weren't specific with what you wanted. I'm not a mind-reader, you know. And the deal is not off." This last was said with a narrowing of pale eyes and a dangerous note creeping into the faery's voice. "You'd best be careful, Princess. We made a deal bound by magic. If you go back on that, there's no telling what will happen to you. I can only guarantee it won't be good."

"You know you tricked me." She murmured, her voice giving off a wounded tone. She crossed her arms over her chest tightly, glaring at Puck when he began to show threats of bad things should she renege on the deal. Tiny stood silently for a moment, before speaking again. "...What is your favor?" Not an agreement to go along with the deal, but moreso, an analysis first of what he wanted.

Technically, he might have tricked her - lies by omission and all that - but Puck didn't consider it the case; he prided himself on being a faery of his word after all. Now that Tiny seemed to be ready to cooperate, he relaxed some, leaning against the trunk of a nearby tree. "I want you to spy for me. Nothing dangerous. Just keep an eye on certain people when I tell you to and then report back to me if you hear anything interesting. You're certainly small enough that you won't be noticed."

Tiny blinked in surprise. He wanted her to spy on people? It seemed so dishonest and deceitful! And Tiny had already tasted her fair share of deceit. "I-I can't do that! That's...that's dishonorable and it's...these people don't know I'm spying on them, I would feel bad!" She twisted the bottom of her dress in her fingers nervously.

Puck simply laughed at her outrage, a carefree sound that stopped as suddenly as it had started when he fixed her with a direct look. "I don't particularly care how you feel about it. You owe me and you'll do what I ask." He smirked, an unpleasant twist of lips on his boyish face. "Or you can go back on our deal and take your chances against angry magic. It's your choice."

He was laughing at her! Oh, people in this forest were so cruel! As much as Tiny wanted to say no, she wasn't going to do it and that was final!...she certainly didn't want to take her chance against angry magic. She looked away at that smirk, and finally exhaled in frustration. "...You're a horrible creature, Mr. Robin Goodfellow. Fine."

"I've never claimed to be kind, Princess. From what you know of faekind, this really shouldn't much of a surprise." He crouched down, favoring her with a patronizing smile and a pat on her little head. "Glad to see you come to your senses, though." He stood then and stretched a bit. "Well, you can rest easy with your scruples for now. I've no use of you yet."

Even she had to admit that this was true. The flower fairy court had never really been kind to her. They had changed her name, made her marry the prince, treated her like she was a weed that needed to become a flower, demanded she bear a child, and then threatened her with death should she leave. Indeed, Fae were not nice people in Tiny's book, and Puck just put a stamp of finality on that belief for her. She jerked her head away from his patting fingers, and whirled around, grabbing up her baskets.

He laughed again as she started to storm off. He did so enjoy the suffering of fools. "Take care, Princess Puny," he called as he bounded up the tree effortlessly, balancing on a branch easily. "I'll be seeing you soon enough." There was going to be a war underway, after all. Tipping his hat to her, a mocking gesture to be sure, he disappeared into the leaves and back into the forest.

Puny again. Dropping her baskets, Tiny whirled around, and screamed. "TINY!!!" Then, she whirled back around, hair fanning out, and swiped her baskets up again.

Current Mood: devious
Tags: tiny, puck

Community: [info]pentamerone
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