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Sleeping Woods by the lake or Lake Raienia. [Open]
Something was wrong in her woods. Very wrong. Titania had felt it now for some time, before she pulled herself from her bower, before she met with Oberon. The pricking sensation she felt in her thumbs had not ceased, continuing its warning. Warning of what, she still didn't know, but she knew it was something she should remember.

It concerned her, mildly at first, but that concern grew to alarm when she found the first body. It was a seelie fey, one that was small and innocent-looking, and one she knew well. One who'd been on the council that decided her marriage to Oberon. One that had done... something, something else she couldn't remember. The little fairy was dead, killed by magic stronger than its own, or at least magic used far better than the seelie's. Darker magic. Titania could still feel it. Dark waves of strong unseelie magic, like Oberon's but different. Shadow. Cold. Darkness. And familiar.

She couldn't place why.

She was torn. One of her own had been murdered, and yet, she knew this fairy had done something, perhaps something unforgivable, something that may have merited it this fate. She did what she thought best. She took the twisted body from the the place it last and covered it in new greens, grasses and flowers, letting its body return to the earth. It was only after she'd done so she wondered if she had for its peaceful rest, or to hide the fact that something was really happening.

The pricking in her thumbs redoubled and Titania left the area, and headed for the lake. Didn't matter which lake. She wanted to get away from the sense of wrongness pervading everything. She undressed, and stepped into the cool water, up to her waist and started to plan her next move.

Tags: genkurō, titania

From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/04/2007 22:33:41  

A mermaid, Shūhei had said. Genkurō had been disbelieving at first, but as his companion prattled on excitedly about the nice little mermaid he'd met, the kitsune realized that Shūhei hadn't let his imagination run away with him again.

Deciding to see this mermaid for himself, Genkurō left the tanuki - drowsy from a good meal, warm sake, and a bout of energetic sex - sleeping in the shady grove they'd found and headed to the lake. Imagine his surprise when he came across what appeared to be a stunningly beautiful woman bathing in the lake. Apparently Shūhei had been right about the mermaid, though he hadn't done her justice in his description.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/05/2007 06:45:09  

It didn't take long for Titania to notice she was being watched. She was accustomed to it, at the very least from being escorted most of the time by some member or other of her court. But she had been alone, so the emergence of another presence intruded on her senses and she looked up, seeking and finding its source.

She did nothing to cover herself, merely raised an eyebrow at what looked like a young man and asked, "And who might you be?"
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/05/2007 10:36:07  

Huh. That was odd. He was certain Shūhei had said the mermaid he'd met couldn't speak. Maybe this was a different one? Perhaps one of the mermaid's sisters? Stepping into plain view, Genkurō didn't avert his eyes, but did keep them on the mermaid's face as he slowly approached and replied, "I am called Lu, madame." It was true enough. When he wore that face. "Might I ask you the same?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/05/2007 10:45:50  

Titania smiled. He was very attractive, whoever he was. She twisted wet red hair over one shoulder, baring pale shoulders, and continued to bathe. "You may call me Titania." She let water drip through her fingers and then smiled at him. "And what brings you here, Lu?"
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/05/2007 11:21:34  

That smile was stunning and he couldn't help but return it with one of his own. "My friend was here not to long ago and he came back proclaiming he'd seen a mermaid. I, of course, had to see for myself." He ducked his head, as if shy. "I daresay, he understated your beauty quite a great deal."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/05/2007 11:26:32  

Titania blinked at him a moment, as if she hadn't quite heard him right, and then laughed, a merry tinkling sound. "A mermaid?" If he hadn't flattered her moments after saying it, she'd have gotten cross for him believing her to be a mere mermaid. "I am no mermaid." She moved through the water, towards him, and as she waded out of the lake, it was made very very clear she was not a mermaid. And that she had little concern for her nudity, as her clothes were draped across a low-hanging tree branch and she made no mover for them yet.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/05/2007 11:32:30  

"No mermaid, indeed," he murmured. And if his words came a little breathy, well. The kitsune certainly appreciated the beauty displayed so freely before him. He was slow to drag his gaze upwards again, though made sure to force a blush to his borrowed face. "Please excuse my mistake."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/05/2007 11:36:35  

Fey were ever so easily flattered, and Titania was no exception. She smiled again and the did reach for her dress, stepped into it slowly. "You are quite excused. What will you do now, since I've dashed your hopes of meeting a mermaid?"
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/05/2007 11:52:09  

It was Genkurō's turn to laugh. "Dashed my hopes? Hardly!" he protested cheerfully as he watched her dress from the corner of his eye. "If anything, my hopes have been far exceeded." He offered her a small, seemingly guileless smile. "As for what I'll do now...I hope you're in no hurry to be rid of my company." Shūhei wouldn't wake for a while so the kitsune was sure he could linger at least for a short time.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/05/2007 12:08:53  

"You flatter me," Titania responded, her own smile true. "I have no deisre to rid myself of the company of one who flatters me so." Fully dressed now, Titania regarded him. There was something about him, something different. Special. As though... almost as though he held either traces of magic, or a kind she didn't recognize. That alone intrigued her more. "Sit with me then," she said, and though her voice was gentle, the words sounded almost like a command.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/06/2007 10:26:09  

Genkurō wasn't one to refuse the company of a beautiful woman, especially when said woman seemed so insistent he stay. He did as Titania 'requested' and settled on the shore beside her, taking care that his kimono settled around him in such a way that his tails remained well hidden. "So, Titania, where do you hail from since you're no mermaid?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/06/2007 10:32:35  

"That is quite a question to answer," she replied. "Nowhere and everywhere. Anywhere summer shines. Currently in the woods northwest," Titania answered almost flippantly. "And you? Where do you hail from?" Titania was intrigued; she hadn't seen many people who looked like him here in Pentamerone, and wondered if he'd wandered in as some had, or purposely come here. Or even if he'd been here longer than the homeless seeking to find new places to live.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/06/2007 11:43:39  

She was vague. And so was he. "Oh, I'm from here and there, but mostly there," he said easily, gesturing vaguely east. "I wouldn't really call any place my home, though. My companion and I tend to go where the road takes us." Where their cons lead them - or chase them.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/06/2007 11:59:09  

"Companion? And where might this companion of yours be now?" Titania knew well his evasive talk; she used it frequently. But she was ever more curious, because she still felt that odd touch of magic about him. She could tell now it was more a magic she was unnaccustomed to rather than only a little of it.

That of course only intrigued her more.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/06/2007 12:07:55  

"I left him sleeping," the kitsune replied, and if he sounded a bit self-satisfied, well he should. He'd certainly put Shūhei through his paces earlier. It was the only sure fire way to tire out the tanuki enough that he'd stay put for a longer than a few moments. "What about you? Do you have any companions? Surely one so beautiful doesn't travel alone."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/06/2007 12:19:32  

"I am currently alone," Titania replied. And it niggled at her just how true those words were. She had her court, who she'd again sent away to give herself some time to think, but even surround by them all, she was still alone. She moved then, rebraiding small sections of her hair as she spoke, twisting them round in elegant fashion. And then she placed atop her head a crown of small delicate white flowers, that stood out well against her red hair. "But it is rarely hard to find another companion," she added, her smile not entirely light-hearted. Companions she had plenty. They were all as fleeting as she however.

From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/06/2007 14:48:59  

He smiled, shaking his head. "I find that so hard to believe, that you would be without a companion for even a moment. Someone such as yourself, well. I'd imagine you'd have a hard time being alone at all." It was flattery, but it was also, the truth. Genkurō was having a hard time understanding how Titania could be without a bevy a followers every waking moment. And yet...She was alone, and not only that, she actually seemed almost...lonely.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/06/2007 17:07:06  

Titania tossed the last of her hair over her shoulder and brightened her smile. "Every girl needs at least a moment of privacy. And besides, were I surrounded by admirers, would you have approached me so easily?"

Titania did not realize how deep this stranger seemed to see. And it was a good thing. It was something she rarely liked to admit to herself.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/08/2007 01:31:38  

The kitsune pretended to ponder that question for a moment, then flashed Titania his best teasing grin with Lu's face, the effect becoming boyish and almost shyly charming. "Absolutely," Genkurō said, finally answering her question. He figured it was what she wanted to hear.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/08/2007 08:48:08  

Titania's return smile was every bit as bright in return. It was of course what she wanted to hear, and she was rather pleased Lu had said it. She reach out and stroked his cheek rather gently, just once, before saying, "What a nice thing to say. I like you, Lu. There's something about you. Something magical. Did you know that?"

Her eyes scanned his face and then settled on his own, so dark and different from hers.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/08/2007 11:39:39  

"Something magical?" Genkurō's surprise showed on his borrowed face. There were very few creatures and even less people who could sense something off about him and it made him rethink his estimation of Titania once more. He needed to tread carefully. He schooled his expression into one of sheepish uncertainty. "Well," he admitted as if uncomfortable saying so. "I do have some magic, nothing all powerful, though." Cupping a hand over his mouth, he breathed into his palm, producing a small ball of glowing blue flame. "See?" He eyed her, dark eyes watching her just as closely. "How is it you could sense that about me?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/08/2007 12:07:26  

Titania smiled. It was more than that, she was sure, but she wouldn't press farther. "That is something indeed," she replied. "And let's just say I have a certain affinty for magic, Lu." She waved her hand and by her feet sprouted a small cluster of white flowers, exactly like the ones in her hair. They weren't actually there; it was an illusion, but it was one so well done it was impossible to tell otherwise. Even if they were picked, they'd feel real.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/10/2007 12:56:30  

They certainly felt real enough to the kitsune when he reached out to touch them, and he smiled widely, very much impressed. "That's amazing. You're truly gifted." He really had no idea how much of an understatement that was.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/10/2007 13:04:06  

"I know," Titania replied immodestly. It was the least of what she could do, really. If she wanted she could make a full grown tree spring up at his feet, with him still in it as it rose skyward. Instead she stood, the sweet smell of flowers and grass in her wake.

She stretche dout one hand, and before she'd finished doing so, a bird flew merrily from the nearest tree, hopped right onto her finger and chirped at her. She luaghed as though it had told a joke and then turned back to him. "You are more than welcome to see more, though you've already seen plenty." She was back to flirting and teasing again, as if no sour mood had ever crossed her, not even for a moment. "And this companion you speak of, he? Or she?"
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/10/2007 16:00:24  

"A tempting offer," he said cheerfully, wondering just what secrets this woman was truly capable of. Genkurō had never tried to con for the sake of knowledge, but there was always a first time for everything. Her next question, though, had his thoughts turning to Shūhei who - hopefully - was still sleeping where the kitsune had left him. "My companion is male." When the mood strikes him. "Why do you ask?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/10/2007 21:43:58  

"I'm sure it is," Titania replied merrily. "Oh, just it would be nice to know which word I should use to refer to him then. Perhaps when I see you again," and she made it seem as though it were a definite that they would meet again, "he'll be with you."

Lu wasn't the only one curious about the other's secrets. Titania knew Lu's unfamiliar magic wasn't the source of the strangeness in the woods. She doubted his companion was either, but perhaps he had some kind of magic as well. If so, she wanted to know what and just how much.
From: [info]crazylikethefox Date: 04/13/2007 07:21:07  

"Oh, he'll be with me. He always is," Genkurō admitted, something hovering between affection and exasperation in his voice, but leaning more towards the former. "I'm sure he'll be delighted to meet you, Titania."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/13/2007 09:29:08  

"Except for now," Titania pointed out with an amused smile. "I'm sure I'll be just as delighted to meet him. It was a pleasure meeting you, Lu. If you find yourselves in the Sleeping Woods, look for me. But just be careful. Not everything in those woods is as nice as I." She winked at him and made a beckoning motion, and four fairies suddenly seemed to melt from the trees and shrubs around her, one whose dress seemed made of spiderwebs-wrapping a gossamer cloak around Titania. "I bid you adieu," the seelie queen said, giving Lu one last smile.
Community: [info]pentamerone
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