pentamerone <% /!UseJournal %>
The Sleeping Woods. [Mabb, later Oberon]
Titania hadn't exactly gone into hiding, not yet. It was full on fall now, and with winter steadily approaching her powers were only growing weaker. She stayed mostly to her own bower, spending time with Peaseblossom or Moth, and her eyes never strayed far from Mustardseed. The fairy seemed terribly nervous -- not that Titania blamed her -- constantly looking over her shoulder, waiting for what they all knew was going to be her inevitable death. Titania wouldn't have the strength to stand against Mabb in her unseelie fury, not at this time of year. Strong enough to hold her off, to survive herself, but not to protect a traitor from her wrath. Assuming she chose to do so.

She slipped away from her court to a bathing pool, but she did not climb in, Instead she sat, fully clothed, toes dipping into the edge of the pond, contemplating her next move. It would not do to simply wait for the dead of winter, nor for Mabb to make her move, but Titania didn't seem much other choice. she'd sought out Oberon and Mabb both several times, and found neither. It was up to them now to show their faces.

Tags: mabb, titania, oberon

From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/10/2007 16:11:52  

For as long as titania had been searching for her, Mabb had been out searching for the last council member that continued to slip through her grasp - Mustardseed. Winter was fast approaching and with it, Mabb's power continued to rise, whipping the whispers in her head into a frenzy. That might also have had something to do with the strange dagger Mabb had found a few weeks back.

It was a wicked looking thing, nearly the length of her forearm, shining like the share of a mirror and icy cold to the touch. Mabb thought is suited both her and her task and had kept it, tucked into the loose belt of black creeping ivy she wore about her waist.

Now her fingers itched for it, her senses detecting the trace of another fae nearby and perhaps, at last, she had found her quarry.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/10/2007 16:55:47  

Titania felt the first prickles of something -- started in her thumbs -- and lifted her head eyes narrowed to slits. Another fey, and not one of her own nearby. Not one she recognized. Wait, that wasn't true. She knew this feeling, felt traces of this magic lingering where council members had died, weaving its way around her woods. but she'd not yet found the source.

The source had found her. Standing Titania moved towards the presence, knowing it could only be Mabb. And there she was, a tall woman, dark haired and bathed in unseelie magic. Titania felt a niggle of recognition, the hint that she should really remember her, as more than just a forgotten name, and she cursed Carabosse and the council and anyone she could this of about her loss of memory. Well. She'd get her questions answered one way or another now.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/13/2007 00:00:46  

For the first time in a long while the whispers were momentarily silenced as Mabb emerged from the trees and she caught sight of the the redheaded fae. It had been more than a thousand years, but she'd recognize her own sister anywhere.

"I'd wondered why I hadn't run into you yet, Titania," the dark fairy said with cool amusement as she skirted the edge of teh pond, frost blooming in her wake. "I'm glad I found you before you hid yourself away."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/13/2007 20:53:37  

Titania's eyes slid to the frost touching the edge of the pond and then back to Mabb. "I was unaware you had been looking for me," she responded mildly. "It seemed to me you more had your eye on the council, am I correct?" She knew she was right, and knew also that Mustardseed was the only member left: Mabb's last prey.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/13/2007 22:30:22  

"One is hardly exclusive of the other, is it?" Mabb asked with a slight smile as she drew closer, bringing a chill with her. "I can look for my sister while I look for a traitor, can't I?"

She stopped a few feet away from the seelie fae, head tilting like that of a curious bird. "I must say, this a far more civil reception than I was expecting. Has a thousand years tamed that shrewish nature of yours?" It was said with the provoking humor usual between siblings.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/13/2007 22:38:05  

Titania had a biting response at the tip of her tongue, but it was stayed as Mabb's comment hit home. "Sister?" That bit of information was not in Schmendrick's report, likely because he hadn't been told. And unfortunately that was a bit of information she herself did not remember. Her eyes narrowed and she responded with a quip that came out almost instinctively. "While there seem to be things I don't remember, one thousand years doesn't seem to have been enough time to change your attitude any."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/13/2007 23:07:44  

It hit her hard, harder than she'd expected; Mabb choked back a sob, no less painful for the lack of tears. It was to be expected, of course. If they'd wiped her existence from the mind of her love, why not her own sister?

"How dare they?" And like a switch being thrown, the anguish was replaced by icy rage so intense the dark fairy practically shook with it. The vegetation at her feet withered and blackened. "If only I were gifted enough to raise the dead," she hissed. "I'd bring them all back and kill them again. Tenfold!"

Titania's rejoinder was forgotten, Mabb's focus on the fact that even her own sister didn't know her.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/13/2007 23:17:55  

Whatever Titania expected from Mabb, it certainly wasn't that. She could feel, honestly feel, the anger radiating from her in waves of dark iciness. She didn't even need to see the plants withering at her feet; she felt it.

But that was nothing compared to the sight of Mabb's wrists. With her hands buried in her hair like that, it brought attention to the scarred wrists, twisted and burned in a way only iron could affect a fairy. Chained. In iron. For a thousand years. Her own sister. So the council could play matchmaker and control her and Oberon both. Titania voice came out in a hiss. "What else have they stolen? What else have I forgotten?" And for the first time, she felt a stab of pure rage at Mustardseed, the last council member left. "Tell me."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/14/2007 19:17:37  

She told her story to Titania, as she'd told it to Oberon, relaying what she knew of the plot and how and where and how long she'd been imprisoned.

"They took my life, my beauty, my love!" she cried at the end of it, tearing at her hair at the storm of emotions that came with the remembered pain. "They left me frightened, and scarred, and forgotten...Do you know, I came across a young sprite the other day who had no idea who I was?" That had been an ugly shock and she'd frightened the poor thing with her displeasure.

"But I've punised them," she said, suddenly, chillingly calm. "And I have but one more to kill for her crimes." Mabb turned dark, glittering eyes on Titania. "Perhaps, dear sister, you can help me with that."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/14/2007 23:05:27  

Titania was almost cold herself when Mabb was done and she took a step back. Her anger at the council, at Carabosse, at Mustardseed trebled. They'd used them, used them all. She didn't know who first came up with the plot to lock Mabb away, but she did know whose idea it was to marry her to Oberon. Mustardseed had let it slip years ago, shortly after the wedding itself, pleased as punch at her apparent matchmaking.

Titania swallowed and her voice came out tight, controlled and carefully steady. "I can help you. I know whom you seek and I know where to find her. the last member of the council, and one of my own. But I don't know if you'll still want me help when I tell you the only thing I do know that you do not."

She didn't bother to draw it out. Mabb was on edge, her eyes overbright, shining with the tinge of madness. No sugar-coating could make Titania's next words easier. "The council had Oberon marry, take a seelie wife, to join the courts, to make them easier to control. He's since divorced, a split that was a long time coming. But he did marry, and that wife was me."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/16/2007 21:39:11  

It was hard for Mabb to figure out which upset her more, that her own sister had been the one to marry Oberon or the fact that he hadn't seen fit to mention that fact to her.

In her stunned silence, her face reflected that conflict, going from shock to stricken confusion. And then her features contorted into a look of bone-chilling wrath.

Without warning Mabb's magic rose up like a tidal wave, a black miasma of pure destruction, and it crashed down upon Titania. But while it reduced the vegetation around her to blackened ash and froze the pond to solid ice, it left Titania untouched, a result that pulled a shriek of frustrated rage from Mabb. "Why?"

She could have meant anything. Why couldn't' she hurt Titania? Why had she been the one to marry Oberon, and why had her love failed to mention it? Why had any of this happened at all?
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/16/2007 21:50:33  

There was little Titania could do to prepare for that wave a cold dark magic. In spring or summer she could have done more, save the land around her at least. She could easily melt the pond, but the grass, the plants the trees... She could do nothing for them until next summer. Maybe. Instead she stood there, as the magic did nothing to her, not even so much as ruffle her hair. It was almost nulled in the area around her, so much to the point that the grass at her feet was still green, in a very small patch around her. Her eyes narrowed at that. Why? Why had that happened?

It was something she would ponder later; for now she let out a warm rush of magic, thawing the icy pond to liquid state. It was far far to cold to swim or bathe in again, but it was liquid at least. And she couldn't really blame Mabb for her reaction. To be told on top of everything else that the love of your life had married your sister while you were chained for one thousand years? Titania thought it lucky that that was all that had happened.

Titania wasn't trying to soothe Mabb. No, all she was doing was telling her fact. "The council must have thought us all dangerous, needed us under some kind of control. And now they're dead, with one exception. Mustardseed, my handmaiden."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/16/2007 22:45:28  

It was a very welcome consolation, Titania's mention of Mustardseed, and Mabb latched on to it. It distracted her from Titania and Oberon's lie of omission the newest sliver of betrayal driven into Mabb's heart.

"Where is she?" she hissed, air still crackling with dark magic around her. "Give her to me."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/17/2007 01:01:02  

"I won't give her to you," Titania said. At least not directly. "But I will tell you exactly where she is hidden." She looked directly at Mabb as she spoke. "It was her idea to join the courts. Her idea for the marriage. What other part she played I don't know. But that I do."

She smiled and it was a distinctly unpleasant-looking smile. "Follow this path south to the great oak. Turn west there and you'll see the smallest of streams. Follow it to its end and you'll find your last prey. The last of the council." Titania felt little in the way of betraying her own court member. Mustardseed had betrayed her well before this, and she was only going to get her due.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/17/2007 13:25:57  

He'd been fearing this reunion since the reclamation of his memories.

Before he could claim perfect innocence in the matter. While no one knew that Carabosse (whom he still believed dead) had actually found his memories and returned them to him, it was only a matter of time before something slipped.

Oberon was a fairly good juggler, but once 18 clubs were in the air one was bound to fall.

He watched his women with guarded interest from the trees above, perched quietly in a branch. He'd heard arguing, sensed strong magic clashing, bound to follow he'd found Titania and Mabb, sisters strangely united in a cause.

He held his breath, wondering when or if he should enter this conversation or continue to watch and hope he would remain undetected.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/17/2007 13:51:24  

Titania crossed her arms watching the information sink in.She had barely finished speaking though when she felt a presence, once she'd been searching for for some time and unable to find. She looked around and then up and spied him, sitting in a tree, hiding from view and she hissed his name eyes narrowed. "Oberon."
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/17/2007 14:05:51  

The jig was up.

He looked down and smiled idly at Titania and then over to Mabb. He made no move to leave the tree. "I see you've met my wife," he said lightly.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/17/2007 14:15:33  

So focused had she been on the information Titania had so graciously supplied her with, her mind bent on bloodletting and that icy shard dagger already in her hand, that Mabb hadn't even felt Oberon's arrival. So hearing Titania sya his name, and then hearing the fey king respond came as a bit of a shock to Mabb, jarring her momentarily out of her bloodlust.

She stared up at Oberon, a mix of emotions crossing her face, and all of them unpleasant. But she couldn't keep the smile from her face at the sight of him. "Indeed, I have, my love," she said, her eyes over-bright. "I tried to make you a widower, but I can't seem to kill her." There was mild regret in her voice. "However, my sister's made herself useful and bought her life back."

She cocked her head, looking somewhat like a curious, mildly homicidal bird. "Won't you come down? We have things to discuss."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/17/2007 14:22:21  

Titania's eyes narrowed at that. Not that it hadn't occurred to her that Mabb would try to kill her, but the statement that she couldn't reminded her of the wave of dark magic that passed her and left her unharmed even as it destroyed vegetation around her. "Much as I'd like to remember if I've ever spoken these words, I somehow doubt I ever have. I agree with Mabb, dear Oberon. Won't you come down? I feel there's some light you could shed on this... situation."

Her eyes flitted between the two of them and she found herself readying an action to depart if necessary. Mabb was a handful enough. Two such powerful unseelie would be her end if they for any reason attempted to join forces against her. She didn't put anything past Mabb at the moment, Madness colored her eyes, and had Titania more on guard than she'd ever been. At least, that she could remember.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/17/2007 14:50:43  

He couldn't ignore their request as much as he wanted. He eased down from the tree and looked between them, wondering what kind of madness would ensue. "What kind of situation would that be?" he asked mildly, as if he didn't know what this was all about. He was going to feign ignorance until the very last, maintaining the carefully planned lie.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/18/2007 03:46:37  

"My love," Mabb purred as she approached Oberon with prowling grace and gentle smile. "Why didn't you tell me my dear sister had become your wife? It was a rather unpleasant surprise." That was an understatement if there'd ever been one.

She slid close, her free hand slipping around Oberon's waist and her eyes searching his face. "I suppose it's merely a trifle considering, but I do hope that if there's anything else important I should know, you'll be the first to tell me, won't you?" She looked back at Titania. "And if he can't, you will, won't you, sister?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/18/2007 22:14:33  

Titania's eyes flicked between Mabb and Oberon still, narrowed and hard like little green stones. She didn't move as Mabb slipped up to Oberon and said in a dry tone, "I've already told you all I remember, Mabb, and all I know that you don't. You -- and he -- probably know more of this than I." She fixed hers eyes on Oberon. "What light can you shed on this, dear Oberon?" Her tone was sweet, and yet still dagger-sharp.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/19/2007 05:48:57  

Oh he was in it now. He lit up a cigarette, some hand rolled thing he'd picked up in the outside world. He didn't think smoking implements were as good in Pentamerone and he went out of his way to get the kind he was most familiar with. He took a long drag.

"Probably not much more than your sister," he replied. It was non-committal in the best form. "I did not realize you were related," he added, which was the truth at first. "There's not much resemblance."

He smiled, though it did not reach his eyes, sad and ironic. Then he sighed with a very practiced sort of ease, exhaling smoke in lilting rounded shapes. "They must have taken that, among my other memories. We have all been played by the council, though my dear Mabb has seen to it that they have paid a certain price."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/19/2007 11:54:11  

Something didn't seem right with Oberon's explination. It wasn't what he said or how he said it, but the whispers were back, a quiet hum of warning that Mabb batted away with a mental hand.

As if in deiance, she pressed herself more fully against Oberon's lean frame, head restng on his shoulder. "Indeed, I have. There's only one left to take care of now..." Something made her pause, her eyes gone distant in tought for a moment, and then she looked at Titania. "Dear sister, I think it would be best if Mustardseed came to us, don't you? She should be made to explain herself before us all before I kill her."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/19/2007 12:07:21  

Titania watched Oberon in silence and then turned to Mabb. "What an excellent idea. I'd love to hear what she's been keeping from me before she goes the way of the rest of the council." She looked pointed back at Oberon -- she felt something wasn't ringing true either, and Oberon was skilled at weaving truth with lie to make them indiscernible. Time for another opinion.

Titania was gone in seconds heading directly for Mustardseed's newest hideout. The fairy would not be able to disobey her queen, not when directly order to follow and attend, and that's exactly what Titania had in mind. She'd be back shortly with the traitor accompanying her.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/19/2007 12:19:49  

One of the clubs Oberon had been juggling was about to drop and he had no idea about the coming storm heading his way. "I am sorry my love, that all of this has been so trying," he whispered to Mabb, carefully wrapping his arms around her.

He believed that Mustardseed only knew what he was left with, once his memories had been erased. It was a carefully constructed lie and with Carabosse gone he believed that he was the only faerie left to know the whole truth.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/19/2007 13:36:50  

"Don't worry, my king," she murmured, pressing a kiss under Oberon's jaw. "It will all be over soon, everything put to right." And then they could be like they'd been before all those centuries ago, before they'd been betrayed by other people's ambitions.

Soon Titania would return with mustardseed in tow and the whole matter would be at an end.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/21/2007 01:07:24  

It didn't take long to coax the fairy out of her hiding place. In fact in what seemed like a moment's time, Titania had returned, holding a small fairy by the wrist. The grip was gentle, delicate, and yet strong as steel; Mustardseed wasn't getting away.

Titania's smile was syrupy sweet as she came back to where she'd been standing before, Mustardseed at her side. "Mustardseed, this is my sister Mabb. Oh but you knew that already, didn't you? In fact, why don't you tell us all everything you know?"

The little fairy darted terrified glances between the three most powerful fairies and tears in her eyes, free hand wringing her ochre colored dress she haltingly told what she knew. The council's proposal, her idea to wed Oberon and Titania to join the courts, how Oberon went along with it far easier than she expected it. How Titania agreed to marry Oberon without knowing any of the consequences it would hold for Mabb, and how the council sought to take both their memories away. Titania's was easy. Erase all memory of Mabb and it was done. Oberon... Mustardseed threw him a terrified glance. Oberon had to be made to forget his own involvement in its planning and in the decision of what to do with Mabb.

Titania did not flinch at the accusation of her own decision now forgotten. She could not truly remember Mabb, but she could feel the push and pull from her, the sibling rivalry that must have one been spectacular. It didn't surprise her she'd choose to marry her sister's lover, but she wondered if she'd known there was once deep love there. Would she have made the same choice?

Mustardseed had come to the end of her speech, at least until further questioned, and now she half hid behind Titania, fearful of what would come next.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/23/2007 07:39:59  

One eyebrow raised in curiosity at the little faerie. He knew all of what she said was true, since the return of his memories in the little blue vial had brought with it the knowledge of his betrayal. He wondered why Mustardseed would go to the trouble of telling the whole truth when Mabb would kill her regardless. Then again the seelie faerie had no loyalty to his dark court; why not attempt to take down the unseelie king in the process of death?

He smirked, his eyes carefully masked. He had not realized that this little faerie would know so much. What was strangest is that he did not fear what this misstep would cost him. Oberon was weary in Pentamerone, even in his own season. He lit a second cigarette, smoke trailing from his fingers as he moved from lips to hip between puffs.

"What a peculiar tale you weave," he said vaguely. "I imagine you came to it secondhand?" he asked her, wondering if it was Warren or Cara herself who had squawked. "Of course, not all of your details are correct, but one could hardly expect to get it right unless one was involved in it from the very beginning."

His hand darted out to grasp around Mustardseed's neck, pushing his former wife momentarily to the side. "You gain no clemency in my court and I doubt that Titania will save you for your hand in this betrayal." He lifted her as if she were nothing, air and smoke. He closed his eyes and when he opened them again he was looking to Mabb.

There was so much to say and explain. His body ached with the foolishness of it all. He couldn't look past his own court and even the seelie. It had been his duty to protect them all and removing Mabb from the equation followed that. She was too dangerous to be allowed to rule over his fey. And yet, he loved her. He loved her so terribly much that this betrayal cut him to the quick, razor cuts on every inch of his body, pain he relished and reviled all at once.

All of his love for her could not save him now. Perhaps it was just better to be honest. He dropped Mustardseed and did not look back in her direction again. "I did not know that they would marry me to your sister. I did not know that they would imprison you in irons for all eternity. Damn my pride; if I had I would never have carried through with the plans to remove you from power."
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/23/2007 11:54:28  

Mabb had been ready to scoff at the little fairy's tale, mock her for such a weak attempt to spare her life. But all that died in her throat, turned to ash as Oberon, her king, her love, not only didn't deny the accusation, but admitted his involvement.

And just when she needed their guidance most, needed to know what to do, the whispers were silent. Not only silent, but gone.

Her chest hurt, hurt so much she couldn't quite breathe and she stared at Oberon with wide eyes. "Surely," she said finally, desperation creeping in beneath her light words. "Surely this is some more foul magic. You were enchanted. Tricked?"

He had to have been tricked. Because there was simply no other explanation as to why Oberon would do such a thing, not to her, not to one he claimed to love so much.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/23/2007 12:04:53  

The base of Titania's skull was starting to throb. The place where they'd pressed iron to subdue her, wipe her memory pulsed now as more and more that she'd been made to forget was forced back into her head. She hadn't known he'd been involved, hadn't known most of what Mustardseed was going to say. She expected herself to be incriminated, certainly, especially if the rivalry between her and her sisters was as strong as it felt. But to hear of Oberon being involved...

Her eyes darted from Mabb to Oberon, waiting for his answer; Mustardseed was unable to speak, fear gripping her as Oberon dropped her to the ground. She made no move to hide behind her queen; she just remained where she was. Titania knew her death would be soon, and be violent, and she still wouldn't stop it. She took no actions, said nothing, merely waited to hear what Oberon had to say for himself next.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/23/2007 12:15:47  

The ache intensified. "I thought I could spare you this pain. After all you've suffered," he said softly and cast a dirty look at Mustardseed.

He closed his eyes. "I could not have you as my queen," he said, as if that could explain the hurtful betrayal and great lengths (though not great enough) that he'd gone to in keeping it secret. "You were too great a threat. We would have ruled in terror and darkness. The fey would have suffered for our greatness and our love. I could not have that," he said, his eyes not quite meeting her own.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/23/2007 12:53:48  

" could not have that." The words came out soft and flat, Mabb still too stunned by the callous explanation of Oberon's treacherous machinations. Mustardseed might have set things into motion, but the little fairy wasn't her true enemy; Oberon was.

He'd betrayed her. The one person she'd loved above all had betrayed her. And for what? She couldn't understand the why. Because everything, all her suffering could have been avoided if only..."You could have told me," Mabb said, voice still low and hollow despite the black glitter in her eyes. "You could have told me and I would have stepped aside simply because you asked me to."

She backed away from Oberon slowly, gaze never once leaving him as she laughed, a broken, wretched sound. "What a great fool I am. I gave you all of me, held you dear for a thousand years. I returned scarred and twisted and still I gave you my heart. But it wasn't enough was it? Not for our dear king, right sister?" She looked at Titania as if sharing some awful joke, then back to Oberon with an odd look in her eyes. "Perhaps he requires a more tangible prize."

Her hand tightened around the shard dagger and, with no hesitation at all, plunged it into her chest.

The magic of the shard prevented the wound from killing her and Mabb had a brief moment of regret before it was gone, given way to another course of action.

She gasped at the searing cold pain, but it didn't deter her. With sickening sounds and the strength that can only come from madness or strong emotion, and sometimes both, Mabb cut her heart from her chest.

Skin bleached winter-white and radiating a poisonous cold, Mabb held her heart out to Oberon in her bloodied hand, the organ crystallizing into a large ruby almost immediately. "Perhaps you'll treasure this more than you did me." With a kind of satisfied finality, she let what used to be her heart fall to the blackened ground.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/23/2007 13:06:58  

No amount of certainty in the sheer depth of Mabb's madness could have prepared Titania for what her sister did. She expected anger. She expected rage. She expected maybe even a breakdown followed by another explosion of dark magic. She didn't expect her to cut out her own heart. She watched the ruby heart fall, bounce, and roll to a stop near Oberon's feet.

Her eyes were fixed at wide orbs, her mouth slightly open. Finally finding her voice she spoke, low, quiet. "I never gave you my heart Oberon, and you never gave me yours. And I'm glad I didn't, if this is how you treat the one you supposedly love."

And that was the last she said to him. Instead she turned to Mabb, hot anger still burning in her eyes. "And you, sister. What would you have of this one?" She gestured to Mustardseed, who had chosen that moment to try to creep away. Titania tugged her to her feet by a thin wrist, and held her up like a toy.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/23/2007 13:19:35  

He stood stricken between these women he loved and hated, feared and desired. Of all the things he had planned and executed this was not a result he desired.

Tears fell from his face, tears he hadn't cried since the length of his memory. If he genuinely, honestly believed that Mabb was capable of stepping down and walking away that would have been his first course of action. But it didn't occur to him that his power hungry lover was capable of such things. He did what he believed was right; he stood by that decision now as her madness consumed her.

His eyes fell on the ruby that was her heart. He picked it up with simple curiosity, gazed upon it in awe and heavy sadness. "Mabb," he whispered, his fingers tracing lines across her heart, his own heart aching. He would cut out his own heart to save her this pain. He had done it figuratively for his people. He would do it literally now if it weren't for the look in Mabb's eye and the matter of Mustardseed before them.

He bit his lip and a drizzle began, icy rain to match his tears at the edge of winter in his high season. He didn't need a prophet to tell him it was going to be an awful winter.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/23/2007 13:32:40  

Mabb watched him, unmoved. The removal of her heart had killed whatever tender emotions she might have had. Love, sympathy, sadness, all gone, and it came as a much-needed relief to her.

"I do not give you permission to speak my name thus," she said coolly, her countenance that of the proud queen she'd never had the chance to be. "You are not to address me directly at all. Never again." With those last words, she turned away from Oberon, dismissing him as if he were nothing more than a mild nuisance. Her attention turned instead to Titania and the terrified fairy in her grasp.

Mabb stared unblinking at the little fairy for a long moment before suddenly grabbing her by the hair and slicing her head neatly from her body, the icy blade singing through the chilly air.

Mustardseed's body went limp and Mabb discarded her head as if it were nothing more than trash. "Do with her what you will," she answered her sister finally. "I no more need of her."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 11/23/2007 13:39:59  

Titania shivered in the cold rain, eager to get back to her own bower where the weather was always warm, always perfect. Unblinking she looked down at Mustardseed's limp body and brushed past them both to pick up the fairy's head. She shivered again, whether from the sight of her beheaded former servant or the cold was unknown. She looked at Mabb one last time. "Farewell sister. Perhaps next time we meet, there will be no gaps in my memory." She said nothing about Oberon, nor to him as green vines wrapped around Mustardseed's body. She didn't even look at him as she passed, the vines carrying the body behind her. She'd bury the fairy, but not here. She left then, her presence there no longer needed, or probably wanted. She had no idea what Mabb planned for now, and wasn't sure what she'd be like if and when they met again.
From: [info]fairking Date: 11/23/2007 13:49:42  

He watched her go. Perhaps neither woman would speak to him again and an odd sense of peace came with that. He was devoid of further reaction, too bereaved to properly process what had just happened.

He had no need to hide any more truths from this point forward, however devastating. It was all out and filled the air with his cold, cold rain.
From: [info]prickingthumbs Date: 11/23/2007 14:01:31  

Watching her sister go with a strange sort of respect, Mabb wondered briefly what their next meeting would be like. And then she realized she didn't much care and turned to go herself.

She paused when she noticed Oberon still standing there, still looking stricken, and her lips curved into a mocking smile. "There, there. None of that, now. Such a weak face is not befitting of a king. But I suppose that says it all, doesn't it?"

Mabb wiped the bloody shard clean on her dress, and tucked it away at her hip once more. "Goodbye, your highness. I hope your court brings you comfort. The next time we meet, I'll probably kill you."

It was said in an almost casual manner before Mabb drew up her magic around her and vanished, leaving a backlash of arctic cold and dark, withering power lingering in her wake.
Community: [info]pentamerone
<% /!UseJournal %>