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The Fox and the Crow; once per version when the yugi and the cicadamn align...
Topic Started: Jul 26 2017, 08:39 PM (185 Views)
The Yugetnam War
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[ *  *  *  * ]
She giggled.

“Well, you know how the saying goes. I walk the walk, so I may as well talk the talk.”

She brought her shoulders up in sequence. Left right left right. She giggled again. It was something she imagined Paris would like. Maybe it could be something he’d laugh with her about. That’d be nice. It would be like a cherry on top of the largest strawberry cheesecake she could visualize. Just one thing that right now she felt would make this day even better for her. Just one thing that would make her that much more happy. About today, about being with Paris, about everything, really. She didn’t get this much love from her family, she didn’t get this much love from her friends, but she did from Paris. Her boyfriend. The guy who loved her more than anyone else on this planet.

And remember, he was the one who wanted you. Not the other way around.

You took his heart all on your own, sister.


And she smiled when Paris complimented her. She couldn’t help but be happy at the fact that Paris was into the way she dressed. Jasmine knew that she didn’t really have a particular style, Jasmine knew that she didn’t really dress to impress, but she felt proud when Paris said she had good taste.

And think about that. He likes your style. More than what passes at trends at school. All those other girls? The way they dress? They don’t compare to you. They don’t look as good on them as your clothes do on you.

Think about that.

You know what that makes you, right?


Yeah, she did. She smiled, as she ran up and caught up to him, taking care not to accidently bash into his arm.
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Cicada Nights
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me_irl
[ *  *  * ]
“Yep. You gotta have it before you can say it.” Paris completely agreed with her. It was important to practice what one preached and make the promises one could keep.

She did some little jig with her shoulders. Paris watched, then mimicked her. Left right left right. Felt kinda light and flirty, he had to smile and laugh a bit. Though it was probably also kind of silly looking. Now he was walking to the changing rooms and she was beside him. He checked out the clothes she was going to try on then signalled to the dressing room attendant, a short tan dude. Five pieces for him.

“Don’t take too long in there or I might have to check on you,” Paris joked a bit as they went to their rooms and then split up. Not like he’d be actually doing it though. He hung up his clothes, pants to one peg and shirts to another so he could mix and match. It took him a few seconds to pick out the first combination. Thin plain green shirt kind of scoop cut to show a bit of chest, nice and shiny leather jacket tight around his biceps, dressy grey slacks a bit tight around the rear. He’d have to get a size up if he actually bought these, which he wouldn’t anyways. He adjusted things around, tucked in the shirt, primped his cuffs and collar.

When he stepped out from the dressing room with a creak of the big wooden door Jasmine wasn’t out yet. He waited for her while casually inspecting himself in a nearby mirror. Not bad.
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“I’ll take my time then,” she said, smiling and giggling to herself and him as they both entered their changing rooms. Admittedly, part of it wasn’t as much of a joke as her giggles made it out to be. Admittedly, she would have found it… nice, if the two went into the same stall together, but she knew that that wasn’t an actual possibility. Paris was religious. Paris was moral. Paris had all his things in his Bible saying that he wasn’t allowed to do anything frisky. In a way, that was good. Jasmine didn’t want someone too clingy on her, after all, but when Jasmine wanted to be clingy, whenever she wanted to be touchy feely, it could get… annoying. Lonely. It would make it so that she couldn’t give him the attention she wanted to give.

But that wasn’t what mattered. Right now, she just had to get changed. She put her clothes on the hooks, she placed her number on the door, and closed the shutter. She looked at the clothes on the hooks. Which one to try on first? Obviously she would put them all on at some point so obviously order didn’t matter but which one would Paris like to see first? She wasn’t sure.

There was, however, the dress on the end. A navy blue long-sleeve one piece, with a frilly neck hem. A dress that Paris had picked out for her. A dress that he said he’d like to see her wear.

A dress that Jasmine was sure Paris would love if he saw her wearing it.

She smiled.

It seems that she had made her choice.

So she put her hands around her waistline. Ducked down slightly as she pulled her shirt above her head. It had gotten caught on her breasts for a brief moment - something that seemed to be happening a lot, in the past few weeks; something she needed to fix, at any rate - but in the space of one or two seconds, it was off. Onto the floor. She looked in the mirror, for a brief moment. Saw her body. Her skin. She was a little wider than she liked to be, she knew that she was going to have to do some exercise, in the future, but it didn’t bother her too much. Paris liked her already just the way she was. She could afford to be a little out of shape.

And hey, it isn’t like you’re not lookin’ good already, sister.

The voice called. The figment of her mind that constantly talked to her had decided to open its mouth again. She looked around. Smiled. Nobody else could see her, so she may as well entertain it. Give it form.

And in the space of a moment, the voice had it. A form. A shape. It was tall - exactly as tall as her - standing casually and leaning its body against the wall of the changing room. It had pale skin. Green eyes. Black hair flowing like silk down to its shoulders. It looked like her. Really, the only difference the two had were their clothes. She was - always was - wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt. A pair of black jeans.

And her visibility - the way Jasmine saw her - was weird, as well. She was there, she was in the mirror standing right behind her, but her body looked clear. Transparent. As if she wasn’t there. As if she was simply just imagining her presence.

Well, Jasmine supposed she was only a part of her mind. An imaginary friend, like what some people in her pre-school had.

...Well, hers was more than imaginary. More than a friend to her, as well.

”Like, seriously,” she said, her voice both loud and mute. ”You look absolutely fine just like that. Like, yeah, you’re a little on the plump side, but you know what that song on the radio said, right?”

No, she didn’t?

It was a reference she knew she should have gotten, a song she knew she’d listened to before, but a blank had been drawn in her head. No matter how hard she focused, she had no idea what she was talking about.

”Really, you don’t remember?” She asked. ”Doesn’t matter anyway. Point is, guys like having more stuff to hold onto. Boys like plump. Paris likes it, remember? He was the one who asked you out. He loves you more than anybody else.”

And Jasmine smiled at that. She was right. He did love her. He did see of her as more than a friend, and she was happy at that. The thought of him loving her, the thought of her loving him, that was what filled her mind as the voice stepped closer and brought its arms around her waist.

”Remember, you look great, Jasmine,” the voice said as it brought its lips to her neck, the kiss feeling like everything and nothing at the same time.

”Better than those other girls, that’s for sure.”



She walked out of the dressing room, the dress on her body and a skip in her step. She saw Paris soon enough. Saw the green shirt and the leather that looked sooooooo good on him. She walked to him. Moved her arms to her side to show the dress.

“Heeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyy.”
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Cicada Nights
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me_irl
[ *  *  * ]
Short tan dude was walking around, Paris nodded at him friendly like.

Not long after that and Jasmine burst out of her room excitedly. She sounded excited, and she looked great. Paris had picked out that particular piece because he’d thought it’d be flattering without being too flattering. It looked great and it was acceptable Sunday wear.

“Hey,” Paris parroted Jasmine, with less emphasis. He made a show of examining her, slowly looking her up and down while nodding, ‘mm’-ing, and scratching his chin. “Well well.” He smiled. “If we actually had the money I’d say buy it. It’s pretty radiant.” The contour of the fabric draped flawlessly and sat on her like a king on a throne, a perfect and logical fit. She’d be turning heads if she showed up to, say, a school dance in this one.

That was probably the sort of thing she’d get a kick out of, if Paris had to guess. Maybe she could stand to lose a little weight but that was the one flaw. Paris would be keeping that particular observation quiet.

“We’d cut a heck of a pair at Homecoming next year.” More of an idle thought than a promise.




They’d walked all the way to Central and now they were walking back. Kensington wasn’t the closest neighborhood both ways but the walk was good exercise, it got the blood pumping and warmed the feet. He was going to walk her home, since her’s was closer. It was a nice warm night to be outside for so he set an easy and casual pace.

“... I’m just saying, Mr. Douglas isn’t so fair to any of the kids who aren’t first chair. Or at least that’s what, you know, all the kids who aren’t first chair like to say.” Paris shrugged. It was just rumors, not really personal experience. Jasmine would probably be correcting him promptly. “I think you’ve got the better music teacher, all things told.”

He cracked his neck with a quick swivel of his head before relaxing back into his lazy pace.
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The Yugetnam War
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[ *  *  *  * ]
The sun was coming down.

The wind was behind their backs.

And the date was ending. They were walking home. The sky was grey and the streets were empty and the only sound Jasmine could hear were their voices and their footsteps. His voice. The smoothness and the tone that she’d always noticed, always loved. The voice that she wanted to hear as much as she could before this ended. Before she went home. Before the one person in her life who knew her and loved her and laughed with her vanished and became replaced with a set of parents who didn’t care about her an older brother who always stood above her and a younger sister who was always in the fucking way. Aster was okay, Aster knew what her life was like, but he was always busy. Always had something to do. Was never there for her. Didn’t make up for everyone else. Didn’t make up for the people she was forced to call ‘family.’

Soon, Paris would be gone.

Soon, her family would take his place.

So she was making up for that. Talking to him. Making it so that when these streets eventually reached their end, when she eventually had to go home, she’d be happy. She’d be satisfied. She’d done and said everything she could have on this date.

She smiled. Looked at him. Their hands were already intersected, but she wanted to give him more. She brought her left hand around his. Squeezed it with her right.

Leaned her head against his arm as they walked.

“Yeah,” she said. “I probably do. At least for my instruments. Ensembles, on the other hand…”

She giggled.

It seemed as if Jasmine was a slave within his aura, again.

And honestly, she was fine with that.
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Cicada Nights
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me_irl
[ *  *  * ]
“Windy day,” Paris remarked. “Smells like up at the pier. You know, that one by itself on the coast up North?” He considered that scent nostalgic, even if Paris had only lived in Denton for the latter half of his life. Wherever he ended up after Europe: St.Johns, Fordham, whatever… Paris was going to probably fondly miss that particular smell. Smell of the sea, it was, kind of briny and a bit smoky. Like someone cooking a bit of fish.

Here and now he’d probably fondly remember this date for a bit. It had been peaceful and easy. Kind of like how Paris felt listening to the rumbling echoes from an altar. Profound, in some unknowable way.

Anyways, Paris would have study early tomorrow before Mass, Mom had already pressed a solid green polo on his behalf. He figured he could take the rest of tonight easy. He picked up the pace fractionally, a bit more eager for the creature comforts of home. But first, of course, Jasmine’s home.

“That’s it up there, right?” They turned a corner and a streetlamp pole onto what Paris was half sure was Jasmine’s block. Jasmine’s hand was closed around his, Paris casually offered a gentle squeeze, but nothing more. He could smell a bit of the artificial scent of her shampoo. It washed and bleached out the more familiar scent of an ancient memory.

“Is that how it is? Hah, I guess it’s impossible to escape bad teachers isn’t it.” Paris thought for a second, considering how he’d say goodnight for now or however long it was they wouldn’t be seeing each other. He started planning for his Sunday, additionally.
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“Yeah, I’ve been up there,” she said. “It was always more for the restaurants and the amusement park than anything but I remember walking on the pier once or twice.”

He said affirmations to her. She squeezed his arm a little tighter at that. She was with him. She was hugging him. She was happy. She knew that this day wouldn’t last forever, she knew that home was just around the corner, but she was happy regardless. Smiling, regardless. She was with the boy she loved and he loved her back and she was letting her be with him. She wasn’t with her parents, she wasn’t with her brother, and she wasn’t with her fucking sister, either. She was with Paris. That was good enough for her.

And she knew that when this day was done, when she went home and slept in her bed and let this day end, she’d always remember being here. She’d always remember being with Paris.

She’d always remember this as one of the best days of her life.

But it had to end. She had to go home, eventually.

She knew that.

So when she saw her house in the distance, when Paris pointed it out, all she could do was stop moving, for a brief moment.

“Yeah,” she said, her smile dropping for what felt like the first time since she’d entered that house at number five. “It is.”
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Cicada Nights
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Had she stopped smiling? Anyways, he followed her stony gaze in idle curiosity. Number four was plated over the door of her home. Off by one, that was kind of a funny coincidence. Paris backtracked through the conversation a bit, physically drifting a bit ahead, enough so that both their arms would stretch up and their shoulders would tug to hold them together.

“Oh yeah, they have a Long John’s up there don’t they? And a Crab Shack… I never liked either of those places much but somehow they’re still nostalgic, if that makes any sense.” It was the smell of fresh caught and fresh cooked seafood that was the lingering memory, not the taste. Paris could smell that smell again, upwind of Jasmine. He paused himself, drinking the scent in with deep inhales that gently ebbed and flowed through his chest.

He looked back at Jasmine and smiled innocently. Another squeeze of his hand, the awkward sensation of flesh melding to flesh.

“Not ready to go back yet?”

He supposed he could spare a few more minutes. Maybe Jasmine wanted to hang around in the park nearby or something, so they could keep chewing out teachers. Not such a bad use of time.
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“No.”

She let herself drop her arms. Let her body leave the hug she was giving.

“I’m… not.”

Did she want to do this?

Did she want to show him how much she wanted to be with him?

She knew what the answer was.

She knew what she wanted to do, from the bottom of her heart.

She hopped up. Stepped in front so she was facing him.

“I…”

And then she brought down her head on his shoulder.

Brought her hands around his back.

“I love you.”
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Cicada Nights
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Love was a strange word. Paris wrapped his arms gently around the curve of her waist. There wasn’t much tension or power to the gesture, his forearms only softly draped over her fabric-dressed skin.

“Yeah. Love you too.”

Love could mean all sorts of things anyways.
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Imagine that you - throughout your whole life - never felt as if you had anyone who truly cared about you.

Imagine having two parents so lazy that they only gave attention and care and praise to the child who just did everything first.

Imagine having an older brother who acted so high and mighty, who acted like he knew best, who thought he was so good and so capable that he didn’t even need to interact with his younger sister, like she wasn’t worthy of his attention even when his attention defined her.

Imagine having a younger brother - a person who knows everything you’ve had to deal with -  who even despite that could never help you. Was never there for you. Always had something to do or a commitment to make or a girl to date and was never there for his sister, even when things were at their hardest for her.

Imagine having a younger sister who was just the worst. Who always got in the way. Who always snivelled and cried and made noise every time you just wanted silence.

Imagine having that.

Imagine having nobody to make up for it.

And then imagine finding a guy. In your class. For the most part, you note him from afar. Yeah, he’s handsome, yeah, he seems smart, but that doesn’t bother you much. You don’t think much of him. Yeah, you pick up the gossip, the stories of the girls who were with him, but you don’t think about him. You don’t pay him too much mind.

And then you meet him. And then you two are put on the same table as each other. You chat and you smile and you play music together and you realize how pretty he is. How smart he is. How much he compliments you. How much more fond of you he is than the other girls in his class.

And then he asks you out.

And then he says that he loves you.

And then he shows that unlike your parents, unlike Saffron, unlike Aster, unlike Primrose, he cares about you. He really, truly, does.

Imagine that.

And Jasmine did. As she held him. As he held her. As she felt his warmth all around his body.

As he reaffirmed to her that he did care. He did love her.

As she brought her lips to his. As she brought their mouths together.

As she felt an indescribable feeling. As the happiness she’d felt during the whole day came up to a whole new level.

As she realized that this day with Paris, this day where she was cared about, was the best of her life.

She pulled her head away, for a second. Looked him in the eyes. Hugged his body ever tighter.

“Hey, you won’t forget about this, right?”
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Cicada Nights
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me_irl
[ *  *  * ]
“No.”

It was an odd feeling Jasmine had gifted Paris, what with the surprise kiss and all. It all seemed kind of melodramatic. Paris was a bit relieved when it was over, but he guessed it hadn’t been all that bad.

That Monday when they saw each other in class Jasmine would ask about it, and he’d sort of remember.

((Jasmine King memories concluded))
((Paris Ardennes memories continued in A Sweet Little Lie, I Cry Wolf, Cry))
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