djsoliloquy: ([AC] other worlds than these)
DJ ([personal profile] djsoliloquy) wrote2012-08-12 04:12 pm

[AC ficlets]

sigh tumblr-dw fic transfer initiated 

sharp fragments of happiness 
PG, Malik, Altair/Maria | Malik is conflicted with happiness the first time he sees Darim.

The story will be of the first time Malik saw Darim. It’s after the child is born and Malik is the first person Altair wants to introduce to his son. The child is healthy. Maria is tired but content, and as they stand there Altair offers him something, something about Darim, about raising him. And it happens there in the silence before Malik answers: he hesitates.

Happiness is a kind of beauty. It reflects perfection in facets where it touches, and as facets of perfection go it may be one of the few that ever really matter.

Malik Al-Sayf is not a man to whom destiny has been kind. He’s almost getting used to it stabbing him in the back for good measure. And it may get worse, if not right away. But twenty, thirty years from this moment? That is a long time for things to go wrong again.

Malik’s hand pauses motionless above the child as Darim’s tiny fist wraps around one of his fingers. He is stopped from brushing the dark hairs on his head, as Kadar had when he was born, those soft wisps that infants sometimes have—he stops, Altair’s proposal in his ears. He stops. This is his recognition of the unfathomable frailty of such moments, the instinct protecting him from another round of destiny and pain because that something is now means it soon inevitably will not be.

And this healthy baby boy, Altair and Maria’s obvious pride in their son, it all spills over into Malik. Encompasses them all in safety and peace and fills Malik to the brim, whether he is braced for happiness or not. And for once he is glad that he is not braced, because it is achingly beautiful. A perfect moment. Malik is happy.

Altair says Malik’s name, and Malik catches himself. He says yes in his own particular style. Someone must help Maria teach the child sense, especially if the son grows up to be anything like the father was in his youth.

Happiness can be frightening, in the way of beauty and perfection, when one learns how fleeting it can be. How cherished it deserves to be and rarely ever is. When you’re Malik, just stepping out to meet that perfect moment feels like a risk. It takes so little for things to collapse underfoot.

But this time…

He is pleased for them. For the child, the future. He shrugs off thoughts of how long will it last this time. Because this may be the most dangerous lifestyle imaginable, but this time—

Maybe this time it will be good. Maybe now on it will go right.

So Malik accepts both of them, the offer and the happiness. He breathes and smiles and finally does softly brush the hair on Darim’s head, and he is ready to be the first to congratulate his closest friends on the birth of their first child.

a gentle ultimatum

(PGish, Altair/Malik |  Malik gets stuck in workaholic mode and Altair tries to get him out of it) [abandoned]

Though he was forced to admit that, yes, the work was getting done, Altair suspected a masked purpose to Malik’s resolve to clear the Grandmaster’s desk of clutter. He could not actually enjoy sitting behind the desk for hours on end. Perhaps he was attempting to hunt some personal serenity to the bottom of the paper and vellum disarray.

People had cleared the hall; no one dared risk a noise while Malik toiled. The air was musty, clouded from a few candles burning on reused wax. Altair let his footsteps fall heavily upon the stairway, throwing open window shutters as he climbed. “Maria tells me you are terrorizing the novices,” he said loudly.

A snort. “I have not left these rooms in days.”

“Yes, she was very impressed,” Altair agreed as he approached the desk. His desk, though occupied. He held up his hand before Malik could interrupt. “Fear is a valuable teaching tool in moderation, but we are beginning to worry.”

“Initiates can always use a little more fear.”

“I did not mean for them.” Altair sighed, already foreseeing the reaction to his next words. “Malik, I speak as your Grandmaster now and I am giving you an order.”

The silence was icy, deafening. Malik looked at him, sullen but fortunately thoughtful. “It has been some time since you’ve felt it necessary to pull rank with me,” he said. A testament to how the years had changed them, their mutual consideration in that moment. “But that was then,” Malik said. “Well, Grandmaster? What is your order?” He said it with a touch of a smirk, as though calling Altair’s bluff.

Altair’s eyes narrowed. “Take the day off.” Malik’s expression opened into outrage, and Altair added, “Do whatever you like. Go to the market. Put fear in the hearts of the novices in person. I would not care if you took a week for yourself, Malik, but no more of this today.”

Malik leaned back, drawing his fingers over the wood beneath his hand. “And if I refuse?”

“If you insist on remaining in my chambers,” Altair said slowly, “then you will continue to do as I ask and submit to my orders without question. I won’t order you to continue your work at my desk. In fact, I forbid it.”

It said something of his dedication to the work that Malik did not immediately rise to leave. He slumped in the chair for a moment, studying Altair. Malik surely despised putting himself in that promise, but it must have sounded too much like a challenge. He suspected Malik still possessed the now-usually-dormant instinct to accept and best Altair in anything like a contest. Or else Malik didn’t really think Altair would make good on his promise.

“Leave whenever you want,” Altair said. He strode around the desk to face the window, feeling Malik’s eyes on him as soon as his back was turned. “But as long as you are here…”
Malik grunted. “Interesting.”


Post a comment in response:

Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.