1.     Iris sat on a rocky outcrop, looking out over the Kerry landscape, her expression unreadable.  Mara sat down next to her, tried from the drive.  “You look like you’re thinking about something.” She said, looking at her companion.  Iris nodded.

        “The Christians weren’t the first to expel the Fey, you understand.” She said.  Mara tilted her head.  “Oh they closed a few portals, and happens to time it right to line up with the shutting of the rest, but we weren’t always from the other world, you know.” She sighed. 

        “There was a time we ruled this land, the Tuatha dé Danann, as giants and heroes and gods.” Iris continued “But then the Milesians came and sang the humans’ Ireland into existence, and we had to fell through portals under the hills and under the sea.” she shook her head.  “And then the other humans came, and taught them iron, and called themselves children of Noah, and a bit more of the magic left, and after- well, you probably know the rest.”

        She shook her head and added “I’m not old enough to remember when we wandered these hills, or cousins of these hills perhaps, but still- I carry the stories of how they were before with me in my heart.  I am a living memory of what we once were- and what we can never be again.  It’s not as if we are not powerful- our world is vast, our power greater, but there will always be a part of us that mourns this image of what was, and the world where we first saw the sun.”

        Mara nodded.  “It’s hard to carry a past you don’t remember.” She said.  Iris shook her head.

        “Ah, yours is within your lifetime- it may yet be part of a greater story that you alone can shape.  There is something terribly unsatisfying with struggling to hold the history of a people.” She looked over at Mara and smiled sadly. “Still, I forget- you’ve lost earth in your own way, too.  In that, we are kin- we have both been driven underground.  Now we stand in the sunlight, blinking and unsure how to behave.” Iris said.  Mara looked wry.

        “You never seem at a loss.” Mara said.  Iris laughed.

        “It’s practice, my dear nothing more.  You’re young yet, you don’t understand- half of power is assuming that it’s yours.  The other half is convincing the others you’re right.” She looked at Mara, appraisingly. “You’re five hundred, yes?  Give yourself time, you’ll come to understand.”

        Mara raised her eyebrows.  “Well, ambassador, shall we continue with the tour?”  Iris nodded.

        “Yes, please.  I’m trying to decide which of these mountain I want for my own.” Iris said.  Mara raised her eyebrows.

        “I really hope you’re joking.”  Mara said.

  2. fadeintocase:

naughtyornicechekov:

amandaonwriting:

Suggestions for changing paragraphs

Oh my FuckinDo you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speakingDo you realize how confusing it isI don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER.

dear christ this.no more walls of text please. please.

I need to work on this.

    fadeintocase:

    naughtyornicechekov:

    amandaonwriting:

    Suggestions for changing paragraphs

    Oh my Fuckin
    Do you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speaking
    Do you realize how confusing it is
    I don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph.
    ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER.

    dear christ this.
    no more walls of text please. please.

    I need to work on this.

    Reblogged from: caducus
  3. “Well, we’re back in Ireland, and we saw the famous cloth-of-gold vestments in Waterford today.” Mara said, looking tired. 
Ahavah looked concerned. “I would have thought that that would be a bit much holy magic for you both.” She said, biting her lip. 
Mara shook her head.  “It’s been so long since they’ve been used, the charge has almost entirely gone out.” She shrugged.  “Anyway, it was strange.”
“How so?” Ahavah asked.
“Well the history there- these sacred objects were financed by people’s fears of going to Hell, made of cloth of gold and velvet while other people starve, and then hidden because the humans decided that She wants them to kill each other to show how much they love her. I don’t know… just- I honestly don’t miss being able to enter churches most days” Mara said. 
Ahavah’s shoulders slumped. “I know.” She said “If they only understood…they have so much potential!  They could be doing so much more then this if they just tried to find the sacred in each other!” Ahavah looked on the verge of tears.
“Shhhh.” Mara said.  “Look,” she said “I didn’t call you to talk about what I don’t believe in- I came to remind you of what I do.” Ahavah raised her eyebrows.  Mara smiled. “Look, they had this poem that they used in the display, by Yeats. It made me think of you. Listen-”
“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet…”
As she spoke, Mara reached into a bag beside her, pulled out a cream-colored sweater, unrolled it and held it up to the camera.
“But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.  I saw this and I thought of you. I miss you, love.” Mara finished.  Ahavah was crying, a little.  Mara grinned.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Ahavah said.

    “Well, we’re back in Ireland, and we saw the famous cloth-of-gold vestments in Waterford today.” Mara said, looking tired. 

    Ahavah looked concerned. “I would have thought that that would be a bit much holy magic for you both.” She said, biting her lip. 

    Mara shook her head.  “It’s been so long since they’ve been used, the charge has almost entirely gone out.” She shrugged.  “Anyway, it was strange.”

    “How so?” Ahavah asked.

    “Well the history there- these sacred objects were financed by people’s fears of going to Hell, made of cloth of gold and velvet while other people starve, and then hidden because the humans decided that She wants them to kill each other to show how much they love her. I don’t know… just- I honestly don’t miss being able to enter churches most days” Mara said. 

    Ahavah’s shoulders slumped. “I know.” She said “If they only understood…they have so much potential!  They could be doing so much more then this if they just tried to find the sacred in each other!” Ahavah looked on the verge of tears.

    “Shhhh.” Mara said.  “Look,” she said “I didn’t call you to talk about what I don’t believe in- I came to remind you of what I do.” Ahavah raised her eyebrows.  Mara smiled. “Look, they had this poem that they used in the display, by Yeats. It made me think of you. Listen-”

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

    Enwrought with golden and silver light,

    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

    Of night and light and the half-light,

    I would spread the cloths under your feet…”

    As she spoke, Mara reached into a bag beside her, pulled out a cream-colored sweater, unrolled it and held it up to the camera.

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.  I saw this and I thought of you. I miss you, love.” Mara finished.  Ahavah was crying, a little.  Mara grinned.  “I love you.”

    “I love you, too.” Ahavah said.

  4. "Hey, guys, so you remember how I joked about making a flower crown out of flowers grown on consecrated ground?"
"None of us thought you were joking."
(Don’t worry, the abbey was abandoned)

    "Hey, guys, so you remember how I joked about making a flower crown out of flowers grown on consecrated ground?"

    "None of us thought you were joking."

    (Don’t worry, the abbey was abandoned)

  5. Wandering around the rock of Cashel, I find myself attracted, not to the ruined, soaring vaults of the chapel and the cathedral, but to the tiny, grotesque faces in the corner. See, most of the consecrated sites we’ve been visiting have been interesting as history or architecture or research for the book, but as sacred sites, they’ve left me cold.  

There is one exception- the well of St. Declan.  The ruined abbey in which the saint reportedly spend the last years of his life had that absolutely safe feeling I usually get in holy places.  “Close your eyes.” Our guide said.  “See with your senses.”  I did, and I swear, I felt something.  Like someone standing next to me.  It was probably Dr. C, my mentor- it felt fatherly, which, if it was a sacred encounter, is odd for me- I feel so much more affinity for G-d as a Mother.  Still, there was something there.  So, when our guide invited us to drink from the holy well, I did. 

Looking at the faces carved under arches and around doorways, I am reminded of the possibility that they come from an earlier religion.  They, too might be outsiders here.  We understand each other, I feel.  They don’t fit the imposing structure; they’ve carried their histories here, to the present, in beautiful, ungainly ways.  They are strangers in a strange land.

I was talking with my other professor here, in another cathedral, weeks ago.  “I feel like I’m tracking mud into someone’s home.” I joke.  Inside, I wince.  When did I internalize the idea that I’m somehow unclean? I think about all the times my people have been called dirty, unholy, and all the rest.  For all the anti-Semitism I’ve experienced, no one’s ever said those words to me.  So why am I carrying them?
Later, we go to an abandoned abbey.  I pick flowers, I climb.  Gradually, I fall into a reverie.  Later, talking to a friend, I say “Most of the churches we’ve visited haven’t been my house, but the abandoned ones feel more like home- we all have to share the earth.” She nods.  
“The Earth’s the Lord’s and everything in it.”  She says.  It’s not exactly what I mean, but I don’t argue.

    Wandering around the rock of Cashel, I find myself attracted, not to the ruined, soaring vaults of the chapel and the cathedral, but to the tiny, grotesque faces in the corner. See, most of the consecrated sites we’ve been visiting have been interesting as history or architecture or research for the book, but as sacred sites, they’ve left me cold. 

    There is one exception- the well of St. Declan.  The ruined abbey in which the saint reportedly spend the last years of his life had that absolutely safe feeling I usually get in holy places.  “Close your eyes.” Our guide said.  “See with your senses.”  I did, and I swear, I felt something.  Like someone standing next to me.  It was probably Dr. C, my mentor- it felt fatherly, which, if it was a sacred encounter, is odd for me- I feel so much more affinity for G-d as a Mother.  Still, there was something there.  So, when our guide invited us to drink from the holy well, I did. 

    Looking at the faces carved under arches and around doorways, I am reminded of the possibility that they come from an earlier religion.  They, too might be outsiders here.  We understand each other, I feel.  They don’t fit the imposing structure; they’ve carried their histories here, to the present, in beautiful, ungainly ways.  They are strangers in a strange land.

    I was talking with my other professor here, in another cathedral, weeks ago.  “I feel like I’m tracking mud into someone’s home.” I joke.  Inside, I wince.  When did I internalize the idea that I’m somehow unclean? I think about all the times my people have been called dirty, unholy, and all the rest.  For all the anti-Semitism I’ve experienced, no one’s ever said those words to me.  So why am I carrying them?

    Later, we go to an abandoned abbey.  I pick flowers, I climb.  Gradually, I fall into a reverie.  Later, talking to a friend, I say “Most of the churches we’ve visited haven’t been my house, but the abandoned ones feel more like home- we all have to share the earth.” She nods. 

    “The Earth’s the Lord’s and everything in it.”  She says.  It’s not exactly what I mean, but I don’t argue.

  6. flotsamandwhatnot:

thequietrabbit:

rachel wolchin

Beautiful might not be good at emotions. Not now. Not yet.
But their acquaintances (friends?) are. Heart-on-the-sleeve types.
And if they understand nothing else, they under stand a mission. They understand revenge.

A shared world done with a few friends of mine,  Hey, Beautiful- Moon says thanks. 

    flotsamandwhatnot:

    thequietrabbit:

    rachel wolchin

    Beautiful might not be good at emotions. Not now. Not yet.

    But their acquaintances (friends?) are. Heart-on-the-sleeve types.

    And if they understand nothing else, they under stand a mission. They understand revenge.

    A shared world done with a few friends of mine,  Hey, Beautiful- Moon says thanks. 

    Reblogged from: flotsamandwhatnot
  7. Neverland AU ♔ Red-Handed Jill (100 Years Ago)
    "I was told you ran away from home."
    "I… I had never thought of it that way. I suppose I did."
    "How wonderful!"
    Reblogged from: okayophelia
  8. There are worse things, it occurred to Phoenix, than making a new friend on a guided tour of London.  And while there may be better things than finding said friend in the company of one of one’s favorite professors, Dr. Mara Alighieri was probably an fairly good travel companion, and if Phoenix had to pick one of her professors to be standing in the police station, having a heated discussion with the district chief, trying to get her and her new friend released, it would almost definitely be Dr. A. 
None of which lessened the sinking feeling in her stomach as Mara stood at the door to the holding tank, looking unimpressed.  She gave Phoenix a withering look.
“I’ll deal with you in a minute.” She said, rolling her eyes.  She turned to look at the figure next to her.  “Lady Iris.”
“Yes?” she said.  She looked, for all the world, like a young twentysomething with long red hair and a secretive smile.  Mara rolled her eyes.
“I promised I wouldn’t you get arrested.” Mara said.  Iris grinned “In Ireland.  You swore you’d not let me get in trouble back there.  We are in Britain this weekend and I’m free!” She said, laughing.  “And have I not found a wonderful companion, who I simply must introduce.  Phoenix-”
“Actually, I know her from back home.” Phoenix said, looking sheepish.  “She’s a professor, at Haven-”
“Oh right, I remember!” she said.  “My dear lightbringer told me about that.” She grinned.  “Well, then perhaps we’d all best be on our way- I saw this wonderful looking pub.”
“Not so fast.” Mara said.  “Do you have any idea how much trouble you both are in?  You enchanted King’s Cross station, stole a child and climbed to the top of St. James’ cathedral with him, made flower crowns out of the churchyard flowers, threw tomatoes at the Globe, and finally somehow wound up wandering the throne room in Buckingham Palace, shouting bits of Monty Python’s Holy Grail at the top of both of your lungs! And you, ambassador, had several knives.”
Iris rolled her eyes.  “First of all,” she said “I was under the impression that King’s Cross station was supposed to be a planter portal.  Second, the child wanted to go to the top, and if I had not helped him up he may well have gotten stuck.  Anyway, I met my companion in mischief there, so I do not regret it all and child was unharmed.  As to the flower crowns, what is nature for, if not enjoying to its fullest? Surely, your human gods understand this. Third, I was under the impression that was how one still conducted oneself at the theater on Earth, when I went there last it was perfectly acceptable.  Mind you, I haven’t been back to the Globe since it burned, so I suppose a misunderstanding was inevitable.  Finally, I was simply calling on the local authorities in an informal way. Weapons are an important part of my cultural heritage, and as such asking me to go unarmed is reprehensible.”
Mar rolled her eyes.  “You’re lucky you have diplomatic immunity.” She growled.  Then she gave Phoenix an unamused look.
“You, however, don’t.  Do you know hard I had to argue to get you released?  What were you even doing on the roof of St. James’ anyway?”
Phoenix looked away, mumbling.  Mara crossed her arms.  “I can’t hear you.” She said.

“Taking selfies with the statues.” She said.  

    There are worse things, it occurred to Phoenix, than making a new friend on a guided tour of London.  And while there may be better things than finding said friend in the company of one of one’s favorite professors, Dr. Mara Alighieri was probably an fairly good travel companion, and if Phoenix had to pick one of her professors to be standing in the police station, having a heated discussion with the district chief, trying to get her and her new friend released, it would almost definitely be Dr. A. 

    None of which lessened the sinking feeling in her stomach as Mara stood at the door to the holding tank, looking unimpressed.  She gave Phoenix a withering look.

    “I’ll deal with you in a minute.” She said, rolling her eyes.  She turned to look at the figure next to her.  “Lady Iris.”

    “Yes?” she said.  She looked, for all the world, like a young twentysomething with long red hair and a secretive smile.  Mara rolled her eyes.

    “I promised I wouldn’t you get arrested.” Mara said.  Iris grinned “In Ireland.  You swore you’d not let me get in trouble back there.  We are in Britain this weekend and I’m free!” She said, laughing.  “And have I not found a wonderful companion, who I simply must introduce.  Phoenix-”

    “Actually, I know her from back home.” Phoenix said, looking sheepish.  “She’s a professor, at Haven-”

    “Oh right, I remember!” she said.  “My dear lightbringer told me about that.” She grinned.  “Well, then perhaps we’d all best be on our way- I saw this wonderful looking pub.”

    “Not so fast.” Mara said.  “Do you have any idea how much trouble you both are in?  You enchanted King’s Cross station, stole a child and climbed to the top of St. James’ cathedral with him, made flower crowns out of the churchyard flowers, threw tomatoes at the Globe, and finally somehow wound up wandering the throne room in Buckingham Palace, shouting bits of Monty Python’s Holy Grail at the top of both of your lungs! And you, ambassador, had several knives.”

    Iris rolled her eyes.  “First of all,” she said “I was under the impression that King’s Cross station was supposed to be a planter portal.  Second, the child wanted to go to the top, and if I had not helped him up he may well have gotten stuck.  Anyway, I met my companion in mischief there, so I do not regret it all and child was unharmed.  As to the flower crowns, what is nature for, if not enjoying to its fullest? Surely, your human gods understand this. Third, I was under the impression that was how one still conducted oneself at the theater on Earth, when I went there last it was perfectly acceptable.  Mind you, I haven’t been back to the Globe since it burned, so I suppose a misunderstanding was inevitable.  Finally, I was simply calling on the local authorities in an informal way. Weapons are an important part of my cultural heritage, and as such asking me to go unarmed is reprehensible.”

    Mar rolled her eyes.  “You’re lucky you have diplomatic immunity.” She growled.  Then she gave Phoenix an unamused look.

    “You, however, don’t.  Do you know hard I had to argue to get you released?  What were you even doing on the roof of St. James’ anyway?”

    Phoenix looked away, mumbling.  Mara crossed her arms.  “I can’t hear you.” She said.

    “Taking selfies with the statues.” She said.  

  9. “Honestly, it’s the museums that are the worst.” Mara said, into her computer, looking pained.  “The background holiness just feels like a head cold with this.” She gestured to the sliver of horn hanging from a leather cord around her neck.  To the trained eye, it radiated a stark aura of demonic power, but to a normal human it would have appeared quiet and mundane.  Mara cupped it in her hand, protectively.
Half a world away, Ahavah sighed.  “I’m just glad you’re safe.  Why the museums?” Mara rolled her eyes.
“They’re more or less armoires against Demons, and Fey.  Still, that’s not really the problem.  It’s just- in Ireland, they’ve got this take on mythological time. I don’t understand it very well yet.  Do you know what they call the myth cycle that deals with their ancient understandings of history?”  Ahavah shook her head.  “They call it the Book of Invasions.” Mara said.  “But I think the invading forces were as much worlds as people.  The new reality would grow up, through the old, until you’ve got different realities, different histories, the same way Virgil, you know, Lucifer’s roommate, talks about it, all spiraled around and through each other.” Mara shook her head.  “This land has seen so many different versions of itself.” She sighed. 
“It reminds me of how young I really am.” Mara continued.  “Back in the states, most humans would tell you five hundred is old.  Older than the US as a nation.  But for a demon, I’m still young.  Which doesn’t usually bug me.  I can still pull off an air of authority with most of the students, since they all identify closer to teenagers, and mostly look younger. Not here, though.  Here, if I tried to present myself as an ancient creature of the night, I’d get laughed at. In Ireland, five hundred years is recent history. Well,” she looked thoughtful. “Not exactly.  Time still goes fast.  The past is still, in some ways, a different world, but in others it’s extremely present.  Events have layers and contexts that stretch back thousands of years, yet the past remains alive and present in a way that human history usually doesn’t.” She shook her head. “They keep time like immortals here.”
Ahavah nodded. “I know.” She smiled at Mara. “Time is never linear, least of all there.  Beings like us understand that the past has layers, but we forget that the shorter lifespan humans have doesn’t mean that they can’t dip into that same great sea.” She sighed.  “I wish I could be there with you, while you have intimations of mortality among the ruins, my love.  We’ll make a Romantic of you yet.”
Mara rolled her eyes.  “Spare me.” She said. “I’m here representing Hell.  You’d just get in trouble if you went with me, angel.” Ahavah looked wry. 
“Fine, but I’ll still need at least a week with you to myself for you to regale me with your stories when you get home.  I miss my wife!”  She said.  Mara smiled fondly.  “Anyway, how’s the ambassador?” Ahavah asked.  Mara smiled.
“She doesn’t need a bodyguard, but when she’s here, Ireland does.” She shook her head.  “She’s… intense.  Wants to see everything.  I can see how she and Lucifer would get along, she’s both incredibly haughty and just… vital.  She’s so committed to life.  So, of course we have to go running through every set of formal gardens, manor house, and museum from Waterford to Belfast.” Ahavah smiled. 
“Reminds me of someone else I know.” Ahavah said.
“Speaking of, how is Phoenix?  Wasn’t she taking summer classes?” Mara asked.  Ahavah shook her head.
“No, she and her family were traveling abroad, and now that I think about it-”
“You don’t mean.”
“Oh my, yes they were going to Ireland, now that I think about it.  Do you think you’ll run into each other?”
“With my luck?  She’ll probably challenge Lady Iris to a drinking contest.” Mara said, rolling her eyes.  “This might get interesting.” 
Ahavah smiled sympathetically.

    “Honestly, it’s the museums that are the worst.” Mara said, into her computer, looking pained.  “The background holiness just feels like a head cold with this.” She gestured to the sliver of horn hanging from a leather cord around her neck.  To the trained eye, it radiated a stark aura of demonic power, but to a normal human it would have appeared quiet and mundane.  Mara cupped it in her hand, protectively.

    Half a world away, Ahavah sighed.  “I’m just glad you’re safe.  Why the museums?” Mara rolled her eyes.

    “They’re more or less armoires against Demons, and Fey.  Still, that’s not really the problem.  It’s just- in Ireland, they’ve got this take on mythological time. I don’t understand it very well yet.  Do you know what they call the myth cycle that deals with their ancient understandings of history?”  Ahavah shook her head.  “They call it the Book of Invasions.” Mara said.  “But I think the invading forces were as much worlds as people.  The new reality would grow up, through the old, until you’ve got different realities, different histories, the same way Virgil, you know, Lucifer’s roommate, talks about it, all spiraled around and through each other.” Mara shook her head.  “This land has seen so many different versions of itself.” She sighed. 

    “It reminds me of how young I really am.” Mara continued.  “Back in the states, most humans would tell you five hundred is old.  Older than the US as a nation.  But for a demon, I’m still young.  Which doesn’t usually bug me.  I can still pull off an air of authority with most of the students, since they all identify closer to teenagers, and mostly look younger. Not here, though.  Here, if I tried to present myself as an ancient creature of the night, I’d get laughed at. In Ireland, five hundred years is recent history. Well,” she looked thoughtful. “Not exactly.  Time still goes fast.  The past is still, in some ways, a different world, but in others it’s extremely present.  Events have layers and contexts that stretch back thousands of years, yet the past remains alive and present in a way that human history usually doesn’t.” She shook her head. “They keep time like immortals here.”

    Ahavah nodded. “I know.” She smiled at Mara. “Time is never linear, least of all there.  Beings like us understand that the past has layers, but we forget that the shorter lifespan humans have doesn’t mean that they can’t dip into that same great sea.” She sighed.  “I wish I could be there with you, while you have intimations of mortality among the ruins, my love.  We’ll make a Romantic of you yet.”

    Mara rolled her eyes.  “Spare me.” She said. “I’m here representing Hell.  You’d just get in trouble if you went with me, angel.” Ahavah looked wry. 

    “Fine, but I’ll still need at least a week with you to myself for you to regale me with your stories when you get home.  I miss my wife!”  She said.  Mara smiled fondly.  “Anyway, how’s the ambassador?” Ahavah asked.  Mara smiled.

    “She doesn’t need a bodyguard, but when she’s here, Ireland does.” She shook her head.  “She’s… intense.  Wants to see everything.  I can see how she and Lucifer would get along, she’s both incredibly haughty and just… vital.  She’s so committed to life.  So, of course we have to go running through every set of formal gardens, manor house, and museum from Waterford to Belfast.” Ahavah smiled. 

    “Reminds me of someone else I know.” Ahavah said.

    “Speaking of, how is Phoenix?  Wasn’t she taking summer classes?” Mara asked.  Ahavah shook her head.

    “No, she and her family were traveling abroad, and now that I think about it-”

    “You don’t mean.”

    “Oh my, yes they were going to Ireland, now that I think about it.  Do you think you’ll run into each other?”

    “With my luck?  She’ll probably challenge Lady Iris to a drinking contest.” Mara said, rolling her eyes.  “This might get interesting.” 

    Ahavah smiled sympathetically.

  10. “The problem isn’t the wards.”  Lucifer said, pacing around Mara’s Living room.  “I can give you enough power to break them.”  He gesticulated wildly, clearly frustrated.  “The problem is that the whole country- the whole thing- is inherently sacred.”  Mara made a face.
                “So why exactly is the Unseelie Court sending their ambassador there?”  She said.  Lucifer shrugged theatrically. 
                “It’s a goodwill gesture.”  He said.  “A hundred years ago the humans closed the faery rings by force, leaving many fey to be trapped here and hunted down with iron.  Some survived, a lot didn’t.  Normally, when the humans do something like that, they bury it, but Ireland has such thin borders, that it would be politically stupid to not acknowledge the atrocities they committed.  They’ve been making amends, and not doing too badly, so each court is sending an ambassador to attend Midsummer festivities in Dublin, and to take a five-week tour afterward.  The Unseelie Court is sending Lady Iris.”  He paused, looking genuinely nervous.  Mara blinked.
                “Doesn’t she usually represent their interests in Hell?”  She said.  Lucifer sighed.
                “Yes, and I suppose that’s why they’ve chosen her.”  He said, pacing.  “She’s tough.  She’ll survive anything…unexpected.”  He stopped, and looked away.  Mara smiled.
                “And you love her.” She said.  He glared at her.  She shrugged. “I remember the feeling.” She said sympathetically.  He ran a hand through his hair. 
                “Yes.” He muttered.  Mara smiled.  “Which is why I’m sending you.”
                “Sir, with all due respect, my wife will kill me.” She said.  “I can barely costs the threshold of the campus chapel.”                 “You’ll have power.” He said.  “As much as you need.  Loca religiousa isn’t the problem.  Loca sacra is.”
“Which is exactly why Hell shouldn’t be supplying the ambassador with a bodyguard.” Mara said.  “Even from Pride.  We may be the best, but we’re not equipped to handle this kind of assignment-”
                “Neither are they.” Lucifer growled.  “And I am damn well not going to let Lady Iris run the risk of running into any trouble without the best protection I know how to find.”
                “Then why don’t you go?” Mara asked.  “We can sneak you past the feds, and have you teleported somewhere neutral to meet her by morning.” Lucifer shook his head.
                “I can’t leave. The feds are after me, remember? They’d run me to ground anywhere else.  And besides, if I left the country, I’d probably count as an international incident.” He looked frustrated.  “So, I’m sending you.  Because you understand the delicate nature of this matter.” He sighed.  Mara sighed and nodded. 

                “Alright.”  She nodded.  “What are my orders?”

    “The problem isn’t the wards.”  Lucifer said, pacing around Mara’s Living room.  “I can give you enough power to break them.”  He gesticulated wildly, clearly frustrated.  “The problem is that the whole country- the whole thing- is inherently sacred.”  Mara made a face.

                    “So why exactly is the Unseelie Court sending their ambassador there?”  She said.  Lucifer shrugged theatrically. 

                    “It’s a goodwill gesture.”  He said.  “A hundred years ago the humans closed the faery rings by force, leaving many fey to be trapped here and hunted down with iron.  Some survived, a lot didn’t.  Normally, when the humans do something like that, they bury it, but Ireland has such thin borders, that it would be politically stupid to not acknowledge the atrocities they committed.  They’ve been making amends, and not doing too badly, so each court is sending an ambassador to attend Midsummer festivities in Dublin, and to take a five-week tour afterward.  The Unseelie Court is sending Lady Iris.”  He paused, looking genuinely nervous.  Mara blinked.

                    “Doesn’t she usually represent their interests in Hell?”  She said.  Lucifer sighed.

                    “Yes, and I suppose that’s why they’ve chosen her.”  He said, pacing.  “She’s tough.  She’ll survive anything…unexpected.”  He stopped, and looked away.  Mara smiled.

                    “And you love her.” She said.  He glared at her.  She shrugged. “I remember the feeling.” She said sympathetically.  He ran a hand through his hair. 

                    “Yes.” He muttered.  Mara smiled.  “Which is why I’m sending you.”

                    “Sir, with all due respect, my wife will kill me.” She said.  “I can barely costs the threshold of the campus chapel.”
                    “You’ll have power.” He said.  “As much as you need.  Loca religiousa isn’t the problem.  Loca sacra is.”

    “Which is exactly why Hell shouldn’t be supplying the ambassador with a bodyguard.” Mara said.  “Even from Pride.  We may be the best, but we’re not equipped to handle this kind of assignment-”

                    “Neither are they.” Lucifer growled.  “And I am damn well not going to let Lady Iris run the risk of running into any trouble without the best protection I know how to find.”

                    “Then why don’t you go?” Mara asked.  “We can sneak you past the feds, and have you teleported somewhere neutral to meet her by morning.” Lucifer shook his head.

                    “I can’t leave. The feds are after me, remember? They’d run me to ground anywhere else.  And besides, if I left the country, I’d probably count as an international incident.” He looked frustrated.  “So, I’m sending you.  Because you understand the delicate nature of this matter.” He sighed.  Mara sighed and nodded. 

                    “Alright.”  She nodded.  “What are my orders?”

Next

A new beginning

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