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Characters: Erksen, Kora, Rosto
Contains mentions of femmeslash (Kora/Aniki) and Terrier spoilers.


a. Prompt 90. A necessary conversation


It was the first time Ersken had seen Rosto look awkward, and he wondered if he would ever see it again. He didn't think so.

"Did Kora ever tell you about Aniki?" Rosto asked, running his fingers impatiently along the back of a chair.

"Kora tells me a lot of things about Aniki."

"I mean, did she tell you about her and Aniki?"

"They're best friends; what's there to tell?"

Rosto no longer looked so out of sorts, but still continued to tap out a staccato beat on the chair. "I don't know quite what they think of these things in Tortall, but in Scanra it was all kept behind closed doors. Some would just ignore it, some would shun it, and for some, well, violence wasn't out of the question."

Ersken's face went flat in a mixture of confusion and suspicion. "What are you saying?"

"Not all mots lay with just men, and some don't lay with coves at all." The uneasiness had seeped back into Rosto's fingers, but his voice remained smooth.

"Are you insinuating that -"

"-Your gixie likes to canoodle with other gixies? Then, yes." Now that the great reveal had passed, Rosto stopped his fidgeting.

"But she, she... And with Aniki?" Frantic changes of emotion ruled Ersken's face, mainly warring between disbelief and faint comprehension. When Rosto pushed the chair out to him, he gratefully collapsed into it.

"They were. For a long time, since before I met them even. A few months back, they ended things for a time. I'm not quite sure why, and I know it's not my place to to ask. She's a good mot and she'll tell you; I just thought you might want to hear it from someone who's not involved. Aniki might gut me for telling you this, but I didn't want you be caught off guard."



b. Prompt 92. Blast from the past


When Rosto had looked into Aniki's room the night before, he was as surprised as he had been a year and a half ago when he had first seen them. Tonight, though, the unexpectedness sprang from an altogether different reason. Kora's hand cupped on the other girl's cheek and Aniki's fingers were laced behind the brunette's waist. Her face was lifted upward as she guided Aniki's lips down to her own.

"What about Ersken?" Aniki asked only a hair's breadth away from the kiss.

Kora turned slightly to the side. "I'll tell him. He's wonderful and sweet and kind, but he's not you, and I've missed you for far too long. Another mot will come around for him, one that's not already sworn herself away."

In state of dazed remembrance, Rosto could line up the vision in his mind of the first time he had seen them with the scene playing out before him almost exactly. There still was not quite a desperate urgency in their kisses, but instead there was the same kind of longing sated only by their closeness he had seen in them before. Their bodies fell into the same silhouette, and they were as much in love as they had been when he first saw them together.

He wished Ersken the best of luck in finding a new mot.



c. Prompt 54. Point of view


Surprise hit hard on my chest even while things clicked into place in my head. Their constant closeness of both body and mind, their complete acceptance of every flaw, their sense of absolute trust that I'd only ever seen before in couples bonded as tightly as life and death. I couldn't help feeling like a fool with everything laid out so plain.

Seeing them so newly cast, I couldn't bring myself to keep them apart. It pained to let her go, and I can still find resentment lingering in the outer fringes of my heart, but it felt worse to keep Kora clutched to me with that knowledge.



d. Prompt 84. Inevitable


"I need to talk to you." The words from Kora and Ersken's mouths came out exactly even, matching the syllables in perfect time.

"You go first," Ersken said, blushing a brilliant red.

For a moment, Kora looked like she was going to contest, but catching the sense of anxiety rising from him, she wanted to shield away any misunderstanding. "I have something to tell you." She stopped to take a breath and organize what she planned to say. "Aniki and I used to be lovers. We were that way for a long time, but for a while we had ended things."

"I know," Ersken interrupted. "Rosto told me. It's what I was going to talk to you about."

"He told you...? Aniki is going to kill him..." A strange range of expressions ran across her face. "Did he tell you anything else?"

"Just that he didn't want me to be caught off guard. Why would he say that?"

Kora looked at her slippered feet. "She - we - wanted to go back to that. I know it's horrible and cruel to you, but -"

"-You love her."

"Yes. I have for years."

Ersken rolled the tail of his belt in his hand. "Did you ever care about me like that?"

"I never take up with someone I don't care about. I certainly never intended for things to turn out this way and I feel terrible to hurt you like I am now. There's just something with her..." she trailed off.

"I understand. Well, I don't think I really quite understand it, but I understand the idea."

Kora reached her hand out to his shoulder and gave him a soft, wistful look. "We'll stay friends, right? I don't want you out of my life."

"I'll try."

She gazed at him in a still, subtle moment, trying to fix his over bright eyes and firm expression in her mind, and wondered how much friendship could really be salvaged.