Letter to a Reprobate - by MewAnime - G - Misc. - No Spoilers - A letter.
Autopsy - by MewAnime - G - X-Files - Spoilers for 'Dead Alive', 'Bad Blood' - Scully doing an autopsy.
A Human Strength - by Tanith - PG - Yu Yu Hakusho - No Spoilers - Shuuichi Minamino reflects on the changes that human life has wrought in him, and on the decision that he has made with said changes.
Friend or Foe? - by MewAnime - G - X-Files - Spoilersup to Season 5 - Mulder and Skinner fight. Mulder and Scully fight.
Teneo Lacuna I - by Tanith - G - HP/HL Xover - Spoilers for the ending of PoA - Remus Lupin is sent to pick up a translation from a mild-mannered scholar named Adam Pierson.
Teneo Lacuna II - by Tanith - PG - HP/HL Xover - No Spoilers - Methos thinks after his guest departs. This part won't make a lot of sense unless you read the previous fic first.
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Letter to a Reprobate
Addressed to a certain craven reprobate:
Your desultory logic and alacrity at applying it to social relationships is, in short, abhorrent. Your further insistence in your refusal to retract certain statements made under the influence of said logic is an open invitation for the recipient of the statements - me - to proscribe myself from further contact with you, in hopes of ridding myself of unwanted harassment.
However, you fail to heed to my fair warning about the tenuous situation in which our contact finds itself. The end result was unsatisfactory by your standards, which led to your pestering of me for days on end. Therefore you have made it an exigency that I address the situation in a rather vituperative manner, seeing as a more mild response has no efficacy in halting the unsolicited attention. Should I mention details in anachronistic manner, it is because that I am under great aggravation from your previous attempt at communication. Allow me to apprise you that had the welter of unmitigated anger not been clouding my judgment, I highly doubt this note would even exist.
Due to certain troublesome situations, you have attempted to enervate your already abstemious diet. Whilst I had tried to offer some consolation as your friend, my efforts had been left in abeyance at best and disparaged at worst. To aggravate the situation further, you have personally insulted me by not even performing the most perfunctory acts of friendship. May I remind you that it was not I who had first aver to dissolution in any further contact. You persisted in your own obstinate ways, despite my delineation of the finality of such actions.
I hope that I have no need to compile a compendium for the entirety of your offenses, as I have made clear in my previous exchanges. As you have requested, I have dissipated any further attempts at communication and I require of you only to honor your own request. Do not attempt to relate to me in the future in any way. Also, disabuse yourself of the absurd notion that you have the perquisite to demand me of anything.
A most disgruntled receiver of attention
Scully cursed voraciously under her breath about a certain tall, spooky, obdurate malingerer, who informed her, an hour prior, that she was scheduled for an autopsy in forty-five minutes. Wishing her sharp instruments could connect with the Oxford-educated erudite instead, she jabbed the metal blade into the dessicated corpse. She was thankful that at least this time, the corpse was mummified instead of bloated from seawater.
Pulling the scalpel across the sternum of the unfortunate victim, Scully completed the Y-incision with a veracious cut. Grabbing the two flaps of skin, she pulled with stolid force, and wretched open the chest cavity. As she studied the organs inside, she related the recondite findings into the recorder, adding desultory sarcastic comments under her breath. Suddenly, she was jerked unceremoniously from her concentration by a cacophony of banging metal doors. Lifting her head, Scully glared at the intruder with truculence.
"Hey, Scully, guess wha-," Mulder stopped short and choked on his words as he met the flashing ice-blue eyes. "Is, uh, everything all right?"
"Just peachy," was Scully's laconic response.
"Great," Mulder enthused; the barely concealed sarcasm flew over his head. "Our flight's in thirty minutes, so clean up."
Scully stared slack-jawed at her capricious partner. He couldn't be expecting her to just drop everything and fly to Arkansas with him could he? However, a glance at the alacritous face informed her that he was indeed expecting so. Anger weltered behind her cool demeanor and she snapped her jaws closed. Pinning Mulder with an ominous look, she gritted, "You better have a cogent reason for our sudden departure, because I'm not going to just leave in the middle of an autopsy you assigned me only this morning, just so you can follow up some tenuous lead."
"Trust me, Scully," Mulder pleaded. Then at her acquiescing nod, he bounded out of the room, tossing over his shoulder, "I'll give you the more tortuous explanation on the way." With another round of metallic banging, Mulder disappeared into the corridors.
Viciously tossing aside the scalpel, Scully wondered when she had became so tractable and began to clean up the mess.
A Human Strength
The bell rings, and the hallways of the school are immediately filled with students. I walk quietly among them, meeting each solicitous well wishing with perfunctory politeness. My façade of calmness and control is the result of centuries of development both in the Makai and the Ningenkai, and now it serves to hide the desultory turmoil within my mind.
Once, before my 'rebirth' into this human body, I was a youko and a denizen of the Makai. I specialized in chicanery and outright theft, and many who I once knew would aver that I had no heart; no loyalties. Treachery and calculated manipulation are the struts on which that society was built, a lesson I learned well when I was but a kit.
Yet what is this soul-wrenching pain that claws at me as I look upon the frail form of my ningen mother? Is this hope that I feel each time the doctors tell me some new or esoteric treatment can temporarily attenuate her suffering? Is this grief that I feel every time I see her pain and her fatigue enervate her already weakened body?
It should be called weakness, by every convention and precedent in the Makai. It calls for me to be prodigal in power for her sake, discarding my plans for my own future. It calls for me to be precipitate in action, throwing centuries of caution to the winds.
It should be called weakness… but I have found it to be strength. With it I have defied the Reikai and its Lord mere days ago. With it I shall make the ultimate sacrifice today upon the Mirror of Utterdark for a mortal woman who shall never know the truth of her darling child.
I'm sorry, Hiei. 'Shuuichi Minamino' has found a strength that Youko Kurama will never match.
Makai - Demon world
Ningenkai - Human world; ningen - human
Reikai - Spirit World
Youko/Kitsune - fox spirit
Friend or Foe?
"Agent Mulder!" Assistant Director Skinner hollered in his usual manner at the intractable agent. "I suggest you take back your refractory comment and apologize for your effrontery."
Mulder glared back at his superior, indignation and righteous anger weltered in a slow boil behind his stormy eyes. "I will not take back my accusations if you're just going to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate the truth! These people are dying and not a single word about the reason from the government. The public has a right to know where they're sending their sons to their deaths and WHY!" The agent hollered back, each word laced with intransigence. Then, with a resounding slam, Mulder stalked off, followed closely by his partner.
At Scully's truculent hiss, Mulder stopped and turned to face his austere partner.
"Just exactly what do you think you're doing?" Scully demanded under her breath, her face flushed from anger, only a shade lighter than her hair. "I don't know what made you think you had a right to throw that little ostentatious tantrum in Skinner's office, but let me remind you that we have somewhat of a paucity of allies at the moment."
"And that man's trustworthiness is in somewhat a state of indigence." Mulder sneered as he turned to the elevator, stabbing viciously at the down button. "But we'd both be understating the situation."
Jerking her partner back by the sleeve, Scully forced the taller agent to face her. "Will you stop being so paranoid? Not everyone is a perfidious bastard."
"No," Mulder agreed easily, "most of them just pay assiduous attention to every move that's made in the basement office and try to make the path to the truth as tortuous as possible."
"Granted Skinner isn't the most veracious person around," Scully continued, ignoring the bitterness that was leaking out of Mulder's comment, "but he's not in a position where he can release the story to the press. He's doing his best to work in the system and you might take a few lessons from him on that!"
"You want me to apologize." Mulder observed with shock.
"Apologize, pacify, propitiate, call it what you want Mulder. Just go back in there and fix this. We don't need any more enemies than we already have." Scully bit out, staring down Mulder until he finally turned with a curse and stormed back into the office.
Straightening under the scrutiny of her peers, Scully sighed gently. Soon, one of them will break under the tension and god help them both if she's the first to lose it.
Teneo Lacuna I
Remus Lupin cautiously made his way down the deserted street, careful to stay in the shadows cast by the muggle street lamps that shone balefully along the road. The cold December wind pressed its chilling breath along his robes, making the threadbare fabric flutter in an eerily desultory manner. But Remus ignored the discomfort as he slipped by each residence along the street, scrutinizing each with assiduous precision.
Finally, he stopped at an ordinary apartment building, in front of one of its monotonously common doors. He rapped sharply on the door, and waited, but there was no response, even though his canine sense of smell told him that there was someone within. Frowning, he knocked again, straining his supernatural hearing to catch the sound of any movement from within. Again, there was nothing.
Wondering if the man inside was deaf or malingering, Remus reached for his wand, debating on whether to cast an unlocking charm. Before his hand reached his pocket, however, his motion was obviated as the door suddenly swung open, startling the werewolf. He found himself being studied by a pair of recondite, glittering eyes that seemed far too old for the young patrician features that framed them.
After a small pause as the two men stared at one another, Remus ventured to speak. "Adam Pierson?"
"You are?" the man answered with a laconic question, in a crisp English accent that ironically belied the fact that they were in the middle of Paris.
"Remus Lupin," answered the bearer of that name, his affable nature allowing him to gloss over his questioner's paranoia. "I was asked to come here by Albus Dumbledore regarding a translation…"
The man swept his eyes along Remus' form one last time, before slowly - almost warily - relaxing from his alert posture. The sharpness of his gaze seemed to almost recede into the recesses of the green-gold eyes as a shallow amusement replaced it.
"Ah. Then you have come to the right place," said Adam as he pushed the door open further. "Come on in, Mr. Lupin."
Adam's apartment was an eclectic display of esoteric artifacts from ancient to modern, authentic and counterfeit. Remus thought he even caught a hint of magic over a few of them, but did not have the opportunity to examine them further. The place reminded him keenly of Hogwarts, where he had taught for a scant year not so long ago, before forced to depart once again because of the opprobrium of what he was. Apparently, Adam was more than just a connoisseur of dead languages and ancient tomes as Remus had been led to believe… and yet the man did not feel like he was a wizard.
Silently - and Remus marveled at how quiet the man moved - Adam led the way into a small study, which was cluttered by a plethora of old tomes and scattered parchments. He caught a few glimpses of smartly scribed Latin and Greek, as well as pictograms of what he assumed was Egyptian… and was that Goblin tome? Looking around at the veritable shrine to erudition, he mused that if the man had skills commensurate to his possessions, then whatever Dumbledore needed to have translated must be in good hands.
"I haven't finished transcribing the entire book yet, of course, but here's what I have," Adam said abruptly, breaking the still silence that had reigned. One hand held a small pile of parchment, and the other fiddled nervously with a letter-opener. "Some very interesting spells in that one. Then again, the Egyptians did have a certain flair with hexes, and there's almost a Sumerian influence on the curses listed." His tone was distracted, giving an air of mere scholarly fascination into an obscure tablet of cultural dissection, instead of talking about borderline Dark Magic.
Remus stared at him warily, uncertain of the safety of such knowledge in the hands of a defenseless muggle scholar. "Have you… experience… with such things, then?" he broached cautiously. Perhaps Dumbledore meant to obliviate him after the translation was done.
"I'm not a muggle, if that's what you're asking," replied Adam with a wry grin. He looked younger now next to the light of the desk lamp, and much more approachable than under the darkness of the doorway. "Trust me, my eulogy isn't going to read 'died for helping out against a megalomaniac snake-speaker' by any stretch of the imagination."
Startled at having hearing the Dark Lord spoken of so casually, Remus did not try to gainsay the claims. He moved closer to Adam, and held a hand out for the papers. A sliver of unease shivered down his spine, though he couldn't place its source; Adam was such an unassuming young scholar.
"If you say so," he replied diplomatically as he collected the papers. "Thank you on behalf of Dumbledore."
Adam shrugged languidly. "Any chance to look at forgotten lore. I'll see you out."
It wasn't until after Remus had left the man's apartment and traveled a few streets down toward the secluded alley where he would apparate to the safe house that he felt himself relax. And it wasn't until he had thrown the floo powder into the fireplace to return to England that he realized that the cause of the discomfort had been - at least partially - from the letter opener that Adam had been holding. A silver letter opener.
Teneo : (Latin) to grasp, know, understand
Lacuna : (Latin) missing letters, words, or phrases in a manuscript
Teneo Lacuna II
Methos made sure that all the doors and windows to his apartment were securely occluded and locked, before letting slip the façade of 'Adam Pierson' that was his current identity. Returning to his cluttered study, he poured himself into his seat and glared at without seeing the tomes he had been intensely engrossed in before put into abeyance when his late night visitor interrupted.
Before he had to let a werewolf into his rooms.
Not that he had anything against werewolves, per se, certainly not out of ignorant bigotry like the majority of that wand-waving lot, who proscribed against almost everything non-human… non-wizard, even, considering their view of muggles. However, Methos knew from both studies and experience that werewolves tended to be damnably perceptive; their sense of smell could pick up undercurrents of emotion from humans much as a hound would. Now that was a threat to his carefully cultivated façade of diffidence that was 'Adam Pierson - mild mannered erudite'. As well, the presence of the Wolf also set his nerves tingling on alert, much the same as another Immortal buzz did, though lesser in intensity. In his surprise and unease, he feared that he had been less than cogent in his dissembling. Perhaps he should have been more garrulous…
Methos sighed, and almost choked on the musty air of his study. He rubbed his temples and stared at his desk, consciously trying to pull his mind away from useless should-have's and might-have-been's. The several esoteric manuscripts and inchoate translations stared back at him through the dusty air. The room suddenly seemed to be closing in on him.
On a whim, Methos surged to his feet and swept toward the door, pausing only to retrieve his long trench coat and ensure that his sword (and other defenses) were in their customary places. Then, he opened the door and strode without looking back into the cool rarefied air. His instincts had told him that he needed to clear his head and think, and Methos had not survived all these millennia to ignore his intuition, no matter what specious rationalizations his intellect would protest with. Besides, a walk would probably help calm the lingering restlessness that the werewolf had stimulated.