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Snippets for Tumblr, redux!  I have this habit of asking for prompts when I am stuck/bored/jubilant about posting something properly.  I do seriously attempt to fill them in some capacity or another.  I'm also intermittently working on Song and Dance (Taken series) snippets, with the understanding that those are going to be a lot less polished than actual chapters. 

Shadowplay - Twig asked for  anything with Kelpie being an adorable terror
Set in between Chapters 8 and 9.

This, Pitch muses as he pretends he is not huddling underneath the scanty shade of the truly unfortunate tiki-themed beach gazebo, must be what having a dog is like.

He is ever having to teach Kelpie that no, no, he is not playing fetch.

Especially not with small screaming children being dragged through the waves while their inattentive parents stay on the beach.

"Put it back."

The nightmare tilts her head quizzically at him, only her head and the child's squealing one visible over the surf. Pitch rubs his forehead. "Yes, I know, you hoard your victims, but NO. I am not bringing one of those back to the lair, there is nowhere to put it."

Kelpie whickers at him, rising and falling with the surf in a bound that dunks the child on her back thoroughly. She's obviously quite attached to the tot; someone's going to grow up paranoid of waves and swimming pools for all time. Pitch pinches the bridge of his nose. "Fine, play catch and release if you must. You'll always be able to find them again."

That seems to cheer up the water horse; she surges out of the water in a lunge that spills the child crying on to the sand as a wave retreats. Kelpie charges up the beach to skid to a stop before him in a spray of sand. Pitch heaves a sigh and lets her wet nose snuffle into his hands, still dripping sea water. She breathes out the thrill of tiny lungs screaming, the terror of water closing overhead, the desperation of not knowing what to do and where to turn. Disorientation and panic.

It's a tasty little morsel, true. Something that makes the sun not quite so burning and terrible.

He pats her neck, then shoves her away. "Go on now. Don't you have more friends to make?"

She nudges his shoulder, then trots off jauntily down the beach looking for her next victim, the black sand streamer of her tail carried high and proud.

Well. At least one of them is having fun.

ShadowplayMr. Alice/Blaire asked for Pitch being genre savvy.  They got two takes, because take one was extra-short and introspective rather than kicking ass. 

He, more than perhaps any of the other strong spirits, knows how the stories go. He knows what happens to heroes. He knows what happened to him. Be strong. Be valiant. Be good. Fail anyways, as the dramatic moral lesson of "Even the best of us can fall."

As Pitch Black the villain, he has a role. An unsavory one at times, perhaps, and unpleasant to bear when the wheel of fortune turned on him, but it was his to claim, and he knows how to play it well.

Everyone expects him to step forward and pick a part. To choose, tragedy over tragedy.

He is smarter than that.

He doesn't expect this to end well.

The best he can hope is that this is not the end. 

Take two, now with added BlackIce and Badass: 

"This is the best you can come up with?"

Pitch lets the herd (no, it's a pack) circle him, each member skulking low as if they'd like to bite at his heels. He rolls his eyes upwards at the full moon. Like this lot would approach him at any other time, at any other place than a forest clearing so near an entrance to his lair.

Really. The nightmares spawned from the fear of change are like miniature versions of the Grim, some on two legs and some on four. And Pitch can't take them seriously.

Loup garou. Lycanthropes. Wolf men. Werewolves.

"You are distilled teenage angst," Pitch sighs and uses the flat of his blade to smack the nose of the bravest who tries an impertinent nip. "If, perhaps, I was that little fool Frost, I might be impressed."

He boots one of the more humanoid pack members solidly in the ribs, sending it flying across the clearing. There's no point in putting them down permanently; one will be the alpha, and with its defeat he'll have the entire cadre to his name. Not that he's sure he wants them.

Two turn snarling on him at once, requiring a hasty step back and and a hasty block. They do not find the shadow-blade nearly as yielding as they'd hoped, but an even larger third jumps clear over their backs at Pitch's face. He sinks through the junior members shadows, vanishing to reappear directly behind them and kick them aside. "Ah. There you are."

The rather more wolf-shaped nightmare that must be the alpha crouches where it landed, turning back to growl at Pitch. He ought to be shaking in his boots now, something about worrying what he might become. Pitch snorts, "Yes, you. Do not even try with me. You are easily defeated by plucky young teenage wits. And the power of romance."

He barely bothers to dodge and takes a lazy swipe at the wolf as it passes, shearing off a swathe of black sand fur. The alpha does not yelp, but its brethren close ranks behind it, growling with one unified voice.

"Playing with your dogs, Pitch?"

Oh. Speak of the devil. Pitch doesn't even have to look up to know that Jack has perched in the trees overhead. They are rather close to his stomping grounds, after all.

"Just the one, really."

"Huh. Looks like more than that." Jack dangles his feet over the pack, then casually flicks his staff just as the alpha lunges for Pitch's throat with a menacing gurgle- that dies short.

The pack howls its distress. The leader makes for a fetching frost-wreathed statue, frozen midair with nothing but transparent ice supporting it. In the moonlight it looks like nothing so much as a shadow wrapped in silver. It's a shame to ruin Jack's artistry, but it's only a matter of time before it melts and releases the frothing nightmare. Pitch ignores the directionless mob of wolves and steps closer to the alpha, running his finger tips over the jagged icicles of fur. "See? What did I tell you?"

"Are you talking to me or your . . . whatever the hell that is? Because I don't think it's going to answer."

"Shut up, Frost. This is a very well-deserved I told you so." Pitch sinks his talons through the ice to the black sand below, feeling the trapped nightmare's panic for an instant before it submits to his iron-clad will. As one, the entire pack melts into the black sand before reforming as his own traditional nightmares. The leader dances skittishly, then makes an interested snuffle in the frost sprite's direction. Pitch smirks at it. Teenage angst, indeed. "Don't make me say it twice. Go. Do try being less ridiculous."

"Pitch, you make your nightmares black horses. You so have no room to talk."

"And you are not nearly as clever as you think you are." Pitch waves his hand and the entire herd takes flight, like a patch of dark cloud on the breeze. He was never in any particular danger from that lot, of course, but ten seconds of Jack Frost and they were vanquished.

Really, silver is overrated.

RotG any flavor - Flidget asked for Jack being terrifyingly precocious (for today's age) with alcohol.  I can probably do better than this, another day~ 

"What's in this, North? Rum or brandy?" Jack sniffed at his eggnog.

"Can be either! Or bourbon, sometimes, too." North stroked his beard thoughtfully. "Very flexible recipe. Good for what ails you."

"Sure puts Sandy to sleep." Jack smirked and took an appreciative swig. "Not bad, not bad. Needs more vanilla to go with the bourbon, though."

"Wait. Wait a tick. You. . ." Bunnymund held up one paw, face going through contortions as his ears pinned. "That's jus' wrong, Frostbite."

"What?" Jack blinked over his glass.

"Kid like you, drinking."

"Wow, you're late to the party, Kangaroo. Jack is kind of a big name in alcohol."

"You're joking."

"Why do you think they call freezing off water jacking?" The frost spirit grinned wickedly, "You do chocolate, I do alcohol. Ice wine. Applejack. Ice beer. I don't get why people try to ban it. . . Too much of a good thing, I guess."

"You . . . are way too young to be drinking, Frostbite."

"Hey! I'm three hundred, how much older do I have to be?" Jack rolled his eyes, "Besides, I've been drinking beer since I was a baby."

Bunny cringed. "Strewth, that explains so much."

"Is sign of times, Bunny!"  North nodded knowingly.  "And nothing wrong with appreciating finer things.  Is good for you!"

Adrenaline - Traciematt/Kellyjoy asked for what happens next, and I am working on it, I promise, but I have not been in the proper frame of mind to do it justice.  Consider this a preview.  

"Do I get a name to call you?"


"Because eventually even my neighbors are going to wonder if all I'm yelling is 'yes' and 'please' and swearing." Jack should probably not be talking back, but it was worth it, for the quirk of a smile there and gone again.

"Scream all you like. No one will hear you."

That was half-threat and half-promise, and, oh, shit, that should not be nearly as sexy as it was. His mouth went dry. "Oh. Uhm. Good to know."

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January 2017


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