Tash Marquand scowled to herself as she marched down the street. She didn't know what fandom she was in and she didn't really care at the moment- her hair was windswept and he clothes were ruffled up and she had smudges of dirt here and there and she still hadn't caught Willowe!
"Of all the days for Hati and Lauren to be working or test-taking..." Tash grumbled and ran her hands through her hair, trying to get the little twigs and dead leaves out of it. She had found Willowe in some sort of park, basking in the presence of the fandom's main characters and then fled when Tash showed up, using some sort of wind spell to cover her escape and delay Tash.
It had delayed her - by hurling her into the woods. Some of those trees would never be the same...
Sighing to herself, she readjusted her clothing and started to look around, hoping to randomly spot something that would give her a clue to Willowe's location and she could finis her mission and go home. "At least nothing else can go wrong today..."
That was when something slammed into her head and drove her facefirst into the sidewalk. "BOLLOCKS!"
Wrenching her face free of the concrete, Tash rubbed at the back of her head and winced as she felt the ache in her face. "What the bloody hell hit me!" Then she blinked when she saw what it was. "A book...?"
Reaching out and picking the object up, she lifted it to eyelevel so she could study it. It was a thick black-covered tome, with gold lettering on it in a language that didn't look like any she had ever seen. Despite how thick it was and the fact that it smacking her head had caused to try and grab a snack of concrete, it felt light in her hands, almost like a feather and Tash wondered if the book was magical.
In fact, the more she looked at it, the more Tash decided it was-the lettering on the cover seemed to be shining softly and she couldn't really tear her eyes away, it was so pretty. In fact, why didn't she listen to that voice in her ear (The little one she had only just noticed and it sounded so natural, too.) open the book and see if she could read it... her hand inched for the cover, because one little peek couldn't hurt, after all...
"May I have that back, please?"
Tash jerked, startled and nearly dropped the book. "Uh? Who? Wha?" She flushed, embarassed for some reaons and lifted her head to see a youngish-looking man standing in front of her.
He had snow-white hair that fell just short of his sharp violet eyes and he was dressed in what looked some very expensive clothes-a fancy button-up black shirt and pants that seemed to be made out of silk and a white trenchcoat that had black detailing along the edges and currently, he was looking at her with a small half-smile on his face, one hand held out for the book. "That book. May I have it back?"
"Oh- yes." Tash handed him the book. "The thing fell out of the sky and walloped me on the head, you know."
"The sky, miss?" The man blinked at her and then smiled. "I'm afraid that the book may have hit you harder than you thought - there's no way it could have out of the sky and hit you. You see, I was coming back from the local library and I tripped on the curb behind you and it went flying out of my hands and struck you in the back of the head. I am very sorry about that, by the way."
Tash raised an eyebrow at him skeptically. "You tripped... and the book me hard enough to shove me into the ground?"
He rubed the back of his sheepihsly. "Weeeeeeellll, I was kind of running really hard at the time..."
"I still say it fell out of the sky..." The British girl blinked as she realized she didn't have to stand around talking, she had to get back on track and find Willowe. But she also wanted to stay- part of her had just realized how cute this guy was. "Ummm... you mind telling me your hame?"
"My name? It's Adrian." Then he pointed down the street. "If you follow this place to the end, take a left and then take a right at the next interesection, you'll find who you're looking for." At Tash's blink of surprise, he smiled. "Let's just say it's my job and leave it that, shall we?" Then pointed over Tash's shoulder. "Look! A distraction!"
"What! Where!" Tash whirled and then swore when she realized that she had been tricked. "Dammit!" Spinning back around, she glowered. "That was not very nice and why would you do that to-?"
Her voice trailed off as she realized that he was gone. "Wha... where the heck did he go?"
Then there an explosion and Tash watched a rain of debris and dust billow into the air and she heard some shouting and then sighed. "Sounds like Hati had a one too many teas' before coming on the mission..." Then she was darting down the street to help her friend.
But in the back of her mind, she couldn't help but wonder who that Adrian fellow was... and wishing that she had gotten his phone number.
"You're staring again, Tash-san..."
Tash jumped in her chair and felt her self flush a bit red as her head snapped around. "I am not!"
Aster, hovering a few above the table, casually pullled a manga from the equally tall stack of it in front of her and swiftly replaced it with the one in her hand, barely causing it to sway. The Society hadn't been inside the Library for two whole weeks yet and already the little fae had staked the managa section as her own. "Yes, you are."
"I am not." Tash jerked her chin, where on the otherside of the room, Adrian was busy with some of the books, many of them floating around him, open to specific pages as he pulled one close to him, skimmed it's contents and then pushed it back up into the air, already grabbing another book while his other hand was already yanking yet another tome. "Besides, with something like that going on?"
"It's nothing more unusual than that train of scrolls that followed him around the Library yesterday." The fae replied, now reclining on the air like it was a couch as she read. "You're just looking at him just to look.."
"Nnnnn..." Tash sighed and dropped the argument and returned to her book. Several minutes of silence past and she carefully, carefully, began to lift her head...
"He's looking this way."
Tahs squeaked and ducked her head down behidn her book. "Did he see? Did he notice?" Then she really flushed this time and glared at Aster. "He wasn't really looking, was he?"
"No." Aster said off-handedly and then pricks up, before darting away down an aisle with a beat of her wings. "I skpped an issue!"
The British girl sighed and returned to her book for a second time. "Good lord, she is thick... I was not staring..."
A few long moments passed and then she started peering around the edge of her book at the busy Librarian. "I was peeking..."
It was getting so he could set his clock by it.
The British Agents, still operating on British time, would get ready for bed- shower, brush their teeth, slip into their nightgowns, wish everyone good night and crawl into their beds while the other Agents usually went home or took their turns at monitor duty while Adrian would retreat to his quarters to meditate or read or whatever he felt like doing.
About half an hour later, his ears would prick up as he heard footsteps outside his door and for a minute or two, he could hear them shuffling back and forth as their own sat and debated with herself whether or not to knock.
Eventaully, he'd get tired of waiting and go open the door and find a flushing, embarassed Tash, who would manage to squeak out a question and if she could sleep with him tonight?
This night, however, was a bit different.
The Librarian had barely settled down to read one of Phoenixia's latest works when his ears pricked up at the sound of his door opening and he lifted his head to see the door to his bedroom open, Tash slipping in quietly, dressed in a pale blue nightgown. "Well, this is new... usually I have to go fetch you..." Then he frowned when he noticed the distraught look on Tash's face. "You had a nightmare, didn't you?"
She nodded and clambered into the bed next to him as he set the book aside and cuddled her close, stroking her hair and murmuring reassurances softly while the British girl buried her face into his chest and breathed deeply, hoping his scent could chase away the lingering fingers of the nightmare that teased at her mind.
After several minutes of this, Tash lifted her head and snuggled closer and tighter to him, resting her head on his shoulder. "Mmmmm, I feel better already..."
"Good." Adrian stroked her hair idly and began to purr softly as she wound his tail once around her wrist and began to pet it. "Tell me about what it was about?"
"I don't remember..." Tash shook her head and grinned a tiny bit as his purring picked as she rubbed the tip of his tail between her fingers. "And I don't want to...I just want to be safe and with you..."
"Well, you are safe." He promised and kissed her head, causing her blush a bit. "So long as you are with me, you're safe."
"Thank you so much, love." The Chief Agent nuzzled him a bit and then shifted her head to give him a quick kiss, which quickly devolved to a duel of tongues and soft mewls.
Breaking for air, Adrian blinked when he found Tash swinging her leg around, stradding his stomach. "Excuse me...?"
"Make love to me." Tash unbuttoned her nightgown and pulled it off, revealing that she wore nothing at all underneath. "I want you..."
The Librarian squirmed a bit, uncomfortable. While he was definitely no stranger to sex in it's many many forms, the thought of doing it with Tash, someone he loved so much, was a bit unsettling for some reason. "Tash... isn't this a little fast?"
"No, it's not. I love you, Adrian... more than I thought I could ever love anyone and I know in my heart you're the only one I will love my entire life." She cupped his face and leaned down to kiss him gently. "And even if it is fast, I don't care... I want it... I need it..."
She straightened, trailing her hands gently, softly down his chest as she did. "Please, Adrian, heart of my heart... make love to me... please?"
There was a long moment and then Adrian's arms slid around her form and pulled her down on top of him.
Fire and light flared momentarily, briefly outshining the sunlight in the forst and then massive roar and shockwave followed a seconds later, knocking down a circle of tears and kickin up an ever-expandeing ring of dust.
Tash screamed as she sailed backwards, knocking down a trail of branches and leaves with her flight before smashing into a tree trunk and thudding to the forest floor admist a rain of bark, dirt and leaves. "Uhhhhhh..."
Then she was rolling to the side as Adrian's form blurred into sight above her, Hoshikuzu slicing through the air where her head had been and cleaing through the three-foot thick tree behind like butter, a crescent of power leaping from the tip and Tash felt it singe the ends of her hair." Why are you lying down! I didn't say you could rest!"
Tash rolled to her feet, swinging out her staff in a desperate swing, but the crystal sword blocked it easily and she was forced back up and back up rapidly as Adrain came at her, the air in front of him nearly a violet smear as he rained blow after blow at her and her staff creaked with the strain of blocking them. "Love, we've been at this for three hours! I need to rest!"
"No!" Adrian leaned back to avoid her desperate counter and energy gathered in his blade. "Not until I see some improvement!"
"Dammit!" Fire alighted on Tash's back and with a beat of her wings, she took the sky, soaring up above the treetops backwards, even as Adrian leapt up after her. "Dammit, love, I said I need a break!"
"And I said no!" The air hissed as he started to swing the shining Hoshikuzu at her. "We're not done yet!"
"Grrr!" Tash clenched her fist in anger and drew back her staff like a baseball. "Yes... we... ARE!" Then she swung and it connected with the poor Librarian.
What she was not expecting was the massive fireball that exploded from the end of her staff and sent Adrian flying away like a comet. "Oh..."
Adrian, for his part, managed to get out "I'M ON FIRRREEEEEEEE AGAAAINNNN!" before he flew away out of earshot and smashed through the forest canopy about a half mile away.
"Bollocks!" Coming to her senses, Tash flew after him. "I"m sorry, love!"
Diving down at the crater he had made, she winced as she saw the blackened circle of earth that had been plants and forest and the good number of trees toppled over. "Oh, I'm so gonna pay for this."
Landing at the center, she blinked as she saw Hoshikuzu driven blade first into the ground, but no Adrian. "Ummm..." Then her face grew worried. "I didn't burn him up, did I? OH god, no!"
"Little help, love?"
Tash whirled at the sound of his voice and then stared for a long moment... then erupted in a fit of giggles.
At the edge of crater, Adrian had somehow become entangled in a tree, dangling upside down and trailing wisps of smoke while what remained of his trenchcoat lay smoldering on the ground beneath him. "Yes, yes, very funny... now get me down!"
The British girl sauntered over and studied him, grinning. "I don't know... wasn't you said that a good fighter took advantage of any openings as they saw them?"
He scowled at her. "That doesn't apply here... now, get me down, love and we'll take a break."
She put a finger to her lips. "No, I have a better idea..." Planting her staff into the ground so that it would remain upright, she kicked the remains of his coat away and stood directly underneath him.
"Hey, hey! What do you think you're doing!" Adrain squirmed and then a look of soft bliss appeared on his face as Tash reached up and began to pet his ears. "Nooo... you can't to this me..."
"Can so..." Tash grinned. "Not so bossy now, are you now, kitty?"
She giggled and continued to stroke his ears, still giggling...until he relaxed his way right out of the tree and landed on top of her, pinning her instantly. "ACK! Heavy kitty! Heavy kitty!"
"You know... I've never been love like this before..." Tash murmured softly, idly stroking the length of hair that fell over her shoulder as she lay tangled up betsheets that were twisted and scrunched from their recent lovemaking. "I never thought anyone would want me this way..."
"And now you do and you've shown me that in so, so many many wonderful ways." She sighed happily. "And I mean, it's not just the sex, love- not that it isn't so damn good, mind you, it's absolutely perfect- but all the little things you do, too. The hugs and kisses... the way you cheer me up when I'm sad or upset... the way you always know just when I need a fluffy white kitten my lap to pet... even just the way you look at me all the time..."
Tash blushed heavily, embarassed despite knowing that her love couldn't see her since she was facing away. "When you're away, I miss you so much, even if you're just on the other side of the hallway... just seeing you makes me smile... loving you, being with you, being yours... it's like some kind of amazing, gorgeous dream and I never, ever want to wake up."
A giggle escaped her and she grinned. "Speaking of dreams, I had a good one a few days ago and we did some stuff I'd like to try for real..."She rolled, her grin going naughty and met a pair of violet eyes. "What do you think, love? Up for it?"
The eyes were violet, but the body attatched to them had long, silver-blue tresses falling across the owner's face and curves that had curves, with long legs that didn't seem to end, a slim, flat tummy, silky-smooth skin, and breasts that were probably just a bit smaller than their owner's head and topping it all off, like a cherry on a sundae that already had a generous amount of whipped cream, chocolate and strawberry slices on it, was a pair of full, pouty, smirking lips that were licked sensually and slowly. "Oh, definitely am I up for it. After such sweet words, I don't think there's a force anywhere in the univese that could stop me from taking you right here, right now."
"ADRIAN'S A GIRL!" Tash shrieked wildly, leaping a foot of the bed as she flailed wildly, becoming more entangled and snared by the sheets and finally toppled off the bed, landing on the floor with a 'thud!'
"Tash! What happened!" Said Librarian came skidding to a stop in the doorframe a moment later, catching it to stop himself. The fact he was in his robe was damp in some spots and his hair was sticking this way and that, as was the fur on his tail, indicated that he had come running from the shower at Tash's scream.
Tash squirmed and disentangled herself from the sheets and sat up, her head poking above the edge of the bed, flipping between the doorway and the bed. "Who? How? What! When! I mean... Why!" Then she frowned as she heard merry laughter and flushed furiously. "Phoenixia!"
"You say my name like it's a bad thing..." The buxom holographic woman rolled over, clasping her hands against her stomach and crossing her ankles, her laughter dying down to mere ggigles. "Good morning, by the way."
Adrian glanced between his lover and his sentient naughty computer program and shot the latter a swift scowl. "You know better that, really... a woman your age, scaring the living daylights out of someone? I seriously thought something was wrong! She could have set the bedsheets on fire again!"
Phoenixia just grinned, her eyes twinkling. "Oh, she was setting something on fire, alright, though it was with some very touching words and it set my heart ablaze." She looked at Tash and gave her sweet, loving look. "That was so wonderful, Tashy, I didn't know you felt that way." The older woman wiped a imaginary tear from her eye. "What shall we name the kids? And do you want a July or August wedding?"
Tash, who by this point was so red she could pass for an apple, desperately wished she could bury her face in the pillow and hid forever, but couldn't since Phoeinixia was currently using both pillows and so settled for skittering over to Adrian, dragging the besheet behind her and hugging him tightly and burying her face in his neck. "Mmmmmmmmmmnneeeyyhhhhhhh - make the mean old lady go away!"
Adrian hugged her back. "It's okay, love, the mean old lady can't hurt you while I'm here." He lifted an eyebrow at Phoenixia, who was currently playing with her hair, alternately switching it from straight to ringlets and arraging it to see how it well or little it covered her breasts. "And where have you been all weekend? I tried to call you, but you didn't answer and now you just show up in my bed, naked and completely unannoucned?"
"What?" Phoenixia just grinned at him and let her hands wander across her stomach. "You don't like finding hot, naked women in your bed and wanting you? Especially now that you have two of them?"
There was a muffled sound from Tash that sounded vaugely like 'I'm not hot' and Adrain ignored it, privately deciding that if he licked his finger and pressed it to her face, he would get steam. "I get you popping in unannounced like a goddess of sex or whatever, but seriously, dearling, where have you been?"
"Oh, I had a fun weekend." Phoeinixia slid off the bed and clasped her arms over her head and stretching, prompting Adrain to roll his eyes. "That Cherokee Agent and I decided to spend the weekend having some fun. I think that red-haired Irish girl might have been there, too - but it was two days of mind-bending pleasure and skin and lovebites... did you know that girl has a chain? And she knows how to use it, too..."
The Librarian raised an eyebrow. "You spent two days doing nothing but that... I'm surprised that they were able to walk out of that..."
"Adrain, you should know by now that anyone I get really serious with for that long will not be walking anywhere for a good while..." Phoenixia shook her head and ran her hands through her hair to get the tangles out of it. "Anywho, I just popped over to say 'Good morning' to my two most favorite people and check up on you." She put on a face fit for a stern matron, though it was ruined by the fact she was completely naked. "Can't have you two doing any hanky-panky under the sheets, now."
A snort of amusement escaped the silver-haired man as Phoenixia swayed her hips over to him. "Well, thanks for your concern, but we got it under control."
"Don't I know it..." The hologram gave them both a hug and slid past him, pausing to grab his tail and run a hand up its length, wriggling the tip near her face. "Hmmm... feels like you still need to finish your shower... need some help drying off?" Then she blinked as she realized that Tash had snagged Adrian's tail out of her grasp.
"Mine kitteh!" Tash said and wrapped his tail around her wrist, sticking her tongue out childishly at Phoenixia before burying her still flaming face into his neck again.
Phoenixia giggled. "It's okay - I'm tapped for awhile, anyway. You two fun- it feels like someone is trying to illegally download hacked movies using the computer and I need to go see which one it is before I punish them and take it for my own." With a flair of motes light, she was gone.
"Hope she doesn't suprise them naked..that might cause a bit of an incident..." Adrian said and then gently lifted Tash's head off his neck and looked into her still embarassed eyes. "Hey, she said you were saying some sweet things... since they were meant for me and I didn't get to hear them, can I have them now?"
Tash looked thoughtful for a minute and then slid her arms around his neck and tangled her fingers in his hair. "Sure... I love you, my Adrian." Then she kissed him and wished the moment never had to stop.
He was... gone.
And he'd taken her heart with him.
Tash stood in front of his closet, staring, but not really looking at the wide variety of trenchcoat color and patterns before her. It had been nearly a week since... since 'that' happened... and she had to get dressed for another day, even though she didn't want to.
What did it matter? Adrian... her love, her only love... was dead... so what did matter?
But... she had to. Adrian had made her Librarian. And she knew that in the end, that job outweighed her sadness and grief and heartache. She couldn't sit and lie around...not anymore.
Tash stood in front of the closet, working his pendant between her fingers as she looked at the were so simple, really. Just one solid shade of a color, with a well matching color choosen for the detailing along the edges. A red coat with gold. A blue one with black. A black one with white.
Adrian always wore a coat and she had to beg and plead and order and bribe him to get him to wear anything else and for the longest time, sighed and rolled her eyes when he flatly refused to discard his coats, wondering how men could be so stubborn over the silliest things.
She haed never quite gotten why he had wore only these trenchcoats. Oh, she didn't really mind- she always thought he looked really handsome and dashing in them and he definitely cut a fine figure in them. But he was the Librarian and he knew so much magic and knowledge and what not he could boggle her mind with a word. Hell, he could probably enchant or spelll the coats to be better tha an armor, even.
But he didn't - to him, they were just coats. Things he liked to wear and thought looked nice and he felt comfortable in. And Adrian was, well, Adrian. He carried so many secrets, did so many things that she'd never understand, knew so much, did so much for people who didn't even care about him, suffered and suffered... he'd lived so long, expereinced so much, there were somedays she just couldn't grasp it. And she guessed that there were some days he couldn't, too.
Tash reached out and pulled a random one off the rack- it was a simple black coat and it had white detailing on the edges - a waving line with a dot in each dip of the line. Simple colors, simple pattern.
And that was when Tash figured out why Adrain loved her so much.
She was simple. Not that she was stupid or plain or silly or dumb or anything like that. She was just simple. She loved him for who he was and what she knew what he was in her heart- a wonderful, heroic man who deserved so much more than the raw deal he had been handed.
That was it.
She didn't ask him for to be a hero or do anything speceal or give her gifts or take her out or be a kitty when she asked or anything like that. But he did it anyway.
Because she was simple.
She loved Adrian for Adrian.
Just like the coats. They didn't judge or ask him for things or make him out to be anything special. They were simply coats - something to wear that looked nice.
He loved her because she saw him as who he was, not what he was.
With a soft moan, Tash clenched the coat tightly and sank to her knees, sobbing into it as she wished she had only figured this out sooner.
"I love you... I love you... I love you... I love you... I love you..."