Asexuality Awareness Week, Day Seven: Fic + a fic rec
To make up for this, however, I come bearing a rec! Because when I checked my friends list this morning, I found that someone in the best enemies community had been reading my mind and wrote a fic in honor of Asexuality Awareness Week with the same premise that I'd been contemplating doing. Only ne did it much better than I could have done. So, if you want something nice to follow this up with, check out the rec!
For those who don't know about Asexuality, please give the topic a few minutes of your time! You can read more about what asexuality is at the AVEN website. Here is a link to AVEN's brief overview: ASEXUALITY BASICS
Today's fandom is Forgotten Realms! Read the notes.
Title: Nothing Left to Say
Prompt: Asexuality Awareness Week.
Word Count: 797
Characters: Artemis Entreri, Jarlaxle
Warnings: This is dark. It does not end happily.
Summary: in which Artemis explains to Jarlaxle why they are no longer friends.
Notes: This doesn't have much in the way of plot or any explanation as to why I have the three of them (Drizzt, Entreri, and Jarlaxle) being forced to work with one another. It's obviously AU. I don't care. The point is that I've really, really wanted for a long time to point out how wrong what Jarlaxle did to Artemis was.
tinypinkmouse has made a podfic of this story! You can find it here.
Nothing Left to Say
Artemis stands at the edge of the clearing, as far from the campfire as possible, with the pretense of keeping watch. He knows that no one is fooled, but he really doesn’t care so long as his companions get the message.
Drizzt understands. He understands because he feels the same way about Artemis as Artemis does about him. They interact only when necessary, and even then they acknowledge one other with stiff wariness and as few words as possible. They are only at ease together in battle; they fight like two halves of the same warrior, reading each other’s thoughts in the turns of their wrists, the placements of their feet, and the fluid grace with which they arc their blades—too swiftly for anyone else to follow, leaving rivers of silver and crimson in the air.
Jarlaxle is another matter. He doesn’t understand, because for some reason unfathomable to Artemis he still believes that they’re friends.
Artemis hears the nearly soundless footfalls of a drow approach from behind. He knows who they belong to; the drow is not trying to hide his presence. Startling Artemis is a quick way to die.
“If you come any closer,” Artemis says without bothering to turn around, “I will kill you, and damn the consequences.”
The footfalls cease. A jangle of jewelry confirms what Artemis had already known. In the seconds of silence that follow, he almost believes that Jarlaxle will turn and walk away. Almost, but not quite, because he knows Jarlaxle better than that. And sure enough, moments later the drow’s voice, as bright and irritating as his clothing, grates on his ears. “Artemis, come now, is this any way to treat an old friend?”
Artemis turns now, because it’s obvious that Jarlaxle isn’t going away. His arms are loose at his sides. His weapons are microseconds away from his fingers. He meets the drow’s red eyes and sees them widen, unprepared for what they find in Artemis’s own. “We are not friends,” he hisses. “We will never be friends.”
Jarlaxle’s voice softens into a tone less manic and more pleading. “I understand that what happened at Memnon upset you a great deal, but—“
“No,” Artemis cuts him off in a voice as sharp and quick as his blade. “This isn’t about Memnon. This is about the Flute. This is about what you did.”
The animated lines of Jarlaxle’s form still into a quiet calm, and the colors seem to dim. Even the ridiculous hat he wears seems to flop at the brim, drooping along with the elf’s expression. “Artemis, I did that for your benefit. I was trying to help you.”
Artemis feels rage settle like a frost in his veins, sharpening his eyes and his limbs. Calm has cleared his mind and razored his thoughts.
He remembers. How could he ever forget? The first moment he’d felt physical attraction towards another being had been like waking up in someone else’s body with someone else’s life and being told that everything you were was just a dream. He had always been able to depend upon himself. He’d trained his body and his mind to perfection, and they had never failed him until then.
By the time he’d realized what was happening, he had already fallen in love with and made love to a woman who later attempted to murder him. What happened in Memnon afterwards was just the last mound of dirt clumped atop the corpse of the man who was once Artemis Entreri. He’d snapped the flute apart and thrown it at Jarlaxle’s feet, but undoing the spell could never undo the damage that had been done.
“I will only say this once.” Artemis takes a single step forward, tense and predatory and hostile. “You violated me. You knew what Idalia’s Flute was doing to me. You used it to twist my mind—my thoughts and emotions—against my will and without my knowledge. That was no better than rape.”
Jarlaxle opens his mouth to speak, and within an eyeblink the Jeweled Dagger is unsheathed and in Artemis’s left hand. “No. You do not speak to me. Until you understand why what you did was wrong, I have nothing more to say to you.”
They stare at one another for a few moments longer, but it is Jarlaxle who, wisely, backs away. Artemis watches him leave and does not sheathe his dagger until the drow has reached the campfire, where Drizzt is sitting and watching them curiously.
Artemis turns away and stares out into the night. Maybe, maybe, if Jarlaxle can come to realize what he has done and admit his wrong, maybe someday, in a few hundred years perhaps, Artemis will be able to forgive him.
But until then, there is nothing left to say.
And now, the much happier and fluffier recommendation! I've shamelessly copy-pasted the info blurb from the community that the author cross-posted this to. The only bit I added was the 'why this must be read' bit.
Title: In Which The Doctor Is, Fortunately, Not An Amoeba
Summary: Shalka!fic. Alison is rather confused about the relationship between the Doctor and the Master.
Warnings: Silliness, insufficient editing, and fluff. References to sex, including the blueprints for certain parts of the Master's anatomy.
Author's Notes: So I am not, as it happens, dead. And it is (as I believe has already been mentioned!) Asexuality Awareness Week, and then dragonofmemory talked me into writing fic to celebrate this occasion, because she is an enabler. And then I wrote Shalka!fic, because the world always needs more Shalka. It's all her fault, anyway, that's the main point.
Why this must be read: This is exactly the premise I'd been considering writing for Day Seven. But nemaline pulls it off so much better. The premise is basically Alison realizing that the Doctor and Master are more than friends, but then being confused by the obvious lack of physical intimacy between them. So she goes into detective mode, trying to figure out what the deal is. The Doctor and Master voices are perfect, and the ending is wonderfully sweet. Also, the world will always need more Shalka-verse fic.