Keeping An Eye On You
Queen Karla of Glacia glacial_queen
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The Estate, Sidra, Balmia, Tuesday Evening (Fandom Time)
Karla paced back and forth, trying to absorb some of the calm from her garden, trying not to curse her ungainly figure. Even the land in full bloom, laden with fragrant flowers and early fruits wasn't enough to bleed off her fury. Warren's 'birthday' present had been delivered this morning, a bouquet of witchblood tucked in a grinning skull. Karla wasn't sure whether she should be grateful or not that it was only a skull; a head, she might have recognized.

Of course, a gift from Raven was likely coming soon. She wouldn't let an opportunity like Karla and Warren's shared birthday go unremarked. The only question would be if she knew what Warren's gift had been--and, if so, how she would attempt to outdo it.

Once beloved. Once sister. Now they were both hollow, twisted shells of their former selves. Warren had gone to Earth and come back corrupted by Apocalypse, managing to hold onto himself for only a few days before being lost completely. Raven had tried to protect her Queen for as long as she could until Archangel's games had driven her over the edge and released her demonic side. Now Karla was trapped between them as they raged back and forth for possession of everything Karla held dear.

She only wished that was limited to herself.

"Karla, you should sit down." Her former mentor, Helene, had been visiting the day Warren had torn Sidra from the rest of Balmia, using his powers to partially phase it out of reality with the rest of Kaeleer and put it into some kind of time bubble vortex thing that, even now, Karla couldn't quite understand and Warren was not inclined to explain. All she knew was that it cut Sidra off from the Winds, from Portalocity, from any contact with the outside world. A small blessing, that. It meant the rest of Balmia and Kaeleer was safe from them--at least, until one or the other emerged victorious. Karla found it hard to regret her friend's presence here, even though it meant she was in danger. But she needed a mother figure right now more than ever--especially one who was also a powerful Black Widow. "You need to rest."

"I'm not feeling very restful," Karla growled, using a fist to try to ease the nagging sensation in her lower back. A bit of Healing would vanish that pain entirely, but even that was beyond her capabilities now. "And chairs are too much of a pain in the ass to get into and out of unless I plan to stay sitting for awhile." And she didn't. There was important pacing to be done. "You should go inside. One or the other of them will be dropping by soon and you know they don't like it when our little chats are interrupted by others."

Helene grimaced. "I don't understand why you allow these so-called visits," she said by rote. It was an old argument by this point. "They're dangerous--"

"To everyone else except me," Karla interrupted. "I'm the bone they're wrangling over. That gives me a measure of safety. One that you don't have."

"I've seen wild dogs fight over scraps before," Helene retorted. "Believe me, the scraps come in a distant third in that contest. And you can't protect yourself from either of them."

"I am well aware of my limitations," Karla said, trying to find a position that eased her various aches. "But trust me, this is safer than the alternatives. Right now, keeping them fighting each other is the only protection we have."

Helene nodded at Karla's stomach, large and round under her airy shirt. "And when the baby's born? What then?"

"Then I'll have my Craft back," Karla said, ice-blue eyes narrowed. "And then we see about evening the score."

[For the two villains so named! Sidra in Glacia Balmia is now unreachable by phone, computer, or any other method of communication/transportation. Feel free to have your characters notice that, if they're likely to do so! NFB.]

trigons_child

2014-03-05 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

The familiar burst of black smoke brought more dread than relief these days. Raven teleported into the gardens, her own birthday gift to Karla in one bloody hand: a freshly torn out heart.

"Happy birthday, Karla!" she said cheerfully, but there was a darkness in her gaze when her eyes strayed to Karla's belly.

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)

With a disdainful sniff, Helene stood up and walked away, heading into the estate proper. As much as she hated it, Karla was right; having other people interfere with these 'little chats' only ended in further violence and mayhem.

Julian and Morton's graves were stark reminders of that.

"You shouldn't have," Karla said dryly as she looked at the red and pulpy mass in Raven's hand, her hand sliding protectively in front of her stomach. Thank the Darkness for small favors, she'd gotten past the point where everything on the planet had made her ill. "Believe me. You really shouldn't have."

trigons_child

2014-03-05 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)

"I had wished to bring you something else, but since I am still unable to teleport beyond Sidra since he moved the city, my options are somewhat limited," Raven sighed.

She frowned, picking up on Karla's discomfort. "Allow me to take care of that," she said, tossing the heart aside and gliding toward Karla, moving behind her. She pressed one hand to her lower back and drew in the pain she found there.

"I could take such good care of you," she crooned, bringing her lips to Karla's ear.

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Karla couldn't bite back the sigh of relief. The relief from her nagging soreness just felt good, no matter how it came about. Even so, a moment later she was shuddering at Raven's promise. She could imagine what this twisted version of her friend meant by 'taking such good care,' but she most certainly didn't want to.

"Raven..." she warned, trying to ease away.

trigons_child

2014-03-05 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Raven slipped one arm around Karla's waist and rested her hand on her swollen belly. "Allow me to take care of this as well," she purred. "You will feel nothing, I promise, nothing but relief that the abomination is gone."

And then she could implant one of Trigon's Seeds within her, and bind them even closer.

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Man, when Raven put it like that, it all sounded so tempting! Except, you know, how it didn't at all.

She slapped Raven's hand away from her. "First of all, my stomach's not community property, so hands off," she snarled. "And, second, threaten to harm my daughter again and I will throw myself into Warren's arms so fast your cape will ruffle in the breeze of my goddamn passing."

trigons_child

2014-03-05 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)

"You will do no such thing," Raven said, reluctantly drawing away and circling back in front of Karla. "He is nothing but blood and death to you now. I am the one who truly loves you. I am the one who will protect you. I will not permit him to lay his hands upon you ever again."

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

"And the price of your love is the life of my daughter," Karla reminded. "Are your hands so clean of blood and death, Sister?"

She dropped a significant glance down at Raven's hand, still smeared with blood from the heart.

trigons_child

2014-03-05 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"I will do whatever is necessary to protect you, as I always have," Raven said. "That heart belonged to one who broke your laws. He had to be punished to make certain others respect your authority."

It has been a fairly insignificant thing she'd plucked from the guilt in his mind, a shopkeeper exaggerating about the quality of his goods to a customer. But it had been enough to bring down her judgment.

"My wrath is yours, as my healing has always been, as my love."

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not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)

A dark shadow across the sky and then the sound of metal scraping metal heralded Archangel's appearance at the estate. He smiled lazily as he approached Karla, in fact.

"Nothing like visiting home on one's birthday," he noted mildly. "I trust you got your gift, my love?"

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'm pretty sure I threw you out," Karla said with a pleasantly poisonous smile. "This stopped being your home the same time you stopped being Warren."

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Archangel's answering smile was sharp as he folded his wings across his shoulders, a nightmarish cloak of blades and poison.

"So quick to bite today," he admonished. "I have a deep fondness for this estate, after all. The memories you and I made here."

The other things they made here. He even gave a pointed look at Karla's belly, his smile twisting into something a little more smug.

"Your Warren is in here somewhere, you know. Screaming and clawing and trying to get free. He's a fun little toy, but so easily broken, so placid for me now, so resigned to nothingness, until I see you."

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'm older now," Karla said, showing off her teeth. If he was going to mention biting... "Much more crotchety now. You're welcome to the memories, but that's all you'll be getting."

She schooled her expression, pretending that his barb about Warren didn't hurt. He was adamant about keeping her--keeping their child, their combination of Blood and mutation--physically unharmed, but he took every opportunity to hurt her in other ways.

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)

"Is it?" Archangel didn't seem terribly convinced as he stepped closer, reached for her hand and leaned in close enough to whisper in her ear as he moved it to rest on her stomach, his own cupped over hers like any doting father-to-be might. "That hardly seems the case to me. You can deny me paternity, my love, but who'll deny me our child if I so choose to claim her?"

He seemed to be doing a good job cutting down any who looked as though they were thinking about it. Didn't he?

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)

The collection of skulls she'd have if she'd kept any of his macabre trophies would certainly suggest so, yes.

There was a moment when Karla almost, almost leaned into him. She still couldn't tell whether that moment came from some kind of subtle influence he exerted over her or just her own weakness. Either way, she loathed it, loathed that there was some way he could still make her react.

"Don't touch me," she said, shoving him away. Once, she would have darted away from him, but he was far more agile than she was, especially now. "She's my daughter, not yours. Her father died--along with her aunt and two of her uncles. You have no claim on her."

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Her shove did little to move him, but Archangel bowed his head and took a step away all the same.

"You say that now," he replied, "but when you're mine again, you'll be begging me to take her. Doesn't it appeal to you? The thought of the three of us together, a family? My touch is the same. My voice. My scent. If you close your eyes, it's almost as though nothing is different, isn't it?"

glacial_queen

2014-03-05 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)

"If," she said, stressing the word, "I ever become yours, I'll be a twisted, broken shell. It won't be Karla doing the begging, it'll be the puppet you made of me, the same way Apocalypse made one of you."

She stepped back a pace. "And no, your scent isn't the same. You don't smell like cornchips anymore, just poison and metal and blood."

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)

"If you came to me willingly, I wouldn't have any need to break you," Archangel reasoned. "And the poison, you get used to. Even if I were to be him again, that scent would linger, you know. If you were to chase me out or cage me in with all the power your coven can manage, if you were to get him back, you would never be able to rid yourself of that reminder of me."

He fanned his wings, swept them forward, twin veils of death cutting trenches into the flower beds on either side of her.

"It's a shame."

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trigons_child

2014-03-05 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)

"You are not welcome in this place," Raven snarled, eyes gleaming red as she moved in front of Karla. "Begone before I destroy you."

She'd tried and tried so many times in the past and been unsuccessful. But not even Apocalypse could withstand the power of Trigon. She would vanquish him, and Karla would be hers and hers alone.

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)

"It's adorable," Archangel purred, giving Raven an unconcerned glance, "that you still think you can."

See how he was making no move to leave, Raven? Even his feathers were completely unruffled.

Mostly because he was well aware of how much it would ruffle hers.

trigons_child

2014-03-05 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)

"I can and I will," Raven said. "You have made a grave mistake unleashing this side of me. Sometimes I think that perhaps I should thank you, but I will instead show my gratitude by rending you limb from limb."

She lifted a still bloody hand to her lips and licked one finger. "I am only saddened that you no longer have your true wings. I would have enjoyed making a cloak out of them."

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Archangel's only outward reaction to that was to incline his chin slightly, so that he was looking down his nose at her.

"White really isn't your color, Raven," he replied. "Though I'd almost be interested in seeing you wearing a cloak of these feathers. How well would you move then, I wonder? Would it weigh you down? Would you bleed? I can certainly spare a few, if you feel as though you're missing out."

trigons_child

2014-03-05 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Raven laughed. "Do not be ridiculous," she said. "Your wings were once beautiful, though of course I would have dyed them black. Now they are ugly. More deadly, yes, but that will not stop me from ripping them from your back all the same. Your knives and poisons do not frighten me."

She lazily stretched out with her powers, trying to creep inside his mind. "But I can frighten you," she said. "I can bring your darkest fears to life. You must still fear something."

not_a_parakeet

2014-03-05 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)

"I fear nothing you can touch, demon," Archangel snarled, his own eyes glowing red as her influence brushed his mind and he pushed back against it. "I am Archangel. What can Pride possibly do to Death?"

Together, they made for a lot of very high-profile funerals. That had to mean something.

trigons_child

2014-03-05 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)

"I can touch Karla," Raven said sweetly. "I can touch her and make her want that touch as much as she shuns yours now. She will never be yours again. And that spawn you have placed inside her will not live to draw breath, I swear it."

She gave Archangel a cold smile. "And you know very well Pride is not my only weapon. There are so many things I can do to you."

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