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Posted as [livejournal.com profile] serenissima, May 19, 2006, for the [livejournal.com profile] comica_obscura challenge.



Title: Raining (cats) and dogs
Author: serenissima (cortigiana@gmail.com)
For: sparcck
Requested characters used: Dog (Books of Magic: Life in Wartime)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Through the entire series of Books of Magic: Life in Wartime
Warning: Implied incest and related UST.
Assume all standard disclaimers.
Written for: Comica Obscura 2006

Be (fore) ward

Now that you understand it a little better it makes sense that life B.H. (Before Hunter) seemed flat, foreshortened, out of perspective. After all, he created the world, created you, created her – just so that he would have a place to hide from the magic. A careless creator, he didn't need to make it fit properly, so long as he didn't see the cracks in the plaster and the peeling paint.

So you don't think about it, really – what is your life after all, but a series of incidents, some better than others? You're born, you grow up, you go to school, and then university. (Or maybe, you drop out and get a job in a music store, dealing a little on the side.) After work, you go down the pub, you smoke, you drink, you get high, and maybe if you're lucky, you get lucky. You don't wonder about the odd ideas you get sometimes, the strange designs you sit around drawing on your day off, or the way can't stop noticing how your sister's breasts look in a tight t-shirt. (She's your sister, man. That's gross.) You don't wonder why your life is going nowhere, why nothing makes sense, why your so-called friends keep screwing you over. (Christ, man, you're letting a pair of dice make decisions for you.)

You don't ask questions. (He's answered them before you ask.) You don't want anything else from life. (He has what he wants.) Until the day the ground cracks open.

Du (ring) rational

The thing you have to remember is that he hadn't meant for all of this to happen. Tim Hunter was a good guy, or at least he tried to be – and everything he had done, he'd done for the greater good. If that meant creating the perfect world to hide in, and the perfect life he'd always wanted? Well, that was just a bonus. But what if the perfect world wasn't quite so perfect? Well, that's what his power was for, to smooth over the rough spots, and paper over the cracks.

But even this was not enough, once the outside started creeping in. First, there were the spies from faerie, and then there was Brewster, sometimes called Sirius, sometimes called Yoyo, who poked and prodded, tempted and tried to bring the Hunter back to himself.

Then, when the church came crashing down, they were scattered to the ends to the earth – a different earth. His best friend, the woman who loved him, and the woman he loved. And while he was finding them, they were finding him, as well, finding out the stories and truths about the Hunter and his power, finding out what part they were supposed to play in this great drama. But in that process, they were also finding themselves, the parts of themselves that they had forgotten. Molly found her courage. Cat found her compassion. And Dog found his cunning. These were to stand them in good stead in the battle that was to come.

After (math) word

Orion's precious, blessed of Jabbar...
Child of Nimrod, Diana and Hearne...
...Be united, while in love.

And after the battle, when the Queen had been defeated, the Hunter gathered his books made flesh before him – the Dog, the Cat, and Molly who were his countenance, eyes and bones, the Book of Man, the Book of Faerie, and the Book of Coalition. And he asked their forgiveness. But they were great wroth at him for the destruction that he hath wrought. And he that had been the Dog, the faithful, the follower, was now in despair as well as anger, for he had loved the Hunter as a brother.

"Why hast thou forsaken me, Lord?" he asked. "For no creature in this world could fail to love you, but you do not love all in return. And who is there for me to love? You have made my sister as perfection unto me, but forever is she out of my reach, and I of hers."

And the Hunter did not answer, for he had none to give. For the books made flesh had been made to contain part of his soul, and they must therefore yearn for him as the rivers yearn for the sea.

So they turned from him, those avatars of his desire, and thus they crossed the gulf between worlds. They sought their home, the world without magic. And they sought a champion, who would fight the Hunter when he returned at last, bearing destruction in his wake.

Epilogue (begin) again

We're flying between universes in a glass capsule from the London Eye – yeah, it's pretty crazy, I suppose. We're moving so fast that there isn't really time to think about everything that has happened – like the fact that the world had just been destroyed, crumpled up and torn apart like the cheap paper cut-out it was.

We get to the place, and it's beautiful. Everything is green and lush, open and empty, with a heavy scent of flowers in the air. I guess what he's going to do a second before he says the words, but it's too late - there's nothing to be done, at least, nothing that his magic can't undo. He makes the world, and unmakes it. He makes you, and unmakes you, makes you into someone new and gives you to someone new. And you both live happily ever after.

But paradise will never be quite perfect. Even if I no longer believe it, there is a part of me will always understand that we are joined, the same body and blood, for good or ill. And there's this message, a poison pen note to myself, a little trick that Zatanna taught me amidst the chaos of another dying world. You see, I haven't forgotten what life was, back before the Hunter. I haven't forgotten that the world was destroyed. And I haven't forgotten that Cat was my sister. It's just that I don't care anymore.

Maybe we will live happily ever after, after all.

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