|Dancing with the Devil
Author: BlueberryPie0910 PM
Prompt 004. William acknowledges something and metaphorically sells his metaphorical soul to the metaphorical devil.Rated: Fiction K - English - Humor/Supernatural - Changeling - Words: 1,383 - Published: 04-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8018755
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Prompt: with the Devil
Fandom: Mostly Changeling: The Lost
Characters: Mostly William Blake and Joanna Kerr
Word Count: 1268
Author's Notes: This is the proof that I CANNOT WRITE HUMOUR. No matter how hard I try.
I honestly started out trying to make this FUNNY, and this is the result – my character selling his (flayed, mutilated) soul to the (redeemed) Devil.
I am SO sorry.
The League had never been a very quiet place, what with a vampire, a werewolf, a Banished, a couple of changelings, a few mages, a demon, a geist, a fetch, and a goddamned fetch child crammed into the same room, but today, the noise had reached an unprecedented level of Shut-The-Fuck-Up-ness and then rocked right beyond even that and into Stab-Myself-In-The-Ear territory.
And William hated noise, just like he hated pretty much everything else.
From the snatches of conversation that had floated over to his corner, William figured that it was apparently Rufa's birthday. And, well, Joanna already enjoyed throwing outrageous parties at the slightest provocation. For such an auspicious occasion, she had gone full out.
The night had started with the rapid consumption of mountains of chips, cakes, muffins, and various other snacks and sweets and general mingling. Now, a few hours later, with most of the members thoroughly sated and drunk, the majority of the League was clustered at the other end of the room, around the Karaoke machine that had materialised into existence over night. Mostly, it had been Rufa and Brian raucously belting out off-tune rock and pop songs, but Joanna had somehow managed to coax Jim into taking a turn, though he didn't so much sing as mumble his way through a sappy love song, hoping that he'll be left alone after this. Sometimes, the kid's naivety still astounded William.
Apparently still unsatisfied, Joanna had rounded up Belle and Amaya to cheer Jim on with little flags which she had mostly likely pulled from her ass, and they obeyed most solemnly. As a result, the already horrible singing only got shakier and even more tuneless.
There had never been a better time to put his plan into action.
He had been intending to do this for months…almost a whole year now, since he first joined the League. But he simply couldn't find the most opportune moment to do so, especially given Joanna's tendency to have her nose in someone else's business at all times. And this simply wasn't the sort of business to be conducted in public.
But all the noise tonight is going to give him as much cover as the deepest darkness.
After all, with Jim embarrassing himself on a STAGE, who would notice William?
Feeling rather as if he was about to step off a cliff, William took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and marched out of the corner he had been lurking in.
Almost immediately, he saw the flaw to his plan.
While the noise did provide cover, it also provided distraction, and after his habit of keeping to himself and finding solace in silence, the loud clamour of conversation and music only served to rattle his already frayed nerves. And with all the noise, there was no way he could monitor his environment via hearing, which did NOT help him relax in the least. If there was anything William hated more than noise, then it was being unable to tell what was going on around him. That, added onto the harsh, bright light of the florescent tubes in the warehouse…it made him feel distinctly…defenceless. Which was the LAST thing he wanted to feel before a confrontation with their own Manipulative Bastard Extraordinaire, Joanna.
But he didn't really have a choice. If it had been his choice to make, he wouldn't be here at all. No matter what, the fact was that he was obligated to do this, and putting it off for almost a year was bad enough, almost unforgivable, to continue neglecting his duty…that was unthinkable.
So he steeled himself, took another deep breath (which utterly failed to calm him down in the least), and scuttled (or strode, he liked to think) as quickly as he can, over to Joanna.
Apparently, the noise was as distracting to her as to him (which made him feel a little better), for she had not even noticed him approach, despite having the apparent superpower of always knowing what everyone of importance was doing at all times (an ability William would have killed for).
She started, to William's secret delight, when his shadow fell on her, and half-turned in her chair and glanced up at him, and he hated the way she made a rackety old chair in the middle of an abandoned warehouse look like a throne.
'Why, finally decided to join in the fun, have we?' She asked and smirked slyly, and William had to restrain himself from bolting.
'Not quite.' He forced out, every muscle in his body coiled with tension. 'I have…something else to discuss with you.'
She turned completely to him now and aimed her disturbingly unbroken gaze at him. He swallowed thickly and felt the tension travel down his spine, dragging his heart into his stomach, which churned with nerves.
'Although it's unofficial, you are the…founder and…strategic leader of the League, and therefore…you…were responsible for…saving my life 8 months ago. For that, I must thank you.' Feeling more of a fool every passing second, William pressed on. 'I…owe you my life.'
The smirk disappeared from her face and she answered with almost uncharacteristic seriousness. 'You owe me no gratitude. If you had been after me, I would have killed you outright and never given a second thought to it. Jim was the one who wanted to save you and I only intervened to save him. So, if anything, you should be thanking him.' She swept her eyes over to Jim, who was clambering down the stage, blushing the rough colour of a tomato.
'Regardless, I…have an obligation toward you.' William insisted. Joanna had a knack for derailing the conversation and, really, the last person he wanted to think about now was Jim. 'I do owe you something, however you look at the situation.'
An awkward silence settled between them as Joanna looked at him again, her face impassive, as though calculating his value. All of a sudden, William became disturbingly aware of how tense he was and the way his throat was closing up and how fast his heartbeat was going...
Slowly, a smile formed on Joanna's face, which grew into a smirk, which grew into a grin, which grew into a disconcertingly accurate impersonation of the Cheshire cat (the cause of many childhood nightmares).
'I will hold you to that, then.' She said.
This was BAD.
If she had given him a task, any task, no matter how ridiculous or humiliating, William would have felt better, because at least he knew what was required of him. But as it is, with nothing but the ominous threat of a life-debt hanging over his head, with the knowledge that she could call upon him anytime she liked and demand anything and he wouldn't be able to refuse…
Well, that wasn't quite right. It wasn't so much that he couldn't refuse as he wouldn't refuse. He'd be more than willing to bear with anything she'd throw at him (which was usually limited to bucket-over-the-door tricks and teasing remarks) over the alternative. Not to mention, he's already declared a debt. There was no way he'd be able to retract his declaration now…
Joanna suddenly sat up and raised her voice. 'Now, boys and girls, who wants to hear William sing?'
For a moment, time stopped.
Every eye in the League turned towards him as William felt his jaw drop and his eyes bulge out so far, it felt like they would fly out of their sockets.
Fate had a MOST annoying tendency to prove him wrong at the worst moments.