Title: Angel Feather
Author: Traxits
Fandom: Star Ocean: The Second Story.
Pairing: None.
Rating: T.
Content Notes: Tattooing, non-graphic descriptions of blood and pain.
Word Count: 678 words.
Request: Star Ocean 2, Celine/Anyone: marking - Celine gets a new tattoo.
Summary: Another spell, another crest. A bonding moment between the two Heraldic masters.
Author's Note(s): Written for the "Are You Game?" community on Dreamwidth.

[[ … One-Shot … ]]

Celine hesitated for only a moment before she slowly lowered her cloak, letting it pool to the floor around her ankles. "Are you sure-"

"Of course, I am, onee-san. Sit."

She settled down on the cushion then, reaching up to twist her hair into a loose ponytail, pulling it over to one side. She had a space open on her shoulder that she had been saving for this spell. She supposed that, all things considered, she was lucky to have someone who actually knew the symbol for it with her. She felt something cool against her shoulder, and her eyes slid closed as she concentrated enough to force her crests to light up under her skin. Leon couldn't let the new crest overlay in any way with the others, so she had to keep right on the edge of her seat, a spell lingering at her lips as though a monster would barge in at any moment.

It was the only way to make the crests light up.

It was as much ritual as anything, something she'd been submitting to since she was a small girl. Her first spell had been inked on her forearm at the age of six, and every session since then had made that first crest tingle slightly. Now, her fingers unerringly traced over it, not needing to see it to know the design itself. She bit her lip as the first needle pricked her skin, the little popping noise a touch unsettling, especially given the fact that the needle was held in the hand of a child.

"Leon," she spoke softly, not wanting to distract him but needing to hear something other than her own thoughts.

"Yes?" His voice was tense, and she could feel him trembling as he worked on her back, the popping sounds growing more regular as he found his rhythm in the tattooing process. She swallowed thickly, her eyes remaining closed. Blood was beginning to dribble down her shoulder, and Leon was quick to dab at it.

"How many times have you done this?" Purposely, she pitched her own voice low, soothing. It seemed to steady him, because after a minute, he gave a nervous chuckle. Sometimes, she forgot how young he was, she realized suddenly.

"Done all of my own that I could reach," he finally replied, and her eyes opened at that. Normally, a crest was inked by an elder, a rite of initiation, a symbol of degrees earned in the Heraldic community. To ink them yourself was... not exactly frowned on, but unusual. Curiously, she twirled a lock of purple hair around her finger. She wanted to press, but with him working so intently on her crest, she decided she'd better wait.

Instead, she purposely relaxed herself now that Leon had the outline traced and was beginning the detail work in the middle; her eyes slowly closed once more. The mingling scents of blood and ink brought back memories, not all as good as others, but ones that she was trained to welcome all the same. The inking was a way of remembering, permission to forget. It was marking time, packing away all of those memories until the next session. Idly, her fingers trailed over her fireball symbol, and she swallowed.

The popping noise slowed, then stopped, and by the time Leon was done, Celine felt as though she were floating. She was freshly inked, and with it came a rush, an eagerness to try the spell that she knew better than to give into. Casting it too early would cause blood to wash the ink out, and then the spell wouldn't work. Instead, she turned around, watching Leon clean and put away the needles and ink vial.

On an impulse, she pulled the boy to her, and she placed a soft kiss on his forehead. It delighted her when he blushed, and she lightly tapped the end of his nose. "Thank you," she murmured before she gathered her cloak and left him standing there, bloody towel and all.