Author's Note: Hey all! This is my first time writing a Lords of the Underworld (by Gena Showalter) fic, so please go easy on me! I hope you all enjoy the story, so please feel free to read on!

Darkest Laughter


When Kane walked into the entertainment-room, he had to stop in the doorway and stare, unsure if he was seeing things or not. Since he hadn't yet been hit over the head hard enough that day to cause hallucinations, he was forced to conclude that he wasn't seeing things, and Ashlyn, mate to Maddox the keeper of Violence, really was constructing some sort of structure made entirely out of pillows around the T.V.

The keeper of Disaster blinked and was just about to look around to make sure the others weren't waiting to burst out laughing at his reaction when Ashlyn looked up and spotted him standing in the doorway like an idiot. She smiled, a reaction he really wasn't used to getting, and motioned him further into the room as she said, "Oh, hello! Your name is Kane, right? I think we were introduced a few days ago."

The Greece contingent of Lords had moved into the fortress after Maddox's death-curse had been broken, and since Ashlyn and the keeper of Violence had been locked in their bedroom for the majority of that time, only a cursory introduction had gone on between the just-arrived Lords and the woman of the fortress.

Kane nodded, remembering belatedly that Ashlyn had kind-of asked him a question, and he took a moment to look around the room in complete confusion before he asked, more than a little lost, "Um, what exactly are you doing?" As an afterthought, he took a few steps into the entertainment-room, hesitant to go in any further lest he mess up whatever it was that the brunette woman was trying to accomplish.

Ashlyn blinked; momentarily confused by the question, but then she realized that she was still holding a small throw pillow in her hands, having been in the process of using it as a corner point for her pillow construction work when Kane had walked in.

She looked over at the tall Lord standing just a bit inside the room and asked him curiously, as she straightened up from the crouch she had been in, "You've never made a pillow fort before?"

That just made the keeper of Disaster even more confused, and he ignored the light bulb that exploded in a nearby lamp with the ease of long practice as he queried, "I don't understand, why make a fort out of pillows? I doubt that it would be able to keep anything out…"

Ashlyn giggled slightly at the confused look on Kane's face and motioned with the hand not holding the throw pillow to come closer, privately thinking that Kane looked adorable when he was confused, like a cute puppy trying to figure something out. She turned back and began arranging the pillows that made up the corner she had been working on to include the throw pillow as she began explaining, "It's not really supposed to keep anything out. A pillow fort is usually something that kids make for fun, like a tree-house, except it's usually inside the house and made of pillows." Aware that she wasn't explaining things very well, she again motioned the keeper of Disaster to come closer as she added, "Come on, it would be better to show you, since I'm not really good at explaining things like this."

Kane hesitated before gingerly moving over to Ashlyn, keeping a wary eye on the TV and keeping his body tensed in case he had to pull the blonde away from an exploding television or something along those lines. It wouldn't have been the first time that something like that had happened around him, he thought sourly as he came to stand beside Ashlyn, looking at what she was doing and still feeling as confused as he had when he had first walked into the room.

Following Maddox's wife's directions, Kane soon became focused on helping Ashlyn to construct her pillow fort, his hazel eyes narrowed as he thought up ways to make the fort even better, and soon both Kane and Ashlyn were acting like children and raiding the other Lords' rooms (except for Torin's of course) for more pillows - aka building materials - while the others were out. Surprisingly, Disaster was quiet during the construction except for when a pillow burst and covered both of them with feathers, which was good for a laugh as Ashlyn pointed out that they now looked like big chickens.

Before Kane knew it over two hours had passed, and the fort was complete.

Ashlyn and Kane stepped back and admired their creation, which took up practically the whole entertainment-room and looked far sturdier than anything made out of pillows really had any right to.

The keeper of Disaster had somehow managed to make it so that the fort actually looked like a fort and not like an overly-large igloo, and a pair of pillow pillars framed the entrance, which was concealed by a cleverly placed sheet. The sheet was anchored above the hole in the fort that served as the door by virtue of being sandwiched between layers of pillows, and it was spread so that it covered the entire door like a white curtain.

Instead of building a back wall for the pillow fort, Ashlyn had decided to just pad the wall around the TV with throw pillows and save the regular pillows for the building of the fort itself.

The inside of the fort was the definition of cozy, with pillows covering the floor around the coffee table (and under it, too) and couches had been turned into impromptu tables to hold bags of chips and 2-liter bottles of a variety of soda. There were three stacks of DVDs perched on a pillow right next to the TV, and there was a deck of cards sitting in the middle of the coffee table.

All in all, Kane had to say that they had done a pretty good job, and better yet nothing had gone wrong with the exception of the one exploding pillow. He absently pulled a feather from his hair as he and Ashlyn shared a satisfied smile.

Ashlyn clapped her hands sharply and beamed as she told Kane, "Let's go inside and try it out! I think there's a movie marathon on the Sci-Fi channel that we'll be able to catch if we hurry and get things set up."

"What kind of movies?" Kane queried as he stooped over to enter the pillow fort behind Maddox's woman.

Ashlyn could only shrug and answer, "I don't know…do you want to find out?"

The keeper of Disaster's only reply was a wide grin as he grabbed a bag of potato chips and a bottle of Coke from the pile of snacks on one of the sofas.

Four hours later, and Maddox, Paris, Amun, and Sabin were forced to stop just inside the door to the entertainment-room and stare, dumbfounded at the sight of the structure made entirely out of pillows that had appeared in the room.

In unison, they all blinked before Maddox cautiously took a step towards the pillow fort, and just then sheet covering the door was pushed to the side and Ashlyn poked her head out. The brunette beamed when she saw Maddox, and she happily motioned him to come inside the pillow fort as she spoke, "Maddox! Come on in, Kane and I were just about to watch 'An American Werewolf in London'!" She paused when she saw Paris, Amun, and Sabin and then added sternly, "But you three have to say the password! Only Maddox gets a free pass into the pillow fort." With that, Ashlyn ducked back inside the fort, and Maddox shrugged at the others before he followed after her.

Outside the pillow fort, the stunned Lords blinked before they looked at each other, and Paris finally snapped out of his shock as he looked at the others and asked in confusion, "So…do any of you guys know the password?"