disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Chloe, and Chloe's little sister Kaitlyn. YES, I DO KNOW ABOUT YOU, CHILD. is this creepo enough, V?
notes: no, I am not kidding. I wish I was. I shouldn't be allowed to think.
notes2: why does anyone allow me to write. here you go, three short chapters. maybe four. hopefully not more than that.

title: knock him down with a smile
summary: Once upon a time, a god fell in love with a witch. — Shinigami/Arachne.

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Once upon a time, a god fell in love with a witch.

This was very bad, you see, for witches were evil and caused far more trouble than they were worth. But this witch was a very little girl, and the god wasn't very old, either. In fact, he may very well have been younger than she, but it was so long ago that no one alive today remembers; excepting, of course, the god and the witch, herself.

But that is not the point of our story, so let us return to the young god and the little witch.

She was a very pretty little witch. She had red lips and wore a black dress made of the finest shining spun silk. Her fell in a soft dark cloud around her tiny oval of a face, and she surveyed the world through cool grey eyes.

The young god watched her through a gap in the trees, quiet as a shadow and barely as substantial. He didn't know quite what to make of her; this girl, laying on her stomach in the middle of a forest clearing talking a bug—no, a spider, she was talking to a spider. She was flat against the ground, talking to a spider—had a very strong soul.

And she was a witch.

He could tell.

The young god shifted. He did not make a single sound.

The little witch looked up, anyway.

"Hello? Is anyone there?"

The young god shrank back, wary. People were often afraid of him, because he did not have a face. In its place, he wore a mask like a skull. It did not have a mouth to speak, nor a nose to smell, nor eyes to see. For this reason, the young god did not have any friends at all.

So he stayed in the trees, where it was safe from little witches with solemn eyes who might run screaming in fear.

"I know you're there," she said, grey gaze fixed on where the young god hid in the trees. "Come out."

Still, he didn't move.

She frowned, forehead furrowing a little as an emotion the young god couldn't quite name flashed across her face. It wasn't annoyance, though it might have been related to it. He watched as she pushed off the ground, dusted off her knees, and settled her hands on her hips. "Come out, or I'll have my friends force you out!"

The young god gulped.

"You'll be scared," he said, very softly. "Everyone's scared of me."

"Stop that," she said. "My friends say you don't look scary at all, and they don't lie, so come out so I can see you properly."

The sunlight was very bright that day, and the young god knew that it would show her exactly what he was (or wasn't, in this case—he didn't have a body the way that most people did, you see).

And so he hesitated.

The little witch's lips puckered into a pout, this time annoyed for sure. The spider sat on her shoulder, whispering too quiet for the young god to hear, but he knew it couldn't be anything good. Witches and their familiars were evil, after all.

"Come out, or I'm coming in to get you myself. And don't even think about running away, because I'm a witch, and I'll—!"

The young god stepped out into the sunlight.

"Hello," he said.

"Hello," she replied. Instead of running, she simply looked at him.

It was rather unnerving.

After a moment, he said "…Aren't you going to run?"

"No," she said.

She was a strange girl—but then, her soul was a witch's, and she'd said she was a witch, herself! It was his duty to eradicate witches; they and their magic were a blight upon a sane and beautiful world. A precious world.

"Why not?" he asked.

"Why would I? You don't look like much," the little witch sniffed, nose stuck high in the air. She crossed her arms over her chest, and for a moment, was the picture of absolute indifference—she looked rather like one of the dolls that the young god had seen in stalls at the market, with their pale skin and shiny hair. Only offended. It was an amusing image. He was glad for his mask, for once.

But regardless, she wasn't scared of him at all. Not even a little bit.

The young god almost admired her for it.

But he was still a child, in the big scheme of things, and what young gods did best was drive little witches to the brink of murder. "That's what you think! Maybe I'm a monster!"

"Monsters don't talk, stupid. Everyone knows that," she said, nose wrinkling up like he was a worm or something of equally small intelligence. "But you—what are you?"

The young god didn't have to tell. He knew that.

He decided he might as well, anyway. He puffed his chest up, thin skin the colour of ink over strange, bendy bones. "I'm a god!"

"Gods are boring," she said. "Witches are better."

"That's only 'cause you are one!" the young god said, drawing back. The little witch was a rude little witch—the young god wasn't entirely sure how to deal with a rude little witch. Actually, he didn't know how to deal with little witches at all. This was the first time he'd met one.

"You only think gods are cool because you're one," she said, sneering down her nose.

For a moment, they stood at an impasse: two children on opposite sides of an argument.

But just like children, a moment later, curiosity got the better of them.

"What's your name?" the little witch asked.

The young god scrambled. Name? He didn't have a name. Not really, anyway—he was Shinigami-sama, Death, Scyth-bearer, protector of the small. He'd never been called anything like a name.

"Shin," he said, a second and a half later.

A tiny little smile curled up at the edges of her lips. "Well, Shin. I'm Arachne. The Witch Arachne. It's good to meet you."

She was probably lying. The young god knew that. Witches told lies. It was how they were.

But her smile was a pretty thing, small, hiding just in the corners of her lips. And he thought for a minute that maybe it would be alright to let his duty slip just this once.

Behind his mask, the young god smiled.

"It's nice to meet you, too," he said.

"Arachne," she reminded him.

"Arachne," he repeated.

She smiled again, this time bright all across her face, a beam of simple pure happiness. The young god's stomach did something unpleasantly pleasant.

What a strange reaction.

"Do you want to come play with me?" she asked. "My friends are nice."

"Who?"

"Spiders!" the girl lit up.

And so this was how the young god and the little witch met: sitting in the sunlight, in a clearing, talking about spiders.

She was his first friend.

But she wouldn't be his last.

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tbc.

notes3: this is technically my first foray into this fandom. tell me how I did?