author's note: recommended listening-- Hindi Sad Diamonds, from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack
By Tenshi no Korin
Guardian Forces cannot lie.
The first time she was junctioned to him it almost offended her. Saddled? To this mere infant? The force of his first junction left him unconscious in the infirmary for most of a day, as she flicked through memories to find a place to lay her head and scorned his weakness.
She wished she could have lied. The sorceress who chose the guardian forces for the SeeD knew better, and Shiva could not say she was unsuited to this mere stripling, this creature of fragile bone and blood.
She did not want him. Did the sorceress not know who she was dealing with? Shiva was no mere ripple of energy. She had been a goddess in the old days, junctioned to the mind of her high priestess, and pleased to see her host’s fingers dripping with diamonds, her head heavy with a spired silver crown, the air rich with incense.
No, she would have said. No, he is ill suited to me. I will not have him.
But she could not lie, and the Sorceress knew it.
And into the boy’s head she flew, seething. Only once had she deigned to have a male as her avatar, and for days he had meditated alone in prayer, to be worthy of her. When he received her it was with his skin painted in swirling henna, his smoke-eyes lined in black, his body wreathed in citrus blossoms and delicately curled lotus petals, arms flung wide as the musicians filled the air with the sound of their chants and the high thin twang of plucked strings, dancers shaking the floor with their feet.
That was millennia ago, and the very keystones of her temple were now nothing more than white sand on the beaches. She was little more than a weapon given to a boy, a common thing like a knife. Let him try, she thought. Let him try to call me. I will rip him open from within, icicle-sharp.
But he did not. She lay heavy and still, a jeweled coverlet inside him, his memories blurring beneath her fingers like chalk drawings in the rain. At first, she was pleased. He shows some respect, he knows he is unworthy, I am not to be summoned to save him from skinned knees. Later, she was furious. How dare he ignore me! I am in his mind! Does he refuse to acknowledge me? Insolent boy!
Days passed and she watched him with his shining silver blade as he trained, months passed and his eyes lost their childhood, his words grew rarer, his face as perfect and unchanged as a sculpted temple dancer. He had not summoned her. He had drawn her into his blood until her ice slicked his veins, until she was part of him. Until he became her.
You are perfect for me.
She heard it in his mind one day, as he shuddered, pulling magic from a dying beast on the plain outside Garden, near the mountains where the air was thin. She drank the icy spell he drew, and smiled to know he had drawn it for her. It was a suitable offering.
Call me, she whispered. Summon me.
She burst from his fingers like an avalanche, spiraling frost until the grass at his boots shivered silver, and the snow on the mountains melted, weeping with envy. For a moment he was in simple leather, his grey eyes flat and unflickering as a frozen pool. The dancers and the chanting were only an echo in her own existence, but she saw his upturned face framed in lotus petals, and the air filled with smoke and painted golden skin. He held up his arms and she rushed back into him, ruffling the ragged edges of his hair, sliding smoothly into the place prepared for her.
I will protect you.
Guardian Forces cannot lie.
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