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He thought of determination and nearly staggered under the weight of it. Patience like that didn't come easily for him, and nor did the balance. What fun was there in a world so stoic? But watching the chairs stack higher reminded the Trickster that there was value in contrast, and a world without a center of gravity couldn't hold its shape for long. This was a pillar he could build around. He craned his neck and squinted but couldn't see the top.

He thought of transformation and light bent before him, golden beams of flexible energy. When he looked closely, the Trickster could see the mechanics of them, the intricate coils and gears that made them work. Fine engineering like that let them take any form; they could be rebuilt and repurposed as the world took shape around them. But once they were alive, the Trickster couldn't conceive of changing them. Their laughter rang with delicate whirs and bells.

He thought of ambition and their twin shadows fell over the stage. The darkness of it made the Trickster shiver with delight - that kind of hunger wasn't something he often drew on, but it had its place too. It led them upward, upward, then down again, rotating on opposite ends of the same axle, the near victory of one always at the expense of the other. There was a lesson there, but the Trickster didn't care to learn it. He let them get on with it, and every so often their frustrated roars scattered the shadows.

He thought of communication and breathed to life an army, a single mind shared by many, with thoughts that flickered through the ranks as quickly as a curve of the lips or the sparkle of an eye. One grinned and the rest of them knew. Conflict was chaos, and the Trickster didn't mind more than a bit of that, but it was nice to have someone guarding over the peaceful moments, too. For so many of them, they were eerily quiet.

He thought of manipulation and nearly laughed when she took it so literally. They had a lot in common: she spun her hoops like he spun the fabric of their world, a constant flash of light and color. Concentric circles passed before his eyes but never collided. The worlds were like that sometimes, so similar and close but never meant to meet. She picked up the pace until each hoop became a blur, and for a moment they all looked like one in the same.

He thought of devotion, its eternal push and pull, and they appeared together holding hands. One on foot, one on wheel, they turned spirals around one another, an endless binary, caught in each other's orbit. When they smiled, so did the Trickster. It wasn't an emotion shown with the lips, it was felt in the chest, and when he saw them breathe their commitment so fully, he almost felt the warmth of it too.

He thought of admiration and the warmth returned as a blaze. She didn't have a name at first, none of them did, but the fire of her creation had barely dimmed when she looked the Trickster in the eyes and told him herself. Kashmir. A name impossible to pronounce without a sigh. He closed his arms around her and she arched her back, laughing, then whirled out of his grip and away. The heat in his chest returned every time he saw her, a smoldering pile of embers until she arrived to coax them to life. He ran his hands over her, he held her, he kissed her, but his lips always met her throat or her cheek. If he had made her any differently, he wouldn't want her half as badly. There is no admiration without distance.