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Angels Can Fly

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A hail of gunfire shredded the dirt at Lux’s feet and she skipped back, backpedaling rapidly as she threw a shield of coruscating light up in front of her just in time to absorb a patter of shots that stitched over her.

“She’s fast,” Vayne spat as she tumbled back, landing in a low crouch at Lux’s side.

“You outrange her,” Lux countered.

“Barely.”

Vayne grimaced as she rolled to the side, barely dodging another wild spray of bullets. It had been this way since the match started. Lux had known it was going to be a rough one the moment she saw wild eyes and electric blue hair under the turret of the bottom lane. The backup standing—or more accurately hopping up and down—at the woman’s side was no better. The mad bomber called Ziggs looked especially well-done today, suggesting he’d been testing some new explosive, and that boded ill for everyone involved.

Jinx was, possibly, the only person who could work with him and not care.

“Go!” Lux ordered, slinging out another shield of light and wrapping it around Vayne who immediately took off.

A breath later, Lux was weaving another spell and launching a bolt of binding light straight at Jinx.

The earth beneath the crazed Zaunite gunner detonated as she swapped to her rocket launcher, a hodge-podge array of poorly soldered metal she called ‘Fishbones’, and shot an explosive round directly down just as she kipped up. The resulting blast sent her ass over tea kettle, cackling as she quick-swapped in midair back to her rotating minigun ‘Pow-Pow’.

Not for the first time, Lux was struck by the sheer fluid grace of Jinx’s movements. There was nothing refined about her, and when Lux thought of her as graceful, it wasn’t in the way of a debutante or dowager matron of the courts.

Jinx was graceful like a jackal—like a lean and rangy predator—and right now she was showing that in spades as she soared through the air almost weightlessly. The shot from Fishbones that had carried Jinx over Lux’s spell had also sent in her a neat arc straight for Lux, and the Demacian mage’s eyes flew wide as she realized what was about to happen.

“SHIT!” Lux dove forward as the spot she was standing on was torn apart by a flensing rain of bullets.

If she’d tried to run for tower cover she’d just have succeeded in putting her back to the madwoman and been mowed down! Still, would it even matter? Jinx had her dead to rights!

The Zaunite champion landed with felid ease just as Lux came to a rolling stop on her feet. Behind her, she could hear Vayne dueling Jinx’s psychopathic support, and she hoped that the number of explosions and the lack of screams and various body-parts flying past her meant that Vayne was at least holding her own since she didn’t really have time to look.

Another flick of her wrist sent a twisting singularity of light at Jinx, but rather than try and dodge, JInx just pulled up Fishbones and took quick, haphazard aim.

“Smile, Blondie!” Jinx crowed as she fired.

“Oh, COME ON!” Lux detonated the singularity prematurely as Jinx fired, catching the deadly projectile in its grasp and shredding it with a deafening and blinding pop of torn metal casing and ruptured munitions.

Lux flinched back at the flash, blinking rapidly to clear the stars from her eyes, then looked back up to—

“Lux! Watch out!”

Vayne’s voice bellowed from behind her just as Lux’s eyes cleared enough to see Jinx, with bloodshot eyes and reflexive tears streaming down her cheeks from staring into a flashbang, sighting down her stun-gun and pulling the trigger.

ZZZZA~P

There was no time to move but Lux tried all the same. The plasma-caged bolt slammed hard into the meat of her shoulder, and she screamed as her body went rogue. Muscles spasmed, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and everything suddenly tasted suspiciously of peanut butter as Lux staggered and flopped backward.

“Get away from her!” Vayne rolled into view with her crossbow up and fired a shot. The custom weapon kicked with a heavy thud as it launched a bolt with a dense, specially crafted core made for impact over penetration.

It struck Jinx full in the chest just as Jinx flung an arm out, sending a handful of small metal objects clattering to the ground. One of them struck Vayne in the shin, the former noblewoman roared as the metal teeth bit deep, sending her to a knee.

Not that it mattered for Jinx, who had just been pinned under their tower.

“Ha! Wanna hear a joke?” Jinx rasped around what must have been cracked ribs as she slumped against the tower while a thin, ominous targeting beam centered onto her. “What’s black, red, and dead all over?!”

Vayne cursed as Lux pushed herself to a shaky knee while the tower above Jinx glowed lethally bright.

“YOU!”

The tower fired and Jinx’s form vanished in a cataclysmic shock of light at the same moment that Lux’s stomach plummeted as a high-pitched and more-than-mildly-late warning came along with a massive shadow over herself and the locked-down Vayne.

“LOOK OUT BELOW!”

“Well, shit,” Vayne muttered, just as one of Ziggs infamous super-sized hexplosive landed and turned their world into ash.

 


 


 

“I really hate Zaun,” Vayne said flatly as she stumbled out of the summoning chambers after a particularly disastrous match.

“Did you know Zaunites could fly?” Lux asked as she smacked her lips. Everything still tasted like peanut butter. “Because I didn’t.”

Vayne groaned as she stepped into the hallway and rubbed at her face. No doubt her ears were still ringing from all the explosions. Lux’s certainly were. They had lost, although not as badly as they might have. Her brother had kept control of the top lane against the Zaunite Chemist, Singed, while their Ionian ally, Karma, had fared surprisingly well going up against the Jericho Swain, although that might have been her working out her vicious grudge against the man.

In the jungle, a bloody brawl had been hashed out between their own representative, Lee Sin, who had fought alongside Karma many times, and the demon Aatrox. That had been a spectacularly dangerous place to move through, and Lux had ended up back at the Summoner’s pool more than once thanks to that monster.

“Normally, I’m averse to this, but I think I need a drink,” Vayne said, looking back at Lux. “Would you care to join me?”

The look in her eye and the expression on her face hinted that joining her for a drink might lead to joining her for other activities. A year ago, Lux might have been interested, but as it was she demurred.

“Thank you, but if it’s all the same to you, I’m going to try and get the taste of peanut butter out of my mouth.” Lux jerked a thumb back towards the dorms, and Vayne nodded graciously.

“More’s the pity, a raincheck, maybe,” Vayne replied. “Have a good evening, Lady Crownguard.” Her words were respectful but there was a waggish lilt to her tone that hid a laugh.

“And you as well, Lady Vayne,” Lux replied with as straight a face and as formal a bow as she could muster without laughing.

As it was, she didn’t quite succeed.

They shared a quiet laugh before parting ways. Vayne was a good woman, and kinder than she let on. She was vengeful and angry at times, but deep down Lux knew that that anger came from a place of compassion and a strong sense of justice. Lux had gone into dozens of matches alongside the so-called ‘Night Hunter’ and, contrary to popular belief, she’d found Vayne to be urbane and intelligent with a dry wit that Lux quite liked. She was beautiful, charming, and passionately driven.

If Lux were any other woman…

Well, it didn’t matter anymore. Lux chuckled quietly to herself as she made her way back to her room.

A twitch still shuddered through her fingers and toes every now and again, sympathetic leftovers from the many shocks that Jinx had hit her with. They weren’t actually hitting her, and the pain she experienced on the Rift was a muted shadow of actual pain—and she would know—so she couldn’t really complain. Still, it wasn’t uncommon for the mind to manufacture echoes of the fight while the adrenaline died down.

Tightening her grip on her staff, Lux couldn’t help but think that maybe the twitchiness wasn’t a leftover from the fight. That’s what she told herself, even though at this point it was a little silly to pretend the feeling was anything but it was.

Excitement.

Anticipation.

Lux fit her dorm key to the lock and turned it. She wasn’t surprised when it encountered no resistance, and there was no sound of a lock being released. Lux had certainly locked the door when she had left for the day.

The better question now was, how did she always manage to beat Lux here?

She pocketed the key and pushed the unlocked door open. Her room always smelled faintly of rosewater. It was her favorite scent because it had been her grandmother’s favorite scent. The smell was nostalgic and reminded her of simpler times, and that appealed to Lux especially when things in life got complicated.

Lately, however, there was another scent beneath the smell of rosewater. One that, if Lux was being honest, was even more enticing. It was faintly sulfurous and a bit metallic, it was smoky and clung to the nose in a way only certain smells can.

Lux took a deep breath as she shut the door, and the scent grew stronger as a shadow fell over her and her vision was eclipsed by a pair of lean-fingered hands.

“Guess who, Blondie?”

Lux let out a quiet, snorting laugh as she crossed her arms. “No, you shot me.”

“Only a little!” Jinx said as she dropped her hands away from Lux’s face to wrap her arms around her waist and pull her in.

It was a struggle to push back, but Lux wasn’t done playing yet. She bit her lip to keep from smiling as she stood her ground and shook her head.

“No! You shot me!” Lux huffed as she turned away from Jinx.

Jinx stepped back and blew a loud raspberry. “C’mon! It was fun!” She moved around until she was standing face to face with Lux, then leaned in until their noses were almost touching despite Jinx having almost a good half-foot of height over Lux, filling her vision with electric blue hair, an ear-to-ear smile, and bright, springberry eyes.

“Wasn’t it fun, Blondie?” Jinx asked.

“My mouth still tastes like peanut butter.”

“And?”

“I hate peanut butter.”

“WHAT?!” Jinx jerked backward and threw her hands up in mock horror. “Nobody hates peanut butter!”

“Peanut butter is disgusting, it clings to the roof of your mouth and makes perfectly good sandwiches into dry, sticky, culinary abominations,” Lux retorted in a huff.

Jinx made several wordless noises of shock and outrage.

“How dare you!” Jinx pointed an accusing finger. “You come into my house—”

“—this is my dorm—”

“—look me right in the face,” she continued, ignoring Lux’s interjection, “and disrespect my peanut butter!? I should have shot you twice!”

“You did shoot me twice,” Lux said flatly. “Actually you shot me something like twenty times.”

“Shoulda made it twenty-one,” Jinx groused as she crossed her arms.

Lux stuck her chin out belligerently. “I stand by my points, you shot me, and peanut butter is vile.”

“I can’t believe it! After all these years—”

“—one year—”

“—you still interrupt me, like, every other time I open my mouth,” Jinx finished with a toothy grin, and Lux pinned her lips closed and flushed.

“I…” Lux started as she lowered her arms as her expression fell. “I don’t…do it that much, do I?”

Jinx shrugged. “Kinda.”

Her good mood deflated somewhat as she rewound the past year’s worth of conversation, those that she could remember with enough clarity for it to matter, anyway. She…did interrupt Jinx a lot, although this is the only time it had ever been brought up. Actually, now that she looked back she really did talk over Jinx more than she’d thought, and those were just the times she could remember.

“Jinx, I…I’m sorry, I didn’t even realize I was doing it,” Lux said softly.

Fingers worn hard and calloused by years on a rough metal trigger came to rest on Lux’s cheek, tilting her head up until she was looking up at Jinx.

“Hey, c’mon.” Jinx grinned as she raised her other hand, rolled her wrist, and flicked her fingers in a deft motion. A thorned flower with pale, blade-like lavender petals was suddenly between her fingers. “Smile, Blondie.”

Lux started to reach up, then paused and frowned.

“Jinx, that’s a viperkiss,” she said, looking past the flower to the woman who held it by the stem. “They’re highly toxic.”

“And?” Jinx laughed as she tilted the flower toward Lux. “So is everything that manages to grow in Zaun.”

For a long moment, Lux stared at the flower, until finally, a faint smile found its way onto her face as she accepted the bloom, taking care not to prick her fingers on the poisonous thorns.

“I suppose you’re right,” Lux admitted as she stared down at the petals. “It’s a really nice color, though…” she lowered the flower and looked back up. “Thank you, Jinx, I love it.”

“Still mad at me for shooting you?” Jinx asked, still grinning.

Lux let out another snorting laugh as she set the viperkiss bloom down and stepped closer to Jinx, leaning in and pressing against the lean woman in a silent plea to be held. Jinx obliged, wrapping her arms around Lux, and this time Lux didn’t pull away, she just rested her head against the narrow crook of Jinx’s shoulder and breathed in the scent of gunpowder.

“I’m sorry I talk over you sometimes,” Lux whispered. “I don’t mean to, I promise, I’ll stop if I can I just…I didn’t even realize I was doing it, and now…”

Jinx chuckled as she buried her face against Lux’s crown.

“You’re such a worrywart, Blondie,” Jinx said. “You take everything so seriously! It’s fine!” She pressed a kiss to Lux’s temple, then muttered. “I promise, it’s fine.”

“It’s not fine,” Lux said through gritted teeth. “I shouldn’t do it.”

“Hey.” Jinx leaned back and captured Lux’s face in her hands. “Stop thinking.”

Before Lux could protest that she couldn’t stop thinking, Jinx pulled her in and caught her lips with her own, and suddenly Lux found it surprisingly easy to do as Jinx asked.

Sighing softly, Lux leaned into the kiss, draping her arms over Jinx’s shoulders as she did and pulling herself up until Jinx was taking her weight almost entirely. For all her lean and lanky frame, Jinx was surprisingly strong. Every inch of her body was hard, whipcord muscle; that, combined with her height, made her seem strangely ethereal.

She wasn’t ethereal though. Jinx was real and she was here and holding on to Lux, and that was enough for Lux to be able to switch off her brain for a moment and just enough the feeling of Jinx’s lips against hers.

Kissing Jinx was an experience that Lux couldn’t relate to anything else. Jinx was always smiling, even when she kissed, and her lips were neither soft nor particularly full, but Jinx had this way of capturing Lux’s mouth and holding her there that was positively addictive. From the very first kiss she had shared with the madwoman, Lux had known that she wouldn’t ever be able to get enough of them.

Lux whimpered softly and pressed harder against Jinx.

“My armor,” Lux murmured between kisses. “Take off my armor.”

Jinx obliged, finding latches, catches, and knotted cords with deft fingers, and soon the pair of them were staggering clumsily, half-naked, through the dorm room leaving behind a vambrace here, a sabaton there, and her cuirass fell away somewhere in the hall between the kitchen and her bedroom.

By the time they had gotten to the bed, Lux had shed her leathers and was pushing Jinx down to the bed with a heated look in her eyes as she kissed her way up Jinx’s narrow chest and collar, along her shoulders, and up the lean column of her neck.

Calloused fingers roved across Lux’s body as Jinx pulled the last of her clothes and underthings off, while Lux managed the same with significantly greater speed and less difficulty, given that Jinx tended to dress more for effect than coverage.

“I’m sorry,” Lux muttered against Jinx’s neck. “I’m…you deserve better, but I don’t…” she shuddered as Jinx’s fingers slipped down across her bare sides and around her back. “I…I don’t want to give you up…is that selfish?”

“Blondie?” Jinx took a hard grip on Lux’s waist, and Lux squeaked as she suddenly reversed their positions, flipping Lux onto her back and straddled her hips.

Lux stared up with flushed cheeks and her mouth opened in a soft ‘o’ of surprise at Jinx who was looking down at her with springberry eyes that were heated with something indefinable.

“Y-Yes?”

“Stop thinking.”

Lux swallowed hard, then said, “make me.”

Jinx leaned in until their noses were touching again, and her expression stretched into a grin like a slash opening up across her face as one hand roamed up to brush across Lux’s bare breast, and the other slipped down between her legs.

“Gladly.”

 


 


 

It was late in the evening when Lux finally stirred back into the waking world. Her limbs ached, her muscles—among other places—were sore, and she was groggy, but still…she woke with a smile.

Her bed smelled of sex, sweat, and gunpowder, and she breathed in deep as she nestled back into Jinx’s arms where the taller woman slumbered behind her. They had exhausted themselves, but Jinx had done as promised and gotten Lux to stop thinking. It was something that the Zaunite was alarmingly good at, actually, and a good thing too. If Lux had been thinking when they’d first met, their relationship probably never would have started, and that would have been a miserable shame.

Lux turned her head to look back at the madwoman who was sharing her bed. Somewhere in their lovemaking, Jinx’s hair ties had come undone, turning her braids back into a wild waterfall of blue that pooled behind her around her shoulders. Even now, in the depths of slumber, Jinx twitched and moved; her fingers clenched and unclenched, and the muscles around her eyes fairly danced beneath pale skin.

This was another puzzling aspect of Jinx—where most people relaxed into sleep, Jinx actually looked more strained than when she was awake.

While awake, Jinx was always moving and always animated, or else she would be at languid rest like a predator waiting for choice prey to wander past her eye line. Asleep, Jinx was tense and almost visibly distressed, and Lux wasn’t sure what to make of it. Part of her wanted to wake Jinx up, but she wasn’t sure that was the right thing to do. Jinx likely needed these moments of respite quite badly, since Lux knew for a fact that she slept exceedingly seldom.

Maybe, one day, she would ask about it.

Shuffling around beneath the blankets, Lux turned until she was facing Jinx, and reached out to stroke her cheek. Beneath the madness and roil of her existence, and all the damage that her hard life had dealt to her, there was an almost delicate beauty. She had soft, full cheeks, made a bit hollow by poor nutrition, a slender, button nose that canted off-center from the many times it had been broken. Her mouth, likewise, had a coquettish look that was hard to see under the slight angle it sat it from poorly healed breaks of its own.

Delicate, ethereal, and deadly. Jinx was a lovely dream made bloody and real by the hardships of life, and was left with a body that shouldn’t function for all of its pains, and a mind that was only coherent about half the time.

And Lux’s heart had never beat so hard for anyone else.

Jinx’s eyes opened slowly, and Lux’s breath caught as those bright, beautiful eyes sharpened with focus.

“Hey,” Jinx murmured sleepily as she freed her hand from beneath the blankets where it had been resting on Lux’s hip, and brought it up to tap Lux’s nose. “Smile, Blondie.”

Well, what else could she do? Lux smiled.

“I don’t know how you do it, you know?” Lux said quietly as she brushed her fingers through Jinx’s hair. “Smile all the time, I mean. I don’t know how you do it. I had such an easy life, and I’m a mess, and you…”

Jinx snorted. “Whadya mean?” She asked. “It’s the same reason you can never catch me on the Rift. You keep thinking about everything all the time,” she tapped Lux’s forehead playfully, “and it weighs you down, and you can’t keep up because all that thinking keeps your feet nailed to the ground.”

“That’s it?” Lux asked. “That’s why you smile? You just don’t think?”

“Don’t jump, do jump, don’t fire, do fire.” Jinx rolled her eyes, “don’t think, do think, I don’t know what t’tell ya, Blondie, I don’t think about it.” She darted in to steal a kiss from Lux, who giggled at the sudden affection, and then drew back. “You, on the other hand, don’t just think! You think about thinking! And then you think about how you’re thinking too much about thinking, and that’s…” she snorted and shook her head, “well that just sounds crazy!

Lux laughed at that. She couldn’t help it. Jinx calling someone else crazy about the funniest thing she had ever heard! And yet, the funniest part about all of that was that she wasn’t wrong.

“I mean, c’mon, it’s no wonder you can’t fly with all those thoughts in your head! That’s why I’m always going over it!”

“So you can fly because you don’t think?” Lux summarized blithely.

Jinx shrugged, and that was probably the most Jinx answer she could have possibly given.

“I wish I could learn to take things as lightly as you do,” Lux said. “But I don’t think I know how.”

“You did it before,” Jinx said, and Lux raised an eyebrow.

“What do you mean?”

“A year ago,” Jinx clarified. “You did it a year ago.”

“I…” Lux started, then trailed off.

Had she? She had, hadn’t she? Lux had just been thinking, ironically, that if she had been really thinking back then she would never have slept with Jinx the first time, and certainly never pursued a relationship with her. She had, at the time, thought of it as a lapse, then later on as a happy accident, and more and more lately, as the best decision she’d ever made.

All because she hadn’t been thinking.

Laughing softly, Lux leaned in and pressed her lips to Jinx’s, and allowed her hands to rove where they willed over the Zaunite’s scarred, lupine body.

“I guess I did,” she said as she pulled back. “I really did.”

“Yup!” Jinx rolled over and on top of Lux, pinning her to the bed with a wide grin. “So don’t think! Just go crazy! Blurt something out!”

“I love you.”

Jinx froze the moment the words left Lux’s lips, and Lux’s heart plummeted into her stomach. She’d done it, just like Jinx had said. She’d blurted out the thing that was on her mind, and that had been rattling around it for the past several months. Three words that they’d never said, and she said them without an ounce of buildup and no warning.

And Jinx froze.

Lux started to shake. The tremble began in her legs and worked its way up her body before settling into her chest and arms as she swallowed audibly and pulled in a rattling breath.

“I’m sorry, I sh-shouldn’t have done—s-said that,” Lux stammered. “I shouldn’t have. I don’t know what I was—”

“I love you, too.”

Jinx’s normally bombastic voice was so quiet that Lux almost thought she imagined the response. Jinx was staring at her in a way she never had before. She was looking at Lux as if the woman beneath her were something completely new.

“I…I love you, too, Blondie,” Jinx breathed, then a smile grew across her face. “I love you, too!”

Lux let out a happy sob as Jinx dropped on top of her and wrapped her up in her arms before rolling manically around in the bed, laughing all the while as they made a mess of the already messy sheets and blankets. And all the while, Jinx repeated those three words, interspersing them with kisses lavished across Lux’s cheeks and lips.

By the time they’d both calmed down, half of the bedclothes were on the floor, and most of the pillows were too, and Jinx was sprawled on top of the mattress with Lux laying happily on top of her as their limbs and their fingers twined together.

“Y’know, maybe there’s something to this whole not-thinking, thing,” Lux allowed with a small laugh.

“It’s worked for me!” Jinx said gleefully.

“Jinx, you’re a wanted criminal.”

“I stand by what I said.”

“Naturally.” Lux rolled her eyes, then settled her head back on the hollow of Jinx’s collar and closed her eyes to listen to the sound of Jinx’s heartbeat.

“Hey.”

“Mm?”

“Happy anniversary, Blondie.”

Lux laughed. “Happy anniversary, Jinx.”