The whisper thin elf laid across the marshmallows of rainbow pillows lining her room. There were books, growing like mushrooms on the dusty floor. Songs hummed from every corner of her world, where she usually twisted like a figure in a music box, slow and sweet, out of time with the jovial voice bard. Tonight the melody was hushed by the teardrops of rain on her window. Her room was darkened by the charcoal clouds outside, like the smoldering aftermath of a forest aflame. Three candles in the twilight of their lives casted a golden glow around the room.
“Demon! Flappy robes!”
Sera’s heart broke. The elf’s face shattered before she slipped back on her mask of unbridled joy.
“You're...well that's...smart-ass!” Her voice waivered.
Dorian smirked and leaned back in his chair. “Too late. I believe that's my round.”
“Piss!” Sera exclaimed. Colette couldn’t make out any other words from her corner in the attic, only tensed whispers and the earthquake of Sera stomping up the stairs.
“Your existence is an act of rebellion. You live so freely that they have no choice to accept you or reject you. In the end, you know it was your choice.” Colette said. “You make them love you or hate you. You can have both love and hate but not neither. You couldn’t stomach neither.”
The thin elf sat up, seemingly startled by Colette’s voice. Her celestial blue eyes were shimmering, her face was smudged cherry red from heat, and her dream pink lips glittered with spit in the draining light of day.
“Not there, creepy.” Her voice shook with self-control. “Go rooting in that part of me and I'll stripe you up, you hear?”
“You are worried. The part of you that wants to belong made you sad when he said you didn’t.” Colette said. “You want it to go away. That’s why you hide - inside and out.”
“Go away, you visual obituary.” Sera said. She turned away from Colette. Colette stood in the doorway, pulling at her gloves.
“You think hurting makes you weak. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Leave me alone!” Sera picked up a tattered copy of Hard in Hightown. She bent her arm back, as if to throw it at Colette, but the book was suddenly too heavy. She let it fall to the floor and pressed her palms to her eyes. She bent over until her elbows were on her knees. Her shoulders trembled.
Colette’s stomach sunk. She wanted to help, not hurt. But helping, hurting and healing are twined. She bit her cracked lips and crossed the small space until she was in front of the tiny elf. She put her hands on the elf’s bird boned shoulder. Sera didn’t flinch, she didn’t move - she kept crying until it turned into wet hiccups.
Sera’s voice was muted into her palms. “It’s just - why did he go and say that? I-I, Inquisitor lady-bits, she glows, right? And, and Dorian? He’s not like other culty-arseholes from Tevinter or whatever. And you? You crawled out of a potter’s field. We’re all funny, yeah? Don’t fit. I thought we’d fit together and why-why? Why did he say I don’t? I don’t fit?”
“You and Dorian say words that hurt, but they aren’t real.” Colette said. “It means friendship. It makes him happy. You, too.”
Sera leaned back on the pillows. She titled her head back and stared into a far off, unhappy place beyond the ceiling. “I know, yeah? But-but, I was too elf-y to be human, right? I was too human-y to be an elf. When I tried to do the whole family shite, everybody got all cold on me. I didn’t fit. Even if I wanted to. Here is where I fit. Here smells like horse but it is where I am.”
“Here is what we are.” Colette said. She climbed up in the seat beside Sera until she was facing the elf. She then pulled her knees to her chest, the tips of her toes inches away from Sera’s thigh. She wrapped her arms around them and did her best not to rock. Sera was afraid of her already.
“It’s just—do you ever feel like a circle with a missing piece?” Sera asked. Her voice was smaller than Colette had ever heard it.
“I am not a circle. I am Colette. You are Sera. We are whole.” Colette said.
“I-I needed that. Whatever you just said.” Sera rubbed her forearm over her eyes. “It seems like it’s hard to remember simple shite.”
“Can I help you remember it more?”
“No. But I’ll be playing again in a bit. Thanks, yeah?”
Colette couldn’t stop the words. “She hurts, but helping hurts more. She sees the strings that pull me, eyes like raisins in a stale cookie. Why do you hate helping when the hatred is all pretend?”
“Get off, you daft tit.” Sera said, turning to face Colette with her azalea pink lips upturned in the hint of a smile. “How’s ‘bout one drama at a time, yeah? It’s already creepy enough spilling my guts on the floor to you.”
How does someone spill their guts if they are not wounded? Colette stopped herself from asking about the metaphor. “You don't have to be afraid, Sera. I won't hurt you.”
“Well, I know that now. We’ve been walking everywhere together and all that.” Sera said. “But it’s still weird that you, I don’t know, that you—“
“Don’t fit.” Colette answered. “Not saying nothing about that. That thing is just wrong.”
Sera’s face crumpled into tears. “Shite. I didn’t mean it. Yeah, at first I did, but you’re my creepy now, and, we’re stuck right? Stuck together. We don’t have to fit as long as you and I do.”
“I don’t want you to feel as bad as I feel, yeah? I belong, you belong. We fit.”
The small elf sobbed, a dull sound under the pearls of rain rattling on the windows. Colette unbundled herself. She put her feet on the floor and scooted closer to Sera and reached out, cupping the curve of the elf’s jaw. Sera stilled and turned to watch her. The feeble blue of her eyes were dyed bible black in the lowlight. They still shimmered with the stardust of tears. Colette rubbed her thumb down across the apple of the elf’s cheek, catching the wetness there and rubbing it until it’s gone. Sera’s soft lips parted. The elf’s eyes never broke contact with hers. Sera cupped Colette’s hand and pressed it firmer against her cheek.
“We fit.” Colette repeated. “’I think you are the one I have been waiting for,’ said the missing piece. ‘Maybe I am your missing piece.” “But I am not missing a piece,’ said the Big O. ‘There is no place you would fit.’ ‘That is too bad’ said the missing piece. ‘I was hoping that perhaps you could roll with you.’ ‘You cannot roll with me,’ said the Big O, ‘but perhaps you can roll by yourself.’”
“What are you on about?” Sera smiled.
Colette didn’t return the gesture. “’By myself? A missing piece cannot roll by itself.’ ‘Have you ever tried?’ asked the Big O.”
The elf’s hand was tiny compared to hers. Sera turned a little and planted a kiss on Colette’s palm. Colette’s breath caught. She tried to take her hand back, but Sera’s fingers turned to a vice around hers.
“Go on, finish your little story.” Sera’s eyes whispered mischief. Colette took a deep breath and steeled herself.
“’But I have sharp corners,’ said the missing piece. ‘I am not shaped for rolling.’ ‘Corners wear off’ said the Big O. ‘and shapes change.’”
Sera’s lips were on hers before she knew it. She was deceptively heavy as she anchored Colette down to the plush pillows under her. The elf knocked Colette’s thighs apart with one of her knees and held herself up with her elbows on either side of Colette’s head. Colette’s heart thudded in her years, electricity warmed her stomach as the room dripped around them. Colette’s hand went to the small elf’s thin hips.
Sera pulled back, taking the warmth with her. “Don’t think, take off your pants. Unless no?”
“What are we doing?”
“Well, if we have to talk about it—“
“No.” Colette said. She squeezed the bowl of the elf’s hips tighter.
“Ow! Too hard, you weasel!” Sera slapped at Colette’s hands.
“Oh, sorry.” Colette said. “I want to.”
“Want to what?” Sera asked.
“I want to touch you.”
Despair still bled from the elf’s petal soft skin. It was hidden by a layer of desperation masquerading as lust. Loneliness on her lips, want in her eyes. Colette will be devoured by the tempest that is Sera.
“Everywhere.” Colette said.
“Love hearing that, yeah?” Sera pulled up her tunic. The shirt under it was threadbare, not hiding the peaks of her breast. “You’re white, aren’t you?”
“White?” Colette asked, her body awash with sparks.
“You got your knickers on too tight. Everybody too afraid to see what you’re hiding down there.” Sera toyed with the corner of Colette’s tunic. “Not me. I’m brave. I want to see what creepy got under all those leathers.”
“Sera. You are sad. You do these things to soften the hurt—you don’t want to be alone. You don’t have to do this. I won't leave if you don't.”
“Less talking, more stripping.” Sera said. It was mostly muffled by the elf pulling her undershirt over her head. She threw it somewhere amongst the books. Her pale skin was mostly draped in a shadow by the fluttering candlelight. There are silver-pink streaks across her soft belly, little knots of scar tissue climb her shoulder. Her body is a map of battles, won and lost, a tally of life. Colette’s hard, blank canvas body was unmade in the wake of the little tornado of an elf. Her flesh doesn’t remember like Sera’s does.
The small hills of Sera’s breasts were peaked with rosebuds. The elf never stopped grinning as she reached to the side of her. “I hope you don’t like this rag.”
Colette was lost in waves of lust and confusion but she wasn’t too far gone to miss the glittering of the arrow tip in the candlelight.
“It’s like opening sweets.” Sera giggled as she pinned Colette’s shoulder down with one hand and drew the blade up the front of Colette’s tunic. The dirty material wilts away like paper in the rain. The arrow clattered to the wooden floor. Colette gasped against the rush of cool air on her exposed skin. Sera’s strong, sure hand rested on the swell of Colette’s breast, her dry thumb dragged across the nipple. “There’s nothing here.”
Colette panted against the heat pooling between her legs. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I’d never guess they’d be brown.” Sera leaned forward until their bodies slicked up against each other’s. Colette whined at the perfect melt of skin on skin, the elf’s pointy chin in the crook of her neck, Sera’s hot weight is easy to bare. Colette wrapped her arm around the elf’s thin waist and held hard enough to bruise.
Sera gasped against her. The small elf sat back and grinded on Colette’s thigh. The heat between Sera’s thighs was almost as hot as hers. The elf bent to balance herself by holding on to Colette’s shoulders. She rolled her hips as slow as waves crashing against the shore. Colette is sinking into hot lace, her stomach cramps in the best way. The elf never stopped riding the unsteady rocking of Colette’s thighs.
“Please don’t leave me. Not ever.” Sera fell forward and buried her face in Colette’s neck. She sucks and licks. Bites and begs. “Please, please, please.”
Colette frees one of her hand and drags it up Sera’s spine. She traced her finger around the taped dagger attached to the elf’s back. She squeezed Sera closer to her, trying to memorize the heat of being one, the rise before the fall. She had to stop it. Colette kicked down her own selfishness before turning them over. She straddled Sera and pinned the elf’s wrist above her head.
“You wanna tame me? All hail lord creepy.” Sera bucked under her, causing Colette to bite her lip in pleasure. The elf laughed. “Try it. I dare ya.”
“No.” Colette said as she rubbed her thumb over the elf’s racing pulse. “The missing piece sat alone, waiting for someone to take it somewhere.”
“I must say goodbye. Perhaps we will meet again.” Colette dragged her thumb across the elf’s swollen lips before standing up. Sera laid frozen for a moment before sitting up, her eyes glittering with fresh tears.
“Creepy, no.” Sera said. “Please.”
“You don’t want to do this. You are sad, sullen. I can help. But not in this way.”
“You don’t know what I want.”
“I see it behind your eyes. Helping in this way will hurt more.”
Sera rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “Well, but - stay, anyway?”
“Yes.” Colette took a breath and climbed until she was behind the elf. She wrapped her arms around the dip of Sera’s thin midsection and breathed in the scent of the woman. She titled her head until it was tucked into Sera’s nape. The elf threads her thin fingers through Colette’s.
“Thanks. You won’t tell, yeah? I’d rather stick an arrow in my eye than let that ‘vint arsehole know he got to me.”
“I won’t tell.”
“Cross your heart, hope to die?”
“Yes. Hope to die.”