May. 23rd, 2007

eight_or_eleven: (Windswept)
Sometime after the journey of Draco to the Tarot's world and his return to Milliways...


Some time had passed since Strength had set foot in her home world. In fact, not since Mary Anne had been crowned the Queen of Swords [with the appropriate festivities of course]. That wasn't what had brought her here today. Nor was it the boy Draco Malfoy. She was old enough to understand that what's done is done; there is nothing to do except wait and see if he passed through her sphere of influence.

She figured he would, eventually. He'd need to find his inner strength to face this trying time, but that day wasn't today.

No. She came here because she wanted to come here. She'd developed a habit of spending far too much time in the Bar at the End of the Universe that she was neglecting her true home.

So that was why she stood on the shoreline looking out at the now-turquois ocean playing about under a topaz sky. It was mid-morning, with a nice wind brought in from the ocean. Just the kind of weather to simply do a whole lot of nothing, or to enjoy being home.

Not far from her sat a pile of stones. Flat. About the size of a man's palm. Perfect for skipping. She picked one up, pulled her arm back, and gave it a throw. It hopped several times before landing in the water with a satisfying "plop". This action was repeated until all the stones were gone. She didn't worry though. If she or someone else here wanted them to return to where they were they'd reappear, just as they were when they were found.

Which they promptly did, if a touch wet from their dunking in the water. And were subsequently tossed back into the water.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

It was good to be home.

It's never too late to start coming back on a regular basis. This family might not be the easiest to get along with but they still miss you.

"I have spent centuries coming in and out of this place," she points out to the lion. "It's nothing new."

"He has a point," said an all-too-familiar voice. Justice's. Of all the cards Justice was the one she held closest to her heart. Some even said it was because the two cards were the only ones known to switch places in the decks the sentients used.

"He does. I've just become fond of the bar."

"To the point where you're starting to neglect visiting our world?"

A stone flew out towards the ocean, bouncing off the surface and then disappearing.

"We're beginning to wonder if you'll ever come back. If you'll ever call this place 'home' ever again."

"It is always home. I might spend a century away from it but it's still home."

"Then come back to it. Come back here."

His tone said, "Come back to me." And she understood the unspoken words.

"Justice I can't. We can't. That was in the past. Things ... change. We grow. We're not static any more than the people we serve are." She turns around to face the blindfolded man. "I'm not Misery who desires normalcy for the sake of normalcy. Chasing after sentients in the vain hope that this time, this time it'll 'work out'."

Despite the blindfold Justice looked saddened.

"You're dearer to me than anyone else, but we have to move on."

"So you can spend more time mingling amongst the sentients in the hopes that one will fulfill your interest for as long as he lives?"

"Justice when did you start harbouring resentments? We drifted apart; that's all there is to say. Whether I'm looking for a mortal to spend time with isn't important. Especially when I have not, and am not currently looking either."

Justice sighed. They'd drifted apart more than two hundred years ago, yet it was still fresh in his mind.

"Maybe one day our paths will cross again but right now they've diverged. And as much as I wish to stay there are places I need to go to."

"Not the bar?"

"No silly; not the bar," she laughed. "I am to visit the Star Kingdom to see if Leo Minor has had cubs recently. It's a rare event when she does, but if she's had any..."

Strength has considered giving me a companion of my own to spend time with, the lion says.

"Yes. And if we find that Leo Minor has had cubs, and if she's willing to give one to me... Well. We'll just have to give you a name so you know who I'm talking to."

I already know who you are speaking to and as for a name I have chosen one.

"You have?" said Justice. The animal companions of the cards did not always have names, but those that do were either named by their card companions or chose their names themselves. "What is it?"

I am to be called "Shujaa", the lion—Shujaa—said simply.

"'Brave one', in the language of one of the sentients. It suits you," Justice approved.

It should. I am after all an embodiment of courage.

"I thought you were the embodiment of animal passions tamed," joked Strength, and the lion hrumphed. "Well. Shujaa. I believe it is time we made our way to see Leo Minor. To see if she has cubs." She turned to Justice once again and placed a kiss on his cheek. It made him feel as though they were back three hundred years in the past.

"There's always the future," she said, promising nothing but leaving things open to possibility.

And then she summoned the bridge that linked all the worlds together: Tarot. Zodiac. Numbers. Constellations.

And left.

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