"Trump? Well...ummm...I think that first you need to start with
the foundations of art. Go draw the tree for a year or two and check back
Ariana makes a face. "I already know how to draw. I've been doing it
for years. I'd be more than happy to show you some of things I've been
working on since we came to this Shadow, though." She proceeds to show
him her sketch book. And yes, she does have some sketches of the Ygg
seedling in there. :) There's also a picture of Bleys with a completely
startled expression on his face that she's working on.
He'll teach her Trump ID, but in the most annoying way possible:
She receives a Trump call: *Knock, knock.* :)
:p *Who's there?*
[Heh heh heh.] *Banana.*
*Orange you gonna answer?*
At this point she hears Ishmael laughing himself into a stupor.
"Oh man! That kills me every time! Banana? Orange? Get it? ORANGE?!"
[laugh laugh laugh SNORT laugh laugh]
*Groan* "Very witty. Now will you teach me how to draw Trump?"
"Man. You need to loosen up, Ariana. Does that face of yours
crack if you smile?"
She does smile slightly at that. "Well, it's been a while. Who
As she continues showing him her sketches, he would notice that
there are several of her family, and a couple of sketches of Tamaryn,
including one that appears to be of her as a child.
Ishmael interrupts her when he sees these. "You know, I think you
need to do more work with nudes..."
Ariana chuckles. "I hardly think I'm going to ask my family to
disrobe. Well, except for Lucien."
"Oh man. There you go, ruinin' the only beautiful thing to cross
my mind in months. That dude is OLD." He wiggles around like he's got
"Yes, but we don't really age, remember? And he's a
shapeshifter." She smiles somewhat wistfully.
When she mentions him being a shapeshifter, Ishmael's tone loses
all its playfulness and becomes somber. "Yeah. Well. Whatever."
Ariana grabs his arm. "Wait! Why are you getting so upset?"
When she grabs him, he seems to react with gut-level instinct.
Before either of them really know what's going on, he has her pinned to
the ground with his knee on her throat.
He backs off instantly. "Sorry. You just shouldn't grab people
She sits up and shrugs. "It's good practice. And it was the
fastest way to stop you. I really hate it when people just get mad and
"Yeah. Well. We all have our crosses to bear." He walks off
towards his obstacle course...
She follows him. "What is it about shapeshifters that gets your
He stops walking and turns to face her. His voice gets very low
and affects an almost growling quality. "Try fighting for your life, YOUR
ENTIRE LIFE, in Chaos. Then ask me that question."
She looks sympathetic. "Not all shapeshifters are Chaosites, you
"Yeah, but yours is a goddamned VETCH on top of it all. Do you
have ANY idea how many of those bastards were sent after me, or how damned
fucking hard they were to get rid of?"
He turns and starts to walk, then stops and faces her again.
"And get that damned look off your face. I didn't ask for your
sympathy, I don't want your sympathy, and I sure as hell don't need it."
She shakes her head. "I'm afraid I don't agree with you there.
And I'm truly sorry you had assassins sent out after you. But my husband
isn't part of that house anymore." She sighs. "I have a hard enough time
with people disliking him for what he was. But he isn't the one who sent
those people after you."
Ishmael stops for a minute, like he's going to say something.
Then he just shakes his head and keeps walking.
Ariana keeps following. "Go ahead, say it. I'd rather get it out
then let it fester."
"No, and you know why I'm not going to tell you? Because you
don't need to know, and it'll drive you freakin' nuts if I don't tell you.
It's none of your goddamned business. Got it? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS."
He stops walking, then turns to look at her. "Ariana. You are
the Veritable Queen of Pissin' and Moanin', but you have a great life
waiting for you at home. Just remember that, okay? When this tree is
done growing and the chasm is healed, you're going to be able to go home
to your family -- even that whacked out kid Grayson will ultimately be
there, because from what Fi tells me of Brand, and based on what I saw
people do to him that night in Amber, that damned kid would have to be a
couple quarts low on intelligence to choose Brand over you. But me? When
that chasm heals, I'm headed right back to Chaos."
She looks surprised. "Why? From everything you've said, you had
a terrible life there."
His tone is flat and emotionless. "Because it isn't over."
"No, it isn't. And you won't be the only one going there once the
chasm is gone. But what about afterwards? What will you do once Zane is
"I don't believe in making plans too much in advance."
She nods. "With your life, that isn't too surprising. I hope you
decide to stay in Amber, though."
He doesn't say anything else. Does Ariana let the conversation
Does he still look pissed?
Pissed does not accurately describe him. It's more like --
hmmm... Funereal. It is obvious that he has no desire to continue the
conversation, not that it has ever stopped Ariana in the past.
I don't recall it stopping him when he was pestering her, either.
She continues to follow him. "You're right, you know."
He starts to talk, to no one in particular. "Oh! I get it! I'M
Then he turns to face her. "What. What am I right about,
She doesn't seem fazed. "What you said about me."
"That you like to piss and moan? Well, no shit."
"No, that I'm lucky I have my family." She smiles slightly. "Do
I really 'piss and moan' that much when I'm depressed? I didn't think I
was speaking to people that much at all."
"When you're tracking the enemy, you watch their body, try to
figure out what they're thinking, try to crawl inside their head, try to
think one step ahead of them... You get to know them without ever
speaking a word to them, right? In my world, you look at everyone as the
potential enemy." He clears his throat. "Let's just say that if I were
hunting you, I'd be waiting at the edge of a cliff to push you off while
you made your last wailing 'woe-is-me' speech to no one in particular."
She nods. "I didn't realize my...suicidal tendencies were so
"Crawl into a bottle. Starve yourself. Jump off a cliff. The
only difference between 'em is the amount of time your loved ones have to
watch you die. Do you get it yet? Is it sinking in, Ariana?"
"I am aware of this. I haven't had a drink since we had our
little conversation on the topic back in Amber." She sighs. "I wasn't
trying to kill myself back then, anyway. I couldn't have. It was just
the only way I found to block the pain. Weak as that sounds."
"Weaker." He stops for a minute. His tone softens a bit. "The
big question is, are you done with it now -- or are you just looking for
your next crutch?"
She sighs. "I want to be done with it. I feel more at peace with
myself than I have for a while. Which was the point in coming here, I
"Then BE done with it, Ariana. Everybody in this family is on a
big head trip about being masters of the universe, lords of all creation,
the ultimate hot shit on a gold platter... It's all bullshit. Master
yourself first. It's a helluva lot more important. Being a fucked up
headcase across a million Shadows doesn't equate to shit in the end."
She smiles. "I tend to agree. But then, I've never had any
interest in being a master of the universe. I just want my family to be
happy. And safe. It's that last one that keeps getting me into trouble."
"That's more than people are asking out of you. We're done with
this conversation now, Ariana. Done. Okay?" He doesn't wait for a reply
as he starts scaling the wall. He stops when he gets to the top.
"Oh, I almost forgot." He grins. "Of course I'll teach you Trump
artistry, ya dork." Then he disappears over the wall.
Ariana's Page |
All text on this page is © 1998 by Kris Fazzari and Lisamarie Babik.
Last modified on October 27, 1998 by Kris Fazzari.