sunbaked_baker: (not so sure)
See, this is why Rae doesn't keep pets.

"Yeah, I know," Rae says guiltily, settling her irritated and low-powered T-Minus on the kitchen table with a generous amount of food. She makes sure it's feeding the way it should before straightening up and giving it an apologetic pat. "I'm sorry I've not been here. I left you food, but I didn't expect to be away so long, and I've been rather... preoccupied."

To say the least.

"I'll be around now, though," she reassures it (though she isn't sure how to tell if the T-Minus is reassured or not). "For a good while, I think."

After a night or two of decent sleep, she's steadier on her feet and feeling less frayed, but she is nowhere near ready to head back home again.

Satisfied that the T-Minus hasn't been irreparably harmed, but still keeping an eye on it, Rae puts her apron back on and moves to the other side of the kitchen to start pouring muffin batter (cranberry-orange) into a tray of muffin cups.
sunbaked_baker: (Cold ashes)
There was a lot to tell... )
sunbaked_baker: (Default)
The shortening days of November mean that 'evening' starts early in Milliways.

"Here we go," Rae says with good cheer, cradling a big bowl of popcorn in her arms as she holds open the door to her room, to let Autor bring the drinks in. "I think we're set."
sunbaked_baker: (blazing smile)
"I'm so ready for this lingering cough to quit," Rae mutters after clearing her throat and inviting Autor into her room. "It just doesn't want to give up yet."

She holds the door open for him with the hand holding the dvd box, the other carefully balancing two bowls - one large bowl of popcorn and a smaller bowl of many-flavored jelly beans - with ease of one who has worked in the food-service industry the majority of her life.
sunbaked_baker: (blazing unsure)
Rae had been so careful putting her towel and clothes out of reach when she had reached the Caribbean inlet, specifically so she wouldn't have to worry about them while she swam. Apparently she hadn't put them high enough. When she had waded back out of the water two hours later, all that was left of her towel was a few torn and singed cotton threads, and her clothes were nowhere to be seen. Not even her coat.

It was enough to make one wonder if 'demon bunny' could constitute an actual curse. May your teeth fall out, your crops rot, and demon bunnies nick all your stuff.

The weather was warm enough at the Caribbean inlet, but Rae was wet and weary, and while winter was technically on its way out of the pseudo-Scottish countryside, it was still plenty chilly, and the muddy ground was frigid under her bare feet.

Her teeth were chattering by the time she reached the bar room's back door - the key to her room had been in her coat pocket, anyway, so she figured she might as well go directly in. The Bar's offerings of a fluffy (whole, and unsinged!) towel and a thick bathrobe are much appreciated.
sunbaked_baker: (in her element)
Rae has to remind herself to be mindful of Autor's impaired state and his sprained ankle as they leave the bar room behind. She doesn't want to hurt him, but she has to call on reserves of patience and fortitude she didn't know she had just to keep herself from hurrying him along.

Her heartbeat is loud in her ears, over the ongoing sounds of Autor's drowsy banter as she helps him up the stairs, her jaw clenched tight. Apart from being happily drunk, he is fine. Not hurt in any way.

They are halfway down the last hall to Autor's room when the words burst forth.

"What the everloving fuck do you think you're doing, Autor?" she says miserably, swaying from his weight as she stops, unable to continue.
sunbaked_baker: (blazing unsure)
They were kind, at least... )
sunbaked_baker: (sun-self)
The Bar gave her the dress Dr. Lecter had commissioned - commissioned for her - in a garment bag to keep it from dirt or damage as she took it upstairs, so it's only once she's alone in her room that Sunshine sees what has been made for her. And it's probably a good thing, because for a minute or so she can only stare.

It's beautiful.

The top of the dress is palest lavender - almost silver-white - covered in delicate, shining semi-circles of tiny beads, like layered scales covering the smooth fabric. But it's the many colors of the skirt flaring below that make Sunshine smile. From the high band of red-orange fabric come fantastically beaded points of red and gold and violet and orange, warm colors shining in glimmering beadwork scales that flare just above her knee into a skirt like a vivid watercolor sunset, all red-gold warmth shot through with deep purple. It's hard for her to comprehend something so beautiful is hers.

But she can't stand and stare at it forever, she tells herself, however much she'd like to. She must get ready.

The image of the dress lingers in her mind as she showers under the hot water, and afterwards, toweling her hair dry in the lily of the valley-scented steam. It's only after Rae has dried and brushed her hair - she has the feeling that she should wear her hair up when wearing such a dress, but has no skills in doing anything fancier than a ponytail, braid, or bun, so she leaves her hair down, to tumble about her shoulders in loose waves - that she approaches the dress again, and dares to touch it.

The fabric under her hand is cool and soft, smooth to the touch.

When Rae at last tries it on, it fits her like a glove, a glove of fine fabric and masterful beadwork. Except for all the scars - the dress leaves the majority of them on display, she notes with an odd feeling in her stomach - Rae would hardly recognize herself. Hardly recognize the baker who sells cinnamon rolls for a living. She might as well be looking at a stranger in her mirror. A stranger with her face, her scars, and her amber sun-ring upon its silk cord about their neck.

The shoes are almost an afterthought, after everything else, pale silver-white to match the bodice of the dress, with a silver strap curving smoothly across the top of her foot from outer ankle to alongside her big toe. But they somehow make it feel real. That this is her, still just her, just in different trappings.

Taking a breath and another glance at the mirror, Rae gathers her nerve, and steps out of her room.
sunbaked_baker: (blazing smile)
It takes a bit of juggling, what with the large bowl of popcorn, the smaller bowl of other snacks balanced on top, the movie, and her keys, but Rae eventually is able to open the door to her room and let them both in.

"Success!" she says, holding the door open for Autor to come in bearing the teapot and cups on their tray.


Aug. 24th, 2013 01:37 pm
sunbaked_baker: (running)
This wasn't how Sunshine thought the evening would go.

Con had not been able to find out much about whoever was trying to stop them, trying to uphold the status quo of bloody vampire-human relations. Either his contacts - whoever and whatever they were, Sunshine didn't ask - did not know who was behind it, or were too afraid to say so. Though Con showed next to no expression at the best of times, Sunshine could hear frustration in his toneless voice when he had told her.

Tonight was supposed to be another meeting with those possibly willing to listen. It wasn't. Other visitors had gotten there before them, and the results were splattered across the walls and floor.

Constantine knew something was up even before they stepped out of the strange, sick-making Otherspace into the derelict warehouse where the meeting was supposed to take place. Sunshine's slower human senses only registered something was wrong when she stepped back into reality and felt Con yank her by the hand out of the way of two vampires locked together, tearing at each other. The shock of it made her feel cold. She hadn't even had time to notice them until they were past, and Con was already preoccupied, taking care of a vampire who had lunged at him.

The place was in uproar, crowds of vampires tearing at each other. Those who had come to meet with them, against those who had come to prevent the meeting from taking place. In Sunshine's experience, if negotiations dissolved into violence it had always been her and Con against all comers. This was not that. Unable to tell friend from foe - though some part of her human mind wanted to remind her that they were all technically her, and humanity's, foes - she focused on avoiding being barreled into by the various seethes of violence around her, and shielding Con's blind-spots from attack. A few who saw the one human among the vampires lunged at her, seeking an easy target. They did not get much of a chance to see the error of their ways.

"These were sent to destroy those who would meet with us," Constantine hissed quickly into her ear, amid the din. "But they are not faring as well as they'd hoped. If they retreat, we must follow."

Follow where, she wanted to ask, but a fresh seethe of vampires enveloped them and there was no more time to talk. Constantine, at least, seemed to be able to tell one group from another. Some part of Sunshine's mind, among all the blood and horror, vaguely wondered if it was anything like being able to tell people who were related to one another from those who were not, but she decided it likely had something to do with vampire senses that had no analogue in humans.

Without warning, Constantine's bloody hand found hers again. Both hands were coated thickly with dark blood, and keeping a grip was difficult as he yanked them both into the roaring Otherspace, reality streaming past them like a silently raging river.

"They seek to go to ground," Constantine murmured through the silence, "but we will not let them."

Rae nodded, running alongside him. She tried not to think that they were, with little foreknowledge or preparation, apparently following vampires back to their master's earthplace. The glimpses of reality she was able to catch as they streamed past were utterly unfamiliar. She had no idea where they were, much less where they were going - though, as they ran, she began to feel the sense of alignment she had felt before, the last time they had sought out a master vampire in his earthplace. The feeling of connection between their running selves and the unknown destination of those they pursued.

Too many times to count, Constantine tore them out of the chaotic Otherspace to face oncoming groups of vampires. These were not those they were chasing; these were stronger, sent to stop their advance. During the second encounter, in the moment of dispatching one vampire ('dispatching' felt like a safe way to think about it, to Sunshine - it very nearly denied the blood and revulsion of the act itself), another sucker tore into Rae's shoulder. Even before she had a chance to cry out, Constantine had dealt with that one, leaving its broken self on the ruined pavement. Constantine, her vampire, glanced at her - she could see him wondering if his fragile human were okay (though 'okay' probably wasn't the word he would have used) but there was no comfort to be offered. Neither did she expect any. Sunshine made herself grit her bloodied teeth and get back up, letting adrenaline carry her back into the fray, and then back into Otherspace to carry them on toward their destination.

They ran, and fought, and ran again, and fought, for what seemed like forever. Sunshine stopped being fully conscious of the alignment that pulled them on. It was part of her - and good thing, too, because she couldn't have held it in her mind if she had to. There was only so long a human body could run on its own energy before it began to run on sheer adrenaline. It was the bitter taste in her mouth below the metallic taste of blood. Eventually, the body runs on sheer instinct, unable to stop, only vaguely conscious, having no fear left to be afraid of finding out what would happen if one did stop. Weariness and pain pulled at her as strongly as any alignment.


The master, when Sunshine and Constantine reached their destination at last, was old. Older than Bo had been. Ancient. Her presence was a stifling weight, the very air around her felt unbreatheable and sick to Sunshine's shaky, exhausted self, burning down her throat and into her lungs. The master vampire's cold, dispassionate eyes were the color of Nothing. Her gaze from atop the dias was the inexorable pull of entropy, her voice like no sound reality should stand to exist, her flesh perfect like no flesh could ever be. She had no name for them, and they had no name for her. Those vampires she kept around her did not lounge, as Bo's had done; they descended on Constantine and Sunshine without warning. Bo had been sure of victory - this master vampire had survived so long by not indulging in such over-confidence.

Sunshine, the grey cobwebs of exhaustion and shock growing in the corners of her vision, fought towards the dias in a kind of daze. Her shield flickered in and out of existence with the barest thought, bolts of crackling plasma forming in her hands that soon plunged into vampiric chests and pierced their unbeating hearts. It felt almost as though her magic were the one fighting, merely carrying Sunshine's form along for the ride. Once or twice, she noticed faint pain on the periphery of her awareness - once as her foot came down wrong, her ankle twisting savagely as her blood-slicked shoes found no purchase, another time as teeth tore into her forearm in the split-moment before her other hand tore into that vampire's chest.

It was the touch of Sunshine's hand upon the master vampire's flesh that at last awoke the sunlight-net set into her skin, which erupted into furious golden flame as Sunshine's hand finally tore the master's heart free. The flame shielded her from the bulk of the backlash that followed, as the master vampire's animus was released. Not that it wasn't bad enough. Sunshine was spent. Her magic was all that was holding her together.

Surely the worst was over, with the master vanquished. Surely the surviving followers would disperse...

But no. Sunshine would have said that there was nothing left on earth that would chill her blood, after what this night had required her to do. The sound made by the remaining vampires in that moment - pain and anguish, endless fury and violent promise - proved her wrong.
sunbaked_baker: (in her element)
Rae stepped out of the bakery and wiped her hands on her apron, mentally preparing herself.
This wouldn't be easy. )
sunbaked_baker: (running)
It is the heart of summer, and the days are long. The sun sets late, and the nights are pleasantly warm.

At the moment, this particular day is finally relinquishing its grasp, the half-light of evening settling in, turning the world varying depths of grey.

Yet there is still a light out in the forest. Out past the baseball diamond, in a clearing where a great, thirty-foot wide circle of arcane symbols has been burned into the ground, Sunshine is practicing.

Three figures made of animate soil and water struggle with her. They are faster than she, but Sunshine has her magic. Has her knife in hand, beginning to glow as the daylight fades around her. Has her glimmering network of light set into her skin and hair, awake and alert and pulling from the sun that has already disappeared from the horizon. Has her silver and amber ring on its cord about her neck, gleaming. Her semi-transparent shielding spell appearing and disappearing in a ghostly golden light. Each strike by the figures of magically-animate soil and water she blocks, quick as thought, until she moves to lets one through so she can strike at its heart, in and up into where the chest would be.

The object of this exercise is to stay dry. Stay clean.

Except for her right hand and arm.
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