strongheartmaid: (chomp)
the rabbits are trying to come up with new Nutcracker inspired fic.
strongheartmaid: (elsa)
strongheartmaid: (Default)
Peak stalked into the nesting area, clearly not happy with what he had heard from Ilona. He made his way over to his brother and grabbed his arm. "Are you out of your ever-loving mind, Z'neth?!" he snapped. "After the hell you put us through last year by doing your quote last minute amber run, do you really want to tempt fate?"

Z'neth blinked his eyes - staring at his younger brother. What a time to not have the daily paper - it would have been perfect to smack him with. "I already promised Ilona I'd be careful."

Peak just continued to glare, clearly Z failed his study of history. "Oh, sure, I'll be careful he says. It'll be a quick run he says. I'll be back before you know it he says. And you said that the last time and you ran afoul of that mutated rat thing our favorite," the sacarasm dripped heavily with that, "mutant scientist sent to deal with you since you're the one that's evenly matched with Dread Wing."

Z'neth massaged his temples, wondering when his younger brother got replaced by a terrier. Couldn't he just drop the issue? He made his point. "I'll be fine,' he said, stressing the words in hopes that it sunk in.

"Riptor, tell your bonded he's being an idiot," Peak said, appealing to the other party.

A smile crossed Riptor's features. \You're being an idiot\ he said, looking at Z'neth. \Besides, your mate is with egg - do you really want to stress her?\

Z'neth opened his mouth to say something in protest but sighed. They did have a point - but it was unfair to drag Ilona into this.
strongheartmaid: (Default)
Z'neth looked at Ilona, a soft smile crossing his wooden features as best it could. "You look beautiful," he said, helping her out of the cage. A wooden hand ran down the soft hair [and it hurt not to feel the soft strands running against his fingers].

Ilona smiled softly at him. "You don't look so bad yourself," she said, her blue-violet eyes twinkling. She gently reached over and brushed some of the dust off him. "Honestly," she teased softly.

Z'neth patted his legs, clearly looking for something - something that was being tossed to him by Peak. "I figured you'd want this," Peak explained. He smiled gratefully at his younger brother for remembering it and offered the box over to Ilona. "I'd do it properly but well.." He glanced down at his wooden legs.

Ilona looked confused for a moment before opening the box. Her blue-violet eyes widened in surprise before a smile crossed her features. "Yes," she breathed, slipping the ring on and kissing him.

Rosalia glanced at her hands the moment the lovebirds started to kiss. Well, that was slightly anti-climatic. A simple kiss was what they needed to free them from the curse.

~

"Aunt Ilona?" Crest asked as they were walking home that evening. "Did that really happen?"

Ilona just smiled softly and ruffled his hair. "Now, what do you think?" she asked with a soft chuckle. She glanced up at Z'neth who was headed their way. "Hey you," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and lightly kissed him.

"Ugh, mushy stuff," Crest grumbled.

"Hey," Z'neth murmured, lightly kissing his wife. "I'll be late tonight - doing a last minute amber run so I'm free for the rest of the week. And I promise, Ilona, I'll avoid any and all rats."

Ilona smiled softly. "All right, Nutcracker," she lightly teased.
strongheartmaid: (Default)
Peak glanced over at his older brother and then down at his hands. "You know, Z, I was okay with this up until you had to snark at that Rat King," he said. He tugged at the jacket - knowing it was futile since it wasn't going to move since it was 'carved' on to him.

Z'neth held his hands up in a defensive move. "I'm sorry, Peak, but how was I to know he'd turn you into a.. A wooden soldier," he said, after a moment of trying to figure out what his younger brother had become.

"I don't see why you're complaining," Rosalia sniffed. "At least you have a decent weapon," she said, gesturing to the metal gun that had been part of the wooden soldier. "All I have is a pair of lacy fairy wings and a sparkly starred wand that is bloody worthless." She crossed her porcelian arms over her chest and glared at the two males. "Besides, I *hate* wearing frilly dresses."

Peak stiffly walked over to his girl and wrapped a wooden arm around her waist. "Tell you what until we can find you a better weapon, you can use my gun."

Rosalia's glass eyes brightened and she promptly kissed her boyfriend.

Z'neth merely averted his eyes, not wanting to watch the scene before him. Besides, it was making him miss his Ilona. If that rat hurt her... He clenched his left hand into a fist and took a steadying breath he didn't need [it was doing nothing to control his freying temper].

~

A pretty porcelian doll sat in a cage, her knees tucked under her chin and her white gown spread out around her. She sighed softly and just prayed that her Nutcracker was safe, maybe even find her. She absently played with the white opera gloves, anything to keep her thoughts from drifting to what was being planned in the next room. She turned her head slowly, her blue violet eyes studying the activity in the next room. [An apparent downside to being a doll meant that her stomach was always settled and she couldn't even be ill - because the thought of becoming the bride to that odious rat was making her stomach do flip-flops].
strongheartmaid: (chibi moon)
Amod settled down on the sofa, his eyebrow barely arched at the sight of a life-sized nutcracker standing by the door, apparently keeping guard, and Ilona carefully sprawled on the loveseat, looking to be sound asleep. He glanced over at Zarkan and gestured to the scene before him.

Zarkan gave the tiniest of shrugs, indicating that he knew as much as his lover did.

The Nutcracker glanced back at the pair, silently studying them. He didn't trust them but Ilona did so he'd reserve his judgement for later. He took a breath he didn't need and spoke quietly, "Ilona said that Christmas is always a time of forgotten magic." He fell silent again and returned to his watch.

Amod shared a look with his lover but chose not to say a thing - at least until Ilona woke and explained things.

Ilona slowly stirred, blinking sleep heavy blue-violet eyes. She glanced over at the Nutcracker and smiled softly. "Hey."

The Nutcracker smiled softly at her. "Best explain to your friends what's going on," he said quietly before he slipped outside to patrol.

Amod waited patiently for answers, hoping to which every deity that was listening for the explanation to make some sort of sense.

Ilona opened her mouth to start explaining when the familiar squeaking started. She froze, fear coloring her features.

Zarkan was about to say something when the source of the squeaking entered the room. "Holy shit," he breathed.

"Zarkan, we didn't eat Apex's cooking, did we?" Amod asked, reaching for his Windjammer.

"Not that I recall," he answered. He let out a particularly colorful curse when the rat grabbed Ilona and vanished. "Well, shit," he murmured.

The Nutcracker re-entered the room, looking worse for wear. "Where's Ilona?"
strongheartmaid: (chibi moon)
Ilona stared at the nutcracker - either she had cracked her head a good one and was hallucinating or the nutcracker was now as tall as her, maybe even taller (like Z'neth was - and the thought of him caused her heart to just *hurt*). "Nutcracker?" she asked softly, taking a small step closer.

The Nutcracker paused a moment, struggling to recall something, anything. He glanced at her, recognizing her but at the same time not. Wait, she had asked him something. Oh, that's right, she wanted to know who he was. He sketched a proper bow to her. "Yes, milady," he said softly, bringing her hand to his lips to lightly kiss it.

Ilona's cheeks flushed a rich rose and she smiled shyly at him. "You look much better," she said softly.

"Thanks to you," he said gently. He paused, having caught a familiar, unfamiliar sound approaching them. The Nutcracker quickly whisked her behind him, drawing his blade.

Ilona peered out from behind him and silently wondered if she eaten any of Apex's cooking since that rat looked as tall as them. "Is that..?"

The Nutcracker looked grimly over his shoulder and nodded. "Unfortunately," he confirmed. "And where there's one, there's no doubt more hiding in the shadows. Stay close to me."

Ilona nodded. She had no desire to get any closer to those things then she had to.

The Nutcracker frowned - not good. He didn't know why they were after her, but he didn't plan on finding out.

~~

Ilona removed the ribbon that had been keeping the hair off her face and quietly wrapped it around the wound on his arm - if only to hide the damage until she could properly fix it. "Thank you for saving my life," she murmured softly. Her cheeks were lightly tinted rose as she tried to avert her gaze.

The Nutcracker reached over and gently placed his hand against her cheek. "A life without you in it would have no meaning for me," he said quietly. He didn't understand why, but she had become so important to him. He stood slowly and gently pulled her to her feet. "Come, it's no longer safe here."
strongheartmaid: (Default)
Peak picked the nutcracker up off the ground before handing it over to Ilona, who promptly cuddled him to her chest, tears streaking down her face. Peak sighed softly and reached over, his thumb running down the tracks of her tears, wiping them away (and once again had to stamp down the feelings he had for her - it was a painful thought knowing someone like Z'neth who barely paid attention to her held her heart in his hands). "Hey, listen, we can fix him - he'll be good as new." Privately, he wished his elder brother was here - he was the one that could fix it easily (carve a new piece, pop it in - good as new) but no, Z'neth would have had to gone on a mission on Christmas. (Personally, he likened his elder brother to that Grinch character from that old vid they had watched the night before - he did get rather grumpy on the holiday).

Ilona slowly stopped crying, although the tears still sparkled in her eyes. "Do you really think so?" she asked softly, hope in her voice.

Peak nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure Z can carve a new piece to replace that broken one and then no-one will be the wiser. But for now," he said, reaching behind and gently tugging the golden ribbon free of her long dark hair (hair that had been softly curled and been gently glittered by Apex so it would sparkle under the light - and hopefully capture Z'neth's attention). He gently tied the ribbon around the nutcracker, holding the broken piece in place. "There, that should do for now. How about I walk you home?" he asked. At her slight nod, he wrapped an arm around her thin waist, holding her close to him and quietly walked with her to her door. He lightly kissed her on the cheek and bid her a good night before watching her slip inside. He sighed and glanced up at the sky - looked promising for snow, a rare treat these years. Hopefully, his older brother would get home before the storm hit.
strongheartmaid: (bouncy)
Zarkan looked at his colleague and cleared his throat, catching Z'neth's attention. "You know, I've seen Ilona doing a lot of knitting recently. Looks like she's making you some sort of Solistice present but it's too small for you, unless there's something you're not telling us.'

Z'neth paused a moment, mug of coffee right at the edge of his lips. He took a long sip, using that to stall til he could come up with the words to explain what that meant. Well, being blunt worked, he thought finally and set the mug down for a moment. He reached over and set Zarkan's mug down, resting his hand on top of it. "Because I don't want to wear your coffee," he said.

"Predicting a spit take?" Zarkan asked, arching a brow.

"Quite," he said finally. "And I know her knitting is too small for me. That's because it's not for me," he said.

"Then who the hell is it for? It doesn't look like it'd fit Riptor," Zarkan said, boggling.

Z'neth's eyebrow arched. Seriously? He knew he kept his personal life quiet - but surely he thought his old friend would remember that he was married to Ilona. "You do remember that I married Ilona last year, right?" he asked. "What typically happens when a married couple is intimate?"

Zarkan blinked his dark eyes. "You mean.."

Z'neth nodded once. "Yes, there will be the pitter-patter of little feet soon. And no, our future dragonator is not following the naming convention of the family. Ilona put her foot down - and I rather not spend all my nights here in the nesting area."

Zarkan mimicked a whip being cracked. "Man, she's got you tamed."

"Laugh it up, Zarkan, laugh it up. I can always have her give your lover lessons," Z'neth said dryly.

"Don't do me any favours," Zarkan said, holding his hands up in surrender. "So do we know what the future baby dragonator's going to be yet?"

"Not yet, and the suspense is killing me," Z'neth said. "At least Ilona planned ahead and picked names out. I just hope I'm not running a mission that day."

Zarkan cocked his head to the side. "I'm sure that someone would switch with you when the big day happens, hell, I know people did that when you finally walked her down the aisle. It only took you how long to get the courage to ask her?"

Z'neth glowered at him. "Don't even start, just don't even start."

"You're the only man I know that has to turn into an amensiac nutcracker, how that worked, I'll never know and I'm not sure I want to know, before you got the balls to ask her. How and why she puts up with you is beyond me," Zarkan snarked.

Z'neth's glower only got stronger. "I thought we weren't going to talk about that," he said flatly.

Zarkan snickered. "You have to admit, it was pretty um.. entertaining."
strongheartmaid: (bouncy)
AN: Since that's the only 'verse thus far that has Ilona/Z'neth married. And origins of names: Adsila - Cherokee, "blossom"; Lia - old Celtic female name; Lúcás - Irish, Luke; Julien - French male name

Ilona entered the room, her left eyebrow arching ever so slightly at the sight of Z'neth pouring over the... No, absolutely not. She was putting her foot down damn it. "No," she said, a bit too firmly. "Absolutely not, Z'neth," she said.

Z'neth didn't jump - far too used to his wife's ability to ghost into rooms and startle the crap out of him. One of these days, he'd take Peak's advice and get her a pretty necklace with a bell on it so he knew when she was approaching. "Excuse me?" he asked, glancing over at her.

"We are not naming our baby in your family tradition. There's only so many words that could work," Ilona pointed out. "We already have Zenith, or as your father butchered the spelling to be Z'neth, Apex, Peak, Summit and Crest, which all mean the same damn thing."

Z'neth merely arched a brow. "Mother, actually. Father was appalled at her butchering, but that's neither here nor there at this point." He set the thesaurus aside. "Very well, I suppose you have names that you'd like?"

Ilona nodded. "I was leaning towards Adsila or Lia if it was a girl," she said, smiling softly, her hand resting gently on the soft swell of her stomach. "Lúcás or Julien if it's a boy."

Z'neth tilted his head as he thought. "Excellent choices," he said, rising to walk over and hug his wife. "But are you sure we can't..?"

"Would you like to sleep in your nice warm bed, which has proper support for your back, since I know you're still having issues with it after that last body slam you got from Dreadwing, or would you like your cot, that has no support for your back, in the nesting area? Your choice," Ilona said dryly.

"How'd you find out about my back?" he asked, before burying his face in his hand. Of all the questions to ask a medical technician.

"One, I'm a medic," she said, holding up a finger, "and two, Dram told me," she finished, holding up a second finger.
strongheartmaid: (plot bunny)
It was just a small box - nothing flashy, easily overlooked. But the contents hidden within - the small box held such hope, such promise. He glanced at the box in his hand, the one that would seal his fate from now until the day he died. He quietly walked over to her, settling down next to her. "Hey," he murmured softly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I got you something."

"Oh?" she answered, tilting her head to look at him.

He offered the small box, trying to not as nervous as he felt. A silent prayer escaped him as he waited to see her reaction of the contents.

She opened it slowly, her eyes widening in surprise before she glanced at him. "Is this?" she asked.

He nodded. "Will.. Will you do me the honor of being my wife?" he asked.

She studied the ring before sliding it on. "If you will be my husband, then I will be your wife," she answered, a smile crossing her features.

He let out a cry of delight and kissed her deeply.

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