The best meta tends to happen when you’re sitting across the table from friends, drinking soju and trying really hard not to get suckered into watching the gyrations of the latest Kpop sensation blasting away on five different flat screens. The foods smell heavenly; sweet where it ought to be sweet, spicy enough to balance out the inherent freshness of your liquor. And soju was a liquor of a different sort; colored like water and kicked like baijiu.
There’s nothing flowery about the way your sister throws back the shot, determined and never wasteful. She’s the sister you never knew you wanted and never technically had; it started off as an attempt to hurt you, make you angry, the only women he wouldn’t fuck is his sister; he’s all ready been inside his mother once so that doesn’t count, they had said, and you didn’t quite gain the reputation as a monster through sheer looks, that’s for sure.
But it bothers you, that comment, in ways you didn’t understand. Not when you were barely a teen. But even then you played the long game, you learned from the best. You preferred efficiency, but loved power; explosives, bullets tearing through flesh. Paint the wall with their apologies. You wanted them to know why. You let it slowly sink in. It was never about what you wanted. Lord knows you never quite get what you want.
Your best friend slinks in from behind, arms wrapped around your shoulders like he didn’t know any other way to react. And you realize; we will never know how to act other wise. You’re okay with this. You were okay being born only to die alone, because for a short while, you had this person around. They were happy to be around you. Happiness is short.
You learned to play the long game from your best friend.
The phone in your coat nearly vibrates out of your pocket, so you reach in, fingers stuttering across the screen. Late, order for me. Will be there soon. Sorry. See you. The briefness of the texts belies how many apologies and laughs will accompany this person when they’re through the door and arriving at the table. They will look longest and loneliest in your eyes first, as if to draw you in, but it never works.
But from this person, you learn to love. Deeply and without looking back. Until it is the strongest force, a reckoning that amounts to all the shadows beneath their eyes, the light from their fingertips.
It doesn’t stop you from feeling helpless. You suppose it never will stop.
It’s how we spill our blood, dear brother, not how it fits in our veins. That’s where true family lies.
In that aspect, Ezra and Mary were practically symmetrical.
I can pin point the exact moment Daniel begins to run, not away, but towards a goal. It’s the exact moment Ezra decides to stop running away from his.
(I love them more than you think.)
Dawn is where Chance can be found, cavorting with nothing but light.
Chance was the most fickle of his siblings; he did not plan like Time, consult like Strife. If he shared his capricious nature with anyone it was with Death, and Death took part in this particular streak of devilish independence in equal and worrying measures.
There was a time when Death and Chance were still unaware, ignorant to their own roles. It was then that whilst seeking diversion and amusement that they came across distress, in pursuit of their new brother Strife, who arrived with the birds, carried by the winds.
Strife had arrived from across Death’s seas with nary a weapon, only his narrow face and tinder flint eyes. And Time did not trust her new brother, called him ‘foreign’ and banished him from her lands. She drove him far with her fire, laughed in his face when he dared to assault her with his serpent winds.
"Your zephyr feeds my flames, and your arrival has worn me thin, begone! The weather can only grow poorer in our shared presence."
And so, harried by Time, Strife could do nothing but retreat for another opportunity.
It was a time of unease on their plane, and Time wished for a new era like her two brothers. But Death was not there with her otherwise he would’ve disagreed, rebuked her for driving away the newcomer. ‘Novelties are not dangers, Sister,’ and Death would smile his smile and Time would narrow her eyes. ‘True. They are simply new ones to be made.’
But Death and Time were not together, as we all know what disasters that would spell.
It was bad faith to have Death and Time in the same moment; their names are hardly ever spoken together until now. Indeed it would be an ill omen to dedicate a child to both Death and Time (beginning and end, how sad, how sad.)
And so, Time spoke ill of Strife’s arrival at first, and with her word Chance lost his nerve to speak to his new brother, fascinated as he was.
Instead he sought out Death. This was the nature of the two brothers; for while the four Gods were all siblings of the cosmic sort, Chance and Death were especially intimate in thought and habit. Death doted upon Chance in his haphazard way, and Chance adored his brother like no other before and after. Siblings in Itova were blessed by Death and Chance in equal measures, and parents who wished for sibling harmony typically dedicated their newborns in their name.