Well, it's been over a week, and the claim still hasn't been formally accepted (and judging from the looks of it, won't be for a while), so I'm going ahead and posting this here.
Title: rainbow in your hands
Characters/Pairings: Aravis/Cor, cameos from various Archenlanders, Corin, and the occasional talking horse.
Theme set: Alpha
Summary: What will you believe in and where will you go? (Love never ever fades away. Aravis, Cor, and a lifetime of moments.)
( aravis/cor )
fifty themes, one sentence each
what will you believe in and where will you go?
(love never ever fades away.)
#20 - Freedom
There's an all-consuming loneliness that comes from being the only one of his kind, the sort of loneliness that turned the North into the beacon of hope and light, some kind of freedom, a place where he would be something more than just Shasta, the peasant boy.
#08 - Happiness
Calormen passes by in flickers of color and movement, and Aravis, riding Hwin at full gallop away from home and marriage and obligation, is free.
#33 - Fear
It doesn't occur to her until it's too late to go back, but halfway to Tashbaan, Aravis realizes that if she's caught - and it won't be hard for a couple of good soldiers to catch her - she could be executed.
#35 - Bonds
He wonders, on the way out of Calormen, why ne never ran away from Arsheesh before Bree came along - but then, he'd never stopped to think that perhaps his life wasn't normal, and maybe he wanted to believe that he had a father who cared about him, which turned out to be a surer chain than any rope the fisherman ever could have created.
#42 - Clouds
"I think a storm is coming," she says to Hwin, "a really bad one, I should think," and she doesn't receive an answer, so she just stares up at the sky, wondering what rain is supposed to feel like.
#47 - Moon
Growing up in the desert, Aravis learned to appreciate the night - for all of its faults and fears and secrets, nighttime held an odd sort of grace; under the light of the moon, anything is possible.
#01 - Comfort
They sit on opposite sides of the fire, ignoring each other because it seems like there's no other option - what could a fisherman's boy possibly say to a Tarkheena, after all? - and it's cold and silent and slightly frightening, but it's familiar, this isolation, and that makes it good, for now.
#06 - Rain
"It's called rain," she says airily, feeling very important for actually having seen it before, and thinking that Shasta must feel awfully stupid for not actually knowing what this wet stuff is, and then he replies that it used to rain relatively often on the coast, so of course he knows what it is (Aravis sulks for the rest of the day).
#43 - Sky
It seems like the desert goes on forever until it meets the horizon, and even that looks blurry and indistinct - like the sand simply melts into the sky, a vast expanse of nothing, and Shasta has never felt so utterly alone.
#21 - Life
Walking into Archenland for the first time is like being granted a new life, like all the mistakes she's made, all the people she's hurt, all of her faults and misgivings and failings - they're meaningless now, because the people here, unlike the Calormenes, believe in second chances.
#11 - Name
"But I like Shasta," she says slowly, on the way into the castle.
#05 - Potatoes
They both stare in horror at the dish before them at the feast welcoming Cor to Archenland, and it takes Corin several minutes to stop laughing long enough to explain just what those lumpy brown things on the plates are.
#19 - Wind
They're on the way back from escorting the Kings and Queens of Narnia back to Cair Paravel when she sneaks up to the crow's nest and stretches her arms out like she's flying, wind in her hair, sun on her face, and she doesn't think about anything, not of princes or courts or the way King Edmund ruffled her hair or of boats or talking animals or Calormen - she thinks of nothing, nothing at all.
#34 - Lightning/Thunder
"What's happening?" she asks fearfully, clutching Cor's arm, and he shakes his head, mumbling that he doesn't know either, but that they should probably get somewhere safe (Corin mocks them heartily for several weeks after the storm passes).
#50 - Supernova
Everything happens so fast - one moment, he's a simple peasant boy on the run from slavery, the next, he's a prince of a kingdom he didn't know existed a year ago, and all of a sudden, there are people who care about him and worry over him and try to get in his good graces - it's like a fast river, or a sudden explosion; he's swept off into everything and it takes Aravis hitting him upside the head and telling him that just because he happened to be born into royalty doesn't make him better than anyone else (he thinks it's terribly unfair of her, but doesn't comment on it because she hits hard).
#10 - Ears
Neither of them are prepared for an Archenland winter, and end up in a truly spectacular fight over the last remaining pair of earmuffs (Aravis wins).
#09 - Telephone
"It's a game," Corin says, explaining Grapevine, a brief foray into child's play that ends abruptly when Cor mishears "my horse is named Hwin" as "my whore is a maimed hen".
#17 - Tears
She cries when she finds out that her father is dead, and she can't explain why - he was an unfeeling creature, unworthy of the love her mother gave him, unworthy of everything he had ever received, but - she feels so alone, knowing that there's no father out there in the world, no family left to turn to, even though she wouldn't have turned to him even if she could.
#02 - Kiss
He's sulking, for reasons she doesn't care to know, so she dances with his brother instead, and - just because she knows it will annoy him even more - she kisses Corin on the cheek and thanks him for a lovely time before going for another glass of wine; by the time she looks up, both boys are gone (and Corin is sporting a fantastic black eye in the morning).
#22 - Jealousy
She dances with Corin and laughs at what Corin says and then she kisses Corin on the cheek, and he's fuming so badly he can't even see straight - which helps, in the end, because he claims drunkenness when his father asks him just why he punched his brother in the face.
#30 - Star
"Did you ever wonder what they are?" she asks, and Cor shakes his head - "They're pretty, and that's what's important."
#37 - Technology
She raises her eyebrows at Corin's contraption - a rickety basket connected to rickety wings - and wonders how the boy ever thought he could use this mess to fly.
#48 - Waves
She's always been a little afraid of water, thinking that anything capable of sweeping rocks right out of the ground is probably not a good thing, so when she asks him to teach her how to swim, he's extremely flattered (and, as it turns out, an exceptionally bad teacher).
#26 - Forever
"I do," she murmurs, and he smiles.
#14 - Sex
It horribly awkward and embarrassing, and Aravis finally huffs and says that, protocol be damned, consummating their marriage can wait until they've both read a few books on the matter.
#27 - Blood
She tries to be patient the first time it happens, sits him down and explains to him that she is not dying, that this is a normal part of her life, and that this will happen every month, but he still panics and worries over her (she doesn't really protest, and gives up entirely when he makes her soup).
#32 - Confusion
Corin laughs out loud at the look on his face after Aravis is finished yelling at him, and hits the mark when he guesses that Cor has no idea what just happened or why she's mad at him.
#31 - Home
It takes her a long time to start referring to Archenland as home; in her mind, home is not a place of comfort and happiness, but of necessity - calling Archenland home cheapens it to her.
#36 - Market
He's grown to hate marketplaces, ever since Corin went and told half the sellers exactly what sort of jewelry Aravis likes.
#12 - Sensual
He isn't very good at subtlety, but she's quite sure that he's teasing her when he eats the bowl of strawberries, savoring each one, eyes half-closed in delight.
#07 - Chocolate
She introduces the court of Archenland to the Calormene delicacy, and feels incredibly smug when all the high-born ladies beg her for the secret to this dish.
#49 - Hair
All the girls in the city love his long blond hair, so she makes him cut it off - but they still fawn over him, much to her chagrin (she thinks he looks better with it short, though, so it isn't all bad).
#16 - Weakness
He comes back from war bloody and unconscious in Corin's arms, and she has never felt so vulnerable as she does in this moment.
#25 - Devotion
Cor is badly wounded - he took an arrow to the chest - and the physicians say that they can't be sure of anything yet, so she waits by his bed, clutching his hands and praying to Aslan that he makes it through this night.
#44 - Heaven
"What do you think happens," she whispers to Corin, waiting with her while the physicians work to remove the arrowhead from Cor's chest, "when we die?"
#45 - Hell
"I don't know," he replies slowly, fearfully, "and I don't want to find out."
#41 - Completion
Technically, not finishing a swordfight due to the sudden declaration that his wife is in labor is a forfeit, and therefore - technically - Corin won the last swordfight with his brother, and refuses to ever engage him in another one for fear of losing the title.
#04 - Pain
She clutches his hand and damn near breaks his fingers, but he doesn't say anything, because he figures that childbirth is probably hurting her a little more.
#03 - Soft
He strokes his son's hair with awe - it's so fine it hardly seems like it's there at all, and he's so tiny, and he has his mother's nose, and, and - how could he, Shasta, the adopted son of a Calormene fisherman, ever have created something like this?
#28 - Sickness
They call upon the Hermit of the Southern March in a last, desperate attempt to save King Lune, but when the kindly old man puts his hand on Cor's shoulder, he knows that it's too late for his father.
#13 - Death
King Lune dies in his sleep after a long and painful illness, only two weeks after his grandson is born, and something about it seems oddly fitting to Cor, almost as though Ram is taking his grandfather's place - fitting, and at the same time, terribly wrong.
#23 - Hands
He comes in from the snow and she's standing by the kitchen fire with her back to the door, trying (and failing) to learn how to cook, and it's simply too good an opportunity to pass up.
#24 - Taste
"It's amazing," he lies, when she begs him to tell her if her cake is anything good, and wonders if she realizes that she completely forgot sugar.
#18 - Speed
It isn't the smartest thing they've ever done - in fact, it's probably one of the stupidest - but sledding down the roof of the castle on a platter pilfered from the kitchens is easily the most fun either of them have had since Ram was born.
#39 - Smile
"You shouldn't be so down on your birthday," he whispers in her ear, before shoving her into the river, clothes and all.
#38 - Gift
Ram's first birthday is something of a joke - all the presents are toys that he'll forget about tomorrow, and he cares more about smearing the cake all over his face than actually eating it - but he seems happy enough, at least, until Cor makes the grievous mistake of taking the cake away from him, and then the party is over, because no one likes dealing with screaming one-year-olds who find themselves suddenly deprived of sweets.
#29 - Melody
Try as she might, Aravis cannot sing to save her life (Corin teases her about it; Cor, however, learned long ago that teasing Aravis is a fast way to end up sleeping in the guest room).
#40 - Innocence
He grins as if he has no idea how those birds ended up in her wardrobe, like it didn't just nearly scare her to death, like it wasn't a really mean prank, like he isn't going to spend the next week and a half cleaning bird droppings out of her shoes.
#15 - Touch
They're asleep, Ram on Aravis's chest, clutching a lock of hair in his fist, and his fingers are almost touching her when he startles awake and Ram - not a baby, but a grown man - tells him that it's time to go to the funeral.
#46 - Sun
It's a harsh morning, a sharp sort of dawn that seems to burn everything it touches, and Cor is absolutely alone in the world - he has his son, his brother, his kingdom, but she's gone, and -
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