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Give me thy Colour


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#1 Ipsissimus

Ipsissimus

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

I decided to pin this topic. Thank you again. Cheers! - Lava

I wrote this for Attic Quiz 217: Love that Cannot/Should Not Be, and reposted at Lava Del'Vortel's request. So here it is: Deep Gardens fanfic. Minor warning: this contains spoilers for the end of TOTDG, as well as hints of a female/female pairing (though it doesn't go anywhere).

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The Dreamer comes... She had told me her name, once. But what is in a name? Names fade...memories fade...even Colour fades. Colour is all, but the Grey colour is our only certainty. Would she...fade? No...not in this place. She is too bright, too vibrant, to fade to Grey. Dreamer, we call her kind. Not of this place, and too alive to remain here long. The Deep Gardens wax and wane, they say; sometimes Colours are vivid and plentiful...sometimes reclusive and dull. She has compared it to the pulsing of a warding rune, of magic and sorcery...I do not know what she means. What is magic? All I know are Colours... But they are waning now...turning Grey. As they always do...

"My sweet lady... do you have the Golden Colour?" She was wounded, I saw, a ragged bandage tied on one arm. From the Essences? Vicious red...or the proud gold? Not black...not yet...

"I do. The cavern was beautiful...thank you." She smiled, and her face seemed to shine...warm and gentle, like Amber Colour.

"Dreamer...I must speak with you, alone...please..."

"One moment, then." She turned gracefully to speak to her companions. Delicate...gentle...beautiful... Temper Touch, you are deceiving yourself. She is not as good, as lovely, as perfect as you think... But no. Envious Gold, be silent...

"What is it, Touch?" Her voice...so sweet, so light...but strong, sure of herself.

"Come...please...I want to talk with you..." I want to be alone with you...my Dream.

She frowned faintly. "Of what?"

Do not frown...it does not suit your face... I will speak of anything, with you...I want to hear your voice. Whatever you want... "Please, just follow me...I want to talk about your world. I can help you to return..." She nodded. "Then come, please..."

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This is illogical, Green began coolly. Distance yourself, Temper Touch. From her, from your own nature.

All things decay; Dreamers are no exception, added Grey.

The Dreamer started. "Did you hear something?"

See? Do you see it?! She does not belong here, I tell you! Red shouted. Slay her! Slay her, before—
Before she destroys the Gardens, Red? Black hissed. No...she will not destroy...but reincarnate, remake, ah! What is the word?

Restore, cleanse, refresh, purify, Blue replied idly. It varies; the meaning is the same, and as important.

"It is the Colours...they speak. Black madness...green is distant, but sensible, you know...red is always furious, but so strong...and there are others... All have their own Nature."

She nodded. "I think I have learned, a little. I mean, you've showed me some of it. I have a question, though."

"Please...ask..."

"An old woman told me that the denizens of the Gardens are "fruits of Colours." They speak to you, and have their own...thoughts, even. What's it like?"

"I...am not sure, Dreamer... It simply is. This is how the Deep Gardens are...how could it be otherwise?"

"It is in Faerun—where I come from," she added hastily. "Colors are just part of how we see things."

A hollow world indeed, said Gold loftily.

A world lacking color lacks any sense, agreed Green.

Madness, giggled Black.

"I do not understand...how can you see...? How does it make sense, when...essence itself is...missing?"

"I don't..." Her eyes widened slightly. "No, I think I know. For you, for your world, color is everything. It's in art, in your magic, and it's the closest thing to gods you have." Magic? Gods? I do not know of these... "But the Weave is somehow...weaker...here. I think that that's our version of color—Colour, I mean."

"I am interested in learning...more of your world, lady. Could you...tell me?"

"Of course! What do you want to hear?"

This one lives her life in full, too much so. She will burn herself out, Green predicted.

She could do better, Red grumbled. She is...enthusiastic, passionate, driven...but there is another side, angry, violent, and murderous. It could help her.

It is in her self, in her very veins, and she thinks it a poison, Blue added.

Life is too sweet for such talk, Violet muttered dismissively. Or it can be.

"What does your world...look like?" What is this "darker side" Red and Blue speak of?

"It depends," she began. "Where I last was, it's...crowded. Thousands of people, large buildings, everyone buying, selling, talking... Did any of that make sense to you?"

"Well...in a way..."

She laughed. "That's your way of telling me that my description was absolute gibberish, right? Is there something else?"

"The Colours are talking...about you..." I started.

"Only the good things, I hope."

"No...not really... Red and Blue...mentioned a... "darker side?""

"I... Well, I suppose I owe you an explanation. I don't think it would make much sense, though. My father is—was—the god of murder. Bhaal is... I guess you could call him Red and Black. He...he talks to me sometimes...he tells me to kill people..."

Now look what you've done, Green snapped. You've made her lose control too. Ridiculous, the both of you.

Don't you have any dignity? Gold wondered.

Red and Black? Strength, rage, death, and madness...it must be hard for her... I leaned forward to touch her hand; her skin was rough and calloused. "Dreamer...I am sorry... I did not mean to bring this up..."

She looked at me. "Thanks. But here, it's not that bad. I think...I feel better after all this. It's helped."

Weakling, Red snorted.

"My lady, I am...glad..." I remembered what I had asked to talk about...what I should be talking about... "Do you want me to...show you...the Golden Colour?"

"If you don't mind."

I spread the shimmering essence over her neck and shoulders. Gold, help me... Let me...show her...

I'll wager that's not all you want to do. The Colour seemed almost to be smirking. Fine, I'll do it.

There was a faraway look in the Dreamer's eyes. "Is it always like this?"

"Do you mean...with the Colours? They are there...always there...acting, reacting, speaking, each in their way... We are their children..."

"This is incredible..."

"You...like this? You like the Gardens?"

"Very much so," she sighed. "They are beautiful, and like nothing I've seen before."

"Dreamer...no, my Dream. My Colour... I have showed you my home...the Colours... as best as I could." I moved to face her, placing my hands on her shoulders to draw her closer. "I feel...whole...in your presence... it is like nothing I have known. I do not want to be alone again..."

She shifted uncomfortably. "What do you mean?"

I released her and looked into her eyes. Dark, rich, like the bark of Green's Tree, and warm... "I want to Dream with you...do you?" I swallowed. "Will you stay...stay in the Gardens? Stay...with me?"

Something changed, in her eyes. From smiling and caring to...alarmed, distant. "Temper Touch, I...I can't...I'm so sorry..."

There is someone else for her, Violet guessed. Ah well, the best of luck to them.

"You are only a Dreamer..." I whispered. "A Dreamer, you do not belong...you want only to leave this place. I can't help you... I was just starting to Dream...that you would stay... I can't look at you... Go, just...go."

Child, this is not all there is, you know, said Amber softly.

No...go away, go, all of you...I do not want to hear this! No...

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Reflect, Temper, Silver murmured.

Indeed. Think on this. She needs your help, Amber said gently. Think on why you helped her in the first place.

No! I can't...leave me be!

"I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am with your decision..." I said. "But actions speak louder than words, do they not?" I took her left hand in both of mine and gently pressed my lips to it. "My sweet lady...thank you." Gentle Touch standing nearby simply walked away, looking dejected. I'm sorry, my friend. I'll make it up to you, I thought.

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"Have you seen the garden of Green and Blue? It is beautiful... Please, go, and we shall talk about it...when you return. That is, if you have...no objection..."

"No," she said, smiling. Radiant, as always... "Not if you think I should see it."

"Then...thank you, Dreamer. Be cautious...the Deep Gardens hold precious wonders, but deadly perils, too. Green is aloof, jealous...it may not take kindly to you." Let her stay safe. Green, please do not harm her...

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And I didn't, the Colour muttered. Tramping all over like that, perching in the branches of my Tree... perhaps I should have.

Is this enough, Temper? Do you need to look more? asked Silver.

No...

Good, said Amber briskly. Your Dreamer is back.

She's not—

Not your Dreamer? Perhaps not in the way you'd wish, but she chose you over Gentle Touch. She placed her trust in you, hoping you might help her return home. This means a great deal.

"Hello, Touch," the Dreamer said wearily.

"I said... I asked you to leave me. Dreamer..."

"I know. For what it's worth, I'm sorry. But...I really need your help. Please."

I noticed that her face bore numerous scratches, scorch marks, and several fresh bruises. How...who, what, has done this?

My agent, I suspect, Black said idly. He was rather unreliable, and it seems to have gotten him killed. A pity; I should find another. Another...for the Black, the last Colour...ahhh, if only you could see the humor...

"Then...I will try..."

"Thank you." She held out a small, rough orb, so dark that it seemed to absorb light.

The black essence...

Temper, you know what it is you must do. Will you? It was Amber again. Does her well-being matter enough to you? Does she matter enough to you?

I...yes. She does... "So, you have the final Colour. The one which means death, the end of the Dream...my end..."

"Temper--"

"No more words... I can't... There is one last thing...the Amber Colour." I opened the pouch at my belt and removed the delicate carving of a budding rose. "My colour. You will need it... I can't stop you... You gave me words, hope and happiness and now you want to disappear... I do not want you to leave, but I must help you..."

"Temper Touch, I am sorry..." She squeezed my hand lightly as she took the rose.

"Dreamer...I need to say this, before you leave... I love you. I know, for you there is...someone else. But...you are unique." I cleared my throat slightly. "Would...would you mind if I kissed you?"

She didn't answer, instead turning her face towards me. I leaned forward slightly and pressed my lips against her cheek. So soft...

"I'm sorry, Touch," she said quietly.

"Please...go. Return to your world. I...I hope you are happy, there..." As I will not be...

"This is good-bye, then. Despite all this...I'm glad that I've met you, Temper Touch. My lady."

Edited by Lava Del'Vortel, 14 March 2010 - 01:37 PM.

And the mirror, it reflects a tiny dancing skeleton, surrounded by a fleshy overcoat and swaddled in
A furry hat, elastic mask, a pair of shiny marble dice, some people call them snake-eyes, but to me they look like mice
-- "Nothing's gonna change my clothes", They Might Be Giants