Author: Kelandris the Mad
Fandom: Original character action, Star Trek/View Askewniverse
Pairing: Maret Kephren/Metatron
Rating: G, or a PG for emotional intensity
Archive: Yes if you tell me
Series/Sequel: Sequels the Risa fandom series (as yet unposted)
and the Feather/Dagger/Tunnel serii, plus Fallen (action
picks up about 3,000 years later)
Disclaimers: Metatron belongs to View Askew, more or less;
Maret Kephren belongs to me, same deal
Notes: I'm a sucker for a final resolution.
Summary: Metatron gets to see Mercy again...sort of.
Warnings: Implied lesbian relationships, that's about it.
by Kelandris the Mad
It was a bright and sunny day, as most days were. The breeze
was fresh and clean, sparkling along the senses. It blew
through the open window arches of the slab-walled building,
ruffling playfully with the buff and cream hangings and the
hair of the two women in the back bedroom. The smaller woman
was packing, and smoothed down her floating pink hair
irritably. The taller woman just leaned against the back wall,
one side of her expressive mouth quirking, and let the wind
play. Invisible fingers plucked at her hair until she stood in
a corona of long, black, moving strands, each dark section
glittering with peacock highlights of blue and purple and
Exasperated, the pink-haired woman stalked to the windows,
closing them. The curtains stilled, their hair floated down,
and she resumed packing. Her hand paused on a comb of native
make and her fingers twitched. She turned to the woman behind
"Explain to me again," she said sullenly. "Explain why you
want us all gone, Maret."
Maret Kephren was a long-term resident of Risa, a planet more
known for its transitory tourist population than its native
dwellers. She was still named as Keeper of Risa, on those rare
occasions when Risa required ambassadorial duties. Now, she
looked around the cream walls of her home with a fond air. She
had founded Bilitis House, after all, and had spent the last
seventy-five years here, which was roughly equivalent to eighty-two
Earth years. Her large eyes glowed with love for this place, and
a little with their own radiant violet light.
"It's not as if none of you can come back," she said, laughing
softly. "When have I ever asked for the place all to myself?
Besides, most of the women adored the idea of a vacation. Why
not you, Anthra?"
Anthra Alaen'ta was a native of Cilas who had emigrated on a
nine-planet tour from her homeworld seven years ago. Risa was
the third planet she visited. She hadn't left since. She
wasn't sure why, but she felt a burning resentment at Maret's
soft-voiced request. She found herself tempted to take
everything and not return. Or take nothing and just leave, as
a show of contempt for her eviction. She found herself--
She found herself embraced in long, thin arms and held close,
Maret sighing behind her. She stood stiffly for a moment, then
relaxed, bringing her arms up to clasp Maret's. As always, she
marveled at the difference in their skin tones--Maret's
café-au-lait tan against her milk-blue skin, strands of
her candyfloss hair mingling with Maret's raven-wing black.
She leaned her head back against the taller woman's chest,
listening to her inhale.
"Why can't I stay mad at you?" she asked wistfully.
Maret rested her chin on top of Anthra's head.
"Because I don't wish you to be," she said softly. "Or because
you do not wish to be."
Anthra shook her head, hearing the kruba bells pierced
through her ears gently chime. "Why do you want the house to
yourself?" She felt Maret stiffen slightly, and stepped
forward, turning to face her. "The truth now," she intoned.
Maret cocked her head, looking at the young Cilasian. As usual,
she wore pale tones, once reasoning to several women at Bilitis
that with pale pink hair and pale blue skin, she might as well
continue the pastel theme. The enchanting confection she now
wore reminded Maret of the first outfit in which she'd seen her
lost Merina. While it wasn't quite Merina's twin strips of
wide-knotted netting, it was comprised of mesh, several layers
in a drifting leaf pattern in tones of pale gold and pale green
and pale blue. Solid patches were sewn in randomly, generally
just where the eye was captured by the possibility of some
luscious bit of revealed flesh.
She nearly laughed, remembering Anthra's first outfit on
Risa--she had looked so uncomfortable walking off the transport
ship. Swathed head to foot in Cilasian slate-blue, only her
sparkling lilac eyes were seen. It had made Maret's first
outfit on the planet, a pale grey sleeveless caftan and
matching slippers, seem positively licentious.
Maret herself had loosened considerably in her years here.
Today, for example, she wore a sarong wrap tied high on one
hip, revealing a great amount of tanned leg whenever she
moved. A matching single-form halter circled her midriff,
wrapped over her small breasts, and cinched shut at the back of
her neck, leaving most of her back, arms, shoulders and chest
bare. Fairly conventional for Risa, yes, save that the fabric
was part of a ridiculously expensive bolt she'd been talked
into importing from Akkad IX. Their renowned spider-weavers
were also consummate programmers, and this fabric was no
exception. It was from their Topography series, this bolt
reproducing the Akkadi southern ocean, the watery swirls of
lilac, indigo and deep purple cresting and dying down. Better
still, every time a wave crested anywhere, the fabric briefly
fluoresced through the heat spectrum--delighting those whose
eyes responded to infrared light--then went transparent for
anywhere from a tenth of a second to a full second, depending
on the length and curl of the wave.
Maret loved it.
Anthra tapped her shoulder, and she blinked, startled from her
"I did ask you nicely," Anthra reminded.
"You did at that."
Maret pulled a chair over to the bed, upon which seven years of
Anthra's life was stacked in unsteady piles. She sat in lotus,
contemplating the Cilasian's love of acquisitions. Bad as a
Ferengi, she thought, her fingers wandering through strung
beads and flowerlace. How on Earth do I begin?
"Let me see...A very long time ago--and do not ask me,
for I will not tell you--I met one who grew...enamored of me,
without my knowing."
Anthra cast her a hooded glance, and she threw up her hands.
"I swear to you, this is true! I did not know. Moreover, I
did not know until much later that this one was willing to
do others injury in order to get to me. In fact, he did injure
one of two young men under his protection, just to hold me in
his arms for a small time."
She stole a quick glance at Anthra. The woman's lilac eyes
were wide, and she'd picked up the comb again, clenching it
tightly. Maret rose, prying the lela-wood comb from her hands,
her fingers smoothing over the round indentations the teeth had
left on the palm.
"Now, now," she said softly. "It's not as bad as all that.
The youngling in question recovered, after all. And...I
"You were hurt?" Anthra cried.
Too perceptive by half, my peony. Her eyes darkened,
and Anthra shivered.
"Not in body," she said softly. Which was true, as far as it
went, but recovery had been so hard. She remembered not
knowing where to put this one's ardent desire for her, for her
flesh, her skin, her abilities. It wasn't supposed to happen.
But it had, and it had nearly shattered her, driving her away
from the one in question as well as his charges over the course
of the next few years. Barring the occasional moment when
their paths crossed, in fact, she had ceased being a part of
those younglings' lives. And that had hurt, as well.
She turned to the window, looking out at the bright colors of
land and sky. Risa eased her soul on so many levels. But now,
she thought, she was contemplating disrupting that peace.
Well, she amended. The war had done that, after all.
Fighting the Dominion had left scars on Risa the tourists never
saw. Those who called Risa home had suffered losses never
before dreamt of. Her own Merina, for example, had died in the
Shaking her head, she turned back, facing an Anthra of
unusually sober expression.
"I held this one responsible for many years. I was quite...
angry...with him. So much so that, save for a few
scattered incidents, I avoided him and his charges altogether."
The younger woman stepped forward, placing one periwinkle hand
on Maret's arm.
"So what happened?" she asked tentatively.
"Life happened, dear girl. A great deal of it. I haven't seen
him in...oh, a very long time."
"So..." Anthra furrowed her brow, a pixie in deep thought.
All she lacks are gossamer wings, Maret mused. She
"Why do we all have to leave, then?"
Maret blinked. "Well, he'll be on Risa soon. I thought it
might be appropriate to make my peace at last."
"And you want to do it alone??"
The older woman only smiled, laying one of her long hands atop
the other, staring down at both. "There is some surfeit of
comfort," she said slowly, "in knowing that whatever happens,
I'm the only one here to be affected."
Anthra stood for a moment, looking shocked, then threw her arms
around Maret, pressing close and hugging her impulsively. Her
body was wonderfully warm and soft through the thin layer of
clothing that separated them. Anthra's unique spicy fragrance
tickled her senses, made her head spin.
Ancient gods, Maret thought breathlessly. If I had
even the space of an hour...Something of this thought must
have shone through in her eyes, for Anthra shivered deliciously
in her arms. Then she stepped back, reaching for one of
Maret's hands. Slowly she placed a kiss in the palm, then
curled the long fingers closed.
"Two weeks," she said, giving the other woman a brisk nod. She
turned back to her packing and threw things haphazardly into the
bag now, sealing it closed and shouldering it. She stared at
"Two weeks," she said again. "Then I'm coming back. I mean it."
"I believe you. You're more than welcome back. And..." She
glanced down at her hand, the fingers still curled. "Thank
you," she whispered.
Anthra stepped close, laying an open hand between her breasts.
"You're going to tell me what happens, right?"
"What I can tell you, I will."
Candyfloss hair tumbled as Anthra shook her head, standing on
tiptoe. Maret grinned sidewise and angled her head to kiss the
girl. The spicy peppermint of the Cilasian's mouth always took
her breath away, and oh, for time, for time--! She held her
close, kissing her cheek, nibbling on one pointed ear, moving
down to where the pulse beat strongly in most hominids. Anthra
moaned, pressing against her, and Maret closed her eyes,
wanting to pierce her predawn skin, taste her peppermint blood
again...But she had a schedule, she thought, resenting it for the
She stepped back, and the girl pouted prettily. "Tease," she
gasped. Then she took a firm grip on the bag's shoulder strap,
reaching up to touch Maret's cheek lightly.
"Be safe," she whispered, and she walked out the arched door.
A few moments later, Maret heard the front door click closed.
**Hmm,** she thought, shaking her head. **Well. And now, to
Walking back to the solar, standing midway between two of the
common rooms, she started moving furniture over the buff-tiled
floor. When everything was pressed against the pale walls,
she made a large circle out of pale green beach sand, wiping
her hands briskly when she was finished. Then she walked into
her bedroom, several doors down, laying her hand against a
reader padd set into the wall. A painting of a young girl
standing in a pool of lilies slid aside, revealing several
very old books, some scattered data padds, one very precious
data crystal and a crystal reader, and the real treasure, an
old and yellowing scroll of parchment.
Three thousand years had disintegrated most papers of her past.
This one had been specially treated, in case she ever needed
it. Today, she had decided, she finally did.
She sat in lotus in the center of the circle, breathing in the
stillness of the empty house. She carefully unfolded the
scroll, then folded her tongue around words of a language she
hadn't even thought of in a thousand years. It was a very old
invocation, and an older language still; more evocative of dim
chambers lit by guttering flames and monks in robes of hempen
cloth, than spaceflight and the eternal summer of an alien
world. Certainly it paired oddly with this light, airy home
decorated in earth tones and pale cinnamons, surrounded by
graceful otherworldly greens.
In the circle, as the invocation drew to a close, there was a
sparkle that resolved itself into a seated figure, looking
around and blinking. The hair was glossy black, cut to the
nape of the neck, and rumpled; a few strands escaped the
disorder of bangs and fell over the high forehead, framing the
storm-colored eyes and the sharp nose.
He rose, still blinking, the grey hooded cape he wore sweeping
back to reveal a dark grey silk suit, the cuts of the white
shirt underneath looking rich compared to the ice-white of his
The apparition she'd summoned shook his head as if to clear it,
then spoke, his voice echoing loudly off the tiles.
"Behold, the power of--"
Maret laughed, the tone like crystal bells breaking through his
oration. He looked disgruntled, turning to look at her for the
" 'Ere now, do I interrupt your introductions?"
She smiled. Still that slightly slurred, Anglish accent she
"Come to think of it," he said, "you haven't given me one." Then she
seemed to register on his eyes for the first time and his jaw dropped.
"What in Heaven's name are you wearing, child??"
She looked down just in time to see a curl of wave crest over
her right breast, the fabric fluorescing and clearing, part of
one nipple showing briefly, pinkly through. The flare of heat nearly made
her gasp. She looked up at his stunned expression.
"Akkadian castweaving. Truly, you don't remember me anymore?"
"I've never seen you before in my--"
He stopped. He squinted. Then he reared back, great, sweeping
white wings rising behind him, flexing to touch the ceiling.
"Bloody hell!" he shouted. She cocked her head, still smiling,
and he scowled at her.
"It's about bloody time, Mercy! By all the choirs of
Heaven, it's been--what, two millennia, at least??"
Turning to the solar doors, she opened them, the playful breeze
dancing in to lift her hair into fantastic patterns. Her
companion watched her--or more precisely, the wave that rose,
curled, crested and dissolved on the back of her upper thigh.
He swallowed as she turned to face him, crooking a finger to
motion him forward.
"It's Maret now, by the way."
"My name." Her eyebrows rose, daring him to speak. He just
shrugged, the breeze ruffling through his primaries. She
laughed again, walking out to stand next to the small diving
pool. Her smile grew wide as she turned to face him.
"Come into my parlor, Metatron."
He rolled his eyes, but the angel followed the vampire outside,
wing tips trailing on the tile.
Kelandris the Mad
negotiating the labyrinth of disabled vehicles