Title: Reconciliation
Author: Kelandris the Mad
Fandom: Original character action, Star Trek/View Askewniverse crossover
Pairing: Maret Kephren/Metatron
Rating: G, or a PG for emotional intensity
Status: New
Archive: Yes if you tell me
Feedback: Kelandris
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 green.

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 her.

"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 reverie.

"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 recovered, eventually."

"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 first attack.

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 already has--

"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 Maret intently.

"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 first time.

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 work.**

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 skin.

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 first time.

" 'Ere now, do I interrupt your introductions?"

She smiled. Still that slightly slurred, Anglish accent she remembered.

"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
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