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The bingo square Fantasy & Supernatural: Gods and Goddesses.

Final Fantasy XII, Larsa (moment a la Vayne). He's the son of mortal woman, and they will perfume his hair and collar him with gold. Shameless, shameless sensory porn. :| Larsa's initiation as the cupbearer of the gods.


The God Empire

They are the daughters of gods, clothed in muslin. Their hair is oiled and perfumed, coiled in long loops about their high heads, and gold collars their necks. They bathe his body with slick oils, and their hands are soft on his thighs and stomach, the expanse of his back. When they bend to wash his feet, their hair catches on his legs, long strands curling around his calves, like dark threads on unbleached muslin.

When they clothe him, they clothe him in linen, and bracelet him with heavy gold. His feet they leave bare, and when he steps from the bath, oils and waters pool beneath him, under the arch of his feet. The heavy gold on his ankles chimes low and dark.

They perfume his hair, and leave it loose to the air. They paint his face, his mouth and his cheeks and his eyes, and they spread gold down the length of his neck. It shimmers on their fingertips, the daughters of the gods, and when he is finished, they kiss the palms of his hands, the pulse of his wrists.

It is Vayne who opens the door, heavy marble groaning against its own weight. Vayne is dressed in the darkest of violet, and his hair is tightly coiled, twisted against his head. Larsa can smell the incense from the hallway, can see the clouds of scented smoke creep through the air, and he takes a step forward. Feels gold weigh him down, sound him with the bells of the gods.

"Are you ready, little brother?" Vayne asks, and Larsa tastes the paint of his mouth as he licks his mouth. It tastes of paste and the sweetness of berries, and of the fingertips of the daughters of the gods. The daughters sink lower to the ground, slender in their muslin, and Larsa sinks low, too, bends his head to the floor.

"I'm ready," he tries to say, but he's the son of mortal woman, and he cannot speak here-- cannot raise his head, can't breathe against the collars of gold. His words come out a sigh, and when Vayne touches his head, he can smell the perfume from his own hair.

"Father has sent for his cupbearer." Vayne's hand slips from Larsa's head, hangs before his face. Larsa can see the curves of his nails, the length of his fingers. The tiny lines of his knuckles, like the veins of the marble doors. When he touches the underside of Larsa's chin, tips his head upwards, Larsa closes his eyes, feels the paint on his eyes stick together. Blinded. "Come, Larsa."

The daughters escort him to the court, and as a multitude, their bare feet are a whisper. Their collars glint together, winking eyes around their necks, and the bracelets of their wrists and their ankles sound through the hallways. Larsa feels small among them, young and mortal, and he feels naked and cold. At the arch of the court, the daughters spread out, gatekeepers and sentinels, and very, very alone, Larsa walks through.

There are many gods, and many goddesses. It is an empire, and its reach is wide, and its touch is cruel. It is old, and it is cold, and its pulse is as slow as the pulse of marble's veins. Larsa kneels stiffly, lies himself prostrate on the ground, and the marble beneath his cheek burns him to the bone. He can feel the breath of air against his skin, and the drape of linen beneath his legs. Feet clad in gold and silver pass before his eyes, calves wrapped with lambskin and bronze. Gowns and robes sweep the floor before him, and he cannot close his eyes, can only watch as one pair of feet pause, then pass on. Pause, and pass. Another, and another.

When the nectar hits his neck, he flinches. It drips, sticky and thick, through his hair and down the side of his neck. Another cup of nectar is thrown, and hits whip-sharp between his shoulder blades. Another on his neck, and when a drop curls in on the corner of his mouth, he licks at it, and feels eternity explode in his skull. Another cupful, and another, are thrown, and the cups are dropped to the marble, roll along the floor until they lie heavy and cold against Larsa's side. He can feel himself shivering, and he can see the colors of music in his head, can feel the exploding sparks of life in the base of his skull. Another drop of nectar lands on his lips and he licks it in, tastes it thick and heady on his tongue.

When a hand rests between his shoulders, heat soaking through the nectar-soaked linen, Larsa can only shudder, watching the world's music dance color-bright over the marble in front of his eyes.

"Cupbearer," Gramis's voice says, and the music in it is purple and gold; it tastes like power in the back of Larsa's throat, and Larsa feels the mortality in his bones (the mortality of his mother, beautiful and beloved and shimmering with gold; swallowed whole by the gods, swallowed down with the color of music) leech away. "Rise, and fill our cups."

The paint on his mouth explodes on his tongue, berries tasting of grass and dirt and the blood of human men, generation on generation, stretching back until Larsa's eyes cloud over with time. He licks his lips again, another world bursting on his tongue, and says, in colors of gold and blue, the faintest blue of the clearest skies, "yes, Father."

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June 2016

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