A Corrupted Sense of Humor
Yamiriel Whispersong peered in the mirror, his tongue peeping out from between his violet lips, his dark eyes narrowed in concentration. The young night elven face that stared back at him rippled slightly, the dusky, pale purple of his skin tone motling darker and lighter in swirling, moving splotches.
He wrinkled his nose, letting out the breath he’d been holding with an explosive huff, and his skin tone returned to normal.
“No, no. That’s not it…” he grumbled to himself, reaching up to press at the skin of his cheek. He tugged and stretched his face in funny ways, distracted for a moment by making faces at himself in the mirror.
By the time he got tired of that, he was giggling and wiping tears from the corner of his eyes.
“Alright.” He addressed the self in the mirror, making effort to force himself back to sober. “Time to be serious. This is important, Yami!”
… and then he snickered again at his own whimsy, ruining the effect. The boy-man coughed and tried again, punctuating his serious face with a little glare for seriousness motivation. Looking angry always helped banish the giggles.
“Coven, coven,” he mumbled to himself, recalling the staining effect of the poor, cursed villagers he’d seen in Drustvar with his father. Shadow-sick magic that writhed across their skin. Sparks of icy ash and purple-blue… “magic” almost seemed the wrong word, from what he’d felt. More like the power of a sickened soul, flashing forth decaying death energy. He tried not to think too hard about what afflicted those doomed people, nor what they’d needed to do to save them.
Instead, he focused on his face, and his tongue peeped out between his lips once more as he concentrated.
“Welcome home, my lovely,” Rhese smiled and drew Nysse into his arms before she’d even managed to put down her pack, stealing a tender kiss. He seemed in a good mood, she observed, pulling away to smile up at her love.
“Thank you, surfal,” she responded, lifting onto the tips of her toes to give him a little kiss back. “How are my boys?” she asked lightly, squirming out of his arms and then out of her pack.
“We’re fine. It was a relatively quiet day since your mother is visiting. She and Sarren are still out with the twins, and Rhoe took Alen to the market with her.” Rhese gave his mate space as she dug in her pack, leaning a shoulder against the wall of the cramped apartment behind her.
“And Yami?” The huntress muttered it as she pulled out small skins and snares and sundry and set them on the shelves by the door.
“Oh, he’s in the spare bedr-” Rhese was interrupted by a thud from the back room, and he straightened instantly.
What answered him was only a groan, and the druid and his mate exchanged alarmed looks before they rushed to their eldest son. They’d nearly reached the doorway when the black-eyed young night elf staggered into it, bracing one arm against the door frame and groaning dramatically. He clutched a hairbrush in his other hand like a weapon, and his skin danced with sparks of soul-sick black and brilliant, icy blue-white.
“I… obey…” he groaned, lurching toward his father.
Rhese paled and took half a step back before he surged forward and grabbed Yami’s hands. “Yami!”
“My life… for the Coven…”
“The… th-the Coven?” Nysse gaped, blinking between her son and her mate. “You took Yami to Drustvar?!” Her voice raised with her alarm.
“No! … well, yes.” The druid winced, holding on to their boy as gently as he could while he squirmed. “But he was fine, lovely. I’m sure he wasn’t c-“
The boy’s snort of laughter interrupted his father’s poor defense, and both night elves looked at their son, eyes wide. The shadowy, awful effect on his skin slipped away, and he doubled over as far as Rhese’s grip would let him, devolving into giggles.
“Oh! Oh, an’da! Min’da! You should see your faces right now!” When his father released him, he clutched his hands over his belly, laughing uproariously.
Rhese blinked a few times, as stunned as the huntress beside him, and then his lips twisted in a slow smirk, his eyes narrowing on the boy. Almost conversationally, he said aside to Nysse, “So. Do I get to kill him, or do you want to, my lovely?”
The young mother sighed and put her face in her hands, groaning, “He’s all yours, surfal.”
Yami calmed from his laughter just in time to get a look at the wicked grin that crossed his father’s face at that, and he gulped, backing away. “N-now… an’da…”