skiesofpluto: (Default)
Title: Group A
Word Count: 986
Gen
Summary: Princesses post-apocalyptic AU. The whole monsters thing comes to a head. Ariel POV. Ariel is mute.



In the last months, there are rumors of monsters and magic—but there always have been. Their city is the epicenter of everything, although given investigation, one might have found a corresponding twin rift between realities, crackling in relative quiet above the Indian Ocean.

It's Thursday after school, which means GSA club. They hold it at Aurora's house for two reasons: one, it's easier for both Aurora and Snow, who are still recovering from their respective hospital stays. Snow seems like she has more recovering to do than the girl she's moved in with, sleeping in a spare room. (Aurora's house might as well be a mansion.) The second reason is that their principal is a dick and has made it impossible for them to have an official GSA. He couldn't stop them outright, not with such a liberal mix of involved parents, but he found every roadblock there was and wouldn't find time for them besides.

And Ariel, who has been homeschooled and tutored her entire life, has found herself attending as a guest. Only her favorite sister knows, and is fairly responsible for the entire situation.

The things that keep you alive, she will think later. Her sister's love. She will think about how, in a way, she is what remains of her sister.

Today it's just Ariel, Aurora, Cindy, Tiana, and Aurora's Aunt Mal. Snow is apparently with other friends, out in the countryside. Ariel has never met Aurora's father, although she knows he lives here.

"It's raining very hard," Ariel signs absently, and Aunt Mal translates her words for the other girls. Ariel kind of loves Aunt Mal—she knows ASL for whatever reason, and she sits in on their meetings to help Ariel communicate with the girls. Ariel kind of wishes Aunt Mal could be her mother.

It is, in fact, raining very hard. It's pouring in loud sheets, so constant it could be mistaken for some sort of engine-driven machine.

"Whoa," says Cindy. "I didn't even bring an umbrella."

"I'm sure I can find you one if it doesn't let up by later," Aurora reassures her.

Next to Ariel, Aunt Mal has narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips.

"Hey are you okay?" Ariel has to sign three times before Aunt Mal notices.

"Very sorry," Aunt Mal signs back. "I have to go take care of something. You'll be okay with the girls?" She means without being able to talk to them.

Ariel feels a pang of disappointment. Having easy communication with girls her age is not something she gets enough of -- it's something she looks forward to, as stupid as that feels. But Aunt Mal is clearly very worried about something, so Ariel nods.

"Go, go," she tells her.

Cindy has wandered over to the window.

"Damn," she says.

"I should call my mom," says Tiana. "She's going to be worried."

"Where'd Aunt Mal go?" Aurora asks, and it's directed at Ariel.

Ariel shrugs helplessly and gestures toward the door.

After a minute—Tiana ends up sending her mom a couple texts—they settle in to have their GSA meeting.

Ariel types out for them on her phone, "Aunt Mal was worried about something, I'll be OK." It's not the best way to communicate, and it's so easy for people to run ahead and talk over her without someone like Aunt Mal there to give voice—but she's still glad to be here. She feels content to be inside during this storm. They have snacks, a bowl of tangerines and a bowl of pretzels, and she takes a tangerine and begins to unpeel it carefully, letting the bright-smelling slivers of rind collect on a paper napkin on her lap.

Cindy is talking about a girl—her ex apparently—and Ariel is gazing out the window. Suddenly the rain seems to fade away.

"Oh good, it stopped raining," says Tiana. Cindy leaves off her tangent to hop up and peer out the window again.

"What is that?" she says.

"What?" Ariel signs to uncomprehending eyes. Realizing this, she shakes her head, deposits the remains of the tangerine on the table, and stands up.

"What is what?" Tiana asks.

"What time is it?" Cindy shoots back. "Is it sundown?" she wonders as Ariel comes up next to her.

Ariel has a very good sense of time, and would have guessed it was about four. Not sundown in March.

Definitely not sundown. The sky is the blue of a clear day, and it is black, and it is a sickly magenta-red, these colors chasing one another and intertwining. Ariel feels the chilled edge of the window, making sure she is not asleep. It has become very still outside, and a far off shrieking noise begins to build like a strong wind.

"Oh no," says Aurora. "Oh no. Where is Aunt Mal?"

Aurora looks stricken. Ariel looks back out the window and feels distantly afraid. It's hard to connect with, this fear, and has nothing solid to support it. The air feels thin.

"That looks kind of bad," says Cindy, eyes still glued outside.

Aunt Mal bursts in at that moment, her bootsteps fast and loud, her presence large.

"Ms. Mal," says Aurora.

"Where's Snow?" Aunt Mal asks, her focus solely on Aurora.

"On the road—I think they're almost there—"

"Tell her to get to shelter as soon as she can. The stronger, the better: a tornado shelter, bomb shelter, that would be best. Does she know what those look like?"

"She says she thinks she has somewhere to go."

Aunt Mal gives a short nod.

"Girls," she says, focusing her attention across the room, "there's a big storm coming. We need to get to a shelter. I'm going to take you to the closest one."

"Is that a tornado thing?" Cindy asks, a bit doubtfully, tilting her head toward the window.

"Yes," Aurora jumps in. "We gotta go."

"All four of you stay close to me. Let's go."

Date: 2016-03-06 11:56 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] sidonie
sidonie: (Default)
Also excellent (and what does Aunt Mal know???), and I hope you have a lot more planned for this AU, because it is perfect. This bit was particularly good:

The things that keep you alive, she will think later. Her sister's love. She will think about how, in a way, she is what remains of her sister.

Like, wow. Ouch. <3

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