Friday, 6 November 2009

The Romance of Explosions -- Mana Khemia fanfiction (892 words, Roxis/Vayne, innuendo)

I have way too much fun inventing recipes for this world. Just for the record, any of the original recipes in any of my fics are free for anyone to use in their own writing; letting people know where you got the idea is nice, but use them as you see fit.


Vayne cast his gaze over the selection of ingredients, pressing a finger to his lips and humming in thought. "So... I'm guessing we should probably start with Clearwater, maybe?"

"That sounds about right," said Roxis, retrieving one of the pre-distilled jars from the shelf and handing it to Vayne, who began uncorking the top. "We probably want it to be clear, after all, and it certainly needs to be wet."

Vayne nodded, and took another look over what was available as he finished adding the water to the cauldron. "We can use this jar to store it in, too, since I guess we'll need something. For the base, maybe.... Oh!" His fingers closed around a green-tinted vial, small rubbery mounds dimly visible through the glass.

Roxis mused. "Puni Gummies? ...Hm, of course. Though I'm not sure how sanguine I am about anything that's been in a Puni being used that way."

Vayne laughed a little. "Well, if you're willing to eat these.... And besides, they've already been boiled once and I'm going to boil them again, so it's not like there'll be any risk...."

"For the record, I've never actually eaten a Puni Gummi. Nor would I. They always looked kind of unpleasant." Roxis smiled, stepping back from the cauldron and taking a seat against the wall, confident that Vayne would not merely be content but actively eager to take care of the hard work by himself. "But you're the Mana. I'm sure you know what you're doing."

"I'm not sure I can think of anything else that will work," conceded Vayne. The jellied lumps bubbled and popped as the now-boiling water consumed them, the liquid temporarily staining with the various hues that seeped from them before returning to a clear, if slightly shimmery, state. "Though if you don't like the flavour, maybe we should add another ingredient. What flavours do you like?"

"It's not so much the flavour but the consistency," said Roxis. "Though I guess in this case it can't be helped." He mulled Vayne's question over for a moment. "As for what we should flavour it with, well... I don't doubt you'll be tasting it more than I, but if it's my choice, I am rather partial to cheesecake."

Vayne glanced dubiously over at the tinned cheesecake they'd prepared earlier that week, then back to the gelatinous mixture in the cauldron. "Adding cheesecake to this.... I think it might spoil. --But I could distill the vapours, most likely." He fetched the cheesecake and took a slice, placing it in a separate apparatus and sparking the flame beneath it. "So it'll be like.... Cheesecake essence. I bet this would be nice for flavouring things in general...."

"Haha, that's a grand idea. I wouldn't object to more cheesecake-flavoured things around here." Roxis pulled out a notebook and began recording the details. "So, Clearwater, Puni Gummies, and Cheesecake essence. --oh, wait." His face fell. "She says that's not everything."

Vayne scratched the back of one ear. "Ahaha.... Oh dear. This can't be good, can it."

Roxis grimaced. "...She says we need to use Plosion powder, too."

"Plosion powder?" Vayne yelped. "Th-that's not going to be safe!"

"Well, technically it's inert by itself, so it won't actually explode. Or at least I would trust not." The human alchemist cast a withering look to the empty air beside him, its target nowhere to be seen.

Vayne brought down a tin of the substance and, opening it, rubbed a few of the fine grains between his fingers. "You're right, this doesn't ignite on its own... yah!" He fumbled and almost dropped the container. "I-it sure does tingle a bit, though."

"Yes, exactly," said Roxis. "But we don't really have a choice." He muttered something under his breath.

"Huh? Sorry, I didn't hear what you said...."

"...I said, I'll be in trouble if I don't do what she says. Just put it in," said Roxis, with an expression that almost made Vayne wish him cat ears so he could properly convey his displeasure by flattening them back against his head.

"Okay." Vayne looked at the powder with trepidation. "How much?"

"As little as we can get away with." With a sigh, Roxis jotted down Plosion powder in the notebook, dotting the i hard enough to smudge. "So. What are we going to call this, exactly?"

"Ahah, you're asking me?" Vayne stared into the cauldron thoughtfully, scooping up some of the mixture with a ladle and pouring it off into a bowl. He swirled the still-hot liquid around a little, examining the texture. "What about--"

"--nothing with Puni in the name, please."

"Mm, I was going to say something like.... Slippery Liquid, I guess. I mean, that's what it is."

"Hmm." Roxis rubbed at his temples. "I suppose it's technically true, but it's not very inspiring. Something more poetic, maybe."

"Poetic...." Vayne's ears drooped a little. "I'm not that good at poetry.... Oh! Wait, what about.... Well, it's kind of for a romantic use, right? And it's not really explosive, but it's made with stuff that could explode, so... what about Romance of Explosions, or something like that?"

"I suppose that will do. ...Yes, I rather like that, actually." Roxis noted it down on the top of the sheet, then turned his gaze back to the space beside him. "...and just what are you snickering at now?"

---, the property called "Romance of Explosions" in the Japanese Mana Khemia is called "Orgasmic" in the English translation. Just so you know.

Also, if you thought I was going to pull a bait-and-switch and make this something innocent at the end... nah, that's been done too many times. XD

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Watershed -- Mana Khemia fanfiction (1159 words, spoilers)

Just a little exposition-y thing about one Mana's fundamental place in the cosmos. Inspired by Vienna Teng's "Watershed" and Moby's "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters".

It started out just backdropping/laying out my personal canon, but on the way it kind of turned into a creation myth/fairy-tale-like mini-epic, and you actually don't have to know Mana Khemia to appreciate it. Although it is one giant spoiler.


It had been there since ancient days.

Still it was the youngest of the Mana: Wind and Water, Fire and Light, these things had defined the universe since before the first-born monster had placed a foot upon the Earth. (For humans had come from the love monsters made with Mana, though they did not like to admit it.) But wishes could only live with a wisher to dream them, and so it had been that at the first sincere wish, the first time a creature had ever looked to the newborn stars and longed for something more, the last of the primal forces of the world had been born into being.

A spark, at first; a tiny mote of hope, and then, like a pearl formed around a grain of sand, its heart had grown with every wish, a fire that became a furnace, a furnace that birthed a sun.

In agony and sweet rapture it roiled and swelled behind the curtain of the universe, a power that ached with every wish not yet fulfilled and rejoiced at those that, through loving hands, were granted. Yet for all its power, it alone could not bring its own form to fruition. For while earth and water, air and fire, were necessary to run the world, and light to grant it hope, wishes were not necessary for the beginning of things. They existed only for endings, for completion, to raise what had emerged imperfect into heaven's hands. And if humans, beastmen, and their variant kinds wanted heaven, they would have to build the bridge there with their own hands.

It was not spite. It was not a challenge. It was only the way things were: the rule of paradise, that the oldest of the alchemists had received in a vision and engraved on an emerald tablet, whose words were still passed down today in the halls of the greatest institutions of magic. That what was Above and what was Below must act in unity to achieve perfection: the mortal and the endless, the heavens and the flesh. So man must build a bridge, and the heavens had played their part, offering down that vision whose knowledge had informed the actions of many a seeker. So far, the earthly team were doing well, and the heavens held hope.

But it was one man, caught in the throes of a desperate longing, who at last wielded the Art of Kings to form a mortal body, and bound to it that ancient power which had itself so yearned to escape. He named it Vayne, meaning a kindly one; and then he forced it to kill. But it was alive in the world, and no manner of cruelty could wash existence free of that truth.

That night, the little creature, afraid of the dead man and driven out by his lover, sheltered in the woods near the alchemist's house, and shivered for want of love. And that night, a storm rolled over the land, like no storm that had ever been known. Warm and heavy, it crept like an army's advance, saturating each inch of the ground in turn before moving on to the next. Vayne had no memories, and no cover but the leaves' canopy; he did not know that the heavens displayed in his honour, a tumultous sorrow for those who would twist goodness to poor ends. But he felt no pain from the elements, and when the storm had passed, bringing with it the morning and the company of one disgruntled, rain-soaked cat, a new lightness had settled over his heart.

The joy did not last long. For as mentioned, in his newborn form, thinking for the first time as one small life and not the wishes of the multitudes, he had in haste wished to escape all that he had known in those first grisly minutes of living. Now he knew nothing of his nature, and he had forgotten why he had come. In time, from curiosity, he ventured out into the towns and cities to mingle with the things that looked like him; unknowingly, they taught him human habits, and that all his impulses were strange and alien, and should be buried deep in his heart. So he ate food, because he feared death, and drank from the streams, and became humble and afraid of the lesson they all too knowingly inflicted, the lesson that those who are different will be mistrusted and loathed.

He was feared for his power; suspected for his ignorance; hated for the look in his eyes, the glimmer of alien sapience that he could not hide. At his core, he never understood why, for when he stared at his reflection in rivers the strange aliveness in his gaze was always a comfort-- one of the few truths to which civilisation's tides had not numbed his tender heart. Animals affirmed it, for they, if almost no others, would meet his eyes with curious affection; no others, save the occasional alchemist, who would remember passing Vayne in the streets many years after he had left the mainland.

It was one of those who had passed on the word, the story of the boy with the life in his eyes, life unlike that of the average villager or even the alchemists themselves. He was something different, they knew, and so they told of him, and eventually those words reached the ears of she who remembered him, and had tried to forget. She had hoped he would fall unconscious to the truth, but as time went by she became fearful that even the small, stifled expressions of that once-great power would be damning, and sought to contain even that last bit of life.

But the time would come when Al-Revis Academy, far from swallowing up the Mana's potential, would bring his heart to full fruit once again. It was there in the cauldrons' crackling song, there in the shadows and the pale morning light, echoing through hallways on the footsteps of the hopeful. It was there in the anticipation that swelled within his three-year term, there in years that passed resonant with rare beauty, staining memories golden in retrospect, crafting sweet revelations from simple friendships. Those who knew him felt the movement most of all, but it lived in the school as a whole, something everyone felt but no one knew how to say.

The waters would rise. A sleeper would wake. The storm would come once again, and the rains would nurture the land and bear forth a new Eden. As that day dawned closer, their dreams were thick with it, hazy summerlight spilling into waking life; time seemed to slow, circling around that perfect moment when all would be undone, to be reborn sweeter and anew.

The sound of the world holding its breath was alive in everyone's ears.

One blissful moment, one bright peal to split the heavens.

Since ancient days, the world had been waiting.


Re: the union of monsters and Mana creating humans, I'm actually really pleased with this creation myth. The unity of great heavenly things and small, earthly things bringing about creatures who can do alchemy, the art of unifying the spiritual and the physical, seems fitting to me. The rather neat yet tragic thing I've decided about my canon as of all of five minutes ago is that contrary to popular thought, "beastpeople" are actually more strongly derived from the Mana side than the monster side of the equation, since the first monsters were gelatinous, furless things. People think they're more primitive, but actually their "bestial" characteristics are evidence of divine heritage. Lorr is probably actually awesome at alchemy.

I'm using this etymology for Vayne, btw: "a well disposed person". Although I rather like this meaning personally. It doesn't say who the bearer belongs to: like Vayne himself, they simply belong to everyone....

Monday, 2 November 2009

To The Pain -- Mana Khemia fanfiction (2045 words, Roxis/Vayne, sex, intense violence)

NC-17 all over the place; violent, vicious BDSM. Also breathplay. Go bulletproof kink.

Fic-based continuation of this thread. Not for the fainthearted; Vayne-muse begged me, I swear.


The first blow struck Vayne hard, in the side, and his knees buckled. Something that was half a choked whimper and half a cough fell from his parted lips.

"Ssh, Vayne, none of that now," said Roxis in sweet tones; too sweet for the violence of this, an odd contrast to the atmosphere in the cell. "If anyone hears you, there'll be trouble. And you wouldn't want to get me into trouble, would you?"

Vayne shook his head, tousled hair all falling in his eyes as his head bowed in contrition.

"Good," was Roxis' only response.

Something sharp and swift snapped across Vayne's exposed chest. A razor-edged chain of light and steel, the shuffle of cards as they fell back into Roxis' hand, and Vayne had wished not to feel it agonisingly but the sting was still there, and he failed to bite back a soft cry.

"I told you not to make a--" said Roxis, the word sound eclipsed as Vayne's head rung from the blow. "Or do you want me to wish you silent?"

Wish him silent? It was a struggle to hold back the sounds his throat forced forth, but to scream and scream against the mocking walls of the dungeon and feel no sound come out at all, his protests reduced to empty air, no satisfaction, no release....

He nodded, weakly, clutching his bruised cheek.

After all, no one was going to come down after them. Roxis' charade was simply that: the bored guard, stuck running a "prison" that was little more than an occasional sleeping spot for cats, had been more than happy to hire out the place, for a cover story of a "research project" and a little bit of a fee. But still, one more torment couldn't help but make things sweeter.

The cards struck him again, a slash that crisscrossed the previous blow; his eyes watering too much to open them, he could only judge location from the lingering heat, but the pleasure-pain throbbing in his nipples was enough to tell him Roxis had aimed with purpose. To manage that blow, twice, without breaking skin, and in complete confidence that he wouldn't just slice through the raised and sensitive flesh... that took talent, and for all he wanted to feel impressed by this show, now he truly was impressed.

What those cards could do much lower down, controlled with such finesse.... Blood rushed through him at the thought, and he could tell from the tightness in his groin that his thoughts were perfectly visible, even without the pact.

Sure enough, Roxis barked out a laugh. "Heh. I know what you're probably thinking right now. This isn't quite what you asked for, is it?" He moved closer to Vayne, the warmth of slight exertion and evident arousal pouring off him, the hand that reached down to cup him sending tingles of heat well ahead of its touch. "You're rather hard" --yes he was, and Vayne blushed at his failure to resist the train of thought-- "to keep my hands off, you know, when you're like this."

His fingers uncurled themselves from Vayne's length, and he would have whimpered at the loss but suddenly he couldn't, and the realisation only added to his need. "Don't worry. I have no intentions of doing anything with this until you're thoroughly beaten. It's just another little ache to add to the pile." The now-familiar whiplike sensation flashed across his thigh. "And another place to target." Vayne sank to one knee, shuddering, the heady mixture of longing and sharpness and way too close! that spiralled through him causing his vision to speckle with stars.

"Beaten so soon?" said Roxis, reaching forward to lift Vayne's chin. Encouraged by the contact, he finally managed to open his eyes-- and met a gaze remorseless and literally burning, twin fires ignited in the half-light by the flicker of the torches around them. "I haven't even started with you yet. Don't tell me you're going to make things that easy for me." Vayne felt his chest tighten as Roxis' next blow caught him off guard, forcing him to draw in air on instinct. "I might just be insulted."

Shakily, clinging to the rough-hewn stone for support, he dragged himself back to his feet, summoning forth a challenging smile that said, I wouldn't dream of it.

Roxis' eyes narrowed to slits. "You're far too cocky."

He hadn't been, and they both knew it, but it was all the excuse Roxis needed to drop the careful teasing and lay into Vayne with earnest. Now there was no separation between blows, no time to gauge what came from where-- Roxis was crushing heat and blades and snarls and fists tangled in his hair, and time slowed to a hazy standstill as his head hit the back of the wall, once, twice, three times, his arms aching from being wrenched behind his back, his air supply choked out of him by hands around his throat.

He didn't need to breathe, but he'd forgotten to note that, acting on instinct, and the sheer raw feeling of it made him struggle and kick and try to pry Roxis' fingers off; but he wasn't having it, he knew Vayne didn't need it, and Vayne knew it too but why, why couldn't he make his body believe that, why was everything going black.... Somewhere in the background, Sulpher hissed, ill at ease even with this scripted conflict, but he barely registered the sound. It sounded too much like the blood-noise in his ears.

The world pressing in around him, stiflingly close, he jerked and twitched limply in Roxis' grasp. Through the haze and the heat and the strange dulled pleasantness he could feel the wall against his back, scraping and rough yet too distant now to hurt; and he knew Roxis must be pinning him there because when he arched forward in a last convulsive struggle he felt himself brush up against warm skin, so so so good, and he felt his mind swim with sweet sensations and the lightness in his limbs and then sharp, the sudden flood of air into starved lungs as Roxis broke the grip. Collapsing to the ground again, he gasped noisily, the sound of it rushing in his ears like water, like he'd been hit by a tidal wave.

Forcing himself to look up, he almost passed out a second time as nausea overtook him, the dizziness throwing his sense of balance. But he needed to see Roxis, needed to know where he was. He'd lost track of time, and there was blood in his throat, and the wavering image of Roxis that formed out of the constellations before his eyes didn't do much to let him know what was happening, fuzzy and far away like a scrying-pool vision.

This time, the pain that lanced through him didn't register as an attack, more an indefinable sensation of presence. It came to him all at once why people said pain made you feel alive; all sense of body and boundary was gone from him, the only notion of his being the aches and sensations of pressure against his skin, all else dissolved in a swirling, senseless void. It felt strangely... meditative, stretches of timeless unformedness punctuated by the colour-flash of blows. He'd stopped worrying about the bleeding, or the time that had passed; his concept of either had faded with that blow. He was nothing, and no one, except where Roxis was, existing where Roxis commanded him to exist, in brief slashes of light.


Drip... drip... drip....

The first memory that came to him was that he'd been in the dungeon. He still was, judging from the sound; the dull splash of stagnant water against the ground was an atmosphere-setter. And even if he didn't feel the cold as such, he knew what clammy felt like, and the liquid beaded on his skin suggested a cool, damp place.

He tried to take a breath, to feel his throat, and the first thing that hit his sinuses was wetness. Warm wetness, with the scent of metal. He swiped a hand over his face, still unseeing; he felt liquid pool on it. The dripping probably hadn't been the dungeon leaks, but his own blood.

He struggled to lift himself, but it was like he was trapped in armour, old and heavy and rusted in place. At length, he managed to pry open his eyes, fighting down another wave of dizziness as he did so; his head felt so light. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, and the faint flickers of fondness now crackling through the pact-bond reassured him he was safe.

"Vayne," he heard said softly, from a throat husky from growling.

His vision slowly focused on the gold-and-pink blur in front of him. At first it looked like lights, torch-glow dancing off his glasses and the bright strands of his hair, but he knew it was Roxis, and with that knowledge familiar features clicked into place.

He tried to say Roxis' name, but couldn't. His voice felt all used up.

He felt a hand tangle loosely in his hair, another caressing his back. "I know you wanted to awaken to find me towering over you, all triumphant and proud. But I couldn't help it. When you passed out, I started worrying about you too much."

Vayne smiled weakly, and with great effort forced the words out. "...Next time?"

Roxis raised an eyebrow. "All that, and your first thought is 'next time'? You look like Sulpher dragged you in."

Sulpher mewed in affirmation of his name, and as reassurance to Vayne of his presence. Vayne started to laugh, but quickly fell to uncomfortable wheezing as his lungs spasmed. "I feel like Sulpher dragged me in. But... it's okay. It's a good kind of hurt."

"You really are remarkable," Roxis mused. "Well, if you're really that resilient...." He trailed off.


"...Let's see if we can get you back to my room without the whole student body noticing."

Vayne looked down at his naked form. "I don't think I'm up for getting dressed. But I think I can manage that, as long as I don't have to move. I'll just wish us back there."

Seconds passed. "...ngh. I guess I really am pretty drained. Looks like we're walking after all."

"I'll help you get your clothes on. At least your shirt and pants." Roxis examined Vayne's expression carefully. "So... if I'm hearing this right... you can't wish when you're too weak like this?"

"Nn. Yeah, I think so.... It was like that back during the ordeal, too. I need a bit of energy to get it started, though the rest is the universe."

Roxis nodded slowly. "So you're basically saying... you are helpless, right now."

The realisation dawned on Vayne too. "...Mm. I... I guess I am." A surge of arousal washed through him, need heavy between his legs. I really am. He could do anything to me. Oh, gods, please let him take advantage.

A sing-song tone came to Roxis' voice. "Completely... helpless." He lifted Vayne into a sitting position, his hand teasingly brushing his erection as he pulled up his pants. "You know, there was a noticeable lack of begging for mercy back there. I'm not too satisfied with that."

Goosebumps crept up Vayne's thighs, a whimper escaping his dry throat. "Come to think of it, neither am I."

Roxis smirked. "Good." He trailed a fingernail down Vayne's now-covered length, making his hips stir with the need to thrust into that touch, but leaden muscles held him down. Nonetheless, Roxis saw the twitch, or maybe felt it, and a little frown crossed his face, his hand poised purposefully inches away from that yearning, sensitive spot. "Do I have to start beating you all over again?"

A sharp, stinging slap against tender flesh: the image flashed through his mind, and his eyes closed as he shuddered. The idea of that was only making him stiffen further, as if trying to expose himself for the abuse.

Part of him didn't know if he could stand any more pain. But a much bigger part of him didn't know if he could stand the lack.

With all the strength he could muster, he pressed up against Roxis' hand.

Firewater -- Mana Khemia fanfiction (574 words, Roxis/Vayne, yaoi, smut-ish)

Too tame to be smut, too designed-to-make-you-feel to not be. If "smut" included magic this would have a high rating, let'sputitthatway.


Do you want me to turn down the cauldron? Roxis whispered against his ear.

No.... I like the firelight. I like the way it catches your eyes.

Roxis chuckled. Really now, he said, in a tone that made it clear he felt little surprise, was only seeking to make Vayne squirm further into his lap at his voice.

True to his prediction-- or maybe his wish-- the boy swallowed a little, his eyes darting away, though they couldn't help flicking back to Roxis, like he secretly sought to be trapped in that incendiary stare. Like some part of him hoped, and some part of him feared, that one too-long look at those eyes would strip him of his will, like the victim of a basilisk.

Roxis was taken with the idea. A predatory king of serpents, few natural superiors. Yes, he could live with that image.

It was Vayne's turn to make him shiver, though, when he felt small, cool hands wind their way into his hair, soft fingerpads against the back of his neck. The temperature of the room should not have left his touch so chill; faint whispers of ice, to match the cold brilliance in his eyes. Firelight and icewater. A perfect pair they made, twin sets of jewels framed by silver and gold.

It took him slow, hazy moments to realise that Vayne wasn't just petting. His hands moved with purpose, quick nimble motions, unclasping the tether that held back his hair and portioning it out with his fingers. The weight of his own long hair against his skin was warm, warm around the cool flickers of Vayne's touch; he closed his eyes, then opened them again, thinking Vayne would want to see him, but then he remembered what Vayne would want most of all, and he allowed himself to simply sink into the experience.

His eyes opened again to a strange awareness: a bright light cast around his face, a sudden spike of heat. He looked to Vayne, who seemed lost in concentration; he tried to look behind him, but he didn't want to dislodge Vayne's hands. What are you doing? he asked, his voice husky with only wonder, knowing nothing Vayne attempted would ever be bad.

Firelight, Vayne said, and the words came out like a prayer. I saw this vision in a dream.... A man with hair aflame, a wild look in his eyes.... I think he was a Mana. I thought it would suit you, too.

Drawing his hands back from behind Roxis' head, he brought them around in front of him, a glassy shimmer spreading out from his fingertips that formed a reflective pool. In its surface, he could see the strands of fire woven into his hair, still hanging loose, a curtain of gold and flame. The tiny threads were worked through it like jewels, beads of pure energy that needed no other light source to glitter and dance. It was beyond princely garb; a wonder that only magic could have achieved.

It's beautiful, he gasped, for a moment feeling so lost, so unsure how to respond to the display.

You're beautiful, said Vayne, dispelling the mirror, leaving the firelight to flicker in his eyes; and in the way it danced there, his flame mingled with Vayne's icy pools, he refound his courage, and moved in.

His hair tumbling over Vayne's shoulders, wreathing them both in pearls of fire, the cauldron-light suddenly seemed pale.