thewidewideworld: (AU - Sin)
Sinric – University AU

Sin Isaurian is a musicology and violin student at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence. Not a native Florentine, Sin’s passport says he’s from Turkey. Mostly true.

He’s twenty years old but looks younger. Delicately featured with a mane of wavy gold hair. The face of a Botticelli angel. Poor as a church mouse and barely surviving on a scholarship, Sin lives of coffee and sleep-deprivation.

He usually dressed conservatively masculine to avoid attention but was once described as a “genderfluid boho creative.” For anyone paying very close attention, they may notice Sin wears a well-made chest binder. Mostly he hides it well.

He also wears a slender silver medic-alert bracelet that denotes him as epileptic. It’s quite new and he tends to fiddle with it.

Sin comes off as a shy, gentle individual, just making his way in the world. But it comes with the price of a dark past that he’s always wary may catch up to him.

Past threading for this AU including canon Hannibal and AU Ragnar and Athelstan can be found here.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
[From here]

Sinric leads Hannibal up to his room, tiredly shedding his belt and pouches. The ones that contain far more than they should. "Would you care to share a bath with me?"
thewidewideworld: (Default)
Sinric comes into the sheltered courtyard, seeking somewhere to sit and think a while. It has been a strange few days. He meant to come quietly into to city, make a place for himself at one of the taverns singing for his supper and board.

But drawn in by the intellectual debate of the young men and the flourishing palace school, he’s caught out by his old tutor who recognises him - Alcuin, the new emperor’s favourite.

And now he finds himself lodging at the palace school, the centre of attention he never wanted here.

But the courtyard is cool and quiet and he sits down, letting himself have a moment to rest. Not noticing the young boy at first.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
It seemed almost inevitable that Sinric should find himself walking the road to Paris. It was not the capital of the growing Carolingian Empire. That was Aachen, home to Charles the Great. The man who had, with the Pope’s blessing, supplanted the grandson of Sinric’s beloved Constantine as Imperator Romanorum Emperor of the Romans. But Paris was a shining light, it’s white stone walls a beacon of an empire born from the ruins of Rome.

Follow... )
thewidewideworld: (middle - beach)
[From here]

Sinric sets the plates aside, taking one of the towel and Hannibal's hand. He leads Hannibal a little into the woods, along the shore of the lake. There's another little patch of sand, a beachlet protected from view by the trees.

He spreads the towel and lays down on it, drawing his tunic up his leg. "Just as we were before."
thewidewideworld: (middle - beach)
[from here]

Sinric leans a little on Emcee as he leads the way. The bath-house is more of an indoor resort spa than the sort of Roman bath-house Sinric is use to, but it has several pools including the hot and cold plunge pools he's use to.

"There are rooms to change just over there." He points, putting his bundle down.
thewidewideworld: (middle - beach)
[From here]

Sinric leads Hannibal to his room, to his bed. He kisses Hannibal deeply and gently pushes him onto the bed. He undresses. Slowly.
thewidewideworld: (middle - magic proud)
Sinric re-entered the tree, not as a submissive passenger this time but as a wanderer, guiding his own journey.

He didn’t return to the cave under the earth, or to the witches waiting for him. They could wait. They had no right to claim over his time.

And now he knew the way of it, he has other places he wanted to see.

As one weaving the chords of a song, he wove the path ahead, his fingers brushing over the surface of the tapestry of creation.

Eyes closed but heart and mind open, he felt the thread he seeks sing under his fingertips.

***

In the gardens of the palace, Emperor Saga is bent over his writing desk, official documents piled high. An army may march on its stomach but and Empire stays afloat on a raft of paperwork. Sinric sees the frown on Kamino’s face, the tension around his eyes. He reaches up to play his fingers through the cherry blossoms, causing them to swirl in the afternoon breeze. Kamino looks up from his writing desk, smiling as the petals fall over his pages. Official documents set aside; he picks up a brush and begins to compose a poem.

***

On the still warm tiles of the roof, Yan’s three sons and his one beloved baby daughter listen intently to their father’s tale. The tales of the Lark and the Heron are always their favourite. Tonight he tells of the rescue on the Sand Sea. His youngest cries at how pitifully ill the Lark was, but his elder brother reassures him. “It’s alright, little brother. I know the Lark lives, I remember him from when I was a baby.” Yan tries not to let his children see the lump in his throat. One day they will ask him what became of the Lark and he will have to tell them. He will have to tell them how the Lark sacrificed his freedom for the Heron’s life. He wonders if his children will ever forgive him for abandoning Sinric.

Sinric calls softly to a nearby lark, asking it to sing for Yan and his children. As the bird perches on the branches of the elm, it’s sweet song washing over the little group. Yan weeps, hoping this is the forgiveness he has prayed so long for.

***

Constantine sheds his armour, his new first captain setting each piece aside to be cleaned. “What news while I’ve been away?” The emperor asks as Castor eyes a burr on his blade.

The emperor’s secretary shuffles through his papers. “The provisions for winter festivities are settled and have been laid in as per your instructions. The hospital wing of the barracks has been stocked in preparation for the army’s return. Also, the Master of Slaves has some new acquisitions for your approval.”

Constantine nods and holds out his hand for the list as Castor helps him into a robe. He glances over it, noting the number of kitchen boys and stable hands that have been added. “This one seems rather expensive. A solidus for a boy of less than five?”

“The Master of Slaves does note that the boy is of exceptional beauty.” The secretary points out apologetically. “He ordered the boy be gelded immediately, in hopes he would be ready for your return.”

Constantine raises an eyebrow, “And is he?”

The secretary flutters, a little flustered. “No, my lord. He is not. The boy has taken with fever.”

“I shall see him at once, this golden boy.” Constantine nods, signalling for Castor to follow. “Cyril has a good eye. If he says the boy is worth the cost, I don’t doubt it.”

Sinric watches in silence, a shadow in the corner of the room as the broad shouldered, dark haired man leant over the feverish child, kissing his brow and whispering to him. It was like watching his own birth, for he had no life before that moment. Before Constantine took his hand and told him to fight for life. That if he lived, he would be loved.

He watches for some hours it seems, not moving from the beauty of the tableau. But like the west wind, he feels the tapestry calling and he’s forced to look away, stepping back into the flow of time.

***

A young man stands on the rocky beach, his auburn curls whipped by the storm winds. He squints out into the roiling sea, lighting making terrifying shapes of the heavy clouds that roll over the Holy Island. There be dragons, and all number of other terrible beasts.

“It is the end of days.” The youth whispers, crossing himself.

Sinric steps in front of him, unseen but for a moment creating a lee to protect the youth from the storm. “No, beloved,” he whispers, reaching out to caress Athelstan’s cheek, “It is the beginning.”

The youth shudders and crosses himself again. But something inside him feels warm, despite the storm.

***

On a field to the east, a warrior sits down heavily, blood and sweat and dirt smearing his face. The battle is over and the ravens come, choosing amongst the slain. These poor bastards have even less than the Vikings in way of gold and goods. No more than farmers fighting to defend what little they have. Blood drips down over his eyes and he moves to wipe it away. For a moment he sees not ravens but the Valkyrie, carrying the dead to the halls of Valhalla.

He sees another. Blonde like the Valkyrie but small, delicate. No shield-maiden in that clean and flowing tunic. The sun is bright and he squints to see the figure better as it raises a hand, pointing west.

Rollo flops down beside him and Ragnar’s vision fades. He smiles to his brother. They fought well and there is much to celebrate. But late that night, a horn in hand, Ragnar looks to the western horizon. Perhaps it is time. Time to talk to Floki around a boat.

***

Another part of the palace, another time. Blood pools on the mosaics as Caster is driven to his knees, his sword clattering against the tiles. He holds out a hand, trying to pull Probus to him but the strength is already leaving him.

Their hands meet on the handle of Caster’s sword, the ceremonial blade given to him by Constantine when he was made first captain. His eyes lock with Probus’, seeing his own fear reflected in them. Leo’s gloating words, his obscene threats were nothing but the roaring of the wind to them as Caster gives the last of his strength to push the blade towards Probus. “Do it. Save yourself.”

Probus knows what Caster means, knows what he must do. But still in his heart he fears. Hell on earth or hell in hell.

Sinric steps forward, reaching to steady his brother’s bruised and bloody grip. Probus sees him, not as he is but as he was – a golden youth unmarked and unmarred by the trials of time.

Sinric touches his cheek, sad but warm. “Constantine is waiting for us. Do not be afraid.”

Probus nods, drawing up the sword without hesitation. Constantine is waiting. Father, Lover, Emperor.

Ignoring Leo’s bellows or the soldiers rushing towards him, Probus presses the point of the blade to his breast and plunges it deep.

Sinric takes his hand and helps him to his feet, reaching for Caster with the other as the world fades away. He brings their hands together in his own, grateful just to hold them again. But time is short and he has no place with them. Not yet. “Go. I will join you in time.”

Probus kisses him, a single salt tear falling on his cheek. “We will wait for you. However long it takes.”

As they fade, Sinric touches the tear and brings it to his lips, tasting nothing but love.

***

A wanderer makes his way through the twilight streets of Ribe. The trade port is prosperous but small. A seed of things to come. The wanderer follows the jovial sound of drinking, attracted by the human warmth of it.

He looks up as he rests his hand on the tavern door, sensing someone watching him. He sees the figure, glowing gold in the gloom. And he smiles. “The circle closes.” He whispers, knowing his voice will carry. Because he remembers this. And will remember it again.

“Love him well.” His younger self answers, in words felt rather than heard. “As he has loved us.”

The elderly wanderer shakes his hair. “What else could I do but love him. We always have.”

***

The Völva crouched around the fire, the smoke smudging everything dark as they sought for some message from the gods, some answer, any answer. The boy, the seiðmaðr they had been promised was dead. He hung limp on the tree, his chest did not rise or fall. He had been their hope, their path. He would take them back to glory. And now his heart beat no more.

“We must take him down.” The seer announced, trying to speak with a strength she did not feel. “His body, it will show us the path.”

But his body was gone. Limp he had hung, his fingers and toes black with cold. But no more. The rope that held him flapped in the wind like the torn cloth or shredded skin.

At the base of the tree stood a figure, so bright and gold it was painful to behold. Baldr surely. For who else could shine so bright.

The figure lowered its hood. Sinric smiled. It was not a kind smile.

He was not as his limp body had been - blue and dead, but vital and warm. No longer naked but dressed in splendid furs and fine wool. No longer pale and thin but full cheeked and strong.

They fawned, and simpered, and came towards him. The gold under his skin grew bright and hot and they cowered.

He walked into to the cave, seeking the worldly things he had set aside when first he came. When first they fed him mushrooms and the promise of power. He cleaned the dirt from his pouch and set to back on his hip, the silver bells he laced about his wrist. “I leave you now. You will let me pass in peace.”

The seer stepped before him. “No. You will not pass. You have gone unto the tree and come back changed. You have gained great power. That power is ours. You owe it to us.”

“I owe you my thank, for setting me on the path. But no more than that. My gift to you is that I leave, and do no harm here.”

“You have to take us back!” One of them grabbed at him, reeling back as screaming as if burned.

“The gods! The gods foretold-” Another started,

But Sinric cut her off with a look. “You believed that but it was never so. You killed a child before it could breathe. A child the gods had blessed. The gods grant you no favour. They revile you.”

One swung a staff at him but Sinric merely lifted his hand. The staff broke and fell to the ground.

He gathered his things, burning the clothes he had arrived in; too soiled and torn to be of any use to anyone. “Nine days Odin hung on the tree, a spear wound in his side. Twice nine charms he learned. I hung but four days. But twice four charms I learned. Twice four and one. The last was the charm to dispel witches, to spin them around in the skies so that they will never find their way back to their own doors again. This charm was given to me, should you try to stop me from leaving.”

He folded the last of his things, slipping them into a pouch too small to hold so much. “The gods will have none of you. You are cast down. Try to return, or cry vengeance on those who you believe wronged you, and the ninth charm I will use. And you will know peace never more.”

He straightened and lifted his head, looking at each of them in turn. None would meet his eye, cowed and sullen.

And so Sinric left them, stepping out into the moonlit night. There were lights in the distance, some farm house or other. The wind tugged his hair. Yes, that was the right way.

And so he went.
thewidewideworld: (Mardi Gras  2017)
{From here]

Sinric takes Hannibal's hand and pulls him into the shadows of an alleyway, drawing him into a kiss. The heels give him an advantage he doesn't usually have.
thewidewideworld: (Mardi Gras  2017)
{from here]

Acquiring a room is easy enough. Strangely enough, short-hire rooms are popular this time of year. The room is small - a bed and a balcony, a small bathroom. Jazz music floats up from the street, the air stirred by a ceiling fan.

Sinric lingers in the doorway, framed by the light of the city below. He smiles to Giovanni, reaching back to carefully detaching the tail fan of his costume.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
{from here}

Sinric stops to talk to a rat on the way up, drawing Ragnar up to his room.

He stops as he draws Ragnar through the door, closing it behind them and kneels to take off Ragnar's boots. Tending Ragnar with the gentle care he once tended Constantine.
thewidewideworld: (naked - back)
{{From here}}

Sinric doesn't look back, knowing Eric will follow him. He walks briskly down a mountain path. He makes his way into a small grove, protected and private.

He lets his heavy coat fall, draping it over a rock. The snow is shallow but even and smooth. He sings a warm, flowing tune. He dances, starting slow and growing. His light footsteps mark the snow in artful spirals, his hair flowing down his back, silver under the moonlight.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
Sinric's new room is up a floor from his old one and at the east end of the corridor. Inside they arefrankly ridiculous. Romanesque with vaulted ceilings with edges with frescos of animals, rich tiled floors that are warm underfoot.

The cross shaped layout and columns create discreet niches - one with a large bed; another lined with books and a map of the world as known in his time painted on the wall, a third holding several large couches circling his harpsichord.

The east side opens onto a glassed-in portico with a stunning view of the snow speckled garden.

A door off the bed chamber leads to a more modern but still Romanesque bathroom with a bath easily large enough for three.
thewidewideworld: (middle - magic proud)
Sinric hiked up through the mountain paths, his furs tight around him. He held spells to keep warm, to create light but he didn’t use them. He needed to do it on his own. No magic, just his hands.

The hike was not so arduous. It helped that his pack was charmed to be light, despite all the equipment he was carrying. The bar had been overly protective about the amount gear he needed to be in the mountains alone in the middle of winter.

The snow was thick but light, falling in playful clumps like down-feather. But the trails were cleared. Sinric guessed the demon bunnies came this way, their fire melting safe paths.

He made his way up to the tree, feeling the pull of it. It wanted him back, wanted him back in the flow of time. Like a silent wind that ripped at him, driving him forward but he resisted. It wasn’t time. Not yet. He wasn’t strong enough yet. He needed more time to heal, to regain his strength and sense of self.

He pressed his palm to the silken bark of the ash, feeling the power of it ripple through him. “I’m sorry. I can’t go with you. Not yet.” He looked up, into the branches, seeing the place where he was bound, where he travelled.

“But I do need your help.” He pressed his forehead to the tree, letting the gold of his net flow into the tree. He doesn’t have the words but he can express the feeling of what he needs.

The tree understood. It protested, fighting him a little but Sinric held true, held the strength himself for what he needed.

Eventually the tree relented and give him what he needed. A branch a little narrower than his wrist and as long as his forearm.

It was perfect.

Sinric smiled and set the branch down. Now he could begin.

Two days later, cuddled up in the little tent the bar provided for him, he carefully drilled the last hole, shaping, and cleaning the last ridge. It still felt… hollow, unfinished. Like there was something… something missing. It needed life, vitality.

He slipped out to sit at the base of the tree, watching the sun rise over the bar.

And then the demon bunnies came.

After his last experience, Sinric felt as if he would be afraid but he wasn’t. He held a hand out to them, knowing they wouldn’t hurt him.

One bunny in particular came forward – old and scarred. And ill. Sinric could feel the sickness in it. He lifted it with care, holding the bunny to his chest and began to sing.

He sung peace, he sung sleep. The bunny was in great pain and Sinric knew he could ease it. He sung away the pain and the fear. He sung sleep until the bunny curled in his hands, it’s breathing slow and even. And sung it deeper still. Till the bunny’s breathing and heart slowed and stilled.

The others stayed, watched. There was no fear in them. No anger.

Not even as Sinric carried the bunny’s body to the fire and sat down to carefully remove its skin. He gently scrapped the later of fat from the under the demon bunny’s skin into a copper bowl. He rendered it, heating it slowly and straining it through fine cloth until it was clear. With knife made of glass, he cut his thumb, dripping blood into the bowl.

With great care, he dipped a cloth in the blend and used it to oil his newly made talisman.

It was not the wand or staff used by the practitioner of seiðr used. He may have learnt the magics of a seiðmaðr but he was not one of them.

He was himself. A thing apart.

And his talisman reflected that.

A simple four note flute. Ornamented with only a few engraved lines. The lines of the lark tattoo on his hip.

But just the lark. His talisman belonged to him and him along, not the raven or the dove.

This song is his.

He took the remains of the demon bunny and prepared to bury it but the other bunnies circled him, taking the fallen bunny away, leaving Sinric with the skin. Someone at the bar would know how to tan it, to make a pouch of it to carry his talisman.

He sat at the base of the tree and played. Played his joy at feeling a piece of himself fall in to place.

His music floated across the mountain, felt more than heard across the bar. A sense of warmth, of happiness, of joy spreads out from his song. Touching those who it finds lightly. Like a passing kiss. Like a momentary smile for no reason. Like s warm breeze on a chilled day. Like the taste of something almost forgotten.

His song complete, Sinric returned to his tent to sleep.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
For each of the others he leaves a small box, each containing a carefully folded flower of delicate mulberry paper. On the base of each one is transcribed a word or phrase.

For Hannibal, it is Mono no aware.
For Seimei, it is Shuhari
For Childermas, it is astra inclinant, sed non obligant
For Sunshine, it is Tang Chinese hànzì for summer.
For Emcee, it is die Hoffnung

For Sherlock, he leaves a brief melody, transcribed carefully into musical notation. It is unsigned and folded into a crane.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
For Ragnar and Athestan.

Dear beloveds,

Please forgive that I have gone without speaking to you of it. There is something I must do and it must be done alone. I had hoped to wait until the snows lessened, but it has become clear to me I can wait no longer. Please trust that I know what I’m doing and will return to you as soon as I may.

As I go, my heart stays with you. I have nothing more precious to give.
Sinric.
thewidewideworld: (middle - thoughtful)
{From here}

Sinric can't bring himself to let go of Ragnar's hand all the way to their rooms. He hesitates a moment before gently pulling Ragnar towards his own rooms. They don't feel right any more, like clothes that no longer fit but it feels better than the empty place where Athelstan isn't.

But then he wonders if Ragnar would prefer his own bed, to warm the sheets left cold by Athelstan's absence with better memories.

The uncertainty makes him hesitate, biting his lip.
thewidewideworld: (Default)
From here.

The room is comfortingly neutral, warmly lit but without overt decoration. A couple of padded benches and a small bathroom, should they need it.

"Will this suit our need?" Sinric asks softly.
thewidewideworld: (middle - magic)
From here

Curled in Rangar's arms and clutching Athelstan's hand, Sinric keeps his face hidden as they enter their rooms. Somehow it's easier with his eyes closed. It seems to narrow down the visions.

He tries to steady himself enough to stand, wavering like a leaf. "I must smell terrible." He can't tell, still so disconnected from his own body. "I don't remember how long it's been since I washed."

He senses a turn of discomfort from Athelstan. "I can do it alone, it's alright."
thewidewideworld: (middle - magic)
I was walking through the marketplace of Dubrovnik on the western border of the Empire when I felt eyes on me.

I ran my hands over my shoulders, feeling the hum of magic that meant my cloak of unseen was still in place, and yet I knew I was being watched.

I walked down another street, pretending to be interested in a stall so I could look back.

There she was, bold as daylight in the middle of the street, watching me.

Follow... )
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