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4 yrs ago
Current Sorry I haven't been on in a few days, guys! I'm feeling sick, so going to retire, but will hopefully have time after work tomorrow.
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4 yrs ago
Plans for today: clean, reply to Guild messages, work on belated Christmas gift. Repeat. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
3 likes
4 yrs ago
Ah, 3a.m. We meet again. My sleep schedule's become really screwy, and it's messing with my ability to keep up with things. I promise I'm keeping a running tally of my PMs; responses may just be slow.
2 likes
4 yrs ago
Today's agenda: 30 minutes of cleaning, 20 minutes of crochet/reading/Guild time; repeat until either house looks less terrifying or it is dark outside.
6 likes
4 yrs ago
Yesterday, was dispirited because my interest check wasn't getting any hits. Today, bumped it and came back to three messages, TWO of them referencing The Princess Bride. [delighted cackling]
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Bio

This bio is a work-in-progress! For now, here are the basics:
  • Marcie
  • 29
  • Hamlet fixation
  • Lover of all things fantastic, supernatural, and just plain cool
  • Sucker for character-driven stories
  • Terrible at plot, but always happy to brainstorm
  • And, most importantly: very friendly, so please say hi!

Most Recent Posts




A collaboration between @lady horatio & @Aewin
Set during the welcome ball




Chris had brought a welcome change to Arabelle’s initial sour mood. Arabelle made a mental note to thank him again later, but for now, she had a mission to complete. With her glass of wine still in hand, Arabelle looked around the room for the recognisable shade of ginger she was after. The ballroom was crowded and had Arabelle not been familiar with her dear friend, she would have easily mistaken her for the countless ginger princesses strewn about the room. No, the princess she was after was unmistakable with her beautifully intricate braids and distinct mannerisms.

And that made it easy to spot the princess ducking back into the ballroom from one of the many balconies. With her target in sight, Arabelle made a beeline towards the youngest princess of Maris. “Princess Genevieve!” She called, trying to grab Gen’s attention before she vanished back into the crowds.

Genevieve, preoccupied with worry about Henri and currently scanning the room for the first person who looked likely to get her a glass of water—and quick—startled visibly at the sound of her name. She glanced up, brows furrowed, but fell into a reflexive smile when she recognized Arabelle hurrying toward her.

Though she wasn’t used to doing so, Gen mimicked Ara and greeted her by her full name and title: “Princess Arabelle.” Then, as Ara came closer, she glanced at the glass in the older princess’s hand. “Is that for me,” Genevieve asked, with a teasing smile, “or are you so stressed by this whole thing that it’s driven you to drink?”

“I'm not going to deny it, but after the evening I've had I've been contemplating downing more than my fair share of these.” Arabelle returned with her own smile. She offered Gen a kiss on each cheek in greeting before presenting her the glass of wine. “I adore what you've done with the rhinestones. You look stunning.“

She then took a step back, allowing Genevieve to have her own space. “How are you doing? Are you enjoying Aciras so far?” Arabelle asked lightly.

Genevieve felt a brief rush of warmth. Arabelle was prim and proper and sometimes more conventional than Gen herself, but she was also very kind. And she was the first person to directly comment on the rhinestone freckles that had tickled Gen so much to put on.

“Thank you. For the compliments and the drink.” She accepted the glass with a grateful nod, taking a sip. Her smile turned rueful as she added, “My night’s not going much better than yours. I’ve already been rude to two people. But in my defense, one of them was Henri’s older brother. Which reminds me—” she looked around, waving a server over as he caught her eye, “—I promised to get Henri some water. He hates parties like this, so he’s taking a break outside.”

Before the waiter could leave, Arabelle requested an extra glass of water for herself. Now that she'd delivered her wine to Genevieve, it wouldn't look good on her if her hands remained empty for very long, and she had no desire to cause offence on her Acirian hosts. While waiting, she regarded Gen's words curiously.

Although Arabelle wasn't very well acquainted with Henri, she'd heard about his brother through the few instances she'd hung out with the quiet prince. Suddenly, Arabelle didn't quite blame Genevieve for her 'rudeness', although she internally lamented the fact she'd missed such a scene. A rude Gen was certainly an interesting sight, one Arabelle was curious to see. “And what of the other?” She asked, wondering about the second person Gen was supposedly rude to.

“Hm?” It took Genevieve a moment to realize what Arabelle was asking, and then she felt a pinch of guilt. She couldn’t explain, not without breaking Henri’s confidence. “Oh,” she said, “just someone who tried to interrupt us when we were talking. I probably overreacted.” She shrugged a little, adding honestly, “I just don’t get to see Henri much these days.”

Gen glanced over her shoulder. “I should get back to him,” she said, raising the glass of water demonstratively. “Make sure he’s okay.” She didn’t like leaving Henri alone, not with the wild-eyed panic, barely-contained, that had been all over his face after the encounter with Raiden.

“But if he’s feeling better, or if he decides to retire early, can I come find you? I really do want to catch up with you, and I can’t just follow Phillip around all night.”

Arabelle nodded understandingly, “Of course, don’t worry about it, I should probably return to Cat as well. I told her I’d return soon.” She was sure Cat was doing perfectly fine, but she couldn’t help but want to check up on her. Call it a sisterly worry. “Give Henri my regards.” She smiled.

Gen gave Ara’s free hand a quick squeeze. “I will. I’m so glad to see you.” And with that, she ducked back out the way she’d come, looking for her errant friend and hoping he’d been okay in the few minutes she’d been gone.


Phillip felt himself ease up as titles were dropped, and with them some formalities. To Han, he said, "That's what I've been saying," with a smile. "I know these kinds of parties can be stressful—" he glanced at Alejandro, "—and you know how shy Gen is; she was very happy to run off with Henri to catch up somewhere quiet." He returned his attention to Han as he finished, "But we have got to have some fun here."

A little stirring of guilt rose up in Phillip's stomach, even though he knew it wasn't really his guilt to feel. Alejandro's situation was complicated and not his fault. More than half the people present were in political engagements that he knew they didn't want.

But it still felt…uncomfortable, to stand across from Han and smile at her—however genuinely—while knowing Alejandro had no plans to maintain their betrothal. While having feelings for Alejandro that he had no business having.

"Is there anything in particular you guys want to do in Aciras?" he asked, because now was not the time to worry about any of that. And they were going to have fun, damn it.
Phillip's mouth curved up in a smile as Alejandro kissed his cheeks, a greeting that had been customary long before they'd shared anything but platonic intimacy. He had to remember to use the Castilyan prince's title, to say, "Prince Alejandro," instead of a casual, "Hey, Ali," like always.

He inclined his head when Ali pulled away and gave him room to hug Imani. "It's good to see you." Briefly, Phillip's smile flashed into a grin. "Though it's hard to miss you."

To Han, Phillip gave a half-bow. She was one of the few people present that he'd never met, so even though he would hazard a guess that she wasn't so formal herself, it would be best to err on the side of caution until he knew her better. "It's nice to meet you," he said. "And I know it's the thing to compliment everyone's clothes, but your tattoos are incredible."



.

Phillip was in the middle of half-apologizing to Imani—"I'm sorry; I know Cass can come on a bit strong. She means well. She doesn't get to let loose that much, so when she can..."—when a blessedly familiar face appeared. Gen couldn't help it; she felt herself brighten with Henri's entrance.

Phillip and Imani each greeted him in turn, Phillip smiling at Henri's final question. "I think Gen would like it if you borrowed Gen," he said, shooting her a fondly teasing look.

Genevieve, who had, in the mean time, grabbed both Henri's hands in greeting, rolled her eyes at her brother. "I'll see you guys in a bit, okay?"

She turned, giving Henri's fingers a gentle squeeze as she murmured, "I'm so happy to see you."

Henri gave Phillip a small smile followed by a slight nod to Imani as he was led away by Gen. "It's been too long." He pulled Gen in for a brief hug once they were further away from Gen's brother and Imani. "I was going to come up as soon as you guys walked in, but you guys went straight for Imani- and I was kind of hidden. But whatever, how are you? Was your flight shitty too?" Henri continued with a smile on his face, "You look amazing by the way, your braids are so cute!"

The hug was brief but tight, and Genevieve would have held a bit longer if she could. She was very particular about who she allowed in her space and how much, but it was common knowledge amongst her close friends, a small circle though it was, that once she really liked someone, she was given to being quite affectionate.

When it came to Genevieve's personal boundaries, Henri was not just hug-approved; he was very much encouraged.

"Agreed," she said, as they pulled away. "I've missed you." He knew that, of course, just like he knew he'd been the first one she'd called the moment invitations went out to make sure that he would be attending the wedding festivities.

"Phillip and I are both fighting jet lag," she admitted, but beamed at the praise, what felt like her first easy smile of the evening. "Thank you. Do you like the rhinestones?" Henri was just the sort of person to appreciate quirky little touches like that, not just as a part of Genevieve's armor, but as a fashion statement, too.

"I missed you too, Gen." Henri held on to her hand as they continued to walk. Her touch always seemed to calm him down and ground him to his surroundings. It was like a little confidence boost that pulled him out of his corner.

"Love them! And of course, your lipstick too." Henri looked at the many crystals woven into Gen's hair and over her head. "You look beautiful, Gen. Wouldn't expect anything less from you." He squeezed her hand gently.

Genevieve felt a flush of warmth and squeezed back. "You know that you clean up nice, too." Her lips curved up, a soft and private joke. "You're the only guy here I'd want on my arm." Henri had had so much on his plate the last few weeks, and his moods had been so much more volatile. They would talk about it; they would talk about it all when they got the chance, but it felt so good, for the moment, just to feel his hand in hers and see him smile.

"You have to be my escort, at least for a while, so Phillip stops taking pity on me." What she wanted to say was, "Be my date?", but she knew Henri well enough to know he might want to escape the party early if he could manage it. And she knew, without wanting to bring it up before she had to, that his newly-announced betrothal might complicate matters.

"I'll stay with you as long as you want." Henri smiled as they made their way around the tables, "You know you're the only one I want to be around tonight, or ever." He did not want to be close to Raiden or see his face. Not with Beatrice hanging on his arm. Or Fareeha. Henri did not want to see her either.

"Oh? What is this?" Henri stopped when he heard Elias walking up behind them, a glass of whiskey in one hand. "Princess Genevine. It's so nice to see you again," He gave her a proper bow. Elias smirked when he glanced down at their hands- laughing when Henri glared at his older brother. "I do hope you give my little brother some time to greet his lovely betrothed, I can't let him be rude to the woman he's going to marry."

"I will, thank you for reminding me." Henri's hand tensed up in Gen's as he tried not to wince at the whole, marrying a woman thing. It made him believe that Elias knew- what if he knew? He could use it against him. It wouldn't surprise Henri one bit if that were the case.

"Prince Elias." Genevieve inclined her head in greeting, though her stomach rolled. Was Elias serving her a deliberate slight in getting her name wrong, or had he just forgotten it? Unable to tell, she chose to ignore it. She also kept Henri's hand tight in hers—to pull away would be to imply they'd done something wrong, which they hadn't.

"I don't think the lady Fareeha will be offended that Henri stopped to talk to an old friend," she said calmly. And then, though her instincts screamed to let it die there, she added, "I'm sure she understands that men and women can be friends and nothing more—even if the concept is foreign to you."

Henri tried to keep his face controlled as Elias made a complete ass of himself. "Brother," Henri forced a smile, "Really you shouldn't worry- besides you should worry about the image you are painting for our country. Princess Genevieve and her kingdom are close allies to ours. We shouldn't regard them for a newly formed betrothal." He gave Gen's hand a slight squeeze.

Elias looked at them both, a smile still in place. He leaned into Henri as if to whisper, but his voice kept the same level."Christian, you should be the one thinking of our country. Don't be selfish- "

"I like the way you try, really." Henri looked at Elias as he pulled back with a raised eyebrow. "Should I throw a stick?" He kept his face neutral.

Elias scoffed at his younger brother then looked over at Gen. "You should watch it, Henri, we both know who will be the next king." His face had turned a shade of red that was rising quickly from his neck to his cheeks.

It was an empty threat. One that held very little meaning to Henri. "If you excuse us, Princess Genevieve and I have a few other people to talk to." He didn't give Elias time to answer as he led Gen away from him. Once they had left Elias behind Henri turned to look at Gen. "I'm sorry the biggest royal asshole is my brother. "

“Don’t apologize to me,” Genevieve said, reaching with her free hand to give his arm a squeeze. “You’re the one who has to live with him.”

Not for long. Henri thought as he gave Gen a small nod. "Let's just forget him and his stupid face."



Phillip felt a pang of guilt and wished, not for the first time, that Imani could have arrived with him and Genevieve. With the logistics of flights, time zones, and hotels, it just hadn’t seemed feasible, but seeing the Massylii princess hovering alone at a corner table, nursing a drink, he wondered if it wouldn’t have been worth the extra trouble.

“Imani,” he called out as soon as they were close, flashing her a warm smile. If anyone had been paying them much attention, he might have addressed the princess more formally—but as they were both heirs, near-equal in status, and friends besides, he didn’t see much point. And, knowing how much she hated events exactly like this, he wanted, desperately, to put her at ease.

“It’s so good to see you!” Phillip felt Gen gently release his arm and step aside as they reached Imani’s table, giving him space to greet her. “I’m sorry you beat us here. I hope you weren’t waiting long.”

x-x-x


Imani looked up from the whiskey glass she had been staring at for quite a few minutes now. Her eyes lit up when she spotted the familiar faces of Phillip and Gen. Setting her drink down, Imani walked closer to give him a brief hug. It was nice to finally see him again after a few weeks. She had been so nervous about the whole event, but Phillip's presence always seemed to calm her down enough to cope with the public eye and other royals.

"It's so good to see you too," Imani offered a smile before she shook her head briefly. She had been waiting for a bit, but there was no need to make Phillip feel bad. "I arrived a few minutes ago, don't worry about it."

Imani looked over to Gen, her smile returning as she greeted the younger girl. "It's nice to see you again, Genev- Gen." She stood there awkwardly, unsure if she should offer a handshake or a hug. While Gen and Imani had met briefly before, not many words had been exchanged between them. Imani wasn't sure if they were friends of if Gen would be okay with a hug. This is awkward, Imani told herself before she went for a quick hug, cheeks turning red in the process.

x-x-x


Phillip returned Imani’s hug readily, giving her hands a quick squeeze before she pulled away. He watched her hover, uncertain, before Genevieve.

And smiled a small, relieved smile as his sister pushed up on her toes to hug the slightly-taller princess. Not that he’d thought Gen would snub Imani—far from it—but he knew his sister well enough to see that she, too, was trying to make Imani more comfortable.

“Nice to see you, too,” Genevieve said. “You look great.” She smiled, shyly. “I love your curls.”

“Fantastic,” Phillip agreed easily. Then, tilting his head, he asked more quietly, “How are you holding up?” He paired the question with an encouraging smile, lightening the tone a little. They were all going to make it through tonight, and if he had anything to say about it, they would even have some fun.

x-x-x


"I love your braids," Imani gave Gen a smile as she glanced at her hair and the many crystals that adorned her hair. They reminded her of Leo, just a bit. She then turned her head to look at Phillip.

"A lot better than I thought I would." She picked up her glass of whiskey to show the source of her stress reliever. "It's my second one already and I feel less anxious to be here. I hope you two got enough sleep to last this ball." She wasn't sure what the Aciran crown had planned for the evening.

x-x-x


"We're both jetlagged," Phillip admitted. "It's already pretty late back home. But our hotel was very flexible, and I know other people have come from much farther away."

He tipped his head toward Imani's glass. "Pace yourself with those." His lips curved up again. "I might need you and Gen to help support me if I start falling asleep."

"If you start falling asleep, Imani and I will prop you in a corner somewhere," Gen, who had flushed at Imani's compliment, muttered. "You'll be fine."

Phillip raised his eyebrows at his betrothed. "Can you feel the love?" he asked, without the slightest bit of offense. He flagged down a passing server, accepting a flute of champagne for himself and, at Genevieve's request, a glass of ice-water.

"Once we get our bearings," he offered Imani, "I'll introduce you to some of our friends, if you like. I'm sure you'll feel more comfortable once you know a few people, and I promise we'll stick together." He felt his mouth curve into something both wry and confidential. "What else are fiancés for?"

x-x-x


Imani smiled at Genevieve's comment, suppressing a small laugh behind her glass. "That would be great; it would be nice to know some of your friends. I can introduce you to some of my own." She offered. There were a few people she was close to, but it wouldn't keep her from introducing Phillip and Gen to some of her friends. It also gave her the excuse to walk around and sober up just a bit.

"Thank you," Imani looked at Phillip then Genevieve, "I don't think I can say that enough.”

x-x-x


Phillip shook his head. "You don't have to say it at all," he said. He'd lost count of the times Imani had thanked him, even though this arrangement benefitted them both. Even though he was happy to do it.

He gave Imani an encouraging smile. "We have two months of events coming up, and neither of us has to worry about being stuck with someone we don't like. That's almost worth it by itself." He took a sip of champagne, then offered her his elbow. "Shall we take a turn about the room, if you're ready?"

When Imani accepted, he held out his other arm to Genevieve, who shook her head. "Walk with your fiancée," she said, gently pushing him away. "It's going to look a little sad if I'm hanging on you all night."

"I don't think sibling solidarity is sad,” Phillip said, but he let her fall into step beside him nonetheless.


As she scanned the already-crowded ballroom, Genevieve Anders breathed an unexpected sigh of relief. Her eyes caught on violent pinks and midnight blues; necklaces dripping with diamonds and rubies—here, a plunging neckline, daringly low; there, a yellow dress covered in modest lace. So far, the other guests represented a healthy spread between the ostentatious and the understated, which left her to fall comfortably into the realm of quirky-but-unexceptionable.

When it came to going unseen, the younger daughter of Maris had two strategies: either become invisible, or put on a mask—literal or figurative.

For the welcoming ball, she had chosen the latter.

Genevieve had spent hours agonizing over an outfit meant to look like it had involved no agonizing at all. From the winged liner painted above her eyes to the careful array of tiny crystals scattered beneath them like rhinestone freckles, every choice was precise. Long red-orange bangs hung in slashes against her cheekbones, easy to duck behind when she needed a moment to collect herself—such as when she and Phillip had paused in the palace doorway, recovering from the flurry of paparazzi waiting just outside. The rest of her hair was braided into a crown and threaded with still more crystals, taking the place of an actual tiara.

Her floor-length gown was her nod to her country—layers of chiffon, all in shifting shades of blue and grey, like the Marisian sea. That, her parents had approved before she left. The mulberry lip color? Not so much, but it, too, was a strategic choice. She only knew a handful of people in this castle personally. The rest likely had almost no idea who she was—and if they did, it was through either her brother or her skimpy social media presence.

Which meant the only hope she had of being recognized, short of tattooing a line of obscure poetry across her chest, was to show up wearing one of her signature lipsticks.

It was because of that lipstick that Genevieve reminded herself not to worry at her lower lip as Phillip—who had only released her long enough for them to make their respective bow and curtsey to their hosts—took her arm again, wrapping warm fingers around hers. “See anybody we know?”

“Plenty of people you know,” Gen murmured, though even as she said it, she knew it wasn’t entirely fair. Already, she’d picked out one mutual friend in the crowd—Alejandro was hard to miss—and she was almost certain she’d caught brief sight of both Erik and Ara: two of the people she liked most who liked each other least. No sign of the person she most wanted to see, but knowing Henri, he wouldn’t be out in the open.

Genevieve nudged her brother, teasing. “Have you spotted Ali yet?”

There was laughter in Phillip’s voice: “How could I not?” He nodded in the other prince’s direction. “But he’s busy, and it’s not like he’ll be hard for us to find.”

Reaching up to adjust the silk ascot tied about his neck, the same grey-blue as the darkest folds of Genevieve’s dress, Phillip glanced around. “Besides, I promised Imani I’d find her as soon as we got here.”

A second after he said it, they both spotted the princess in question, Gen squeezing Phillip’s arm at the same time that he murmured, “There,” and started walking. Though she knew she’d have to stand on her own eventually, Genevieve let Phillip play escort for as long as sensibility allowed, sticking close as he nodded to acquaintances and wove his way toward the princess of Massylii.










@HaleyTheRandom Thank you! :) I'll get him and Gen moved over to the character tab. Can't wait!
Genevieve's big brother and my other character! Now ready for his close-up. :)

Here for review are Genevieve, her kingdom, and her attendants (who I figured would float in the background as NPCs, for the most part, if that's all right). Phillip's sheet will be forthcoming!





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