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Nothing in the World so Well as You

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She’s running through the streets of Obsidian, sure-footed and laughing; the thin slivers of moonlight that break through the gaps between buildings are the only light she has to see by. Behind her, leaping between chunks of broken concrete, is a boy.

“Valkyrie –” his voice rings out through the empty streets; it isn’t usually safe for them to run freely like this, for so many years their very existence has painted a target on their backs, but tonight they feel free.

“Valkyrie for fuck’s sake, this isn’t what I meant!”

She doesn’t stop, doesn’t even break pace as she looks over her shoulder to shout back at him.

“Well you said you were bored!”

She is out of breath, her speech punctuated by bursts of laughter.

“And you know you shouldn’t ever tell me that you’re bored!”

She turns around, balanced precariously on what looks like the shattered remains of a concrete bollard, and looks down at him. Her hands are on her hips, and her hair, where the moonlight hits it, shines like fire.

The boy has caught up to her by now, and as he clambers up to stand beside her, his eyes narrow in mock disapproval.

“Honestly, I don’t know why you called yourself Valkyrie.”

He sits down and reaches up to pull her down beside him. She falls with a yelp and a curse, muttered just loud enough to be sure that he hears it.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. “Menace” would have been much more appropriate, right? Still, I don’t know what you were expecting.”

Her voice is tired, but her eyes are sparkling and she slings an arm around his shoulder and pulls him closer to her. He doesn’t resist, instead reaching up to take her hand in his.

“Valk?”

“Blake?”

She leans her head against his. In the silence, surrounded by the dying city, she imagines that she is close enough to hear his heart beating.

“You know I love you, right?”

“Of course.”

“And you know that I’d do anything for you?”

“Yes…”

He lifts his head to kiss her softly on the cheek, then leaps off the heap of smashed concrete and runs down the street with a wild shout. In the moonlight, all that can be seen of him is the flash of the studs on his jacket.

“BLAKE YOU FUCKER!”

She chases him down the street, swearing as she goes. And as she runs, light-footed and even lighter hearted, she grins wide and bright and vicious. She chose a good family , she thinks, and begins to give chase in earnest.