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Long Black Train

Chapter Text

She walks in a circle, clockwise, chanting half-tuned.

Black smoke. Wreaths around the shape of the circle her feet have drawn, chases after her and licks at her heels, flares and pushes against the invisible line of it, like it's trying to get out. It can't. It pours, fills the circle. She smirks.

It gives up and coalesces.

"Well, well," Munin bounces a little on the balls of his feet, licks his lips as he looks her up and down. "Haven't heard that little ditty in a minute. It would be you, of course. Don't you know it's death to even remember those songs?"

"I remember a lot of things no one does anymore. Like your look." She drags her eyes over him and clucks disapprovingly. "Hasn't improved much."

Munin smiles a nasty smile and covers his heart with his left hand. "Ouch, hard words from the exile. Come to forget your past again? Way I remember, you couldn't leave it behind fast enough. An exile and a coward."

She smiles, and it's hard and bright; there's a stirring in her back, and Munin licks his lips again and shrinks half a step. "Bold, for an..." She looks at him pointedly. "... Overgrown crow. You will render to me the services I require."

He laughs nervously. "A discarded waste of Valhalla's glory has no authority over me."

"That glory was overwritten with blood. I was there. Return to me my memories of the train. Or," she feels her lips twist further even if she doesn't feel the sentiment, "I'll take your skin as well as your feathers."

Munin giggles. "The train? You don't remember?"

"You do?"

"I serve one who cannot cross back. I belong to neither world and thus abide by neither's laws." He looks dismissively at her. "As you did. How you came by those wings is a mystery to me. You truly don't remember?"

When Tamsin's brow furrows, his eyes narrow, and he starts pacing around the edge of the circle. "No."

"Outcast and blind. You discredit your race," he hisses, gleeful. "The answer is written on your chest."

"Are you trying to insult me, or compliment my rack?" She snorts. "Your game's way off, crow."

"It is a lovely one, if you're into flat-chested women." He counters. "No, I was talking about that scar. The one just over your... shirt." He scratches his belly and jerks his chin in her direction, and Tamsin raises her hand to the bare skin he's looking at without thinking.

There's a small, raised scar on her chest. "What?"

"Valkyrie get a drunken tattoo and can't remember in the morning?" When Tamsin doesn't have a reply ready for that, he cackles. "Oh, this is priceless. I'll even do this for free, then. Just to watch your face."

"Nothing is for free."

"You're damn right." He says, and begins to sing.