Your name is Maggie and you see her for the first time at a dayclub. It’s risky, coming to one of these, because the bar is filled with soda and sugarwater and there’s no way to leave once the sun rises, and you never know if a highblood might flip out. When you were only a few sweeps old, you hid in the rafters while a Cultist painted the floors with everyone else.
Still, you keep coming back. The heat of dozens of bodies, the pheromones in the air, the music pulsing, and the strobe lights lighting up bright enough to make sight a little difficult... it’s a heady rush.
You can always find a pitch hookup here––you’ve got plenty of notches on your horns––and it can be fun to get a little flushed pressed between a couple of tipsy, handsy lowbloods. Once or twice, you’ve even gotten your ash on.
Dayclubs aren’t for diamonds, though.
Dayclubs aren’t for diamonds, but the sun is near to setting when you see her standing near a corner, away from any other troll, and swaying to the beat. You feel a giddy rush in your chest that you know isn’t just from the copious amounts of soda you’ve drank.
Your gaze is drawn to her hands, which flick in the air against the beat, and to her eyes, which are closed despite the proximity of others who could take advantage of such vulnerability. Your knees go a little weak.
Without really consciously thinking about it, you make your way across the room. You duck and weave through the dancers until you’re standing by her side.
“Hi,” you say, and internally curse yourself a little bit for the lame starter. Her eyes open, revealing a violet that should be paired with fins and gills, but you see nothing on her neck except smooth skin, and her jaw leads into hair unparted by spines. Her tiny stature does not fit with her blood. Your chin comes just above her eyes despite the olive rushing through your veins.
“Hullo,” she hums, smiling up at you. She seems completely unperturbed by the fact that she’s a mutant in public, highblooded or otherwise, completely unperturbed by the fact that her presence screams, cull me, I can’t fight back! You want to place yourself between her and the crowd.
“I’m Maggie,” you tell her, a bit dumbly. Your eyes focus on a thick lock of hair that has escaped her braid and floats about her face.
“Delfin,” she responds. Her eyes don’t track your hand as you reach up and twirl the lock of hair around your finger. You feel overwrought with thrumming paleness. It vibrates in your chest like a string instrument. She continues to look into your eyes, guileless, helpless, so small and mutant and perfect. Does she know what you are feeling? You don’t think it possible. You hardly know. You realize you have been standing there, gazes locked, quiet, for too long a moment. You wrack your mind for something to say.
“Have you been here before?” you settle on. It falls from your mouth a bit too quick, a bit too desperate. She giggles. Your hand is still touching her face. Your claws touch so lightly against her skin. You could hurt her. You won’t. You could never hurt her. Her hand drifts up, delicate and floaty, but rapid, and wraps around your wrist before you can withdraw. Perhaps, she is not so oblivious.
“Mmhmm,” she says, pressing your palm shamelessly against her cheek. You are overwrought.
“Is that safe?” you ask, when what you want to say is, I will keep you safe.
“I don’t know.”
She shrugs and your hand is still pressed against her cheek, you are a hair's breadth away from publicly papping a stranger. She bares her teeth in a grin. It doesn’t look threatening. It looks inviting. She presses up on her tiptoes, lets go of your hand––you feel a brief moment of despondency at the loss––and she whispers in your ear.
“Will you keep me safe?” she asks. You are lost. You have fallen in diamonds and if this isn’t serendipity you will never leave your hive again, if she is just playing with you you will fall on your own swordkind and die.
“Of course,” you say, “of course I will.”
You only realize how quick your breathing was when she raises her hands to your face. She pauses and you dip your chin in an unhesitant nod. Yes, you say wordlessly, please, and whereas before you were so close to publicly papping a stranger you are now being publicly papped. Her thumbs press against your cheekbones and sweep across your face. Her claws are so close to your eyes and you are not afraid. You are blissful.
“Hush,” she says, and her voice is sweet, and you go silent. She opens her mouth, and closes it, and swallows. The subtle confidence in her stature wavers, but her voice does not when she continues. “Do you want to come to my hive for a feelings jam when the sun sets? I’ve got a pile waiting.”
“Please,” you say. Her smile is as near-blinding as the strobelights dancing across her face.