When you lived in a world where your life was measured in centuries it wasn't unusual for soulmates to be born years, if not decades apart. So it really wasn't strange for their soulmark to not appear for years. He didn't think on it. When his soulmate was born, the mark - her first words to him, as if written in her own hand - would appear on his body. He would meet her when he met her.
Decades rolled by.
Then came his pack, his brother, his king. The betrayal. The Norn - his refusal.
Centuries rolled passed, and still no mark - other than the ones he placed upon himself - the battles he fought, the side he chose. Would this be his punishment - for letting Stefan die, refusing the Norn?
He had no pack. And now would he have no mate?
Ale flowed passed his lips like water. He indulged in the supple flesh of buxom barmaids, farmers daughters. And those farmer's wives. A few farmer's too. With his roguish grin and his rakish ways he made quite the name for himself.
Then life took a sharp turn.
Pledging himself to The Blood King - who would become his friend - Trick.
Life gained a monotonous routine in the new world - Trick's colony - which became a large metropolis - fae of both sides flocked too - escaping the past. The Light needed someone to keep an eye out, so he worked his way up and became a detective. He was trying to be good. Atone for his sins. Be better than who he was. Then maybe - He had made peace with his unmarked body, at least when he didn't think about it.
Then one unassuming morning in 1991 as he wiped the fog off the mirror after his shower he caught sight of something from the corner of his eye.
Stupefied he lifted his arm to see his side - his ribs - and there on his left side was one word, ten letters tattooed the length down his ribs.
The letters, was spiky, and loopy. Was scrawled with haste, but held an effortless calligraphy that came with effort and practice. A few of the letters held hard points, while others were soft - barely there. It meant so much for just one word- this mess of contradictions.
After that timeless moment where he stared in awe at the single word, did he dare read it.
He barked out a laugh. He had no idea what it could mean.
"Footlocker." Was tattooed against his ribs.
She was born with two soulmarks. One the brown-black of a unawakened romantic bond, and the other the silvery-blue of a platonic bond.
At first the tiny marks were assumed to be birthmarks, but it was the letters scrunched until they formed illegible shapes.
They were both on her right arm. The silvery-blue lived on her wrist, while the brown-black found its home on her inner arm near her elbow.
Her baby body was simply too small for the words to be read.
As her body grew so did the words, until they could be read. They were, of course, the first things she learned how to read.
Her parents worried that her soulmate was years older than her, they worried that she would be a trophy wife to some old pervert. Whoever they were, knowing that they were her soulmates and that settled their minds. They would comfort themselves with the thought that he could have been born hours or minutes before her.
Then her dad died, and her world darkened.
It wasn't even a year when her mom remarried - her previously darkened brown-black soulmark finally alight with a golden glow.
And her world world became a nightmare.
When she had enough and she made her mom choose.
She left when her mom chose him. Because it would always be him.
She didn't look back. She had other family, they could help - when they could.
She was made of hardy Russian stock. She could take what the world threw at her.
But on the cold nights when she huddled next to dumpsters praying she wouldn't die in her sleep it was those three words - seventeen letters - that comforted her heart.
She has a soulmate and she would meet him.
She has two soul mates and she will meet them.
She deftly ignored the knowledge that having a soulmark didn't mean that they would meet.
Recalling the horror of people realizing that their marks grew dim, flickering in and out - the writing light and fading. Misspelled and misshapen. Knowing that your soulmate was sick enough for that to happen.
Some people were thankful when that happened. They could then try to steel themselves for if - or when, they made that horrifying realization that their soul mate had died. The realization that you would live without your other half, but that all consuming emptiness that they had to learn to live with - she shuddered. The moment when their soulmark blackened and rotted on their bodies.
Some people, brushed themselves off and tried. Tried to live. Settling for one of the few whose body was unmarked, someone who's mark was blackened - just as dead as theirs. Or sometimes they settled with someone who's mark was still the brown-black of people who hadn't yet met their match - who resented their lack of choice.
But not everyone was strong enough to live.
She knew that there was someone out there that was hers, just as she was his, and that there was a place for her to belong.
No matter how bad things got. Or how long cold nights lasted. Or how her insides gnawed and twisted in hunger.
There was someone out there that was hers, as much as she was already his.
"You good?" she would whisper, telling herself and whoever that was going to be her platonic bondmate that she was, praying the truth of it, and "Toothpaste." she murmured would to herself in the cold lonely nights.
Yawning as she stretched, Kenzi stumbled into the bathroom. The last few weeks had been great. It had taken a while for her and Bo to realize their platonic bond, but with the generic way that marked them - "You good?" "A-okay." - and their hope that the other mark would be immensely more identifiable they both had stopped paying attention to whoever said the word tattooed on their bodies. It was only Bo catching her distinctive handwriting - just as beautiful and striking as the succubus herself - on Kenzi's wrist to make themselves stop and feel the new bond. Then the Fae happened and for their new bond it was hell to be separated like that.
Then stopped short when she saw the hawt as frak fae cop - shirtless in her bathroom.
Bo must have succubused up. Good for her. As soon as she could leave -'cause she totally couldn't leave now! He knew she was here - she's totes going to grill her bestie. It's so not everyday you smex it up with a Fae.
He half turned a crooked smile on his lips and a toothbrush in his right hand. Then he opened his mouth and spoke the one word that her heart whispered with every beat - a word she knew better than her own name.
Shaking slightly she whispered, "Footlocker." pointing to her reply on his side.
What the frak were the odds of finding both of her soulmarks within weeks of each other.
After he heard the human's - Kenzi's whispered reply, the toothbrush clattered to the floor. His heart stilled, his breath held.
He watched as the small human - Kenzi - quickly roll up the sleeve on her right arm and saw her own ten letter word tattooed there. His handwriting clear as day. He absentmindedly noticed the silvery-blue near her wrist.
He was at her side in three steps, staring in wonder as his fingers traced the letters. Feeling as Kenzi's small fingers did the same to his own mark, and watched in awe as the brown-black writing shimmered.
Waking to the touch of it's match.
He watched as Kenzi's soulmark changed - its colour turning gold. He looked down to see his settled in the same golden hue.
"Can this happen?" Kenzi whispered, nearly trembling.
He nodded, as he pulled her close, breathing in her scent.
It was unlike anything he had ever smelt. It was complex in its contradictions. Her scent was both hot and cold - like the crisp scent of a winter morning, under that, there was spiced chocolate. She smelled like the city, and pine trees. She smelt like the old world, and the new. She smelt timeless and mortal. Her scent was everything he didn't know he needed.
She smelled like home.
The thought strained his heart, but as quickly as it did, he realized that wherever Kenzi was he was home. Before that thought finished he realized that with a certainty he had never before felt that his every heartbeat whispered KenziKenziKenzi.
He itched because it was Bo's scent that clung to him, and not the mortal in his arms.
Busy with his thoughts he lead them to the livingroom couch. Then they sat in eachother's arms, neither's fingers leaving the other's soulmark.
"It's been many years since a fae has found their soulmate in a human." He spoke softly, his accent stronger than it's been in years, voice rough with emotion. Then smirked when he felt her shiver. "Different rules apply now." He saw her nod. "You won't be seen as Bo's human, but my mate. Sometimes, there are ways to connect the new mates and depending on what kind of fae involved different things will happen." He continued.
"Like what?" Her voice was a touch breathless.
"Most of the time, it connects their lifeforce. The human gains the lifespan of the fae, but at the same time the fae's life is tied to their human's. When one dies the other follows."
He saw her nod again.
"That's not the only possibility. Sometimes, the human gains fae traits, some of their vitality, or powers. Sometimes they turn fae. If they do, they could turn into the same kind of fae as their mate, but they might not be the same kind as their mate. It all depends on the people involved. And the fae involved." He inhaled, "Sometimes...sometimes the human refuses and lives their life as normal. Dies when they grow old, their mate will almost always take their own life soon afterward. Sometimes...the fae can't stand the thought that their match is human and hires someone to...get rid of the problem for them."
Kenzi stilled in his arms. She bit her lip, her wide silver-blue eyes - mirrors, windows into her soul - there was an edges there. There was a fragility there. Fractaling silver crystals suspended beneath pluck and sarcasm.
In that instant he knew that if he said the wrong thing here he would be staring at broken glass.
He inhaled, "I'm a wolf shifter, it's like kinda like a werewolf." He smirked, "I have no pack." he told her, staring into her silvery-blue eyes, her edges, the almost broken glass was still there. She seemed to collapse in on herself. Spidery cracks threaded the silvery-blue of her eyes. He hurried then to finish what he was saying, in that moment he saw the spidering cracks appear he knew she thought that this was a rejection. The shallow thrum of her soulmark echoed the thought, dimming slightly. Just because he had spent centuries without a pack to call his own, didn’t mean that he didn’t want one, need one. "and you...little mate," he paused and cupped her face with his free hand, "I have been waiting over a thousand years for."
"R-Really?" she whispered, her eyes wide the smudged eyeliner contrasting the silvery-blue of her eyes.The glow of her soulmark steadied, and softly glowed brighter.
He smiled, his thumb making small circles on her cheek, "Really, really."
She gave a small croaked laugh and a snort, "Was that Shrek?"
He gave a quick laugh, "I guess so."
As they settled into a comfortable silence, Dyson watched with a quiet awe as the spidering fractals healed over. All because of him. He knew her healing was far from over, she still had brittle broken edges within her eyes, but he would be with her every step of the way as they healed both of their hurts together.
He kissed Kenzi’s temple as they started cuddling on the couch, Kenzi's head resting on his shoulder, her hand - like his - still rested on the mark. There would be time to talk later, after - when this wasn't so new.
Dyson heard the wheeze of the old pipes coming to life as Bo turned on the water for her shower or bath. Kenzi stiffened in his arms.
"I know you and Bo -" she paused, turning around. His heart clenched, and his insides itched. He still smelled like the succubus. Though he wasn't sure if Kenzi's human nose could pick up the scent - it was enough that his could. He didn't like that he didn't smell like his mate, and that she didn't smell like him.
Kenzi bit her lip before looking up into his eyes. "It's fine." she rushed to finish, "You didn't know. I didn't know. We didn't know." She babbled not pausing for breath, before she sighed. "I mean...anything before is before. Now....I'm sure it was just as fabulous as her magic wonder snatch made it...succubabe and all...but I -" her voice broke, "I can't. Dyson," She sighed. That was the first time he heard her say his name. His heart skipped a beat, "Keep up. Compare. I'm just me - human. I know how Fae see - I'm just human. Stupid. Weak. Human - pick your adjective. Synonym. Whatevs. If you still want-"
He shushed her, placing his thumb on her pale pink lips. Her makeup smudged, her hair still mussed from sleep, she was the most beautiful women he has ever seen.
"Kenzi," he paused for a moment to enjoy her shiver, the faint colour rising to her cheeks - and the subtle frozen heat of her arousal at the sound of his voice. "Yes, Bo is attractive, it's in her nature. Yes, we had sex, but Kenzi that was before." He put the same stress on 'before' as she did, "Wolves mate for life. I don't mean sex. I've had sex. And last night wasn't the first time I've slept with a succubus. But it was the last." He could scent her confusion, as easily as he could see it in her silvery-blue eyes. "Some fae, like some humans can have sex with people other then their soulmate - after they found their match. Some can only have sex with others with their mate with them. Threesomes, and the like." He smirked, her lips pursed, but his thumb was still over them silently tell her to let him speak.
"Wolves shifter are not one of them. When we find our soulmate, that's it. In that moment upstairs I gave you my love Kenzi. There's no one else for me." her eyes widened, their hard edge softened and she exhaled, her mouth formed a soft 'o'.
He breathed in her frozen heat, as he moved his thumb, and captured her lips with his.
When they pulled apart, Kenzi had managed to straddle him without either of them realizing it - both breathing heavily, coupled with Kenzi's whispered "Wow." made him chuckle. She smacked him, her faced flushed and glaring as she got up saying something about coffee.
She came back with two cups leaving a mostly full pot of coffee in the kitchen. Kenzi handed him one cup as she cuddled back into his arms. She took a few sips of her own cup before placing it on the coffee table, so she could wrap her other arm around him.
Her fingers absentmindedly tracing his soulmark.
When Bo came down the stairs, her hair half dry and half thrown up in a a clip. Her robe most likely the only thing she had on. He could smell the spice of her arousal, but couldn't hold up to the frosted heat that he could scent from Kenzi the moment when he said her name.
What he had felt about her this morning, and what he felt about her now made him smile. He didn't feel that inexplicable pull towards her as he had. Trick would be pleased. Him and Bo would just be friends, because of one simple, extraordinary fact.
Kenzi is his soulmate.
Bo stopped short, confused as to why her bestie and her - ohmygod still alive - lover were cuddling on the couch. A cold cup of coffee on the table sitting next to an empty one.
Dyson brought his finger to his lips when he caught sight of her, motioning to the sleeping Kenzi in his arms.
Bo came around Dyson's side of the couch, looking at Kenzi. She looked so peaceful. Bo had never seen her spunky sidekick look so peaceful.
Bo arched her eyebrow the question clean in her brown eyes, 'What gives?'
Dyson smiled softly, moving his arm up so Bo could see his soulmark. The one she had spent last night, and some of this morning staring it, tracing - hoping that it would change colour for her.
She gasped, bringing her hands to her mouth. The brown-black tattoo was now gold. She watched, as Kenzi, even in her sleep traced the mark.
Bo thought back over the last few days. Dyson and Kenzi hadn't really spoken. And definitely not to each other.
She brought her hands down and smiled.
Sure Dyson was the first person she had ever had sex with that didn't end up dead for it, and it was only once - or twice. Counting last night and this morning, not orgasims.
But what the hell kind of bitch did she think she was if she would come between soulmates.
She shook her head at the thought and smiled wider, she was happy for them.
Really. It wasn't everyday you met your match.
The sudden realization that Dyson's body had been unmarked until Kenzi had been born comforted her. Her skin was - other than the irreversible, inexorable proof of her and Kenzi's bond on her right collarbone - completely blemish - and romantic soulmark - free.
Maybe her soulmate hadn't been born yet. She hoped that was the case, and not that it had anything to do with her succubi nature, it shouldn't. She absentmindedly traced Kenzi's A-okay on her collarbone. The proof that her body could be marked was clear as day.
She grabbed the coffee mugs, asking if Dyson wanted another one, which he nodded in yes, before she watched him move his fingers through Kenzi's hair.
They were so cute together.
And if any fae tried to mess with them - Bo felt her eyes flash blue as she smirked - then they would have to get through her.
She brought Dyson's coffee over to him, and curled her legs under her as she sat in the chair drinking her own cup.
She watched them in quiet wonder. She had never seen anyone so soon after they found their match before.
It was awe inspiring. Not just he see, but the feel it in the air. They were so completely tied together, and they hadn't even had sex yet!
If they had her succubus would have told her.
But this, them cuddling on the couch was adorable.
Smiling into her coffee, and decided she was Team Denzi all the way.