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A Matter of Immortals

by hossgal

[Story Headers]

The immortal is a small thing - a biting, grasping, creeping thing that scuttles back from her blade and begs for mercy. Mazikeen does not flinch, does not waver, and so when the little thing reaches the gate and despairs, she is ready.

Belloc looks at her with an expression Mazikeen can not read.

(And that is strange, because when her lord first took up with the human child, emotions filtered across her face like ripples in a shallow pool. Now the child is older, and sometimes Mazikeen - Mazikeen, who saw the Silver City with the balconies still in nets and cranes and scaffolds - sometimes she feels like the child, watching a statue of marble as it endured the rain.)

Mazikeen looks away and wipes her blade clean. She has her orders, she knows her job, and she will not shirk her duties.

But still Elaine looks at her, and Mazikeen remembers, of all those she could bring to mind, Lilith.

"My lord Lucifer gave his instructions," she says, and marvels that there is no heat in her voice.

She has wiped away all the blood and most of the ichor before Elaine replies.

"I know that you are only doing as you have been told. I don't hold you account-" Elaine stops, finally, because her gaze has come back from the horizon and focused on the yellow-stained steel at her throat. At the length of her arm, Mazikeen glares back.

"Elaine Belloc," she says, and her voice is still without heat, it freezes her mouth and throat and heart to hear it spill out of her. "You go too far."

"But - I -"

"Bed my lord, if you like." Belloc startles at that, and Mazikeen presses closer, lets the sword edge tremble against the girl-child's skin. "Play at godling games with him, imagine yourself his heir, if it pleases you. But it is at your peril, little theos, that you name me Lucifer's lick-spittle, or imagine me his running dog."

When she takes the blade away, Belloc staggers, coughs.

"I'm sorry, I didn't realize, I meant, you have your orders. Your oaths..."

Mazikeen sheathes her sword and fists her hands about her weapons belt. "I do."

"Then, you must -"

"Do not presume to paint me with human folly. I am above setting another's name to my choices. That -" she gestures at the immortal's corpse - "was mine, as shall be whatever lives I spare. Not his."

When the child opens her mouth again to protest, Mazikeen only shakes her head and turned away, back to the trail.

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Fandom:  Sandman
Title:  A Matter of Immortals
Author:  hossgal   [email]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG  |  gen  |  2k  |  12/08/06
Characters:  Mazikeen, Elaine Belloc
Summary:  She has her orders, she knows her job, and she will not shirk her duties.
Notes:  Set during Lucifer #7, "Exodus". For Victoria P., who asked for Mazikeen, "And all that stays is dying / And all that lives is getting out from Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going". 430 words.
Disclaimer/Other:  <i>Lucifer</i> characters and concepts property of Gaiman and Carey, et al, not me. This is a work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended, no money is being made. Please do not archive without permission, please credit the author if remixing/borrowing original characters/etc. Reviewing, reccing, feedback (positive, not positive, concrit, all welcome) need neither permission nor notification. Feedback printed out and taped to the mirror at hosscheka at yahoo dot com.

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