Midnight on the Demon Patrol

For my Daemon Meme, Kankri and Rose's daemon. (Astarte is a black cobra in this 'verse.)

Rose, Astarte and Kankri

"Is there any significance to your and your twin brother's daemons both being color variants?"

Rose looks up from her laptop; on the couch Kankri sits, gigantic dragon wings folded as close as he can. He has taken out three lamps and a painting already, and it galls him; he's being cautious.

His long, segmented tail flows over the edge of the couch to coil loosely around his feet. Astarte has wound herself through his blades, a sinuous shape of obsidian scales draped over slate chitin as though Kankri's tail were a branch.

Kankri is human-looking enough -- the face, the chest, the arms -- that seeing her daemon touching him always sends a little shock down her spine. She pushes it down, ruthlessly. Extraplanar beings can no more encroach on a daemon and their human's bond than can any mindless animal, or that could the Panserbjorne, sentient as they were, while they still lived.

"Well?" he prompts, one eyebrow arched.

"Only the significance us superstitious humans attach to such things, I suppose."

"Hm. Which superstition would that be?"

She smiles, thin and amused. "Why, that either our daemons mingled in the womb, and we now have half of the right one..."

"Or that one of them stole their sibling's rightful daemon," Astarte continues, lazily winding herself a little higher on Kankri's tail.

It doesn't help that Astarte shares her gender. Bowie's gender opposes Dave's, as is proper. "I believe a hundred years ago I would have been burned as a witch," she muses, and smiles.

"Ah, but the appellation 'witch' would have been somewhat accurate one hundred years ago, wouldn't you say?" Kankri asks, leaning forward in polite interest. "Allowing for the limited state of understanding of extraplanar summoning by humankind as a whole and its following inaccurate terminology."

Astarte flicks her tongue thoughtfully, and coils herself two blade-rungs higher up Kankri's tail, careful to press her weight only on the dull upper side. "I think it would have been extremely accurate, but mostly because they would possibly have considered Bowie's appearance as proof that Dave was tainted as well, and tried to burn him on our pyre."

"I'm afraid I am not following," Kankri admits after a few seconds of staring at the both of them one after the other.

Rose shrugs, returns to her laptop, pointedly. "'Conjurer' would have been the harmless moniker -- amusingly enough, a mostly male-gendered term. 'Witch' implies a certain malevolence."

"I still do not see -- ah."

His Sight tingles down her spine, roots itself to the base of her, and she knows that he knows exactly what she would do -- more accurately, how little she wouldn't -- should anyone attempt to hurt her twin like that.

(He would escape from the pyre, really, if she chooses to keep imagining a logical progression to the scenario, but he would feel so hurt.)

Her spine tingles again, but it isn't Kankri's mind-eyes on whatever it is he Sees when he looks through her, it's his hard, clawed hand brushing delicately down Astarte's long back.

When she coils across and between the blood-warmth of his thighs, he smiles a strange, fey smile, and she knows he understands exactly.