Log:The Devil and the Serpent

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The Devil and the Serpent

King and Queen of Hell


Carter Logan, Zillah Logan, November, Poppy, Rocco

March 27, 2020

Carter and Zillah exchange wedding vows. The Devil dances, and the Wyrd has a sense of humor.


The Fifth Seasons - Autumn Room

The Fifth Season's Autumn Room has been almost completely transformed from its usual self. The windows on the outside walls have had their curtains drawn shut, blocking out all light from outside, and within, the lights have been... shifted. Lower, but not /so/ low as to drown out the vibrancy of the fall colors streaked across its paneling and furniture. There's music, too, playing from the speakers on the stage; something classical and lively, but played in a minor key and with backing from more modern instruments. Dark and burning and celebratory, all at once.

On the stage itself, a small altar has been set up. Dark wood, draped, in heavy, brocaded silk. Red, with a black runner on top, and shimmering in the light so that it practically begs to be touched. Set on the silk covering are a handful of small items: a silver chalice on one side, a small black box on the other, incense burning in the center.

Standing beside the chalice is Carter Logan. The Devil has dressed up for the occasion, even by the standard of his perpetually-impeccable wardrobe; the suit this evening is clearly Hedgespun, and the brilliant, burning red of it matches the fire behind his slotted eyes perfectly. Portions of it are touched with gleaming gold as accent, and fine golden chains have been carefully wound around his curling horns. He's taller than normal, tonight, and with wings notably draconic and demonic. His usual cufflinks are gone, replaced with small golden serpents in a figure-eight position, and a matching icon is pinned to his lapel. Around his neck, there hangs another icon: a small, silver pentagram with a ram's head at its center.

He stands, leaning forward over his cane, both hands on its head as he places his weight on it. His smile is small, barely present, but immensely satisfied, and behind his eyes, the usual embers have been replaced with a blazing inferno as he stands, looking out, away from the altar and towards the end of the aisle that the furniture has been arranged to create.

Given the chance to make an Entrance, Zillah does precisely that. A swell of shadows at the double doors that lead into the room, a wall of darkness that stretches upwards six feet. Only to peel away, layer by layer, as the Serpent makes her way down the aisle. That predatory grace to her every step, the sway of her hips in that stalking walk suggesting the height of the heels hidden beneath the black lace of her dress. She wears no veil, but the Freehold's Crown is still atop her head, the triple moon radiating a low light over her. By the time she's mid-way down the aisle, the shadows have peeled back further than any time in recent memory, giving a full view to the woman beneath.

And oh, how she smiles. Like the cat that's just had the cream, and sees the canary as well. A quick wink to those few the pair have invited for the ceremony, before her moon-touched eyes settle upon Carter Logan alone. Entwined with the music, little half-heard whispers play. Other voices, from other places. Unsettling, for a moment, before they fade.

Zillah takes that trip down the aisle alone, of course, as who would have the right to give her away. When she reaches the altar, her eyes do a slow once-over on the Devil. Canary devoured levels of satisfaction, now obtained.

November, as officiant, has coloured herself to suit the couple and the theme. She wears a Hedgespun gown of embers, flame and satin-flowing blood over heels of starlight captured on dancing water, her icy flesh deepened, and darkened, to a celestial void of black shot through with streaks of galactic blues, blue-violets and golds, and myriad tiny, twinkling pinpricks of starry light, lending her aurora's perpetual drift of tiny, icy flakes and 'diamond dust' a more comet-like air. Purely for the drama of the moment, because Aesthetics Are Important, those six damnable-yet-lovely wings of hers are uplifted, iridescence gleaming in irregular, almost butterfly-like patterns along their slender, frosty lengths. Naturally, everything about her contains hues which complement one another, and everything else around her -- and if anything around her -wasn't- quite right before hand, it became so shortly after she arrived to set things up.

The Trickster, too, stands before the altar, silent and still -- aside from a glance toward Rocco to ensure the man is still awake -- until Zillah's capital E Entrance has concluded. This being November, while there was not a gong in her hands before, there is now, and she begins the ceremony with three slow, resonant strokes of the gong.

When the last echo has faded, she steps forward, gong twisted away into lost space, and lifts her arms to begin the consecration. "In nomine dei nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi, in nomine Czernobog, and our own names, I call upon the forces of Darkness and the infernal power within! Consecrate this hall with the power, love, and light of Lucifer."

A soft upwelling of light follows, warming to a fiery gold as she faces the south and calls, "We call upon fire, for we are Satan. Flame the passion of Zillah and Carter with ardor for one another." The incense is taken up, and raised to the east. "We call upon the air, for we are Lucifer. May this couple share mutual wisdom and a unified vision." Setting the incense down, she turns toward the northern wall of the room, next, her back to the others, to raise a large black opal and call, "We call upon the earth, for we are Belial. May your strength and constancy keep them together as long as they choose." The opal, rather than being poofed away, is set upon the altar, and being made of water herself, she doesn't pick up anything else when she turns to the west to call, "We call upon the waters to serve us, for we are Leviathan. Grant Carter and Zillah serenity, patience, and love as deep as the ocean."

With a hint of mischief and a glance toward Poppy and Rocco, she turns to face the room again, blood-slick skirts swirling about her ankles, and instructs, "Hear me, you Watchers who lurk in the darkness and in the flame. Provide for this couple a bastion of solace and protection."

Consecration and invocation complete, she makes a subtle gesture toward Carter and Zillah, indicating that their parts are coming, and turns to the altar to take up a silken cord, woven of starry black and fiery red. Taking up Carter's left hand, and Zillah's right, she binds them both together while declaring, "As this cord binds your hands, so are your lives joined." She steps back, sliding an iron blade with a hilt like a coiling serpent from the box, and hands it to Carter, while offering the silver chalice to Zillah.

"Speak your pledges to one another, that the world may know."

Poppy is seated off to one side, looking perfectly content to be there, the Celestial Popsicle and the Devil Himself having been given a sharp smile as she settled herself. As is appropriate, she's dressed nicely, but not in any way fit to outshine the bride and groom - as though the couple's Wyrd would allow such, regardless. A sleek navy-blue dress made of some kind of silky material falls to the floor, slit up one side, and black, stiletto-heeled sandals are knotted about her ankles. Silver rings decorate her fingers in addition to the abalone wedding band on the fourth finger of her left hand, and a pendant consisting of a silver teardrop set with a cabochon in an unusual shade of ocean-dark abalone hangs from a silver chain about her neck. Her seaweed-streaked blonde hair is left unbound, falling to her waist.

She grins impishly at the appearance of Zillah, winking at the bride, then smirks at November's entreaty but otherwise holds her peace, opalescent eyes gleaming.

Oh Rocco is, indeed, awake! Almost as if he sensed November's glance in his direction, he shoots her a look in return that probably silently responding with 'I'm awake, I'm awake!' and also apparently watching everything. He is, as always, unable to stay perfectly still. His thumb taps out a silent beat to the music playing and despite his Vantablack Mantle hiding his feet, the way his leg moves implies he is moving his foot in a counter melody of sorts. At mention of Czernobog, his mouth moves slightly like he's silently murmuring some sort of response on cue or something. Otherwise, he is uncharacteristically quiet.

Just as uncharacteristic is his choice of garments. Maybe it's because he arrived with November who would remind him that Zillah left his clothes out for him and what he had been wearing prior was Just Not Going To Work, but he's dressed surprisingly well. He has on a deep purple velvet jacket, tailored black pants, and a black silk shirt. He might be wearing more mundane clothing than Carter, but at least it is /expensive/ mundane clothing. His ever-present torc isn't hidden under his shirt but is out for all to see and gleams like it had been polished or something.

He also watches Zillah intently for a moment, his expression almost, dare we say it?!, affectionate and protective. And he even smiles, the ever so slightly point on his teeth flashing to prove it is a real smile. Because once a decade he is known to have that expression.

From the moment that cloud of mobile shadow appears, Carter's attention is entirely on Zillah. Poppy and Rocco got silent, but obviously quite pleased, gestures of welcome earlier, and November's arrangements have likewise gotten looks of approval. But the second those doors open, the center of the Devil's universe quite clearly becomes the bride.

Her smile is answered as she approaches. It's rare that anyone outside of Zillah herself gets to see Carter properly pleased about something. It's a slow, inevitable thing, a gradual widening of the smile and shift into a grin that just grows wider with every swaying step that the serpent takes towards the altar. Sharp fangs, gleaming in fiery light, bared in an expression of pure, complete satisfaction. When she steps up to take her place beside the altar, he lifts his chin slightly, stands taller over his cane, and keeps his eyes on her as November begins the ceremony proper.

He murmurs a handful of words as the invocations are made, and his right hand comes up to rest the tip of his index finger against the Baphomet pendant as "for we are Satan" slips out into the air. That hand moves, again without taking his eyes from Zillah, to set his cane against the altar. This leaves him standing on his misshapen legs, both arms free, one to bind to Zillah's and one to hold the snake-hilted blade.

"Zillah." His voice is low, but steady and powerful, when November instructs them to speak their oaths. "You know already the depths of my adoration for you. Even if I had not spoken it aloud, I know that you would have no doubt of it. I speak it now, here, in view of these witnesses, not as promise of something to come but of celebration what already exists. You are the muse for whom I sing. You are the ecstasy for which I hunt. You are the other half of my soul, the most perfect thing in existence. You are the Serpent, and I am your Devil. There will never be an end to this, beloved. I give you myself, completely, unreservedly, and gladly, from now to forever."

Like her fellow Moon and the Devil Himself, Zillah gives her own quiet response to the words of the invocations. There's an unusual blend of joy and seriousness to the bride, mirth seen in her eyes and her grin, but a certain weight to all that is said. Her moon-touched eyes never stray from Carter, watching every little reaction and movement that he makes. She carries no bouquet, the only flowers those roses in her hair. It leaves her hands free for the one to be bound, and the other to hold the chalice in her upturned hand.

She is silent, as she listens to the oath that comes from the Devil. Her smile softens, but it's no less radiant for it. A flicker of her forked tongue over her lips, before she speaks as well. "Carter. My dark heart, my Morningstar. There was never any denying of what we would become to each other, once we allowed ourselves to fall. You are my perfect match, unexpected as it was to find. I cannot think of another soul in creation that I would ever bind myself so deeply to, so fully. The beat to which I dance, I hunt, and I live for is not only the ones you play, but that of your own heart. I am yours, and you are mine. And I will never allow it to be otherwise. I give you all that I am, and will become, from now to forever."

November murmurs a sotto voce, "There is -supposed- to be a ludicrously suggestive insertion of your dagger into her cup," under her breath, but doesn't announce anything of the sort out loud, instead smiling to the pair of them and giving Rocco a 'you better not have lost them' look while instructing, "Will the ringbearer come forward to present the rings?"

For a moment, the look on Rocco's face goes blank as he stands up and puts his hand into a pocket and freezes. Oh. Right. November told him he'd lose them and was nice enough to take them and put them in an inside pocket of his jacket. At least he's not pulling them out of somewhere in his trousers. Also thanks to November he's not going commando either. She made sure he was /appropriate/ for this event. But a hand tucks into his jacket and the deep Mantle around Rocco swirls a bit as he withdraws a pair of matched rings. His Mantle nearly clings to them for a moment as if leaving a bit of itself on them, for when it finally pulls away, the rings almost match him, only the black opal looks much better in ring form.

"Got 'em right here, love," he says to November as he places them in his hand and holds them out, Carter's ring on Zillah's side and vice versa. And he beams, almost like he's proud of himself. He'd never ever let his Zillah down, or Carter now that he's family too.

The oaths are given a rather fond smile from the siren, then she smirks at November's muttering - whether she could understand it or not is hard to say. A sharp grin greets Rocco's summoning, and Poppy relaxes back in her seat, expression highly amused at that momentary panic.

"Oh, it's not a suggestion." Carter's answer to November's little whisper is just as quiet, but with that voice, it carries regardless, far more genuine in its amusement and satisfaction than the Devil usually sounds. "It's a promise." And he does, indeed, dip the blade of his knife into the chalice that Zillah holds, still grinning that broad, toothy grin, still looking happier and more alive than anyone but Zillah has ever seen him before.

He hands the knife away to November just as Rocco arrives, and takes the offered ring with a brief dip of his head in grateful acknowledgement to the serpent's fellow Moon. Then, slowly, he reaches out to slip the wedding band over Zillah's finger, the black opal glittering like stars as it moves home. He lets out a soft, warm laugh as he does so, and his eyes lift to his bride's face again, his eyes still burning as he watches her expression, drinking in everything about her.

There is a very brief glance towards Rocco, and then the Siren, before Zillah's gaze is once more all for Carter. "Oh, there will be a lot of that later on," Zillah agrees, as the Devil dips the knife's blade into the chalice. "Don't expect to see either of us walking very well, in the days to follow." Voice low, but she certainly doesn't care if those few gathered hear her words. She gives the chalice up, then, in favor of taking the ring. Leaning over, her lips brush Rocco's cheek before he's gone too far.

Her gaze lowers, watching as that ring is placed upon her finger, joining the engagement ring that had already found a home there. Looking back up to Carter's face, holding his gaze. The moons in her eyes light, and there's a cascade of falling stars and meteor showers briefly reflected in those depths. A true, and deep, happiness showing on her face. She lifts the ring that she holds, and repeats the motion, sliding it into place.

November laughs outright at the couple's mutual enthusiasm for daggers and chalices, noting piously that, "Should you seek his-" her head tips ever so slightly toward Carter, "-season's restoration, rather than its ardor, you know how to find me," while setting the dagger back into its box and resting the chalice back on the altar.

Yep. Healing post-nuptial ouchies is just one of the services the Trickster offers.

The rainbow straightens, though she is still smiling as she announces, "Above you are the stars. Below you are the stones. As time passes, remember: like a star should your love be constant, like the earth should your love be firm. Satan is with you, now and always." She glances between the two, amused. "By my power and your own, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Hail Zillah! Hail Carter! Hail Satan!"

The gong seamlessly reappears in her hands, and its mellow *booong* concludes the ceremony.

Carter glances away from Zillah's face just long enough to watch the ring slipping onto his finger, and to lift his hand slightly, admiring the result. Then the gong rings, and he laughs, a loud, fiery laugh that echoes around the room, a sound filled with all the power of his Wyrd. His Mantle roars around him, and he steps forward, gathering his new bride up in his arms and kissing her, hard and shamelessly, before the altar. This is not the chaste kiss of most weddings. This is a joyous, burning thing, and when it ends, he laughs again, cupping Zillah's face in both of his hands for a moment.

And then he looks up, and that wide, beaming grin swings around, towards Poppy. The Devil nods towards the siren, once, and steps back from Zillah, one hand moving out to retrieve his cane from where it leans against the altar. "One more thing," he says. "One more thing, before I think I can call myself satisfied. Miss Devereux, if you would be so good." And he gestures towards the stage before looking down to his cane.

It's odd, for a moment. He doesn't lean on it. He doesn't limp away. He stands there, tossing the length of it back and forth between his hands for a moment, feeling its weight, a considering expression on his face. Then he shrugs, laughs again- and flings the thing away from him, sending it spinning off into a corner of the room as if it were the least important thing in the world.

/Then/ he turns, and straightens, slowly, to his full height. There's no uncertainty, no ungainliness in his steps, as he strides towards Zillah again, one hand outstretched. He isn't limping. He doesn't look pained. He just grins like a tiger as he offers the serpent his palm.

"This," he says quietly, "is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time. Miss an Nua, thank you for your services. Mister Campbell, my thanks as well. If you'd care to take the stage with Miss Devereux, I'm sure she wouldn't mind an accompaniment." His grin widens, but he doesn't look away from Zillah's face. "There is a dance waiting for us."

There is no shame, nor illusion of chastity, from the Serpent. Zillah presses right in against Carter, and offers up her mouth to that kiss. Giving passion and joy in return, as the shadows dance at their feet like blackened flames. There's a chorus of whispers, hisses, that echo the laugh that comes from the Devil, given in a thousand tongues from a hundred voices not their own. And then she laughs with him, looking up to his face as he cups hers.

She looks over to Poppy as Carter's attention goes that way, and there's an arch of brow at Carter's proclaiming of one more thing. Curiosity, amusement, showing on her expression. But when Carter tosses his cane aside, her eyes go a bit wide and she lets out a sound so celebratory that to call it a laugh would cheapen it.

"Well, Mister Logan, aren't you just full of surprises," she offers, a bit breathlessly, as she puts her hand into his. "I've wanted this for a long while, love. For it to be more than just a shared dream," she whispers in return. "I cannot think of a better gift - a dance with my Morningstar, as those few people I care for play."

The exchange between bride and groom is met with a delighted, if wicked smile. At that nod from Carter, Poppy grins sharply, then stands and makes her way to the stage, which has been shrouded in darkness up until this point. Pausing at one side, she flips a switch, illuminating the stage and an open section of flooring - presumably for the couple to use. The stage has already been conveniently set with microphones on stands, a simple drumkit and seat, and two dark-stained, wooden stools that match the decor of the room. Stopping by the shadows along one side, she claims a guitar, then gracefully crosses over to one of the stools, sliding onto it with ease despite the long skirt and stilettos. Slit skirts: not just decorative. Glancing to November and Rocco, she waits for them to settle themselves as well, opalescent eyes gleaming impishly.

Rocco finally manages to stop watching the happy couple to take his own seat on one of the stools, picking up an instrument of his own and settling it into position, gently testing the strings of it even though he knows full well it's in tune. "Now love," he says to November, "don't mess up or I'll be forced to spank you," he says in what is clearly a very creepy overbearing sort of way. "Got some mittens to put on so you don't give me frostbite, too." He plays a minor chord that just accompanies the leer he gives her. But then the instrument he holds gets his attention and his expression shifts to one that is not often seen on his face. He's momentarily /happy/ about things. And not even in the weird smug Moon way he usually is. "You lovelies all set?" he asks November and Poppy.

The faerie rainbow evidently sees no reason to ogle the kissing couple, meeting Poppy's eyes instead and looking toward the band stand in silent question. When the time comes, November blithely ignores Rocco's comments about spanking and frostbite, kissing a fingertip and tapping it to his nose on her way past. If nothing else, the fact that drum kits use -stools- is a miracle she, and her wings, won't complain about. From there? She lets Poppy lead, following any shifts in tempo the Siren requires as they become necessary.

"As have I," Carter says, in answer to Zillah. "I've been planning this for quite some time, love. It wasn't easy. But I would have gone through the Hedge and back again if that was what it took for this." He clasps her hand warmly and pulls her with him, towards the little area that has been prepared for the dance. Once there, he turns back - and oh, but that grin. The sheer, burning Spring of him. The Devil is /alive/ tonight, his draconic wings flexing behind him, tail snaking through the air.

He steps in, and his free arm goes around Zillah's waist as he pulls her in against him. He stands as one might expect from a man who has used a cane for almost a hundred years, with deliberance and care and an incomplete knowledge of how things are supposed to work now, but there's no hesitance in him. Not so much as a second's uncertainty. Another pause as he claims another kiss, no less enthusiastic than the last, and then he turns to glance at the stage. "At your leisure, maestro," he says, apparently to all three of the musicians at once. And then he looks back to his bride, eyes burning so brightly that the flame seems to spill forth out of them. "Zillah Logan," he says quietly. "Words could never express how much I adore you."

"And to keep it under wraps all this time. I'm impressed," Zillah continues, the affection clear in her voice. She lets the Devil lead the way to that little dance floor, and glances over her shoulder to the trio on the small stage. Her own eyes, lit by the moon and a sky full of stars in motion. Something brighter, more vivid, than most have seen from the shadowsnake.

The Serpent is pulled in, and there's no hesitation in the kiss that follows. In the way that she leans into her partner slightly, and looks up to those burning eyes. "I'll follow your lead," she breathes out, a soft and warm whisper. Fingers resting on his shoulder, digging into his jacket just a bit. "And I cannot say how happy I am, Carter Logan, to be yours. Fully. At last. To pass from being Queen of this Freehold, and have time to simply be yours."

Once settled, Poppy grins at Rocco and November, nodding briefly at the former's question. When November also appears ready, pale fingers begin to pick at the strings of her guitar, breaking the silence as she plays a seemingly idle solo melody for a moment, then shifting to a strummed, swaying, easily-paced tune, winking briefly to the bride and groom before nodding to the other musicians to join in.

After a measure with the impromptu wedding band playing together, the siren begins to hum along for another few measures, Rocco joining her, before she finally leans forward and begins to sing warmly, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin/ Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in/ Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove/ And dance me to the end of love/ Dance me to the end of love?" The harmonics of her voice are oddly suited to the song, providing a kind of choral backdrop to the words.

November seems content to stay in the background, laying down the beat without anything to distract from Poppy's singing.

That is not, however, to say that she is idle in other ways... She's a drummer! She can multitask.

Slowly, building up from twisting, dancing wisps of starry mist and ephemeral flame, the room around the newlyweds and their musicians is changed, the floor a swirl of heated, but not painful flames, while walls and ceiling alike fade into starry darkness, serpentine figures twining in the shadows with the couple's "infernal" court. Zillah is Queen, after all. That makes Carter her Consort. It's all perfectly logical.

Other dancers gradually take the floor with them, but they are never as distinct, never as real, moths drawn to the flame. The room seems to have no limits, distances impossibly dark, with hints and glimmerings of roiling, wildly riotous flames in the far distance, like lightning seen from space.

"As I said, it wasn't easy," Carter says, flashing another grin at his bride as he shifts them both into a simple waltzing pose. "But I've been doing this for a long time, and you are very much worth every trick I can muster, serpent mine. Because, as happy as you might be to be mine, I am just as ecstatic to be yours. It could never have gone any other way - but, oh, I am still so very glad that it did."

And then the band strikes up, and Carter leads the dance. He is graceful, but not practiced; his legs have not functioned for long, and for all his supernatural poise and perfection, he has not danced for almost a century, and never with these legs. But he is confident and unashamed. This, too, is a gift to his new wife; an offering of something new, entirely without affectation or pretense. It is a simple, earnest first dance, and he laughs again as they step through it, pulling Zillah in against him and pressing a kiss against her forehead, just below the crown.

"You and I," he says quietly, as Poppy's voice flows through the air. "Forever." And he steps neatly around the sudden ethereal company, swaying through this vision of perfect Hell and Night. There will be thanks for November's gift later, certainly, and appreciation at the raw skill of it. For now, though, it is simply part of the reverie, and Carter and Zillah waltz through it uninterrupted.

"I am sure that we're not done surprising each other yet. Not tonight, or in this lifetime." Zillah's movements are pure grace, and even as Carter shows a lack of practice, she still allows him to lead. Because that is what she wants - this true first dance, and the experience of it. Carter with these legs, and every possible half-stumble that comes with it. Laughter, and happiness, as he places that kiss on her forehead.

"Until the very end," she agrees, as her eyes take in all of it. The realm brought around them, the trio that plays, the tune suited so well to Poppy's voice. And she looks wholly pleased. "And so I give you this, Carter. We'll spend the rest of our night, without this. Without responsibility weighing me down, the demands of rulership. So that I might give you all that you wish, once more, without hesitation." With those words, Zillah cuts the metaphysical strings that tie her to the Crown, giving up the hold of the Pledge just a few days past the end of her season. The Crown fading out of existence, at least the Wyrd's current manifestation of her power.

November's manifestation of infernal dancers is only really acknowledged by a nod and gleam to those opalescent eyes; then again, the siren /is/ a professional. Poppy watches the pair on the dancefloor warmly as she continues to sing, fingers strumming the guitar, "Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on/ Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long/ We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above/ And dance me to the end of love/ Dance me to the end of love?" Her gaze follows the fading out of that crown with understanding.

"You look beautiful with that crown," Carter murmurs. His movements grow steadily smoother and more confident as the dance continues, as his legs learn the rhythm. He can't match Zillah's perfect, sinuous, senuous movements, but he doesn't need to. This is more than enough. "You deserve one, after all. I'll almost miss seeing you in it. Almost. But I will be very, /very/ happy to have you all to myself for a while. No more obligations. Just you, me, and the Garden, for as long as we please."

His grin gleams in the illusory firelight as the crown begins to fade from the serpent's brow. He watches it go, watches the strands of Moon dissolve - and then blinks, once, his grin not fading, his legs not pausing, as the current turns, and shifts, and begins to mantle him instead.

It's an ornate thing, strands of vine and delicate creepers slowly blooming at the edge of the flames that crown the Devil's skull. They wind themselves into a slow circlet, crawling around and winding themselves through the curve of his horns, flowering and fading and flowering again. It isn't static. It shifts moment to moment, old growth subsumed by the new with each instant.

For the /briefest/ second before the last of Zillah's crown fades, the Devil and his Serpent are King and Queen of Hell.

The dancing doesn't stop. Carter doesn't let it. He does look upward, towards the ceiling, as if trying in vain to catch a glimpse of the underside of the circlet around his head. But he doesn't stop, or even look particularly displeased. He does snort wryly, and shake his head, and then throw it back and laugh once. Then he looks back down to Zillah, grin widening again, becoming something ferocious and evil.

"Well," he says. "I do hope they aren't expecting much. Because tonight, at the very least, and tomorrow, and perhaps the next day - that, I claim for us. Kingship will wait, whether or not it wants to. I have more important things to do."

"Perhaps I'll have you help me craft one, then," the Serpent muses, red lips curving into a grin. "Your hands and mine, working in the forge that I've let sit cold for some time now, hmm? One without the weight of this one, that can be tossed aside at a whim. To keep us both satisfied, until Winter comes again, and we see if the Freehold sees me as their leader once more. For now, though, I look forward to the Garden. To us."

Zillah's own eyes roll upwards, watching the gossamer strands and shadows of her Crown as they fade, and the moons begin to set for the final time this year. Almost sad to see it go, as much as she's relieved to be free of the burden. But when she looks back to Carter, and sees those vines begin to form, a regal and ever-changing circlet upon his brow, her eyes widen. And then the binding of the Pledge drops away, as her crown ceases to be and his takes full form. Making her, this time around, the consort.

The dance doesnot stop, not until the words and the music are done. "Fuck," she does laugh out, and rests her head against his chest. "Bastards. No, they'll not have you yet. And I will be the first to give you my Oath. But I'm getting my honeymoon, if a brief one. I suppose it's fair that, after that, I'll have to be the patient one for a change." She lifts up, further on her toes, and presses a kiss to that evil grin of his. "Hail King Carter Logan of Spring."

Both of Poppy's eyebrows raise at that shifting of the crowns; a ripple of humor at the irony does touch her voice at least briefly as she slides into the final verse of the song, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin/ Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in/ Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove/ Dance me to the end of love/ Dance me to the end of love/ Dance me?to the end of love?" Her fingers continue an embellished version of the melody on the guitar as she and Rocco hum along to the chorus, the notes slowing, slowing... until they finally stop.