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SASO Referees ([personal profile] referees) wrote in [community profile] sportsanime2016-07-21 08:53 pm
Entry tags:

Bonus Round 5: Myth & Lore

Bonus Round 5: Myth & Lore


Summer's a time for swapping stories around the campfire. With that in mind, this round draws inspiration from the stories humanity have told each other over the centuries.

This round is CLOSED as of 7PM on August 4 EDT. Late fills may be posted, but they will not receive points.


RULES
  • This round does not have prompts. Instead, we ask you to draw inspiration from the wide pool of mythology, fantasy, folklore, and fable. An urban fantasy or supernatural AU? A re-imagining of your favorite folk tale? Characters swapping ghost stories or playing D&D? As long as your fill in some way incorporates the fantastical and/or supernatural, it's welcome here.
  • Your fill still has to be about a ship from one of our nominated fandoms. What ships you create work for is up to you, though.
  • To submit your fill, simply leave it as a comment as a reply to this post.
  • Remember to follow the general bonus round rules, outlined here.


FORMAT
Bonus round shenanigans all happen in the comments below. Brand-new works only, please.

Required Work Minimums:
  • 400 words (prose)
  • 400px by 400px (art)
  • 14 lines (poetry)
There is no max work cap.

Remember, this is a NO-PROMPT round. Format your fill comment in one of the following ways:

If FILLING:If FILLING as a TEAM GRANDSTAND participant:
FILL: TEAM [YOUR SHIP], [RATING]
  • Replace [YOUR SHIP] with the name of the team you belong to
  • Replace RATING with the rating of your fill (G - E)
  • Place applicable major content tags and word count before your fill (when applicable)
  • If no major content tags are applicable, make sure to state this-- even if including other additional tags
  • NSFW FILLS: Please cross-link these fills and use clear tags in your comment. Written/text fills should be hosted at AO3 ONLY as a new, unchaptered work. Art/visual fills can be hosted anywhere. You may include a small safe-for-work preview of the fill in your comment.
  • To place an image in your comment, use this code: <img src="LINK TO YOUR IMAGE" alt="DESCRIPTION OF YOUR IMAGE"/>
  • Visual example
FILL: TEAM GRANDSTAND, [RATING]
  • Replace RATING with the rating of your fill, G - E, as explained in the rules
  • Place applicable major content tags and word count before the fill, where applicable
  • If no major content tags are applicable, make sure to state this-- even if including other additional tags
  • NSFW FILLS: Please cross-link these fills and use clear tags in your comment. Written/text fills should be hosted at AO3 ONLY as a new, unchaptered work. Art/visual fills can be hosted anywhere. You may include a small safe-for-work preview of your work in your comment.
  • To place an image in your comment, use this code: <img src="LINK TO YOUR IMAGE" />
  • Visual example


Posts not using this format will be understood to be unofficial discussion posts, regardless of what they contain. They, like all comments in this community, are subject to the code of conduct.



SCORING
These numbers apply to your team as a whole, not each individual teammate. Make as many fills as you want!

For fills:

First 3 fills by any member of your team: 20 points each
Fills 4-10: 10 points each
Fills 11-20: 5 points each
Fills 21+: 2 points each

All scored content must be created new for this round.


Etc.
If you're hunting through the prompts looking for what to fill, a good trick is to view top-level comments only.

Have a question? Check The FAQ first. If you still need help, feel free to contact the mods. Happy fanworking!
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)

Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] yrindor 2016-07-31 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
[1/2]
Azumane Asahi/Nishinoya Yuu, Haikyuu!!

magical tattoos
3431 words

Nishinoya hesitated outside the door. The address matched the one Tanaka had given him, but the building looked nothing like what he was expecting. He had been to tattoo parlors before, and he was used to brightly-lit signs and art-filled storefronts, not the dilapidated wood paneling that stood before him.

He almost turned back, but he couldn't forget how incredible Tanaka's new tattoo looked, and how badly he wanted one of his own. He double-checked the address one last time, put aside the last of his hesitation, knocked twice, and stepped inside.

"Hello?" he called, looking around the empty room. The door had been unlocked, but he didn't see anyone inside.

He was about to give up and leave when he heard rustling from the back room, and a somewhat nervous-looking man poked his head through the door.

"Oh, sorry," he said when he saw Nishinoya, "I wasn't expecting anyone to come in...Can I help you with something?"

"Are you the tattoo artist here?"

"Yes. Um...my name's Azumane Asahi..."

"Nishinoya Yuu. You did a tattoo of an oni for a friend of mine, and it's so lifelike sometimes I swear it moves."

"It does," Asahi said too quietly for Nishinoya to hear.

"I'm interested in getting one too."

"Oh, what were you thinking of?"

"A dragon."

Asahi hesitated. "A dragon?" he asked.

Nishinoya nodded. "A thunder dragon across my back."

Asahi seemed almost afraid of Nishinoya's words for reasons Nishinoya couldn't imagine. "Are you strong enough?" he asked.

"What?" Nishinoya asked in confusion. "I play volleyball, so I'm used to bumps and bruises, if that's what you mean?."

Asahi shook his head. "That's not what I asked. You...Are you strong enough? My tattoos look lifelike because they, ummm...they turn the stories into ink. Dragons are powerful...They don't tolerate dishonor or disrespect, and, ah, of the dragons, the thunder dragon is the most powerful of all. If you aren't strong enough, or if the dragon, um, rejects you, its power will consume you."

"Meaning?"

"You'll die."

Nishinoya swallowed hard. "Has that ever happened?" he asked hesitantly.

Asahi nodded. "The...the last time someone asked for a dragon," he said softly.

There was a long silence while Nishinoya thought. "I'll fight for the things I care about, and I'd put myself on the line for my friends," he said eventually. "I'll watch their backs for them so that they can keep looking forward. Maybe it's nothing dramatic, but I'd hope it's enough."

"You're the only one who can make that choice. There's no shame in either decision."

"I still want that tattoo," Nishinoya said confidently.

"Then, um, why don't we sit down and talk about the design?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A week later, Nishinoya found himself standing outside the nondescript door once more. He knocked again and let himself in, ready for his first session.

Unlike the last time, Asahi was waiting for him in the front of the shop. "You can, ah, come back here today," he said, gesturing to a room set off by a folding screen. Nishinoya followed him into the small room where a futon was already laid out on the floor.

"You do this all traditionally?" Nishinoya asked hesitantly as he looked at Asahi's setup.

Asahi nodded. "It's easier to work in the stories that way," he replied. "Umm, you can leave your shirt and your things by the door."

When Nishinoya was ready, he lay down on the futon. He couldn't see what Asahi was doing anymore, and while he hadn't been consciously paying attention to it, he missed it as soon as it was gone.

"I'm just going to start with the, ah, outline today. I'm...I'm thinking I'll work from the dragon's tail over your hip up to its head." As he spoke, Asahi sketched the rough outline of the design on Nishinoya's back with his finger.

"That's fine," Nishinoya said, and Asahi's hand came back to rest firmly over his hip.

"Where did you learn to draw like this?" Nishinoya asked as Asahi began working.

"Practice," Asahi replied.

"How did you decide to become a tattoo artist?" he asked when Asahi didn't elaborate.

"Umm, I'm not really sure...It was more fate or an accident than anything intentional." Once again, Asahi didn't provide any further detail.

"You mentioned you inherited this store from someone?"

"My mentor."

After a few more similar exchanges, it became clear that Asahi wasn't interested in holding a conversation. Nishinoya fell silent, not wanting to disturb the artist while he was working, but he wished he had something to distract him from the incessant sharp scratching across his back.

"Do you know, ahh...Do you know the story of the Thunder Dragon?" Asahi asked out of nowhere several minutes later.

"I think so, Nishinoya replied. "The Thunder Dragon was one of the five elemental dragons created to maintain the balance the universe. It's widely regarded to be the strongest of the five, and it was the one who called forth the lightning that struck down the False Emperor as he walked across the palace grounds one day."

"That's part of the story," Asahi conceded, "but what about the rest of it, the stories that are, umm...rarely mentioned in the books?"

"I don't think I know those," Nishinoya admitted.

"I could tell you, if you like. If you're going to make him a part of you, it , ah...it seems only fair that you'd maybe know his story."

"I think I'd like that."

"Very well," Asahi said. "I'm going to begin in the time before dragons, so that you know what the world was like when the dragons came into being.

"Back in the beginning, before the five elements had even come into existence, the universe understood good and evil, but they weren't opposites as they're seen today. They were two sides of a continuous circle: that which is good can become evil, that which is evil can turn to good, and neither can exist without the other," Asahi began. His voice changed as he spoke, all of the earlier hesitation and awkwardness vanishing. He spoke softly but clearly, and his words seemed to wrap around Nishinoya and pull him into the story. He spoke of the creation of the world and of the gods, and of the creation of the elements that allowed the gods their individual roles, and all too soon he said "and that's enough for today, I can continue next time if you like."

Nishinoya blinked as he suddenly found himself lying on the floor in Asahi's shop as Asahi covered his back. He had no idea how long he had been caught up in the stories, but if the dull throbbing that now stretched from his hip to his shoulder was any indication, it had been hours.

"Would you, umm, like to see it so far?" Asahi asked, and Nishinoya shook his head.

"I want to wait until it's finished," he replied. He left the shop with his head still spinning with Asahi's stories, and he thought his next appointment two weeks later couldn't come quickly enough.

The second appointment passed much like the first, with Asahi telling of the beginning of the struggle between good and evil and the conflicts that arose over the hierarchy of the elements. They were all abstract stories of the universe in the distant past, but Nishinoya still found himself completely immersed in them. Once again, he thought the session ended far too soon, and he left with his head full of the legends of days past.

It wasn't until the third session that Asahi began telling the story of the Thunder Dragon. He spoke of the day the dragon was born out of a conflict between the sea and the sky, and Nishinoya swore he could hear the crashing of the waves as they were battered by the wind. He spoke of the Thunder Dragon racing through the clouds leaving lightning in its wake, and Nishinoya swore he could smell the ozone in the air. He spoke of the dragon roaring in anger when wars erupted out of spite, and Nishinoya swore he could hear the angry rumble of thunder. When Asahi finished for the day, the sheer power behind the words hit Nishinoya, and he stayed lying where he was for several minutes until the shaking passed.

The fourth session passed much as the third had, only with a new set of stories. Asahi no longer told the stories of the early days of the gods and the beginning of mankind; his stories shifted to the tales of dragons and men. He spoke of the times foolish men drunk on power tried to force the dragons to obey, and of the terrible ends they met when the dragons refused to be bound. He spoke of the wise men who found for justice in place of wealth and who called upon the dragons as equals and asked for their assistance.

And he spoke of the Thunder Dragon specifically. Of the great destruction it rained down upon its enemies, and of how quickly it could turn from friend to foe when it deemed one's actions to be unjust. When he finished, Nishinoya lay in the same shell-shocked state as he had after the previous session. He was in awe of the dragon he had chosen, but at the same time, it terrified him.

It was with no small degree of trepidation that he opened the door to Asahi's shop for his fifth appointment. Asahi intended to finish the tattoo that day, and Nishinoya had spent the entire night awake thinking of the stories and wondering if he was deluding himself believing he was worthy of the Thunder Dragon.

"Are you...Are you sure you wish to continue?" Asahi asked as Nishinoya settled into his now-familiar spot on the floor. "Once the dragon's, ah...power starts flowing into you, there's, umm, no turning back. Either you can withstand it and, um, the dragon accepts you, or one or both of you rejects the other...and you die."

Nishinoya swallowed hard. "I'm sure," he said, and he was. After so many hours, he felt he needed to see it through to the end. And, some small part of him added, he liked hearing Asahi's stories, and he didn't want them to end.

"I'll tell you this now since it will be...too late later: you'll know immediately when it starts, and when it does, ah, don't fight it; umm, accept it and, ah, let it flow into you."

"I'll try my best."

"I know you will," Asahi said as he bent over his work, and Nishinoya couldn't explain how such a simple statement could cause such a warmth in his chest.

At first, Asahi seemed prepared to work in silence, but after only a couple of minutes, Nishinoya asked, "Will you tell me another story?"

Asahi seemed genuinely startled by the request. "I think I've told you all of the, ah, interesting ones at this point," he said.

"What about the less interesting ones, then?" Nishinoya replied. "I want to hear all of them."

That seemed to be all of the invitation Asahi needed, and he immediately launched into one of his seemingly endless supply of stories. The stories were no longer tales of great battles in the Heavens and the turning of the wheel of fate. Instead, they were stories of the little things — the time the Thunder Dragon scared a princess with its thunderous laughter, and made it up to her by giving her a crystal that sparkled with lighting; the time it was invited to a court dinner by a prideful young noble, but the noble's plans to impress were thwarted when the dragon couldn't fit through the door; the time the dragon was struck by a mild curse and destroyed half of its palace by sending lightning bolts flying every time it sneezed.

They were all small stories, but to Nishinoya, they were some of the best. Everyone knew the dragons were powerful, and everyone knew some of the legends, but very few knew the stories that made the dragons feel real.

Nishinoya was so wrapped up in Asahi's storytelling that he missed the first small static jolts that ran down his back. When several smaller shocks hit in rapid succession though, he noticed; it reminded him of walking across a rug and then touching a doorknob on a dry winter day. He tried fidgeting to make the sharp tingle fade, but all that happened was that Asahi cut his story off abruptly and placed a warning hand across his shoulder.

"It's starting," Asahi said. "Let it come."

Nishinoya tried, trying to focus on the reassuring pressure of Asahi's hand on his back instead of the electric charge, but it was difficult as the static shocks grew stronger and more frequent, eventually drowning out even the feel of Asahi's needles. Along with the them, Nishinoya began catching pieces of stories, all drawn from the tales Asahi had told, and all flowing into his back. Everything continued increasing in strength, but he barely noticed; he was too intent on staying grounded and not creating unnecessary eddies in the current as all of Asahi's stories rushed back around him.

It wasn't until Asahi inked the last line and removed his hands from Nishinoya's back that the worst came. Without warning, he was hit by a memory that was definitely not from Asahi's stories.

He was flying through the air over a fleet of ships when a flaming crossbow bolt tore into his wing, burning the delicate membrane and sending him tumbling toward the water and the waiting ships. Before he could recover from the spiral, a second bolt struck him squarely in the heart, and he screamed as he struck the water with a large splash and began to sink below the waves. He tried to claw his way back to the surface, but something was pulling him down.

He had lost any sense of where he ended and the dragon began, and just when he was certain he couldn't take any more and was going to be destroyed by it, it faded abruptly with what he would have sworn was a sigh of relief. The electric shocks were replaced by a slight tingle across his back, and he regained his bearings to find himself still laying on the floor with Asahi's hand pinning the base of his neck.

"You made it," Asahi said with relief. "I was worried for a minute."

As was I, Kitten, added an unfamiliar voice that rumbled like rolling thunder.
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)

Re: Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] yrindor 2016-07-31 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
[2/2]

"Wha—?" Nishinoya said in confusion. He looked around, but he didn't see anyone else other than Asahi.

"Who are you?" he asked, and Asahi gave him a worried look.

Raitatsu, at your service, the voice said again, and you don't need to speak out loud by the way; I can hear you just fine.

"You're in my head?" Nishinoya asked tightly, and Asahi paled.

Technically, no. I believe I'm on your back currently. I could try to move if you'd like though, the strange voice retorted with a crackle of electricity that Nishinoya would have sworn was laughter. He craned his neck to look over his shoulder, and the dragon on his back shifted until it seemed to be looking directly back at him.

"You can hear it?" Asahi asked.

Please tell him I prefer to be referred to as 'he', the dragon interjected.

"I can, and he says that he's a he, not an it," Nishinoya replied.

Asahi sat down hard on the floor. "I'm sorry," he said shakily. "I'd heard the stories, but no one seemed to know anyone who'd actually seen it happen. I thought the stories were just that, stories."

The storyteller would do well to take heed of his stories, Raitatsu said. He of all people should know how tenuous the line between story and reality can be.

"What exactly just happened?" Nishinoya asked.

"Umm, it's complicated, but, ah, the tattoos appear to move because they...they take on pieces of the stories about them. They're supposed to be just that though, fragments of stories and memories. They, umm...They say that if the storyteller puts enough into the story, and if the, ah, listener truly listens and believes, then the tattoos can, umm...can take on more than just a shadow of the legend. They can, umm, pull forth the legends themselves? Still in ink form, but with their full memories and consciousness,...but that's supposed to just be a story too"

"I have an actual dragon on my back now?" Nishinoya asked in awe.

I have a name, thank you, Raitatsu retorted as Asahi said "I'm sorry. If I had known this would happen..."

"Why are you apologizing?" Nishinoya exclaimed. "There's an honest-to-god dragon on my back, and I can talk to him!"

"You aren't upset?"

"Hell no! This is awesome! Wouldn't you agree, Raitatsu?"

It has been awhile, the dragon conceded. I would like to see how the world has changed, and you do seem like an interesting sort.

"Raitatsu agrees," Nishinoya said. "See, you have nothing to be upset about."

"In that case, I guess that's, ah, everything," Asahi said reluctantly. "There's a mirror in the corner if you, ah, want to see it. Then I'll cover it for you; you, ummm...you know how to take care of it at this point."

Nishinoya looked in the mirror at his completed tattoo and gasped. The dragon was dark blue, and its body wound back and forth across his back from its tail at his hip all the way to where its head curled over his left shoulderblade. It was surrounded by thick thunderclouds, and even as he watched, lightning jumped between them.

"It's amazing, Asahi," Nishinoya said breathlessly. "Really, it's better than anything I could have imagined."

I look as good as ever, Raitatsu agreed, if a bit smaller.

Far too soon, Nishinoya found himself standing in the door of the shop about to leave.

"Thank you again, Asahi," he said. "I'm really glad I found you. And thank you for all of the stories you shared."

He was running out of things to say, but at the same time, he didn't really want to leave. With the tattoo done, and with him not wanting another just then, he had run out of excuses to come back to Asahi's shop, but he knew he was going to miss Asahi's stories, and he couldn't forget the way Asahi's hands had felt across his back.

Then just ask him already, Raitatsu said.

What? No! He doesn't feel the same way; it would just make things weird.

You don't know that. I think you might be surprised.

I have good memories of this; I don't want to ruin them.

Younglings never change, do they? Raitatsu said with a sigh, and before Nishinoya could respond, something shocked him between the shoulderblades. It caught him off guard, and he stumbled forward, catching himself on Asahi's shirt.

"Ummm, sorry," he mumbled as his ears turned bright red.

"Are you okay?" Asahi asked, his face the same color as Nishinoya's ears.

"Yeah, I'm fine…uh…iwaswonderingifmaybeyou'dtellmeanotherstorysometime?"

"Pardon? Are you sure you're okay?" Asahi asked, gently setting Nishinoya back on his feet. He pressed his wrist to Nishinoya's forehead. "You feel a bit warm."

Nishinoya bit his lip as he looked at the ground, trying to will his traitorous heart to stop beating so loudly. "I said I really liked listening to your stories, and I was wondering if you'd tell me more sometime."

"You want to come back?" Asahi asked. "Even if it's, ah, not for a tattoo?"

"Only if you want," Nishinoya replied. "I really liked your stories, but, umm…I was thinking maybe we could go to a coffee shop or something together?"

Asahi said nothing, and Nishinoya was starting to worry he had said the wrong thing when Asahi pulled him into a tight hug.

"I have your number from your card," Nishinoya said when Asahi finally let go. "I'll call you."

Asahi still seemed unable to speak, but he was smiling more than Nishinoya had ever seen as he waved goodbye and closed the door.

What did I tell you, Kitten? Raitatsu asked as Nishinoya walked down the street.

Nishinoya tried to figure out how to mentally glare at the dragon. I'm not a kitten. Also, you didn't have to push me like that. I would have gotten there eventually.

Of course, Kitten, Raitatsu said smugly.
Edited 2016-07-31 05:16 (UTC)
horchata: (Default)

Re: Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] horchata 2016-07-31 04:38 pm (UTC)(link)
EEEEEEEEEE

NOYA IS STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE DRAGON, ASAHI THE STORYTELLER AHHH THIS WAS LOVELY AN I REALLY ENJOYED IT
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)

Re: Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] yrindor 2016-07-31 07:45 pm (UTC)(link)
THANK YOU! I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT!

I love storyteller characters, and I couldn't pass up an excuse to write Noya with an actual dragon.
mousapelli: (Kuroo Tsukki)

Re: Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] mousapelli 2016-08-01 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
this is a really cool concept and a really fun read. Nice!
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)

Re: Fill: Team Grandstand, T

[personal profile] yrindor 2016-08-01 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!