“I’m easy to recognize, if you ever come here,” xe writes on xir arm.

The words blurr and smear away a moment later, as xir soulmate frees up space to write back “I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.”

Xir soulmate doesn’t give a description back. Ze never does.

Xe wonders what ze has to hide, keeping secrets from zir own soulmate.


“It’s you?” snarls the mercenary ”You’re my Fate?”

The red string is stretched taut between their two hands.

“Well fuck,” says the other mercenary  “I want you to know that I still intend to kill you if you don’t stand down, Fate be damned.”

“The way you tell it, we’ve known each other for a thousand lifetimes.” says xir soulmate “You and I, together, throughout history.”

“Just the boring parts.” xe responds “I’m immortal. You might come back but- losing you is never easy.”

“Well, okay, the boring parts of history. And now you’re nervous about the thought of meeting my parents? Have you never met them before?”

“I just- What if they don’t approve?”

The whole idea of soulmarks is that they’re there to tell you about the most important person in your life. They’re supposed to indicate the most important conversation you’ll ever have with your soulmate (a lot of people have ‘I love you’. A lot of people have ‘I need to tell you something’. A lot of people have ‘I’m seeing someone else’.)

That’s all well and good, except it still doesn’t explain why xe has titties in blocky, uneven script over xir sternum. Right in between xir titties.

“It’s you?”

It takes a moment for the words to really sink in- the tone (offended, loud, angry) is familiar. But the words.

The hero gazes at the villain uncomprehendingly. There is a cord stretched taut between their hands.

“You.” the villain spits “And me? Soulmates?”

“We should have some fun, some time! it’ll be great. Maybe we could go see the circus together.” chirps the villain excitedly

“…Sure,” hedges the hero “Uh. I like the circus. If you could maybe move your swordpoint from my throat, right now though-”

“No, I have to take you captive.”

“You are a good partner,” smiles the villain, patting the vigilante gently on the cheek “Everything is going to be okay.”

“I… Are you sure? So many people are dead…” The vigilante turns to face the burning horizon “I never wanted to hurt anyone.”

“Don’t worry. They were all monsters. We are only burning the parts of the world that aren’t worth anything more than tinder.”

A small list of things vigilante mercenaries are not meant to do:

Get injured

Trust an employer

Be merciful

Be soft.

But there’s a little witch kid setting the woods on fire behind xir as xe runs, sobbing in fear from what’s chasing xir.

Ze’s a mercenary, not a monster. Ze takes xir with zir.