Soulmate AU Series: "Stuck With You" Chapter 1

Feren's words were always the same. Adair could recite them by heart by now. "'Cause you have too many marks and they're all in weird places and that means you're broken and don't mean anything to anyone." 

(There's a writing game/challenge on tumblr where we write an AU [alternate reality/universe] story every week. I'm going to be writing a multi-part story about all five of my main characters using the prompt “A [platonic] soulmate AU where you have a black stain where your soulmate is supposed to touch you for the first time and it turns to millions of colors once they do.” The events are all [or mostly] canon to the series; the only real change are the soul-marks. This chapter of Adair's would take place about seven years before the trilogy.)

Unexpected Inspiration AU Series: "Stuck With You"
Chapter 1
(Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11)

"You're probably some kind of freak, you know."

Adair yanked his shirt down over his head so he could glare at the source of the voice he hated so much. Feren leaned against the doorway as if he owned the place. Okay, so maybe he did because it was his room, but it was Adair's now, too. Feren was the bane of his existence. Adair had read that in a book once and it fit perfectly. He'd been stuck with Feren hanging around since they were seven and now he had to live with him for the next six years. Being apprenticed to a cartographer was great. Dealing with her son, not so much. If only Feren would show signs of having any weaving at all! Then he'd be sent to a master artist and apprenticed somewhere far away and Adair would never have to look at him again.

"Why am I a freak this time?" Adair already knew yet asked anyway. Maybe he was wrong and Feren was just talking about how he liked to draw too much or something. Sometimes Feren bugged him about that instead.

Feren walked over with what he probably thought was a saunter but was more like a limp and prodded Adair between his shoulder blades right where the black mark the size of a fist stained Adair's skin. So it was going to be about that. Adair closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could get through this. It wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last. It stung a little less each time. That had to be good, right?

Feren's words were always the same. Adair could recite them by heart by now. "‘Cause you have too many marks and they're all in weird places and that means you're broken and don't mean anything to anyone."

The first few times Feren had picked on him for this, Adair burst into tears and went and hid in the woods for hours until he'd been so hungry he had to come back. His marks were in weird places and he did have a lot of them. Most people had two or three. Adair had four. Or at least he thought it was four. The two splotches on his waist that looked like hand prints were probably from the same person and didn't mean he had five. But he didn't know, couldn't know, and maybe Feren was right because no one had that many. And none of them were on his hands, which made it weirder because it meant a bunch of important people touched him but he didn't touch them? It made no sense.

But he refused to get upset, not when Feren was mean and a jerk and a buttface and a poophead and probably just jealous because he didn't have any soul-marks. Of course he didn't. No one would even like Feren, let alone have him as one of the most important people in their life. He kept this thought repeating through his head while Feren prodded each of the marks in turn. The one in the middle of his back. The one on his left forearm that stretched from his wrist to the inside of his elbow. The one at the center of his chest that looked sort of like a short brush stroke. The two above either hip.

When Feren finished, he stood in front of Adair with his arms crossed over his chest. "See? Too many. You're broken."

Adair could feel tears welling up in his eyes– angry tears, not sad tears, but he didn't want Feren to see any tears. He shoved past him as hard as he could and escaped into the hallway. He would lock himself in the studio and there was nothing Feren could do about it. He wasn't an artist and since he wasn't an artist he couldn't use weaving to unlock the door. Maybe Adair could move his bed in there and never have to share a room with a mark-less jerk again.



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