The Peninsula

The Fiction and Poetry Archive of Liana Mir and scribblemyname

Morning Touch


Skylight pulled the sleepshirt over her head and eyed her remaining clothes not in the laundry. With her habit of shoving in extra training sessions wherever they would fit, she had a bad tendency to sweat through shirts almost faster than she could wash them.

Math chuckled behind her, as if he could see the speculative look on her face (he could not). There must have been something about her stance that gave her away.

“Wash tomorrow,” she commented. Her spare supply was justified.

“Yes.” He got out of the bed behind her and fished down her second to last tank top. He paused, hand tracing over her back gently then over the line of her sports bra.

Skylight breathed evenly, slow and steady, but she felt warm all over.

He carefully lifted the shirt over her head and tugged it down over her shoulders, let her fit her own arms through the holes, but smoothed it carefully into place after.

She didn’t let him go for the overshirt before she dragged him close and kissed him good morning.

Morning Wait


Skylight woke before morning had fully come. The room was dark, and Math’s warmth and the beating of his heart lay under her head. His arms had come up around her in the night, and she blinked a moment at the sensation of being held.

She had things to do before they flew out to the next mission. There was always last minute mission prep slotted in, and she had always risen early for practice and training, but for a moment she ignored that in favor of this feeling, this warmth, the solid sense of being loved.

Morning would wait.


This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Counting Coup

They add up successful missions over time, beads on a string, but though somewhere in Department headquarters someone tracks absolute numbers, Team 95 only tracks percentages. Ninety-nine percent mission success rate, with the closest hewing to planned acceptable losses across the Projects.

They control the flow of Baganechi raiders around international trade in the region, build intelligence networks, and exploit them ruthlessly, knock problem leaders out of power, manipulate chosen leaders in.

It’s bloody, it’s violent, they’re all too familiar with working in shadows and dealing in bodies and lives.

“Minimize the blood, Skylight,” Wolf murmurs. “Save some of them.”


This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Counting Coup

Skylight has made blood of the regions they serve in. The Ogunn block of nations is bloody enough without their team dipping in their hand, but when it comes to mission parameters, it’s Wolf that decides acceptable cost, and Skylight that tells her the options available.

“Minimize the blood,” Wolf says, slowly, thoughtfully, knowing there will be some other cost for even that.

And Skylight minimizes the blood, taking it down from thousands to hundreds to dozens before she digs in both her metaphorical feet and tells her leader, “That is the minimum.”

Fifty-six people dead to achieve their goals.


This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Counting Coup

They’re older, practically grown, when Skylight broods for a moment, considering the dance they’re practicing. She isn’t given to brooding, though he’s heard she knits her brows in concentration or thought quite frequently. But she doesn’t hesitate, until she asks for a goal and the instructor says, “Just dance.”

It’s an outside instructor. He doesn’t realize there’s always a goal—whether seduction, intelligence gathering, or even assassination.

“Sex, blood, and violence,” Math murmurs. The mortar with which empires are made. “Arc is the sex, Ice Queen is the violence, and you’re the blood. And that’s okay.”

They dance for blood.

Hates to Kill


Skylight whispers warm, sweet nothings against his ear. Math can barely even make out the sounds into proper language, but it doesn’t really matter. That’s not what he’s listening to.

It’s her heart he hears, her love, the way she doesn’t judge him for taking deep, ragged breaths while he tries to deal with everything he’s just seen and done. Math hates to kill, only does it when he must.

They were told it was a military target, not a civilian one, and for once they hadn’t had time to gather their own intel first.

But they were lied to.

The Approach to Dance


There was a big difference between how Skylight practiced her dance and how Skytouch did.

Skylight was skilled and her control over her body practically perfect. She went through each stretch and leap and twirl and footwork and stance until it was perfect. Then carefully retrained her reflexes to maintain safe combativeness.

Skytouch let herself go completely. She threw herself into the dance, technical perfection offset by genuine emotion and less control than Skylight. She didn’t bother to fix her reflexes after.

“You’ll break an ankle one day like that,” Skylight pointed out.

Skytouch shrugged. “One day, I won’t fight.”

For Lorden


This is what keeps you alive. You breathe in the stale, bloodstained air—the smell of iron and sweat—and you press down with even pressure on her wound as you listen to her shallow breaths. You can already see the fever in her glazed eyes and flushed face. It doesn’t matter if you can’t actually smell the infection yet.


On Watch


She’s standing there, arms still coated in silver, bare of the charcoal grey bands she’s often formed of the substance. No blood on her body, but there’s sweat in the hair that’s come loose from her braid. It’s not a good sign.




The girl’s golden brown skin was coated in blood. It had splattered across her arms, her heathered green tank top and trousers, and the military boots she wore.

Her grey eyes were grim, her mouth a straight slash, but she seemed to catalogue the bodies surrounding her with mechanical detachment. The troop captain stared at her in horror. He’d been sent to extract a thirteen-year-old girl—not this.

She shrugged her shoulders, and something silver and shimmery poured out of her skin, covering her before flowing across the pile of bodies. It vanished, and with it, the dead and the blood.

A Way With Them


There’s nothing wrong with babies. Skylight likes them. When they aren’t hers and no one’s asking her when she’s going to produce one.

Her brother’s small daughter is sleeping in her arms, and Skylight’s busily going over reports for things her mother really doesn’t want to know the details of, whether or not she realizes it, when her brother walks in and pushes his glasses up to get a better look.

“You have a way with her.” He smiles. “You ever—?”

“No.” She doesn’t let him finish. She loves her husband, but they agree. They are not having kids.

Practice Makes Perfect


Skylight was unusually warm when she woke up. She noted that Math’s arms had wound snugly around her sometime in the night.

They were undercover. This was an act. At least outside their closed door it was.

She didn’t bother to wake him before kissing him gently, trusting his instincts to be sensitive to the unusual.

It was a safe bet. He woke immediately, hand coming up to brace her. “Skylight?”

She drew back sharply at that, eyebrow raised. “Clearly, you need practice.” He shouldn’t have said her name.

“I guess I do.”

She leaned down to kiss him again.