The Peninsula

The Fiction and Poetry Archive of Liana Mir and scribblemyname


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.

She Dances


Grace dances because she’s good at it. It’s the only thing she’s good at.

She doesn’t know how to be a good person or how to love. She doesn’t know how to be a good friend.

(She does know. Only it doesn’t last after the jealousy rises up inside her to fight against being abandoned again—and again, and again, and again.)

Her mother fractured under the weight of her own genius, and they’re waiting for Grace to do the same. (Is she manic to suit them? To perform?)

She dances because there, at least, she knows exactly what to do.

Smile Recklessly


“Smile recklessly,” Kusanagi asked, desperate for a bit of hope and normalcy in their crisis.

Totsuka thought of his childhood wish to be the joker in the King’s court, to make the King laugh. He smiled recklessly. “Hey, hey, don’t sweat it. It’ll all work out.”

Yata was holding him, and there was Kusanagi standing over him stricken shock instead of the emotional composure that carried him through all major and minor catastrophes.

Smile recklessly.

Totsuka struggled to breathe. “Hey, hey, don’t sweat it,” he managed to get out. Normalcy in their crisis. “It’ll all work out.”

Where Is


She comes in out of the cold, night shadows like wings trailing in her wake, and drops to a crouch beside the fire.

They make room for her, these Baganechi raiders, recognizing the leather bands around her arms, the tattoo encircling her wrist, the icy blonde hair and blue eyes of one of their most infamous members.

“Cherinagos,” one says and hands her the cup.

She drinks with a nod of gratitude. To share in the spoils one has not taken is an honor.

“You are home,” says another.

But she laughs at this, this wandering raider. “Where is home?”

The Point


“What is the point of living?” Dazai demanded with a sigh.

“How should I know?” Chuuya demanded right back.

They were both fifteen years old and neither of them had a very good grasp on being human. Chuuya though, Chuuya was intent on figuring it out by doing everything that made him feel alive. Dazai seemed to flirt so strenuously with death in an effort to figure out what being not alive felt like, the better to see a contrast he could make sense of.

Dazai studied Chuuya out of one eye.

Chuuya shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. We just live.”

No One There


Why did you leave me? Yata’s heart demanded. Weren’t you there when my friends turned against me? Weren’t you there when my family no longer needed me?

Wind whipped through his hair.

He couldn’t quite believe the feeling, flames burning on Saruhiko’s chest. He didn’t need Yata anymore and could not have made it more clear.

Yata slipped and lost his grip on the skateboard, flying into a wall. It hurt, it hurt, but that was good. He could focus on the pain in his knee, his arm, and pull himself upright.

It hurt so much less than his heart.

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.

Teller, Taker (Just the Facts, Ma’am Remix)


Word came at dawn of the newly outfitted military station in Westerfields, that vast uninhabited territory between Glaston and Edyll, both kingdoms cities. A quick reconnaissance by interested parties (read: operatives) identified standard and, to them, quite familiar signs of Thorn Republic activity. Once upon a time, those operatives had been the source of those signs, and they knew their own, besides any other departments Thorn might tap to do their dirty work.


Too Quiet


Quiet fills the space, and Yata bounces one foot as he turns the food in the wok. He’s alone and no one’s here.

He never knew how much noise Saruhiko used to make until there was no clack of typing keys or those quiet sounds when he clicked his tongue in displeasure or disgust, no rustling of clothing or blanket, no quiet footfalls on the threadbare carpet. The toilet doesn’t flush in the background, no clank against the bunk bed railing. The door doesn’t open or click shut. No thunk of small objects tossed.

He turns off breakfast, eats—alone.

This Wasn’t What I Wanted


Fushimi hadn’t planned to leave at all, both deeply intrigued and intensely uncomfortable with the way the Blue King wanted him to leave Homura and join his clan.

Fushimi couldn’t find fulfillment in Homura, its growing problems and Misaki’s growing infatuation more and more annoying to him, but he had never planned to betray them. He’d joined them for Misaki’s sake, protected them for Misaki’s sake, and never wanted to leave Misaki at all.

But he didn’t cry when his heart was burning inside him and Misaki’s tears inflamed him. He didn’t cry until in a quiet dorm room—alone.

Breaking Points


There were moments when all anyone could think about was the blood on their hands, their fallen team members—something not quite family but beyond mere friends—and their own willingness to go bloody themselves again.


Only You


They weren’t on the same page, they didn’t think the same thoughts, and they didn’t feel the same way. Not anymore. Once, they had—or it felt like it. Both of them had wanted to destroy the world they no longer belonged in, both of them wanted their own small world with each other. Both of them wanted power.

Now here they were with Homra, and they had it, and all Misaki could talk about were the people who’d claimed him as their own.

Saruhiko was beginning to realize Misaki had wanted another family, while Saruhiko had just wanted Misaki.



Her first love came from the stars far more literally than Liz had ever imagined possible before Max had healed her, then revealed his secret. Of course, star-crossed lovers were the ones who were not meant to be.

It felt like stars bursting inside her when they kissed, when they even so much as touched. She saw stars when they lingered and reached for that other sight together. She didn’t think she’d ever be able to love anyone the way she loved Max.

Liz listened to his future self, hurting as she figured out how she could let him go.

This Was My First Love


A/N: Thank you so much to geckoholic for the beta read and helping me when I fretted over consent issues. Also, title from the song “Last to Know” by Three Days Grace.

The adrenaline rush of fighting Misaki was always the same, pleasure and violence dancing up Saruhiko’s spine as he threw knives and aura at his former friend and partner. But for once, Misaki clearly wasn’t all the way into it, distracted, reflexes slightly slower, barely keeping up with Saruhiko’s insults and jibes.

Misaki failed to fend off the last few knives, and Saruhiko managed to pin him down, away from the rest of Homura, and close as he was now, he suddenly knew exactly what was off, the scent overwhelming.

“You’re in heat,” he said, frowning, barely containing his surprise.


Last Kiss


It wasn’t supposed to be his last kiss, the first time he reached out and took Tatara’s face in his hand, studying the way it made his eyes widen slightly and his mouth fall open, and the first time he’d ever kissed the only person that ever made him feel like everything was somehow worth it.

It wasn’t supposed to be Mikoto’s last kiss.

He opened his eyes from memory and breathed out smoke from his cigarette, something hard and angry burning in his gut.

This power is to protect.

Whoever killed Tatara was still out there. Not for long.

Broken Things


His entire childhood had been a long line of broken things, things that guy had burned, things he’d torn apart and unraveled and left as gifts to his only child. Saruhiko had never had anything he cared about that had ever lasted whole.

Misaki was different. Misaki was his friend, and he’d left when that guy had come. He’d left and hadn’t been just another broken thing.

Saruhiko didn’t know why he thought it would last. He’d wanted to destroy the world with Yata, remake it, and somehow along the way, they’d taken fire to each other and broken everything.

Missing You


It’s past midnight. Yata can’t sleep. He tosses and turns on the pillow, rolls over, huffs a sigh, trying to ignore the empty space where Saruhiko used to sleep, trying to ignore the quietness in their little place.

Saruhiko has always been quiet, but somehow it never felt like this.

Yata clenches his fists and buries his face in the pillow, trying to ignore the hot, tight feeling in his chest. Saruhiko betrayed them (him), left them (him). He isn’t coming back.

The room is empty of anyone but Yata. There’s no one there to mock or watch him cry.



Saruhiko isn’t afraid of shadows when he walks through the city on missions he despises, climbing Jungle ranks like it comes easy. (It does come easy. He had a thorough training in malice and sadistic behavior before he ever encountered the clans.)

He has nothing to fear from the members of the Green Clan or the King he knows he will come to meet. He’d been afraid of the Red King once, all flame and power, but he’s not afraid of shadows, not anymore.

That guy had occupied the shadows, malicious, sadistic. He’s dead, and now it’s Saruhiko owning them.

Simple Pleasures


Simple pleasure, taken in a night, left behind in the morning.

Dazai isn’t immune to pleasure, and he sees no reason to deny himself a night of soft, warm woman and beauty that doesn’t inspire him to pursue something that lasts.

Things that last are delicate. Things that last are prone to breakage and loss, pain piling upon pain, suffering piling upon suffering. Family gone, innocence broken, his only friend dead, and his partner something he won’t even reach for when he comes with a blaring bullseye in the middle of his Ability and an expiration on his life.