“You aren’t meant to be here,” the wither skeleton bouncer at the front of Hels’s Kitchen says to a man in full plate armor. “How’d you know where we are?”
“I know a guy.”
“Go inside and say something about how being a manifestation of my subconscious or whatever goes both ways. I know he’s here. Just... I’ll be cool, I promise, I’m not here to cause problems. I’d leave my sword out here, but...”
The bouncer snorts. “Probably for the best. You good?”
“It’s complicated,” Wels says, sighing. “Look, I know I’m not really supposed to be in Hels’s Kitchen, or know where it is, or be able to get here, but we both know the rules of reality are a bit... bendy... around you all, so...”
“Sure, I’ll go ask inside if there’s a subconscious running around,” says the bouncer. “Although, that sounds awfully like a figment of your imagination. Sure we’re the problem ones?”
“Not at all these days,” mutters Wels.
He waits a polite five minutes. When the bouncer doesn’t come back, Welsknight shrugs and walks in. He doesn’t expect much to make sense today, given that he’s indulging in... this... but he has a goal, and that goal is something he’s going to meet. Then, hopefully, he can never come back here or have to deal with the consequences of either his actions with the cloning machine or his horrific tendencies towards repression - he’s yet to be sure which one it is, or if it’s somehow both, but hey, the fact that he’s self aware about it has gotta count for something, right?
When he walks into the bar, it’s empty, except for a man lounging in one of the booths. Wels gets the sense it’s not meant to be empty, but like he said, he’s here to indulge in nonsense, not deal in reality.
Helsknight waves at Wels from a booth. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“I have questions.”
“Well, I don’t know if I have answers you don’t. I’m you. Or, you know, part of you.”
Wels blinks. “More straightforward than usual.”
“It’s not really a secret, is it? I told you that in the rap battle.”
“Fair, I think,” Wels says. He sits down. The booth is made of cheap linoleum. It’s cracked in the heat. “I’m here about two things. The moon, and Xisuma.”
“The moon? Why do you think the bar’s empty, Wels.”
“There was a bouncer.”
“Right, right.” Welsknight gets the distinct sense that Helsknight is trying not to roll his eyes. (This, Wels thinks, is why this was a last resort.)
“Fine. Moon’s why you’re all gone. I’ll buy that. Makes as much sense as anything I, you, or the world would come up with for that one. Now, Xisuma.”
“What’s wrong with the dear admin?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know.”
“I’m not omniscient.”
“You just said you’re me.”
“Humor me,” Helsknight says, oddly intense.
“He’s not himself. Evil X has done something to him. I’d say mind games, but honestly? Seems too subtle.”
Helsknight is silent.
“And it’s... Xisuma is strong. Not that - you don’t have to be weak to -”
“I wouldn’t say he is weak,” Helsknight says. It hits oddly. “Naive, sure, but weak?”
“What do you know?“
Helsknight is silent for a long time, which Wels doesn’t know what to make of. Helsknight hasn’t typically been the quiet type. Solitary, certainly. Sardonic, sure. But quiet? Not like this. Not when there’s something to throw in Welsknight’s face, another weapon in the game Wels is playing against himself.
“He asked me a question,” Helsknight says, finally.
“Why,” Helsknight says, “Evil X.”
Welsknight purses his lips and thinks of Xisuma showing him an empire, and also of other things, burning at the edge of his memory.
“And you told him?”
Helsknight looks out the window. “I told him to convince you himself.”
It is Welsknight’s turn to be quiet. “To convince you,” Welsknight says.
“We both know Evil X is using mind control, and that neither of us know anything about that,” Helsknight says instead of answering. “Why did you bother with this charade?”
“Nothing like talking to yourself to figure out a problem. Isn’t there this thing about rubber ducks?”
“I refuse to be compared to a rubber duck.”
Wels cracks a smile, for all he feels like his chest is lead. “There you go. A personality trait. Sometimes you lose track of those. Sure you don’t have any answers about the moon?”
“Goodnight, Wels. Have fun on the way out.”
Welsknight leaves, knowing full well that in a few hours, he’ll not be able to find the bar again. When he closes the door, he sees the bouncer. Politely, he waves, and he goes back towards the overworld. Two ghasts nearly kill him, and Wels decides to blame them on Helsknight. Feels like appropriate thanks, giving the man credit for a kill he didn’t get in return for an honest answer.
(In return for - no part of Wels had truly considered it. Reassurance. Well, that will be a weapon next time they talk, Wels thinks, and he can’t bring himself to be mad about it.)
Sorcerer!Scar and Vampire!Mumbo fic I wrote after seeing the drawings from @kiwibaskerville and @spyglahass for @mojo-chojo 's spicy chicken au. I originally wasn't going to post this publicly, but when I shared it with them they all liked it so much they convinced me to share it. So I hope you enjoy!
Thunder rumbled ominously overhead, the flashes of lightning in between deep rumbles growing more frequent. The rain hadn’t arrived yet, but Scar could smell the change in the atmosphere that signaled it wouldn’t be long to arrive. He flashed his signature grin up at the tall figure glaring at him from the open doorway to the castle he found himself in front of.
“What, are you not going to let an old friend come in to take shelter from this storm? You aren’t that cruel, are you Mumbo?”
Mumbo only squinted slightly in response, his steely gaze not faltering in the slightest at Scar’s attempt to win him over. He crossed his arms and leaned casually against the doorframe, his eyes briefly flicking over Scar’s somewhat bedraggled appearance. His boots and hem of his coat were caked in mud, and his hair, though normally endearingly messy, was looking truly unkempt. Still, Mumbo refused to just lie down and let this fox wander into his own home.
“Scar, we both know you don’t make unplanned visits. What are your intentions here?”
Scar gasped and clutched a hand to his chest dramatically at Mumbo’s words. “Mumbo! You wound me! Do you truly think so little of me that you think I would have ulterior motives when visiting my own friends?”
“Quite frankly, yes. I do think that.”
For a brief moment, Scar looked genuinely hurt by Mumbo’s words, and Mumbo felt just a tiny bit guilty, but he pushed the guilt aside for the moment. Scar always wanted something. Lightning flashed brightly and the thunder rolled overhead not long after, indicating how close the nearby storm was. Scar glanced up a bit nervously and fidgeted with his coat for a moment while chewing his lower lip in thought before sighing deeply.
“Okay Mumbo, my beloved Swaggon just happened to hit an unfortunate rock in the road nearby and it maybe broke down just a little bit and I need somewhere to take shelter from this storm until I can fix it.” Scar finished his story and smiled sheepishly up at the tall vampire in front of him. Mumbo didn’t move for a long moment, contemplating the veracity of Scar’s tale, before sighing heavily and stepping aside.
“Alright, you can come in, BUT– take your boots off first, they’re absolutely filthy.” Scar lit up as Mumbo invited him inside; Cheerily stepping over the threshold and clapping Mumbo’s hand in his.
“Excellent! I knew I could count on you, Mumbo! I promise, it’ll be like I’m not even here!” Scar beamed even as Mumbo doubted he could ever forget that Scar was in his house.
“Scar! Boots!” He cried out as the human sorcerer had already begun to walk down the hall without removing his filthy footwear.
“Oh, splendid! Thank you Mumbo, you’re truly a wonderful host.” Scar hummed as Mumbo handed him a warm mug of tea. After kicking off his boots and hanging up his coat, Scar had made himself right at home in Mumbo’s favorite armchair next to the fireplace. Mumbo swore Scar had to know what he was doing and was messing with him, but Scar had only ever visited once before, so how could he possibly know that was Mumbo’s favorite chair? Mumbo pushed aside his irritation for the moment and sat himself in the armchair across from Scar.
There was a long silence as Mumbo continued to examine Scar to see if he could discern his motives through observation alone. The fire crackled in the fireplace and Scar sipped his tea until he set the cup down with an audible clack.
“Where’s Grian? Usually he’s attached to you at the hip.” Scar mused, a sly grin on his face. Mumbo was certain now that Scar hadn’t just shown up on his doorstep by chance.
“If your magic isn’t faulty, then you should know that Grian isn’t here right now.” Mumbo replied, with perhaps a bit more snark than he’d originally intended. The subtle jab at Scar’s magic capability didn’t seem to phase the human, who only smiled and laughed.
“Oh you’re right! Silly me, how could I forget?” The smile on Scar’s face darkened ever so slightly and his tongue poked out just enough for him to lick his lips and quickly flash the magic mark on his tongue at Mumbo teasingly. “Ah, I see. He’s out visiting his sister, Pearl. Isn’t that nice? I’m glad he’s getting a chance to catch up with her.” Mumbo glared at Scar again, irked by the fact that he’d just instantly known where Grian was at the moment.
“What’s with the sour face, Mumbo? It’s really just a protective measure, I care about Grian as a friend and only wish to see him safe! We wouldn’t want something to happen to our beloved harpy friend and not know where he was.” Scar smiled innocently, but Mumbo knew that face was a lie.
“It would be one thing if that’s all that mark of yours meant.” Mumbo growled softly. “You and I both know that isn’t all it is.”
“Are you referring to how the mark got there in the first place?” Scar chuckled, “It really isn’t that big a deal, Mumbo. It’s a simple matter of infusing my mark with magic and putting a little bit of intent behind it.” He shrugged and rested his head in his hand. “All I have to do then is touch the sigil to whatever I wish to mark, et voilà!”
“Yes but that is the problem, your mark is on your tongue!” Mumbo exclaimed, growing frustrated with Scar’s embellishing.
“Ahhh I see what this is about.” Scar sat back in the arm chair and steepled his fingers thoughtfully. “You’re jealous.”
“Wh-No, I am not jealous, I just think that–”
“If you felt that way you should have just said something, Mumbo!” Scar lamented, getting up from his seat and approaching Mumbo as he talked, “I would never want to do anything that would make you upset, I consider you a dear friend of mine as well, you know.”
“Scar, I really–”
“And you know, I’ve been thinking about this for a while myself and I think this is the perfect opportunity,” Scar interrupted Mumbo again by sitting down on his lap and continuing to talk, without missing a beat, “I could mark you, too~” He hummed and brought a hand up to cup Mumbo’s face.
Mumbo sat in stunned silence for a moment, a soft blush beginning to creep into his face. Of all the things he’d expected Scar to say, that had to be the last thing he’d anticipated.
“I– What– Scar I can’t–” Mumbo stammered, trying to find his words as Scar brushed his thumb over his cheek.
“Of course you can.” Scar smiled and leaned in closer to whisper in Mumbo’s ear, “You just have to let me do all the hard work.” He punctuated his sentence with a little nibble on Mumbo’s earlobe, tugging on it gently.
The blush in Mumbo’s cheeks became more pronounced and he pushed Scar away, his irritation gone now and replaced by a confusing mixture of emotions. His heart was beginning to race and his chest felt tight with swirling emotions; confusion, embarrassment, indignation, and just a little bit of curiosity.
“Ah, feeling nervous, are we?” Scar teased, “How about I sweeten the deal for you?” Scar ignored the glare Mumbo shot his direction and continued his sales pitch; “You let me mark you, and I’ll let you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a little taste of genuine Scar Blood.”
Once again, Mumbo was left too stunned to say anything right away. “You would let me drink your blood… In exchange for letting you put your mark on me?” He repeated, still trying to grasp the offer being presented to him.
“Correct! Grian has been away for a while–”
Bastard! Mumbo thought, I knew he was just playing dumb–
“--So I presume you’ve had to go without for a little while now. Why not make this a mutually beneficial exchange? Let me mark you and you get a little snack to tide you over until your favorite food comes back from visiting his sister.” Scar idly let his hand roam across Mumbo’s chest as he spoke, “Honestly, you’ll be getting quite a deal, since I will also come to your aid should you ever need it once I’ve marked you.” He licked his lips again and Mumbo got another, closer peek at the magic sigil that shimmered on his tongue.
Mumbo contemplated Scar’s offer for a moment. It was true, it had been several days since he’d last eaten and his hunger was starting to get a bit of an edge to it, and Grian wasn’t due to return for at least another week. And now Scar had piqued his curiosity about the mark. He’d be lying to himself if he wasn’t at least a little bit curious about Scar’s abilities.
“Alright… you have yourself a deal.” Mumbo agreed cautiously, proffering his hand to Scar to shake and confirm their agreement.
Scar took it and shook it firmly once saying, “Then we have a deal! Now, do you have any preference for where you want the mark to be? I can put it just about anywhere~” Mumbo flushed again, already several spots jumping into his mind unbidden.
“I- I don’t care, as long as it’s someplace that isn’t obvious and is easy to hide.” He said, trying not to dwell on those thoughts for too long.
“Aw, you’re not ashamed of me, are you Mumbo?” Scar pouted before brushing aside Mumbo’s hair and leaning in close to his neck, so close his lips just barely brushed against Mumbo’s skin as he said, “I could put it somewhere for all the world to see, you know~”
Mumbo tried to hide the hitch in his breathing and the shiver that ran down his spine as Scar’s warm breath tickled his neck. “N-No thank you, p-please keep it somewhere discreet.” He muttered, trying to maintain his composure. Scar chuckled and relented, pulling back enough that Mumbo breathed a small sigh of relief.
“Alright, alright, a deal’s a deal, and I’m a fair man. I think I know just the spot, too, but I’ll need you to stand up for me a little bit.” Scar got up from Mumbo’s lap and offered his hand out to help Mumbo stand. Mumbo took his hand and rose from his seat, only to let out a small noise of surprise as Scar tugged him over to his wet bar at the nearby wall.
“Scar, what are you doing– ah!” Before Mumbo could even finish his question, Scar had him pressed up against the edge of the bar and had brought his face down to meet him in a kiss. It was sudden and unexpected, but when Scar cupped his hand around the side of Mumbo’s head and nibbled on Mumbo’s lower lip, pleading silently for access, Mumbo felt his hesitation vanish. Without really thinking, Mumbo opened his mouth and allowed Scar to deepen the kiss.
Mumbo’s eyes fluttered shut as he became lost in the kiss, his hands resting on Scar’s hips. He vaguely noticed that Scar’s hands slipped down and unbuttoned his waistcoat. He lost track of how long the kiss lasted before Scar pulled back, leaving them both panting and flushed. He couldn’t lie to himself, Scar was a very good kisser, and Mumbo hadn’t realized how badly he’d been missing a more intimate touch.
“I hope you’re not planning to mark my tongue, Scar.” Mumbo teased, feeling a bit more relaxed with the sorcerer.
“Only if you want me to~” Scar teased back and chuckled. “No, no, I have a different place in mind. This is just… a little bit of fun, hm?” As he spoke, his hands tugged at the corner of Mumbo’s neatly tucked in shirt, pulling it free and sneaking his hands under the hem to let them rest against Mumbo’s skin on his hips.
“Fun, hm? Is that all?” Mumbo asked somewhat sarcastically. He was about to say something else when Scar suddenly knelt down in front of him. “Scar? What on earth are you–” Mumbo’s words caught in his throat and his eyes widened a bit as he looked down to see Scar pushing Mumbo’s shirt up, exposing his stomach. Mumbo’s hand went up to cover his mouth and face a bit as he felt the heat rise in his cheeks, his free hand reaching behind him to nervously grip the counter top. Taking a nervous breath before looking back down at Scar, who was still kneeling on the floor in front of him, looking up at Mumbo and enjoying his reaction. Gently Scar let one hand brush across Mumbo’s exposed midriff, sending another shiver down Mumbo’s spine.
“Such beautiful, perfect skin~” Scar hummed softly and leaned in so his lips were just brushing the skin, “I can’t wait to Mark it~” And without further warning, Scar placed an open-mouth kiss on the skin just above Mumbo’s left hip.
Mumbo was glad his hand was already covering his mouth as it stifled the soft noise of pleasure that escaped his throat as he felt Scar’s warm tongue on his skin. Again his eyes fluttered shut and his head tilted back in pleasure as Scar both literally and figuratively worked magic on Mumbo’s skin with his tongue. Though he’d managed to stifle any noises that tried to escape him when Scar was just using his tongue, it became more difficult when Scar added his teeth into the mix. Mumbo yelped in surprise as Scar bit down on the sensitive skin and sucked on it hard before releasing it and running his tongue over the sore bite mark. Mumbo couldn’t help the soft moan that escaped him as Scar continued to bite and lick the area, a strange warmth forming in the middle of the skin. Finally, after what felt like ages, Scar backed off to admire his handiwork. A prominent bruise was beginning to form on Mumbo’s hip, and right at the center of it was a bright, warm, glowing mark that slowly began to dim.
“There!” Scar said happily, pulling Mumbo’s hips closer to him again, “One lovely new mark.” He smiled and pressed several gentle kisses to Mumbo’s skin traveling from his hip to his navel. “Well, that’s your end of the deal, I suppose I ought to hold up my end now, too.”
“Oh, believe me, I plan on holding you to your end of the bargain.” Mumbo, eager to give Scar a taste of his own medicine, smiled darkly in a way that had Scar shivering this time. “Get up.” Mumbo commanded, pulling Scar to his feet. “Let me return the favor.” He whispered before deftly spinning Scar around so their positions were switched, this time with Mumbo pressing Scar up against the counter of the wet bar.
“Oh, I think I like this Mumbo~” Scar flirted as Mumbo leaned in for another kiss.
“We’ll see how long that lasts.” Mumbo shot back before reaching his hand up to tangle in Scar’s hair, grabbing a fistful of it and forcefully pulling Scar’s head to the side. Mumbo glanced quickly in Scar’s direction, a little bit surprised to see the clear excitement on the sorcerer’s face. Usually people about to be bitten by a vampire for the first time were fearful, but Scar looked eager for what was about to happen.
Mumbo almost hesitated for a moment, but then he caught a whiff of Scar’s warm skin; soft and slightly salty with the inviting pulse of blood just under the surface; and he couldn’t help himself. He still tried to be a little gentle at first, licking the area and just sucking on the skin softly for a moment, but he could feel Scar’s pulse quicken under his tongue as the human squirmed slightly in his arms, and he couldn’t wait any longer. His fangs easily pierced Scar’s skin, sinking in deeply until they hit a larger vein and blood began to well up around them. Scar let out a brief sound of pain that morphed into a low moan as Mumbo’s tongue lapped up the rivulets.
Mumbo himself let his eyes slide shut as the taste of Scar’s blood hit his tongue. It was coppery and salty, but had a delightful taste to it that Mumbo couldn’t describe. It almost wasn’t even a taste as much as it was a sensation, a pleasant tingly feeling that spurred Mumbo’s hunger into action, craving more. It certainly wasn’t the same as Grian’s blood, but maybe it was because he was a sorcerer that his blood had this quality to it that Mumbo found quite enjoyable.
For a moment, Mumbo lost himself to his hunger, letting himself suck and lap at the wound on Scar’s neck as it bled into his mouth. Scar, for his part, didn’t seem to mind, trying desperately not to continue moaning softly as Mumbo’s tongue ran over his skin. Eventually he did become a bit concerned as he noticed the room begin to spin. Gently he slapped Mumbo’s arm to get his attention and groaned softly once the vampire withdrew his tongue and teeth.
“Ah ha ha, okay I think you’ve proved your point.” Scar chuckled weakly, the fatigue beginning to catch up with him. He’d used a chunk of Mana to Mark Mumbo, and he hadn’t realized that letting Mumbo drink his blood also let Mumbo consume some of his Mana reserves, leaving him feeling even weaker than he anticipated. He tried to straighten up from his position leaned back on the counter and his vision faded out.
“Scar!” Mumbo yelped and caught the human just in time before he’d fainted head-first to the floor. Mumbo was just as caught off-guard as Scar was, having lost track of just how much blood he’d consumed. Gently, Mumbo held Scar in his arms and guided him to lay on the floor. He grabbed a nearby throw pillow and a blanket from the back of a chair and helped make him just a little bit more comfortable until he regained consciousness. Mumbo felt a bit guilty for not realizing how much he’d drank and decided that it was the least he could do to make sure Scar felt okay when he woke up. He sighed and stood up, heading into the kitchen to grab several glasses of water and some fruit. Mumbo knew from experience at this point that Scar would wake up feeling thirstier than a man in a desert and would need to eat something to help him get his blood sugar back to normal. He returned and knelt next to Scar on the floor, pausing for a moment to brush the hair back from his eyes.
Sometimes he could be a major pain, and Mumbo still didn’t really wholly trust Scar’s motives, but he supposed the human Sorcerer wasn’t really all that bad.