but I will hold on hope

I'll know my name as it's called again

&our little life is rounded with a sleep, we are such stuff as dreams are made on
tpuel;dr puella_nerdii
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Marriage of True Minds (Baccano!, Claire/Chane)
Continuing the trend of "fic I wrote just because I felt like it." eeee. Love this trend.

Marriage of True Minds. Baccano!, Claire/Chane with guest appearances by Luck and others. 1200 words. R for gore and sex. Set after the Flying Pussyfoot.
“She’s looking for me. I haven’t decided who that’s going to be yet. I’ll know. She’ll know, too.”

Claire wipes the flat of his knife across his forehead, steps over the mangled thing at his feet and kicks at a few strings of flesh hanging from the corpse. Blood pools around him, flows sluggishly from the pulped mass of flesh that used to be its face and sticks to the soles of his shoes.

“Finished,” he says.


“I’m getting married,” Claire says. The blood on his shoes soaks into the carpet. Luck makes a note to have it cleaned.

“Congratulations,” Luck says. He reaches inside his desk drawer and pulls out a bottle of an excellent ’15 Cabernet Sauvignon, imported from the Napa Valley before the Eighteenth Amendment became law. He’d been planning to toast the end of Claire’s contract with the Gandors, but now it seems the two of them have something else to celebrate. “Do I know your intended?”

“You haven’t met her yet.” Claire sits down on the chair Luck reupholstered last week.

Luck pours glasses for both of them. Claire leaves smudged red fingerprints on his. “When will I meet her?”

“You’ll meet her when you meet her,” Claire says, and from anyone else that would be an evasive answer, but Claire smiles as he says it: he’s simply telling Luck what he knows.

“Is this the woman you met on the train?” He doesn’t need to specify which train, and he likely didn’t need to specify which woman, either.

“Of course.” Claire drains half his glass. Luck drinks more slowly, letting the taste fill his mouth: it’s fruity and full-bodied, no trace of a vegetative aftertaste, and the smell of black currants clings to it.

“Where is she now?”

“Waiting for me in Manhattan. She carved it on the roof of the train. I’ll find her.”

“Manhattan’s large.”

“I know,” he says. “I’ll find her.”

He could ask how Claire knows this woman will wait for him, how he knows whether he’ll turn her up in the highest rises or lowest alleys of Manhattan, in any of the underworld warrens where she might make her home, but he knows what Claire’s answer will be, so he takes another sip of the Cabernet. “She carved her whereabouts on the roof of the Pussyfoot, you said?”

“She can’t speak,” Claire says.

“She sounds extraordinary,” but then, any woman who’s seized Claire’s attention like this must be.

“She is,” Claire agrees. He leans forward in his chair, propping his chin up on a sanguine fist, pupils wide and open. “I’ll let you know when the wedding is. You and Keith and Berga should be there.”

“We wouldn’t dream of missing it. Your contract with us is resolved, but you’re hardly rid of us.”

He smiles again; reddish lights dance in his eyes, as always, but they’re a deeper hue than normal today. “Once I’ve found her, I’ll tell you.”

“And if she attacks you when you meet again?” The first pinks of dawn start to bleed through the cracks in the blinds.

“I’ll let her,” he says. “That’s what you do when you’re in love.”

He’s heard stories to that effect. “Who is she looking for? Claire Stanfield? Rail Tracer? Vino?”

“She’s looking for me. I haven’t decided who that’s going to be yet. I’ll know. She’ll know, too.”

“Best of luck,” he says.

Claire stands up. He leaves stains behind: seeping into the wooden armrests, filtering through the fabric, dripping down the legs of the chair. “Thank you.”

“You never did tell me her name.”

“It’s Chane,” Claire says. “Chane Laforet.”


In the absence of her father’s voice, she listens for his. She takes to sitting on the rooftop at night, straining to hear the hiss and whistle of the trains coming in.


“Here,” Nice says. She draws the dress out of the box and holds it up to Chane’s shoulders; the fabric slides over her skin, whispering to her in a language without words. “It looks like it’s going to fit. Do you want to try it on?”

Chane shakes her head. She brushes her fingers down the front of the dress, over the frills and pleats. She wonders how it would move if she walked in it, danced in it, fought in it, kissed in it.

“Oh,” she says. “You’re waiting until you see him again. Right?”

She nods.

“When will that be?”

Chane shakes her head again, but her pulse quickens, races. Soon, her heart hammers. Soon.


“I won’t die,” he says. “It would be nice if your father decided he liked me, but even if he’d rather have me killed, I still won’t die.”

Chane smiles. It’s a little bit different than the smile he last remembered her having, but it’s still her smile, so he loves it.

“It looks like we might have to wait a while longer before we can get married,” he says. “That’s all right. It gives me more time to look for our rings.”

She nods. He bends down to kiss her. Her lips taste sweet, with just a hint of cinnamon clinging to them.


The ceremony is a small one. Claire introduces her to his brothers; Berga says hello and Luck says hello and Keith doesn’t say anything. He and Chane nod to each other instead.

The minister skims over the sermon and the readings and omits the droning introductory remarks, which Claire says is just as well. “We all know why we’re gathered here,” he whispers. She nods and wraps her fingers around his wrist. Her dress shimmers as she walks, the train floating over the ground, and only the sturdy weight of the knife strapped to her thigh keeps her anchored here, in the little church.

He recites the vows and she recites them with him, moving her lips along with his even though no sound accompanies the motion; in her mind, her voice rings out with the power of an old church bell.

I do, she thinks, and Claire slides the ring onto her finger.

“Kiss!” Berga shouts, and they do.


He takes her to the bed and slides her dress up her thighs; her skin is supple as silk under his fingers. He decides to kiss every inch of her that he can find, and when she colors red, blood rising to the surface, he smiles against the curve of her knee and thinks he likes changing her in this way, with his hands and lips and teeth and tongue.

“I’m in love with you,” he tells her, rocking inside her, and her lips part but she doesn’t make any sound, just holds tight onto his arms, and it feels like the wind’s roaring past his ears.


Dawn breaks, and they’re both awake to see it: Claire’s fingers stay soft on Chane’s breast, rising and falling as she breathes, and Chane’s hair brushes his chest; a strand of it’s slicked to his skin, tracing a thin black line up to the hollow of his throat. The bedclothes lie strewn around them in a tangled heap.

“We should probably get out of bed eventually,” he says.

She nods.

“But not right now.”

Chane smiles, laughing somewhere inside herself. Claire hears her, because he laughs too.

this was amazing. *_* you write claire very convincingly, and i like luck's matter-of-fact reactions to him. i love how you write chane, how she speaks without speaking -- the "Soon, her heart hammers. Soon." bit and chane at the wedding ceremony are probably my favourite bits in this fic, though i also like keith not saying anything. :D;;

Thank you! I felt ridiculously giddy when I was writing the wedding scene. There's just something about Claire and Chane that makes me so happy, and I really wanted to capture that.

And I imagine that conversations between Keith and Chane are interesting. :D
Keith: "..."
Chane: "..."
Keith: "..."
Chane: "..."
Keith: "..."

must see this anime. spoiling myself rotten with fic. do not care.

Yes. Yes you must. I know you said you don't usually torrent series, but you want to make an exception for this one, trust me.

Aaah, my favorite pairing. *loves on yer fic*

I love the Gandor brothers in this, too. So much. <3~

Mine too, I think. Or damn close to it. aaaw.

Thanks for reading!

*0* I love your fic and how you wrote Chane XDD I especially like her relation with different 'languages'. Awesome job *0* ♥

I can't remember if I reviewed this before (surely I must have?), but dear love of god, this fic slays me every time I read it. *g* I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite line, but
“You haven’t met her yet.” Claire sits down on the chair Luck reupholstered last week.
does make me jump up and down and grin for the sheer... Brotherliness of it all. You have the Gandor family down so perfect here: Luck's laconic but staid presence, Claire's sheer force of personality, Keith nodding at Chane, and Berga - oh Berga - yelling.

Chane and Claire fit together very, very well here as well; I can't help but fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. Eee. ♥ Mem-ed and will rec it whenever I get a chance!


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