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“Your suggestion is…a Juggler?”

“I thought, perhaps, a glimmer of magic would be a welcome addition to our growing family,” Kashmir counters.

“Magic, yes, not showmanship.”

Kashmir raises an eyebrow, daring Trickster to continue his hypocritical commentary on showmanship. He closes his mouth and nods to concede the point. She beams and quickly kisses his cheek before leaving him privacy to create someone new.

“Oh, Trickster?” she asks before closing the batlacan’s curtain. “Do make him rather exciting. This world could use a bit of sparkle.”

Sparkle. He smirks as she departs. He would rather enjoy making her regret that word choice. Moments later, a Juggler appears, glimmering as if an elaborate crystal.

“I have to admit,” Chanderi remarks from the sidelines as she tosses another hoop into the air, “I am almost impressed at this level of pettiness, Trickster.”


“Are you willing to admit your judgement was faulty?” he asks her smoothly, once she has calmed.

Kashmir pouts, refusing to let him win, but finds herself dazed by the costume’s glare again. She groans in frustration. “Yes, yes, you win, for heaven’s sake, be rid of him before we are all blinded or an Innocent disappears into the shadows forever to avoid the visual agony.”

“I cannot remove him from existence, pet, that would be cruel.”

“Then send him elsewhere!”

Trickster considers the suggestion and nods. He twirls his baton and a steel door opens in the empty space beside then. The door opens and a large yellow bird peeks out.

“Obliged to make your acquaintance,” Trickster bows. “Have you a need for a Juggler in your realm?”

The bird squawks in reply. She dashes out the door, clumsily running, and snatches the Juggler’s wrist, dragging him away. The doorway closes before the Juggler is able to respond.

“Well, that was unexpected,” Kashmir deadpans.

“There are stranger worlds than ours, pet.”

“Pray I never see them, then,” she retorts, collapsing in laughter. After a moment, Trickster gathers her in his arms and collapses into laughter himself. The door vanishes behind them.