Soulmate AU Series: Stuck With You Chapter 1

Feren's words were always the same. Adair could recite them by heart by now. "'Cause you have too many marks and they're all in weird places and that means you're broken and don't mean anything to anyone." 

(There was a writing game/challenge on tumblr asking us to write an AU [alternate reality/universe] story every week. I decided to do a multi-part story about all five of my main characters using the prompt “A [platonic] soulmate AU where you have a black stain where your soulmate is supposed to touch you for the first time and it turns to millions of colors once they do.” The events are all [or mostly] canon to the series; the only real change are the soul-marks. This chapter of Adair's would take place about seven years before book 1 [Colorweaver].)

Unexpected Inspiration AU Series
"Stuck With You" - Chapter 1

(Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11)


"You're probably some kind of freak, you know."

Adair yanked his shirt down over his head so he could glare at the owner of the voice he hated so much. Feren leaned against the doorway as if he owned the place. Okay, so maybe he did because it was his room, but it was Adair's now, too, and Adair had every right to get dressed in his own room without being insulted. Feren was the bane of his existence. Adair had read that in a book once and it fit perfectly. He'd been stuck with Feren hanging around since they were seven and now he had to live with him for the next six years. Being apprenticed to a cartographer was great. Rooming with her son, not so much. If only Feren would show signs of having any weaving at all! Then he'd be sent to a master artist and apprenticed somewhere far away and Adair would never have to deal with him again. But no. Feren was about as magical as a pile of cat barf and almost as enjoyable to have around.

"Why am I a freak this time?" Adair had a good guess, considering that his shirt had been off, but maybe he was wrong and Feren just meant he liked to draw too much. Sometimes Feren bugged him about that instead.

Feren walked over with what he probably thought was a saunter but was more like a flashy waddle and prodded Adair between the shoulder blades right where a black mark the size of a fist stained his skin. So it was going to be about that. Adair closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could get through this. It wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last. It stung a little less each time. That had to be good, right?

Feren's words were always the same. Adair could recite them by heart by now. "‘Cause you have too many marks and they're all in weird places and that means you're broken and don't mean anything to anyone."

The first few times Adair had heard this, he'd burst into tears and hid in the woods for hours until his stomach growled so bad he had to come back for dinner. His marks were in weird places and he did have a lot of them. Most people had two or three. Adair had four. Or at least he thought it was four. The two splotches on his waist that looked like hand prints were probably from the same person and didn't mean he had five. But he didn't know, couldn't know, and maybe Feren was right because no one had that many. And none of them were on his hands, which made it weirder because it meant a bunch of important people touched him but he didn't touch them? It made no sense. Maybe he was broken.

But he refused to get upset, not when Feren was a jerk and a buttface and a poophead and probably just jealous because he didn't have any soul-marks. Of course he didn't. No one would even like Feren, let alone have him as one of the most important people in their life. Adair kept this thought repeating through his head while Feren prodded each of the marks in turn. The one in the middle of his back. The one on his left forearm that stretched from his wrist to the inside of his elbow. The one at the center of his chest that looked sort of like a short paintbrush stroke. The two above either hip.

When Feren finished, he stood in front of Adair with his arms crossed over his chest and a sneer on his face. "See? Too many. You're broken."

Adair could feel tears welling up in his eyes again– angry tears, not sad tears, but he didn't want Feren to see any tears. He shoved past him as hard as he could and escaped into the hallway. He would lock himself in the studio and there was nothing Feren could do about it. Feren wasn't an artist and since he wasn't an artist he couldn't use weaving to unlock the door. Maybe Adair could move his bed in there and never have to share a room with a mark-less jerk again.

CONVERSATION

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