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Christmas Cookie

I call this a Christmas Cookie, but of course, it is not yet Christmas and of course it is not my present to you all!

My present to you all is a short story called Nick's First Word and I have sent it off to my web designer, so it should be up some time between now and Christmas, and I hope you will enjoy it! But this is not that story.

Since I put up the first chapter last month on this day, it has become Official Cookie Day, and thus you are due a cookie.

I chose this bit of The Demon's Covenant because it has lots of Nick in it, and chapter one cruelly deprived those who like that sort of thing. Feedback on what sort of thing you wish for in Cookies of the Future much desired.

Major, huge, world-ending spoilers for Demon's Lexicon within.

“You’re quieter than usual,” Nick remarked.

He was the one driving to the graveyard. Alan was sitting relaxed in the passenger seat beside him, body stretched out long and loose, without the tension his shoulders always held when he was driving. He’d said hello to them when they first got in, then seen their faces and fallen tactfully silent.

This was the first time Nick had spoken.

“Sorry,” Jamie muttered to the window.

“Don’t be sorry,” Nick said calmly. “I kind of like it.”

They went around a curve in the road where red brick houses stood almost in line, old and leaning against each other like rusty tin soldiers.

Mae looked at Jamie, but he kept staring out the window, arms crossed tight over his chest and his profile tense. He didn’t even glance at her.

“So why are you being quiet?” Nick demanded.

“Why, concerned about my feelings?” Jamie snapped.

“Yeah,” Nick said. “You know me. I fret.”

“I thought that demons weren’t supposed to lie,” Mae said.

“We don’t,” said Nick, his hands light on the wheel and his voice even. “But I am in full possession of the amazing power of being sarcastic.”

The silence after Nick spoke sounded very strange to Mae, and for a moment she could not work out why.

Then she realized that it would normally have been filled with Alan’s soft laugh, loving if not always approving, and making Nick’s humor seem less grim to everyone else.

The silence continued until Jamie spoke again.

“Do you remember Seb McFarlane, Nick?”

“Yeah,” Nick answered warily.

“What did you think of him?”

“You’re lucky I remember his name,” Nick said. “Expecting me to have an actual opinion on the guy is going too far. Is he why you’re being all quiet?”

Jamie was quiet some more.

“I’ll deal with him,” Nick said at length.

The offer was so unexpected that Jamie straightened from his sullen slouch as sharply as if someone had just applied a jolt of electricity to his spine.

“I don’t want you killing anyone for me!”

When Nick pulled over Mae thought for a second he was angry, and then she realized they had reached their destination.

The graveyard was close to home, on the edge of the St Leonard’s district where Mae lived. It was set in sunken ground on the left of the road, and they had to pass it and park in someone else’s drive. There was a stone gargoyle set in the side of the house, looking with solemn surprise over at a red-brick rise of flats.

Mae twisted her head and looked out of the back window. Tucked between road and graveyard there was an alley that contained bricks, dustbins, and several waiting magicians.

“I’m not going to kill anyone.” Nick turned off the car engine and then slid a cool, amused glance back at Jamie. “Well,” he said, and smiled slowly. “Not for you.”


( 130 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 9th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
wow - which reminds me that I must find time this Christmas to read your book! I will try to, I swear!!!!

Dec. 9th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
Oh no now you are all spoiled! But I did warn you! *handwrings*
(no subject) - olympia_m - Dec. 9th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mrstotten - Dec. 13th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
This is torture of the most exquisite sort.

Thanks for choosing a Nick-centric piece--I really love seeing him as a demon, in full possession of his identity and powers, and yet still being exactly the same as he ever was. I'm really intrigued by the tension between him and Alan, and I love that Mae picks up on it. And, oh man, Jamie, what have you got yourself into?
Dec. 9th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
It is very fun to write Nick from the point of view of someone else - particularly a pretty observant someone else!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 9th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
yeah that's what goes on in my head too. NICK/JAMIE NICK/JAMIE all the time, and I just need to stop deciding because I have no idea what pairings (if any) will go down so there's no point to torturing myself yet
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Poor, broken Alan! :( I hope he gets fixed.

I'm a little confused by the title, though - I thought it was going to be adorable baby!demon backstory.
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Title? This isn't Nick's First Word - that goes up on the website when my designer puts it up, and I will link to it. I was just assuring everyone this snippet from The Demon's Covenant wasn't their Chief Present. ;) Baby!demons still coming your way...
(no subject) - maeritrae - Dec. 10th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, Nick! <3 More sassy Nick! That is pretty much what I always want.

This has me all kinds of excited. A welcome cookie and break from finals, thanks!
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Love it! Can't wait to read this whole thing :D
(no subject) - kissormiss - Dec. 9th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I've not read it because I am determined to stay absolutely 100% spoiler-free this time around, and although there won't be actual spoilers in this cookie, I don't want to know anything before I've read it in the book in my hands!

But I'm sure it is amazing and lovely and will bring huge amounts of squee-filled joy to everyone who does read it, and I am incredibly anticipating the Christmas story! :D

Happy coming-up-to Christmas!
Dec. 10th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
While that is admirable, how will you discuss cookies with cookies if you refuse to have anything to do with the cookies?!

Ah well, its not like we stay on topic for more than a few moments anyway... :P
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Oh Nick, you are such an asshole. Why do I love you so?
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 9th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I am with you on this. I was like, "He's hard to relate to? o.0 Ohhhhh.. So this is why people keep telling me I don't have a soul."
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
LOL! You know me, I fret. Hee!

I'm strangely excited at the return of Seb, even though I'm not even sure he's ever been mentioned before. He was one of Nick's...associates at school, right?
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Indeed he was. And he is in chapter one of Covenant! Not showing his best side, though...
Maybe showing his best side, though. - (Anonymous) - Dec. 11th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Maybe showing his best side, though. - sarahtales - Dec. 11th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
*flail flail flail*

This was the best thing to wake up to EVER. (Well, except for Christmas. And when The Demon's Lexicon came in the mail and I woke to it being on my desk.) The tension between Nick and Alan is making me sad -- especially with that little hint of how they used to work, almost... in tandem, with Alan diffusing Nick's sarcasm and making him less terrible to the people around them -- and I love that Mae is observant enough to pick up on it. (Also I just love Mae. As a girl with outlandish hair -- sometimes pink -- who dresses peculiarly, but is also not really a punk, it's nice to see someone like me out there being awesome and not being a caricature or anything.)

Also for some reason I have not friended you, and have been merely haunting your journal for the last very long time. Remedying that post haste.
Dec. 9th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
*beams* I love to see Mae love. And yes, it's fun to see the other characters from her point of view - though all of her seeing that other people have feelings is part of why her book ended up a lot longer than Nick's.
(no subject) - polly_oliver - Dec. 11th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
"But I am in full possession of the amazing power of being sarcastic."
Loved that little line, and Nick offering to 'take care" of Seb for Jamie:)
Looking forward to the book...next summer??
Dec. 9th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
May, so sayeth amazon.

Poor Nick, from his point of view, he is being so nice. 'Hey, you okay? You want me to fix this for you?' And everyone else, they are so sad.
(no subject) - dee_seventh - Dec. 12th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
I love it. I truly do. (Even if my protagonist and his brother are now looking very sheepish because one of them's a demi-god and they had a very similar argument about honesty and sarcasm when it turned out that the world nearly ended because of their sense of irony in the story that desperately wants to be written instead of my philosophy paper.)

In short: hurrah for you, hurrah for Nick, and hurrah for sarcasm!
Dec. 9th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Eeee, Nick! I loved this! Excitement and exclamation marks!!!
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( 130 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Rees Brennan
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