in the EARLY MORNING of the 35th of BETHAS, 2719
⟡ ☾° ⟡
Xavier had no mercy for the whining protest the galdor raised at the tossing of his alcohol. Instead, they scowled deeply at the pathetic jent's hand motions, resisting the urge to smack his handsome, bruised face, "Killin' erseholes like yerself 's too easy, an' clearly, whatever folks wanted from ye required some time t' arrange. I appreciate th' long game when thievin'—ent gonna lie, Eli—but I'm hardly skilled enough t' pull of spitch like yer life—gods."
The pale creature blushed at the other man's next words, a color rising to their translucent skin that was deep and hot and totally unable to be hidden. Without their permission, they felt the sting of tears, here in front of Elias painfully aware that they would never be worthy for the kind of domestic bliss they'd so easily been able to imagine with a lovely tailor and his rather mischievous miraan,
"Never y' mind what 'r who I've got where, ye bastard. Surwood's all 'bout th' experience an' this year was so very lovely, oes, but it's ne all maw long an' eventually everyone's gotta go back t' their homes an' their lives. Lives that don't need me in 'em. Homes that don't have room for me. I don't have one of those, either, ye chen. A home. I haven't for a long time—ye what? Missed me? Why?" The albino wick sniffed, an edge of anger in their tone at all the emotions they felt at once, at all the weakness they couldn't hide from this broken jent and his own issues. Why did he even have to be here? Why couldn't their paths just not cross again?
Xavier pitied him. They hated him and yet related to him on levels that had nothing to do with race or privilege.
"I ent anythin' special, neither. Stop. Please, stop." The willowy Gioran chided at Elias' self-deprecating words, shaking their head wearily, disappointed when he shoved their hands away, when the wretched, needy, broken thing refused the comfort of their touch, "Listen, we're both cursed in our own ways, an' I ent made t' settle down—wait. Hang on a pina mana—"
Their shoulders stiffened, violet eyes widening at the dark-haired galdor, incredulous tone in their voice. Crossing their arms over their narrow chest, lacquered nails curling into the lunar-inspired scarf, slowly making connections between the man's words and his current state of being. They'd run in criminal circles long enough, been on enough airships, mingled with enough merchants, pirates, and ne'er do wells in their short life to glare at the pathetic thing with a mix of unspoken fear and frustration,
"Hawke? As in Silas Hawke? As in th' Bad Brothers? Yer connected t' them? Eli, darling—havakda." Their face buried further into their scarf as Elias staggered away to vomit, delicate lips in an indelicate frown hidden from view while they rolled their eyes. Not pulling away when the man all but clung to them for support after crawling back from the surf, they instead leaned irresistibly into the touch offered, steadying him even as salty, sandy fingers brushed their face,
"Still guttered? I'd clockin' say. Oes." Hissed the pale musician, smirking at him and making a dramatic fuss over shoving dark curls away when he failed to do so properly, hands lingering over well-defined features hidden beneath stubble and bruises, "I ent got any smokes on me. Let's get y' a damn room an' all cleaned up an' some food an' maybe godsbedamned shoes. Clothes, too? Clock th' Circle, lucky for yerself I've got some new threads an' a bunch 'f tip money from festival entertainin'. I ent carryin' yerself an' that family heirloom 'f yers so yer gonna have t' actually do some work."
Xavier would curse a bit, pausing to return their oud to their shoulder but not particularly in a hurry to tug back on their boots in so much sand. Making sure they were prepared to keep the galdor steady, their lithe form hiding plenty of well-traveled strength, they'd lead him back toward the Harbor city proper from the oasis. Once sand gave way to wooden docks and cobblestones, they offered Elias their boots,
"Bein' fance-ersed as y' are, d' ye want these? I jus' spent a month in th' woods barely dressed, so ye chen I think I can make 't t' th' Dove without cuttin' my feet on broken glass if y' want t' wear 'em instead." They were taunting him, tongue between their teeth, that hint of a blush all the honesty they needed to give. It was true, mostly, that the laws of propriety on Surwood Isle were practically suspended, but Xav had actually worn plenty of clothes and done more than spent the entire time in bed with familiar faces and strangers alike,
"Yer gonna owe me ging for things—can ye play that harpsichord for real 'r ne? A bit 'f buskin' oughta pay me off, though I'll accept other forms 'f bribery from th' likes 'f ye." The albino wick chuckled, attempting to toss off the heavy realizations and the distrust and the shock and the disgust that Elias had clouded their otherwise festive haze with, continuing to tease while they made their way through the still mostly slumbering Rose and toward the tavern they'd rented a room in. While they weren't at all going to shove the galdor in with Lee, the poor over-socialized girl in no way ready for the kind of vision the poor jent presented to just about everyone at this moment, they'd have to work out living arrangements later.
The willowy Gioran had no intention of letting Elias slip further away a second time, given these results. They just didn't want to end up tangled in any of Hawke's business if they could help it,
"Who knows yer here an' how much trouble 've ye gotten into 'sides all this?"