[M] Like Sands Through The Hourglass...

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Elias Mercucianno
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:21 am
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Race: Galdor
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Writer: Raksha
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Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:55 am

Bethas 35th, 2719
OLD ROSE | MORNING
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It was an overcast morning, clouds hiding the bright face of the sun from the Harbor city, as though ashamed to cast any of the warmth into the Rose lest it steal it away for a song and a gamble. The weather was warming, but it was still cold, a chill in the air especially in the mornings. Overhead on the blue, clear waters that made up Cessandra's Oasis, a gorgeous little spot where lovers often came to woo their prospective partners, gulls sang their morning songs and whice chattered in the gently leaning palm trees. An almost lulling wash of waves crashed on the white sand of the shore, a perfect harmony to what could be a perfect morning.

And there, passed out on the sand, was Elias Mercucianno.

He had been an absolute mess these past two seasons, returning to the drugs and the drink with a tenacity there probably hadn’t been before. All his remaining coin had been spent on the excesses that really shouldn’t have been provided, and there wasn’t a soul to stop him. The Dove knew him as ‘That Bastian With The Box’, and happy took his coin, even when he was spending money for a room on bottles of rum instead.

Rum, Hurte that was some foul stuff. Eli’s stomach couldn’t manage the first time he’d got stumble over drunk on it, and the brunette had emptied its contents right onto the floor where he was sitting. It was unpleasant and entirely out of character for the man. Sure, he had been drunk and high before, but he’d also been using it all as a mask. A social faux pax to hide his emotional turmoil. He’d managed to be charming, annoying, pompous and disarming all at once. Now, he was just a filthy alcoholic on his last bottle of drink. One of the pirates the evening prior had exchanged a few lines of powdered white opiate for a quick hand-job behind the tavern, but as desperate and broke as he was, Elias had just enough self dignity to stop before he started. Unimpressed with the turn of events, the pirate had beat the golly near senseless and stolen his shoes. He would have taken the harpsichord too except that the young man had just enough mind to swing the box into his stupid face. As the pirate fled, Eli hugged the instrument in one arm and his drink in the other, sinking against the cold stone wall to doze in a state of stupor.

What would his parent’s think of him now? What would Leandrah say? He wasn’t fit to carry the Mercucianno name.

Waking sometime in the hours before sunrise, the Bastian collected himself from the dirty stone ground in a wobbling stumbling mess, making his way from the dark alleyway and down the street. Sipping at the slightly amber liquid left in his bottle whilst wandering down towards the water, the gold and green eyed creature held his harpsichord tightly, taking a shuddering breath once his barefeet hit the cool of the sandy beach.

“You must be so proud.” He muttered, wavering one way and the other, before walking out on the grains to gesture at the ocean and the sky angrily.

“You must be so fucking proud of me. Look at your son! Your brother! The last of the Mercucianno’s, living his best life with a bottle of rum and a gods-be-damned harpsichord!” Eli yelled it loudly, screamed at the black sky and glittering ocean, tripping over his own feet to sink to his knees. Images of their faces haunted him, flashed with sad fearful eyes in the depths of his mind, burned into the backs of his eyelids.

“I don’t even have fucking shoes.” The brunette laughed, dropping the bottle into the sand and rubbing his hands over his face with a sob.

“Why can’t I just end it? Here, right now. I can end it all. I just have to—” Trying to get to his feet so he could stagger towards the water, Elias tilted forwards, turning aside to fall with a heavy ‘oof’ on the side of his face. The harpsichord sat stoic and silent, blocking his view of the ocean like some strange wooden guardian. Groping at the box, the Bastian flicked the latches clumsily and pushed open the lid, still laying on his side. He poked a key, and another, and another. The old instrument sounded strange against the backdrop of the night ocean, and with a shiver Elias closed it again and locked it carefully, before wrapping himself around it and closing his eyes.

Sleep overwhelmed the broke galdori then, dragging him into the depths of dreams he didn’t wish to have. Dreams of his family, and the bright orange ball of flames falling from the sky, dripping bits of airship into the black ocean beneath it. Dreams of the moon, it’s rays of light beaming down on his face, only they became the soft caress of black lacquered fingernails on pale fingertips. There was a face, full of violet eyes and carefree smirks, and hair so white it was colorless. Shivering from the cold, but heated by the drink, Eli reached around in his sleep till he found the bottle and hugged it close against himself and the harpsichord.

And that was how he stayed, the morning finding him snoring belly down on the sand, face turned so his cheek was plastered with white grains, harpsichord tucked under his arm and bottle barely hanging between his fingers. He was barefoot, and filthy, with a little more than stubble and dark curls totally beyond taming. The waves of the ocean lapped gently at his toes, fortune perhaps shining on him just a little by ensuring he hadn’t fallen asleep close enough to be caught in the high tide.

word count: 1023

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Xavier Zhirune
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm
Topics: 9
Location: On Tour
Race: Wick
: Not all that glitters be ging. Some 'f it's me.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Fri May 03, 2019 3:51 pm

Cassandra's Oasis
in the EARLY MORNING of the 35th of BETHAS, 2719

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Xavier had yet to really even stop moving since their arrival in Old Rose Harbor, unable to entirely rid themselves of the never ending rhythm of the festival they’d reluctantly left behind. The roaring bonfire of a beach party had demanded entertainment and the pale musician was still so clocking high on the glorious celebrations of Surwood Isle that their desire to return to their crowded inn room to check on Lee was overshadowed by their need to bring the rich depths of oud music to the laughter of the tekaa they'd hitched a ride to the Harbor with. There'd been a bit too much available to drink, the chilled Bethas winds whipping off the dark salt water of Cessandra's Oasis making it easy to have a few sips too many, especially with enough warm bodies gathered 'round to make everything that much more comfortable. For a few hours, it was as if they'd not left the wick festival at all save for the particular face(s) the albino wick missed already. Song and dance while the stars ran their course overhead made for a near-perfect evening that blurred into night and finally dragged into day again.

It wasn't until the black velvety darkness began to fade and the rose-fingered caress of dawn crawled over the horizon that everyone realized how long they'd been without sleep, that Xav realized it was time to gracefully crawl home and under the covers.

The wind and the chill had chapped their translucent skin and they still had a bit of fading dye in pinks and blues in their braided up hair. The cold had allowed them to wear the endearingly perfect scarf Juniper had gifted them with, perhaps with far more sentiment wrapped around their neck and nestled against well-carved cheekbones than the pale musician would ever admit to out loud. Oud slung across their back and boots in bejeweled fingers while they curled toes in still-wet sand, Xavier hummed old lovesick Gioran dirges to the rhythm of the retreating tide as they meandered up the beach, back to their rented room, back to Lee who was probably more than just a little thankful for an evening of space after the apparently harrowing crowds of beautiful Surwood Isle.

There was a lump in the sand, and in the early spring half light before morning, the albino wick thought for a moment they could make out someone familiar. But, gods, that was ridiculous—

It wasn't someone that caught their real attention, however, but something.

—violet eyes narrowed, attempting to focus bleary, mostly sober vision on the box pressed against the dark-haired body's chest, clutched in arms as if it was the most precious possession the bedraggled, barefoot thing could ever hold—

"Yaldyet! Son of a—" The pale musician's painted lips curled into the most tempestuous of sneers, fully aware of who they were staring at while they were still several tens of paces away. It would have been a lie to say they'd at all forgotten Elias Mercucianno in just a fistful of weeks of blissful distraction at the festival, but they'd come damn close. The jent was certainly not someone Xav expected to ever see again—a match in the dark, all hot spark but with that stinging sulfur scent that lingered unwelcome in your nostrils long after the light had faded from view. That was this galdor in a nutshell ... almost.

But here he was, looking like flotsam from a sunken ship.

Ne. Just ne. They didn't need this. They didn't want—

Fine. They did. They had. And it had been wrong. Right? Mostly.

Still, in this moment, they were far too nice to keep walking, no matter how strong the temptation was for a few suddenly rapid heartbeats.

"For fuck's sake." Groaned the glamourous creature without any hint of beauty, moving close enough to feel the hint of the pathetic man's field, to see the rise and fall of his body with breath. At least the handsome beast wasn't dead. What in Imaan's eternal youthfulness was he doing here, though?

Dropping their boots and slipping their oud off their narrow frame to the sand, bare, sandy toes carefully nudged at the harpsichord, at Elias' arm, and finally at the man's ribs,

"Junta, jent. Wake up, ye macha spitch." Xavier might have smiled—just a little—something inescapably warm tingling through all of their nerves even as something heavy like concern sank into their empty stomach. One more quick glance at the sand, at the galdor's disheveled clothes, and when the albino wick was sure they didn't see any blood, they carefully sank into a squat and poked the unfortunate thing's ridiculously attractive chin with a lacquered finger, swallowing the sense of unease and stirring of frustration that threatened to drown any hint of cheer in their lilting, husky voice,

"Eli. Rise 'n' shine. Th' hellish Evers ye doin' here, hmm?"

⟡ ☾° ⟡
word count: 931
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Elias Mercucianno
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:21 am
Topics: 1
Race: Galdor
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Writer: Raksha
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Mon May 06, 2019 4:46 am

Bethas 35th, 2719
OLD ROSE | MORNING
Image
Something cool poked his ribs, gentle and yet demanding. A vague sensation in the depths of his none-too-sober slumber. The Bastian groaned, a croaky rumbling sound escaping his chest.
​​
​​ “Mmmnnoo Doris…it’s too early…” Elias whined, curling closer to the wooden box and shivering a little against the cold. His brow drew together in a frown, words returning to light snores as he cuddled into the chilled damp sand, bare feet drawing away from the freezing ocean lapping at his toes.
​​
​​Persistantly, the poking continued, a slender finger pressing against his thickly stumbled chin accompanied by a familiar voice that sucked the dark haired galdor from the depths of dreams into the stark head-throbbingly shallows of reality.
​​
​​ “No! Get away vile fiend!” Eli said sharply, sitting up rapidly in a spray of white grains of sand, most of it still stuck to his face. His frayed and povern field contracted like a child dragging away a burnt finger from a flame, and his gold rimmed eyes squinted blearily, against the slowly rising sun and general ‘morningness’ of the day. He held the harpsichord tightly, blinking away the last dregs of his nightmares, a shock of raven curls falling over his forehead. A pale, nearly concerned face looked back at him, silvery white locks of hair pastel with faded colors and long fingers holding a pair of boots to allow fine feet to rest bare in the sand.
​​
​​ ”Xavier? Elias said with a confused tone, sighing softly with relief.
​​
​​ “Tocks, I thought you were someone else.” The brunette croaked, rubbing a hand over his face and hissing at the tenderness under his left eye. The socket was an ugly purple black, eyebrow sporting a small cut where boney fists net boney face, and if he moved downwards the tenderness spread across his cheekbone and hid under the stubble of his jaw. Poking his brusies gingerly, he brushed away the remaining sand and looked around at the beach, before glancing at the bottle that had fallen from his fingers to perch at a precarious angle in the sand.
​​
​​ “What am I doing here, did you say? Isn’t this where all the beggars come in their final days?“ He reached for the bottle and took a swig, immediately gagging and wincing at the taste. His stomach churned heavily, rebelling against yet another liquid breakfast. Pausing his speech, Eli glanced at the ocean, grimacing against the gorgeous sunrise as he gathered himself.
​​
​​ “After burning my own house down, I proceeded to Vienda Bank to get myself the funds to sort out a place to live. Except it turns out, someone using my name withdrew all my money—every single concord—and disappeared. And the bank can’t help get it back.” Shifting on the sand, the Bastian sat forward, patting at his pockets to find a cigarette and tsking when he didn’t find any.
​​
​​ “I figured if I can at least get to Bastia and visit my family home, I could sell some stuff, maybe live in the house for a while. And well,” He laughed, a harsh sharp sound, looking down at his lap and shaking his head.
​​
​​ “Hurte know’s how, but my house—the Mercucinno Family Estate—has also burned down. The tenant I had there is missing and no one saw how it happened. Not a Single. Fucking. Person. I have nothing. Nothing at all except my clothes, my cigarettes, a few coins to my name and Leandrah’s harpsicord.“ The galdor threw his hands up in defeat, one turning to be a finger held up as though having an idea.
​​
​​ “I remembered then Old Rose. It’s a poor man’s paradise, I could probably spend a few tally’s to boat here up the river and use my charm to find some work. Just a few weeks. But then a few weeks comes and goes, and I‘m still here. And I’m still broke.” Running his hands over his eyes, Elias drew in a ragged breath, before curling his fingers into brunette locks and finally looking over at the moonlit being with a sigh.
​​
​​ “After I left you I thought that I would turn over a new leaf, I thought I’d be a better man. But it was just another punishment Hurte had laid out for me. A sense of hope to be dashed away on the rocks.” Struggling to find his feet, the Bastian swayed, stumbling in the sand and holding both arms out to steady himself.
​​
​​ “But you probably meant here. On the beach. Well. I nearly lost the last shred of self-dignity I had to stave off the tendrils of sobriety, but changed my mind before what I thought was too late. Turns out my pirate friend didn’t see it like that, and tried to beat some good sense into me. I’m fairly certain he wanted to kill me, but harpsicords are pretty good weapons in a pinch. The kenser still had enough in him to knock my stupid erse out. And he stole my fucking shoes.” Eli said with a frown, looking down at his bare feet before lifting his eyes to the Gioran, he flung a hand towards the ocean with vehemence.
​​
​​ ”I figured the best thing to do was finish that bottle of rum, and throw myself in the ocean but I couldn’t even—“ He didn’t finish the sentence, the force of his hand throwing the worse-for-wear Bastian off balance, causing him to trip over the uneven surface and fall to his hands and knees.
​​
​​ “I couldn’t even do that. I just…” Taking a deep breath, he sat back on his heels and looked at the tall musician with an empty glance. His spirit, his mask, everything he had so carefully flounced along life behind was gone. The world had taken everything from Elias, and he was sure of one thing.
​​
​​ “I deserve Hurte’s punishments, I know this. I just…for a second I thought I had paid my dues. For a moment I thought I would be free of their faces in my mind, but…I was wrong.” Looking around, the Bastian shook his head.
​​
​​ “Why are you here though? The Rose is too foul a whore for such a pretty creature like you.”
​​
word count: 1089
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Xavier Zhirune
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm
Topics: 9
Location: On Tour
Race: Wick
: Not all that glitters be ging. Some 'f it's me.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Tue May 07, 2019 8:03 pm

Cessandra's Oasis
in the EARLY MORNING of the 35th of BETHAS, 2719

The pale creature couldn't help but giggle at the unfortunate galdor when he startled and panicked, hissing words of fear at the willowy Gioran as if they were one of the ghosts that clearly haunted him. It was only a soft noise, one that died quickly in their pale chest at the sight of Elias' bruised face once he tossed his whole self from his sprawled position in the sand,

"Oes. Sssh. Ent anyone else here, kov. Jus' me. Again." Violet eyes fluttered away from the still-handsome but sad thing at their feet, glancing up and down the beach just to make sure their words were true. Dropping to their knees, they sighed and smacked the Bastian's hands away from his own bruises, lithe fingers reaching instead to tilt his head to get a better look at his injuries, accidentally giving the man an opportunity to reach for more alcohol—

"Ne—don't—dzzze—dumberse."

Spit the albino wick with a frown, immediately snatching the bottle from the dark-haired idiot as soon as he gagged on his own stupidity, bejeweled fingers wresting it sternly from him as if Elias was a child. Tossing the thing toward the waves, it was all Xavier could to do resist shoving the galdor who smelled like a tavern floor and didn't even have any fucking shoes back down to the sand with angry palms, "Final days—I can't—yer such a clockin'—whatnow?"

The pale musician bit their lip, previously calm glamour warm and agitated, but only for a brief moment—swirls and eddies of frustration leaving them almost as quickly as they appeared while the Bastian continued to explain. They settled on their knees, frowning and brushing sandy, wild stray hairs from Elias' face, mingling with his scattered field in a comforting, generous gesture, resting their hands on his in his lap. Their eyes widened at his news that not only was his opulent home in Vienda gone, but he'd lost his money and his entire estate in Bastia.

The willowy Gioran didn't hide the shock from their tired features, stunned in silence for a moment or two until they remembered to breathe and inhaled in surprise, "Elias. Ent anyone actually deserve that spitch, not really, no matter what kinda ersehole they are. An' that stuff ye blame yerself for weren't even yer fault but this—this sounds like someone knew what they're doin', one thief t' another."

Ne. Ne there weren't tears in their eyes. Not at all.

They blinked, feeling sorry for the bastard in spite of themselves, still too full of so many amazing feelings after such a beautiful Surwood experience. Withdrawing a hand daintily from his, they dug the palm across their face, ignoring the moisture and the grit of sand,

"By Imaan's grace—me? Th' Harbor can be such a lovely lady, but I jus' came down river from Surwood with a bunch 'f Deep Waters. Oh, th' festival—" Xavier made an overly dramatic sort of noise that wasn't that far from a sound of pain mixed with too much excitement, staring at Elias while lovely thoughts of Juniper gave them so much life in this very surreal sort of moment, that adorable freckled tailor a fashionable force of nature they'd needed to be filled with just for this. Right here. On the beach. Godsdamnitall.

It was clear this poor Bastian was just not capable of being alone and while it wasn't any of their clocking business and while they didn't even need to offer a fucking hand at all to this dumb godsforsaken jent ... they couldn't not, either.

"—I'm here for th' ging. Like always, Eli." The albino wick blushed, suddenly so self conscious while looking into the other man's gold-rimmed, verdant gaze. They offered a shy smile, shrugging, "C'mon. Let's get ye cleaned up. An' some shoes. An' a career 'r somethin'. One step at a time. Those th' only clothes ye got, ersehole?"

Xav couldn't help but smirk, the hint of a chuckle somewhere in their aching chest, reaching for the galdor's hands again and moving to help him stand,

"I ent leavin' ye here like trash. Ye chen?"

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word count: 796
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Elias Mercucianno
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:21 am
Topics: 1
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Raksha
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Sat May 11, 2019 6:01 am

Bethas 35th, 2719
OLD ROSE | MORNING
Image
Elias petulantly allowed the moon-kissed creature to examine his face without protest, unconsciously leaning gently against the soft hand that held his jaw and curling his fingers into his unwashed trousers to stop himself from reaching to hold it. He was less obedient about the rum however, making a sound of despair as the bottle whistled through the air and splooshed into the salty brine.

As he knelt in the sand, looking around and questioning why the delicate being was in the Rose of all places, his gaze settled unevenly on the Gioran and his breath caught with the first telltale sounds of a sob whilst gentle fingers brushed his hair away from his face.

No, none of that. He’d been here before, letting his emotions pour from him like sharing them would take some of the hurt away. What had that got him, except making it so much worse when the rose colored glasses had lifted. The dark haired Bastian drew away slightly, brow drawn with visible aching when the wicks glamour entwined just so with his shattered field. Just enough to cause tears to well in bloodshot eyes and breath to come in a ragged sound, unable to hide from how much he craved the comfort.

”…this—this sounds like someone knew what they're doin', one thief t' another."

Elias’ brow drew further into a confused frown, his head turning so he was looking directly at the taller being, field porven in the pulse of anger that shed from it. What could be ramscott with strength and Static prowess was now like a sock that had lost all its elasticity, loose and unpredictable. The mona shied from him, unwilling to communicate with one so unstable and hurtful.

“Wait, what? You think someone did all of this to me, on purpose? Why? Why not just—” His finger made the shape of a gun, holding it to his temple and pulling an imaginary trigger, shaking his head with utter disbelief, almost unable to comprehend the words that had come from Xaviers mouth. Who would possibly have wanted to play this game? Sure, he was an ersehole, but what golly wasn't? He wasn’t political, and he didn’t peddle drugs for any of the Viendan crowds. Had he really pissed someone off that badly?

Maybe.

His inner ponderings were interrupted by the sound they made, looking over a quartz face and violet lips with a small sad smile. There was something behind those gorgeous eyes, something wonderful they had left recently, maybe even very recently. Only to stumble over him.

“I don’t really know what you left behind, we galdori aren’t exactly invited to that Surwood business, but it looks like it made you happy, and then—” Eli said quietly, not needing to say the last part out loud, his lost green and gold gaze holding the other’s almost lavender hues in the morning sunrise.

And then you found me.

“What ging? There’s nothing here but bad booze, shitty opium and rotten fish.” He said with a scoff, taking the offered hands to struggle to his feet, wavering terribly and leaning on the shard of moonlight more than he should. His stomach protested, and the Bastian stood still to let the feeling of nausea subside.

“Yes.” The galdor said, answering everything Xavier had said with one word. He looked over the beautiful face that stood taller than himself, swearing and pushing gentle hands away with a pained look.

“My pretty, fascinating creature. I missed you. Isn’t that silly? I wished to hear your voice, or that lovely instrument everytime I walked into a tavern. I didn’t think I could…actually just never-mind. I’m sorry.” Elias said with a hollow tone, face suddenly crumpling and a wretched sound coming from the man. He shook his head, clearing his throat and collecting himself just as quickly as he’d fallen apart.

“You should go and find a pretty face who is kind and happy and just leave me here. I’m not a good person. I’m cursed by Hurte, and everything I care about turns to chroveshit. There's no where to go Xavier. I have nowhere. I don't even have a room. I have nothing."” Smoothing his wrinkled, dirty, once salmon colored shirt, the Bastian swayed again.

“Maybe I should just go knock on Hawkes door. It’s been a good seven years, but surely he still remembers the Mercucianno kid. If I asked, he might…” That was as far as he got before staggering away from the pale Gioran wick to empty the liquid contents of his stomach into the outgoing tide. There wasn’t much there, so it didn’t take long to be nothing more than severely painful dry retching. Shaking, field a frayed and unbalanced mess, Elias cursed and washed his mouth out with sea water.

“Gods just...Gods.” Moving towards the harpsichord, the brunette stumbled, reaching instinctively for the taller being’s shoulder to steady himself.

“Sorry. I…think I’m still a bit…” Dirty fingers shifted slightly, brushing pastel faded hair from the taller wick’s neck, looking over the Gioran with an appreciative eye before moving to unsuccessfully shove curls away from his face.

“I need a cigarette.”

word count: 917
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Xavier Zhirune
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm
Topics: 9
Location: On Tour
Race: Wick
: Not all that glitters be ging. Some 'f it's me.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Wed May 15, 2019 12:32 pm

Cessandra's Oasis
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' fancy-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' where I'm stayin' 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?"

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Elias Mercucianno
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Wed May 22, 2019 7:11 pm

Bethas 35th, 2719
OLD ROSE | MORNING
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"…eventually everyone's gotta go back t' their homes an' their lives. Lives that don't need me in 'em…”

Elias took a breath, going to say something, before closing it again. It was a ridiculous thing to say, especially to someone he had only encountered thrice. No. Four times now. It felt a lot more, a lot more, and words danced on his tongue before the conversation moved on. He seemed to need the quartz carved being, like some sort of guiding light or self-loving compass that he himself seemed to lack. The kindness and care he longed for and seemed so often to push away.

He needed them.

As he stood on wavering feet, clasping a pale shoulder and shoving unwieldy curls, the less than sober Bastian snorted.

“Yes as in Silas Hawke, unless there’s another Hawke in Anaxas. Connected? I don’t think I can say I’m connected as such. My par—“ His voice caught at the word, so unused and so filled with all his self loathing and regret that it stole his breath away. Swallowing he continued.

“My parents were friends with him. When we moved from trading salt between Gior and Hesse and such, we would often stop over in the Rose before heading to the Muluku Isles. Apparently salt is a rare commodity there, father said. That’s why we shifted our trade route. They would catch up with Silas at his home whilst Leandrah and I played cards with the Brothers downstairs. Of course, it could be rowdy but really they were just a bunch of harbour folk. I never felt threatened, though my mother and Leandrah hated it when they would suggest I go out on the town with them. I mean, I was eighteen. It’s not like I was an infant.” He shrugged.

“I know Hawke’s reputation, and I know it’s warrented for those who deserve it, but I always knew him as a decent wick. He even wished us all well in person the last time I saw him. The last time we…well…you’ve already heard that part.” Closing his eyes as the Gioran worked to get his raven locks away from his face, Eli sighed, disappointed that he seemed to be the only person on the face of Vita that smoked. It was a dying art, a gentleman’s indulgence, though he was certainly no gentleman.

He protested Xavier’s kindness, embarrassed to be a burden on the taller wick, uncaring of his own well being. The world didn’t need Elias and Elias didn’t want to be part of it. But the Gods had their punishments to deal him, endlessly it seemed. Glancing at the harpsichord, he groped at the handle, lifting it slowly. Without the others steadying hand, there was no doubt that the weight would have toppled him over again. As they wandered across sandy beach and wooden docks, Eli focused on walking in a relatively straight line, blinking in surprise when Xavier offered his boots. He looked at them, before looking up at violet eyes with a bleary gaze, and a slow smirk.

“I don’t think you can call me fancy anymore, my precious moonstone, but if you’re not going to wear them...” Taking a moment to pull the slightly too big boots into his bare feet, the galdor tsked in mock hurt, holding the heavy box up like it was some sort of county fair prize whice.

“You mistake me for being uncultured Xavier. I told you I can play this…I’ve sort of showed you. Though, don’t ask me to play it now. Let me be…more together first. I’m not you, but I can hold some form of a tune.” He lowered it, laughing suddenly.

“Busking?! By Hurte’s stripes, who would have ever thought. The last heir of the Mercucianno’s, begging for his supper by the lilting sounds of a harpsicord. Leandrah would die of laughter were she…were she here.” As they continued to walk, Eli rubbed his face, trying to think.

“Uh…maybe a handful of riverfolk? A couple of pirates that are regulars in the Dove. My previous real estate agent? A man by the name of Kit Evedane, who by the by is a musician too. Uh…that’s it? I couldn’t find Doris or Henrick after the fire. I mean I cannot find a single sign of them. They weren’t at the Vienda house, nor Bastia. It’s like they’ve clocking vanished.” Squinting as the sunrise became morning-time, the dark haired creature groaned.

“Why must it be so clocking bright and cheery for such an ugly place?”

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Xavier Zhirune
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm
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: Not all that glitters be ging. Some 'f it's me.
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Writer: Muse
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:32 pm

Cessandra's Oasis
in the EARLY MORNING of the 35th of BETHAS, 2719

Xavier had spent far too much of their youth around airship pilots, pirates, and ne'er do wells to not make the kinds of connections Elias either couldn't believe or refused to allow in his mind, the galdor clearly in some kind of denial because he'd idolized his parents so much after their horrible deaths. The graceful creature frowned deeper when the other man they attempted to support in the shifting sand of the beach while they walked admitted that his family and Hawke had been friends, had known each other—

Oh gods, the Bastian was dense.

The albino wick huffed, rolling violet eyes and looking away for a moment, chewing the inside of their cheek to keep from making all of the comments that writhed darkly inside their mind. They didn't know Elias well enough to make say these sorts of thoughts out loud, to lead the damaged creature down the path to conclusions he obviously couldn't deal with. Instead, the willowy Gioran could only make some sound of dismissal, a tsk noise between grit teeth, and let their lacquered nails brush over the annoyingly handsome thing's face to brush disheveled hair from it,

"I ent gonna tell y' what I think 'bout that, but ye chen Hawke keeps himself alive an' in th' good graces 'f Anaxi folk because he's got 'em all convinced he's a—what'd y' say? yaldyet!—a decent wick. Ne." Xavier could have just called the man a kenserbrain, but instead they sighed and offered their boots, lending their lithe strength to the unstable ersehole and his godsbedamned glorious chin while he attempted to stay precariously upright, hungover and exhausted, to slip them on,

"Oes, I was so payin' attention t' ye playin' then, weren't I? Sure, ye knew a few chords, but, eh, y' ent tried t' keep up with me yet." Hummed the albino wick softly, offering the hint of a smile, watching him process the concept of playing music for money on the streets of Old Rose Harbor. It didn't sound glamorous, sure, but at the same time, Xav loved it. They chuckled as the galdor considered the social implications of poverty, leaning against the man as he walked, ignoring the sand and lingering scents of salt and sweat and alcohol that clung to him.

That smile of theirs was fleeting, however, for when Elias mentioned his household help had disappeared without a trace, something hard and cold sank in their pale chest like some old, rusty anchor in the harbor. Gods, how could this supposedly educated, superior galdor be so fucking dense? The Gioran grunted, memorizing the name of the other musician that fell from Elias' pretty lips with only the slightest twinge of jealousy—who was this man to compete with them in sound and in Elias' attentions? They hoped he was a handsome thing to make the flare of warm chagrin worthwhile,

"Musician, hmm? Gotta taste for one an' couldn't resist s'more? M'haps we can get a lil' trio goin' an' find some places t' play jus' t' get y' on yer feet."

Curling closer and resting a pale cheek on the galdor's dark, wavy hair, Xavier was a moonlit creature of very little shame, especially after the high of Surwood and the enjoyment of a night spent on the beach among similarly-minded friends. Here in Old Rose Harbor, the pale musician was quite aware they could be more themselves than anywhere else in all Anaxas, comfortably undefined and glittery in their glamour.

Leaving Cassandra's Oasis and the beach behind meant that the albino wick had to be careful about where they put their bare feet, gracefully careful to avoid garbage and wastewater, broken glass and gods only knew what else. They'd spent good coin to find a nice inn in Castle Hill, nestled in near the Trader's Market so they could get a good spot for entertaining and Lee could have ample opportunity to pick pockets.

Steering them with a shift of their hips, they chuckled at Elias' groaning, "If th' sun didn't shine, I've heard neither would th' moons. So, sometimes y' need t' endure th' hard spitch t' enjoy th' good. Y' really feel th' Rose be ugly? Oh, Eli, let me show you her prettier side once we get y' all cleaned up. I ent sure what clothes 'f mine y' can wear, but we'll work 't out. Gods, 'f only—"

Xavier stopped themselves there, biting their lip far harder than necessary to keep the rest of the words they were about to say come tumbling out so easily. If only they were in Brunnhold, they were about to say, to admit they knew a tailor that could most certainly make the most perfect of clothes for one bereft galdor like Elias.

But, sharing such a thing felt far more personal than the tall Gioran wanted to share, saying Juniper's name in recommendation felt strange, awkward, and the kinds of mixed emotions just these thoughts were swirling around inside of them were really uncomfortable,

"—'f only I knew a decent tailor here 'n th' Rose. We'll jus' have t' ask 'round, eh?"

They'd lead the way toward the little inn they'd booked for themselves and Lee, the bustle of the Trader's Market audible even down the side streets. It was almost a bed and breakfast, really, and the little cobbled alley with it's overhanging awnings could have almost been called cute and quaint had one been willing to forget they were under the shadow of Silas Hawke in the Harbor. This side of the city was actually rather well-maintained: indoor plumbing, running water, street sweepers, and a little less chaos than near the docks or the Dogyard.

They knew Old Rose better than most, the central port for airships in the Six Kingdoms a frequent stopping place in their indentured servant of a cabinboy youth. Much like the last time they'd met under duress, Xavier was quite the talented host: they purchased a room with a bath, made arrangements for Elias to stay, and quite literally did all the talking with the prettiest of smiles on their delicate, painted lips as if this was the way everything was supposed to be. They'd lead the galdor away,

"Ye can get yer own bath started, oes? I'll find y' some clothes 'r somethin'. Then, well, then we'll sort out th' rest 'f yer mess somehow." The albino wick chuckled, unable to resist an encouraging pat on the other man's backside before they slipped away and left him standing there alone to settle his own self into his own room while they made their way just a few doors down the hall to theirs, waggling bejeweled fingers before fumbling for keys and quietly disappearing into their own room, hoping they'd arrived early enough that their much younger companion was still sleeping.

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Elias Mercucianno
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Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:42 pm

Bethas 35th, 2719
OLD ROSE | MORNING
Image
The raven haired Bastian chuckled, surprised by the warmth that rose to his stubbed cheeks even through the left over effects of the rum, keeping his eye on the path ahead as they moved.

“Complete coincidence I assure you. I required a light, and Mister Evedane was there to assist. He happened to offer me a drink better than the kenserbile they serve here for ale, and I couldn’t very well say no. That would be rude.” A short laugh came to him at the mention of a trio, head turning and brow raising as he realized the wick was somewhat serious.

“A trio? Well I…I probably need some practice. And of course we’d have to find and ask Kit. But I suppose…I mean…” The gentle press of platinum locks against the top of his head stole away any half-muttered excuses, and he couldn’t help the rush of delight in his field. With a sigh, the galdor shrugged.

“Gods what else am I going to do?” Elias said quietly, groaning in protest at the suns rays, staggering slightly in the direction the Gioran’s body guided him. The taller wick mused on the need for hardship to see the beauty on the other side, causing the mess of a creatures jaw to twitch with frustration. He thought that’s how it worked, but Hurte had proven that wrong. The beauty was just a precious lure, tempting you towards the edge before shoving you hard into the abyss.

He didn’t miss it, even in his state, Eli heard the sharp stop of words as Xavier held something back. There were far too many things that could follow Gods, if only.

If only you were a better man.

If only you weren’t so useless.

If only you’d died with them.

If only—oh. A tailor. Of course.

“In the Rose? Gods, it’s all pirates and ruffians. I think a tailor is probably a hard ask. Maybe a market trader at the best.” Eli said quietly, wincing at the noise of the markets as they pushed through the crowd towards Xavier’s place of temporary residence. His bleary gold rimmed gaze took in the quaint signpost, trying his level best not to waiver on his feet as the stunning Gioran negotiated things he shouldn’t need to negotiate, all the while wearing a pretty smile that gave the Bastian’s heart cause to flutter.

Stop that. They deserve better than you.

Following Xavier to the room that was far too good for such a cart-wreck as himself, Elias took a deep breath and gave the kind hearted creature a winsome smile.

“Xavier I…” He faltered, watching the quartz being as they moved down to their own doorway. This was the height of pathetic, standing in borrowed shoes outside a room in an establishment he could have once bought outright, paid for by a Gioran wick who was probably barely getting by themselves, with a broken field and a devestated relationship with the mona.

And still fucking alive.

“Thank you.” The galdor said genuinely, before reaching to open the door and step inside. Closing the door, leaving it unlocked, Elias stood in the middle of the simple room. His eyes swept over the amenities; a bed, bedside table, a chair, no window, a bathroom with a bath and a sink with a tarnished mirror, and a small fireplace.

Placing the heavy boxed instrument down right where he stood, the Bastian reached up to rub his hands over his face, dragging them down stubbled cheeks and up over dark curls. He felt the thick cloying lump of anguish and desolate self-loathing building in his throat, tears burning his eyes with threats of open weeping. Shaking his head, Elias reached for his shirt with cold-numbed fingers, loosening buttons as he tried to kick off the boots, staggering off balance but finding the wall to lean against. Removing the dirty, sandy, sweat stained shirt he dropped it to the floor and moved towards the bathroom. Leaning down, he turned the taps, watching steam rise from the slightly too hot water as he fumbled with the fastenings of his pants. Patting at his pockets, the galdor made a sound of surprise when he discovered his glasses in his back pocket. They were slightly bent, and the glass from one frame had popped out, but they were here. At least he'd be able to read without squinting. Leaving them in the garment as he let them fall to the floor, he stepped into the water, hissing at the burning sensation on his still chilled feet. It hurt, but it was good.

Sitting down in the hot water, allowing the bath to fill around him, the galdor leaned back to stare at the ceiling. He was still too tipsy for a headache, but he felt foggy. He’d felt foggy for seasons. Around the man, his field flexed and ebbed of its own accord, riddled with pockets like the holes in Bastian cheese. It was a broken thing, a beaten dog cringing in the corner. Whilst the galdor had carefully abused the mona, guiding them to backlash that could have killed him, Elias hadn’t expected to live afterwards and frankly, the loss was profound.

“I’m sorry.” He said to the air around him, feeling nothing different and no response in return. The mona wasn’t a person, it couldn’t be apologized to with an off the cuff remark. Eli felt the emotions rising again, his chest hitching as sobs wanted to consume him, and with a growl he squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his fists. The emptiness in his field was horrifying, and constant, like loosing an arm or a leg or even dare he think it, another member of the family he didn’t have. It ached all the time, it made him dry wretch, it made him insane with grief sometimes.

Another demon from the Gods. Another punishment to notch in his bedpost.

The water rose around him, too hot as it flooded over Bastian tanned and dirt stained skin. He reached up when it began to lap at his clavicle, turning off the taps and sitting in the sudden silence that came after the rushing of water.

Drip. Drip.

The sound of the slow, tedious drip of the faucet was almost soothing in the silence. Thoughts consumed the broken galdor. He’d tried to make it to the ocean, to drown in it, and failed to even get to the water. Yet, here he was now, nearly submerged in the biting waters of Xaviers kindness.

It was easy to close his eyes and slip under, holding his breath at first as he let his top half sink to the bottom of the tub. With a serene sort of slowness, Elias let the air in his lungs escape in a series of bubbles, one after the other until there was nothing left. He grit his teeth, feeling the ache in his chest as his body demanded he rise to the surface, holding the sides with his hands to keep himself down. It hurt, it burned within, and his porven field pulsed with tangled emotions of panic, fear and desperation. He jolted, fighting the urge to rise, eons of fight-or-flight instinct taking over and his body trying to gasp for air. Water rushed into his mouth, and the man couldn’t stop himself from bursting through the surface coughing and spluttering, gasping for air before letting a ragged sob escape him.

Even given the chance, he couldn’t fucking do it.

Catching his breath, the Bastian galdor pushed wet dark locks back, the water allowing a rare taming of unruly curls against his head as he let his eyes close and leaned back against the bath. He rest his arms on the sides, tops of his feet sticking out of the water where they rested against the other end, ankles crossed.

"I ent gonna tell y' what I think 'bout that, but ye chen Hawke keeps himself alive an' in th' good graces 'f Anaxi folk because he's got 'em all convinced he's a—what'd y' say? yaldyet!—a decent wick. Ne."

The Giorans words floated through his mind over and over, and Elias couldn’t help but muse on them as he rested in the bath that would not be his death-bed today.

Perhaps it was worth talking to Hawke, regardless of his desire to depart this mortal coil. The wick knew his parents better than himself. Maybe he could help find out who’d robbed him. Maybe.

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Xavier Zhirune
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm
Topics: 9
Location: On Tour
Race: Wick
: Not all that glitters be ging. Some 'f it's me.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Writer: Muse
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:18 pm

Cessandra's Oasis
in the EARLY MORNING of the 35th of BETHAS, 2719

The pale musician sent Elias on his way into his room and quietly, carefully slipped into their own. They closed the door. They closed their eyes in the darkness and leaned against its worn wooden surface with a long, slow sigh, lithe fingers still curled around the handle and sandy toes curling against the roughhewn floor.

"Godsfuckingdamnit." Hissed the moonlit creature in a fierce sort of whisper, the Estuan followed by a few more unsavory curses in Gioran through grit teeth. Xavier may have ultimately been able to say they'd enjoyed the Bastian's brief, strange, handsomely chin-filled company all those months ago in Vienda, but that didn't mean they'd ever planned on seeing him again, let alone dealing with more of his morose baggage.

They should have left his sorry erse on the beach.

But that was simply not who they were.

The albino wick quietly turned and picked their way through the small room, violet gaze glancing at the curled up, sound asleep form of their young companion, Lee, on the floor. They'd offered the bed, assuring her they'd be gone, but the young witch was far too used to her life of hardship. Onna was awake as soon as they'd opened the door, scrambling to greet Xav who simply couldn't resist letting their lacquered nails scratch its head and drift down it's long body,

"Sssh. Go back t' sleep. 'S early yet." They whispered as if the ferret understood, turning to gather almost all of their clothes in a giant mess in their long arms, "Don't wait for me for breakfast, ye chen."

The pale musician winked and fumbled for the door again, padding out into the hallway and making a real joke of themselves flailing behind a pile of clothes at Elias' door, dropping a few articles of their personal wardrobe on their way in and craning comically to grab them all before closing the man's door behind them. Not entirely ignorant of the current level of the dark-haired galdor's self loathing, they heard the splash of water and the gasp for breath,

"Y' ent doin' nothin' dumbersed 'n there, I hope. I ent payin' for th' removal 'f a godsbedamned body 'n th' tub." Xavier was not a creature of shame, and their words were thick with the sort of knowing that revealed a hint of where they'd been in their own life. Unceremoniously dumping all of their clothing on the bed they'd paid for so that the damn Bastian had somewhere to sleep, they stood in the morning light that filtered through the small, curtained window and set about removing what was left of their wardrobe that clung to their person. They weren't about to waste a hot bath, regardless of who they had to share it with.

Besides, their feet were dirty.

Without a care in the world and without a stitch on, the albino wick made their way into the bath, conjuring up a warm sort of smirk in Elias' direction as if to imply he'd better make room, waggling their fingers for emphasis,

"C'mon, there's more 'n enough room for both 'f us. Scoot." Purred the coy sliver of moonlight, ignoring the sadness on the other man's face as they reached to move legs if he didn't move them and delicately step themselves into the tub without asking permission and without a care how much water sloshed over the edge and onto the floor.

They made quite a performance about settling in, as they were wont to do about nearly anything, honestly, Xavier more dramatic than flirtatious if only because they were quite aware they didn't need to work too hard should they want such attentions from the disheveled galdor. They did not, however, shy away from making sure there was plenty of very unashamed touching, plenty of purposefully gratuitous skin against skin, while they found a comfortably folded position facing the man and leaning against the opposite end of the tub where Elias' feet had once been. Reaching up to begin taking their hair down so they could actually wash, the pale musician lifted a foot and tickled their toes coyly against the galdor's chest, almost taunting to drift lower and biting their lower lip as if they considered seriously ignoring anything actually important,

"Ye got washin' t' do, Eli. It's th' least y' can do, an' I promise I'll return th' favor, eh?" Xavier winked, leaning their head back to stare at the ceiling with a long sigh once their long hair was free from all of its braids, faded colors from Surwood mingled in and tossed over the edge of the tub. They were quiet for a few moments as if somehow joining the man in his bath had made them forget everything that had brought them together again on the beach, had made them forget the pressing suffering and rather difficult circumstances that Elias seemed to be barely enduring. When they looked up again, searching the unfortunate but handsome galdor's face, their tone was soft and serious,

"Epaemo. I'm sorry 'bout yer—what? Yer life, I guess—but, listen, I had t' run into y' again an' now yer stuck with me. If someone did stab y' in th' back, ye can't jus' give up on everythin'. It's time t' stop that, ye chen?" Not that the albino wick had any aspirations of going up against Silas Hawke himself in order to fix any of Elias' deeper problems that they suspected he refused to see clearly, but the willowy Gioran didn't enjoy how much the poor creature wallowed in unwarranted guilt and wasted the life he'd been so generously given in his parents' stead.

Forever separated from their own family, the moonlit creature fought furiously to make themselves a new one by any means necessary. Apparently, this meant collecting strays, and it was all they could do but believe that their hopeful light could mean something to people like Lee and Elias, believe that the Circle had given them their own experiences not just for themselves but also to inspire others,

"Y'ent dead, an' if y' give up an' die now, yer jus' lettin' whoever swindled yer handsome erse win. I won't stand for that, Eli, one thief talkin' 'bout another."

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