[Closed] And At Last I See The Light

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Charity Valentin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:41 pm
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Race: Galdor
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Sat May 18, 2019 10:56 am

1st Intas, 2718
PAINTED LADIES| LATE EVENING
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Charity crossed her arms, resting her chin on them as she leaned against the cold brick that encased the rooftop of the back half of their house in the Painted Ladies. Accessing the roof was a surprise in itself, a small hatch and ladder built into the roof of the attic. Once one climbed through, they would find themselves a top a flat square of rooftop, clearly designed into the building for the privacy of a personal rooftop garden. There was a small rundown gazebo, broken and rotted with age and neglect, overrun with dead creeping plants of some kind and potted plants long turned to dust. There were no chairs up there, instead the tactful blonde had dragged an old crate from the cellar all the way up and through to the spacious emptiness.

It was a quiet place where the whole entire world could be forgotten for a few blissful hours.

Can’t hide forever Charity Ann.

The galdor looked up at the clouded sky, watching as the fat flakes of snow began to fall on Vienda as the evening marked the less religious celebrations of Clocks Eve. In the streets below, the denizens of the Dives were making their way to private celebrations, or taking the opportunity to join the shindig being put on in Crosstown Court. Here and there along the Ladies, paper lanterns had been hung to shine their light on the snowy cobbled streets, giving the colorful strip a warm glow of amber.

“Neither can you father.” She muttered quietly, the flecks of gold in her violet gaze catching the orange hues in the street as she turned her head slightly to the sound of fireworks. They were a few blocks over, in the court itself, but the boom-crackle-hiss of the brightly colored explosions was still audible and the glow of the street was briefly overtaken by greens or reds or blues depending on the lightshow in the night sky.

It was the same every year for her birthday, except this year things were different. This year for starters, she was sober. She could enjoy the lights for their innate beauty rather than the spectral hallucinogenic chaos that she had endured in the past. Secondly, she was free from Damen’s thumb. After years and years of his cruel reign, she was free. She wasn’t even a D’Arthe anymore, rid of the Bastian name for her Brayde County bred Valentin.

Of course that also led to the third thing, her marriage. For too many years, the pianist had celebrated her birthday lacking the one thing that she ever wanted. The one thing she always wanted; Rhys Valentin. Had he been there in the past, there would be so many things that might not have happened. The knife in her ribs, the abuse of the narcotics, the violence of her father…so many things might have been different but then, would they? Would the man have joined the Seventen? Would he have learned the truth of his heritage? Would there be so many fucked up things in his life to deal with? Charity was absolutely positive the answer was no, but….selfishly she didn’t care. The petite creature was happy, at least, with that part of her world. The wicked man had overshadowed his own birthday with a proposal and union by law, it was a gift that covered every Clocks Eve or St Grumbles or birthday ever.

Charity smiled to herself, lowering her head to rest on her arms again as the snow settled softly in her hair and clung to the fabric of her ivory high collared blouse and long beige skirt. Her platinum tresses were caught up in a half do, the top of her hair neatly fashioned into a twist whilst the rest fell in gentle curls between her shoulder blades. It was cold on the roof—frankly it was cold anywhere given the time of year and the weather—but the galdor didn’t care. She had taken a brief moment to cast a thermodynamic Static spell with a touch of Physical 101 to create a bubble of heat around her. It wasn’t fantastic—Static and Physical weren’t really her key area’s of study—but it was enough to take the edge off.

Laughter peeled from the street below, tipsy revelers on their way out, making their wobbly way down uneven cobblestones on uneven feet. The blonde chuckled to herself, before looking up at the clouded sky punctuated with light and sound. Gods, she could stay in this moment forever. Always and Forever. Unconsciously, she fiddled with the silvery band that had engraved the words that so represented her love for Rhys.

Happy birthday, daughter.

“Shut up.” She muttered without lifting her head, used to the voice by now that she found herself replying to it more often than not.

Bubble of Heat - static/physical blend
SidekickBOTToday at 00:08
@Raksha: d6 = (2) = 2


word count: 876
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Rhys Valentin
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:06 pm
Topics: 8
Location: Vienda
Race: Wick
: It's Inspector to you, thanks.
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Fri May 31, 2019 2:41 pm

where the heart is
after dark on the 1st of Intas, 2719
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Rhys had not ventured far from the house, far from the Painted Ladies, far from the Dives for weeks now, months, really, save but for a few necessary times and never alone. The capitol of Vienda had become its own danger—streets patrolled by men and women in uniform he'd once trusted but couldn't any more, streets populated by strangers he no longer felt as though he had any authority over.

Broken bones had healed.

Broken hearts had been mended.

But that didn't mean that pain didn't linger in different, unseen ways in not only his life, but Charity's as well. Fear. Trauma. Anger. These emotions still haunted them, gnawed at the unspoken places of their minds, and while they'd planned their paths toward justice and plotted their next steps, the damage was slow to repair.

They had a long, hard road ahead of them that no amount of paint and carpentry was going to fix.

The young Valentin couldn't be more ready to bring a close to the year, to bury the old year without even the honor of cremation or the ceremony of a song, to drown it in the Avora and forget so much of it—not all of it, of course, given who he had to share it with. Even if he wasn't sure he was ready for the new year, he had no choice, but Rhys knew that before he could even consider the rest of the turning of the cycle of seasons, he had Charity's birthday to celebrate.

Hers was impossible to forget, being Clock's Eve. He'd wasted too many as a schoolboy—never a dance, never a kiss, never drunken giggles somewhere in the lantern-lit streets of the Stacks. Just like this new year held within it the whispered promises of redemption should they choose to take matters in to their own hands, so the tall blond decided it was time to remedy all of those missed opportunities they'd never had a chance to take in the form of private celebration.

Always one to have a favor to call in somewhere from somewhere, especially among his informants and contacts in the Dives, Rhys had forced himself out of the house one late, blustery Ophus eve to pay a visit to one of the many pawn shops that lined the street just within view of the Clockwork Stag, the Sergeant began his search for a birthday present fit for his delicate pianist. He spent the rest of that afternoon huffing about the outskirts of Uptown, too terrified to make his way to shops he knew close to his old home in Kingsway Market. Thankfully, he was not disappointed by his persistence.

Arrangements were creatively made and the tall blond continued to extend his talents of creatively keeping secrets until just the right moment.

They'd both agreed they had no interest in going out for Clock's Eve—the thought of crowds of strangers, of watchful eyes, and even moreso of familiar faces, keeping them from at all feeling ready to mingle with the general populace. Rhys had, of course, spent much of the day spoiling Charity in any manner she could imagine—he cooked, he cleaned, he cuddled—and the day was spent without any particular fanfare, only the promise of things to come. Yes, he was persistent with his, "Just you wait," and "You'll know when the time comes" any moment the petite blonde dared ask about his plans for her.

And then the sun set and the bells of Vienda's own many Churches rang. Songs were sung on the streets. Prayers were offered to Alioe. Celebrations began all throughout the capitol, from fancy dances in Uptown to block parties in the Dives.

Rhys washed dishes, quietly shooing his wife outside to sit under the stars and the little phosphor lights strung along their lovely but in desperate need of some work gazebo and humble rooftop garden. Wine would follow, he swore with a smile that was ultimately so suspicious he'd chased the woman out with roguish kisses and far too flirtatious pinches instead. He made sure to sing a very loud mockery of the Anaxi National Anthem when it drifted from the streets below, making sure his voice rang out above the clink of dishes and splash of hot water, making sure his volume covered the knock at the service door that led to the side of their kitchen.

A package, a smiling wick boy, red-faced and dusted with snow, and a few coins exchanged later and the young Valentin was donning his coat and making his way outside with a basket of wine and two glasses as well as the rather ridiculously large and impressively heavy-looking package balanced in his hands.

As if he felt the need to prove his renewed physical prowess after weeks of painful recovery, he swept his way through the snow to set the package under the mostly covered space of the gazebo, grinning so broadly he had to pause a moment before saying a single word,

"Happy birthday and happy new year, Mrs. Charity Valentin."

He was already laughing, breath a hot cloud in the frigid Intas air, aware that she'd probably hate him for his extreme methods of celebration, huffing snow and long strawberry blond strands from his face as he set the basket down on a bench and paused to add his own request for warmth and comfort to the mona, gathering his glamour and speaking the Monite as a support to the spherical shelter of heated air that his delicate pianist had humbly produced. It wasn't much more impressive, really, given that much like his wife, his focus was Perceptive conversation instead, but it was enough to allow him to slip out of his coat and turn to the bottle of wine, moving to begin to uncork it while he tilted his chin in the direction of the package.

It was a large box, rectangular and tall. It looked heavy, but it had been made in such a way that once untied, the sides would fall away and reveal what was within:

Happy Birthday CharityShow
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Tucked into the side of the box were several well-kept records of the Viendan Symphony Orchestra, the Bastian Royal Orchestral Players, and the Mugrobi Worshipful Company of Pipefitters' Auxiliary Band.

Rhys, in his typical mischievousness, waited until the package had been opened and he could see Charity's expression before he interrupted the moment with the loud pop of the cork and a rebellious swig straight from the bottle,

"Because we can't clocking dance when you're playing the piano. Here's to all the Clock's Eve balls we've never attended—fuck them all! Now I can just stay home with you."
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word count: 1210
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Charity Valentin
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:41 pm
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Race: Galdor
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:45 am

1st Intas, 2718
PAINTED LADIES| LATE EVENING
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A​​s the boisterous shouted tones of Rhys’ voice echoed up through the chilled night air from their kitchen, the delicate creature couldn’t help but laugh softly, shaking her head and resting her cheek on her arm. The taller man had been so elusive all day, avoiding her prompts about his plans and skirting suspicious faces with far too friendly hands, much to Charity’s amusement. She insisted he didn’t need to plan anything at all, given all that they had been through and his untoppable gift on his own clocking birthday.
​​
​​That is an insulting spin on that song. The voice in her head complained, causing the blonde to snort and smirk.
​​
​​ “That’s the point father.” She said smartly, the song now finished but the mockery lingering. It was befitting, the crude turn of the verses that were supposed to lift and inspire Anaxi everywhere. The country was not a bright beacon of hope and kindness though, it was a hatcher waiting to rend flesh from bone, and it was scum on the surface of a stagnant pond. It could burn, and Charity would be dancing on its ashes. They should leave, move to Gior or Mugroba or something. But there was something holding them there, something that burned brighter than any beacon.
​​
​​Justice. Vengeance. Revenge.
​​
​​Lifting her head from her arms as the rooftop door opened, the pianist turned to offer her husband a warm smile. In all the darkness and fear, he was her guiding light, her rock in the storm. No matter how bad things were, or how loud the voice got in her mind, Rhys was there to keep her together. Like the gold that Hoxians used to fix broken porcelain, he filled the cracks that threatened to fling her apart, and he held her together. She knew that he was battered and broken too, her fault more than anyone else, and selfishly she held onto him. Selfishly she fought for him, and didn’t question the sometimes too dark thoughts that bubbled from within his tortured soul.
​​
​​She perhaps even encouraged it, feeding red raging flames that seared her field and singed her mind.
​​
​​ “Rhys Valentin, what on Vita have you got there?” The petite galdor asked with a chuckle, straightening from the edge of the building where she leaned to offer assistance where he seemed to need none. She laughed as he paused, brow arching and cheeks flushing with warmth.
​​
​​ “I think this is the first Clock’s Eve we’ve spent together. I mean together, not just in the same campus or Dining Hall. Tocks, I think it’s the first birthday I’ve had without—well…the first birthday I will remember the next morning.“ Her field eagerly mingled with his glamour, delighted by his casting and warmed by her love. They fit, like the pieces of a puzzle, from their minds to their hearts to the very nature of their fields. Watching him move to pour them a glass of wine, Charity followed his nod to the large package in the gazebo.
​​
​​ “You know you shouldn’t have. I’ve got everything I want already. A home, a husband. You. There’s nothing I want or need. Still,” Her delicate fingers paused on the ribbon with a mischevious smirk.
​​
​​ “I’m not complaining.” With a gentle tug she released the careful bow that held the clever box together, watching as the sides collapsed to the soft snowy surface of the gazebo seat, gasping quietly as the gramaphone was revealed. It was beautifully made, the rich redwood varnished and polished to perfection, the inside of the trumpet painted in sapphire and accented with tulips. Running tentative fingers over the records tucked into the side of the box, Charity jumped as the cork popped, looking up at her self-delighted husband with tears in her violet gaze.
​​
​​ “Rhys this is—“ The galdor shook her head, blinking rapidly and drawing the Bastian record from the box. Moving with the confidence of someone who’d used one before, the musician set the disc on the plate, winding the handle of the crank to build the tension in the coil, before placing the needle on the record. The faint scratchy sound of the point running on the material was quickly replaced by the gentle lilting sounds of the orchestra beginning their sonata. Moving from the gazebo, she approached the taller wick and took the bottle, taking an extraordinarily unladylike swig of the wine and making a face.
​​
​​ “Good Lady, that’s got a bit of body to it.” Raising the bottle, she suddenly shouted.
​​
​​ “Fuck them all!” She toasted with a laugh, her tone far too formal for such crude language. Handing the bottle back, the blonde swayed in time to the tune.
​​
​​ “Oh, I love this one.” The woman smiled at him, reaching out her hand in invitation.
​​
​​ “Do you remember the Confisalto introduction lessons they made us take in fifth form? By Alioe, they were so awkward! I wanted to be your partner but I had to pair with…oh who was it…some girl from Bastia who was the same height. She was so annoying. I kept stealing glances, seeing who they would pair you with.” The blonde giggled at the memory, recalling that Rhys was taller than most of the students there at the time.

word count: 927
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