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.