[Closed] What Once Was Mine [Memory]

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Charity Valentin
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:41 pm
Topics: 1
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: Plot Notes

Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:20 am

Loshis 14th, 2718
"Beautiful, simply beautiful.” Benjamin Tolsby said with a passionate sound of delight, closing the case over his violin and clipping it shut. Charity reached for her light coat as he spoke, slipping her arms in the sleeves before reaching for the cigarette that was being offered to her by one of the other concertists and taking a deep drag.

“Yes it was quite a lovely arrangement, though that second chair on the Bastian obo could use a bit of work. How the clock she got in is beyond me.” Handing the cigarette back, the platinum blonde pianist flicked her hair out from under the coat and began to do up the buttons. The warm summer weather reminded her too much lately of days gone by, days she felt like were something between a good dream and a distant memory. A melancholy apathy had begun to settle in, as did the familiar faces of her youth. Or one, at least, that left her feeling a deep pit of regret everytime she saw it. Smirking to himself as though holding the winning cards in a game of poker, Ben stood up and looked over the short woman.

“I was talking about the first chair pianist actually. She’s quite lovely.” Charity laughed politely, reaching for her satchel of sheet music.

“Always the charmer Ben.” The young woman quipped, stepping a little away from the red haired Anaxi who forever seemed to be just a fraction inside her personal space. Ben rubbed a hand over his face, moving with her as though he’d anticipated her movement.

“Do you have to head off so soon?” He asked quietly, his tone suggestive even before anything else could be discussed. Lifting a finger, Charity waggled it at the man.

“Ah you know father, he’s got some event this evening with a spice merchant from Mugroba. Wants to parade his most prized possession, no doubt to secure some sort of wedding arrangement.” It was a blatent lie, but Gods she didn’t particularly feel like fighting off Benjamin’s pawing advances tonight. Making a noise of disappointment, the taller Anaxi took a step back and sighed.

“That’s a shame, because I got the best Crop from Basil last night. Thought you might like to stick around with me and a few others for a bit of….artistic appreciation.” From the other side of the blonde, a dark haired figure appeared, green eyes bright under a cocked eyebrow.

“What’s this now? You’re planning all this fun and you didn’t even invite me?” Curling an arm through one of the D’Arthe girls own, Diaxio Shiuni leaned against her as Charity leaned back, both entirely comfortable with each other. Best friends since third form, the two were inseparable most nights. Granted, sometimes it took the coaxing of the green eyed Hoxian, but when the pianist and the flutist got together it was messy and ever so much fun. Benjamin glanced at Diaxio and shrugged.

“I would have. Eventually. But the Captain’s daughter has prior commitments.” Diaxio pouted suddenly, looking at Charity with a squeeze on her arm.

“No Xi.” The blonde answered before the question was asked, making the other woman pout even harder and make a small pleading sound in the back of her throat. Charity shook her head with a laugh, prompting another sound from the Hoxian.

“Oh come on Charity! I’m not ready to go home yet, it’s only half way into the nineteenth hour!” As the pale creature groaned in protest, Diaxio moved to hold both her hands, bouncing on her toes before her friend.

“I’m tired Xi, and you know how father can be sometimes. And I really don’t feel like dealing with you know who.” She breathed, casting an eye at Benjamin who held out two small pressed white pills and smirked obliviously. The Hoxian turned slightly, releasing one hand to reach for the pills, before turning back to Charity with a wry smile.

“I’m sure your father is going to be fine, you’re with me, he likes me. Plus, you can’t be tired because then I’ll have to stay out on my own and what kind of a friend does that to another friend?” Holding the pianists violet gaze, Diaxio opened her mouth to place the tablet under her tongue, closing it with a grin and holding the other up between her fingertips.

“There see, now it would be dangerous to leave me all alone. You’re just going to have to take one for the team Charity. For me?” The blonde sighed, looking at the tightly pressed powder pill and chewing the inside of her lip, before glancing at Diaxio’s mischievous jade stare. It would help to ease the cloying sense of entrapment that encroached everytime she thought of what waited for her at home, it would help with the hollow ache inside that left her feeling so terribly alone.

It would just be one.

Fine. But just one, alright? I’ve got a midday sitting at the Lendonbrooke house tomorrow, and I’m fairly certain Mrs Lendonbrooke wouldn’t appreciate a clocking stoned galdori playing for her guests.” Opening her mouth, sticking her tongue out, she let Diaxio place the bitter pill down on the end before curling it into her mouth and tucking it between her cheek and her teeth. Benjamin wooped, grinning from ear to ear, before disappearing out through the backstage doors and downwards to the dressing rooms where Basil York and Lillian Lovegood waited with other like-minded galdori. The sound of music wafted up the staircase, accompanied by laughter and intoxicated singing. Diaxio held Charity’s hand tighter, before giggling delightfully and leading her friend towards the festivities.

“I swear it. I do! Two chroves, right there in the street, funniest thing I have ever clocking seen.” The too loud, too slurred voice of Benjamin Tolsby proclaimed, dragging a chorus of laughter from his captive audience and startling the pianist awake. It was hours later than Charity had planned for, and somewhere along the way she’d lost her jacket and her shoes, so utterly wrecked that she could barely sit up. Since when had she found her way to sitting in Ben’s lap, and where was Diaxio?

“Gods be kind, what clocking time is it?” The delicate blonde croaked, struggling to get to her feet, using both hands to unwrap the red heads arm from her waist.

“Twenty fifth? Twenty sixth? It’s not that late Charity. Charity wait!” Benjamin shoved himself to his own unsteady feet, stumbling after the pale creature as she weaved her way towards the exit.

“Twenty…clocking hell my father will be furious.” She muttered, holding a hand to her head as the Anaxi caught her elbow.

“Steady on there Charity. Why don’t you come home with me? Diaxio left about an hour ago, and you’ve had a fair bit of Crop.” Closing her eyes, the blonde frowned. They’d had the pill, then helped finish a bottle of Mood Elevator, and then that new way of having the drug. The vial, so tiny and quick to take that it felt like you hadn’t done anything at all. But oh Alioe, it was strong.

“No, no thankyou. I need fresh air, a walk to clear my head, before I go home.” Ben drew her closer, curling an arm around her waist and brushing the platinum locks from her face.

“You’d be better off if I escorted you.” He said quietly, tilting her chin with his fingertips as though he planned to kiss her. Charity held her hands up, pushing away from the violinist and shaking her head.

“Sorry uh…no. No Ben.” She said in a frustrated tone, shifting to get past the man and out through the side door. It was warm outside, the air think with rain that wanted to fall but had yet to make an appearance.

“Clocking nice one Diaxio. Again.” Charity muttered to herself, holding her arms across her chest and rubbing as though to ward off a chill. She was dressed in a thin cream colored dress that swept over the tops of her shoulders and flared gently around her legs with a lace overlay, long white blonde hair falling around her in a strange halo, feet dirty and bare as she staggered away from the Theatre and into Kingsway Market. It was quiet, though there were still a few stragglers getting home after late nights of entertainment or business—or both. The blonde didn’t want to head home yet, not in such a state, so she wandered Vienda at a sedate pace on unsteady feet.

“What are you doing?” She whispered as she stared down at her reflection in the Arova River, letting her intoxicated mind wander back to Brunnhold. Back to sixth form, back to that lovely day in Perceptive studies. All the lovely days before—

That was enough of that. Those lovely days were a long distant vision of a time when things could have been simpler. Before her father’s fateful force of nature had intervened with all that was good in her life. All that had brought her some small mote of control and joy in an otherwise cold grey world.

That was enough of that.

word count: 1605

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Niccolette Ibutatu
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 pm
Topics: 17
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard

Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:30 pm

Evening, 14th Loshis, 2718
Over the Arova, Vienda
"What are you doing?” Niccolette shrieked with laughter, breathless and giddy, although she had not made a serious attempt to stop Uzoji, nor to pull away. “No!” She batted at his hand, feebly.

“I am,” Uzoji said, grinning broadly, “yielding to temptation,” he lunged. Niccolette shrieked, and then his arm was beneath her legs, and Uzoji lifted her off the ground, tucked between two streetlights on the quiet Vienda street, a brief moment of privacy and joy.

“Noooo!” Niccolette giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck and curling her face against his shoulder. “My shoe! Uzoji – Uzoji, my shoe!” One small bare foot waved free from the hem of her ruby-red dress, toes curling in the warm air of the heavy, rainy Hamis evening.

“Flood your shoe!” Uzoji held Niccolette close to his chest, one arm beneath her legs and the other wrapping around her torso. “You don’t need it. I’ll carry you.”

Niccolette was laughing so hard she could barely breathe; she could feel Uzoji laughing too, the warm rumble of it in her chest as he held her. “You shall carry me all the way back to the Grandview?” She giggled, closing her eyes.

“And beyond,” Uzoji said, firmly, although there was no disguising the rumble of laughter in his voice. “All the way upstairs.”

“Or,” Niccolette giggled, and squirmed again, opening her eyes and raising her eyebrows up at her husband. “Or, perhaps – my shoe?”

Uzoji grinned down at her. “Fine,” he eased her down to the ground, as gently as he had lifted her.

Niccolette giggled, holding onto her husband’s shoulder with one hand, keeping her foot gently off the ground. Uzoji knelt – Niccolette did not let go - and fetched the errant shoe. He turned.

“Hold still,” Uzoji slid up the hem of her skirt, slowly, revealing her ankle. He lifted the shoe, carefully, and settled it onto her foot. “There,” he kissed the bare skin of her calf, one hand keeping the long, straight hem of her dress from falling back down, from covering her with silk petticoats and glittering ruby fabric once more. “Better, beloved?”

“Yes, quite,” Niccolette lifted her chin, her small gold slipper still resting on her husband’s pant leg. His hands slid against her bare skin, and she giggled, the rush of it a thousand times better than any champagne – although, of course, there had been quite a bit of champagne already that day.

This four had been a rare day in the rainy season – no parties, no receptions, no meetings that Uzoji might sneak into, no old friends for Niccolette to catch up with, nothing that Enofe wanted from either of them; nothing that Hawke wanted from either of them. No meetings with the bank, no letters to write to the plantation at Muluku, no repairs to the airship to oversee, no grimoires to track down, no messages to deliver.

Naturally, there had been champagne to celebrate this glorious quiet – quite a bit of it, starting with lunch, stretching through the afternoon, sipped between moments that glittered in Niccolette’s memory, a dizzying fizz of happiness in her veins. They had gone out for dinner around sunset – somewhere quiet, Uzoji had promised, where neither of them would know anyone, even with Vienda full to bursting with politicians from across the Six Kingdoms.

“I do not wish to go back yet,” Niccolette said, softly, looking down at her husband. She bit her lip, swallowing. The lobby of the Grandview was never quiet; it would be Uzoji’s brother, or his old professor, or someone Niccolette knew from Brunnhold, visiting the Mugrobi delegation. There would be letters and demands, interruptions that they could not forestall.

Uzoji’s hand stilled against her leg. He smiled, and Niccolette lowered her foot down to the ground. He rose, carefully, the long tail of his black jacket falling down his back again. “Then we won’t,” Uzoji promised. His hand cupped her cheek, his thumb stroking along it, gently. “Although surely we’ve already explored all of Vienda, mm? It’s no Thul Ka, after all. That’s a real city.”

Niccolette laughed. “Oh, no, Vienda is lovely! Someday we shall go to Florne, of course, and then you shall see a real city. But – but Vienda is well enough. I shall take you – I shall take you…” She giggled, biting her lip. Uzoji’s eyes caught on it, and she giggled, smacking him lightly with her hand. “Have you been to the Vienda Bridge?” Niccolette asked, eagerly. “We shall go there. Come on, my darling.”

A carriage hailed, Niccolette’s sharp, slightly drunk insistence that, yes, the two galdori did mean to go to the Vienda Bridge in the middle of the night. A sharp rattling ride over cobblestones, Uzoji’s hands gentle in the dark privacy of the cabin, Niccolette clenching hers tight in his coat to keep quiet -

“The Arova!” Niccolette announced, accepting her husband’s hand down the steps, and waving, grandly, at the river. “Vienda’s answer to the Turga, naturally,” Niccolette giggled. “You have seen it from the air! But have you ever seen it from – the Vienda Bridge?” Niccolette spun; her skirt was too narrow to catch in the air, but it glittered, red, beneath the soft phosphor light, sparkling bright, a dazzling array of sequins sewn up along it and across her bodice, all the way up the asymmetric lines across it and the high neck.

Uzoji was laughing. “No,” he grinned at her. “Never. Come on, Niccolette, we’ll – ”

“Ah ah!” Niccolette waved her finger at him, taking a few steps backwards, towards the railing. She pushed her hair back off her face, letting the long dark locks tumble neatly down her back. “None of that,” she said, mock-sternly, pressing bright red lips together in a playful pout. “We shall – ”

“Oh – beloved – ” Uzoji started forward, reaching for her, a sharp note of warning in his voice.

Niccolette felt the brush of a perceptive-laden field against her own sharp, bright living one, but she was already half-stumbling, and she knocked lightly into a small body behind her before she could even look back, catching herself against the railing with one ungloved hand.

Uzoji lunged forward, holding Niccolette with one hand, his other reaching for the white-clad arm of the slender blonde she had bumped into.

“Our apologies, madam,” He straightened the other woman with as little contact as he could manage, pulled back and bowed, politely. The Mugrobi’s field was heavy with physical mona and static mona both, the two mingled comfortably together. “Are you all right?” He straightened back up, and rested his hand on Niccolette’s side, checking on her as well.

“Yes,” Niccolette said, casually, turning, and brushing Uzoji’s hand away. She had meant to say something else – to make some polite excuse, perhaps to bow, but the sight of the woman against the railing caught her thoroughly off-guard. “Charity?” Niccolette blurted out, eyebrows lifting as she took in the pianist, from her dirty feet up to her halo of long blonde hair, surprise obvious in the curl of her voice. “Charity D’Arthe?”

word count: 1231
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