[M] A Wrong Turn [Closed]

Vengance doesn't always go as planned.

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:10 pm
Topics: 14
Race: Galdor
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Writer: Maximus
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Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:01 am

Achtus 8, 2718 | Midday
Uptown, Vienda
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"Yes, Drezda. Glad you still have a sense of humour at the moment," she murmured distractedly, the lack of sarcasm in her voice a clear indication that his condition had gotten to her, as had the need to concentrate for the sake of using the mona. Perhaps that was why when he asked to have his hand held, she just did it, anything to make him be quiet so that she could cast, anything to make him shut up while she Conversed so that she wouldn't risk upsetting her relationship with the mona any further.

The spell's results were... disheartening to say the least.

Drezda had eyes so obviously she hadn't been under any illusions that Rhys' condition was hardly a good one. All the same, she knew that injuries could sometimes look a lot worse than they seemed. However, she could see the pool of blood he was in among other things so she hadn't even been able to believe in that fallacy before she cast the diagnostic. If she hadn't sensed the mona singing with such enthusiasm, pitch perfect notes at every turn, she might have been able to see the information she was getting as some sort of terribly warped and inaccurate reading. If she'd done poorly then she could have possibly fallen back on that, that it had gotten things completely wrong but the volume and the detail... there was no doubting that what was impinging on her senses was the truth.

Awful, excruciating truth.

The information was pure, unbiased, unemotional, a perfect detached analysis that didn't attempt to sugarcoat anything. He must just be one body of agony.

She didn't truly dislike the man - she'd never been given reason to do so really. There were very few people she would have wished such a fate on and those people... well, she actually hated them and some of them probably deserved it. This certainly wasn't deserved.

It was strange though. To be in this situation, checking him over in an alleyway that he was bleeding out in as she practically knelt at his side with... her hand in his. The whole thing was surreal but... she couldn't have left him and she couldn't deprive him of that small comfort of touch, even if it was peculiar for her to be touching a stranger, and a man at that. But if it kept him quiet...

Well, calm because the suspended Seventen didn't seem to want to still his tongue - ever. However, she had other concerns aside from the lack of peace, namely the fact that this... this was far too much for her to handle. She had had Living Conversation as a secondary focus in Brunnhold but she'd never been much of a healer, not really and while there were certain things that she could handle fairly well, this was definitely beyond her, even on a good day; this certainly wasn't a good day.

The diagnostic spell had been a phenomenal success and not one that she'd expected at all. Perhaps the mona had sensed her desperation, had pitied her but there was no guarantee that it would repeat it. Besides, most of what what wrong with him, she didn't know how to fix it. Pain though... she could deal with pain in theory but on this scale? If she tried to dull his agony then she could easily manage nothing or make it worse given that she didn't fully know where to aim. It could also go poorly if it succeeded because what if it worked and he managed to ignore his injuries all together? The man was clearly delirious and despite the condition he was in, he was also evidently eager to take action.

The words that came out of his mouth... gods, why did he have to talk and confirm that fleeting moment of suspicion that she'd had when she saw him in the first place? Damen as in Damen D'Arthe? So this was politics, and something more personal - revenge. This was no random attack but had he said... Diaxio? She'd been Charity's friend in school she remembered but the idea of her being in any way involved with Charity's father was odd to her. Although... perhaps it wasn't that strange that she was involved in this. Drezda had never liked the Hoxian woman and she'd never quite been able to put her finger on the cause of that dislike. Of course, in her political role, the diplomat kept an eye on many of her people, namely those with a certain sort of profile - those with money, those with the potential for political clout, those with connections. She'd looked into Diaxio because she had money, had been surprised to discover her roots and then suspicious about where her wealth could have come from without family money to fall back on. The woman's income was uncertain but it was good. Drezda had suspected that there was something wrong there but... some things you were better off not poking.

Maybe she should have poked at that little discrepancy sooner and dug it out. Maybe she should have consulted with someone at home. Or perhaps, she'd been wise to avoid it. It was suddenly very difficult to continue avoiding it. Rhys had taken on Damen fucking D'Arthe - and lost in spectacular fashion - so she doubted that he'd let this go. If he reported this then Diaxio would have to be dealt with and she was Hoxian so...

Maybe she could smother him instead. He wouldn't be able to tell anyone what had happened with Diaxio and the rest, she could continue to enjoy a nice, quiet life where she largely avoided thinking about certain things and it'd be a kindness to put him out of his misery, right?

Right?

She sighed because she knew she wasn't going to do that. He needed her help, she'd had her chance to leave him in the dirt and- By Bash, he'd called her Diaxio earlier, hadn't he? Well, shit, she couldn't let that comparison hold up now, could she?

So Damen D'Arthe and Diaxio plus some thugs were in cahoots as was... Ben? Who was Ben? Did she know anybody called Ben who was likely to be in league with- Well, she hadn't expected Damen and Xi to be in bed with each other - figuratively speaking and she frankly didn't want to think about that literally - so maybe Ben was another unexpected ally. There'd been a Benjamin in her year, if she recalled. She could remember him in a vague way, a typical Anaxi in a sea of those godsbedamned redheads but she'd seen him with Xi in school. Maybe. It was a long time ago and if it was him and he'd hung around the other Hoxian any time recently... well, Drezda did go out of her way not to run into the woman at social gatherings and perhaps Xi did the same.

But the blame game was something that could be worried about later although the culprits... that was going to have some unfortunate implications. Could she bring him to the hospital and actually expect him to get treated or would he hit a roadblock? Presumably they hadn't wanted to kill him but rather to suffer immensely. If they'd wanted to kill him then that would have been an easy matter. Unless they wanted his death to be a slow one. She had no idea if the hospital was a good idea and in any case, there was too much bumpy road between here and the medical facility, bumpy road that would make being jostled in a carriage a special sort of agony. Any movement in the carriage was going to be agony, of course, which meant that that anaesthetic spell was looking all the more necessary if she didn't want him to black out from pain. Unconsciousness and concussions didn't mix well if she remembered correctly.

Rhys was still muttering away, slurring a little, sounding a little drunk and out of it in his delirium but there was a definite theme, which interestingly - if she'd had the time to think about it that way - didn't involve self-pity. However, the woman found herself patting his hand in a distracted way, unconsciously trying to swat away his words.

Just shut up, Rhys! she thought distractedly, considering what she was going to have to do, all too aware that when her passives reappeared that she wasn't going to have time to waste making decisions.

Her house was closer and she had a doctor that she used that could be trusted to be... discreet. She trusted the man, that was all that mattered, and he'd proven himself quite capable. He'd been quite necessary when Yvette, Rosmilda's predecessor, had turned out to have quite a nasty diablerie although she'd suffered the brunt of it herself. If he'd kept quiet about that one then he could keep quiet about this. And he'd managed to put the passive girl back together so he could work miracles. The galdor before her wasn't nearly as bad, or so she'd like to believe.

Rhys was blathering on about Charity and leaving him there, his fear for his wife clearly outweighing any fear for himself. While she was sure it was incredibly sweet, it really wasn't practical and you couldn't go listening to everything coming out of the mouth of someone concussed. Also if she remembered right, it was probably best to take what Rhys Valentin said with a grain of salt at the best of times.

"I know you're an ersehole, shush now," the Hoxian retorted, the sound of carriage wheels drawing her attention. The time for decisions was up and she hadn't reached one, not fully.

"Okay, I think it's my carriage in the courtyard, which means that Luca and Jerome will be able to lift you in and we can get you to some help but... it's going to hurt. More than it does now, I mean. So I'm going to try to dull the pain. If it doesn't work... I'm sorry," she murmured, steeling herself as she took a few deep breaths, considering where to apply the anaesthetic and pulling a face at the obvious answer. She wouldn't get very far if she tried to dull individual areas and it increased the chances of the mona getting pissy from overuse and it would increase the opportunities for fuck up. A more general one that would dull all his nerve endings was the best way to blanket everything. The only problem was that it could go horribly wrong, thereby increasing the pain everywhere as it made the nerve endings more sensitive or she could numb things so well that she managed to paralyse him, leaving him entirely incapable of distinguishing his erse from his elbow - or that he had either of them! In truth, she wasn't even certain that she could apply it in such a general way because she was a bit unsure of the areas that she was targeting, her sense of them vague in truth.

No pressure or anything...

Luca scuttled back into the alley while she was still steeling herself, mumbling 'Oh gods' a lot. Jerome appeared behind him, towering over them all, laying a golden brown hand on his Bastian counterpart with a soft hushing sound, the contact alone seeming to work magic on the younger man. Drezda had already gathered her field at this point and she held it steady, turning her attention to the passives with care.

"Stay quiet, please, I need to concentrate," she explained, nodding her acknowledgement to Jerome.

"Bringing the carriage has brought attention to us, mistress," Jerome explained, his voice deep and melodious, a natural slowness to his speech that made even the Hoxian galdor feel a bit less on edge. Her gaze flicked back briefly to the mixed race man, lip caught momentarily between her teeth.

"It can't be helped. Try to keep them at bay for as long as you can."

Her orders given, she turned her attention back to Rhys and used carefully phrased Monite to try to target his central nervous system, trying to coax tendrils of mona into his system to choke off sensation. The particles moved slowly, sluggishly, almost sullen as they sank towards her patient and then went around him like a stream flowing around a stone. It just bled itself into the air around him, milling around the wick and just refusing to work on him at all. Her phrasing changed a little, something a little more insistent, a little more demanding and felt the sullenness give way to something considerably more waspish. Sweat was beading on her forehead, nausea crawling its way up her gullet and she let it go, knowing it unwise to force the issue.

"Bollocks!" she swore bitterly, her frustration clear as she ground her teeth together. "I'm sorry, Rhys, I can't but... I haven't made it worse either. I'm still sorry, I just-" she broke off with a shake of her head, moving to extricate herself from his grasp so she could stand and get out of the way.

From what she could see and hear, Jerome had manoeuvred the carriage as close as he could to the entryway to this alleyway, easing into a position that blocked it off somewhat from those who might want to come in and cutting it off from the sight of the casual observer. It also meant that they had a shorter distance to travel with the blond who was going to have to be carried.

Luca had squeezed between the walls to get back into the alley, moving to open the door as wide as possible, pulling out blankets from storage compartments and trying to soften the floor somewhat. Jerome took longer to get in, the passive quite broad, especially in the shoulders, but when he did, he drifted towards the odd couple. The older man was assessing the man on the ground, obviously considering how best to tackle this.

"Sir, I will get you under the shoulders and around the back, I can take most of the top of you. Luca can manage the middle and the tops of your legs if... Mistress, will you take his feet? We will take most of the weight but it would help, especially if his ribs are hurt," Jerome explained, keeping one dark eye on the smaller passive.

"I- Yes, I-I-I'll manage and his ribs are hurt, I-" she broke off. Now wasn't the time to question the passive or snap at him for impudence. As it was, he was usually the easiest to handle, the man little or no trouble at all. He could be relied on and she was willing to defer to him in this instance; the man was older than she was and he more experience than she could possibly imagine. For one thing, he seemed to have some idea of medicine, able to deal with ailments by non-magical means. He could often deal with some of the medical predicaments that befell the moa as well. In this, he was a higher authority than she.

"When you're ready, Rhys, we'll get you somewhere safe and... we can fetch Charity for you later if you can tell me where to find her. We need to get you somewhere to be dealt with first."

Bad Magical DecisionsShow
For the anaesthetic spell:
SidekickBOTToday at 18:54
Maximus: 1d6 = (1) = 1

Consequences of the failed aesthetic spell:
1 - fizzle, poor show, embarrassing; 2- no Living magic here, nope, it's okay we're fucking off too so fuck you; 3- Rhys is getting a pain boost, Drezda might get teary

/r 1d3
SidekickBOTToday at 19:02
Maximus: 1d3 = (1) = 1
.
word count: 2740

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Rhys Valentin
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:06 pm
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Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:41 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
"I gotta have something." Rhys offered, voice slurred and slowed further by a tongue discovering a tooth that was definitely wiggly. As if that was the worst of his problems, the loose sensation sending a wave of new panic through the beaten, pathetic creature and he tensed, less swollen eye widening. But Drezda had the sense—not necessarily the kindness so much as the understanding—to place her hand on his and the bloodied blond whined but seemed to visibly relax. It took everything in his power to keep his tongue from wandering back to where he knew that tooth was, aware that hopefully, someone's magic could keep that where it was—

Oh, she was casting.

His attention drifted, listening to her words because he knew them,

"Ribs. Broken. Swelling's bad." He echoed the analysis in her head but not in the same order, surprisingly accurate in his assessment of his own damages, "Two, maybe three. More? Fuck. Damen's a real bastard. I'm gonna—" He wheezed, watching the Hoxian's face, "Face, huh? Yeah. Somethin' there." He rolled his head from side to side, "Arm though. More than broken. Magic. That Benjamin—oh—"

There was panic again.

And something else.

Something more than just physical pain.

What wasn't swollen or immobilized or bruised beyond recognition of Rhys' face twisted into some awful expression of sadness, "—I came home. He'd been there. Benjamin. Charity—he'd—he'd—" A gurgle of a growl escaped him, unable to say the words, just the thought of it all enough to dredge up the anger and also the regret. He'd made the wrong fucking choice and it hurt far more than his entire body, "—I didn't even see 'f she was okay. I just—left—I was so mad—I'm—an' this—ersehole. Me. Yes. I—"

The sound of something approaching visibly disturbed him, fingers of his working hand curling tightly into his shirt, around her hand. Whatever he could grab. But Drezda said it was hers and like some dumb, sleepy animal, he attempted to tilt his head to see. It was a useless endeavor,

"Oh, gods. For fuck's sake." He groaned at the thought of being moved, a special kind of lucidity filtering through the concussion-induced delirium, "I'm not in shock anymore, Miss Ecks—" The tall blond felt the motion of Living mona as she gathered her field, heard the voices of men he didn't know, and heard the specific phrase about attention, "—patrols prob'ly know I'm here—fuckin' Damen. What time 's t. How long have I—"

The Hoxian was attempting to cast while he rambled on uselessly and he felt the resistance, a sluggish denial to her request that caused him to tense, that caused his one good eye to squeeze shut in obvious fear of repercussions. Thank the Circle there was no backlash, Drezda realizing the fruitlessness of her efforts and simply finding a swifter end to her spell,

"S'fine. I'm fine. Look 't how fine I am." He smirked again, reluctantly letting her hand go with a very wet sigh. Shadows passed outside of his very limited range of vision and then a broad-shouldered older man hunkered near him, lack of a field making him obvious. He was making comments about moving him and Rhys bobbed his head a little,

"Gotta coat? M' arm—don't want 't t' dangle." Consummate Seventen that he was, he was giving half-slurred, bloody-lipped instructions on how to bind his arm without further damaging his ribs. He fell quiet for a second or two somewhere in the middle—unconscious again—wheezing awake and whining in pain when Jerome gingerly touched his broken left arm, laying it carefully across his chest and wrapping a coat over the suspended officer backwards, "Just move me. I'm not going t' be ready—wait—no—"

His eyes narrowed at Drezda and without concern for who heard him between the Hoxian and her two servants, he groaned the words he believed to be true, the hurt in his voice anguished beyond the beating he'd received, interrupted in a few places with a hitched voice, with harsh, difficult sobbing as everything sank in for the first time. Really sank in. Like plunging a fiery poker through his sternum. As if he needed anything else to hurt, "Benjamin Tolsby raped m' wife. Promised t' go back. M' apartment's 'bove th' dsoh shop. Kingsway. Charity now. Right fucking now. Not later. Now. Please—I'm not makin' th' same mistake twice, Drezda. Look 't what I did. Please."

Rhys had very little left and reluctantly tilted his head away from the dark-haired woman to press the swollen, still-oozing side of his face against the cold cobblestones and look toward Jerome, giving instructions once more like it was his duty now that he'd made his plea, like he needed to talk to stay conscious (because he did),

"Lay me flat. Don't elevate m' head. Then, Kingsway's a straight shot—" The passive was moving, agreeing with him quietly because he knew where he was going, everyone's hands finding their places.

There really was no bracing for anything, not when you didn't know what to expect and not when everything already hurt. Or, at least, when you thought everything already hurt. The elevation of the lanky blond's pain levels came as an obvious surprise once his weak, bloodied body left the chilled alleyway and his voice rang off of the painted brick when he shouted a few very clear, very loud expletives. Somewhere between the puddle he'd made and the carriage itself, he blacked out again, mumbling incoherently and then falling limp, heavy.

Everyone in the courtyard stopped and stared. Everyone. This far into Uptown, so close to the Theatre, the crowd that braved the chill and ice today were all galdori. A few gasps and wild gazes. A few motions to skitter away from the carriage, eyes wide and hands raised to lips. Did anyone offer their help? No. Did anyone ask questions? No. The man out of uniform wasn't recognizable, anyway. If anyone was in the crowd specifically to watch him, it was impossible to tell, but it was increasingly clear that no patrols on blackback had been this way on schedule.

Steadied carefully on the floor of the carriage, forced to bend just so at the knees to fit, coat tucked tightly around him and beneath him to keep him still, he'd gasp awake again, vaguely aware that he was shivering despite the extra layer, blood loss and adrenaline gone,

"No hospitals. I'm afraid—their reach—you know? I know people. Service Constable Jarrod's off today. I can give you his address—he'd take notes. Evidence. This is evidence." He clearly meant his broken body, rambling on and on (and on) in his indescribable discomfort, "Are we there? Oh. See. Short ride. Listen. If he's there, you can so take him. He's a godsbedamned toffin. I'm gonna kill him, though. If I don't die. I'm gonna—wait. Fuck. That’s admissible in court. You didn’t hear ‘t from me. Okay? Just forget I—"

The motion of everything eventually reduced him to whines and groans, sobs and grunts. He'd recount everything as if Drezda was his last witness, emphasizing his anger with breathless gurgles and deep, struggling breaths. Moving had made things worse, sure, but it had to be done. He knew it, but everything else was a blur.

"Tell Charity 'm sorry. She's gonna be mad. Real mad. I made a mistake. I did."
word count: 1342
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Drezda Ecks
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:10 pm
Topics: 14
Race: Galdor
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Writer: Maximus
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Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:33 pm

Achtus 8, 2718 | Midday
Uptown, Vienda
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Rhys certainly liked to talk but perhaps it was because his tongue was the only thing that was wholly unharmed right now. It was surprising that he was so willing to chatter though, his jaw hardly likely to be enjoying the action in this moment. Apparently, he was still just as inclined to have his tongue wag as he had when they were back in Brunnhold although if the sound of his own voice, slurred and incoherent as it was gave him some comfort then she couldn't ask him to shut up. Besides, there was always the chance that the blond would say something of use, some grain of truth and coherence in the guilt and the misery and the delirium.

Thus far, he wasn't offering much of use but a distraction, a pointless distraction. He was suffering in more ways than the obvious physical ones, the psychological agony something that Drezda understood on a deep level. Oh maybe not his particular circumstances, whatever he'd done that led him down this road but she had felt that inner turmoil, the guilt, the grief, the pain. She knew what it was to be less than she ought to be and see others suffer because she couldn't do what she was meant to, what was expected of her. She had been scared, she had been angry and selfish and all those things, self-destructive and cruel to get away from it all, distracting herself from expectation and her own failings. It had never fully worked. Perhaps that was why she had taken such a dislike to him that day in Brunnhold when he'd determined to duel her, to beat her in spite of his weaknesses. Because of them. He'd felt lesser and so he'd had something to prove to himself, to her, to everyone. It was a motive that she could sympathise with.

Possibly it had gotten him in this situation, his bruised ego and wobbly self-esteem leading him to make mistakes. And while the consequences for himself were self-evident, he was obviously terrified for Charity.

He'd just left her, he'd said, without seeing if she was okay. What sort of state had he left her in? What had he done? But all those questions could wait as this wasn't the time for idle or even focused curiosity.

Her anaesthetic spell was a disappointment but one that couldn't be dwelt on although she pitied the man for the pain that he was in for. They could make him as comfortable as they could but it wouldn't be enough, all because the woman was a failure of a sorceress. The mona had worked when it mattered less - maybe - but it hadn't worked when she really needed it. She hadn't been sufficiently focused though so she shouldn't really be surprised; she'd been shooting in the dark.

The Hoxian was left feeling impotent, utterly useless as she was forced to stand by while Jerome took control and Luca moved in to help. She could only watch dumbly as the passives worked, cooperating so that they could get a coat on Rhys back to front to offer his arm some support, careful not to jostle him more than necessary as they got ready to move him. The woman could only hug herself, fingertips moving restlessly and nervously up and down her arms, Drezda clearly not finding comfort in her own embrace. She chewed on her lip already dreading the inevitable move, worried that she'd only make things worse, possibly throw the passives off-balance by not pulling her weight, by not being strong enough.

However, the bloody Seventen decided to give her more to concern herself with, the reason why he was so worried about his wife, confirming her suspicions about who Ben was but also unfortunately, terrifyingly, putting yet another choice in her hands.

Charity raped. Charity potentially still in danger. Tolsby might be going back. If they left her there, he could go back and do it again. He could go back and do more. They could bring Rhys back to her house and get him treated and return to find going cold or something.

Clock the Circle, she couldn't deal with this. She couldn't deal with this situation, this choice, these thoughts.

But gods, he was such a bloody man, wasn't he? His wife was violated and he'd presumably appeared in the immediate aftermath and instead of being with her, comforting her, showing her that he didn't think any less of her - because it obviously wasn't her fault - he'd run off. Given that Ben and others had done this, it suggested that he'd sought the other galdor out immediately. Beating the head off the other man had clearly been a greater concern to him. Reasserting dominance and gaining revenge was the choice he'd made.

"You fucking bastard!" she snapped out, blinking rapidly as she realised that she'd said it aloud rather than simply thinking it. Both the passives gawked at her, surprised at the language issuing from their mistress and both looked distinctly uncomfortable. She heard Luca mutter an apology, obviously sorry for his predicament even if his mistress seemed enraged.

She could remember the sweet blonde, so delicately pretty, so fine featured. Violated by that clocking lugger, that total waste-of-space, bottom of the spice pack bastard!

There was a definite glimmer in her gaze, a shudder rushing through her at the mere thought. Hadn't the girl been through enough without having some man forcing himself on her? She couldn't imagine it, couldn't imagine the physical sensation but she had heard things, horrors.

And he'd left her.

"Move him. Now!" she ordered, the snapped words obeyed albeit a little nervously. Her field was pulsing with agitation and loaded with a pain and hurt born from empathy. She hadn't even encountered the woman yet but she had an idea of what she might encounter. And she had every intention of seeing the woman, she realised. She had every intention of going to fetch her by herself.

The diplomat played her part though, taking the end of the man's legs as the two passives took the majority of his weight, struggling with the burden, sweating in silence. Gods, she felt awful, her body screaming at her in protest and making her feel ready to vomit again. It was a relief to get him into the carriage even though it took some manoeuvring, the two passive men helping more with that while the diplomat wilted by the carriage.

"We're going to this dsoh shop. It'll only take a few minutes and it'll let him settle a little before we head off again. I'll collect Charity. She shouldn't be on her own after what she's been through, especially if there's the chance that she's still in danger," Drezda informed them before climbing into the carriage, dropping tiredly into a seat. She had to be careful not to nudge off Rhys, her lips pressed together in displeasure as she quite literally looked down on him - not something that she could claim very often.

They set off, Drezda left alone with Rhys and his unstoppable tongue, a tsk of disapproval escaping from her at his words.

"I'm not bringing you to a hospital. This is political, I'm not stupid. We're going to my home, I'll sort it, I know people as well, Mister Valentin," she retorted, words clipped and precise, the formality a clear indication of her annoyance, in case her pulsing field wasn't evident enough. It was a relief to reach their destination, to give her the chance to escape the blond and his rambling.

"If he's there, you can have whatever's left of him," she muttered darkly as she moved around the man, stepping out of the carriage on shaky legs. Too much excitement today, not something she could deal with in her current condition. "You can tell her yourself if she'll have you. Jerome! Sit in with him, he looks green."

With those parting words, she headed off, mounting the staircase that led to the residence above the noodle shop. She hesitated at the door, unsure how to proceed. She didn't want to frighten the young woman any further and she wouldn't be expecting Hox's diplomat to appear. Maybe she didn't want to see a Hoxian face right now although she didn't know that Xi had been involved with Charity, just Rhys. Drezda settled for knocking and calling through the door before she tried the handle.

"Charity? Are you in there? It's... it's Drezda Ecks. Rhys... Rhys sent me," she called out, testing the handle; it moved under her hand, the portal clicking open. She pushed it open tentatively, peeping her head around the door before the rest of her followed. There was an older Hoxian woman present, a maternal air about her as she hovered near a brunette woman in a pretty lavender dress, the garment seeming at odds with the situation, especially given that there was blood smeared on it in places as if bloodied hands had been rubbed clean against it.

There was a moment of confusion, the players in the scene not the ones she'd expected, a brief question in her mind about whether there was another dsoh shop around here but then she saw the brunette's face.

"Ch-Charity?" she questioned, gaze taken in the bloodshot violet eyes, the strain on her face. She found herself stepping forward, arms extended a little hesitantly, offering an embrace that she wasn't entirely comfortable about the idea of giving. "Oh Charity, mho, are you all right?"
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word count: 1682
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Charity Darthe
Posts: 82
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Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:10 pm

8 Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN| MIDDAY
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Charity stared at the table before her, seeing without seeing, her mind a jumble of words and images. She replayed everything again and again, skin creeping at the memories and hands trembling where they were tucked in her lap. She didn’t hear the carriage pull up downstairs, and whilst she should have noticed footsteps on the stairs, her mind was too preoccupied to notice.

It was the brush of a field, just on the fringe of her own, that snapped the now-brunette from her shocked trance.

Wide eyed, she turned to the door, springing from the couch to draw her field tightly. Uselessly, she recalled, as the mona refused to return to the area which had hurt them so. Jsara moved from the kitchen towards the petite pianist, standing protectively before her with a frying pan and a hand held out.

“You go. You run.” She said in a hard voice, old eyes on the door as there was a knock, and the handle turned. Charity gripped her skirt, heart hammering in her chest. The field was vaguely familiar, but not so much that the terrified galdor was put at ease. As the door opened, a very Hoxian head peeked in, and it would be a lie to say that the young woman didn’t for a second see Diaxio’s face. She gasped a sob, staring at the stranger as she slowly entered the room, realising it wasn’t Xi, but it was still someone unknown. A stranger in the home again.

Why hadn’t Rhys come back yet?

The Hoxian knew her name, coming forward hesitantly with arms slightly extended. Jsara hefted the pan, unsure of the stranger and waiting for some sign from her current ward that it was safe. Charity blinked, frowning as older memories came to her.

Mho?

“Drezda?” The woman choked in disbelief, reaching to lower the dsoh owners pan and take a step closer, breaking into another heartfelt sob as she crossed the room to the woman's arms, uncomfortable or not.

“No. No I’m not. I’m not. How did you know I was here? I...who...wait.." The pianist frowned, her broken mind trying desperately to make sense of the world as it stood right now.

"Why…why are you here?” She said abruptly, drawing back as if she’d been electrocuted, clear suspicion and concern on her pale features. Her violet gaze searched the other woman’s face, before her eyes widened and her hands flew to her mouth.

“Rhys! Oh Alioe no, don’t—” Charity’s voice broke, disappearing in the shaking of her head and the sobs that escaped between no longer manicured fingers. She dragged her hands to her forehead, pressing hard as though trying to keep in her sanity at that very instant. Staring at the ground between herself and Drezda, the woman stumbled back, gasping for breath and squeezing her eyes shut.

“Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know if…if he’s…I can’t. I can’t say it.” Taking a deep breath, she swallowed the next sob and looked at the raven haired woman, hands clenching by her sides and field simmering with a building rage.

“Is he dead? Drezda, is Rhys...is he dead?!” She whispered, shaking as the flare of bright red anger burned through her aura. Could she handle it if Drezda said yes? Would she truly be able to accept that fact?

No, she couldn't.

Moving to make her way past the woman, rage blurring her vision, Charity burst from the apartment and stopped short on the landing, staring at the carriage sitting pretty as you like at the bottom of the staircase. Was that Drezda's? Had she been sent to find Charity and tell her.

Was she in on it?

Charity turned sharply, backing down the stairs and away from Drezda with a genuine fear in her eyes and teeth grit.

"They can't hurt me then, can they? Take me then! Take me! I don't care anymore, tell her. I don't fucking care anymore. They can...they should..." She stumbled on the last few, grasping at the railing with wide eyed hysteria and despair, doubling over with a sob as she turned her eyes on the open door of the carriage with a scream that was cut short by her hands over her mouth.

Gods no!

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Rhys Valentin
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Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:03 am

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
"Fuck you." Came the immediate, choked response through grit teeth, Rhys shifting with his good elbow to tilt his body and glare at the Hoxian in wheezing vehemence. Perhaps if the woman had chosen any other word in the Estuan vocabulary to remind him of his stupidity he would have reacted with less acidic vitriol and more apologies. Any other word but bastard. He nearly sat up, groaning his words that were more of a wet gurgle, more a noise of pain than anything else, full of a simmering, untamed sort of rage and a very deep, unspoken hurt both at his very raw awareness that he had made a godsbedamned mistake but also because he was, in fact, so very much a bastard and not even a galdor one at that,

"Don't even pr'tend t' think you're inna place t' judge me—"

She was. Probably. Maybe.

Well, really, who wasn't?

He was nothing and had only proven himself even lesser than by making the choice that he did. But, at the same time he sure as the Circle didn't need Drezda Ecks telling him her useless, completely out of the loop opinion. It wasn't as though she'd proven herself superior in any way, mentally or morally.

"—don't even pr'tend that you're somehow better'n me. Based 'n one fucking choice. One godsbedamned bad choice. Like you understand anything going on right now. Like you've never made th' wrong choice b'fore 'n your whole fucking life. Do not."

Ah, but then hands were on him and he was reduced to growls of suffering and loud expletives that expressed more than just his response to sensation—it was clearly all his fault and he'd obviously gotten just what he deserved for being stupid. He'd done everything by the book, the Sergeant taking his issues to the courts only to be shamed for it, only to watch with helplessness as Damen walked away from the truth unscathed.

This was the last time.

Eventually, Rhys fell quiet. Rambling to keep himself awake wasn't doing anyone any favors and Drezda had made her thoughts on the matter clear, though she still acquiesced to not leaving him to die in the alley like he apparently deserved. Instead, he turned his face away from the Hoxian once mostly conscious again in the carriage, uncomfortable in every meaning of the word. Leaning hard enough on the broken side to see stars and tendrils of threatening darkness at the edges of his vision, he sobbed in the shadow of the Hoxian's weighted, watchful glare and the heavy disapproval that was impossible to ignore in her field. Regardless of how his body protested, the young Valentin curled to one side with a hiss, unwilling to look at his unlikely rescuer while he cried—broken, wheezed sounds that were as full of regret as they were suffering.

"No skin off m' back—legally speakin'—if y' do kill him, t' be fair." Resisting the urge to growl more expletives in the dark-haired woman's general direction once the short but terrible ride from the theatre district to Kingsway Court ended in front of the dsoh shop he'd chosen years ago to live above, Rhys considered all the assumptions that would go through Charity's mind at some stranger at her door. Gurgling frustratedly, the bloodied creature huffed and whined his way free of the coat he'd asked to be wrapped in even as Jerome moved to replace Drezda as his watch, twisting like a rabid animal to grip the seat and pull himself up.

Oh, gods.

The motion was yet another new wave of far more excruciating pain and he pressed his swollen, broken face into the fine fabric covering the padding to muffle the volume of his expressions of suffering, closing his eyes at the bite of darkness and the dizziness that threatened to drag him back to unconsciousness. Sobbing pathetically into the seat, overwhelmed for several moments by the sheer crushing weight of it all, he drifted between wakefulness and unconsciousness until a voice snapped him back,

"Sir, you really shouldn't—" The passive cautioned, reaching for the bloodied blond as if to insist he lay back down again.

"Shut your head. I'm gonna jus' go home. Don't need your shit—got 'nough 'f m' own." Rhys lifted his face, rolling his head to one side even as he made further effort to lean toward the still-open door of the carriage, everything inside of his body objecting as though it was fucking on fire. Broken things poked swollen things and bruised things simply hated every movement, eliciting a low, breathless string of very foul words while the suspended officer attempted to move his way to the edge of the carriage door, completely confident that he was going to get up and walk all of those stairs and get to his home.

Yep.

He was going to do it.

He was totally going to make this work.

Fuck Drezda. Fuck her lofty opinions of his mistake. Fuck her helpful passives. Fuck her discreet doctors. Fuck her knowing soooooooo much better than he did. Fuck her making sure he looked as godsawful as possible to his wife right now in his house. Fuck them all.

"What are you doing?"

His fractured arm was so useless and the very real pain of everything was so beyond his frame of reference that he had no idea how to process. His body was slow to follow the instructions he gave it, all grit teeth and spittle and dribble of something on his face he'd gone ahead and reopened. The motions made him nauseated, and he gagged on whatever was left in his stomach attempted to toss upward, the burn of which hardly mattered at this point. Upright, at least, now he began to scoot, one grunt at a time. As he slowly crept in the direction he was very convinced he wanted to go, he bottled up every sensation, willing his mind to write the memory of the depths of what he felt into the folds of his delirious grey matter because he knew—he clocking knew—he'd be making use of this later. Yes he would.

"Lay back down."

"Don't. Shouldn't 've left, I get that. I get it! I was wrong! But I don't need this—"

All kinds of noises escaped his swollen, bloodied lips, unable to hear Jerome cautioning him above the roar of his pulse in his ears. His feet were so close. If he could just get a good dangle, if he could get a little momentum going, he could totally make it. He could—

The sound of his door opened and like some wild, predatory beast long-starved, Rhys' head snapped upward, Charity's voice registering even while the passive's did not. Good hand curled, white-knuckled, around the lip of the carriage step down, one leg on the cusp of being able to swing over the edge. The world spun and he slumped the unbroken side of his face against the door, ignoring the very real threat of passing out again.

Breathing was hard sitting up. Breathing was not working well at all. Breathing was attempting to quit working altogether. While the tall blond thought to shout again, thought to make his voice heard in the direction of the terrified galdor he was very aware he'd hurt deeply with his choices, he found he was incapable of producing the volume he desired, lungs crushed by broken bones, fluid, and too much swelling,

"I'm sorry, Charity."

Standing would totally make that more sincere. A hug would make that more meaningful, even if it was too fucking late for that. He'd ruined everything months ago in Roalis when he should have never—

No.

Years ago. When he should have never—

Rhys tensed to move again, but one large hand curled fingers into his shoulder to keep him from doing so, Jerome's other arm moving to hold him gingerly in place, "I wouldn't." The passive whispered, unconcerned about the lack of subservience and unconcerned about making quick decisions to prevent what would only end up as a messy, horrible fall back onto cobblestones and a very pathetic crawl toward stairs Rhys was in no condition whatsoever to climb. He didn't have it in him to thrash to get free, all but melting against the larger man with a desperate inhale of breath,

"I'm sorry!"
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Drezda Ecks
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Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:32 am

Achtus 8, 2718 | Midday
Uptown, Vienda
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There were a lot of things going on in this situation. Charity didn't look like Charity and also initially looked terrified, recognition not quick to occur. The Hox woman also seemed like she might be ready to pounce on the diplomat at any moment armed with a frying pan of all things. Her countrywoman evidently didn't have a clue who she was; Drezda couldn't say that she was surprised exactly. Still, she moved closer, hesitant and uncertain, eyeing the older woman warily until the blon- brunette recognised her and set her bodyguard at ease. Charity came to her and she embraced her, definitely a little too stiff in her posture for the gesture to be a truly comforting one.

It was while she was giving the other woman an awkward little pat on the back, inwardly wanting to die - she never wanted to deal with such a bad hangover again - and eyeing Jsara uncertainly over Charity's shoulder that she revealed her confusion at the Hoxian's presence. The woman sighed, aware that she needed to be patient and considering how to provide information in the least alarming way possible. It didn't much matter of course because Rhys' wife was managing to work herself into a greater state of distress all by herself.

"I told you through the door," she explained slowly and clearly, not wanting her words to be misunderstood, onyx eyes glancing to Jsara to see if the woman would back her up. She'd heard something right? But she didn't think that she had an ally in that quarter; she still looked ready to clock her with the cooking implement at any moment.

"Okay so I said that Rhys-" But the woman wasn't exactly listening, going into hysterics, her mind obviously full of its own ideas about what was happening. What had happened. She was looking at Drezda as if she was the enemy and it made the Hoxian grow cold, suddenly finding it difficult to voice anything.

Did she think that she was involved in this whole thing somehow? She couldn't know what had happened to Rhys but she'd obviously been expecting trouble. And she could see it in her fearful and suspicious violet gaze that she thought that Drezda was involved. From her perspective, why wouldn't she be? They hadn't seen each other since school, they'd hardly been bosom buddies back then, they hadn't kept in contact and the Hoxian and Rhys had never really gotten on so they hadn't kept in contact either. And yet here she was appearing entirely out of the blue when there was trouble and had apparently known exactly where to find her.

Oh gods...

"Charity, he isn't dead, he's very badly hurt and he's going to need some serious medical attention but he's alive," she explained, voice rising so that the brunette would hear her over her own angry speech. Her mood might have been rubbing off a bit or maybe the raven-haired woman was reaching her limit because there was definitely some hysterical note in her own voice and that Hoxian woman was creeping closer, obviously getting ready to intervene.

"I don't know who you think sent me - your father, Diaxio, Benjamin - but they didn't. I'm not here to hurt you, I'm here to help! Rhys sent me. I'm trying to bring you to him. He-"

The scream made her flinch, words lined up on her tongue scattered and lost as her gaze followed Charity's. There was Rhys trying to escape the carriage. Bloodied, broken and still as bloody-minded as ever, he appeared to be trying to get out into the street instead of staying where he'd been so carefully laid down. Gods, he was going to do himself an injury and Jerome had obviously been too afraid of hurting him to try to halt him with anything other than words.

But gods, it looked bad, didn't it? It looked like she was involved, as if she was here to send a message. Well, this certainly wasn't the sort of thing she was trying to convey to the woman at all. Damn that blond idiot! Why couldn't he just have behaved? Charity could do anything - anything - in response to that. She knew how much the girl loved him but she didn't know if she'd do something exceptionally self-destructive like hurling herself down the stairs in her desperation to get to him or if she was going to lose her mind and try to throw Drezda down the stairs.

Jerome had caught the disgraced Seventen at least, Rhys seeming to have wilted against him in a mixture of pain-filled exhaustion and defeat. She caught the word 'sorry' and had to stop herself from screaming. Clock the Circle, this really looked bad for her.

"I know this doesn't look good but I didn't do it. I found him and I'm bringing him somewhere safe to be treated. I came to get you because he wanted you. He didn't think you were safe here and he needs you right now," the woman explained, setting a gentle but firm hand on the other's shoulder, not trusting her not to faint and topple down the staircase in her current state. She turned her attention to Jsara, needing an ally in this situation and not exactly having much choice in candidates.

"Ziedek," she greeted quite formally in Deftung, managing a short, shallow bow, speaking quickly. "Vumein, could you pack some things for herself and her husband? A change of clothes for him, some for her just for now. A light bag and quickly. Please."

If Charity would allow it then Drezda would guide her gently down the stairs, her own balance not feeling the best right now. She had the beginnings of a truly awful headache, far worse than usual and it seemed to be pumping in her eardrums, upsetting her equilibrium. If she'd let her then she'd bring her to Rhys.
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Charity Darthe
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Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:26 pm

Achtus 8, 2718, 2718
Vienda| Midday
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Standing on the stairs, frozen in time, Charity stared at the bloody beaten mess that was half perched on the edge of the carriage door as though he planned on marching right out and up to her. She could hear the thick wheeze in his chest, as though it was hard to breathe, and heard his voice in an almost disconnected way, like it was coming from somewhere far off.

”…your father, Diaxio, Benjamin - but they didn't. I'm not here to hurt you…”

The names stole her breath, causing the galdor to lean heavily back against the handrail, feeling defeat run through her entire being. Her field, simmering with rage and a sense of fight, seemed to melt into a heavy mess, hanging with a numb tingle in the air around her. Her head turned slowly as Drezda placed a hand carefully on her shoulder, looking at the woman with a faraway sort of stare, violet eyes void of hope or clarity. Her mind was adrift, unable to put together the pieces properly and too damn tired to try.

“He didn’t think I was safe…here? He…he left me Drezda.” Charity almost breathed the words, like they were impossible to get out, finally focusing on the woman's face with a shuddering sob.

“I was…I needed…he saw and..,and he left me to go get himself killed, but didn’t think I would be safe here?! I…I…” The petite creature choked on her words, shaking her head and gesturing as though she could make things make sense somehow, pushing her hands through her hair firmly and looking back at the carriage.

“You idiot.” She said angrily through the tears, shaking with shock and rage and emotional breakdown.

At the top of the stairs, Jsara watched with concern, giving her full attention to the diplomat with a deeper respectful bow.

Zjai vumein. She said without hesitation, disappearing into the house to start looking for a bag to contain the clothing in. As she worked, Charity allowed herself to be led to the carriage, taking the stairs with a wooden sort of movement, almost reluctant to come closer to the broken sorry creature that was being gently restrained within. When they were close to the man, the brunette pianist grasped the door frame, looking at Drezda again.

“Thank you. I know you didn’t need to help him, you didn’t need to come here, but thankyou. I’m…I don’t…I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t…” Turning back to Rhys, the galdor reached out to stroke bloodied blonde hair away from his forehead.

“What did you do Rhys?” She whispered, her field mingling with his with a sense of reluctance and panic. Living magic wasn’t her wheelhouse, at best she could heal a bad cut or a bump on the head, but she could see there was so much wrong here. Too much to let her own hurt and anger overwhelm her. He sounded wrong.

He sounded like he was dying.

“We have to go Drezda. We have to go now, right now.” The young woman said with a tearful voice, doing what she could to help Jerome get the foolish Seventen back in the carriage and lay him down, resting his head in her lap as she perched on the floor with him. From the stairs, Jsara came down, carrying a small case in her hands and passing it to Drezda with another deep bow.

Here vumein. Clothing for them both. Not much but enough for now. Anything you need, I will be here, just send word. Her older eyes looked over the two youths with a frown, before meeting Drezda’s eyes almost defiantly.

They are like vramoven, mhoroven to me. Please take zrant care of that one. He is tsutek, but a rho vumash. She said softly in their native tongue, before nodding again with a small smile and backing away with a bow. The older dsoh owner had keys. She would lock the house, and care for Jynx until such time they came back. Charity looked up from the carriage and nodded to the woman, a thank you which needed so much more than just a nod, but would have to wait. Turning her violet gaze on her husband, the brunette shook her head.

“Who did this to you?” She asked softly, finding his free hand to hold it gently, knowing that the actual injuries couldn’t have possibly been Benjamin.

Benjamin. Gods, the thought of him made her want to vomit.

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Rhys Valentin
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: It's Inspector to you, thanks.
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Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:23 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
All of him—everything that was left of him and everything else—was suddenly crushed with a force far more painful than any broken bone, thoughts stolen with a gurgled breath by the look of hurt and betrayal on the delicate face of Charity Valentin. He would have willingly had more ribs ground to powder, more joints twisted, more flesh bloodied and bruised than ever endure again the kind of very indescribably real pain he felt searing through everything he already felt just because of the way that she looked at him.

He'd left her.

To do what?

Idiot she hissed at him, so far out of his reach. Too far.

Rhys was forced to focus on breathing instead, bleary, one-eyed vision watching the shadows of things even as a deep, unfathomable chill gnawed from somewhere inside, consuming him whole, a darkness far deeper than the unconsciousness that teased him with sweet promises of forgetting.

"I made a mistake."

The Sergeant grunted, unable to flinch away from the brush of fingers near his oozing, bruised face, looking away from Charity at the hesitance of her field. His glamour was a frayed mess, what form of expression he could muster twisting with an uncomfortable mixture of anger and sadness. He fell purposefully silent after those few words, eyes fluttering closed and noises of pain escaping him while he chose to obey the lead of Jerome and will his body back into the carriage. Instead of words at first, the bloodied blond sobbed, scrunching his eyes shut and refusing to look at his wife while she settled his head in her lap, gasping for breath as his lungs objected to his outpouring of tearful emotion.

It took a few moments for him to look up, wheezing as he repeated softer, quieter. The emotion from his voice had disappeared with his tears, the syllables strung together with a deadpan tone, "I made a mistake."

He'd sworn oaths. He'd committed to duty and honor.

The Seventen had betrayed his trust, his service. They'd tarnished his hard-earned reputation. They'd revealed the laws he'd agreed to uphold did not matter.

He was nothing.

He'd made a promise. He'd vowed his protection and love.

Rhys had betrayed Charity's trust, their union. He'd tarnished their brand new marriage by walking away. He'd not been the comfort he knew was needed, too angry, too afraid.

He had nothing.

He had broken everything. And for what?

Quiet again, perhaps not entirely conscious while Jsara handed them things and made rather heartfelt words for the tall blond who had lived above her shop for years and ate far more of his fair share of her cooking, who became a part of her family's life without knowing it, unwittingly dragging the delicate galdor along with him.

"Who?"

He echoed, good eye snapping open again, struggling to come into focus on the face above him, unable to resist her hand finding his even though far more of him than he cared to admit wanted desperately to crawl away from the weight of her field and the violet depths of her gaze. His next words were spoken in that same far away voice, Rhys unable to gather the horror or the sadness at the truth anymore, unable to gather up any emotion from the charred, broken cavity of his chest as though somewhere, inside, everything was just leaking away, leaving him empty.

"Do I really have to tell you what you already know?"

Defeated.

"Diaxio's thugs broke m'face, bruised things. Benjamin—" He paused, swallowing and sputtering, needing to breathe, searching Charity's face for her reaction to the name, "—Benjamin broke m' arm. Damen broke m' ribs. They cleared th' street. They used patrols. They knew—I—"

His eyes fluttered, thoughts wandered, and then with a groan, the bloodied blond forced himself to string together more words, slow and difficult, but not burdened by the pain they should have carried, Rhys so far beyond sorry, so far into somewhere cold and dark and hopeless. Unforgivable.

It didn't help that he had some captive audience, the the weight of Drezda's field and the awareness that others heard him brought back very real, very disorienting memories of the trial and how poorly it had went just a fistful of days ago.

He'd always been an idiot.

He'd made nothing but mistakes.

"—but—he said he would come back. T' you. Dumpin' me there 'n th' alley like somebody's trash. He said—He said he'd done things—an' that he'd do them—" Rhys exhaled, saying the words with unnerving calm, saying things slowly as if they had meaning but he was incapable of mustering the emotional connection. Somewhere inside, beneath the inexplicable physical pain, he felt the heated anger, the seething rage, the helpless sorrow, and the deepest regret, but in this moment, it was impossible to bring those feelings to the surface, to drag them through the hurt in order to express them properly. It was a different kind of shock, one that seemed to pull him further from where he wanted to be, one that stole his breath with a different kind of crushing weight.

"—again. An' I—"

The motion of the carriage was horrible, nauseating, excruciating, and he was forced to whimper and groan, gripping Charity's hand with a desperation to stay focused. His eyes slipped shut anyway, more because he didn't want to look at her face than because he considered just letting the dark win.

"—I have never made the right choices. Not once." Rhys exhaled through grit teeth, unthreading his hand from hers to use it to shift his body with a wheeze and a sob. It was with visible hesitance that he reached back for her, bloodied fingers curling with her own. His words were quiet, breathless, just a whisper that spoke of far more thoughts than he had the capability to express, a whisper that spoke of how he was exerting far too much, "It was a trap. An' a warning. I fuckin' failed. Failed you."

He had more to say but hardly the energy to say it, apologizing, fading between awake and asleep, conscious and unconscious.

word count: 1091
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Drezda Ecks
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Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:51 pm

Achtus 8, 2718 | Midday
Uptown, Vienda
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Things could have been so very different. If she'd just made decisions, she probably wouldn't be here right now, probably wouldn't have Rhys in her carriage because she wouldn't have found him in the first place. Maybe the man wouldn't be in this world either. It would have taken time but his death if he'd been left there would have been inevitable. The blood loss, the exposure in the bitter creep of winter all would have contributed to it. If she hadn't gone drinking then she wouldn't have been hungover today, wouldn't have needed the air and so wouldn't have found him. It was strange to think that something good might have come from her abuse of the substance and it was a difficult thing to comprehend given how very unwell she was. It had already been bad, a constant presence in the background that was inescapable with times that it peaked, growing much worse. She'd been in one big peak since she'd encountered Rhys and it had somehow reached new heights of awful in the meantime. In all honesty, the diplomat wasn't doing well, not at all. Oh she wasn't suffering in the same way Rhys was, certainly not, and her own was entirely self-inflicted but she needed to be lying down, she needed not to be moving. Peace and quiet were what she needed.

Fat chance of that!

She'd dampened her field, unable to deal with the turmoil that surrounded Charity and desperate just to escape it all. She didn't need her own misery oozing out and mingling with the brunette's. She couldn't manage emotions right now, they were far too much, too unsettling and the Hoxian was too weak physically and mentally to be able to cope with the onslaught. She was almost tempted to hand off Charity to her passives and stay here, lie down on the ground, she didn't even care where. But she couldn't afford to push away responsibilities, to run - okay, slowly skulk - away from what was going on. The only thing she could do was try to prevent herself from adding to her own misery and everyone else's; she needed to avoid throwing up on anyone.

It was difficult though, the act of providing comfort to Charity, some sense of grounding, meant being close enough to the woman that she was forced to absorb all of the simmering anger and the disordered mess that it descended into. It took all of her strength not to pull away but to keep that hand where it was, to keep her voice calm and level, managing a soothing tone even though there was a bitter slime creeping up her throat, threatening to stay there or worse, come flying up.

"I don't know if it's any comfort but I don't think that he realised that it was unsafe here until... he'd already gotten himself into some serious trouble," she explained softly, giving the other woman's shoulder a gentle squeeze, allowing a thumb to stroke lightly over the material of her dress. She made wordless soothing sounds, nonsensical whispers dropping from her lips that were designed to comfort. It wasn't something that the diplomat had ever been good at doing, lacking the experience although she did try. It was as much about mimicking what she'd seen others do and she'd found that some things she did had earned a favourable response from Rosmilda when she'd had occasion to soothe her. Still, she had no idea if Rhys' wife would respond well, the one instance when she'd had to comfort her before many years ago and under far less serious circumstances. Here, now, she felt largely useless. She had felt useless back then but she felt worse now, utterly pointless.

The woman just expected to hand the brunette off to her husband and be forgotten, able to melt into the shadows figuratively speaking until her countrywoman appeared with the requested items but instead Charity turned to her with heartfelt thanks. The Hoxian's cheeks flushed, the woman bowing in embarrassed acknowledgement before she turned away, not wanting to remain, not wanting to see the exchange between them, which in spite of what he'd done-

No one would ever look at her that way and she could never feel that same depth of emotion for another, could never love in that way. She was overly emotional for a Hoxian, certainly but she wasn't capable of that. She just didn't connect that way, she couldn't seem to connect that way, it was just... well, it was likely to be one of those things, wasn't it? The woman had become resigned to the fact that she would simply be alone for her life, never able to be that close to anyone and never willing to let anyone that near either. The passives were all right, largely because they weren't real people and Rosmilda's apparent love for her well... that was like a hingle falling in love with you; it wasn't anything serious.

She didn't want to be in earshot of any of it, drifting away from the pair to be closer to where Luca was, holding the moa and keeping them calm and steady while his compatriot helped Charity get her husband back into the carriage. The passive took one look at her face and glanced away although there was a definite sign of a smirk quirking his lips. Drezda wasn't in the mood to comment.

Still, it was a relief when the other Hoxian returned, offering plenty of commentary on the disgraced Seventen and his wife that drew a sigh from the diplomat although all she wanted was the bag that she held. She took it, bowing shallowly in response before jerking her head in the direction of the driver's seat as she turned her attention to Jerome who had hung around to provide aid.

"We'll go now. When we reach the house, send Cora for Mister Williams," she told the passive, switching her focus to the other galdori. "He's... not great but he's not as horrific from the outside as he seems," she assured Charity as she climbed into the carriage, placing the bag on her knees before they jolted into motion.

"I've carried out a diagnostic on him and while I'm not a doctor, I've had enough training to have an idea. He'll keep for awhile yet, don't worry and he'll have medical attention soon." With her piece said, the Hoxian lapsed into silence, holding onto the bag a little tightly as eyelids fluttered closed. Deep, slow breaths, try not to inhale through the nose, try not to smell. It was difficult given the blood reek that coloured the olfactory landscape in their vicinity. It was a lot, especially given the woman's current condition. It was unlikely that Charity would notice given her current preoccupation with Rhys but the woman was noticeably paler, a dewy tinge to it that suggested that she was at the height of illness.

When they reached their destination, Luca came to open the carriage door, Jerome already talking rapidly to Cora at the house. The diplomat opened her eyes, all too aware that her vision was uncomfortably fuzzy at the edges, everything a little blurred and yet darkening at the periphery as well, shrinking. Her breathing was more rapid now, each inhale and exhale drawing something up, the slow creep up her throat undeniable. She was clammy with sweat, overly hot and yet shivering as she moved on shaky legs. She half-climbed, half-fell past Luca with a mutter of "Focus on him." Drezda managed a few steps before she collapsed to her knees and sprawled over sideways, suddenly feeling boneless.

Her body was weakness, fatigue embodied and the nausea had lodged itself in her throat. Was she going to vomit or faint? Both could be so similar in symptoms, a narrow line between them and while she panted, the world moving sluggishly around her. She couldn't even protest when Jerome caught her under the arms and hauled her into the main hall. She definitely slipped out of consciousness for a few moments and returned to her senses to retch. Rosmilda appeared briefly at her side with some sort of wide ornamental vase.

"Sweet Lady, I can't have you-"

"Roz! Give us a hand here, she said to leave her!" Luca called already moving to help the other male passive with Rhys. The redhead tried to place the vase in numb fingers, the grasp loose as the woman heaved again, only just managing to find the lip of it this time as something came up.

She didn't see the female passive catch Charity by the arm, the grip firm and insistent as she spoke urgently, "Go to her, please. We'll sort him but don't leave her alone, she might fall over and choke."


It was certainly difficult to remain in the sitting position that Jerome had left her in, even propped up against a wall. Everything was very slippery or maybe that was all just Drezda because she seemed to be sliding, even though her body was ready to heave again, the spasm in her abdomen agonising. Gods, she was always terrified of getting sick. It was a silly illogical fear but she was trying not to whimper, trying not to panic as another attack threatened to take her. Of course, Rosmilda didn't want her left alone because she knew of her mistress' terror; she'd been clung to often enough.
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Charity Darthe
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:41 pm
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Race: Galdor
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:44 pm

Achtus 8, 2718, 2718
Vienda| Midday
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Glancing up at Drezda as she found her way into the carriage, the pale woman nodded hesitantly, trusting the Hoxian’s assessment more than anything she could do at present. He’d keep, for now. It was as though talking about fresh meat from the market. It’d keep, it wouldn’t rot. Yet.

”I made a mistake.

Charity looked over his face, lip trembling as much as her hands, mostly clean dress now stained with the red of her husbands bloodied form, hands once again smeared with the lifeforce of another. Again. How many times had her hands been stained red in her fucked up lifetime? Too many times, her own, her husbands, Ben’s….

Her stomach churned, and her violet gaze fluttered shut for a moment. The frayed edges of her sanity desperately tried to cling together, to stop her from simply shutting the world out and escaping into her own mind to a place far more pleasant then here.

Opening her eye again, the pianist looked down at the broken man as he asked a question she really already knew the answer to. Diaxio and Benjamin together—the man’s name caused her to inhale sharply, flashes of the fresh memories behind violet eyes—but then he said her fathers name. Charity made a sound of disbelief, staring through the man in her lap.

“Damen wouldn’t—of course. Of course he would. He would have wanted to see your face, would have wanted to stand over you to witness his own handiwork. I just…with Benjamin. After everything I would have thought…not with…I…” The brunette couldn’t piece the puzzle together. Diaxio had been hurting her for years, Benjamin had stalked her for ages, but her father had been…what? The ringleader? After his careful selection of her suitors, after the violent repercussions of her interest in Rhys…he endorsed Ben’s actions. No, it didn’t make sense. That didn’t make sense. He was a Seventen captain, a vile twisted chroveshit excuse of a man and even more-so as a father, but surely he wouldn’t have let Ben do that. She was his property.

Maybe he didn’t know?

But he had to know. If he was there, to do this to Rhys he had to know. Her head hurt, and her field wavered wearily, sanity gripping with desperate fingers to stay with her. Letting her gaze drift back to the beaten wick’s face, the petite creature shushed him distractedly, stroking bloodstained blonde locks with a shake of her head.

“He tried. He was in the house, in your room. He—” Her breath was stolen by the flashes in her mind, brow furrowing and eyes closing again as she swallowed the lump that was forming. Jarringly, her field flexed with anger.

“On the bed. I couldn’t do anything. For all the magic in Vita I couldn’t do anything. I tried to but I was rushing, and it didn’t work. I could feel him.” The bruising of his fingers, she had seen them in the mirror, on her neck and thighs as Jsara had helped to dress her. Purple and red and black, fresh and deep. Rhys didn’t know, and didn’t need to see. Not yet. Thank Alioe for high necks and long skirts.

“He tried, and Jynx saved me.” Charity’s words were clipped, flat, and although they weren’t meant to be, they sounded like an accusation. Instead of a husband to her aid, it was a one-eyed osta. Her eyes looked up, looking for the window as the carriage rushed along, and she nodded slowly as his hand finally accepted hers.

“I know.” She said softly, unclear as to whether she was acknowledging that it was a trap, or that he had failed. Or both.

They had arrived suddenly, or it felt sudden to the galdor, and she stared mutely as Drezda’s staff opened the door and began to enact her commands. As Charity carefully disengaged herself from Rhys, she heard the heavy thud of someone falling, eyes snapping up in time to she Jerome lifting his mistress and all but dragging her inside. Had the Hoxian fainted? God’s, had her trashfire of a life affected yet another life? Frowning, she turned back to hover as they started to position themselves to remove Rhys, jumping when a hand gripped her arm and field flaring defensively.

By the Lady, it was just a passive.

Turning sharply to face the red haired woman, Charity searched her face with a deep frown, looking back at Rhys worriedly before nodding. There wasn’t anything she could help with right now, not this second. Fighting the urge to push the woman aside, the pianist hurried inside, kneeling down to steady the Hoxian galdor and rub a hand over her forehead.

“Drezda, I’m sorry. I am so very sorry you’ve had to get involved in this. Are you…can I…what can I do to help?” She asked with genuine concern, keeping any loose hair away from the woman’s porcelain face, assuming this was due to the injuries and the intensity of the situation. Her own jagged hold on sanity, her own desire to break down and loose her grip on reality was buried further down, concerned for Rhys and for Drezda now. Unconcerned for herself. She had lived this life for long enough, had battled her demons for years. She’d held her mother as she nursed bruises, as she wept for the son that Damen had stolen away. Charity knew how to pull herself together for others. She had to.

“Just breathe, nice and calm. In….and out.” The pianist said softly, soothingly, refusing to turn her gaze on the house staff as they moved her husband. It would break her sudden tentative hold on calm and logic.

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