larue: (can't keep touchin' / temporary bliss)
ᴊᴏsʜ ʟᴀʀᴜᴇ | ʙᴜʀᴅᴇɴ ʙᴏᴜɴᴅ ([personal profile] larue) wrote in [community profile] wakingthedead2016-06-29 12:02 pm

waking the dead 1.0r :: the ides approach :: look out at the darkness



WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH 2012. THE SMALL HOURS BEFORE SUNRISE.

[ The flashes came to him at around ten in the evening. Right in the middle of a conversation he was having with Riley Falner.

At first it was the image of Hikaru waking up, followed by a sharp stab of certainty that he wasn't thinking of his boy just because he missed the Blade King; that the image was exactly what the Seer was seeing or had seen, from all the way in Hirato. And that instead of the routine updates made through calls, Alistair had resorted to this because words and explanations would take up too much time.

( Tohru. Hikaru had asked for Tohru to be sent in. Hikaru turning as soon as the Assassin stepped past the doors. Then those ominous red rings around the irises of his boy's violet eyes, dark in the late hour.

"I know," Hikaru had said.

Then suddenly all hell broke loose and in the mix and jumble of it all, all he could see/feel was death and fire and the Wind moving to contain the situation, Alistair on the phone his lips shaping Setsuna's name as he reloaded his gun--

--then nothing. )



He doesn't know what it was that Riley saw on his face, only that the Daywalker had already turned to call for Gio Malaahas to rally Wolf's Choice.

He was still reeling when he felt vibrations beneath his palm, Yulia's name blinking almost angrily on the screen.



He doesn't have much to say when she informs him that she and Makoto are to go. His limbs feel like he's slogging through water with the resistance akin to all of him weighed down.

What can he say when his knuckles are white? When where he's sitting is suddenly quieter and much colder, even if all the lamps this side of the estate are turned on.

He thinks he manages to tell her to take care -- that they both do. He's not sure if he said it. He prays that he did.

He's not sure of anything. And it's far too quiet. Like the quiet of the dead. ]


takeitinstride: (the last one standing.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
[ And upstairs, at her desk in the office that Riley has furnished for her, Liandrin is calmly setting her laptop screen down, calmly pushing back her chair, calmly leaning back, and calmly shutting her eyes.

mayaNET might be deathly quiet on the Philippine front and most other locations beyond Japan's shores, but the channels of the network devoted to Zangyaku's main bases and the conspiracy's upper echelons have been on fire. She's been up here for some time now, monitoring everything on top of handling her own business at Falner, dispatching people, making arrangements, and keeping up a near constant conversation with Setsuna Shinta. Setsuna, however, has just told her to take a break.

"Rest, and if you can bring yourself to... please check on Joshua. I am certain that he, above anyone else in positions like his, must want to know what is happening. I trust that you know what to offer him."

She wants a cigarette. She decides to save it for later.

Heading down and out of the house, to the gazebo in the South Gardens where you and Riley had been smoking through cigars and drinking before things had started falling apart. She is not surprised to see that you have not moved.

Stopping a respectful distance away - right at the foot of the stairs leading up to the gazebo - and lifting her chin. ]


Commander.

[ She's addressed you as such since the two of you started working in close quarters and even after that rather tense conversation you both had, on certain marriage arrangements and attempting to reach an understanding. ]
takeitinstride: (you have my attention.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
No. Oswald and Virginia have been handling things.

[ Which goes without saying that Amadeus was preparing to join the Daywalker already. Else, she would have said where the ex-Malice King was. ]

Have you slept yet?

[ There's no accusation, no nothing in her tone. It's almost as if she's asking him what he thinks of the weather. ]
Edited 2016-06-29 04:41 (UTC)
takeitinstride: (and we fall softly.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
I see.

[ Again: no judgment. ]

Breakfast is in a few hours. I'll make you something.

[ That statement, though, isn't a question. Neither is this one. ]

Let's go.

[ A little force is necessary. She'll ease up on it if she sees that she can afford to. ]
takeitinstride: (i'm never changing who i am.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 05:07 am (UTC)(link)
[ That's fine. Now she has more time to draw further into herself and make it look like she's not frightened of you at all, she's perfectly in control of the situation. The smaller kitchen and dining area that was reserved for the servants of the estate is a bit of a way's from where the both of you are, which works for the both of you.

The few people who are in the area clear out the moment Liandrin pushes the doors open and enters with you close at her heels. There are no questions, no comments, only furtive looks as they leave. That means that you're getting one of the tables all to yourself.

Liandrin, in the meantime, is moving off to the pantry in a quiet swish of skirts over tile. The pots, pans and other tools she'll be using are already moving of their own accord, silently and efficiently.

Another thing that moves? An ashtray. That one is dutifully setting itself down close to wherever you've chosen to sit. ]


Would you like anything to drink?
Edited 2016-06-29 05:10 (UTC)
takeitinstride: (live through this // don't look back.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
[ No words from this one at first, then; just the sound of her rifling about in the pantry. When she returns, she's setting a pitcher of cold water down together with a tall bottle of Jack Daniel's.

You're pretty sure they don't sell vintage that old.

The glasses follow, then the Lady Swallowtail is off towards the stove.

She's going to make crepes. American folk like you probably don't eat things like that very often. ]
takeitinstride: (don't make a sound.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
[ She'd like to think that the silence between the both of you isn't anything to think too hard on. You have to gather yourself, maybe enjoy that cigarette. She has to focus, lose herself in domestic minutiae.

The stuffing for the crepe is getting prepared first, along with the omelettes. She's quiet all the way until she's letting the pan heat up. ]


I know what it's like, feeling like you have to hide. Feeling like you have to be busy with something. [ A beat. ] I'm hiding away myself.

[ Low and quiet again, as if she is not talking about anything emotional. The weight of it, though, is in her words, and just beneath the surface of them.

She isn't looking at you. She's a coward that can't quite bring herself to do that yet. Besides, she did say she was going to make breakfast for you. ]
takeitinstride: (you have my attention.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 08:04 am (UTC)(link)
They always talk about hindsight being 20/20. They never talk about how it's also a royal bitch.

[ Keeping her hands busy and her eyes elsewhere, even when she's leaving things at the counter for a bit. She'd like a cigarette herself now. ]

You'll always end up believing that you could have done better or chosen different when you look back.

[ Click. Drag. Eyes towards the stove. She tells herself it's because she made herself responsible for breakfast today, it's only proper to be mindful. ]

Most of the time, though, you couldn't have, or wouldn't have.

[ She'd know, wouldn't she?

She's a bloody expert at making excellent choices. ]
takeitinstride: (and we fall softly.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 08:41 am (UTC)(link)
[ ...And that is what gets her to look up at you. She was perfectly prepared to serve herself. ]

Thank you.

[ Gently clinking her glass against your own before bringing it to her lips. She stares down at its contents after, the pads of her fingers worrying themselves around the circumference of the glass. ]

I'll pass down everything that I can to you.

[ It's something that is within her power to do. You may be respected by Zangyaku's oni-tsukai, but you are ultimately an outsider. Times like this needed the Wolf's own to close ranks and respect protocol.

She and Setsuna, however, were the leaders of the conspiracy now. They were the only ones who could make calls like this. ]
takeitinstride: (don't make a sound.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
You deserve to know.

[ Because she'd be lying if she defaulted to safer responses, like how helping one's allies out is the logical thing to do. It's far more complicated than that --

-- or was it really? Perhaps it was just too simple, and the rest of the Fifth World made things complicated.

She takes another sip from her glass before focusing on her cigarette. Once that's done, she's moving back to tend to the food. ]
takeitinstride: (never say never.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-29 02:34 pm (UTC)(link)
[ And she won't deign to fill in the silence with useless words either, just like earlier. She has said what she has had to for now, and the purpose of this exercise is to give you some breathing room.

She comes back around the table for two reasons: first to put out her cigarette, and then later when she returns with breakfast for you both. You're getting your plate first.

Feel free to start whenever you like, Commander. She's already digging in. ]
takeitinstride: (live through this // don't look back.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-30 03:18 am (UTC)(link)
[ What you don't know (and what she actually plans on NOT telling you until she's sure that it's safe) is that the Grail makes it particularly hard for people to read your mind, even Mages as powerful as she is.

You're getting a delicate arch of eyebrows in your direction at the question. Under normal circumstances and perhaps with better company, she'd have something witty to respond to you with. But here you both are. ]


I taught myself. Hikaru, though, taught me how to cook well.

[ And she can't quite stop her voice from dropping low, weighed down by too many heavy things. ]
Edited 2016-06-30 03:19 (UTC)
takeitinstride: (ask yourself: will i burn in hell?)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-06-30 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
[ And after noting that small collection of tells, she almost wishes that she had lied to you.

She'll focus on her food as well, murmur a "thank you" when you pour water for her. Once she is done, though, all she has is her cigarette and her Scotch, and --

-- and there's a polite knock on the door before it's swinging open. One of your men, who probably would have spoken up immediately before noticing that you have company. ]


Yes?

[ Putting that in before you can speak. Her expression schools itself, going cool with a hint of exasperation. The message is clear: it's best if nobody disturbs you.

"Ah... apologies. It can wait." ]


Good.

[ And just like that, she's turning away. An unspoken dismissal.

Yes. Part of the reason why she is keeping you company is to play guard dog. She has had time to observe you. You're the sort of man who'd throw away his own needs only too quickly for his duties. ]
takeitinstride: (you have my attention.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-01 05:03 am (UTC)(link)
[ She doesn't respond immediately. The contents of her glass suddenly look so interesting. She could make it even MORE interesting for herself with a little magic, but -- ]

I hope you'll forgive my indiscretion, then.

[ How does one say to the man who nearly killed her in the name of the two people she loves the most that she'd only like to show her concern for you in a time like this? ]
takeitinstride: (don't make a sound.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-01 05:26 am (UTC)(link)
[ Nodding, because words are suddenly difficult. She'll just... stand up and take her plate to the sink. Yours too.

She can drink after she's done cleaning everything up. (She can drink and not think about the fact that the phantom pain's spreading up her leg again. She could dispel it: it ought to be easy. But powerful Awakened like herself have their own moral codes. She should not have to use magic to put a band aid on the shotgun wound of her memories.) ]
Edited 2016-07-01 05:31 (UTC)
takeitinstride: (i'm never changing who i am.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-01 06:40 am (UTC)(link)
All right.

[ There's a small smile and a flash of eyes in your direction before she dips her head back down. She's arranging herself back in her seat, and reaching for the bottle.

Time for a refill. The glass is almost empty anyway. ]
takeitinstride: (you have my attention.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-04 01:55 pm (UTC)(link)
[ She knows where it is (she already knows where everything in the Estate is, and occasionally? Where everyone of importance is too), but you are not her errand boy. Besides, it wasn't as if coffee was a bad second choice. ]

Yes, please.

[ And there's the first time you might have heard Liandrin say "please" politely since the two of you started working in close quarters. That want all that long ago, but the Mage conducts herself in a rather forceful fashion on a usual basis. That much, you would have picked up on way back. ]
takeitinstride: (live through this // don't look back.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-04 02:10 pm (UTC)(link)
You're not.

[ There isn't anything for her to do. Riley is gone, and she's not part of your Council. Setsuna is holding the fort, and already told Lia that she wanted her sister right where she was: with Netsach, where she could coordinate with the Daywalker and his men directly and be an extra pair of eyes for her. The Wind were the ones on the front lines with the Seer. (Her Seer, once upon a time.) ]

As things stand, I don't think I could sleep even if I needed to.

[ There was no telling what was going to happen tomorrow. She wanted to be vigilant.

She also wants to do this small thing for you, if you'll let her. ]
takeitinstride: (she's an 8-ball // she's a rollercoaster)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-04 02:36 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Her lips quirk at that. She's relaxing ever so minutely now. ]

I'm rather accustomed to stiff sorts, Commander, especially when they have not had a very good day.

[ She is allowed some humor in an attempt to lighten the mood, she hopes?

But, really. You don't have to apologize. What she's admittedly more concerned about is that at the end of it all, her presence and her attempts at keeping you together without really being so direct about it are welcome. ]
takeitinstride: (yes i am humoring you.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-04 02:50 pm (UTC)(link)
No. Just a result of living rather long and not deviating far from one's calling in the Vigil.

[ Although, well... there are a number of people she could think of that you both know.

Another time, perhaps. Given that you're not so stiff around her and she's finally starting to ease up, she'd like to not risk stepping on a land mine. ]


Truly, though, it's no trouble.
takeitinstride: (and we fall softly.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-05 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
That's the tragedy of it, isn't it. The reasons change, but the dance itself is almost always the same.

[ She won't insult your intelligence by assuming that you don't understand. She might be far older than you, but the experiences you have had surpass the stases of many functional immortals that she's become acquainted with.

Taking another sip, and smoothing her fingers along the rim of her cup before reaching over. She'd like an extra shot in her coffee now. ]


We had enough time to prepare. [ A beat. ] Things will work out somehow.

[ "We", because you had your pieces and she had yours. Because you know, as well as she does, that Alistair's reach goes far. Because maybe she needs to say it in order to believe it, and maybe you need to hear it too. ]
takeitinstride: (ask yourself: will i burn in hell?)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-11 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
[ Noting that down. She does not say anything until after she finishes boozing up her coffee. ]

Was he the one who pushed you? To become a King, I mean.

[ She's been under the impression that the title chafes at you. She knows the feeling. ]
takeitinstride: (burn to ash and bone.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-13 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
A conversation suited to his timing, no doubt, and on his terms.

[ Perhaps she is overstepping again, but it will be hard for her to regret saying it. The Seer is not an easy man, and from what Lia can tell? He's only gotten more intense since his rebirth.

(She used to call him out on those moments when it seemed like he had forgotten that he was not moving pieces into place, but people. She is not sure whether she's allowed to do that again.

All she wants at this point is that he'll come out of this mess alive.) ]
takeitinstride: (only because this amuses me.)

[personal profile] takeitinstride 2016-07-13 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
[ And the smile she's sending you at that moment is small and brittle at the edges. Vulnerability, from the unflappable, ruthless Lady Swallowtail. ]

I will make sure that you are first in line.

[ She has little doubt that there's a queue for that sort of thing. ]