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Private  - I give you my love before preaching or law;

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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 114 — Threads: 15
Signos: 395
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1






deep calleth unto deep
Marisol has been writing a lot of letters. Or at least more than normal.

She has too many words in her head, too many books that were read and not processed, too many feelings, and now they’re fighting to get out, when she’s still, when she’s moving, all the time. She wants to write. She has to write. It will burn a hole through the inside of her if she doesn’t.

She has been thinking about Asterion, too, more than normal. His dark eyes. How he can’t not love. It reminds her of herself, or how she could be, maybe. But everything looks like him. It might be how the smell of saltwater follows her now, or how when the stars play on Terrastellan cobblestone, they almost make the purple of his skin (and she’s been under the stars a lot more than the sun, recently.) They haven’t seen each other since the meeting Marisol came crashing in on, and the knowledge of that is a bitter tonic against her dry tongue. There have been no apologies, no explanations. She had dragged herself to the hospital burning with fury and came out of it drowned in sorrow, and nowhere in-between had she bothered to speak to him, or Theodosia. Or her cadets, except to tell them it was business as usual. 

They all deserved a little better reception, even from a kelpie. Even from Marisol, whose teeth would not hesitate to eat her own heart. But Asterion… Asterion especially.

She loves him, he must know that. She can’t say it, and he must know that, too.



Asterion,

If I were capable of saying sorry I would say so now, but you know that I’m not, so:

I have much to tell you and I’m sure you have a lot to tell me, in reference to the interrupted meeting or anything else. I figured I would give you a warning beforehand. None of it (on my end) is near to good news. The hospital may have fixed my fever but it did not do much for my countenance. If you see something hair-raising on the streets, fear not, for it is either me or something I am near to killing. 

My heart has a mouth which says: I regret, though I hate to admit it, that I did not come to you sooner, and worse than that, that I have not been kind. You must know I am stubborn as much as I am your sister and these are two circles that overlap perfectly. I would rather kill for you than kill you, which I cannot say for many others.

There is a significant uproar in the Halcyon this weeksand I cannot justify leaving the barracks until everyone is calm. If you have time, please come by. You know we’re civilized. Cirrus is welcome too, though she might find it claustrophobic.

In lieu of a signature, or anything too sickeningly tender, have this, and don’t you dare hold it against me:

If we want the rewards of being loved we must submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.

I submit.

<3
aimless | kokovi





"a burnt child loves a fire."
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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 370 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,325
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2



asterion,


Her letter frightens him more than any diagnosis that Atreus could give (though what he had given had been brief, the both of them sharing a look that said this can’t be it. Scrapes about her neck, bruises on her shoulders and legs, salt crusting her skin. Nothing more she’d show him).

There were small reassurances: if I were capable of saying sorry, and don’t you dare hold it against me. That is the Marisol he’s familiar with, the one he trusts with his life, even the times they look at one another with deep wounds in their eyes. Two souls made up of similar stuff, working toward the same goals in entirely different ways.

What else, then, will his Commander tell him? What more to be known? It is this he asks himself as he makes his way down the sun-dappled, spring-warmed streets to the barracks. The king carries with him an ancient book, leather worn to gleaming, pages unevenly cut and the bright-dark-bright of virgin bark. He tries not to feel foolish walking into an aerie of warriors bearing such a volume, and mostly fails.

It doesn’t matter much - they ignore him anyway, busy as the bees out in the prairie. A few cadets cast their eyes to him, and all that meet him bow as he passes, but it is clear they are about some other business. The hive is feverish with activity, a livewire of nerves he doesn’t know enough to decipher. But the day is cool and clear, and it smells like spring (like blooming) even over the hay and oats and rich smell of churned-up earth from the sparring fields. He fills his lungs with all of this, and steps into the Commander’s quarters, bracing for - what?

He doesn’t know what he expected, seeing her. It isn’t this; she looks whole and hale, if a little frayed, but when has she ever been relaxed? Their watch hasn’t ended, it seems, since he took the throne for Florentine. Even he is past the point of hoping that will change.

Asterion is grateful for what small mercies fall his way. But his eyes are still cautious, soft as evening darkness against her gaze of slate, and he does not drop them even when he nods. “Commander Marisol,” he greets, unwilling to drop either part of what has been her name for years - they are both too vital to lose. Something about saying them settles his heart, just a little, enough to loosen his mouth into a smile that’s almost sheepish when he passes her the book. “I brought you something.”

The title, sparse of flourish but bold and dark, reads Hymns of Gloaming: The Poetry of Vespera’s Creation. It came from the small, private library that passed into the hands of each sovereign, and as he gives it to her he looks away and thinks the infinite meadows of heaven. “You’ll have to tell me whether it’s any good. I have no ear for poetry.” (He has learned that there are many ways to tell someone you love them. This way, neither of them need be embarrassed.)

But both of them know why he came, and he straightens as he turns his gaze back to her, the warrior who also bleeds the black ink of poems. His smile has passed, his brow is furrowed like a field of clouds, but he thinks of the scar she gave him, a silvery thread along his side, and decides there is nothing worse they can give each other than that brief glimpse of death.

“First,” he says with the steadiness of a king and the softness of a friend, “tell me all you can of what happened that day. After, you can fill me in on this…Prudence…and what it means for us.”


king of dusk.




@Marisol
rallidae




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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 114 — Threads: 15
Signos: 395
Dusk Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 5 [Year 498 Fall] // 16 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3






deep calleth unto deep

Every loch has its monster, and Terrastella is no different.


The myths she’d heard of the things like her varied in origin from the ocean to Tinea: though Mari herself is made from saltwater, she knows better than to think she is the only one to be turned, or the only kind. Now she realizes that there are plenty of them under the waves and in the swamp water. Waiting with their pretty eyes and sharp teeth. Waiting to wreak havoc. But she is not like them, no, she is and isn’t—bloodthirsty, sharp, sure, but still trained. Good dog. Better suited than anyone to stop them. When she thinks of him (Amaroq, motherfucker) it sparks a rage in her that floods like a wave into every knot and crevice, and she knows, deep in her heart of hearts, that this is her next duty. 

Next, she reminds herself, not yet.

It is warm today, but she can’t know that. She hasn’t been outside yet. It’s unusual, but so are the circumstances, all things considered. The only indication that the night has even passed is the grayish, goldish light that weeps through the windows and onto her desk, which is entirely covered in research, papers, diagrams: it seems as though hours have passed in which Marisol plows through pages and pages without any recompense, and the frustration is starting to catch up with her. The usual coolness in her eyes is slowly fading into desperation, and she grinds her jaw as she walks the office in forever-circles—when cadets pass her open door they do so with their heads bowed and eyes turned away, whispering, maybe, but not loud enough for her to hear. Smart kids.

Only one dares to look in.

His name is Felix. Lucky. (At least theoretically—she’s never seen him win a fight, but he’s also never broken a bone, so.) He’s a dark and scrawny thing, and Marisol has always been fond of the underdog, so she holds her tongue when he pokes his fine-boned head in and instead merely looks at him with a gaze that says your time is limited. He clears his throat. Mari raises an eyebrow. “Commander—“ the brow lowers. “King Asterion is here.” 

Marisol’s heart picks up in her chest. It rolls over and over and over itself like a body down a hill, like gravity has a fist on her, like something she cannot even hope to stope and she is only silent for a moment before saying in a voice like thunder, eerily cold, “Get out.” Felix flees, and for a moment she stands in the office perfectly still, nauseated by the electric-fast beat of her pulse and how she can’t seem to curb it. The smell of churning dirt and straw make her stomach clench. (She wants the ocean, the salt, the wind, but—no, no, no.) Bang-bang-bang-bang goes her stubborn heart against her tongue.

(What a waste! All those years of training ruined by a single set of teeth. She was supposed to be a martial, a machine; more importantly she was built to withstand bruising, and somehow she has failed, and now even the simple things are difficult.) After a minute, she’s found a leash for her breath. It settles deep in her chest. She closes her eyes and inhales deeply, holds, exhales; her head is a little light, her sight a little black; it is nothing mortal.

Asterion enters.

Commander Marisol, he says, and before he can continue she says “Asterion,” in a rush of breath that speaks only of relief and dives to meet him; she presses her head against his shoulder and unfurls a wing across his back. For what seems like a very long time, perhaps the longest minute of her life, she merely stands there, melting into the first embrace she has felt in quite a while, feeling the beat of his heart in her ear, the warmth of his skin and the icy-cold fear that settles like a glacier in her stomach. Something in her begs to panic. (It won’t change, she tells herself, and sobs a little, nothing has to change—) And it doesn’t have to be true. She just has to believe it for long enough not to cry.

Finally she steps back, and once again: Commander, staunch and sure-footed. It lasts for the barest second, just until she sees the title of the book.

Marisol stares. Her eyes are wide and blank. Hymns of Gloaming—it has not a title she has ever seen or heard of, and that in itself concerns her. How rare is this thing? How many riches have been traded for it? And why should she be worthy of it? She realizes with a start it must be from the Sovereign’s library, so secret even the Halcyon don’t have access to it. “I can’t accept this,” she says—but the sound is blithe, and her eyes linger on the embossed title like she’s reading a gravestone, loving and reverent.

There is a brief joy that fills her. It is buoyant and electric, and she thinks that maybe this is what is to have magic inside you: a soft, nervous smile pulls at her lips, and as she opens her mouth to thank him, or to offer a verse, a prayer, something that she can already tell would shake with emotion, he speaks instead, and Marisol freezes.

(It has to be done. It has to be done.)

She swallows and returns to the place behind her desk. Placed in an awkward but obviously curated constellation on the dark wood are two cups and a steaming copper pot filled with butter tea; the smell of cinnamon and anise waft from the place where its lid is not screwed on quite correctly, and Marisol nods toward it in an invitation. (She knows she cannot drink it until after she’s told him, at least. She feels sick enough already.)

“That day—“

I could make you so much more—

Marisol clears her throat with a little gasp.

A used pair of wings—

She hears the ocean roaring in her ears and the wind and the silk of his voice —feels again how her heart begged to live and was not allowed—the way the salt seeped into her skin when she drowned, when she died, she was dead, she should have been dead, and oh it was cold—

“That day,” she starts again, with more voracity. “I went to the ocean.” Her voice is trembling slightly. (You went to the ocean, and you died.) “I met a man there. For the second time.”

She does not even remember the first time, now, only that it happened. It is the lightest in a pool of horrible memories. And besides, the first meeting is not the one that matters.

“I died.” Bitter and easy. Wait—back up. She has never been this ineloquent, ever, and it makes her feel more vulnerable than anything else. She hates stumbling on her words. Hates backtracking. Hates not knowing what to say. But here they are, and what is she to do? “We talked, a little. It was nothing… of note.” Of course it was of note. But nothing Asterion needs to know, nothing that is important now. She shudders: “And he showed me his teeth—“

Her eyes darken. Her breathing stops for a moment.

I knew they existed, but I didn’t believe it. Until I saw it. The teeth and the gills, the, um… the ice followed him, sort of. I don’t know how to explain it. He—I—“ She tilts her head upward, and in the dark space just under her jaw is a ring of healing bites like a necklace, and oh God, she says, please tell him not to hate me. Tears are building inside her mouth, behind her eyes. She bats them back furiously. It is like a little drowning, like another death, and haven't there been enough: “I drowned. And then I didn’t, I don’t know, I still don’t understand. And I don’t know… how much time I lost, underwater. I just came up. And you were there. Like…”

She doesn’t want to say it.

“Like I needed.”


<3
aimless | kokovi





"a burnt child loves a fire."
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