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Private  - the rose and the viper

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Played by Offline Avis [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
Signos: 200
Vagabond Peddler
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 497 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 11 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

come a little closer,
why don't you hold me a little tighter



What happened?

Why?

What did she do?

She paced the spaces of the hall before her door, the red rose painted across the wood seemingly more dull than usual as her mind raced and her heart felt like it would overflow with emotions she didn't often hold onto. If she could scream, if she would allow herself to scream, her shriek would have expanded down the halls and shattered glass, raise the hairs on even the most solid statues. She was confused, she was angry, but even more she torn; what happened in their letters? What had she said that turned him away so quickly, so subtly, in such a manner that he wouldn't even tell her? She had felt like maybe he was someone she could rely on, someone she might have given her heart to... but cautiously, for she was not one who dove in to the deep end so recklessly. But from their first meeting, the first moment she saw him against that countertop at the Scarab, her heart had skipped in beats in ways unknown to her, new patterns that wrote songs she was unfamiliar with. She knew love, of course, she knew the desire for pretty things and to be called loving names, each one a curse added on top of the one before it, but she hadn't known what heartache could be drawn from the depths of things she didn't understand. It wasn't possible, then, for her to work her way through the thoughts that overwhelmed her in that moment, steps hard as concrete against the carpeted floors.

She was trapped, effortlessly, in all the ways that he spoke and moved, all the letters that had be scrawled once so neatly, and then the slightest shift in scribble and tone, perhaps to others indistinguishable, stark and bloody in her gaze. She should have burned them, burned every single one of them, left them and him behind on her path to vengeance. But they consumed her, both body and soul, and she couldn't release herself from the torment of not knowing...

Why?

She had to leave--it wasn't her fault, it was never her fault. If only he knew why, if only she was able to tell him all her secrets and expose him to the world she was consumed in. But she couldn't, not fully, for both the reason of trust and fear of turning him away. Surely he wasn't the best of their kind, and neither was she, but the thought of losing him so quickly after making his acquaintance, after allowing her heart to pound those notes, was not a question she would consider answers to.

And so she moved, her legs twisting and twirling at the end of that hall, mind racing and wondering if she should retire, if she should let it all go, let him go, and put her heart in someone else's hand to hold. He wasn't going to show, might not have even received the last of her notes sent so delicately to him: find me.

A shadow passed over the backlit stairs and for but a moment her heart calmed at the outline that appeared there. Her crown wavered on the verge of concealing her, holding out hope that perhaps she would find what she was waiting for.

Tou?
CREDITS


@/toulouse for the bby <3





TO LIVE MY LIFE THE WAY I WANT
TO SAY AND DO WHATEVER I PLEASE
click for character page

(Please tag me in every post)

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Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Inactive Character
#2


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

H
e could see the rose painted on her door when he closed his eyes, each stroke as vivid as if he had been its painter. He remembered everything - the dark red color of her drink, the softness of her shoulder against his. It had only taken one trip for Toulouse to memorize the way to her door, and only one taste of her for him to become addicted.

He was not in love, he told himself.

Was he even capable of love?



He thought not.

But she was the closest he had gotten. He knew he should never have followed her at the bar that night, knew that if it had been his brother in his shoes instead then this would never have happened. But Toulouse was not one for feeling regret, and considering all of the “what if’s” of life was simply too exhausting. It was not much more fun to see where the night would take him, and go from there.

When she had suddenly disappeared, and her door did not open when he came to knock upon it, he had  hardly been surprised. Disappointed, but not shocked. The waiter he asked - the same one who had first told him her name, the one who had warned him about the Red Rose - had only laughed at him. Toulouse’s blood had run cold at the sound, and he had had to leave in the middle of the server’s fit of humor, or else he might have left a very bloody, very public mess in the middle of the Scarab’s lounge.

And so when the server had come running out after him, Toulouse had almost missed at first the small white letter that he carried with him.

It hadn’t been much, but it was still something.

A hurriedly written excuse, one that stopped just short of being a true apology or explanation, and a promise that the Scarab staff would get their letters to one another.

If he chose to write, she had said. But did he really have a choice, when it came to her? He had never thought twice before writing back, his letters equally short, equally vague, maddening inadequate. It was all part of their game. And despite how little she had written in that first letter, he had hung on her every word, and became determined to make her do the same.

When the letters had stopped, he’d told himself it was nothing. You’d think a spy would know better than that, but Manon had a way of compromising his thoughts.

It had been long enough that he wasn’t expecting another letter when the next finally came. But ohm the surprise made it taste all the more sweet when he read those two, carefully written words: find me. And then, the realization had sunk in. The Red Rose had returned at last. Toulouse would deny the way his heart skipped a beat for the rest of his life, just one more secret he would carry with him to his deathbed.

And now he was fashionably late, of course, as he slowly and deliberately retraced his path to her door. Each step was carefully planned, so that by the time he reached the top of the stairs his demeanor was perfectly controlled. He couldn’t let her see how excited he was to see her, after all. Because he wasn’t in love.

But he could be.

She was waiting for him outside. He didn’t even have to knock.

“Leaving notes is bad spycraft.”



His voice is smooth and rich, carrying over the carpeted floor. Words meant only for her, and her alone. His eyes are sharp and bright, but Toulouse does not smile, not yet. That would give too much away, and it was a delicate game he was playing. The same game they had started that night when she left a rose for him at the bar, picking up exactly where they had left off as if it had never stopped.

He takes a step closer, his scarves feeling like wine against his sides. And then -

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?”



He has no doubt that she will.


@Manon | "speaks" | notes: clearly he has 0 idea what his brother has done haha
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply




Played by Offline Avis [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
Signos: 200
Vagabond Peddler
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 497 Summer] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 11 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

come a little closer,
why don't you hold me a little tighter



How dare he. How could one carry so much weight in their breast, how could the heaviness not eat him alive after all of their letters, all of the emotions passed from hand to hand in small, blocked and short words that really said nothing at all to anyone that wasn't them? They both knew better than to leave any incriminating mark on their parchments, to give any sort of identifying feature should it get lost in transit and other hands laid claim to them. They both knew better than to write any real emotion on those scraps of paper, somehow always neatly folded, and maybe it was safer that way, too, for the sake of their dignities. She had never admitted feelings for anyone (not even Senna, who sat quietly at the forefront of a complicated history) and who was she to say she might have felt love anyway? How was she to know what gravity that word carried when her life was full of strife and a heart that only sought vindication for her actions?

There were questions she had that wouldn't get answered by words that night, as the candles flickered low and the shadow that crossed the end of the hall had little idea what anger and heartache sat in that curved chest of hers.

He revealed himself, and, well... Isn't that what she wanted? She had been holding out hope that it would be him to find her last little note, be him to appear up those steps, be him to walk down the dimly lit corridor, and then... What? What did she want from him, to be swept off her hooves, to be argued with, to be left like she had always been before? Which of those options would it come down to, really, and which did she prefer over the others?

More questions, always more questions. She had never yearned for answers more than those that surrounded his mysteries.

"Give this to him," she had told the bartender hurriedly, and he didn't have to ask to who. He had been dealing their letters out like playing cards, after all, and he knew better than to ask the dagger-hearted woman anything. She wouldn't have known what to say, anyway, and some things were better left off as wonder. She wasn't there to crush dreams or slash the sweet silk of imagination--let them think what they wanted about her. They knew she could find them and crack their chest open if they took one unfavorable step, and that was enough for her.

Let them come up with their own stories.

But now that he was there, in front of her after making his move, chiding her for her letters (did she start it, or did he? maybe they were both complicit, but what crimes hadn't they already committed?), she stood stone still, speechless, the ease of his movements and the soft flow of his words harsh against her prickled skin, and she felt more like thorns than roses. Her crown, for however inanimate of an object it was, reacted intermittently to her lack of 'fight' instinct and maybe she wanted to hide then, to disappear beneath the floorboards and simply pretend nothing ever happened. She began to waver in and out of view, blurred one moment as if there was a slightly-off shimmer of reality where she just stood, and back, entirely whole, the next. Each time he blinked he would most likely see it as one, then the other, and maybe one of those times she truly would be gone--but maybe they both knew better than that.

That was first sign something was wrong.

The second came when Manon did none of the things she imagined when seeing him again: she didn't play coy, she didn't slyly divulge in a smile or playfully toss a wink, or even whisper his name as though she might have thought she'd never see him again and the sight of him took her breath away. She had no games to play, didn't care to appease his wit; he had closed himself off to her without a reason why and cut off her not-really-admissions of affection like they hadn't just spent months of their time revealing little secrets of themselves in ways that only made sense to them. She didn't understand it, and he hadn't been willing to help her understand it, so why did her heart still thud for him and her thoughts halt haphazardly for him and all her desires were for him?

And then she wasn't sure she would ever tell him those things, like she had one believed.

"Oh... you came." Flat, nearly monotone, her voice was nothing like it had been that first night, their first meeting, their first exchanges, the first piece of her being given to him. A stranger, but one she knew so well, or at least thought she knew before her world became slightly smaller. She ached, oh how she wished things were different, but there they stood and as his words crashed down around her, her reply was like a shattering of some thin wall that was built between them and she was thrust back into reality.

He asked for an invitation in and she hesitated for but a moment's beat and turned to face her door. The rose was painted on it as it had always been, and she softly pushed it open with a hushed creak.

She didn't look back at him, but the door remained open, waiting for him to follow.
CREDITS


@Toulouse oh he's in trouble





TO LIVE MY LIFE THE WAY I WANT
TO SAY AND DO WHATEVER I PLEASE
click for character page

(Please tag me in every post)

Reply




Played by Offline sid [PM] Posts: 57 — Threads: 9
Signos: 10
Inactive Character
#4


the blood on my teeth
begins to taste like a poem

T
he rose feels like it’s mocking him, as it waits for him on the door and stares at him like it knows something he doesn’t. Even as she turns to the door and pushes it open - without waiting for him, without smiling at him like she once had, leaving him to find his own way inside - the rose seems to be laughing. And the words of the waiter come unbidden to him then, You’ll not be wanting anything to do with her. Trust me.

For the first time, he wonders if maybe the man had been right.

He knew better than to liken them to a fairy tale - they were each too rough, too sharp, too jaded to resemble the princes and princesses of the stories. So why did the flatness of her voice ring out like a blade against a whetstone, shattering the silence of the hallway like it was just as fragile as a sheet of glass?

He could almost hear the pieces of his own resolution falling in jagged slivers to the carpet floor. And for a moment he thinks bitterly about turning away from the door, of dropping the note she had left him on the threshold and returning to the darkness of the Scarab where he belonged. He knew it was what his brother would have wanted, had he known where Toulouse was tonight.

But instead he tucks the note deeper inside the pockets of his scarves, and follows her slowly into the room, clinging to the edge of it like a shadow. He follows her, because he is always following her and even while the rose is laughing silently at him, he's too selfish to let her go just yet. He pushes the rose-painted door shut behind him, and all at once the silence of the room feels stifling. For what feels like an eternity, neither of them move, neither of them speak. And the tension feels like a knife held to his throat, one he wants to lean against and laugh at until a line of blood breaks across his golden skin, but today he doesn’t dare.

Toulouse watches her, and he can feel his heart beating angrily inside of his chest. He wants to tug the braid from her hair, to peel back all the thin layers separating them from what should have been - in his mind - a celebrated reunion. He wants to answer her in the same monotonous voice she greeted him with, and he hopes selfishly that it cuts her as deep as it cut him. Toulouse wants to make her hurt the same way her blank stare makes him hurt, to let the fire of his rage burn her in her own room.

But he only comes forward slowly, cautiously, reaching for the familiar chalices waiting on the center table.

"So," he says, filling the silence she invited in. The room sounds like broken glass as he unstoppers the serving bottle. The drink is a dark red, darker than the rose painted on her door; Toulouse fills two glasses, perhaps a little bit too full, and holds one in the air to her.

"Did you have a good trip?"

He doesn’t ask where she went, or what she had seen, or why she had been away for so long. But the glass turning slowly in midair between them looks more like a challenge than an invitation, like an unspoken dare.






@Manon | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






i'm stuck in the sunshine, riptide

dancing all alone in the morning light
you came in like a wave when i was feeling alright

Reply





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