you anchor me back down
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 266
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#1
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
She arrives quietly, no more than the sound of her footsteps outside the threshold, opening the door without a care for propriety. Closing it behind her as she leans against it, taking strength from the wood that keeps her standing as her head tilts back against it. Hotaru isn't precisely sure how she's feeling in the wake of the disastrous wedding she has just escaped from, but she's here because she trusts nobody else to see her through the maelstrom as she figures it out.

Still half-slumped against the door she calls out into the house, knowing he likely has already heard the door open and close. "Deimos?" One hand still on the doorknob to keep herself on her feet, she at least manages to stand, no longer leaning on the wood behind her. "I think I need a drink."
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,613
MP:
#2
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
His actions as of late had been a cycle of constant movement: shifting from one thing to the next, maneuvering along from building to building, keeping himself busy, seeking to shy away the restlessness bordering and seething at his bones. Like silent traces, it stoked and fired, so when he lingered outside the infirmary too long it haunted, smoldered, and threatened to swallow him whole, and when he was placing wooden planks everywhere for some future intervals, it thought about breaking him down. Some moments were scattered and barely worth remembering, traversing here and there on summer winds, not pausing to think as he wound and thread his way from barracks, to guildhall, to bakery, or avoided their house entirely, only coming back and forth to grab things for Amalia or to prepare something to eat. It was a mindless, numbing precision, because sometimes he was tired of pulling himself out of the deep, and to think, to breathe, in the fumes, in the fury, for too long only meant he’d collapse on the strain, on the endless floods.

The click of the door alerted him to another entering as he shifted along the kitchen, snagging at leftovers – presuming it was Kiada, because it would be in her nature to simply saunter in – head turning at the sound of his name ricocheting along the framework. Not the Harpy at all; and he followed the movements, the decibels, to find Hotaru barely on her feet. His expression remained muted, but a deep, heavy sigh flickered beneath muscles and sinew, beneath flesh and torment. “You and I both.” Then he extended a hand for her to take, to rise and be strong once more, or lend some of his while it lasted, leading her to the table. No questions were asked – though he had a few guesses and estimations as to why the notion scratched and clawed, motioning back towards one of the cabinets and procuring a particularly strong liquor and glasses. Upon his return, they were laden on the surface, opening, brandishing a full cup for each, before he sat down. The gesture could’ve been a thousand things, combinations of camaraderie and angst, misery loving company, his eyes flickering back over hers, the silent inquiries, the nuances of heartache, the resin already in his hands, the waiting game in her court.
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 266
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#3
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
As he appears, strong gait carrying through the air long before he arrives in her vision, Hotaru feels a sudden sharp pain of regret and guilt. Amalia's condition is spoken of in low whispers through the settlement, and here she is, selfishly imposing herself on her dearest friend. Who is already experiencing and holding so much on his mighty shoulders, which he believes can hold the world. But she knows that even mountains can crumble, and despairs over adding any kind of weight that could hasten that end.

But then he comes to her, offering his hand, and she is helpless to the desire to take it. To let him lead her to the table, where she reluctantly parts from him despite the ease he has already granted her with one touch. She sits limply at the table, and when the bottles fall against its surface she takes half the glass in one swallow, relishing the burn that traces warmth down her gullet and chases away the cold of grief and loss. The silence pervades the space between them, and she idly tilts the glass in her hand to watch the liquid inside crest against its confines. When she finally feels like speaking, any emotion she had previously been consumed by has abated to a manageable level. "Sunjata married the midwife today, in a ceremony I'm sure you'd be glad to have missed. Days after revealing to me how terrible and unfitting their relationship is." She sighs, cradling the glass in her hands and taking another sip, slower this time. "I can't say I don't care, even if I certainly don't love him or any such nonsense. But it still upsets me, and I can't explain it." Because maybe, instead of love, there had been something there. Even if she still does not care if he sleeps around, saw anyone else beside her with their unique friends with benefits arrangement, there is a grief to the marriage itself that she can't explain. Maybe because it was easier in the end, to seek only his lust, and not his love? Had she wanted for it, even for a moment?

Maybe. Ghosts of comfort and love that she can never quite reach, that dance beyond her grasp like teasing relics of bygone days when someone loved her for her, and not for what she could give them with her body or mind.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,613
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#4
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
Deimos would take on the world for those he cherished; no matter the weight. A strong, sturdy foundation, a stalwart fortification in between the rubble, the ruins, and the devastation, ignoring, forgoing the twisted agony in chests, ribs, and limbs, never complaining about the amount he held on his broad shoulders. He didn’t push the semblances onto anyone else. His knees didn’t buckle. His muscles didn’t quake or shudder. But lords, there was going to be a day when the tiny fissures, cracks, and lines in his shoulders were going to be too much, and he was going to succumb, head straight into murky waters and drowning wakes, and forget how to find the surface. Maybe his arms would be too tired, maybe his legs would be too exhausted, maybe the edge of his bones would eventually crumble, and it wouldn’t be enough to shove, rise, or insist any longer. Maybe the earth would sink just a little too hard, and he’d erode once more, go down with it. Too heavy to be carried, too burdened to be worth saving.

And still, for now, he endured.

Except he wanted to hang his head over the table or place it on the surface, simply remain there for a moment where his mind didn’t channel into different bouts of agony.

Except Hotaru was there, and she was wounded, marked, and hurt too, and they were lost souls again, without the constant winter at their doors. Just the knives of every day existence, of new, fresh, raw trials and tribulations. So he poured his drink and listened, savoring the burn in slow accord, self-inflicted torture; though to grab hold of some bread except there wasn’t any because Amalia hadn’t been there and he swallowed so many other things. His eyes yielded to Hotaru instead, indicating he was listening as she tried to voice her own inner despair, the strange workings of this earth, ceremonies he was glad to have missed, unfitting relationships and ties to fellow militia and their new midwife nuptials.

The whole accord had been strange to him, and there was a certain sorrow affixed to the notion that he’d had a slight hand in it. “I made their rings.” He paused, shook his head, then dragged his gaze to glance at the table – where he’d made some for he and Amalia, furtive and secret. “I thought one was going to be for you at first.” The smallest of smiles curved at the edge of his lips before disappearing again, as if it hadn’t meant to be there at all – stare finally segmenting its way back to her, form leaning back into his chair. The Sword would’ve made hers far better, at least, like crackling lightning and thundering storms, like rolling tempests and conflagrations, like cloaks and daggers. Not pretty flowers and petals, not roses guided by the light. Power and precision, might and fortitude. Deimos hadn’t seen the appeal of Phoebe. But then again, he was biased.

Bizarre though, how both had come to devote too much; as if all the inner workings of Helovia had scraped off, and they’d forgotten some of the steel and resolve in face of kindness, acceptance, and tolerance – given to instead of constantly taking, and when it was gone, when it was severed, when it was fleeting, rocky, and full of hardships, they were rattled and confused. “You cared enough.” Even if she didn’t love him, even if she couldn’t fathom or understand the clasped chambers of her heart, maybe it’d simply been bonds. She’d delved deep, formed those connections. Then they were tossed aside, as if they were nothing, as if they were meaningless. A scarring, damning thing, a reason to be embittered and rancorous.
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 266
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#5
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
Of the many words slung in offense against her, selfishness is perhaps the most plentiful and accurate. She can see the exhaustion in Deimos' face, in the way he settles in the seat across from her, and yet cannot lash her tongue to silence on his behalf. Another burden for her to bear, to know that she is so unworthy of his friendship and support. And yet she sinks into that flaw, lets it cradle her like the darkest crevice the earth could supply. Maybe someday she will atone for her sins. Today is not that day, no matter how she longs to apologize the instant the words splinter from between her teeth. To stuff them back into her throat and swallow them whole if only to keep Deimos from the extra weight.

As always he is reserved, but each word is weighted as they rumble forth from his chest to destroy what little composure she clings to. "I thought one was going to be for you at first." It feels like acid being poured into every split seam and aching wound, and she feels the tears come hot and fast before she can even think to steel herself against them. In a desperate attempt at concealment she drops her head into her free palm, shoulders trembling in tempo to her quivering breath. She never should have hoped in the first place, shouldn't have played with fire when her heart is still so scarred and sensitive to every glancing touch. Sunjata had been an amalgamation of every good trait of her past loves, with a devil's smile and a touch that weakened her knees. Water and lightning, so easy to play off one another, and she had been swept up in the rightness of him. The desire to not be alone anymore, to find someone who understood the cracks in her foundation and found her architecture beautiful despite them. Hotaru had not expected anything more of their relationship when they had fallen into bed together, but after...

Tears trail down her cheeks, silent but for the way her breaths come heavy and uneven. "You cared enough." Gods, but she had. Deimos can see right through her guard to the pitiful woman beneath, has always regarded her like a glass display that can conceal nothing from his knowing gaze. When had things gone so quickly wrong? When had the blade slipped between her ribs, as smooth as sighing and with no time to realize it had even cut her before she was bleeding out? She had lifted him from the bottle and been at his side, had taken the silver of his token upon her wrist. And worst of all in that final night she had shared with him her deepest wounds, had revealed scars that no other living soul has witnessed. Even Deimos did not know the truth of it all, having passed long before the events that had broken her so thoroughly. Now...now Sunjata has the power of that knowledge, and it feels like an axe hanging over her neck in the darkest premonition of retaliation and blackmail.

You thought you could trust again, and you were foolish to ever consider it. He has taken everything from you and run to the one he truly wants, and now you are left with less than nothing. Foolish child, you have never been your mother's daughter, you are merely a shade trying to walk in her footsteps. You have never been strong enough to shoulder her legacy.

She wipes her face hastily as she lifts her head from her hand, slamming the newly full cup back and relishing the burn that chases away the vision of his soft steel eyes and the memory of how he had held her so gently. Wiped her tears and looked past all her trauma to the woman beneath. It was that moment, then. As he had cradled her, as his roughened hands had taken her own and held tight while she drowned. She had looked up through the rough waters and seen his face at the surface, and she had been lost.

Though the tears linger, blurring her dearest friend from her gaze, she works her jaw hard to keep her visage blank. Aware that her cheeks must be ruddy, still smeared with tears, even as her eyes go flinty and her spine straightens. "My first mistake," she declares hoarsely, mind leagues away. "It was foolish to ever...ever let myself care for someone so much like me." Nobody else will ever be privy to the venom that spits on that last word, the self-hatred that wells up like a yawning beast beneath her tone. Thranduil had played her in much the same way, courting her with her own tactics only to cut right to the marrow with the ace up his sleeve that every lover of hers has played - that she may be a powerful queen, a temptress, a storm. But in the end, once that last wall has fallen from around her heart, she is pathetically weak and undeserving of such titles and awe. "At least they are both miserable. Small victories." But even the sardonic twist of her lips does not exude the power it might have once had. Because in the end, she doesn't want him to hurt. And that is why he has won.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,613
MP:
#6
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
This was why he’d spent lifetimes immersed amongst indifference. This was why he’d been cold, tarnished, unattainable, unreachable, so the rest of the world left him alone. This was why he’d only slowly, painstakingly eroded, when acceptance and tolerance stared him in the face, offered their hands and their suns.

It was so much easier to not feel at all – to never carry the burdens of emotions, of vulnerabilities, of love and compassion and tenderness. He’d lived, breathed, and survived as one of those pariahs and shadowy figures for so long that it’d become normal to submerse himself into nothing but terror, domination, and heresy. To dig into iniquity and never come out on the other side. To layer condemnation and decadence into rampant intricacies. To savor ruins, abominations, and maelstroms, to give naught and take everything. To live like a blade, like a sword, like a damned heathen, consigned to oblivion, guarded, reserved, and impervious to smiles, to grins, to anything slating promises of generosity or warmth. He hadn’t needed it. He hadn’t required it. He’d been diabolical insurrection, unholy sedition, a splendor of savage movement and taut, minute motions; meant to antagonize, meant to annihilate, meant to abhor. Argent domination and sinuous, unwinding contemplation had been the only thoughts necessary: never this amount of pain, torture, and torment in the face of heartache and heartbreak, to be outlandishly tossed aside, to be shattered on the rocks, to be so utterly consumed and diminished because of one stupid, asinine individual.

The Reaper pretended that others hadn’t sunk their fringes and edges into him. He suppressed the notion that there’d been days where he’d tried and loved too; and that it hadn’t mattered. That the rain had died and perished. That the droplets had cascaded and left him behind. That ghosts didn’t conquer and wraiths didn’t show in the back of his mind, in the corner of his eyes, or in the wake of his nightmares.

The Sword lived surrounded in compassion, acceptance, love, and tolerance, and tried to instill the same upon those beloved and cherished. They were massive changes and alterations, and he’d undergone swift upheavals in their stead, when he didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t fathom the contortions. Maybe it was her turn too.

The tears were enough to convince him to edge closer, leaning forward in his chair, an offering of his support, his arms, his confidant prowess; whatever she required. He remained quiet in the stead of seams unraveling, of strands unfurling, an unfortunate disciple of it all recently (trying not to drown, trying not to sink, trying not to choke). An avid listener, hushed in the perennial disasters, eyes lowered to the floor, awaiting something other than the pangs of pain, the echoes of tears, of sobs. He didn’t know what went on in her head, what bounded and flayed, what galvanized and shrunk; perhaps he would have offered other sentiments, other ruminations. You are strong. You are powerful. You are more than he will ever be. Do not be consumed by someone so worthless, so beneath you. Instead, she voiced mistakes, and he shook his head, piercing eyes sliding back to her ruddied, muddled face. “He did not deserve you.” Something stoked in his jaw, and it felt like anger, it felt like rancor, it felt like bitterness, caught in ivories and enamel, blistering down into his chest. He didn’t know where to aim his contempt, the multitude of other emotions waxing and waning: if it should be lanced upon the idiot man, or if his foretold misery would be enough torture for the rest of his days. A tilt of his head, contemplation in the foundations of all this loss, all this devastation, all this ruin. Not kingdoms, not wars, not countries: but her emotions, her fortitude, her might. He wasn’t sure how to make it right (save for violence, for vengeance, for vitriol, for vehemence). Quieter then, a rumble, a whisper, an offering of revenge if she craved it. “What do you want to do?”
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 266
MP:
#7
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
She knows that his past is riddled with scars, some of them that she will never ask the history of. Though she had only known his love in passing, she at least recalls the woman in her youth that had captured his heart. Remembers that he lost her, has perhaps lost more since that moment whose names and faces Hotaru will never know. Despite this, he still seems almost godlike to her. Perhaps that is a bleed from her childhood when he had been the indestructible King of their lands, the one that had always been so controlled and unaffected, a level of ruling that she could never hope to achieve. Even knowing him so much more intimately now Hotaru can't help but envy his stoic veneer, his well-guarded heart that she is so privileged to reside within. She knows that though he strikes against others with the ferocity of his perpetuated apathy, he is a mountainous shelter to all who gravitate towards his depths like helpless stars. Does he know how much warmth he puts into the world despite its attempts to drown him, to snuff him out? She longs for that strength, for the ability to move beyond these crippling blows that bleed her out from the inside, where nobody can see and only she can feel.

The shift of his weight draws her attention as he comes closer, and her hand helplessly descends to try and grip at his. It's a painful, hollow parallel to how she had clung to Sunjata while recalling the most gruesome nightmares of her past. But here there is more than just a line to keep her tethered to earth. Here there is softness, understanding, a mighty shield that descends upon her on all sides, an offering to keep her sheltered beneath him until the tears have dried and her strength returns. It is far more than she deserves for having fallen so far over one foolish man who never deserved the entirety of her worth and love, but she has already impressed her selfishness, and so she soaks it up.

Her breath is still unsteady, a riotous rebellion that she can't conceive of controlling in this moment, but at least she manages to lift her gaze to his as he speaks. Lips that smile are still tinged with tears and alcohol, but they lift pitifully at the edges nonetheless. "I'm far better than some half-child midwife," she jokes, but it's soft and half-hearted at best. Her face crumples soon after, though at least she has the pride to not dissolve into tears again, feeling far too scrubbed raw to pile that upon her shoulders in a display of further weakness. "That's why it hurts so badly. I offered so much more, didn't I? So why wasn't it me?" An answer he likely won't have. Neither of them can speak to Sunjata's mind or motivations. But she has to ask it nonetheless, lest it poison her where she keeps it bottled up in her chest.

"What do you want to do?" It is the greatest validation he could offer her, the kindest redirection of her grief, and her eyes grow sharp and predatory. The instinctive response is to make him suffer, to grind him beneath her heel in some shallow attempt at making herself feel better, more powerful for having destroyed him. Still, she hesitates. In their night together she had said he had suffered enough, and she still believes that. Can she do that to him?

Yes. She can. Because Hotaru is not nice. She is a tempest, and she had let him tame her for a few nights, and that was her own mistake. But he is even more of a fool than she thinks if he deems to compare her to the pathetically soft midwife he has married. "I want him to hurt too," she hisses, her pulse beating heavy in her throat. "I don't care how brief. And then I want to move on." How, she isn't sure. She still can't help but envy Deimos and Amalia, Rexanna and Bastien. All the other lovers she has encountered since her life in Helovia. There may be nobody here for her, but at least she can try to put Sunjata out of her head.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,613
MP:
#8
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
There were days where he was hollowed, carved out, split apart in ruins and runes. Not something to be envied, savored, or cherished; a strength and fortitude built upon fallen, crumbling wakes and stones. Stoicism fortified in breaking apart from the inside out, on remaining tied and tethered to the earth while the rest of him faded away, led down into rubble and distortion by those infernal spreads of fury and compassion. He simply wore it well: pressed on while ribs fettered and hearts blackened, churned to ice and bitterness, while organs and bones resisted, defied, devoured, a guard, a soldier, a warrior until death pummeled and beat and tore into him again. Not a god either, not even something to be near paragons or the virtuous ilk, bleeding unceremoniously into their innocence, unraveling his iniquity when the world simply clawed and tore into him too much. When it all consumed and swallowed, when it all choked and deprived. When it all collided and he had nowhere else to go but through the inward apathy and down into the vicious nonchalance. It was strength merely to keep himself together, bound, instead of unfurling piece by piece, strand by strand, until seams buckled and they saw him for what he really was.

Still the Sword offered far more than the Reaper ever had; possibly because he held more here, allowed, permitted, to erode, to be content for more than a moment. So he extended and extended and extended to them – those precious few who’d come or returned to his life, a fortification, a rendering of tenacity and obstinance for them to cling and mold within. And if it was all he could manage, all he could do, it was better than nothing.

But still they quaked, and they faltered, and they fumbled; like shivering aspen leaves, like shuddering masses; never allowed to fetter or flicker in the Basin, as they did in the Hollowed Grounds. He had half a notion to laugh at her first statement, between the tears, the strife, and the nuances cracking over shoulders. “Yes, you are.” They all stumbled around like fools then, Sunjata, Phoebe, and the rest – to not see the sheen, to not see the power, to not see the worth of Hotaru. “It is his loss.” A shrug, a tease along his mouth, dimpling one corner as if he were to smile. “Perhaps he could not handle you.” Which wasn't saying much for Sunjata, that he would not appeal to a strong, determined woman, who could sweep the floor and murder him in one fell swoop. Weakness in the other man, a bizarre incantation of being drawn to something, someone, else. Another senseless shrug, a roll of muscle, sinew, and flesh, as if to scrape it away and down, out of sight, out of bounds, out of reach. Maybe it was an opportunity for Hotaru to escape the strangled sense of madness that was Sunjata’s orbit: the intertwining, unwinding selfish regard, or the stupidity that came with it. The General had thought the man fairly competent when they’d discussed tactics or blew apart things with the catapult: but maybe he was just inclined towards disaster, and Deimos hadn’t seen it, hadn’t realized it until now. A lost cause; vitriol spun along the inside.

So he listened again instead, to the infernal gathering behind her eyes, to the vindication and vengeance sliding from within, something he could grasp and hold with her. The need for revolution and rebuttal had always been strong – years of the Basin had instilled it within them, eyes for eyes, teeth for teeth, carcasses for carcasses, even exchanges of abuse and treachery around every turn. Air flickered and filtered in a heavy sigh; because he’d never gone after those who punctured hearts. “Will he do that to himself, or do you intend to be the cause?”
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 266
MP:
#9
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
Whatever differences he may draw between the Reaper and the Sword, he has always been enough for Hotaru. Even the callouses beneath her palm, the silence that falls between her words, the scent of this place that is already familiar to her, it is enough. It gives her a strength she is not able to summon for herself. One that she can lean on when her own legs have failed her. It was something she had never been allowed in their old times, and she is unused to it here and now. Falling, failing, cracking apart like crevices in heat-worn glaciers. She is almost unsure how to do it, what is normal and acceptable. Unused to her tears in this form, having killed them and burned them out in so many years of searching and hunting and grieving. To have them resurface over a man makes her feel ill with self-hatred. It is chased away by the rumble of Deimos' voice, crashing over her like a wave that sweeps her out from the wreckage and into a warm sea that cradles and suspends her away from the chaos.

"His loss," she repeats softly, with a strength that rises slow but sure like the sun over the horizon. "Or perhaps his idiocy is contagious." It's just as hard for her to admit she is a powerful entity on her own as it is for Deimos to admit to being capable and worthy of love. They are quite the pair, and she wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Not even Sunjata, who had thrown her away within moments. Deimos was the exact opposite, and though he could never fulfill the romantic desires of her weary heart, he would always be there nonetheless. Beloved, cherished.

It is that which reigns her in, even as her free hand sparks against the glass she still lightly holds in her fingertips. "Let him burn on his own pyre," she says, regal and electric. Lifting herself back off her knees with Deimos' hand. "She'll never get a grip on him, and if she does then they'll both be miserable until one of them dies." Heterochromic eyes alight with wicked fires, and she squeezes Deimos' hand lightly as her lips - still salty with tears, but she won't let them fall any longer, not over this, not now - begin to curl. "But if the opportunity presents itself, I can't say I won't take a chunk of his flesh in retribution." Actively destroying his life is off the table, because she surely can't do it any better than marrying him off to Phoebe anyway.

Setting it aside for the moment, her eyes soften and she leans across the table. "It was selfish of me to lay all this on you...I did hear about your beloved. How are you coping?" Because asking if he is okay will surely only award her with an 'I'm fine'. A shrug off of every concern, a redirection to Amalia's feelings and status instead of his own. "If there is anything I can do...what little I can offer, it is always yours. You are my best friend, as close to a brother as I'll ever have." There is no need to say it - I love you - because it is a fact that lays between them as surely as the wood grain that separates their bodies. The earth spins, the seasons change, and Hotaru loves Deimos. It is a certainty he can always rely upon.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,613
MP:
#10
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
They hadn’t been allowed to fall apart in Helovia. There’d been no time, no place, their grief, anguish, and bitterness solidified in the constant upheaval and disdain for other kingdoms. They fought and they trapped and they squandered, scourges from the mountains, promising hell and damnation. There’d been no time to breathe, no time to flicker and wane, only calculations, only brutality, only chasing down the next fortification, rampart, or battle. Here they were afforded space for the unfurling, and he didn’t like it. He didn’t want ruminations. He didn’t want pain. He didn’t want torment. He’d had it all before. He hadn’t sunk then, because he’d never warranted himself the opportunity, and the beginning of such intervals made him clench his jaw, made him skim over the surface, made him lock and cord himself away, further and further into the fold. Contagions of idiocy, losses of fools, and he hoped that she’d managed to see, to understand, that she was better off without the imbecile, and they didn’t need to keep barreling on into their treacherous whims. There were better things to do – there were more monstrous moments to debauch and terrorize, a return to olden days, to something he could grasp and understand. A nod, a smile, a sigh, for their grief and annihilations so far gone, so diminished. In the past, Sunjata wouldn’t have even been a figment on their radar, not even a blip on the horizon.

To burn on his own pyre, to hinder himself on his own wounds; and he listened, to a cycle of vengeance the man would likely start and settle in his own mercurial, capricious maelstroms. Hotaru would lie in wait, like serpents under their flower petals, and he nodded once more, understanding in this potential for retribution. Sometimes karma worked itself out. Sometimes it needed a helping hand. “Still, let me know if you require anything.” An offer, always there in the midst.

His eyes had settled on the table, on the twist and turns of wood, on the half-empty bottle, on the spaces between, when she leaned across its accord, his gaze following, tracking the movement. He didn’t like the way her own softened, as if readying himself for a blow, inhaling sharply, tempted to grow taut and rigid, hide away from the world again. His feelings didn’t matter. Coping was an unfortunate skill the Sword acquired long ago – if it was to be considered in such a way – suppressing, dragging everything down, down, down until it was smothered, until it haunted, until it bled over in dreams and nightmares, but never beyond his chest. “I have been keeping myself busy.” So when the thoughts rendered and took hold, he could shake them away as best he could; focusing on fighting, on training, on wandering, on grabbing hold of leaves, fronds, and whatever else Safrin required. “It will be fine, in time.” A shrug, stifling, hiding, pretenses clawing their way to his brow. A habit, a mechanism, a switch in the mask. “Safrin gave me a task, so once I get everything gathered…” then she should be able to render Amalia’s spine back to normal. It was a hope, and he wasn’t one to rely on such things. Maybe it was desperation too.

Thereafter though, in her beatific words and extensions, he hung his head, unworthy of them. Best friends (now he had two), brethren, family, brothers and sisters in arms and munitions, and he blinked away a thousand things coiling their way behind his eyes. It spun and hurtled into his heart, into his ribs, into his lungs, so the only thing he really could do is reach out his arms, offer them again in the form of a hug, of an embrace, in ways past lives never could.
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 266
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#11
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
They are two tired fools with souls far older than their young faces imply. Sitting there with alcohol in her belly and tears still lingering on her lashes, Hotaru is struck with the urge to laugh. Swallows it down but nonetheless can't help her hysterical amusement at how far they have come. How they both ended up here, happier than ever and yet more miserable than ever in their shared grief in this moment. All because of love. Maybe it was better back then, to have loved so infrequently. Of the things she misses from Helovia, she never thought it would be the lack of available suitors - and their inevitable cause of heartbreak - that she would mourn the most today.

"A nice solid beating if you ever train together would definitely make me smile," she confesses with a weak laugh, gratitude shining in her heterochromic eyes as they lift to find the blue depths of his own. There's no such thing as overconfidence in Deimos' ability to destroy Sunjata. Dangerous levels of harm aside, it would certainly make her feel better if the bar owner had his shit rocked by her best friend.

Punches don't fix everything though, and while they'd make her happier in her own case, there's nothing Hotaru can fight on Deimos' behalf to help Amalia. There is nothing she can defend them from, nothing she can hunt down and bring the head back by way of revenge. All she can offer - what little she has - is useless. She's useless. "Do you need help completing it?" Whatever he needs she will give. She hasn't even met Amalia yet, wonders how they keep bypassing each other, but the woman means so very much to Deimos. That alone elevates her in Hotaru's esteem, would make her devote time and resources aplenty to heal the woman. There is nothing in this world or the next that Hotaru would not do to ensure Deimos' continued happiness. So when he opens his arms soundlessly, eyes concealed but still betraying his emotional upheaval held taut beneath his controlled veneer, Hotaru goes to him. Sinks into his chest, the embrace he offers as she wraps her own around him and hugs him tight. As if she could keep him safe in her ribcage until all of this passes.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
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Posts: 1,613
MP:
#12
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
Violence, vehemence, vengeance – retribution and revenge was something he could always endeavor to counter. “Of course,” held the barest hint of a smirk, a promise of foundations in mutiny, insurrection, and rebellion – more than enough reasons to maim and rampage over the Flood. Perhaps that was one key strategy lacking here: no one seemed to call one another out, no one seemed to challenge authority, no one seemed to embark on claims and outcries, of simmering and laying waste of adversaries. Instead they quibbled, argued, and quarreled amongst open forums and meeting houses, justifying their ends with wild, vicious discourse. His preferences ran towards Helovian scales, where one’s opponent always knew exactly where they stood, with his blade swinging for their chest, with his intentions utterly, rapaciously clear. If they touched one of his own, they received fury. If they ached to take, to snag, to impart their greedy, grasping hands upon those he’d sworn to protect, they received anarchy. Hatred, abhorrence, and revulsion had been a steady, constant beat to his heart in those worlds, in those lands, and he felt almost bereft without them coursing through his veins in this present. It was alarmingly altered and different here, where events were either shrugged off, prospered elsewhere in the heathen reaches of bitterness, or brushed aside when the next tragedy, disaster, or ruin took place. So perhaps he’d content himself, one day, with relishing the opportunity of maiming someone who rightfully deserved it.

But no, they didn’t fix or mend ravaged spines or bent hearts, no amount of wounds or salve easing the pain. He’d merely continue to glance and look forward, for leaves on limbs, for bones and soil, for any other artifacts the goddess required. “I do not think so, but I will let you know.” If necessary, he’d go alone, into dusk or footfalls, into unknown trails and sojourns for those vital pieces.

Then she accepted his embrace, something he needed, required, easily transpired without a word – familial bonds, a level of comfort he’d never asked for in other lands and kingdoms. Maybe it made him weak now, to require this, to be held tight and grant it in return, but he was tired, fatigued, exhausted by daunting, perilous fights, by ruin after ruin after ruin, without the means to rend them back into place on his own. It was always easier not to care; to shrivel and decay in his caves or on his summits, bleeding and beating, threatening the world with his indifference. But it’d also been empty, a vessel, a hollow, aching thing. So perhaps this was payback, a cycle and circle of flaws coming back to bite him in the end, for all the years he’d insisted upon being an unattainable, unreachable menace.
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 266
MP:
#13
my held breath fills the room with blood
hurting in ways I can't describe
Though she knows Deimos would never outright maim the man, the idea of Sunjata getting a nice good beat around his thick head is enough to satisfy her. Vows and oaths of retribution are the fodder to her serenity, and emotion eases away like tide from the sand beneath the humming growl of his voice. She too longs for the days of primordial order, of the surety in her rank, her power. Were this Helovia she would have challenged Phoebe within the hour of Sunjata's confession of her sins, would have killed or exiled her until her mortal days ceased to count upward. Would have challenged Sunjata for reasons of honor perhaps, or just to lay him beneath her heel. This world is far too civil and convoluted for her feral ways, and at times it drives her to despair. There is a simplicity to the life they used to live, and she longs for its return.

At least magic and reparations are familiar to her. The act of beseeching a god for their divine powers, begging away droplets of strength like starving vultures. If it meant Deimos' beloved would be whole again, able to walk and run and leap into his arms, Hotaru would crawl on her knees to those who have forsaken her and throw away her pride to win their favor for Amalia. There is nothing for her to do, alas. Nonetheless she nods her head and squeezes him tighter, wishing she were but larger so as to envelop him more fully. To return the feeling he had given her the day of their reunion. Instead she lays a hand gently upon his crown, tilting him forward into her collar if he so wishes. Holding and holding and holding on against the ravaging sea of unfairness that they have sailed all their lives. "We will get through this, as we always have. Together." A notion he surely understands already, but one she speaks intimately to bolster and strengthen him. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but their success lies surely upon the horizon. Ready to be grasped and tamed.
my heart bends and breaks
so many, many times
HOTARU
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,613
MP:
#14
Whoa, you let your feet run wild
Time has come as we all go down
They’d always solved their problems with brutality, savagery, and ferocity: a universal language anyone in Helovia eventually understood. It’d been a cultural norm to stomp upon an adversary the same way one ventured into the market for wares, to punish and pummel those who dared to unravel something or someone important, influential, to a kingdom’s worth. It’d been instinctual to arrange revenge, to pull things apart, to unfurl and watch maelstroms unwind. Here they kept encountering chaos after chaos, hardly any of it their own making, caught unawares in the manifested bedlam and mayhem. Always consequences, always effects, always lasting appeals and junctures curling and fanning into minds. There was an aspect of vulnerability within Caido’s threshold, because sometimes he thought he comprehended the game, and other times he was caught stranded, lost, lost, lost. No grounds of certainty, no parallels to fathom and undertake, each moment cast could be entirely new, foreign, or fumbling along in ignorance. It ground. It flared. It seethed. It rankled. But in between those ruminations, after loss, after brutality, after barbarity, it also hurt – which was where he haunted and labored now, striving to move forward, mired and anchored by the weight tied around makeshift tethers and lines. Not enough. Not any better. Nothing to show for his efforts. Nothing to make sense of why they were magnets for trials and tribulations (except they still tried).

But he refused to fall apart – maybe by sheer willpower alone, a resolution in clenched jaws and silence. Still collected in her arms, he felt her hand reach up towards his cranium, but he didn’t bow, he didn’t break, didn’t fall into her collarbone, nodding and breathing instead. Exhausted, fatigued, mentally drained of anything but a wealth of consternation, he unfurled, uncurled, from her grace and poise. A sigh released, eyes on the alcohol, on the remnants of everything else. “Yes,” rumbling agreement on soft smiles, on the strangling unknown. Forging onward, on and on and on, because sometimes there was naught more to be done (except falling, splintering, and fracturing – the sinking sensations waging and churning, his head barely above the surface). His gaze shifted back to her, on hurt, serrated edges, on paralyzing contortions of Valkyrie’s, how they’d move forward, how they’d persist, how they’d force their bones into the earth until the end of time. “Do you need anything else?”
Yeah but for the fall—oh, my—
Do you dare to look them right in the eyes?
DEIMOS


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