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Life Burns

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Life Burns

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:57 pm

Three weeks ago, Jade Palace, Xing

A cold presence rushed through the walls of the Jade Palace as both a friend and an enemy to the city of Xing pushed open the doors and walked into the grandest of foyers he'd ever laid eyes upon. Ayden Derocha. Assassin extraordinaire, and above all, a man who respected beautiful craftsmanship such as this.

He'd been to Xing many times before, and this was indeed not a business trip, but an excursion for leisure - and love, if he had to use that despicable term - but he still simply felt that he could not loiter amongst the lower halls of the Palace. He had to ascend upwards, he had to find her... Jeu-Hee. She'd been on his mind for too long. He needed to clear the air, and apologise for his being away.

Humming the chords of a rhapsody he'd heard not a few days ago in Amestris, he began to move up the first of many flights of stairs, venturing deeper into a palace he'd always wished to enter during his lifetime; and yet, he'd never pictured it as being so easy as just opening the doors... it was practically a tourist attraction, though he presumed the deeper sanctums of the Xingese royalty hidden, off-access, deeper within.

He pulled his cloak further around him, and made a sharp exhalation of breath, realising that the heating had probably not been updated since the castle's construction. Excellent. So not only was he looking for something as fruitless and futile as love, he was also going to freeze to death in the bitter Xingese winter. Excellent. Just excellent.

"...Jeu-Hee?"

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:50 pm

One of his guards had warned him of the intrusion, asking him if he was going to have this man captured. Saeji had refused the man's offer, instead offering to have himself take the place. They'd been... iffy about that, telling him that he needed to let them take over, that he needed to preserve himself. They weren't the one with the mind that he had; Saeji Aeries was an assassin--he needed to be able to protect himself. Even if this man hadn't been a threat, he still needed to do that much. Biting his bottom lip, he crept through several of the hidden passages within the walls, making his way to the main hall--that was where they'd originally seen this new intruder. Gritting his teeth, he made slow and careful steps, avoiding the more noise-making pieces of this passageway, looking through one or two of the view-holes that he could see. Slowly sliding Nanatsuya out of his pocket, he rounded an opening and bit his lip again; the blade was quickly flicked out of its hole. If this man was unlike what he was now, then this would be difficult. However, his own absorption of Nanaya's knowledge caused a continuum shift in this man's mind, and the ways of an Assassin were far easier to him than they had used to be.

Creeping along the ground towards the white-haired Xingese, he suddenly heard him make a noise. "...Jeu-Hee?" He almost stopped short. This man... he knew Jeu-Hee? Slowly standing up, he retracted the switchblade with a swift motion, and replaced the knife in his pocket. "You're after Jeu-Hee? I'm afraid to say that she is out for the day; I gave her the day off." He chuckled softly, walking around until he met the man's line of sight. "Pleased to make your acquaintance. Saeji Aeries, or Ace. Emperor of Xing." It was now that he realized that this room was devoid of guards. Hmm... if this man in front of him decided to attack, it would be up to Saeji to defend himself. First real fight I'd have had in a long time. No, no, can't think like that. Saeji Aeries isn't a killer, nor a fighter. He is an assassin, but doesn't always have to be one. That is the truth of Saeji Aeries. He smiled softly at the man, tilting his head lightly to the side and adjusting the glasses upon his face. He stepped backwards a mite, and prepared for any chances of needing to defend himself with his blade.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:15 pm

"I'LLBEBACKLATERDON'TWAITUPFORMELOVEYOUBOTHBYEEEEEE!!!" Came the rush of words as the front door was flung open, quickly getting shut as a small figure went bolting off down the street into the sunlight. It was a brand new day! And Jeu-Hee was in high spirits!! The first time she hadn't woken up with tears in her eyes, with dread weighing upon her heart, or guilt clouding her mind! Bouncy bouncy BOUNCY!!! Heeheehee! She was wearing a more traditional garb of one from Xing as opposed to simple jeans and a shirt, the black shoes she wore slapping against the ground. Her long hair was tied back in a very long braid with a pretty clip at the base of it of her favorite flower, a lotus blossom. Brr..... It was getting colder in Xing, much to her distaste, but at least it could be worse. Wasn't as bad as Drachma! Er.... aw man... No! No no no, she was FINE! Absolutely fine!

In truth, she really was much better than she had been over the last few weeks. Spending time with Xiao and his son had really been such a huge help for her, and now, her bubbliness was back. But considering she had skipped work that day in order to spend time with them, she felt obligated to head in today rather than take the day off as she had been instructed to. Saeji had been so nice since they got back home! Back to normal like he had been before, no more weird shifts like during the war--dammit she was FINE. She had to keep telling herself that every time she thought of Drachma otherwise... Otherwise the darkness might seep back in, and she really really really didn't want that at all. She wanted to be back to her old self! Not worry anyone like she had been lately. So she would do her job, and do it well! Besides, she had new languages to learn now too!

Soon enough the palace came into view, bringing a smile to Jeu-Hee's face as she bounced along the streets. Bounding up the stairs, she noticed that the guards seemed to be more on edge, one stopping her as she was about to head into the great hall. "You may want to wait Ambassador." Her brows furrowed as she looked up at the man, her warm coat bundled up about her. "Whatever for? Is there a meeting of some sort going on? Oh please tell me someone from Aerugo hasn't shown up, I'm hardly-" To that the guard had to smile slightly, and shake his head, lowering the hand he had raised to her. "No, no, no, nothing like that. There is an intruder though. The king has been notified." Now it was her turn to be perplexed, blinking twice as she peered past him at the doors beyond. Who would intrude.... She stopped, green eyes darting up to the guard as her expression shifted very, very slowly. It couldn't... "What did this intruder look like?" She asked very softly, taking a step to the side. It couldn't be....

"He was a rather tall fellow with long, silver hair, and-" Jeu-Hee didn't even wait for him to finish as she was off like a light, bolting through the doors as her heart beat harder and faster inside her chest. He was here. He was here. He was here!!! A couple of guards closed the door behind her as she threw her winter coat off with abandon. Ayden.. Ayden was here. She heard voices before she actually saw the figures further in, recognizing the voice to be Saeji, her king. "Pleased to make your acquaintance. Saeji Aeries, or Ace. Emperor of Xing." She saw her Emperor, but didn't see him, as her eyes came to rest on the tall man before him. Ayden... He was right there... He was here... Tears had risen to her eyes, unbidden, and unwanted but there they were anyway as the biggest smile came over her features. "AYDEN!" She cried as she broke out into a run, running to her love, to the man that had been weighing so heavily on her mind inbetween the darkness. Propriety had been forgotten, and later she would be glad to know that there weren't many guards in that main hall as she threw her arms about him and practically tackled him though she did slow in her pace so as not to knock him over.

The minute her arms were around him, she buried her face into his body, his warmth, joy abound as she felt that missing piece become whole within her. She was so small next to him, but she didn't care at all. He was here!! She was holding him... She couldn't be any happier, and that was the truth.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:41 pm

He heard the man before he saw him. Stalking, stepping in the shadows. Padded feet. Near-silent; Ayden knew now why the halls were vacant. He may have not been actively opposed; but that didn't mean he wasn't tracked. Xing was renowned for soldiers who dabbled in shadier arts. It was simple enough. In his periphery, he caught a quick, shady outline of the figure, lurking in shadow; his hands dropped to the Fangs sheathed behind his back, still concealed by the cloak.

However, the man made his presence known, and Ayden let his hands drop. All too soon, his entire upper body did, too, bowing as the cloak billowed behind him from a grand turn. His eyebrow arched on the way down; Saeji Aeries. Why was an emperor stalking about in his own palace? It was odd... odd indeed. It seemed that they both knew the ways of the assassin. Still, it was best to dispense with the formalities first; Ayden spoke with his body still in mid-transit. "I apologise, your greatness," He said, beaming as he straightened his body up, then striking a hand forwards to shake. "I'm Ayden Derocha. Humbled to be in your presence, sire."

He shot another look at the man's waist; a switchblade? Tsk tsk. What was the Emperor doing playing around with toothpicks? Surely, he had some beautiful, priceless, thousand-year-old relic of a blade to be using. Ayden could accomplish more with a drawing pin than a switchblade. It was odd... everything pointed towards this supposed 'Saeji Aeries' being an imposter; but that aura, that presence, the stature he held... it was strange. A sense of assured legitimacy.

Now, Jeu-Hee. His face tilted downwards, and his expressions darkened. She, after all, had been his sole reason for visiting Xing. He'd known that the young girl was an ambassador; he'd presumed that she would have been busy, given with all the diplomatic relations crushed by the recent violence. "Ah, well that's-"

All too soon, Ayden felt a surprisingly heavy force slam into his side; the man did his best to remain stalwart and standing, although the presence almost toppled him, causing an uncomfortable shift of weight. For a moment, his survival instincts began to kick in; then he recognised. Features. Eyes, hair, skin... even just proximity to her gave it all away. Height, figure... this was the girl he'd known. Full of spirit; full of life. Jeu-Hee.

A smile crept onto his face, and he shot a quick look towards the Emperor, before looking back down to her. He brought her into a quick embrace, picking her up a few inches off the ground to accommodate for the height difference, before staring down into those perfectly innocent bright green orbs. She'd shouted his name, and he felt it only right to speak in return; although with Saeji's presence - Jeu-Hee having promptly ignored it - it was probably best to keep things brief.

He broke the embrace and kept up his smile, cheeks still red and rosy from having the wind almost knocked out of him. "Hi," He sighed, chuckling nervously as he looked between the two Xingese.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:17 am

Ah, so he had been noticed. The first sign of a true assassin. He smiled softly, and stood up straighter. "I apologise, your greatness," He had to hold back a giggle for that one. 'your greatness'? What was he, the goddamn Pope?! Now, if none of you picked up on that, it was sarcasm. Just so you know. He chuckled softly, and calmly shook the man's hand with his own; knife hidden away now. "I'm Ayden Derocha. Humbled to be in your presence, sire." Ayden Derocha... Now, he had heard that name before. Was it from his Ambassador? Or maybe somewhere else... Hmm... He explained the Jeu-Hee situation to the man, not ignorant of the gaze that moved towards the switchblade at his waist. Did this 'Ayden' disapprove of his Nanatsuya? Ace would have to prove to him that even a menial blade held a lot of value, especially in the hands of someone truly versed with such a weapon. He smiled softly and calmly, and watched the man's gaze drop. Strange--did this person have some form of association with Jeu-Hee? Further investigation would be most certainly required. Saeji stepped forwards, ready to speak to the man, telling him where Jeu-Hee liv--

"AYDEN!" Boom. No need to say anything now. A woman streamed through the palace and basically tackled the man that he had just confronted. Hm. Ookay. Blinking a couple of times, Saeji scratched his head and sighed. This was... exceptionally awkward. Well, it wasn't for them. But for he, who was not actually a part of this strange hugging ritual, it felt rather lonely. Ugh, where was Peizhi when you needed the damn girl? He sighed, and turned away, looking up at the walls of the ornate room that he was in. Was the entire palace like this? Of course it was, what was he saying? Pulling out the well-used notebook, a couple of sentences were written in Xingese, about remodelling and hugging. A notable sentence was, of course... "Remember to have Peizhi nearby for hugs." He chuckled to himself and replaced the notebook in his back pocket, turning towards Ayden and Jeu-Hee, smiling kindly. "So..." His mind automatically switched to Amestrian, as if changing lanes on the road. "This is the man you've been harping on about, Jeu-Hee?" His voice was soft and teasing, and he giggled softly, smiling at the pair with closed eyes.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:09 pm

"Hi." Ayden, Ayden, Ayden!!!! Eeeeeeeee, he was here~~ Oh goodie, he had remained standing. She had hoped that she hadn't tackled too hard! She was just reallyreallyreallyREALLY excited and happy that he was here!! This was the best present EVER! She could sense the shift and raised her eyes to meet his gaze, giggling as he lifted her up to account for her being short. She couldn't help it! Blame genetics... Not that it hadn't come in handy on missions before but that was besides the point! "Heehee, hi. Found you!" And-- "So..." Oh wait. That.. meant... OH SHIT THE EMPEROR WAS RIGHT THERE!!! U-uh... uh.... what did she do?!?!

Her eyes went wide as Ayden put her back down, wiping the happy tears from her cheeks hurriedly as she faced her emperor. Oh man, oh man, oh man he wasn't going to be mad was he? "This is the man you've been harping on about, Jeu-Hee?" While Ayden's face may have been pink from tackling him, hers had gone bright red at this oversight on her part. If she had been in fox form, she would have matched her fur perfectly at this point. Aiya... She had really messed up... Chuckling nervously, she glanced between the two men as embarrassment filled her to the brim, biting her lower lip. "I-I-- U-um... Wh-what I mean i-is... Yes sir." She stammered, bowing to Saeji upon finally spitting out the words. "I'msosorryaboutignoringyoujustnowIwasjust-" She forced herself to stop since she was just speaking gibberish at this point given the rate at which her mouth was moving. Her brain wouldn't be able to keep up and she could just make it worse! "Sorry sir.. U-um... Sh-should I come back? I-I mean. Oh..." She wanted to DIE she was so embarrassed!! Glancing up to Ayden once more, she slipped her hand into his without much thought, giving it a gentle squeeze. Ok, excitement.... Calm down... Yes calm... It was ok... Obviously Saeji wasn't mad... But she was making this so awkward!

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:19 pm

"Heehee, hi. Found you!"

Ayden arched his eyebrows, staring down at her and chuckling. "Astute observation there, Ms. Holmes. It would indeed appear you have," The response came packaged with a light chuckle, Ayden looking from Jeu-Hee to the Emperor as he scratched the back of his head, waiting for it all to click... for her, just as well as him.

And then... it did. She went... pink, to say the least. With a smile, he tried not to let anything on, looking once more from her to Saeji, breaking the embrace and shuffling aside a little. Didn't want to present the ambassador in an ill-fitting manner to the Emperor of Xing, after all... and, well, more importantly... her boss. "Sorry sir.. U-um... Sh-should I come back? I-I mean. Oh..." Ayden decided to butt in, just there. Looking from Jeu-Hee to Ace once more, he raised his hands, and slowly shook his head, trying to keep the most contented expression on his face. He'd gotten himself into - and, indeed, out of... although they were usually significantly bloodier than how he wanted this particular debacle to end - trickier situations than this before.

Switching to Amestrian to accommodate the language choice of the pair of them - clearly the Emperor as learned as his subordinate - Ayden spoke. "That... won't be necessary. I was looking for you when I stumbled upon His Greatness here," He chuckled nervously - or, supposedly, anyway. In reality, this was just getting... boring. Ayden had things to say to Jeu-Hee. "But, yes, what have you been telling people about me?" The assassin looked back to the ambassador and smiled, cocking his head and letting his silvery hair shake gently, hopefully letting on that it was a joke.

Ayden's brow furrowed, and his expression darkened as he turned back to Ace. He'd decided to raise the point. "And I apologise, sire, I know it's not my business to inquire into the... arts and ways... of a monarch, especially one as well-respected as yourself, but is there any particular reason why you were... stalking me with a switchblade," Ayden jerked his head towards the blade, his hands both in Jeu-Hee's. "When I entered the castle?"

The assassin pressed on, seeming to think it best to explain himself further. "I mean you and your people no harm, of course, but... as they say in Creta..." A pause, and he switched languages. "A man paranoid in his own home is perhaps not welcome at all." He then repeated it in Amestrian, before explaining. "It perhaps doesn't flow as nicely translated, but, hopefully, you get the gist..." He trailed off, before beaming over at the man, hopeful that he wouldn't catch the darker intentions beneath the happy mask. He was doing his very best to hide them.

In truth... he could tell. Something wasn't quite right with any monarch who stalked amongst his own palace such as Saeji Aeries did; and... manipulation was one of Ayden's finest arts - aside from death, of course - mainly due, in part, to his charisma. It was always fun to see another squirm between his words, as opposed to his grasp.


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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:47 am

"Heehee, hi. Found you!" Well, guess who hadn't been noticed? Standing there, Saeji quietly watched the pair as they conversed and hugged with a slightly awkward smile on his face. He was good at being silent and sneaky, if he moved now, he could get away and Jeu-Hee would never even know that he was here! Ah, well. She had seen him and gone a bright shade of red. He giggled softly. Well, it was always fun to tease the staff, was it not~? "I-I-- U-um... Wh-what I mean i-is... Yes sir." Hehe, this was most certainly fun. In fact, he was having a ball! "I'msosorryaboutignoringyoujustnowIwasjust-" ... ... ... "Well, uhm... uh... You... uh... night guard duty for the next week, I suppose." He sighed and chuckled. "Other than that, it's okay. You know I don't mind being ignored in situations like this; especially when it's someone you obviously care about." Smiling benevolently, the Assassin Emperor shook his head and chuckled, bringing up knowledge from a few hundred of the books that he'd read. "Trust me, you become blind to everything else."

"Sorry sir.. U-um... Sh-should I come back? I-I mean. Oh..." Slowly, Saeji's head tilted to the side. "By all means, continue. He came here to see you, after all." Chuckling, Saeji placed a hand over his mouth and gave a mischievous grin. Oho, he was going to tease her. He was going to tease her good. He'd never had the chance to tease such an awkward-looking person before, so this was a complete first for him. Switching up languages without a second thought, Saeji giggled softly. "And I apologise, sire, I know it's not my business to inquire into the... arts and ways... of a monarch, especially one as well-respected as yourself, but is there any particular reason why you were... stalking me with a switchblade when I entered the castle?" "Oh, that? Eheheheh... I have strange impulses. And if you question my choice of weapon..." He wouldn't choose to give away any more. He didn't need to tell this man that he had a murderous second personality that he killed in a battle inside his own head. He'd sound utterly psychotic, huehuehuehuehue! Of course, what Ayden didn't realize is that any form of manipulation he was trying to hold on Saeji... would probably not be working. Right now, he was too oblivious to it, in appearances; but this man knew better than that. Words held everything to everyone, somewhere in this world. They also meant different things to everyone else. He simply needed to grasp that fact, and manipulation was a thing of the past.

"Hehe, do not worry. I choose to stalk my own palace walls for both fun and practice. There are a multitude of secret passageways within these walls, so it is good practice to find quick ways to get through." He bowed slightly. "As it stood, I had been informed that you had entered the palace. Do not believe me fooled either, Ayden Derocha." He chuckled softly. "I simply came to see if this 'threat' was really a threat. The weapon is standard for me to carry, but I would not have attacked, I can assure you of that. I have control over his impulses now, so killing isn't as heavy on my mind." He smiled softly, saying words that were both specific and vague. What are you going to do, Derocha?

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:33 am

"Astute observation there, Ms. Holmes. It would indeed appear you have," "Oh hush you." The tease brought forth a giggle, sticking her tongue out at him like a child. Oh how much she had missed him.... Buuut yeeaah... her emperor... Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohman!! Was she in for it? No, no she wouldn't be in for it. Saeji wasn't like that! Although that other personality thingy, or something she had no idea what it was, seemed like it could certainly do some rather unpleasant things to her... That didn't appeal to her! That didn't appeal to her at all! So when Saeji first spoke, it was quite understandable that she shrank a little bit as if to prepare for some great wave of royal indignation and justice.

"Well, uhm... uh... You... uh... night guard duty for the next week, I suppose."

Oh god she was going to-- What? Her green eyes went wide as she straightened up, the statement thoroughly confusing her even though it was quite a simple thing. She... that... That was all? "R-really?" She couldn't believe her ears. "Other than that, it's okay. You know I don't mind being ignored in situations like this; especially when it's someone you obviously care about." Still... that hardly seemed like a legitimate excuse. Biting her lower lip, she tilted her head back to look up at her love as a nervous chuckle fluttered out of her. "If you say so Saeji. I still feel that its rather rude though. Thank you, I shall carry out the duty to the letter!" She saluted him (a little bit clumsily), the motion feeling rather foreign to her since it wasn't like she saluted anyone else you know? Or at least... she didn't salute anyone else often. She didn't necessarily meet with other military figures of other countries really. "Trust me, you become blind to everything else." Hehe, that was a bit of a relief to hear actually...

"By all means, continue. He came here to see you, after all." That was true, he had... Ayden was moving. Stepping to the side a bit, she watched him as he tried to rectify the situation, his long hair swishing near her. Ooo she wanted to pet it.... NO! Aiya, no! N-not here at least... But it was so soft-no! "That... won't be necessary. I was looking for you when I stumbled upon His Greatness here," Mreowr? Oh wait, she was a fox so.... bark? Maybe? Foxes barked right? And yiffed, but that was--*ahem!!* "But, yes, what have you been telling people about me?" Eep! The little ambassador straightened up in a sort of startle, appearing rather terrified he had asked that as her face went bright red again, her eyes looking elsewhere. "W-well.. I-I-I... Y-you see..." She stammered, a soft whine rising in her throat as she buried her face in her hands to hide her embarrassment, shaking from side to side a little. Damn it Saeji! Why did he had to say anything? Heehee, in reality she didn't really mind, she was just super embarrassed and not quite sure what she should tell her boyfriend. Keeeeeheeeheeeheehee!! That word still made her giddy, especially in his presence.

Jeu-Hee Han, get ahold of your damn self and FOCUS! The bane of her existence, focus. W-wait, giggling? Saeji was... giggling? Well, the very thing brought her out from behind her hands, taking a nice, deep calming breath to soothe those nerves of hers. But there was a tension in the air, and she picked up on it immediately. "And I apologise, sire, I know it's not my business to inquire into the... arts and ways... of a monarch, especially one as well-respected as yourself, but is there any particular reason why you were... stalking me with a switchblade," she felt his hands slide into her own, giving them a small squeeze as she looked up at him. What.... "When I entered the castle?" What? Her brows began to furrow as she now turned to her emperor, instinctively squeezing Ayden's hands gently. Wh-what was... "Oh, that? Eheheheh... I have strange impulses. And if you question my choice of weapon..." Huh? H-hey.. w-wait a minute here... What was going on? Why did things get so serious all of a sudden?

"I mean you and your people no harm, of course, but... as they say in Creta..." "A man paranoid in his own home is perhaps not welcome at all." "It perhaps doesn't flow as nicely translated, but, hopefully, you get the gist..." This wasn't good. This wasn't good at all. It felt like a battle was coming, or just something... bad. "Ayden, I-" "Hehe, do not worry. I choose to stalk my own palace walls for both fun and practice. There are a multitude of secret passageways within these walls, so it is good practice to find quick ways to get through." A shiver ran down her back as she heard that voice in her head again from that cold, snowy land so far from them. "Attack them. Kill them." She pressed herself against Ayden's back, her body trembling violently as the explosions rang off in her ears, the heat of those fires fresh against her cheeks. "Help... stop... them... ple--" "Times up, Saeji." N-no.. She was back home. Ayden was here, and everything was fine. FINE.

"As it stood, I had been informed that you had entered the palace. Do not believe me fooled either, Ayden Derocha." He chuckled softly. "I simply came to see if this 'threat' was really a threat. The weapon is standard for me to carry, but I would not have attacked, I can assure you of that. I have control over his impulses now, so killing isn't as heavy on my mind." She shut her eyes tight as she shoved those memories to the side, not realizing just how tightly she was holding his hands now. His impulses... Just who was this other Saeji? By the way he spoke of him, it sounded like another personality within him, but that wasn't... Well it could be... He really had multiple personalities? All Jeu-Hee could see when she thought of her emperor was the happy, laid-back man who was the same age as her. Not some assassin like her or Ayden. But was he? Was he truly like them? To kill... She hadn't had to kill since the war, and so long before that even. "Attack them. Kill them." The words still whispered like a snakes oily hiss, sending another series of shivers through her body. Her lips felt frozen shut, unable to speak or try to ease the heavy air that had settled over the three of them in that great hall.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

With a smile, Ayden committed himself to switching to Xingese. This bother of cycling through languages with each of them, even if just for an age-old adage in Cretan, was beginning to get irritating. Amestrian itself was becoming irritating. Too harsh, too unsuitable for a meeting as fine yet odd as this. The flowing, yet strange, sharp vocal tone shifts of Xingese... suited an environment and atmosphere such as this almost perfectly. Plus, home turf meant it was courtesy to, even if they'd begun speaking in a language Ayden was slightly more familiar with.

"Oh, that? Eheheheh... I have strange impulses. And if you question my choice of weapon..." Ayden smirked. Ah, it was time for a speech, after all. He'd have to make it brief. Brevity was memorable, especially with monarchs, who, as figureheads, by default, had to be put through droning, day after day. Bravery and brevity. That'd get him through this, as charismatic as ever.

The smirk formed to a perfectly friendly grin, and the man began to speak. "Of course not, sire. Simply that the weapon defines the man. A weapon represents tastes, you see; and whilst a blade such as that can be so simple yet so refined, I find it more befitting to... encompass..." Ayden half-considered pulling his jacket apart just to reveal the entirety of his arsenal. He had enough belts and bandoliers for a small army, in truth. "...a good, broad range." A smirk. Blades, guns, and even the more unorthodox devices... well, the speech came from the heart, for once. No lying, no false intentions, no hidden dark meaning. He meant it, fully and completely. It made a man who he was. And Ayden was one of refined and wide taste; art, music, literature, death. He could appreciate all forms, and just about every sub-category and variety.

"Ayden, I-" He felt her warm, short form press snugly against the arches of his back. The assassin let a second hand slip down to hang over the shoulder closest to him, and lay hanging, suspended in air, over her back, but inches from her clothing. It was a signal; a sign. He was there, should he be needed for further protection.

Saeji Aeries continued. "Hehe, do not worry. I choose to stalk my own palace walls for both fun and practice. There are a multitude of secret passageways within these walls, so it is good practice to find quick ways to get through." Ayden inclined his head gently. He could... relate to that. Sympathise with it. Curiosity and practice were two time-consuming vices of his own, and, more specifically, of the assassin. Just what did this so-called monarch indulge in for hobbies or pastimes? Perhaps... activities... not so different to the silver-haired Derocha's business?

Maybe they were more similar than he'd initially thought the man, despite his plain simplicity in choosing a weapon.

"As it stood, I had been informed that you had entered the palace. Do not believe me fooled either, Ayden Derocha. I simply came to see if this 'threat' was really a threat. The weapon is standard for me to carry, but I would not have attacked, I can assure you of that. I have control over his impulses now, so killing isn't as heavy on my mind." Ayden nodded gently. Silence settled over the hall for a while. The established, known assassin mulled over various responses; aggressive? Cheeky? Charismatic? Passive?

Calm.

He rose his voice, to speak again. It was quickly becoming a battle of words, one that he couldn't afford to lose; resources such as time to spin a tale were in high demand, and Ayden wasn't sure if the environment could deliver one of his longer, more confusing spiels... brevity and bravery. The latter false in nature and origin, of course. "I assure you, sire, I bear you no harm this day." No promises. The 'this day' being a key phrase. Never completely isolate the possibility of being called for a hit on anyone, be it your loved one or a total stranger. A rule, an adage he'd lived by as a younger, more reckless killer. He had still traded blood for money all the same... but it was messy. The fires in his heart could never be quenched, and without striking himself into regiment, into form, into some sort of pattern, he would be caught and cut down in no time. He would become another faceless prisoner of the system. And that just wouldn't do.

So he changed. He made everything unique, made everything... signature. Trademark. Alongside that, he left what seemed to be a trail of metaphorical ammonia wherever he went; no-one could ever link a crime scene to him. It was impossible. No prints due to blood; and none of his was ever shed. No DNA on the system to match it to, so hair was ruled out, possibly his greatest weakness, considering it was allowed to flow free in its entirety during operations and executing contracts.

The hair swished back once more as the man swayed and finished his sentence, hand finally moving closer to Jeu-Hee, laying flat against her warm, pulsing back. He could feel her skin tingling with something; an uneasy redness. It was easy to tell simply from the environment. She was usually far more... cheery. "I was simply paying a visit to someone I've owed a check-up to for far too long, now," With a smile cast down to the shorter, black-haired chimera, he smirked mentally to himself, hoping he'd one.

He looked back to the Emperor, and let his free hand fall limp to his side, swinging for a split-second before it clapped against black leather. "Are we free to go, sire?" Ayden shot a quick look down towards his companion, smiling quirkily for a moment before looking back to the monarch. He had plans for Jeu-Hee. First, he had to apologise for never showing up in North, though...

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:53 am

His eyes had noticed her; why wouldn't they? Jeu-Hee was scared while he explained himself, that poor, timid girl. Blinking a couple of times, the man slowly turned his face towards the youthful Ambassador, and leaned in close--she was tightly up against Ayden's back, so it was difficult to look at her eyes; instead, he would simply speak quietly from here. "Jeu-Hee. He's gone, okay? I killed him. I cut that creature loose from my mind and made sure he'd never return. You don't want him, I don't want him. You don't need to be scared." He proffered a kindly smile and leaned back up, looking at Ayden with eyes that showed basal suspicion. He was always worried about people, though this man showed a certain level of threat that he wasn't too miffed about. He could deal with something such as that. Closing those grey eyes, he stepped backwards and relaxed his body; he was fast enough that a fight being imminent would not phase him too much. "I assure you, sire, I bear you no harm this day." He smirked. "This day, huh? I can assure you, no harm will be borne of me." He chuckled; not confident, just reassured by his position and capabilities.

"I was simply paying a visit to someone I've owed a check-up to for far too long, now," Ah, yes. His loved one; Jeu-Hee. She had first mentioned it in passing, speaking of this 'Ayden Derocha' she had met. He hadn't thought too much about it for quite some time, though. Maybe it was because he didn't see this man as important; though that could be wrong on its own. For simplicity's sake, Ace tended to recall as little as possible. People were stored within the back realms of his mind, only to be called up for times such as this. He chuckled softly, and stretched. Ahh, speaking of loved ones... Where in the world was Peizhi? He thought this over for a second before nodding internally. That settled it. He would go find her, and show her how his intellect worked with cooking! Almost raising a hand into the air to do so, he remembered that there were watchful eyes upon him. "We all have loved ones that we wish to check up on, Mr. Derocha. I myself and due for a check with my... companion." He chuckled softly. "Are we free to go, sire?" He smiled brightly at the thought of this. Not because he was getting away from this person, but because of the direction that he could go from here. "You were welcome to leave whenever, my friend. Please, Saeji or Ace. I do not appreciate such formalities." A casual laugh and Saeji turned away, raising a hand into the air. "Good day to you both. I shall see you around, Jeu-Hee. You can report to me for guard duty whenever. Don't worry too much, though. I'll have probably forgotten about it within an hour." A subtle hint that... Saeji really didn't care.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:12 am

She felt him move to show off his arsenal. His very large arsenal that he always had on hand. She remembered when she first discovered it on that very awkward, but funny (and very sad) day. A hand. A hand... drifting over her shoulder... Warm. It was warm. It was.. Ayden's. Yes, Ayden. Her love. He was there, and she knew he was saying he was there for her. She knew that he would help her, protect her if need be. She... She was fine. Yes... fine... She couldn't even really hear the words they were saying, just doing her best to NOT hear the sounds from that dreadful battle from before.

Someone had drawn close to her. It had to be Saeji for there was no one else there with them. She pulled her face out of Ayden's back ever so slightly, peeking one green eye towards her leader as he leaned close to speak to her. "Jeu-Hee. He's gone, okay? I killed him. I cut that creature loose from my mind and made sure he'd never return. You don't want him, I don't want him. You don't need to be scared." He... He was really gone? He... wouldn't cause such things again? Jeu-Hee stared at her lord for another moment as if she just couldn't really quite believe it was true, slowly (oh so slowly) relaxing against her love. The kindness in that smile... He was being truly sincere. Not that she would ever suspect of her emperor of lying to her! Oh nononononono! That was a horrendous idea! Preposterous! Big words!

The echoes of those explosions began to grow quiet in her mind, replaced with the soft voices of the Cretan, and the Xingese. The heat of the flames was replaced with the heat of the body she was so close to, and the fear was fading into calm. Order, had come of chaos. The past slunk back to the past, and the present? The present came roaring back with the fact that Ayden was there in front of her, and that she may very well have to perform guard duty for her blunder. Huzzah! Her small smile returned, and she slid her hand out of her loves, and instead wrapped her arms about his belly, nuzzling his back before poking her head on the other side of his arm that remained at his side. Yes, the calm was returning. But... the tenseness between Saeji and Ayden hadn't lessened at all!! "I assure you, sire, I bear you no harm this day." "This day, huh? I can assure you, no harm will be borne of me." She didn't like it, she didn't like it at all! Why was the air so heavy about them? What hidden agenda's did they have? She couldn't have this right now at all- "I was simply paying a visit to someone I've owed a check-up to for far too long, now," Well... now she HAD to blush, looking away as their gaze met for a second, giving him a gentle squeeze.

What WAS with these two? She had never seen either of them like this before! It was if some kind of spark had ignited upon their meeting, rock clashing against rock in a terrible shrieking sound or something. It was like.... oh what video game was that... Probably any of the fighting ones. Like... They were too similar! In some respects? Ooooo she didn't even know anymore! "We all have loved ones that we wish to check up on, Mr. Derocha. I myself and due for a check with my... companion." Oh yes, Peizhi! Jeu-Hee hadn't seen the lovely girl around recently, much to her own regret. She wanted to get to know her better considering she was to be Saeji's wife if she had heard correctly. "Are we free to go, sire?" A smile from her king, was that a good sign? Were things... lessening between the two of them? WAAAH WHY COULDN'T SHE FOLLOW THEM AND THEIR TENSENESS?! "You were welcome to leave whenever, my friend. Please, Saeji or Ace. I do not appreciate such formalities."

And just like that, the trio was about to become a duo. Ace? She hadn't ever really heard Saeji get called that. When had he received that nickname? Heehee, though it WAS rather fitting considering his brother was called Spade! Waitaminute, together they were the ACE OF SPADES!!! Teeheeheehahahahahahehahha!!! Oh that was too priceless!!! "Good day to you both. I shall see you around, Jeu-Hee. You can report to me for guard duty whenever. Don't worry too much, though. I'll have probably forgotten about it within an hour." She straightened up and saluted him, sliiiding out from behind her love. "Aye aye sir!" Waaaaait a minute... That sounded like... she didn't really have to... That was probably what he had meant considering his amusement at her antics earlier and surprise at how intensely she had tried to apologize. And with that, he left the room, leaving the two of them alone.

Alone... again... Ayden... Turning slowly away from where her emperor had been, she stared up with emerald eyes to the man who was king over death. An assassin. Her assassin. She started to smile, but it faltered half-way through as all that had happened since she last saw him flashed quickly through her mind. "I've missed you." The words were soft, far softer than she might have normally been. How could she go back to exactly as she had been before? There really was only one simple answer, and that was; she couldn't. She bore far more weight than she had before, grown much more from that childish sweet girl known as the ambassador. The silence began to stretch between them, as if it were trying to gather up all of the emotions that had been bottled up between her and possibly him as well. "... so what have you been doing?" She had to ask. Both out of a sense of curiosity and... well.. would she have even found him in North City if she had gone?

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:05 pm

"This day, huh? I can assure you, no harm will be borne of me." "Good day to you both. I shall see you around, Jeu-Hee. You can report to me for guard duty whenever. Don't worry too much, though. I'll have probably forgotten about it within an hour." So confident, yet so odd. His faith in his abilities was evident, and spoke worlds - no, universes - of him. This was a man who had obviously been trained in arts ill-befitting his status; yet he made it so obvious, and all the potential applications for this power... were squandered. Him. Perhaps he had some form of identity disorder that made him so... odd. He'd said something about 'him'... ah, well. It wasn't his business to pry - or dabble in Xingese politics. With news having surfaced from the latest few weeks of the alliance, Ayden tilted his head, recognising that the allegiance was most likely somewhat strained - at best.

Ace slunk off fairly quickly, leaving the pair alone in the Jade Palace's grand foyer. Ayden took a few moments to let his mind process the pure, sheer majesty and beauty of the place, looking through, eyes darting from elaborate tapestries to great paintings to adorned scrolls to decor he had thought impossible for the hands or minds of man to create or even devise. His love, however, snapped his back to reality in a single, solitary moment: "Aye aye sir!" She shouted after the monarch, and the silver-haired assassin let his cerulean eyes close as he began to chuckle, bobbing his head gently. So obedient. Waiting on his beck and call from an order with details so... unorthodox. So vague.

She noticed her attention turn to him; silence, save for the echoes of his giggles, was the only thing present, save for them, in the entranceways of the palace. It was beautiful; silently, the man wondered what it looked like as you delved into the further tunnels, rooms, catacombs, and even sanctums of the majestic, sprawling, iconic castle complex... surely, the Xingese had outdone the Amestrians and possibly even themselves, here. This entire construct was beautiful. Possibly above even that...

Pressed against his body, she smelt of a faint cherry blossom musk intermingled with that odd, unique, absolutely individual - though faint - musk he recalled from the restaurant and hotel room. He pressed against her, savouring the faint smell tickling his nostrils for just a while longer, before letting a low, quiet, almost subsonic sigh escape his lips. He was calm, finally. Satiated. Truly and totally at ease. The phrase 'off guard' didn't even cross his mind; the pair were both capable and aware, but just... off-duty. Relaxing.

She had grown. Taller in physicality as well as larger in aura; he felt an unspoken agreement of this sitting between them, for sombre reasons as well as simple development. Despite the age gap, he smiled to himself faintly and brought her into a close embrace, holding her against his chest and dipping his head, letting stray locks of silvery, iridescent hair brush against her bare nape. He let his hands drape down to rest gently against her back, a few inches above her backside. At ease. Totally and completely. He let out another sigh; shorter, and far more rapid in release, but it was just him emptying his lungs, slowing his breathing, allowing the tension to dissipate through almost meditatory, ridiculously simple means.

"I've missed you." Soft. Softer than he remembered. They'd spent so little time together and it felt like they knew each other better than a pair of childhood friends at the same age, developed the same. Enveloped in his embrace, he smiled down at her once more, just letting warm breath escape gently, quietly. They were inaudible; his heart pumped, not pounded. Blood didn't rush; it tingled, tickled through to every inch of bare, pale skin in his body, his face flushing a warm red, his body heating to solar-flare like temperatures... but adrenaline found no place in this moment. He was calm. Intertwined together in a perfect image of simplicity and... just... calm.

He switched to Xingese, for simple ease on her part. How did they know each other so well? She had seen the entirety of his arsenal, along with another addition, as well as his tattoos; through til the early hours of the morning, they'd laid there, picking apart the transmutation circles as Ayden danced subtly around words and terms, doing his best to explain the process without the grotesque details. And she'd revealed everything to him, too... the fox form... would still take some getting used to. He'd only held her like that for mere moments at most. But he could... he could tailor himself to appreciate it. He could develop to understand the mechanics behind the process. Probably complicated genetics. She was special in every way possible; far more than he had ever conceived possible. Her body was the stuff of dreams in a scientific light - a successful human-beast hybrid. She, entirely, was the stuff of dreams from Ayden's point of view. "I did, too..." So simple, yet it meant so much. He broke the embrace, and cerulean met emerald in a locked gaze.

"... so what have you been doing?" Bottled emotions ready to explode. He looked her, scanning her, surveying her, his body cooling and reactions dulling. What had he been doing? Well, that was a whole other kettle of fish. But... for now, both for safety and the purpose of moving the conversation elsewhere, he'd keep it short, and ambiguous. Being branded an assassin, especially with the Emperor so suspicious of him, inside these jade walls... would do him no good, it seemed. Bring him nothing but hurt in his most basic, primal, and appreciative of forms. He'd shed his armour; and if they exploited it to find a chink, that would ruin him and crush any chance of a legacy.

"Oh, you know." He smirked upwards, focusing on a grand, golden chandelier, adorned with huge, grand bulbs, rigid metal arms, and similarly-designed tassles, with decorations in the shape of various animals. Seahorses, bears, even dragons... and foxes. Foxes, foxes, foxes. Ayden smiled once more; deciding not to mention it, against his more childish interests - he knew she'd appreciate it, but he didn't want to open an alley of conversation like that in such an open space - he looked down to her, and his face brightened up in the most legitimate smile he'd flashed in weeks. True-hearted and warm, he shook his head from side to side, gently, making minor, nervous movements with pale, slender arms, hands, wrists, and fingers. "This and that," He said, as discreetly as possible. He hoped she'd catch on.

How good it was to be here again, just near her... it felt... it felt indescribable. To be in touch with a side he wasn't sure he'd be able to see again. When he was told of the postings in Xing for the operations a few weeks back, he'd desperately wanted to dive in, but Spade had assigned him elsewhere. And when things had gone totally to hell, and the Xingese army turned chaotic, working against some twisted form of orders from the very man he'd just met... he just wanted to be there to ensure her protection. Loyalties would get skewed, but camaraderie... even camaraderie couldn't transcend what they'd forged over just hours, at most, of being together. "Is there anywhere we can go to continue this?" He started making rolling movements with his hands; the restaurant, even in daytime, would be good, or if she had a room, perhaps...

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:32 pm

A sigh... a simple gesture that spoke volumes in the silence that enveloped the odd pair as they stood their in that grand hall of the Xingese palace. Creatures who knew the smell and feel of blood, who didn't mind what needed to be done, and who couldn't be more different with their demeanor and appearance. To feel his form towering over her again... It was like when they first met in that restauarant, and she now couldn't help but chuckle at the thoughts that had been running through her head then. What a pair of "assassins" they were now hm? Or at least, she was hardly an assassin anymore (events in Drachma not withstanding). No, that had been a war. Not an operation. They were two entirely different situations.

What had he been doing? Had he been off on jobs? Would he have been there if she had gone to North City? She hadn't seen him during the fight, though that meant little considering how spread out everyone had been in that hell of blood and screams. It still sent shivers down her spine no matter what her lord told her, or what she knew now. That was a place that she sincerely hoped she never had to be again for she didn't think she could take another round. Or if she did have to be in such a setting again, that she were not placed in such a position of control. She wasn't trained to lead people! She wasn't trained to deal with the weight of responsibility, nor the strain that it entailed and it terrified her. Yes, that was different than being responsible for a countries standing with another. Don't ask her how it was different, but it was. Business deals were NOT the same at all! Had he always felt this warm?

Her eyes searched his face, that handsome face that could catch someones attention from across a crowded room. That smile... Ancestors, it sent rumbles through her belly making it warm and like caramel. No... that lingering fear was completely gone as the two merely stared at each other, and they were content. This was their nirvana, their garden of eden. Now she could understand all those tales that children were told, all those plays that were written... This was the magic they sought to capture, these feelings and sensations that always lacked the proper words to truly describe them. Had her parents been like this? Were they still like this? They must be since they were still so happy together! "I did, too..."

It was enough to make her smile with a soft trill of a giggle, having to bite her lower lip against everything that wanted to spill forth. The pain of that separation, how it had taken her breath away.. and now? The pieces were restored, what was shattered was now whole once more. Was this the what people meant when they spoke of 'soul mates'? "Oh, you know." His eyes turned upwards, but hers remained upon those features she had missed so. How could she look away when she had finally found him again? She couldn't. Simple as that. So she waited patiently for him to answer, the moments seeming to move too slow and too fast all at once. But there it was again! That smile! Kyaaaa it just made her melt so! Oh why did her cheeks have to flush? Whywhywhywhy?! "This and that," his hair was swishing as he moved with his gestures. She wanted to touch iiiit..... But that was not the primary thing here, the way he had answered spoke more to her than what it seemed to, tilting her head slightly as she stared up to him. So he had done much, and not necessarily things he wanted to talk about. At least here? So... maybe it WAS work and stuff... After all, he would tell her anything right? They could do that right? Oh hell, she'd already showed him her dearest secret which was her fox form so of course they could! Whatever it was, it must be grave indeed.

"Is there anywhere we can go to continue this?" Oh! Jeu-Hee nodded as her hands slid down into his, already taking steps towards the door before her lips even moved to speak. "Of course. Do you mind going to my home? I mean, my parents are there, but I doubt they'd really mind or be any kind of threat. They had to deal with what I'd done already!" She started to chuckle, but faltered as she realized that she hadn't actually told him anything about her becoming a fox or anything. "Remind me to tell you about that sometime. Or would you rather we get food?" Oh she was just being silly now, so she led them onwards out of those big doors, ignoring the stares of the guards after them. You didn't have to be human to sense the surprise that radiated from them. You'd think they'd know some discretion!

In any case, her hand gave his a soft squeeze as they wandered through the streets of the capital, passing by the well-to-do houses and extremely fancy restaurants that she avoided like the plague. There was fancy, and then there was just over the top. "...Have you heard of what happened in the war?" She didn't know why the question floated up so suddenly, but there it was. It had popped and was there in the air, she couldn't take it back. Glancing back to them, they began to slow as they arrived at her home, part of her wanting to squirm at its appearance. It was a house befitting an Ambassador, but it certainly wasn't a mansion thank goodness. The garden out front was on the small side compared to others in the neighborhood, the decorations tasteful and sparse. The two walked up to the door, her keys jingling as she pulled them free to unlock the door.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:15 pm

"Of course. Do you mind going to my home? I mean, my parents are there, but I doubt they'd really mind or be any kind of threat. They had to deal with what I'd done already!" Ayden shrugged, nodding his head. He seemed amiable enough from an outsider perspective; most would know not of the man's ulterior motives when it came to the larger picture - he was simply enjoying himself with the woman who outlined his one true weakness totally and completely; loneliness. She weakened his armour tremendously by being even near, but at the same time, strengthened the interlinking chains and ruts tenfold. With someone near who cared for him, he was weak yet strong. He was a paradox by any name, in more ways than simply this one.

"Sounds good to me," He said, the pair quickly exiting the palace halls and moving out into the looming dusk of the Xingese night. Stars were readying themselves for performance, twinkling far off in the sky; and the party piece, the protagonist himself, a waxing crescent moon sitting atop a dimming black bed of night. He took a moment to stop and stare, simply watch the static yet furious movement and phases of the night's advancing, dead in his tracks, feet glued to the floor for a moment, before Jeu-Hee's voice snapped him back into reality. "Remind me to tell you about that sometime. Or would you rather we get food?"

He chuckled, having not initially noticed the ambiguous discussion point laid further within it all, embedded and entrenched. It was so quiet... the bustling city life of Amestris, North, South, East, West, Central... he'd been to all five of them in the last week alone, and was scheduled to return to at least three relatively soon. "I'm fine with simply staying in for the night, I've already eaten," Ayden explained. She was so... intriguing. He just stopped and stared at a moment; the way that black hair simply fell down her back, those big emerald eyes of hers, that bubbly attitude that made the grotesque, twisted side of him want to burn at the stake and die... and what was left? A husk. An undeveloped child who had never experienced true emotion. He was newborn; fresh within the fires of creation, still finding his path, bloody and weeping, desperately looking for anyone, anything, for protection. That's why he'd created so many separate personae - that's why he enjoyed the thrill of lying, oh-so-much.

And yet every word from his mouth towards her had been a truth. How? How did she bypass the most complex and elaborate of emotional firewalls and defenses as if it were child's play? He simply allowed himself to become engulfed in the menial rhythm of walking, until his almost stupidly dreamy gaze was met with hers, and she spoke, thinking nothing on it: "...Have you heard of what happened in the war?"

Ayden yet his head bow sombrely, nodding it twice. He'd been on leave at the time, thankfully, but had heard of the veritable shitstorm that a presumed simple operation had turned into. Upon his various trailing around other military bases, despite technically on vacation, he had picked up on a few things; newspapers, idle chat, snippets of radio and television... "Yeah." Quiet, soft; he felt almost... guilty. Beneath it all... she had pierced that angry, hateful, destructive, horrific, twisted, dark, macabre, burning armour of yours with her gentle hands and made him feel... guilty!? For a moment, a red curtain began to flash intermittently into his view, but the man repressed it simply by... looking at her. He knew it was dangerous for the pair of them to be close - his proximity usually brought trouble - but... he... he... he just... he couldn't explain it. This web of emotions usually so cleanly organised had caught one more fly in its trap - and she had rolled around submissively, and tangled the whole thing to shit. He felt regret, remorse... it was almost as if he was comparable to those despicable humans outside, those classified in the common mass, the rabble. The lower echelons of the media-blinded neophytes, controlled in every aspect of their life.

Something flushed within him, and he set his hands down on her shoulders, walking up behind her, making audible effort to walk with weight in his steps. It felt unnatural, compared to what he was used to; stealth, silence, et cetera... either way... he just felt like... it was stupid... but... "I've added a few more tricks to my arsenal since you've last seen me," He smiled to himself, letting his hands gently trail down her arms, quickly grasping her palms tight and interlocking fingers. Oh, flirtation. He hadn't done this in... God knows how long.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:30 am


Pace didn't matter. The slight chill in the air was just some background sensation to be forgotten and passed over. The conversations of others that floated in were mumbles, echoes of sounds that all seemed somehow muffled and lesser than what was immediately at hand. What was immediately at hand, was Ayden. It was good to know that he didn't mind possibly meeting her parents and all that jazz that went along with it, any fears or worries that followed afterwards dispelled and gone. He would be fine with them, and they would be fine with him. They already knew of his existence and the extreme importance that he meant to her, so they wouldn't end up behaving poorly somehow. Parents could be tricky things, you had to watch them at times!

As they took their time through the city streets, her thoughts may have been going a mile a minute but her heart was slow, beating at an easy pace. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump... In time with each echo of his name that whispered in her mind as she felt her hand within his. Ay-den. Ay-den. Ay-den... There was nothing that could shatter the other-worldliness that had come over the two of them, the utter ease in which they found each other at this moment in this place. The heavens sparkled above as sequins upon a great midnight blue cloth, the moon a bright gem whose glow enveloped them so gently. Now the young ambassador could really sense all of the life that was around them, like her senses had become heightened now that she was complete once more. The children giggling, the lanterns dangling above the awnings of stores, even the street lamps that were coming to life about them, were adding to the warmth that was growing in her belly. It was growing, spreading throughout her entire body as they talked with each other right up till her front door.

Not even the serious air that came over them as she brought up the war could bring her down right now, the lock clicking before the nob slowly turned, her eyes resting upon her love to see his answer. What did he know? He obviously knew enough considering how he had nodded to her, but just how much was it? "Yeah." Simple. One word, but it was enough. And just like that, her mind moved onward, leaving that dead horse to lie in the dirt. There was no sense in beating it anymore than it had already, no sense in reliving it one more time. Why should she? He hadn't been there, and this was not then. This was now. Her emerald eyes studied him as they stared at each other, remembering each small detail she had forgotten over those past few months. Heehee, she was even remembering the lingering sense of death that followed him around, the shadows that had initially caught her attention (and concern) in that restaurant when they first met. It seemed somehow... greater now. Like he had wings of that darkness growing more and more out of his back, growing until it consumed him whole. Would she be lost within it as well? Did she care if she ended up with such a fate? And the answer was: no. She didn't care. If he strode into Hell, she would try to follow him as best as she could. But... what if he went where she couldn't follow? She turned the knob to the door and pushed it open, admitting them into her home.

That sent a cold tremor down her spine as they stepped inside, suddenly feeling the weight of his hands as he placed them on her shoulders, snapping back into reality while the door closed behind them. Oh but that hold on reality shifted as his fingers slid so lightly down her arms, shivering ever so slightly at the sensations that it evoked within her soul. That touch.... "I've added a few more tricks to my arsenal since you've last seen me," Their fingers woven together, calloused and gentle as the goosebumps almost felt as if they raised further to have him like this once more. Giggling softly, she tilted her head back to look up to him with a sly sort of smile, "Is that so? Do tell~" A mischievous gleam flickered across her eyes as she lead him inside a little more, the entry way a bit dark seeing as the lights were off. Let them stay off. Some part of her was worried about her parents coming around at the sound of her return only to find her like this with him, but.... that voice was so very tiny in the back of her mind right now.

[[OOC: Meh post is meh! I'm sorry KoH. ><;; I tried]]

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:47 pm

All the lights in the sky were stars. The door clicked gently shut behind them; illuminated only by a square-cut ray of light piercing through the door's small grid window, the pair of them stood there for just a few moments, interlocking their bodies together and just enjoying the warmth, the feeling... everything.

All the lights in the sky were stars; not balls of hydrogen, not deadly black holes, not burning nebulae, and not insignificant aeroplanes zooming, trailing overhead; no, they were stars. Perfect, pure; everything was there for them. The impurities of life, when he was with her? They were ignored. They didn't matter. Killing had quickly become the last thing on his mind; as had anything, really, other than her. He just... he just didn't care. When people spoke of the big picture, Ayden suddenly knew what they meant; this was the big picture. And no matter what they meant - ecological, economical, environmental, political, militant - it was totally disregarded and tossed aside. All the lights in the sky were stars - at least for all Ayden cared.

"Is that so? Do tell~" Gently tugging on a loose grip, fingers malleable and attached to a willing, entranced body, she drew him in further, through the house, until, suddenly, he stopped; his body became rigid and the force rippled through him and her, gentle yet obvious. A second leather-clad hand came down to join hers, grasping it, and pulling her in closer; a combination of slight force and just tugging her, drawing her into it, Ayden leant down and moved in for another kiss. Jeu-Hee. It was just... he couldn't... totally inexplicable. There wasn't a reason why. And there didn't need to be.

Pale lips broke quietly from darker, fuller ones; azure orbs in full view beneath thinned locks of silver hair, he locked his eyes with hers, large, dilated pupils fixated upon those perfect emerald irises. No matter what she did, she did it right. He didn't know how. Every mistake she made meant nothing to him; imperfections were by their own right perfections. Suddenly, that feel of the beast deeper inside had just flickered and died, vanished; the fire was for now naught but a smouldering wreck just fuelling passion and love. This was all he cared about and had the capacity to care about.

He backed slowly into the kitchen, pulling her with him. Tap, tap, tap, tap... footsteps and their regularity. He crossed the threshold, and broke his grasp; almost immediately, he shrugged off overcoat and jacket alike, bare, pale arms visible protruding from holes cut in black fabric, a rigid, tight, thin combat vest strapped over his body. Gunbelts were still clearly visible, and the extent of his arsenal was on show; Ayden felt naked, embarrassed, without his coat to conceal everything. He flushed quickly and pulled off the gloves, too, setting them in a pile on a chair with the other clothes.

He stepped forwards and grasped her once more, hands immediately moving to the back of her head and pulling her in for another kiss; to him, her allure knew no boundaries. To him, infidelity seemed a mile away, and any sort of pain, light years. To him... to him, this moment couldn't possibly go wrong. Bare fingers, finally free of their aching, were now allowed to touch the air for but moments before they began to run through her black hair, oh so gently... one snaked down behind her and found its grasp on her lower back, and he continued the little, slow, passionate chain of brushes, embraces, kisses... for a good couple of minutes, before, finally, he pulled a chair out into plain view and let himself slump back upon it, almost panting from the excitement of it all.

He looked up at her and just smiled. He couldn't muster anything else. Once more, rectangular rays of moonlight burst in through the kitchen windows; he raised his hands to snake through that silver hair, adjusting it, messing it up, letting it fluff beneath his touch. He didn't care about being messy. Composure had been abandoned to leave room for further passion.

He calmed his breathing, and remembered what she'd said about her parents, shooting a look to the stairs quickly, over her shoulder, before locking eyes with her once more. Xingese and Amestrian were too common... "I love you," Shit. Too fractured. That was all he could conjure up from the depths of analysis and snippets of voices he'd simply absorbed from his time there; interpretation would work... but not speech. That was too difficult; but, alas, it was fitting. Statements of love in the language of romance. Cretan would be a common ground between them from now on - he knew she was a polygot from her cycling through languages the last time they'd met; well, hoped, anyway.

"I... just..." He couldn't... he didn't know what to... what did he... shit. Speechless. The one time he knew he couldn't and would be at the same time. But did he really need words to convey these feelings, the strongest he'd had since he was but a child? Did this take up all of that space that the lack of family bonds had left him? Did it simply expand like a sponge and fill up all of that emptiness?

A sigh at the end of it all. He needed to at least make use of some time for talking; his mouth was meant primarily for that, although it didn't seem like it at the moment. "How have you been?"

((It's good! Stop putting yourself down.))

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:48 am

Drawn. Enveloped. Chilled and warmed at the same time. The softest of touches, a simple kiss. Her breath left her as if she had completely forgotten that little gesture that created such a spectrum of emotions within her soul. Not just her body, her very soul. A shiver ran down her spine as he small body moved closer to him as though the invisible red string that bonded them together pulled her forth. It wrapped around them to create a single moment that lasted far longer than it seemed to, her eyes opening slowly as their lips parted. Upwards and upwards to his eyes, those beautiful eyes amidst that shimmering hair and handsome face that she adored. This was her world. This, right here between the two of them. The feelings that had lingered in that hotel room way back when were returning, when she had awoken to the events that would ensue. It made her smile at the awkward situation back then....

But they were moving. And she didn't resist in the least bit. She was hypnotized by him, her emerald gaze never leaving his as they moved into the kitchen beyond them. Thud. The sound was soft, but gone was the familiar outer jacket he always had, sliding her feet out of her shoes and pushing them away with a foot. The ground was cold against the bottom of her feet despite the white socks upon them, taking a small step forward as her hand reached upwards to run down one of his powerful arms. Sinews taught and always ready to strike, who knew how many deaths they had created? The thought was cast away as she saw his pale cheeks flush with color, a giggle bubbling out of her. Why blush? What was the cause of it? The fingers of her left hand were still trailing down his arm even as he removed his gloves, her gaze following his motions with the patience of Buddha. All that mattered to her was that her world was restored. What was torn asunder was once more whole. Was once more... fully at peace.

Grasped. Dawn and twilight meeting. Hands moving, slipping in between strands of hair. Another kiss, her hands sliding up his arms to wrap her own about his neck. So what if the height difference made things a little awkward? She honestly couldn't think about that right now as they lips locked again. Again and again and again... Shifting hands like shifting sands ever moving to close tighter around bodies. Her back was bending, molding as his touch sent more shivers down her spine, more sparks through her skin. One more hit, one more breath, just one more..... Jeu-Hee felt those wounds created by the war closing up for good with each next touch, creating a cascade of pearls of light within her. The bubbly spring buried within her chest was restored, spilling it forth as they parted from each other slowly. How... how long had it been? What was this time people spoke of? She had no understanding as he moved back to sit in a chair.

The young ambassador remained standing before him, her hands falling away from him as she exhaled a small, shuddering breath. Was it just her, or was it hot in that kitchen? Heehee, how cliche that sounded! But it was true! She felt so excessively warm right now! So she didn't know why she giggled as the quiet filled the space between them, the moonlight soft as it cast its glow upon them. It only grew as he seemed to remember before her that they weren't the only ones in the house, turning her head slightly to look towards the stairs as well, her ears pricking for any sound above them. Huh. Maybe her parents had gone out? Shrugging lightly, her focus returned to her man (ooo it made her giggle and squee to say that!), the fresh language reaching her ears. It was one she actually didn't know just yet! But she knew it had to be a Rouenian dialect, her cheeks flushing as she guessed at the meaning. So she leaned forward and nuzzled her nose against his, their long tresses mixing as they swayed to the motion of those they belonged to. "I love you too." Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Squee-gasm! SUCH A SQUEEGASM! aosefjawleifoaj weoifjaowe ifjwaeo ifjaweoij f teeheeheeheeheehehehehehehehahahahahehhaehaehahehehehaehhae!!!! "I... just..." Right! Words. They spoke them. And she really needed to focus lest she start literally bouncing around the room. Because, you know, that isn't obvious or anything to anyone else who might possibly be at home...

So her laughter was how all that bubbliness escaped, giving him another eskimo kiss before she straightened up. "How have you been?" Uh- The world was put on pause for two seconds as she seemed to freeze up, staring blankly into space at the rather simple question that had been asked. "I-I..." Uh..uh..uh.. how did the answer that?! She... She really had no idea. "I-I've b..been...." Honesty was the best way to go right? Her head lowered as well as her gaze, staring at the ground as her hair fell in front of her shoulders. "To be honest... ever since the war I've been... bad. Well, I mean.. Xiao helped cheer me up a bit a couple of days ago, but well um.. yeah... " The words were halting, hesitant to meet his gaze until she forced herself to, biting her lower lip. "But what about you?" Yes, get the subject off of her. She probably should talk about it with him, but she was so scared to! Like she'd end up going back there even though he healed her up so easily.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Intent. True, ferocious, almost fiery, and absolutely and totally concentrated. Intent. That was all he listened with. Nothing more, and nothing less. Staring deep into those vibrant, colourful, flushed emerald pools, ears harmonised perfectly to the frequency of her voice. Was this love? The ability to listen for hours on end to someone who could never drone on no matter how boring the topic?

With most people, Ayden analysed. He just sat, passive, static and waited for his moment to speak. His turn. Human beings were, by their very nature, greedy. But with Jeu-Hee, with this one, solitary person... it was all difference. There was no analysis, no manipulation, no preparation for something terrible, unthinkable, ghastly, even... it was just... he just... opened himself up and soaked up everything she said like a sponge. Xiao. A co-worker. A friend. She was upset. He could tell. He'd been able to tell; this bubbly attitude of hers was typical, but, alas, there was something faulty beneath it. Something she was trying to shrug off.

So, of course, he had to make her happier.

"But what about you?" And then came the question. Shaking his head with a light, quiet chuckle, flashing a wayward glance to the stairs and remembering her parents, his hands went to his back. A moment, a scrunched look of determination, then, finally, click. The bandolier came loose - one of many - and he withdrew the black fabric strip, setting it carefully down on the table beside him.

Next came the revolvers, and, mid-way through, an answer. For Ayden, stripping himself of his equipment next to someone was not only a sign of respect, but a calming, soothing action. Like... meditation. It was ironic, really. Most people found peace and harmony in a zen garden, or with a pool. Too clichéd for the assassin; no, he had to find his calm in violence. He found his peace in guns. If he had time, he'd disassemble and clean each and every one to his arsenal - hell, he knew the ins and outs of each like he did the cracks and furrows on his very own hands, soft and yet tattooed and scarred as they were. "With most people, I'd just dismiss them, turn them away, I'd say 'don't ask',"

He continued, and then paused. "But..." But what? 'But you're different?' She was, and she knew. Sitting there, cerulean gaze locked with emerald. Hell, if she didn't know by now, she was beyond stupid. He'd made it far more obvious than he should have ever had to. "But you deserve an answer." There we go. Far more respectful. The revolvers were on the table in an instant; quickly followed by the machine pistols, and then the assassin sought a reprieve from his disarming himself. He settled down, and clasped his hands together, leaning, inching ever forwards.

What would an eternity of this cost him? He'd heard of the tolls that those who crossed into God's territory had to pay. He'd gladly pay tribute just to relive this moment over and over forever. In others' eyes, she could've been flawed to all hell, incompetent, imperfect, but to him... in his jaded, opinionated view, Ayden had finally found perfection. That which he sought to be. She represented everything he wanted to be and everything he couldn't. The sun to his moon, the good to his evil, that which finally brought out that sliver of redemption in his heart. Deep down, he knew he had it. And, here, he could open up to her... beneath those starlit black skies, he could just be free, let the cage doors swing open and just ask for her to be gentle. He was an untethered beast, and handling volatile forces like those that dwelled inside the deepest, fieriest pits of his soul hadn't gone well before... but, perhaps... just perhaps... maybe she could mold it into something better.

"I've been... complicated. I got promoted. I got a transfer, up to Briggs," He explained, before sighing. "I'm a Major, now," He flashed a smile; weak, finally showing... truth. He'd been cracked. She'd eased him out of that tough exterior, she'd slalomed around the spines of his multi-faceted skin and she'd finally broken through... this was the centre. This was the truth. He was fragile. With anyone else, he was alone. But what was she, to him? Did she fill up all the cracks, pave over them... and then some? That bubbly attitude... it seemed to be the healing light which could wash over him, and just redeem him utterly in completely. He'd left himself to some form of supreme being, and here he'd been granted a boon he'd thought otherwise off-limits: redemption.

Furrows streaked through Ayden's forehead. "...and... a few days ago, I saw someone... important to me," He looked up to her, and raised a bare hand, fingertips tattooed - no, two fingers. Two fingers pressed against each other, the three other digits curled inwards, tilted to the side and raised gently up to her chin. She was upset, still. That was... it almost made him angry. This ordeal with the war... it was... stupid. Suddenly, he felt hatred, rage, burning and swelling faster than ever before within him. An urge to eradicate; not humans, not life, but a concept, an ideal; war. It had upset her, and as a guardian... he had to tend to that. Didn't he?

His face that had scrunched, wrinkled for but a moment returned to that plain, pale pallor; underneath the moonlit sky it looked almost full, awash with white light. The side of that index finger pushed her head up just maybe a few degrees, tilting it upwards; but that was enough to calm him. Skin on skin, flesh on flesh, his arm and wrist moving for a single purpose now. There was no murder, no blood involved; the synchronicity and fluidity of muscles and sinews straining, contracting, tensing, and releasing as he shot commands to his brain and his body reacted, all present and executing for a single solitary reason. Love. He loved her.

"It was... interesting," He withdrew his fingers, speaking pensively. Goddammit. Why couldn't he speak properly? With anyone else, he was eloquent, elegant, his words flowed like blood from any body left in his wake. But, now? He was an illiterate moron. His composure and sentence composition had melted down into useless liquid just from those perfect green eyes focusing on him. "But it doesn't matter. I just... I just haven't seen him in a long time, is all,"

And, speaking of long times... well, months was long enough, it seemed. August to January... definitely, yeah. She'd deserved that visit in North City. He felt like a fool for not indulging her. This... this could've happened far more sooner. His fist clenched and released in an instant, frustration and absolute calm slamming into Ayden's mind like a force colliding with the power of a train and relenting a moment later. This sudden yanking from side to side... it was... was this love? Giving up the resistance and just throwing yourself completely into a reflex, a thought, a whim... all for that one other person? "I'm... I'm sorry." That... that should suffice.

And, for perhaps the first time in months, years, possibly even decades... Ayden meant it. Eyes stinging as he turned his head, silver locks flailing as he finally unbuckled the last of the straps and set them down, perfectly ordered and organised in straight lines and equidistant from each other on the kitchen table, regimental in every definition of the word. Dammit, he loved her. He told himself that shying away from the fact wouldn't help this frustration, this idiocy, the chink in his armour any more. If he wanted to pain to heal over... why didn't he just give in?

It was... so simple. Why was he resisting? Why couldn't he stop himself from resisting? All his life, he'd always taken the high road, or the hard route. He'd always thrown himself at the trials and tribulations, and then, suddenly, just adapted. He'd become conditioned to solving things in the most unorthodox of methods, straining himself to within an inch of his mental and physical capacity. So much so that he'd just forgotten how to truly let go.

Standing up, finally, arching his back, and stretching, pushing his chest forwards, he let a sigh escape. A sigh that turned to a chuckle. He looked to the stairs, and then back down to her, smiling. The answer was simple. He just had to let down his defenses. That much he'd realised. If he couldn't come to terms with the fact that he could be safe with her, then he'd never be able to truly let go, and, thus, truly show her that she loved him. The numerous amounts of weapons on the table could frighten her parents in the morning... but... ah, hell. He'd just... he'd just be out of there quickly. He could set an alarm, or something. Leaving early, again... well, it was a shame, but such was the life of a wandering businessman. Briggs called. Amestris called. The world called, for it was his oyster. Death called, for Ayden was his number one employee.

Decisions, rational or otherwise, could wait. Violence and effort was the last thing on his mind, now. It was... night. It was time to relax. Perhaps he would just lay in bed with her, in the morning. Maybe talk to her parents, apologise for the amount of live weaponry that he'd left on their kitchen table. Ayden was sure he could justify that with the 'independent arms salesman' angle. Or maybe... maybe he'd just come clean with them, too. Jeu-Hee deserved it, and so did any member of the Han clan, in his view.

Ah, well. Either way, he was fretting over things which hadn't yet happened. No point dwelling on the past - and even less on the future. "Well," His long, slender hand grasped hers, and tugged her closer; he pulled her frame towards him, and bucked his head down, picking up a second hand to lay it behind her head, gently supporting her with a pillar of safety behind those two jet-black spiral plaits. At the last moment, he shunted his head forwards to make up for the last few inches of distance between them, and his lips pressed against hers; ah, that was better. Talking was too tiring. Not enough kissing.

It seemed like eternity again before they broke, but it still wasn't long enough. Another hurried glance to the staircase; he stood to full form, and with one hand, tugged at the taut fabric vest, shaped kevlar plates beneath the top's torso and stomach cavities the only thing protecting him from the numerous dangers of the battlefield - not that he needed it, really. But, alas, there was never too much precaution to take when you had someone like Jeu-Hee waiting for you after a long day of work, eh?

"...shall we go to bed, then?"

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:37 am

She was afraid. She was so afraid of that place with its smoke, its screams, the bullets that had wracked the air. And that voice. That singular voice that had struck her so coldly to the spot that lives had been lost on account of her. Her fault. Her fear. She didn't notice it, but she had begun to shiver even as she had tried to change the subject away from the past few months of her life since she had seen him last. Those nightmares that had plagued her so were rising back up to play, and her eyes stared at the ground as if it would offer more comfort than the man she had missed so strongly for so long. The man that she had prayed for to appear and hold her during that darkness. The shadows were crawling up her legs, up her spine, clouding her bright emerald gaze even as she forced it to turn to her love. His shimmering silvery hair, the eyes that pulled her in so easily with a simple glance.. Her Ayden.

He was chuckling, glancing towards the stairs again in concern of her parents. She really had no idea where they could be, they had to have heard them already come inside the house. Focus Jeu-Hee. She had to focus! She was getting drawn back even as she tried to plant herself so firmly in the present, the click of the vestments that kept him drawing her gaze. More layers descending from the powerful frame before her, watching with an unfocused gaze as movement led to answers, his words sounding almost distant to her. "With most people, I'd just dismiss them, turn them away, I'd say 'don't ask'," But she wasn't most people, she knew that. Revolvers. Lethal, but not the best due to reloading speed. Also good for melee attacks if need be. "But..." Emerald eyes rose upwards to the features she adored, the clouds clearing for a brief moment as he continued. "But you deserve an answer." She did indeed. She had waited so long for him, waited without any word, any knowledge of him in those long months. She had waited so patiently, with only work and the friends here to distract her. More weapons. Pistols, good for short range. Can be silenced. Simple weapon.

"I've been... complicated. I got promoted. I got a transfer, up to Briggs," Briggs? Promoted? She blinked, those shadows getting cast away as she focused with all of her might upon the man before her. The strange assassin she had met and been wary of in that restaurant. The one who didn't shy from her chimeran form. "I'm a Major, now," "A Major..." The words were a whisper, the first she had spoken in those long moments, the sound almost strange to her ears. He was in the Amestrian military now.... But he seemed troubled, and immediately a spark went through her. Why was he troubled? Who did she need to punt! For she would punt them to the moon for making him unhappy! "...and... a few days ago, I saw someone... important to me," Important? Important who? Good or bad? Her mind was a whirl with questions, her body tensing as if for action, why was violence her first resort? It shouldn't be, it had never been before! That was why she was the ambassador-- A touch. Fingertips against skin. Warm, yet cool. What were the words from moments before...? It was as if she had turned to stone for that brief second that their flesh made contact, blinking once more as her gaze refocused on him. Ayden, her Ayden...

Her head moved without any resistance, and... it brought such an unexpected reaction. She felt moisture pricking at her eyes, a swelling in her throat that wanted to choke off any words she could possibly say. Such a powerful effect he had on her and she was lost to understanding the cause except for the simple four letter word that so many claimed as truth. Love. Her lips pressed together as if to fight down the tide that had risen within her, a single tear rolling down her cheek. Why? Ancestors if she knew. Maybe it was all those emotions she had held in earlier due to a stupid fear. Why wouldn't he calm her? Why wouldn't he accept her despite the mistakes she'd made? Why was she being so dumb?! "It was... interesting," Words... She exhaled a shuddering breath as her chin lowered those few centimeters it had risen due to his touch, emerald eyes lowering back towards the ground. "But it doesn't matter. I just... I just haven't seen him in a long time, is all," The young ambassador managed a small nod of understanding, too awash of millions of things to think of a proper response. The stone was still lodged firmly in her throat.

She was so useless with him. She was so utterly dependent upon him, the well-springs of strength she normally relied on were just.. gone. She couldn't fake it. She couldn't fake being happy for him right now. Tear down that veil of a mask for it was just that; a mask. It wasn't real. It wasn't her. She was happy, she was sad, she was afraid, she was completely lost, she was her. Another tear fell, and another. Those shimmering drops slowly rolled down her pale cheeks as she steeled herself against all that raged within her to look at him. She hadn't been able to look at him, be with him for so long and she couldn't look at him? What was wrong with her?! Then those words. Those two words... "I'm... I'm sorry."

All control she might have had was gone and with a shuddering half-chuckle, she shook her head as her eyes closed. More tears fell unbidden and unwanted as she waited till he had stopped moving for her hand to slide into his, a smile finally cracking her solemn features. "It's alright." And it was. They had their lives that they had to follow, that was the natural course of the world. She knew that better than anyone. "We'll just have to make sure there are more visits now, hm?" The stone had finally moved, moved enough for her to find her words, the strength of her voice. It was just that simple. Saeji would understand if she took more trips to North City, wouldn't he? He had Peizhi as an example, right?

But he was moving again, standing so his full height was realized. It didn't bother her to be so tiny against him, her hands sliding away from his to wipe away those tears that she hated so much right now. She wanted them to go away. And so she swallowed them down with such great difficulty, taking a few deep breaths to force it all away. She shouldn't be sad around him! She should be happy, right? He was smiling, and... well... it made her smile too. Not forced or anything, just a natural, sweet smile as was so signature to her. "Don't worry about the weapons, it wouldn't be the first time they've seen such things." And the funny thing was, it seriously wasn't. It was as if she could sense his concern as she glanced to his impressive arsenal that lay there so clearly. They just might be confused is all. "Well," his hand in her own, that tugging once more and again, that blossoming of beauty as the day met the night. It was all so natural, her body bending to his hands, her own reaching upwards to rest upon his frame. All of the confusion of the previous moments was gone and they were all that remained. No more war. No more fear. Just... them.

[i]"...shall we go to bed, then?" A giggle spilled forth as her brain went a few different ways, and.. well... it was so adowable to be asked that!! AHHHH!!! She didn't even remember the last time they had because she had already been nodding off. "... Yea. Lets do that." It sounded like such a perfect idea. So she led him upstairs to her room, footfalls quiet against the floor. Hers was at the end of the hall on the opposite side of her parents room, closing the door softly behind them. As soon as the door had closed, she rose up on her tippy toes in an attempt to kiss him, her hand still clasped in his own. Please let him not have to vanish in the morning... She couldn't take just one night of his presence again.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Shula Brighton on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:01 pm

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:46 pm

The pair quickly went to bed; despite the energy that the bubbly Jeu-Hee seemed to possess, the two drifted into a warm, comforting slumber in almost an instant, form pressed against form as Ayden felt naked without his weaponry, yet... totally at ease. As if he was absolutely and completely safe. Perhaps it was reflected; but if anything, he was the total and complete epitome of 'hard exterior'. He had a labyrinthine outer shell guarding a simple, soft interior that none could see - none but her.

Clouds parted as a silver-haired figure drew the curtains and shut the door, settling down and slowly returning to bed. The murky darkness thickened, but throughout it, stars and a crescent moon remained, shimmering as bright as ever, casting their rays down upon the pair as they slumbered quietly. And within what seemed like but moments, the sun came again; Ayden's eyes flickered open as the bullet-like lances of sunlight glanced through an inch-gap in the curtain, and he let a small yawn escape in the still-fast-asleep Jeu-Hee's direction as he looked towards the window and caught a glimpse of the beautiful morning sky.

A wayward glance fell upon her table clock. 6:30AM. The house was still fast asleep; dawn was still emerging above the horizon, but it was light enough for Ayden. He'd had close to six, seven hours of sleep; more than enough. Gently, quietly, and oh-so-carefully, he lifted himself from the bed, set his bare feet against the floor with a soft thud, and grasped his vest, heading downstairs. He'd forgo the shower, for now. That had ended really well last time.

As was his quarry, although it felt far too unusual to be doing this around allies, he snuck down the stairs, making use of all the stealth techniques Heart had taught him. Careful weight management, avoiding obvious structural weaknesses; he didn't squeak on a floorboard or cause a wayward stair to creak not once - although the house was fairly sound, he could see, and, tidy, now he had appropriate illumination.

Pulling the vest on and descending the last step, Ayden froze in place and shot a glance towards the door. Should he? Could he? Would he be able to? His head slowly gyrated towards the stairs, and then tilted upwards to the sound of faded snores coming from Jeu-Hee's parents' room. Surely, he'd be able to convince him that his motives, for once, were true and fair; he was in love with their daughter. But with real honesty behind his words, would cruel fate flip the tables, roll the dice against him? Would he be unable to convince them so, and lose out on the one opportunity he wanted so much?

...no, that wasn't right. After all... they'd raised her, and she was a girl of fine enough manners. Damned mind, setting him awry like that - all he had to do was just keep his calm about him, and all would be fine. He made a quick, silent yawn, a forced exhalation, but his eyes still fell on the door - he was tired, lethargic, sluggish, and above all else, dirty. Clutching the Children from the table, he quickly returned the holsters to his ankles, and, with slightly less regard for sound than he had possessed a moment ago, fears alleviated by his mind gaining supremacy over the reflex of worry, he stepped towards the door, yanked the handle, pulled it open, and stepped out.

It was a beautiful morning; warm, fresh, and vibrant with the Xingese dawn's breeze. The bustle of the city centre a ways away was ambience as Ayden shut the door behind him, clasping his hands together and seating himself upon the stone-fashioned steps. He rubbed the grey-silver bristles on his chin, savouring the closest to silence he'd get for hours, and let a sigh escape as he looked out upon the horizon, last hints of orange fading from the sky's brilliant view.

A melancholy whistle escaped into the sound of the atmosphere, the window of Jeu-Hee's bedroom an inch ajar just floor above. Ayden had pursed pale lips, and was surveying the lush, well-kept, but humble-sized garden, filled with vibrant-coloured plants, rare and common alike. A smile caused his lips to curl upwards in an unusually pleasant fashion; truth behind it. It was these little quirks... that made him not feel, but KNOW that these people were true, honest people... it almost made him regretful. Why couldn't he be more worthy of her love?

Family. That was what they were, now. Despite the fact that none knew it, they were united in more ways than one; Ayden would fight to protect them as an extension of his love for Jeu-Hee... and that was when he realised it. No more aimless sadism. Pointless masochism.

Everything... from now on... was done not for gratification or enjoyment. He had... he had a cause. No personal self-sufficing and supplementing murder; even if it was to pay the bills, he'd become a better person even just in spirit. Ayden Derocha. No longer assassin... crusader.

But none could know.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:34 pm

The battlefield was awash with screams of the wounded and the dying, the voices that called to her resonating with their own power. "Attack them. Kill them." "Help... stop... them... ple-" No... What was going on? Why were there two voices to her king? "He's gone now. I killed him." Saeji? What was he.... "Jeu-Hee." The fear that froze her to the spot began to dissipate slowly as a single ray of light appeared in the darkness of that terrible battlefield. She rose slowly from her hiding spot behind the black sedan to turn towards where that beacon shone so brightly. "Shall we...." A hand was extended towards her, the light giving way enough to reveal the form that she already knew was standing there. Tears filled her eyes as she ran as if in slow motion towards him, reaching with all of her might to take that hand that was saving her life. As they touched there was a brilliant explosion of color and sound that cleared into white...

Jeu-Hee awoke with a smile spreading on her lips, shifting to cuddle closer to... Nothing? "Ayden?" The word tumbled from her as she actually woke up with a start, bolting upright in her bed with alert eyes. The bed was empty aside from her. Where.... She hop-skippity-jumped off of her comfy warm bed, ignoring the coolness of the floor as she slipped as quietly as possible to head towards the bathroom. No, there was no shower happening there. Oh god... He wouldn't have done that to her, would he? He did say he was just spending the night though, and she knew that he was probably busy and had lots waiting for him but... Darting back into her bedroom, she cast her green eyes about for some kind of hint if he had already gone or not. It didn't matter that she was wearing short shorts and a tank top, she could worry about clothing repercussions later.

Window! Yes! She practically stumbled towards it, peering down to see the glint of silver in the growing morning light, the racing of her heart slowing to a dull roar. Stairs..? No, no stairs right now! So without a moments hesitation, she pushed the window open enough for her to slip through, landing with a roll into the soft grass. Owie! Ok, maybe it wasn't so soft. "ah-te-te..." Eep! No waiting about! She instantly stopped rubbing her head and practically jumped upright, pouncing onto her love that stood there so tall (much like she had the day before though with less force). She had no idea the thoughts running through his mind, she only knew the fear that had gripped her to see that bed empty.

"Good morning~" She said softly as she looked up to him, taking note of how much bulkier he felt from last night. He had already collected his weapons. How much longer had she slept than him? It was... concerning to her. If she had woken up any later, would he have already been gone? "Enjoying the view?" Her arms fell away from him as her gaze followed where his had been, spanning outwards onto the horizon of her beautiful, and ancient city. Parts of it were just waking up much like they were, the birds chiming as nature's alarm clock to the world. Her hand slipped into his easily, her long black hair falling about her shoulders all the way down to her thighs. To anyone, it would be a rather amusing sight, the two of them. Tall and short, light and dark... But who cared? They were happy as could be.

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Shula Brighton on Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:14 pm

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Re: Life Burns

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:36 pm

A dull thud nearby alerted the man; a muscular neck flexed and gyrated, jumping to his feet, his head fastening its initial glare upon the source of the noise. As a bubbly, black-haired head protruded upwards, the adrenaline surging through his veins, preparing him for a clash, was brought to a slow, steady stop, retracting into his bloodstream, the silver-haired man's pounding heart slowed to a steady, thumping, regular beat.

"Enjoying the view?" She pressed against him and broke the embrace but a moment later. Ayden chuckled, and for once, he just felt... calm. Those antagonistic pairs of muscles in his face weren't firing and contracting at the usual, high-speed, reflex-trained rate... for once, he could settle down into a lay-by and just watch the world go by. He'd spent too much time in the fast lane, lately... it was good to finally know that he was capable of rest. Of leisure - and spending his time with the one person he wanted to above all else.

He cast his gaze out over Xi'an once more. It was... beautiful, really. To think that a civilization so old had fashioned a city still inhabited to this day from just stone and sweat was... revolutionary. The feats of man truly were incredible, but the feats of the ancient world far surpassed any record they held to this day forged of blood and tears. This entire city was a monument to that... man's real strength and commitment to an ideal, a moral... a clan or a country.

"Yeah..." He muttered, jaw easing open and shut, the word barely a whisper upon the Xingese breeze. Taken aback by just how beautiful the sight of the orange rising sun upon the city was, he didn't really have anything intelligent or eloquent to offer up on the matter. Just... silence, and awe.

It was moments like this that he just longed to share with her, just longed to hold in his memory for the rest of eternity... and then a little more. His head moved, slowly, ever so slowly, and turned towards her, a faint, small, yet steady smile on his face. Not those delusional grins of the assassin that he so often wore... one that he was really ashamed of, one that he did his best to hide. The smile that meant something, that conveyed emotion. The expression that mattered, to both he and her.

The awe faded, and the man acclimatised himself to the sight as clouds gently lolled along in the pale blue sky overhead. Moving as he usually did once more, movements sharp, fluid, and clear, he let a hand clap her gently on the back, and pulled her in for one more embrace. His head bowed, and he swooped down to kiss her once more. Brief, just a moment they could have in and amongst the chaos of this world, suspended in their own little peaceful, quaint, and oblivious bubble. They didn't know or even want to know about tomorrow, or yesterday. Nothing mattered except the moment.

And when, finally, he broke, a smirk upon his lips, an orange glint dancing along those cerulean irises, he thought to himself. "Fuck the consequences. I can stay for a while longer." He took a step back, moisture upon his lips fading, releasing a breath into the cool January morning, white fog spraying out into the air, another smile strong upon his face.

"She deserves it." The smile widened into a grin, and Ayden let a chuckle escape. Pure, true... and almost unnatural. So foreign... laughter, true, real laughter, was something he hadn't heard in years. And now? To know that he was... laughing? It was something... revolutionary.

"Come on," He gave her a gentle pat on the back. "Get dressed and we can grab something to eat,"

He wasn't leaving just yet.

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Re: Life Burns

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