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Elusive Cure

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Elusive Cure

Post by Shula Brighton on Mon May 21, 2012 2:00 pm

There was a certain soft, almost buzzing feeling in the back of Shula's chest that came from being in Central so often anymore. Not that she didn't love South. South was home, and her city, and she'd woven herself into the fabric of the blossoming oasis as though it were her own heartbeat. But Central offered a few tings that weren't at South that she simply couldn't tear herself away from. Spade lived here, for one, and so did Csilla, so there were two fo the people she wanted to spend time with right there. And now... Aaron was there, too. So much had changed, though, and he was so different. They both were. He still loved her, she knew, but the way he carried himself, the way he was always looking over his shoulder, the way she could see something angry just clinging to him... It scared her, and they both knew it, which did nothing to help bridge that cold divide.

Shula flopped down onto Spade's sofa with a sigh, staring at her phone as though it were her enemy and it ringing would be another bullet to dodge. It had been that kind of a morning, which sucked because it wasn't how Shula liked to spend her days off and away from her office at all. Aaron coming back from the dead was a bit of a shock to everyone, but the fact that he and Shula both hadn't immediately gone back to Meissan wasn't appreciated, even though Shula couldn't force him. He was off in his hotel room brooding and not in the mood for uneasy sunshine or the fact that his little sister kept dodging topics of her own life. Her family knew she was doing better and had thought it was some new treatment; her uncle Pasha had confirmed how well Shula looked when he had been in South... which had been what promted him and her mother to try and introduce her to many nice Ishvallan boys in hopes of her going after one of them.

But the phonecall she'd just hung up from had gone less than well, and confirmed to Shula that her mother knew a few important things that her girl hadn't been dutifully telling her family. She'd been trying to tell them she was completely cured and so they didn't have to worry, but that miraculous recovery was a blessing that they'd been praying for all her life and that now meant Ishvalla saw her as fit to marry and start a family. And while Shula wasn't entirely against that thought herself, it would be something she would do in her own time and when they were ready. She'd slipped, and even though Shula had caught it quickly and tried to move past it, Amira still caught that one little word and demanded to know who he was, why she hadn't mentioned him or let the woman meet him yet, and if he ws someone appropriate. The conversation only went downhill from there, especially as Shula clammed up more about the how's and why's of things and just how involved she was with Spade Aeries. There was no winning that fight, Amira nearly livid and claiming that she'd been right about letting Shula stay unsupervised. Dishonour and disgrace were words used a lot and very loudly, along with reckless, selfish and a few other choice terms that Shula had been less than happy about.

She didn't like fighting with her mother and always felt so guilty about it after. But dammit... Why couldn't she have a life? She was doing so well for herself, and her choices werne't always perfect, but they weren't that bad, and some had been outstandingly better than others. The choice to let herself be happy was the one she regretted the least, even if it had cost her so much and stained her soul to have it. Looking at the phone that hadn't dared to ring again, Shula reached over and put it on the coffee table before pulling her arm over her eyes. Horrible as it was, so far of the things she'd done today the research had been the only thing to go well. Raistlin had been quiet lately and made no move toward her nor sent her any direct orders, which was great, even though she was still more than a little worried. Even around Central she knew she was being watched, and even though she'd been turning in research faithfully it was only a matter of time before someone caught on that she was stalling. In truth, Shula had finished her research completely. She had every piece of information she needed on making the circle and the horrible process of tearing soul and body apart and forging power through innocent blood. She'd found more filler today to send back to Aerugo when she got home, but she'd only solved the puzzle yesterday.

Raistlin was no fool, and Shula had no doubts that he was watching her to see where she'd slip up or expose her own plan. Spade had promised he would help her come up with something and that they would save her. But it was two brilliant and cunning minds pitted against each other, and knowing that she held the last piece meant that the clock had stopped going forward and was now in a countdown. She hated this hiding. She hated knowing she was hiding the truth from her family and friends, and worse, that the truth was dangerous to their health. "Hopefully soon there won't be anything to hide," she grumbled softly to herself. The rest o the day was hers, and hopefully the phone wouldn't ring again to have another round of useless fighting. Shula just wasn't up for it, her mind trying to relax and think of how she could cheat fate one more time as she concluded the only two things she wanted to interact with the rest of today were Spade and something chocolate.
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Spade Aeries on Mon May 21, 2012 3:58 pm

Something about a cat licking its private parts and staring at you while you were trying to work was a major turn off. He wasn't even in the mood to drink the large steaming cup of black coffee sitting on his desk and equally looking at him seductively. God please no. Today was especially hard to focus. A few meetings later and people were calling his name and he wasn't hearing them. Again, they'd say. Spade was only getting worse and he knew it. The worst part was that he couldn't lie and say he had too much to drink because people knew him when he was drunk. He didn't listlessly stare off into space plotting a certain someone's demise while sporting a Jack Daniels, nor did he retort back to people angrily when he was interrupted from constructing an intensely complex plan to ensure that certain someone's demise. All in all, Spade was burnt out and everyone knew it. His desk was covered with chicken scratch and his work computer's hard drive was full, the desktop filled with word documents labeled with numbers and a variance of incomprehensible letters. His trashcan was overflowing and so was the trashcan next to his. The rug in the middle of his office floor was covered in cat hair and the damned animal was off somewhere in the corner staring at him. Spade wanted to pour the coffee on the creature, but his care for Emma's feelings stopped him each time. Instead, he dumped the incorrigible liquid down the sink of the public bathroom just down the hall, and proceeded to fall asleep on his desk and drool all over the papers he was supposed to stamp with his seal.

Two hours later and it was mid-afternoon, not much closer to the time when he usually left. Shu was at his place waiting for him on her day off, but he had to work and keeping working. Being the Head of Central Head Quarters meant that he had no days off really. Meeting after meeting, battle tactic after battle tactic. He hammered the formations into the heads of the men while trying to swallow the waning level of interest in the room. After such a hard war, after losing so brutally and fleeing back across the border while allowing Fort Briggs to protect them, moral crumbled into the ruins still being rebuilt. Everyday, the scenery changed--everyday, something else was fixed, but everyday Spade grew more and more tired of seeing everything--grew more and more sick of losing so many things. Sure, Shu returned to him fairly unharmed--fairly, but what about next time? What about next time? The thoughts were haunting him like the specters of all the men he killed, clinging to the fabric of his military uniform and tearing at the seams until only a few threads remained to work with. Maybe that was why it was so difficult to work. That and discerning the level of emotions pouring out of the expressions in his men's faces. So many people ravaged--so many people just done fighting, yet so many still harboring that desire for revenge--that desire to show all the other countries that Amestris was still on top even if it was dangling over the edge of a cliff, a knife pressed tightly against its throat. That thin line of blood from the blade, that--that was what it took to realize they were alive.

To fight back. That was what was buzzing inside of his mind, constantly plaguing every step back from the bathroom, clutching the second empty coffee cup. Making the liquid was now a comfort instead of drinking it--drinking anything but water. Spade Aeries was different--so different some people didn't recognize him. Needless to say that the fun--the laughter was sucked out of the job, lost under the marching feet of rumpled men paving through the ruins of so many lost lives. They would not lose. Spade felt this strongly, but he had lost his naivete and transformed from his rainbow world into that of black and white in order to ensure survival. They would not lose, but they had lost. They retreated, fled, ran away, and Shu got tangled up in the position he gave her. Before he even realized how much he loved her, she nearly died. To live, she sacrificed her freedom and nearly lost herself in the fray. Because of him, his choices, his decisions, and his love, she suffered. Because of him and one man. On man named Raistlin Ambros, evil to the very core definition. Spade's blood became the boiling water to brew the caffeinated liquid that kept him going. Surging on through thick and thin, he carved the evil bastard's name into every fragmented plan with a machete. His mind was overfull, dripping out his ears with nuances of information and deluges of what he wished would solve all the problems there ever were with Amestris. In effect, most people left him alone. Most people were beginning to think he had finally snapped, what with babbling incoherently about the volume of the coffeemaker and wondering what kind of coffeemakers they had in Aerugo. Oh, and the analyzing of people usually pissed them off more than a little since he was always right. Yeah, Gunther was sleeping with Hilda so fucking what? It was the truth and it was so goddamn obvious why didn't they see it? Spade was beginning to feel bad for those people. It must be so boring inside their heads. And they were worrying about when the next Halo would be released for fuck's sake.

Someone told him to leave early. Actually it wasn't really someone. It was the Chancellor himself. Even he in all of his business running a country and all happened to notice the slow degradation of the once ex detective. On his third pack of cigarettes, Spade headed silently to the door, not looking back. If they didn't want him around, then he didn't need to be around. He was hardly doing what was expected of him anyway. Not like he could even if he tried. Somehow he was sure that Hans knew something was up, but he wasn't about to share. That was why he was careful and everything was erased from his desk each day before he left and every time he was away from his desk. No one was finding out what he was about to do to the Aerugese bastard that dared touch Shula Brighton cause god forbid he was going to go to hell for it and he didn't give two shits about the consequences.

Taking his coat from the rack, his dog tags jingled in a cacophony of unwanted jarring from his thoughts. That's right, Shu was at his apartment waiting for him. There was some brightness in this day--some remedy for the dark aura surrounding him and threatening to strangle him until no breath was left, not even his final one. He walked back because he felt like it and didn't have his car anyway. Taking the long way home, he blew through the park, trying not to see anything but what his feet hit. Strategically place gum, cracked pavement, concrete, repaved in 2006, signed by school children probably from the all girls college a block down. Grass leaning over, growing through the lines between blocks where many dog must have lifted a leg. Daisies. Wild daisies growing fervently where they shouldn't, defying all odds and shade by the towering birch that survived the bombs. Survived. Spade stooped mid-step and scooped a few of the flowers before speeding up to his apartment, twirling the keys on a finger. His feet stopped just beyond the elevator door, finger jamming into a worn button for his floor. The door reopened, he began walking again and flung open his door to the musty smell of himself and something else if not more familiar: Shu.

Looking like a wreck, he suddenly realized, his hair was disheveled beyond recognition and his sunglasses were skewed over his jade eyes have bent into tired slits of too much thinking. He dropped the flowers into her hands with a crooked smile and silently sat down next to her on his new leather sofa. "Waitin' for a phone call?" It was about 4pm who was going to call her at this time? It was almost dinnertime...


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Fluent in | Amestrian (green) | Xingese (seagreen) | Cretan (yellow) | Ishvallan (orange) | Esparian (royalblue) | Everything has a Xingese accent except Amestrian.

No shit, Spade. B) It's elementary, my dear Shu.
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Shula Brighton on Thu May 24, 2012 11:08 pm

There was a place between asleep and awake that tended to happen to a person when they got particularly comfy on a sofa and their minds got tired of thinking. Shula liked that place. Even though that state meant she wasn't actually thinking productively anymore and was more likely to have the little half-dreams a person gets in that state, it also meant she was just a breath away from a nap, not looking at her notes, stressing and not looking at her damn phone. Despite most of her brain knowing she was still on Spade's sofa in his quiet apartment, part of her brain had slipped into that little hazy state of half-dreams, feeding on little wandering thoughts and ideas that formed into hazy images so loosely tied together and unrelated and yetentirely real since most of her mind told her that she was still awake. The jingling of keyss was a distant echo that registered as the silver jingling of bracelets bouncing together and shiny coin trim attached to the ruffles of a skirt.

But as the locks clicked and the door opened, the light traces of sleep fluttered away from Shula's eyes as she turned over slightly to look at the door. Someone was home- a thought that immediately warmed the features of her face. At first she thought it would be Aishe, given how early the clock on the DVR said it was, but as Spade walked in and shut the door behind him, Shula sat up from laying down, a bit surprised but happy. A small handful of daisies were pushed into her hands. Not a bouquet of big cultivated or dyed ones from a flower shop or a grocery store florist, but wild ones. The tip of her fingernail moved to brush a petal almost affectionately before her body turked to lean gainst him as he sat next to her. Spade stopped to pick me flowers... That thought bounced around in her mind, happy at the pure sweetness of such a simple thing. Gently the flowers were placed on the coffee table, Shula's fingers reaching up slowly to hook onto Spade's shades and lift them away from his tired eyes.

Spade's day was written all over his face. He looked tired, his hair was all over the place.... He looked like he could do with dinner and shutting his brain off for a few hours. Thin fingers moved up to brush through messy brown waves as her body rose, a slow, warm kiss greeting Spade's mouth. Kisses were something Shula would never tire of, loving the gentle action with every fiber of her being and the purity of the motion resonated drom her soul. There was a closeness the gesture brought and spoke of wordlessly, whispered softly into slightly chapped lips. Even as she pulled away her body remained close against Spade's, her fingers lingering at his temples to massage in gentle circles. "Waitin' for a phone call?" Hm? Shula glanced over at her phone on the table and shot it a look that dared the little bastard to ring again and see if she didn't melt it. Shula exhaled a soft sigh through her nose.

"Don't give it any ideas," she teased with a faint groan. The phone had been quiet for a little while now, her grandfather probably keeping Amira busy and letting her vent and keeping her away from the phone for now. "Already been chewed on for three hours by a dragon today... I'm not ready for round two yet." Hm... The urge to pick up the phone and turn it off entirely was far too tempting, even though she knew she had to leave her phone on at all times; came with the job description. Even if Shula wanted to avoid calls from particular people, she had to leave her phone on and on her at all times, especially when she wasn't actually in her office. Days off always felt like guilty things with her station, but at this point Shula needed to take them for research time as well as to give herself a moment to step away from the ten million pressures that came with her job, just to make sure she didn't have some kind of mental breakdown. She couldn't manage South and caring for it if she were curled under her desk shaking and staring into space.

"Apart from that unfunness... I got a lot done." Shu's hours haunting the new library and Central's anitiquated research archives were almost all she did on the days off she had that she was here while Spade worked; days they were both off were few and far between and one of the only times Shula didn't pour hrself into research and decoding ancient notes from every source and scrap possible. She hadn't told him yet that she'd finished, though. Shu hadn't said anything directly about it when she'd come in late last night, but she had been more quiet and in need of that closeness that registered that little light in the back of her heart that said things would be alright, her ear pressed to absorb his heartbeat most of the night. Even now it wasn't something she particularly wanted to talk about, even though Shula knew it was something that was weighing on both their minds. "So they let you escape early?"
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Spade Aeries on Fri May 25, 2012 2:12 pm

He could tell from her kisses that she had been nearly asleep before he arrived (to ruin it). What greater fun would it have been to wake her up with his own set of smooches rather than-- His temples were being massaged, sunglasses gone as they almost always were with her. His hair fell away behind him somewhere, tickling his neck, but of no mind to him. The thoughts sifted away like flour to cold wind, mind running dry of all need to continue producing fruit. All power exited his muscles, his head slowly leaning to one side: the side closest to her. Her body was up against his, touching him and expelling so much warmth that they could be lounging in a desert right now. He saw the sand drifting carelessly in dunes, feet atop it--scampering up as if to see a waving oasis at the horizon, never questioning what treasure may lie buried underfoot. Spade sucked in a deep breath and carefully opened his eyes to see Shu once more. Dull green lost behind a mist of non-thought, traversing across mystical virtues he dare not fathom. Hardly heard his own voice--hardly heard her answer until her fingers stopped. Clarity returned instantly like a plague of unwanted tar oozing into his mind with a million and one things he missed in those few minutes of complete release. The clocks hands had moves, the daisies had been placed on the coffee table--the coffee table which had been moved presumably by Shula in order to make it more comfortable, the keys that had been in his hand were now falling in the crack of the sofa without care, his hair was no longer being horrifically unruly, she needed chap stick...she was worried about something aside from her phone.

She sighed and her eyes found him again, the tiny joke of a glare wiped away into amusement. "Don't give it any ideas." Did that look like his intention? Phones ringing was one thing, but listening to females talk on it and prance all over the house was just down right murderous to the masculine race. He cringed whilst she groaned, but found himself laughing faintly, the sound drifting away somewhere as if falling through the strainer of his thick construct of a plan. While he felt saner, he still felt lost not here but somewhere else in his mind, barely squeezing himself out through the fray of so many unneeded deductions. Spade pulled out two crumpled packed of cigarettes and tossed them onto the coffee table before finding his third that contained but a measly four remaining Lucky Sevens. He slid one between his lips, but didn't light it, kinda just stared into space for a second. "Already been chewed on for three hours by a dragon today... I'm not ready for round two yet." He snapped back out of it and delved into the refuse of red.

"A dragon, hm? Was it big, green, scaly, and mean?" Three hours? God, he would have hung the fuck up after twenty minutes. Talking that long on the phone...it had to be a sin of some degree. Trying not to visibly look horrified, Spade smiled nervously, patting her on the head. "You should have slayed it, not talked to it, love." She had much to learn, but he knew deep inside that dragons didn't actually exist. As much as his childlike heart wanted to ride one and defeat evil overlords...like a certain Aerugese man, Spade faced the truth: Shula was probably talking about some family member of hers. He wasn't very adverse in her family as she wasn't in his (aside from his half sister currently staying in his place and his brother who so happened to be the Xingese emperor and the fact that his brother wouldn't be emperor as long as his father was alive, and...) Well, actually maybe she did actually know enough about his family to call it adverse. Still, he hardly knew a flying fuck about who gave birth to her, who he siblings were, and he vaguely knew her grandfather, but that was pretty much it. And he wasn't going to blurt out one day 'Hey, my parents are dead, what about yours?' It just didn't seem like a fun conversation, and with all the shit they'd been though, Spade was definitely not going to be the guy that pissed on possible and more enjoyable dialogue.

"Apart from that unfunness... I got a lot done." Spade raised an eyebrow involuntarily, digging up the keys from the abyss beneath the armrest. That could mean anything. But the tone she used seemed to imply that she didn't just mean cleaning out the dirty laundry basket and picking up his ties that somehow strewed themselves all over the apartment. Alright. So she meant something concerning her research. However, she used the word done. Spade narrowed his eyes, looking at her closely enough to practically see what she was thinking. Done. Had she...unlocked the secret of the Philosopher Stone?! Spade fiddled with the keys some more, nearly pretending to inspect them while his mind buzzed off in a frenzy of questions and half-answers. The Philosopher Stone: the object of her research, that which Raistlin Ambros desired, that whose secret ingredient was knowledge to only a seldom few like Aurelius Carston Schwarz... If one ate it, they could die, but if the didn't, they would gain unrivaled power capable of leveling Amestris and becoming a worldwide threat. Something was coming. Not just the answers, but disaster.

Books told stories, but men told real ones. Shu poured over the library, he knew, but she was also sitting on his sofa. He formed a death grip on the keys, taking a deep breath to let out more steam. "So they let you escape early?" No, they practically asked him to leave because of this. There were so many things that needed to be figured out--so many things that he was digging for. Even so, he felt like he had only grazed the distance. Spade didn't know--he didn't know all the answers...just that the key ingredient was human souls, live human souls.

"Don't tell him." One of the key chains in his ring bent. Whoops. He gave the Scooby Doo with goofy eyes an apologetic look and threw it with all the others onto the coffee table next to the empty packs and daisies. "Don't tell him anything anymore." He snapped the cigarette in his mouth in half with his teeth and caught the end before it hit the ground.

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Fluent in | Amestrian (green) | Xingese (seagreen) | Cretan (yellow) | Ishvallan (orange) | Esparian (royalblue) | Everything has a Xingese accent except Amestrian.

No shit, Spade. B) It's elementary, my dear Shu.
I will not come home drunk.
I will noot come home drunk.
I wi no t comme hom dunk
I wi na dung hum brump
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Shula Brighton on Sat May 26, 2012 3:39 am

There was a certain amount of peace that came from things as dull as laundry and picking up the scattered ties and hidden socks; it wasn't exciting and Shula knew they were dull but necessary since they kept the green mold monsters from moving back into Spade's flat, but there was something nice in doing simple things that required no mental fortitude whatsoever. Laundry didn't question her, and emptying the dishwasher didn't put her life or anyone else's in danger. And Shula knew that in the future that wasn't waht she would be confined to doing day in and day out; unless she changed things and made it otherwise (or things she didn't want to think about happened), she had a rather successful (and horrifically stressful) career and a decently solid reputation going. There were certain things in life Shula was willing to give up to trade and balance for other things in her life, but giving up everything she'd worked and fought so hard to earn on her own just to make her mother and kin happy wasn't it. "A dragon, hm? Was it big, green, scaly, and mean? You should have slayed it, not talked to it, love."

Shula stayed close against Spade's side, trying to let her mind filter out that trainwreck of a conversation she'd had and not let it bother her as she shook her head softly. "Mama's hardly big, but... she can be pretty harsh, especially when she has a bone to pick with me about the choices I make." Shu didn't bring up her family much, she knew, just like she knew she didn't visit them enough. She didn't bring up a lot of things about her life enough, and Spade wasn't the sort to just ask questions. H wasn't one to pry and just took things as she brought them up and eased into openness (or just blurted everything out all at once if her head became too full and she was a slight wreck). But there weren't many easy ways to discuss fighting with your mother about denying traditions and family requests and how much shame the tiny woman curled against Spade's side was bringing her family and how Ishvalla disapproved... "Love her, but I really hope Mama doesn't call back today. Way too much on my mind to sit through her having another go at me."

There was so much Shula hadn't been telling her family because she didn't know how was best... Accidentally mentioing there was a 'we' in her life wasn't really how she'd planned to warm her mother up to the idea of Shula choosing her own lover instead of submitting to Amira and uncle Pasha sifting through the many nice Ishvallan men and arranging a marriage for her. And apart from the things in her family life that carried over that Shula couldn't ignore, she didn't really bring them up to Spade... again, because she never reallly knew how, or in the case of her mother, how Spade would react. Braving a meeting could easily be like introducing cold water to a pan of hot oil and completely ruin a few days of leave together. No, these things had to be handled delicately. Come to think of it, all the things that seemed to be at the forefront fo Shula's mind had to be handled with care.

Her horrible research had been eating her life, robbing Shula of sleep more often than not as she learned more than she wanted and urging her to push herelf away from those closest to her out of sheer fear that they'd get caught in the cross-fire or used against her. There was so much to account for, so many possibilities, and even though Raistlin had been quiet and Hans didn't seem to suspect, but that was no reason to be less careful. Her breakthrough would probably do nothing to help her relax or rest easier. Cuddled against Spade's side, Shula noticed he'd gone quiet, the cig in his mouth unlit as the detective processed everything. He wasn't stating how or why he got to come home early, and he was holding his keys with a kung-fu grip G.I. Joe would kill for as some poor, innocent key ring bent from the pressure between Spade's fingers. Ouch. Then again, the realization that Shula had essentially found her death sentence and knowing that the clock was ticking was something she knew the man who saw everything didn't want to see since it had been eating at him just as much. "Don't tell him," Spade breathed out, cigarette breaking and his hand moving to catch the other half. "Don't tell him anything anymore."

Shu shifted in her seat, her stomach knotting again for the millionth time that day, the tension reminding her that it would probably be another night of only being able to poke at her food and resisting sleep. She sighed softly, her voice softening as Shula closed her eyes, her head against Spade's arm. "I can't cut off communication entirely. Anything sudden or drastic and he'll know something's up." Her hand moved away from her lap to down Spade's arm, fingers brushing over the top of his hand before moving between his own fingers. "But I'm not going to give him the final piece. Today I spent most of my time looking up substitute information... Dead leads and old research. Something I can turn in and report on that's harmless that'll at least make it look like I'm still looking... I'll keep that up as long as I can to buy us time."
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Spade Aeries on Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:32 am

Well... there went another one, spent without even smoking. Almost forlornly, Spade stared at the broken half of the Lucky Seven stick in his hand, mulling over the minute movements of the couch as Shula shifted. He already knew his direct way of bringing up the topic would immediately distress her, but he wasn't about to tiptoe when bombs were going off. One was to meet action with action. That was how Spade Aeries lived his life always and he wasn't about to turn a blind eye. To do so would not only put Shula at risk the closer she came to revealing the truth, but Amestris as a whole. He had a duty to his country, but more importantly...he was not going to lose another one he loved. That was it. He sacrificed enough, and he would die protecting her even if she was the one pulling the trigger. A soft sigh broke the brief silence instead of a gunshot, her eyes slipping closed and her head becoming a weight on his arm. Stray hairs tickled the underside of his elbow, running rampant chills across his spine like a silent xylophone of bones. No outward reaction occurred save for the closing of his own eyes and a paralleled sigh. They felt the same way, both equally repulsed by the possibly this conversation carried. On the edge of the cliff, Spade loomed, hands in pockets, waiting for the divine blessing of the reaper.

"I can't cut off communication entirely. Anything sudden or drastic and he'll know something's up." Spade stopped listening after the forth word, lost immediately to the slew of thoughts that slithered to the surface, kicking up sand that woke rather than quelled to sleep. His eyes creaked open, staring blankly at the wall, but not seeing. That was something he already knew--something he had already figured into the plan. If she stopped contact, Raistlin would catch on. Anyone capable of hushing under his radar would immediately have the kind of potential to realize something is up. ...Especially with the rate at which Shu researched and the sheer amount of skill she had with things that involved papers and books (of which Spade rather not go near). Yes, he knew this. She wasn't getting what he was saying--what he was trying to--

"But I'm not going to give him the final piece." Spade shut his mouth, which had begun to hang open so sounds could come out. Instead, he sealed off all inherent dialogue, hearing as she dispelled his real concern. "Today I spent most of my time looking up substitute information... Dead leads and old research. Something I can turn in and report on that's harmless that'll at least make it look like I'm still looking... I'll keep that up as long as I can to buy us time." Time? Spade glanced at his watch, slightly registering the digital numbers there and making some kind of deduction from them. As if to confirm them, he also stared at the red digits produced by his TV component thingy and then shut his eyes again. Why did they need time--why did they have to wait any longer, confined by unworthy hands, taught by bars, rusted, jagged, but not impervious?

Spade's eyes shot open and he sat up straighter, taking a deep breath as he fiddled with the broken piece of his cigarette still in his hand. "Shu, I want you to call him and tell him you have the final piece." He paused for a second, aligning everything that needed to follow up in his head rather than blurting it out. In a soft voice bridging on husky, Spade dumped the puzzle pieces onto the coffee table. "We will use...a marble--a red marble. We'll take it with us to Aerugo where I will become a Aerugese escort using inception to go unnoticed to Raistlin's office. I will incept him into believing that the marble is a Philosopher's Stone and have him undo his alkahestry on you. During that time, I will use my trademark." Spade winked, feeling a strange, sadistic smile form on his lips, emerald eyes glinting vibrantly as the Dragon's pulse shifted inside of him with anticipation. "I will have seven minutes to insert a virus into the main computer frame, erasing all data containing the keyword of your research. Any longer than that and I will be caught in the act. By the time I finish, the array will have been lifted along with my own alkahestry. He may have noticed me move, but I will already be touching his head and removing all recollection of you. He will fall unconscious and we will walk out just as he had walked in." He looked away from his photographic components and at Shula directly, waiting for some indication that his plan would actually work, but his sight steered past her into the emptiness that was his carpet.

Was his place...cleaner? The lack of dirty clothes strewn about...well, everywhere...was mildly disturbing. Man cave invasion. Man cave invasion. His thoughts spiraled out of control, immediately honing in on every single detail amiss with his apartment. A candle on the edge of his counter was bumped, moved 1.5 degrees to the right at a strange angle, indicating Shu had been carrying things to impede her sight enough to brush the counter slightly. Clothes. She had clearly done the laundry. Spade stood up as if in a trace, feet moving mechanically toward the washing machine still wet from use. Yes, the dryer was warm, detergent lower than before. Dishes weren't in the sink. His eyes were on fire, scanning everything, recording everything for no apparent reason aside from the fact that he could. "It's a curse," he breathed, suddenly realizing where he was standing some distance from the couch, head turning slightly, pupils focusing and refocusing on the items that drained attention. His rough hands found the counter, holding himself up with locked shoulders as his head sunk down. Waves of unruly brown hair trickled over his face, eyes closing to bring the quiet darkness. "Thank you."


Last edited by Spade Aeries on Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:16 am; edited 2 times in total

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Fluent in | Amestrian (green) | Xingese (seagreen) | Cretan (yellow) | Ishvallan (orange) | Esparian (royalblue) | Everything has a Xingese accent except Amestrian.

No shit, Spade. B) It's elementary, my dear Shu.
I will not come home drunk.
I will noot come home drunk.
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Shula Brighton on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:52 am

Two empty, rumpled packs of cigs and an abused third lay on the coffee table, Shula and Spade sitting in the silence to brood for a moment. As much as Spade had tried to pass it off before that Raistlin was no threat, Shula knew that some part of Spade must have known what the danger really was from the time she confessed to admitting she had solved the mystery today. He was just as worried as she was, if not more, given that Spade saw the details that everyone else missed and saw the puzzle's whole within the first few pieces laid. If he weren't, it wouldn't be such a tender subject that made them both so distraught. If it weren't as dire as it felt, Shula would have been sleeping better and without waking up from dark fears sniping her mind in the dark, and those abused packs of cigarettes would be down from three to one.

Shula had known for a while that she was coming to the end of her little project, and with its completion her life was in the hands of a man who cared for her well-being and continuance as much as any person cared for what happened to the carton after the milk was gone. Raistlin was brilliant, cunning and powerful, and Shula knew he had total power over her body, nothing more than living, breathing, screaming clay in a master sculpter's hands. Once she knew she was at the final stretch, she had been trying desperately to spread her work out as much as possible, more and more weaving filler in with her real work, trying to cover her tracks just enough that what she was doing would go on undetected until the day-this day-that she knew she couldn't give the Aerugese General real information anymore. Shula had been living with a wire around her throat and a gun to the back of her head for so many months that even though she figured Raistlin probably didn't trust her (and after January had even less reason to), she had had time to figure out just how long the reach on that wire was before moving too far would pull the trigger. But now that she actually had fined entirely and could only feed her dark master empty work, sitting on the sofa knowing that she held the bullet she'd be killed with felt heavy and very terrifying.

Stall him and buy them time. What else could she do? It was a crappy plan, she knew, but for now it was the only plan, and it had been working so far, and Shula could only hope her luck would hold out until they had come up with a real plan. Spade was easily one of the most brilliant people in Amestris; there was no detail he didn't see and no equation that didn't cross his mind. Surely if anyone knew how to help her cut the wire and duck in time to dodge the bullet, it would be him. "Shu, I want you to call him and tell him you have the final piece." She had been snuggled against Spade's side with her eyes closed, trying hard to think, but now? Her eyes were open, blinking in sheer confusion. He'd just said to not tell Raistlin anything anymore since they both knew telling him would kill her. Telling her now to give him the bullet herself? The first thoughts that ran through her mind were tempting her to state that Spade couldn't seriously be suggesting that, even though this was something neither of them would joke about. Ever. What was Spade up-- "We will use...a marble--a red marble. We'll take it with us to Aerugo where I will become a Aerugese escort using inception to go unnoticed to Raistlin's office. I will incept him into believing that the marble is a Philosopher's Stone and have him undo his alkahestry on you. During that time, I will use my trademark."

He had told her before... that he would go with her to Aerugo. Spade was willing to walk with her to the gates of Hell and help fight for her freedom. At the time Shula wasn't sure Spade really could, but at the time she'd been more than a little upset and needing to be constantly watched to make sure she didn't do anything stupid. This wasn't even something the two of them brought up and discussed beyond a certain point unless it was really necessary, Spade not fond of asking, and Shu definitely not fond of telling. But this idea... had merit. She chewed her bottom lip lightly, soaking up Spade's plan, trying to no look thoroughly stunned as it unfurled, complete with wink and grin. "I will have seven minutes to insert a virus into the main computer frame, erasing all data containing the keyword of your research. Any longer than that and I will be caught in the act. By the time I finish, the array will have been lifted along with my own alkahestry. He may have noticed me move, but I will already be touching his head and removing all recollection of you. He will fall unconscious and we will walk out just as he had walked in."

Distant emerald burned with determination as observation got the better of him, making Spade look past Shu at all she'd done that day to relieve her own frustrations and anxieties. She was far too good at what she did, and she knew it, researching filler taking so little of her day and leaving Shula with the rest of her time to fill with cleaning and being attacked on the phone. As Spade got up and looked around, Shula was quiet, lost in thought. That plan... For months as Shula drowned deeper in her research and came closer, the odds of her surviving waned drastically. There was the small chance that the Chancellor could find out, try her for treason and have her executed (treason was kind of a hard thing to overlook like that); there was the chance that she and Spade would figure something out and go for it, which would either let them leave successful or dead; and then the majority was stacked on Raistlin, Shula knowing the callous man wouldn't leave her alive to tattle on him. But worked out the way Spade had, the odds shifted before her very eyes. The factors hadn't changed at all, but now seemed so much less bleak.

Quietly Spade shuffled from the sofa around the apartment, inspecting the differences that picking up the runaway socks and shirts made, and that preventing the green monsters from invading Spade's sink again was a good thing; if Shula ever had to open his fridge again and hear the climbing and fermenting civilizations calling for Zuul she might not escape and end up being sacrificed to their lightbulb god. "Thank you." Shu blinked, sifting through the mess of her thoughts to register that Spade was thanking her. For what? Cleaning up and preventing the laundry from starting a hostile takeover? She remained quiet, her mind a tempest of thoughts and emotions, the hope within her rising thought Shula was honestly afraid to take hold of it. She didn't want to hold her breath for something that might end badly but at the same time, if they didn't try at all, she'd still lose. The plan was pretty wild, and a lot could go wrong since there was no way to control every single variable; humans were too unpredictable, and Raistlin was something of an enigma to Shula, even though she knew she was one of the few people who came out of his lab alive. Pushing herself off the sofa she walked across the floor, stepping up behind Spade to put her arms around his waist and rest on his stomach and chest, her cheek laying against his back. There was so much she didn't know and so much neither of them could control, but one of the things Shula did know was that right now, Spade was doing his best to find some way to save her. But neither of them could do it alone, and that to gain her freedom for good and make this work, she would have to swallow all traces of fear, if only for Spade's sake.

"No love, she replied gently, squeezing her love's midsection. "Thank you. I think... that might actually work. I've never had the same escorts around him, and he's never made smalltalk with his soldiers when I've been around. I'll have to be the one to present him with the fake stone, though. The inception works on the power of suggestion, but a suggestion coming from someone he already knows and takes work from regularly will probably help it seem more plausible to him and help him believe it more." Thin brown arms slid down freeing Spade from her grasp as Shula moved to his side before stepping into the kitchen to pull down a glass. "A keyword-specific virus would effectively remove me and most of my research from his computer, and those seven minutes will give me time to try and find anything physical attached to me... I'll let him know that I have a stone and can deliver it to him. He already knows that there's a few in Amestris and that I have the pirates at my disposal; it wouldn't be far-fetched to say I had one of them help me get it. Or...something. But I'll offer him the stone in exchange for letting me go and undoing whatever it is he did to me."

Even though Shula wasn't fully aware of what Raistlin did and the full extent of how it all worked, she did know that even if he let her go, if Raistlin didn't change whatever it was that she'd never live a normal life She liked not being sick, but with her body in a state that all medicines wouldn't touch her was still a pretty big danger in and of itself. She needed Spade to work his alkahestry to help her convince Raistlin that the marble was a stone, and that he needed to free her rather than kill her. Hearing the suggestion from someone else's lips might leave room in Raistlin's mind to fight against it or doubt it; Shula needed to deliver this and be able to be brave enough to talk to him convincingly, and she needed Spade there with her every step of the way or it wouldn't work at all. Light reflected on the glass half-full of water- her life in a glass. Slowly Shula smiled up at spade, standing next to him once more as she took in a breath and let it out slowly. "I think...this will work." I'll fight to live as long as you do, remember? You're fighting now to find a way to help me... so for you, I will be brave, and we will take this head-on together...
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Re: Elusive Cure

Post by Spade Aeries on Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:16 am

B)

[EXIT THREAD]

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Fluent in | Amestrian (green) | Xingese (seagreen) | Cretan (yellow) | Ishvallan (orange) | Esparian (royalblue) | Everything has a Xingese accent except Amestrian.

No shit, Spade. B) It's elementary, my dear Shu.
I will not come home drunk.
I will noot come home drunk.
I wi no t comme hom dunk
I wi na dung hum brump
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