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All The Way Down

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All The Way Down

Post by Anouk Ueda on Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:16 am

The darkness around was thick and heavy, smelling dank and somewhat metallic, like it had in that warehouse. She could smell the mildew, and cold, rusted pipes that were exposed in the walls and the beams overhead, She could smell the damp and dirty London air that tried to seep through the walls and rotting roof. But more importantly, Anouk could smell the blood. In the vast darkness that sank all around her, despite not being able to see anything, she could smell the blood. Fresh blood, coppery and cooling rapidly in the moist night air. The smell of older, drying blood was there too, and clinging to it was the smell of bodies who had been dead more than a few hours and already started their horrid process of decomposing. It was a mixture of smells most people would throw up at. It was a mix of smells that, even in the blinding darkness, Anouk wished she didn't know so well.

She lashed out, swiping the air, balisong gripped in her hand. It hit nothing as she slashed, despite feeling something creeping onto her from all around. Since the fire, Anouk had concluded that Ryosuke's wife had died with him. Since his funeral, something had awoken within her and consumed, dark, and predatorial, and had learned that the feelings of being watched and closed in on were not paranoia. She'd become a monster, and she knew it, accepted, and embraced it, since doing so gave her what she needed to get her children back, and part of that meant she was able to sense other, worse monsters around her. Anouk growled slightly in frustration, unable to see anything still as she slashed again, curling into herself as she felt whatever it was press closer to her. A few careful steps forward were taken, knife stabbing out once more as heavy hands clapped down at her shoulders, preventing her from spinning around fast enough to stab, his grip like a vice as he squeezed.

Anouk struggled in his grip, growling as she felt hot breath against her ear, bodyheat burning against her like a dark fire as slowly the space around her illuminated. The walls of the London warehouse were towering, water dripping from some pipe unseen as Anouk's lavender eyes widened with horror, taking in all the bodies around her. Men in White members. Mr. Stagno's headless body and his mafia underlings. The nameless assassins who had come hunting her in the darkness that she'd killed and left butchered. The frantic mother in the warehouse stared through her with sightless eyes, dark red matting her blonde hair from the bullet's exit wound in the top of her head, and the little girl's body she could only assume was her own kidnapped child in that horrible game. Anouk's body began to shake, finding herself unable to look away from the carnage that surrounded her and unable to free herself from the dark grip that held her there, tears forming in her eyes as she looked down at her feet to the body of Lucas. The end of the sword poked through his breast, the metal glinting around the somehow still-wet blood. Looking down at the teenager, her heart ached, pleading and begging to somehow turn around and away and forget all of this. Forget each of the faces that had somehow moved and were all now staring through her, regardless of whether there were eyes remaining in the sockets or not.

Beautiful, isn't it?" The grip on her shoulders tightened as the voice crooned against Anouk's ear as she trembled, still unable to look away from Lucas' corpse. She began struggling again, despite feeling the grip only tighten the harder she fought. "Look, Mrs. Ueda. Look, Anouk... at this. This life that you chose and created for yourself. Look at your opus." The balisong gripped tighter in her hand, Anouk's knuckles turning white as she tried to move her arms enough to stab the bastard holding her, not noticing the changes occurring around her, all her focus zeroed in on the man she couldn't see.

"I did what I HAD to! I needed to survive! I needed to fight and get my kids back!" A dark growl began to rise from the back of her throat, determined to not look around her again. Not look down again. Not see as the bodies came closer, despite never moving. Not notice the blade of Lucas' sword creep upward as the end of the blade inched higher. Anouk's eyes were shut tightly, only focusing on the inescapable sound of his voice, just as calm, mellow, and aged as it had been moments before his death.

"Oh, you did, and very well, too. But the way you're fighting against yourself is almost cute. Do you really think that starting a new bar and a life with your brother will just fix it all? You can't go back and you know it, and you're just as guilty. All fifteen of those people lost someone because you decided their fate... You promised Lucas a beautiful new life. And yet here you are, like nothing happened. Your brother even took your last kill from you to try and spare you some of the blood on your hands because he could see it... now that you've had a taste. He knows you were starting to enjoy it. The thrill of the hunt, the rush of the kill, the feeling of victory and coming one step closer to your prize..."

Stray tears slipped down Anouk's cheeks as she felt herself slowly cease struggling against him, surrendering to the horrific truth. He was right. She had murdered everyone here in some way. "Look around you, Anouk. All the souls that are waiting for you, and only you. You may even attempt to proceed." Almost unwillingly, lavender eyes creaked open to see the broken, bleeding, and half-rotting corpses lifelessly surrounding her. She looked down to Lucas, his pleading expression unchanged even as the hilt of his sword now rested against his back, the end to the blade inches from her own chest. "The sharpest point is aimed at you," Takatori purred, nearly bruising her in his grip when he suddenly let go, throwing Anouk forward and down. Her scream ripped through as the blade entered and exited her body, Anouk slumping down and landing skewered on top of the boy she'd lied to. "Where the pain strikes is clear!"

Her cries seemed to stifle around her as the bodies loomed ever-closer, Anouk struggling to push herself high enough to get off Lucas who seemed to smile more and more each time she fell back down, the sword carving through her each time. Slowly, limp arms rose and draped across Anouk's back, hugging her down to him as she stopped fighting. The corpse grinned, the look bittersweet as he finally got what he wanted most, his lips pressing a tender kiss to Anouk's temple as his voice creaked and trembled in the dark. "Welcome home... Mom." The darkness returned as the bodies rolled now in heaps, burying Anouk there with Lucas, silencing her final, piercing scream.


Anouk's body shot up from the sofa, panting hard, her face drenched in either sweat or tears as she sat shaking and covering her own mouth to keep from crying out. It had been late when she finally stopped working for the night and come home to everyone asleep, and now later still, the night air peaceful in the apartment. Ela was in his bedroom, and the boys were in the bed in the spare room, Anouk choosing to lay down on the sofa so not to wake them. Her palm remained pinned to her mouth, muffling the choked sobs that escaped her as she tried to calm herself. It was okay. She was home. She was safe. All three of her boys were safe. Takatori was dead. The Men in White were gone. But those people.... The only person responsible for their deaths was her, and despite the pleasant facade she would force upwards to get through the day, that truth ate at her like a poisoned knife that was slowly twisting inside. Shaking, she stood, not realizing that she hadn't even changed out of her day clothes when she got home and crashed. Anouk's moves were silent in the apartment as she peeked in through the door of the spare room, Kenta cuddled into Kitaro, Kitaro's little hands curled into fists, ready to strike. But her innocents were sleeping. And that eased Anouk's heart a little. She stepped away from the door to check the other door, peeking in just slightly on Ela. Just to make sure he was really there and give her that feeling of safety she'd come to feel she needed to function. Something stable that wasn't leaving her and didn't hold her actions against her.

She lingered for a moment before slipping away, quietly padding back into the kitchen. Like Hell she'd sleep at all tonight. Anouk was getting used to not sleeping; all the months alone and hunting and hiding for her life had taught her to not sleep, and she'd only started relaxing enough to feel safe and sleep in light snatches once she got comfortable with Ela again. But nights like this.... Sleep wasn't happening. The fridge opened and shut quickly, Nu's hand darting in to snatch a soda before she turned, grabbing the beaten leather jacket and slipping out through the balcony door across the living room. The night air was cold against her damp face, stars covered by the permanent duvet of clouds London kept at all times. It wasn't like home was in Vegas, where she could see them from her house since she didn't live near the strip. Anouk didn't tempt fate peering over the railing of the balcony; she knew how many stories up she was, and just how pretty of an ink blot she'd make against the pavement far below. Instead, Anouk lowered herself onto the balcony's floor, one calf pushing under the rail to dangle over the edge as she opened and took her first sip of horribly un-alcoholic fizzy drink and let out a shuddering sigh. The balcony door was shut tightly behind her as the tears Anouk struggled with day in and day out erupted to the surface, her head leaning forward to press against the twisted iron bars as she quietly sobbed to the damp, starless night.
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Anouk Ueda
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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Elastor Ito on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:30 pm

Visiting--like a distant echo over a dark mountaintop littered in unreachable stars, he'd grasped them. Taken--as a gift he had never received previously. This strange feeling-- masked in an aloof look, blazing through icy blue. Home--so foreign. In a bed not his own he'd awakened beyond the grave, clutching in agony at the sheets. They were cleaning his blood, they'd said. Dialysis for two days. Blurrily, he'd seen Nu in the corner fidgeting like he was going to die. Was he? It'd come as no surprise. Deity whispering over him it'd be alright; he didn't believe any of it. Offhandedly, he'd mentioned Dietrich, if they retrieved him from Vanity's apartment. They had. He was relieved, and again, fell back into an unconscious quiet. The second day brought more clarity--like he had really rose from the dead. Most of his blood at that point wasn't his own. For the first time, he was thankful he had been a blood donor. Dietrich was officially notarized for having fallen into a coma for an unforeseen amount of time. Ela had been dancing along that same path, having escaped by the skin of his freshly brushed teeth. Pulling out of it was hard. The entire day was spent mainly focusing on blinking. They didn't know what was wrong with him. No one could tell his sister. But Ela knew--he knew too well just what was wrong with him. Maybe he wouldn't die in twenty minutes, but surviving from a poison overdose definitely wasn't longevity. Holding back around her was stifling. Still, he'd never give in, stubborn to the bitter end.

When next he was up and about, they guessed he was okay to leave. He demanded that he was okay to leave. The threat carried enough weight; he'd caused enough mental scarring on the staff. Nu drove him home. Breathing hurt. Breathing still hurt. He'd gone immediately to bed, wordlessly. Ken and Taro were already sleeping. He didn't have the energy to peek in; just locked the door. In the faint darkness, he lost himself in slumber, waking to the sound of his knob being fiddled with. Trying to Discourage spying or not, he should have known that even if he boarded it up with nails, Nu would still get in. He rolled over. She was gone fairly quickly, but he felt something odd in the air. Danger pricked up his spine and he was awake--wide awake. Staring about his room in a frenzy, he noted everything continued to remain in place. Still in flappy hospital garb, he shivered when he left the blankets to stand in the doorway. Squinting through fuzzy dimness, he noted she was on the balcony, why? Making his way into the kitchen, his breath hitched suddenly. Panic seized him. His hands gripped the counter and he stared horrified at his own reflection in the TV. Coughing desperately, he thrust paper towels to his mouth. There went some of Zen's blood. None of it. None of it was his own. His body was rejecting it. Vanity was laughing in the rasp of his voice, finally gone hoarse. He took a deep, shuddering breath, ignoring the sharp pains pulsing through his chest. There was no saving him; he had finally become unsalvageable--too ravaged by war to be cleaned up.

There was hope yet for the crying woman on the balcony, feet dangling over city lights like she was dancing atop them. The door thwaped open, his thin frame listing to the side in the entryway. A glistening of light flickered across his eyes as if bouncing off frozen lavender scattered about the northern shores. He walked out into the biting fresh air, the change in temperature strangely harming. He coughed to the side once, narrowing his eyes at himself. Let it go. He breathed out and in once more. Her head having turned to see him. He stooped down towards her, a hand gently lingering atop her matching auburn hair. His flew against his face weightlessly and wavy from a recent shower. "Why are you crying," he asked.

.....................................................................................................................................


Fluent in | Cretan (crimson) | Amestrian (peru) | Xingese (rosybrown) | Drachman (wheat) | Everything has a British Cretan accent. Can read lips.
Csi: 8D Ela: B|
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Elastor Ito
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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Anouk Ueda on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:15 pm

It had been such a long year. In the five months Anouk had spent alone, the peace that once was hers during the night was gone, leaving only dampness and the lingering scent of blood still much to fresh for comfort. Even though Ela had, in his way, weaned his older sister off the need to throw herself against the blade and try to not get cut, everything was still too recent, every wound still too fresh. It had only been some weeks since she'd witnessed Takatori take his last breath as his black life's force spattered against the grass and erupted the city into fires to send him off to Hell with a party, and too soon after that London left shaken and wounded from RIOTE's attacks. Too soon after getting her children back, too soon after getting her little brother back, she'd almost lost him all over again and for good.

Tears ran down flushed cheeks, shining in the dim city's afterglow. Anouk's fingers wrapped around the twisted and textured iron bars, her forehead leaning snugly betwen them. She was alone and could let her guard down enough to cry out the overwhelming fear she had been swallowing. She was lost in the void somewhere, surrendered to feeling and entirely raw, not once hearing the sliding door open until it clacked at the end of the track. Anouk's eyes shot open as she turned around slowly, looking at Ela lean and look down at her. He looked so pale, like he had in the hospital. For a moment she could do nothing but stare at her little brother, unsure if she was seeing him or dreaming again, Anouk's breath holding as if waiting to see if he would collapse or vanish, just out of reach. Back to wherever he'd been in that hospital room, too far in the dark for her to help him at all. Elastor moved downward, a half flopping on top of her head in a way she hadn't felt anyone do in years. "Why are you crying?" HIs voice hoarse and tired, and for a moment, Anouk wasn't on the balcony. For a moment, she was twelve again, their father asking her the very same question, his own large hand planted on Anouk's head. Looking back, being upset for coming in third really did seem like such a silly thing, but to the perfection-driven and competitive little girl who, at the time, only saw first place as the only prize worth going after, it was monumental.

With a loud sniffle, Anouk moved her hand, hurriedly wiping her eyes with the back of her wrist to try and cover up what had been so plainly exposed as though she could just wave it off as chopping onions for burgers. "Ela," came the choked reply, the damp leather cuff of Nu's jacket only smearing the wetness across her cheeks further. "What... What're you doing out of bed? You need to be resting." Bleary lavender drifted down listlessly at the opened soda beside her, somewhere in the back of her mind praying that magical vice fairies would have changed the drink to something stronger and snuck a nic fix in her pocket. Damn. No such luck. Anouk let out a small shuddering sigh, the night air clinging to her face and chilling her cheeks. She hadn't answered Ela's question. Ah, sweet aversion, how seldom it really worked in the Ito family. Anouk looked away, her eyes closing as her forehead moved to once more lean against the balcony's rails. "I didn't mean to wake you, Ela... I just needed to check on you is all."
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Anouk Ueda
MOTHER'S SCORN

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Location : Never far behind..

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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Elastor Ito on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:58 pm

Laughable. Feeble attempts. It left him staring in a daze at her arms moving--like trying to peddle a bicycle without wheels. It was counterproductive--a hypnosis of hiding. He already knew what she was trying to wipe off. No, don't run away. His eyes were in slits, his breathing coming in forced gulps like he was trying to be a fish. A bottom feeder--one of those weird ones with light bulbs attached to their heads. He'd seen it on animal planet at the hospital. They were weird. Just like this situation. His sister. Once stronger. Tears. Balcony. Dead of night. He looked around them as if suddenly realizing it was still the morning hours just before dawn, and then silence. His hand became a heavy weight on her breezy hair, frizz tickling the outskirts of his knuckles. His faraway gaze remet hers, making him feel like a blank wall. Having had ascended childhood--cast it aside--his shadow bled into him, his entire being so submerged he long forgot the actual tint of his own skin. Don't turn into me. He'd already said goodbye. In the smoke. Behind bars. Silent, dead, trailing along tombstones. Explosions. "Ela" drew the tide back to shore. The lighthouse blasting a dog whistle of light. Focus, his consciousness boomed. Thunder over the roof. Pitter-patter of that same rain. That fire. Swirling. Light & shadow. Pledge on the shelf. A broom--the mop. The screams. Closed door. Unable to help. Reliving again and again. Door nob. The same old story. He knew. He knew. Those books read over. Memorization. Learning. To kill. Revenge. The first night. That first night.

"Nu," he counteracted, surprised he got even that out of the ramming in his mind. Slamming against jagged rocks--the saltwater. In air. He drew it in, struggling if ever so slightly behind the veiled mask, induced further by the unworn assistance of mislead doctors. Venturing from the objective. To meet her again. Burnt ruins. Fact confirmed. He was dead, they were kidnapped. It was his fault. But now it was over. So why?

"What... What're you doing out of bed? You need to be resting." He didn't hear her anymore. Repeats. The same image. Remorse. Regret. Stains. A faint hum snapped her image back against the railing, pressed against it. Bars holding her away from the edge. Bars having sent him over it. He looked over their perfect iron twists and into the far reaches of horizon, grasping the seams of satellites glazing overhead with bleary azure. "I didn't mean to wake you, Ela... I just needed to check on you is all." Needed.

"Hn," he responded, removing his hand from her head and staring at its outline against the sky. Nothing. Nothing was there anymore. Strange how it just all...disappeared. In time. He dropped down on his haunches unsteadily, falling back to sit next to her. Thin fabric against cold stone. He barely felt it--barely felt anything. No, felt nothing. Wind was just stirrings of air. Breathing was just happening with effort. "I told you," Ela suddenly murmured, leaning a decent portion of his body weight on her shoulder, "that's why I told you." His eyes slid closed--an intake of deep night air. "Not to kill anymore." A pause absorbing the quiet like sustenance. "Takatori," he clarified suddenly, wisps of icy blue opening to finally focus on her face and gauge the reaction. "Hardly human, but still living. That guilt, even paved away by hate is still guilt. ...Let me tell you..." He would have never looked at her like that, but it was shining through--coming beyond the curtains like bleeding moonlight. The glint in his eyes was nearly feral--the eyes of a killer. No fear, no remorse, no sweat in the night. Walls became childhood bliss--facades stacked away off stage. "How it is that I've killed children and walked away." Innocent eyes paved with ideals that ruined lives. Ignorance in pursuit of belief, tearing apart the happiness of more lives than their own was worth. RIOTE. They met his sword, sharpened without critique. All to find Takatori. Break it down. The aimless release. "I became the nightmare; I live it during the day, Nu. Everyday. That's why..." He glanced at the soda and back towards her relative direction, eyes ablaze with something deeper than he ever dared reveal. "That's why, I can keep going."

.....................................................................................................................................


Fluent in | Cretan (crimson) | Amestrian (peru) | Xingese (rosybrown) | Drachman (wheat) | Everything has a British Cretan accent. Can read lips.
Csi: 8D Ela: B|
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Elastor Ito
TIN MAN

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Location : on the job.

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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Anouk Ueda on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:34 pm

So far away. It was strange how far away Anouk felt, even from herself and her life. When she dreamed, she was alive and could feel everything as Anoukd relived it, night after night. Locations and faces changed, but the feelings remained, and when she woke, things were so similar that sometimesit was hard to tell where the boundaries of dreams and reality met. Fingers around cold iron, the chill of the metal pressed to her forehead, Anouk could not hide from the fact that underneath the skin everything was still wet and raw. Still bleeding, too fresh and picked open by the dreams that wouldn't let the bartender sleep again.

Ela slipped to his hanches and down onto the cold slab of the balcony beside his sister, Anouk working to swallow her heart. The night wind stung against damp flesh and wet leather, chilling the woman's soul. Or was that the chill of the void, her soul forfeit? That bastard haunted her sleep, and the lack of control she'd had in her life Anouk had somehow managed to keep herself together for.That was just how she was and had been. In the thick of things she was focused, had a goal, and kept her eyes on the prize whatever it may be. After was when she would catch her breath, away from everything and herself and let herself release. I'll cry when this is over, she'd told herself for months, holding onto her rage and using it to give her focus. Using that black within her to help ensure her survival time after time, pulling herself through even when those aiding her in dark places bet good money that she wouldn't survive the night and die gasping or bleeding to death.

Pained, her brother was sitting beside Anouk. She hadn't expected that. It wasn't like him to pry, and it wasn't like him to stick around when she'd already tried to shut the door and tell him to look away. Yet here he was. Ela had changed, but nearly dying did that to a person, she supposed. That, or the pain meds he was on were fantastic. But she'd changed, too. And watching him from the sidelines, being so helpless to do anything as the nurses tried to keep the woman calm hadn't left without marking Anouk. She'd always hated not having some kind of control on her life, being helpless. Elastor had been gone from her life for so many years, then suddenly a part of her again and helping restore her heart, only to suddenly be where she couldn't reach him, help, or keep him from danger or leaving her all over again. Weight against her side, Ela was leaning tiredly against his big sister in a way she hadn't felt in years. "I told you. That's why I told you...not to kill anymore."

Like weaning a child from the breast to pureed foods, it had been much the same trying to wean Anouk off the need to hunt and kill regularly. Eyes on the prize. Even though Anouk had been draining her resources and her information pools, leaking further away from anyone who was relatively safe and would help her, the need had remained. But slowly, Ela had helped her to curb that, instead using his pools, his information, and Ela returning far less damaged that she often did. "Takatori. Hardly human, but still living. That guilt, even paved away by hate is still guilt. ...Let me tell you..." Ela paused again, words seeming to drift in and out like a slow tide in a deep pool that drank up the light. His gaze moved to her, iced lavender meeting its softened match rimmed with red that hardly showed in the night. The look was dark and cold, sharp as the blade Ela carried. Anouk knew that look, even though it was one her brother had never shown her and that he'd never dare let the boys see. Anouk had worn that look herself, she was sure. It was the look that came at the start of the hunt and did not end until she'd made her way back to somewhere safe and vanished into the shower. "How it is that I've killed children and walked away. I became the nightmare; I live it during the day, Nu. Everyday. That's why... That's why, I can keep going."

Another soft flutter choked her breath, Anouk's heart beat flashing the innocent people she'd killed and their own innocent people whose fates she'd chosen in order to let herself survive in the end of the game no matter what. It flashe to Lucas' face, how he'd leaned against her in the same way as he went to sleep after sharing the last of his cigarettes with her. "Goodnight, Mom..." Stagno did that on purpose, and if Takatori was in on it, he probably hand-picked the kid, just to fuck with her. To say she didn't have a choice was a lie; she chose, and that had been the point of the sadistic game she had been trapped in. She had to choose what she would sacrifice and just how far she would go, how much blood she would spill, innocent or not. But Ela was leaning against her now, and speaking openly. More openly about things she'd never dare ask, all on his own. He was the same as her, and yet... it made her feel strangely better in a way she couldn't explain. Maybe she really had gone off the deep end and was a sociopath. It didn't matter anymore. The corner of her mouth moved into a sad, soft smile, Anouk moving her arms to shrug off the worn leather coat and pull it across Ela's back to keep him warm. As best she could, and as best he'd let her, Anouk would take care of him.

Coat across his back, Anouk's arm raised to wrap gently around her little brother's shoulder, white scars patterning the flesh from palm to high above where the sleeve of her shirt covered her shoulder. A deep breath in and held before exhaling, lettingit all go slowly. Their faces, their blood, screams, her own helplessness and the fangs that bared within her to bite and attack in the dark. Ela could shut it all out. Couldn't she? Their parents would be horrified, Anouk was sure; they hid their debt and problems as best they could, but what parent would ever knowingly choose the path their children had had to take to put their family back together? And yet... hadn't this made them stronger, and would make their grandchildren stronger for it all? Or was she lying to herself still and just denying how ruined they all were? Quiet for a long moment, herhand didn't leave Ela's shoulder. "I was so scared, Ela," Nu admitted, the words quietly churning and tumbling out slowly. "I didn't know before how much I needed you... And then watching you in that hospital room... The nurses didn't know what was wrong with you. The doctors were useless and just trying to keep me from causing problems." Lavender skies misted but didn't rain, lingering on her lashes. She would swallow her heart, one struggling piece at a time. "I never gave up on you when I was young even though I couldn't find you. And then I nearly lost you all over again."

Her fingers trembled over the leather-covered shoulder, making her arm shake slightly in turn. This was her heart, bleeding on the balcony. They'd escaped danger of one kind for another, leaving her helpless on the sidelines against something she couldn't fight. Like the faces in the dreams that haunted her, Anouk couldn't fight the things she couldn't see and didn't understand. "I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost you again, Ela. I don't know... And then the doctors didn't know.."
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Anouk Ueda
MOTHER'S SCORN

Posts : 85
Points : 304
Location : Never far behind..

-Case File-
Level: 4
Rank: -
Writer: Shu

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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Elastor Ito on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Spoiler:

Cold. The air itself was biting him, razor sharp fangs lacerating his skin like it was made from paper. The collected pieces of warmth touching Nu's side was the only thing keeping him intact. Right now, this was all he had. Deep, narrowed blue and the whistling of tears raining on lavender fields. A cloudy day dancing down cracked sidewalks, stealing loose change before it was swept away in the floods down the sewers. Anything--they were grasping at anything. To keep them here--to keep each other alive. If only they would have known. Maybe he would've replied to one of her letters.

She shifted nearer--just enough. Her scarred arm drifting across his back around the leather coat he barely registered. Shivering stunted, he hadn't questioned why. Now he knew. Now he knew just what it was tying them together; it wasn't just their last names--it wasn't their childhood. What it was, he wasn't sure, but he felt it now like letting out abated breath. "I was so scared, Ela." He knew she'd be. But their devil was already slain. There's was nothing left forcing them to the shadows. Openly, they could walk down the street. Openly, they could leave the door. Against the night, he felt the darkness growing fainter, lights springing up as the dawn leaned into the horizon. "I didn't know before how much I needed you..." His eyes widened, misty voice striking straight into his very core. Something snapped. "And then watching you in that hospital room... The nurses didn't know what was wrong with you. The doctors were useless and just trying to keep me from causing problems." A blur. He moved away instantly, hardly far, clutching the coat like a lifeline. The world shook violently out of control, slack slipping into tension, words falling through his hands like sand broken free from an hourglass. "I never gave up on you when I was young even though I couldn't find you." He finally saw the end. "And then I nearly lost you all over again." He had to leave.

"Turn around. Walk the other way," he breathed, barely knowing if he was talking to his sister or to himself. "You let yourself be fooled by an illusion." He rose unsteadily to his feet, stumbling forward into the railing. Haphazardly, the coat hit the ground. He looked up into the sky, squinting past wisps of grey clouds. "It's your own mind," he growled, casting aside unruly auburn strands, "telling you to dream." He looked down and to the side, knuckles clutched white against the black painted iron. "So stop. Move on." He turned around, icy blue narrowed in a vibrant glare. Quickly, his eyes moved to the door--to the escape he knew was no longer an option, but a need. She would keep worrying--keep torturing herself if he stayed around. It would only get worse. Whatever was killing him--whatever Zen had prolonged was slowly suffocating him. With blood not his own, he was hanging onto life by a frayed rope swaying under the rays of an immortal mirror reflecting himself and only himself, there, suffering.

Elastor took a deep breath. "You will lose me." He met her eyes again, his own masked in an ousted haze of drugs, the glint finally shining through. "You will lose me," his faded voice repeated, hand on the door, barely balanced. "Get used to it."

.....................................................................................................................................


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Elastor Ito
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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Anouk Ueda on Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:15 pm

The starless sky drifted above in a haze, the damp smell of night changing in its subtleties as the light tried to creep its way into the overcast night sky. Her cheeks and arms were cold, chilled at the sudden temperature difference taking off ehr jacket made as the dampness that clung to her face almost felt like it was penetrating inward. Images that tortured her sleep hung behind Anouk's eyelashes while more recent fears were still too close to shake off entirely. "Turn around. Walk the other way," ame Ela's voice, cold as spring and distant as the dawn. She could, if she tried. Couldn't she? Just walk away from everything that hurt, close it off like a door to a room no longer safe to use? Her hate had been like that. Like a room she'd stayed in and locked herself into, drank up the smell and feelings that stayed in there with her, unable to air them out.

"You let yourself be fooled by an illusion." An illusion... Anouk stared out distantly, letting chilled words fall like a final frost. But what was the illusion? Her nightmares? But those were just a reflection of her own life and memories anymore, faces in those hottible dreams all very real, their voices silenced by Anouk's hands. Ela stood slowly, hands grippinginto the iron rails. Walk away from the illusion... and embrace what? What was? What wasn't? Ryo would have told his wife to chase the morning and rejoice in what was, but nights like this left the woman uncertain of what was, wasn't, or ever was, or would be. Would he have held Anouk and told her it was alright to just let it go, never looking back or worrying for penance or what would become of her for the crimes Dietrich had pardoned her personally for? "It's your own mind telling you to dream. So stop. Move on." A glare that could chill the dead met Anouk before the glare turned away, facing the door as the worn brown leather slipped to the balcony floor.

Ela's hand met the door, Anouk drowning, struggling to tread through her own feelings. She was trying to walk away from the pain; that's why she had been taking the pills to try and keep her mind calm, why she was working so hard to keep from slipping back into her vices that she had trained herself to feel comfort from. She could, though. She could learn to walk away from them all and let herself breathe out again. Let go of the things that haunted and hurt, the things that had terrified her in order to focus on what was, and rejoice in having her borhter again, even if the idiot doctors were useless and didn't know what had happened to him in the war to tear him down like that. "You will lose me," Ela said, the cold certainty unmoving and unquestionable. The balcony vanished. They were gone. Kisses remained, instead. Pigtails at the top of her hair, messy curls and a bighter shade of red that hadn't faded into auburn as Anouk wrapped her arms around their mother's giant belly, Anouk face-planting against the flesh to press kisses to the tummy that separated Nu from her unborn brother.

"You will lose me," he repeated, Anouk not feeling it as hot liquit burned at her eyes once more. Ela turned away from her. She held her breath as she sat in the giant chair, their father slowly planting Elastor into Anouk's small arms, positioning her like a doll to support the head and neck of something so small, fragile, and wonderful. It wasn't a secret the little girl loved her baby brother, even before he took his first breath outside the womb. Gone now, melted by fire and time, there had been videos made on an ancient, massive camcorder of the little girl cupping her hands to talk to the baby through their mother's belly, telling him to come out and play and stories she made up on the fly and that she loved him. Repeatedly, endlessly that she loved him. Pale cloud-blue eyes blinked and looked up at her, daddy explaining that soon his eyes would change colour and maybe they'd be light blue still, or maybe they'd be lavender-blue like hers were, and like mommy's. Tears struggled to hold on the grown woman's eyes. The little girl was awe-struck and enamoured as she held her baby brother against her. "You have to be responsible, Nu," daddy had said, sitting on the side of the large chair. She'd never let him fall. "I'll take care of him, Daddy." Lips to the infant's forehead.

"Get used to it." Tears slipped as her heart shook, Anouk's breath catching as the liquid ran and dropped from her jaw.

"....No." Anouk didn't try to hide her tears this time. The perfectly forged and honed blade that was Ela never failed to miss his mark, striking deeply. But Anouk was just as much an Ito as he was, and stubborn was their shared middle name. "I will not lose you, Ela. Not again, not ever again." She looked away, torn with hurt and slowly stood up. He'd struggle, fight against her, glare, but she wouldn't let him run away, not until she was done. She'd broken her promise, even if Ela had been too young to remember. Anouk had broken it, and this was how Karma would bite her for it. "I'm sorry, Ela." Arms shot out and wrapped around him from behind, holding Elastor entirely. Shaking, Anouk's head leaned on the back of his shoulder, not letting him get away. "I'm sorry I abandoned you, Ela." If any of them had known what would happen to their family, would she have stopped to think to take her little brother with her to Aerugo? Would their parents have done it for their own good? Would it have made a difference? But once she never saw him again and stopped hearing from him, Anouk knew she should have taken him with her, too late realizing she'd broken her promise to always look after the little brother she loved more than anything. She loved him enough to take on a pot of hot oil and spend hours in the ER to make sure he wouldn't be hurt. Anouk loved him enough to do whatever she could to watch him when he thought he wasn't being watched, to make sure he had whatever he needed and wouldn't need to get angry or feel the need to ask for help. And then she just walked away from him for what she had seen as the rest of their lives.

"You will lose me."

NO.
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Anouk Ueda
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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Elastor Ito on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:03 am

Slipped from it--his hands. The door handle protested. The glass fogged at the edges like Nu's eyes. Artificial heat from inside brushed shoulders with a crooked cold. They fell on the door. It was a war zone suddenly. A war zone where loose fingers drew shapes, messages, and hearts for the next person who showered. When there was frost on the door, they'd melted it. A perfectly scientific explanation, in their innocent clutches. Pointer finger trailing, he'd made a mark there--a scar just as he had on his sister's heart. Frozen in stasis, there was nothing now to melt him. Eyes wide, breath caught, there were nets drawn over his every movement. Pulled taught. With each. Beat. She was scared. He was leaving. The day was starting. Like any other. Could they not move on? Could he not walk through that door without leaving something behind? No, this was different--so foreign from anything else he had ever encountered. Ela--Ela, he was invested in this; his everything was invested in those glossy, two-brimmed eyes. She wasn't seeing now anymore; he was seeing impending doom. They'd never learn. So bent, could they not return to their separate ways? Were they now bound? So stuck, they were inseparable? Pasted by blood, sticky by hope, some things were unable to be taken off by soap. "....No." He shuddered.

Leaving wasn't an option anymore. Sudden realization. The door was no longer there. It was just insight to what was. They were away for far too long to have been brought back together for nothing. She--Nu, would never understand. She couldn't see. He tears were trimming out the details; her pain was drowning her underfoot. When it happened--whenever it happened--when he was taken, then and only then would she finally see. If he left now, he'd be abandoning her. The thought itself made him feel like the monster Takatori was trying to turn him into. No. To the bitter end, he would swallow it. He'd swallow it, stay by here, and walk straight into the bowels of hell alone. Maybe this--maybe this wasn't something he could handle without her. This time, was he so full that tears turned his decision? Had he already ingested enough suffering to burst free from his resolve? Maybe so. No, it was absolute--so absolute that he--he was still standing here.

"I'm sorry I abandoned you, Ela."

"Abandoned?" Was that what she had done? Was it by will that she left him there? Yet she sent him holiday cards? He didn't understand it. In fact, Ela had never understood it. If she had known where he was, why did she not come? There were no questions, just blame. Their deaths, on his shoulders. Nothing--he received nothing but torment for the repentance of another's sin. Day by day he spent in solitude that now--now she was apologizing? For what? What exactly had she thought while he was labeled as a murderer? No questions. While seeing her happy in those postcards was enough, there was always something missing: some key piece in himself--something he had locked away behind those bars--something that stayed behind those bars. She'd drag it out now? Picking the lock like an old pro, his older sister had always known the ropes before he even dared risk them. But she'd never gone to jail--she'd never been pinned with a lie--ridiculed with the blood of the only people he had ever loved. No, she knew smiles and how they vanished--held dear the everyday. All he saw now...was the end.

"Stop crying," he breathed, reaching out a tentative hand to whisk away the runs of cold rivers trekking to the sea. Instantly, his fingers drew cold. Her embrace wound him with a strange feeling. Why? He couldn't grasp the importance of his presence in her life. What purpose did he serve--what need did he fill? But her head against the back of his shoulder. He turned to face away, still pining for the door he hardly could see. I'm dying, Nu. He couldn't say it. A hint was all she'd get. A hint, and this.

Elastor squirmed free from her grasp, stealing her hands and yanking them down. Intertwining fingers. A hard look growing softer. A fear glinting fervently in his irises. A heartbeat taken down a different path. A nightmare happening already: living it. Sifting into the icy blue was everything. A soft smile, easily forgotten. The warmest expression he had ever shown her since being locked away was bridging the gap. His cold hands were taken--her sorrow-stricken palms clasped. "Relax," he cooed, "I'm not going anywhere." Pause. "Not just yet." He looked to the side, suddenly pained either by his next words, or by something spreading inside him--something that painkillers couldn't take away. "There are some things though...that are inevitable." He let go of her hands and touched the glass of the door with a grim smile, not meeting her eyes. "But nightmares aren't one of them."

[EXIT THREAD]

.....................................................................................................................................


Fluent in | Cretan (crimson) | Amestrian (peru) | Xingese (rosybrown) | Drachman (wheat) | Everything has a British Cretan accent. Can read lips.
Csi: 8D Ela: B|
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Elastor Ito
TIN MAN

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Re: All The Way Down

Post by Anouk Ueda on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:54 am

Hearts were strung on nearly-invisible fishing wire that bobbed within the soul and hung haphazardly between despair and contentment. It was so easy to cut the wire and let it fall into the dark; so easy to tie it down with weights that would pull them down and sink. Gentle tugs were needed from time to time to help them rise back up strongly when things were too placid, but tugging too hard just caused more pain. Anouk had had her fill of pain, weights still biting in and pulling her down like the ravaged and blackened hands that grasped at her from beyond the grave. They both had, really; the whole family felt cursed sometimes, and anouk was pretty sure the only one who might walk away into life with the least amount of lingering damage was Kenta.

Hot stung against cold as tears dripped from Anouk's cheeks, the chill of night air freezing against the liquid in a way that seemed to drive straight in and through her. Why did it hurt so much? Why was sleep torturing her this way? And when had her beloved little brother become a towel? Anouk wasn't used to letting Ela see her like this, her walls crumbled and her smile drenched. But anger, hate, and the burning need to get even were gone and left nothing but the hollowness of remorse in their wake to eat at her mind in the dark hours where little could be of comfort. "Stop crying," came the cold-breathed plea. The frost that tinged Ela's voice and eyes were fading as his sister clung to him, some part of her in the back of her mind terrified to let go and open her eyes to find he'd never been there at all.

Ela said she would lose him; Anouk refused. She had already lost him once and been unable and not allowed to help or interfere, tied down and pulled away from where she was needed. Anouk had been too far away and too young to have been of any help even if she'd been allowed to. Their past was nothing but bitter ashes now, but that only added to the woman's resolve. She was an Ito, just as he, and just as stubborn; she always had been. As a child telling Anouk that something couldn't be done was seen more as setting a challenge to bait her with, waiting for her to accept and then grin triumphantly after. He said she would lose him; Anouk would take that challenge and fight to keep the little brother who always had a habit of pushing away when people and feelings got too close inside. She was selfish like that; she needed him. For all the things that latched on to pull Anouk's heart and soul so far into despair that she'd never resurface again, Ela was one of the few little wires that was keeping her up from drowning.

He wriggled free as he always had, but instead of tromping off, Ela turned to face Anouk, grabbing her hands instead of the sliding door's handle. Palm to palm and finglers locked together, the harsh winter in his eyes gone for the moment, leaving a look that was entirely gentled and much warmer than she'd seen since they were very young. "Relax, Ela said, the soothing tone cutting through the ache eating away at his sister. Anouk drew a shuddering breath in, trying to breathe out the hurt and blow away the images that burned her mind's eye. "I'm not going anywhere. Not just yet." The aching rivers had slowed, Anouk's fingers holding Ela's hands against her own as her own bleary eyes searched him. That look was one that rarely surfaced, and she was looking everywhere she knew to read for any hint of what he meant. Not just yet? What was that supposed to mean? In general, or something more pre-determined? Takatori was dead and there was nobody left to owe anything to, so there was no danger there. But... "There are some things though...that are inevitable." That could be said about so many things, but God damn it, Ela!

Anouk's mind was a racing turbine, trying to piece together the little riddles and crumbs Ela left in his trail, leaving Anouk to wonder if he meant for her to follow him to whatever end, never letting go of his hand, or simply to let him be, or even if he meant nothing at all by it. No, no. As Elastor let go of Anouk's hands and took a hold of the door, she wrote that one off; he rarely said things he didn't mean or have a reason for saying. So that just left her to figure out the pieces to see the whole picture. "But nightmares aren't one of them." Anouk was quiet as she bent to scoop up the rumpled leather of her fallen jacket, watching Ela distance himself in a way she couldn't quite understand. Anouk's arm came up once more to wipe at her face in an attempt to smear away the things that kept her from sleep.

"You're right," she replied at last, voice tired and heavy. Nu stepped up behind Ela to follow him in. "They... they don't have to be. And some things are inevitable, but..." Her heart froze, breath choking as her arms once more latched around her little bother from behind, holding him close against her in an embrace that spoke of a lifetime as a kiss pressed to the back of his head. "I love you, Ela. I don't care... what comes our way; I won't let anything else happen to you." The Devil himself could show up at their door for tea as far as Anouk cared; he wouldn't get biscuits, cream, sugar, or Ela. Somehow, she'd make it right, and no matter what it was that was eating at him, Anouk refused to lose him again. One more gentle squeeze before her arms released the guard slowly, knowing that she couldn't lose him; she knew she'd never be able to live with breaking the very first promise she'd ever made to Elastor.
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Anouk Ueda
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