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The Art of the Death-Glare

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The Art of the Death-Glare

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:42 pm

Well, this was it.

Last night at around 4pm Cretan time, he'd touched back down for the first time in eleven months, having not contacted anyone for the entire duration. Rebecca, his mother... Elastor... and for some reason, the auburn-haired Royal Guard's shock at his sudden return over his (potentially now ex) girlfriend and, well, mother. That was possibly because it could be the first display of any sort of camaraderie or affection he'd get from Ela that wasn't in the form of a grunt, but, hey, life goes on.

At least three times, now, he had rose, loaded, cocked, and then unloaded and uncocked the pistol sitting on the passenger seat of the Exige, because, being that Elastor's reaction to this would be completely unpredictable, he wasn't sure exactly what sort of defense method he'd need or not. "...well, Mama told meeee, when I was youuuung..." The gritty, distorted sounds of the radio rung out. It was too early for Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he wasn't driving.

Though, that said, as he muted the song with a subtle click on the radio wheel, he sighed and looked out of the window, shaking his head. He felt bad. For as much as traveling to Xing was necessity... he'd really enjoyed the change of pace, and the ability to just... reinvent himself in a place where he had no reputation. Sure, here, he had friends, but, here, he was Zen Howler, buttmonkey. The opportunity of a blank slate was something that he swallowed up deliciously, carving himself a fresh, eleven-month future, and almost losing himself completely in it.

The broccoli-haired investigator shook the thought away with a sigh, and scratched an unshaven, stubble-covered chin with two calloused knuckles. Even in April, Creta was cold, and Xing's climates were almost comparatively scalding, so the detective was freezing, even in his traditional blue jacket-yellow shirt combo. Running a hand through that carefully-sculpted off-green clump, he looked back down at the pistol for a tarrying moment, and shook his head, reaching for the driver door handle with a remorseful sigh. "He's gunna fukken' kill me." The internal affairs officer spoke with an unsettling degree of certainty.

Whilst the pistol, he had concluded, was an unnecessary measure, his newest addition to his arsenal, a fairly non-descript three-section Xingese staff, sat weighty in his pocket. That was more for the fact that he wanted to spar with Elastor later, but it could serve as a blocking device if the Royal Guard did temporarily decide that he wanted to skewer his greatest comrade.

Their friendship was so healthy.

That said, Zen checked his watch and shook his head once more. It was only five minutes til four, and as cold as it was out in the strangely bitter April weather, the nicotine withdrawl grated at him, and the blue-clad investigator drew his longcoat - over the navy jacket - from the open door, pulled it around him, and produced a half-smoked pack of Marlboro Gold cigarettes and his lucky Ace of Spades Zippo lighter from his pocket in a single, fluid movement, propping one against his lips and rolling his thumb against the machine's wheel. A moment later, a flame sprung up from within the guard and singed the end of the smoke, before the detective instinctively snapped it shut and pocketed both the pack and the small black-and-white box, the stench of butane fluid hanging in the air.

With another quick look up at Ela's humble abode, Zen sighed once more. He'd only ever dropped the man off here after one of their crusades where the guard hadn't bothered to bring out his sister's Porsche, but the apartment block seemed to represent the soldier well; it was tidy, even from the outside, nothing like his own residence, and it was in a nice, up-market, city-close, family-friendly neighbourhood. It was almost too unfittingly warm for the man, and the almost oxymoronic setting for the ice-blooded, auburn-haired swordsman made the senseless investigator's blood curdle. He shivered and took that first drag of the cigarette, the end crackling as it burned along with necessary assistance from his inhalation. "Yeah. He's gunna fukken kill me."

That in mind, Zen, periodically taking momentary puffs on the cigarette, skirted around to the boot of the car and pressed the small Lotus emblem. With a light clunk and a hydraulic hiss, the boot lifted up to reveal a remarkably clean interior - he'd had it cleaned before he left, it wasn't going to last - save for one blue plastic bag filled with an all-too-familiar aroma. Even through the cardboard he could smell it, the sweet air deep in his lungs: the eternal nemesis of the diabetic, the great oppressor of the morbidly obese. Chocolate.

After all, t'was the season for festivities; Zen had bought four, one for each member of Elastor's family - his sister, her two children, and the swordsman himself - but likely resigned himself to the fact that he would be tasked with consuming one considering the miserable anti-sugar nature of his partner. God, that reminded him of that first time they'd met. With the donut factory, and the drug dealers... and the smell of fear, analogous with asparagus, for some reason. Man, he was a fucking great investigator.

He hoisted the plastic bag from the car's boot and slammed it shut, taking the last drag from the cigarette and flicking it nonchalantly into a nearby drain. With that, he exhaled the last of the creamy white smoke and began his advance up to the door, his heart pounding, chocolate in his hand, black longcoat drawn suspiciously around him. Here he went. Make or break. He wouldn't be surprised if the Royal Guard didn't let him out of this fresh encounter with a backhand.

He ground his feet against the tiles at the front and scanned the register. 1408. Mr. E. Ito. Great. Why was this getting more ominous with every moment? It felt like the stakes were getting higher with every step. Fuck, they probably were. The door to the block was unlocked, so he pushed it open and made a beeline for the elevator opposite without stopping, sidling in after just a moment, the smoke hanging from him like a bad body scent and seemingly following him around. He felt like a morally objective skunk.

With a button press and a light bing, he selected his destination floor, and after some terrible background music and a fairly smooth fifteen-story upwards journey, he exited once more and walked down the corridor to turn off at the apartment, number embossed in gold on the door. A trembling finger outstretched and hovered over the doorbell. Then Zen remembered his complete disregard for dramatic tact, and slammed the buzzer, pressing it, and holding it for far longer than was socially acceptable.

However, the sound of footsteps meant someone was coming. AH. What did he do!? How did he react?! Was it Ela!? It was Ela. Shit, he had to prepare, he had to make some sort of response. They hadn't seen each other for eleven months? WHAT DID HE DO!?

The only thing he could, of course.

Zen stood there, and with that yellow grin of his, beamed dead-on at whoever was going to open the door like a braindead idiot.


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Re: The Art of the Death-Glare

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:45 am

For as much as the mother had growled and gnashed her teeth about it, hiring Tuck had been a fucking blessing, and today was evidence of that. It was a nice afternoon, and Anouk Ueda wasn't at her pub. She wasn't out running a thousand errands and terrorizing beady-eyed bankers. She wasn't even out. For a change, Anouk was in, and loving every minute of it. Anouk was there with her boys. That fact alone negated any qualms she may have had in paying someone else to mind her bar for the night, even if she honestly knew Tuck was stellar and could keep her regulars happy despite not looking as good in a short skirt as she did.

Ken had just gone down for a nap, leaving Anouk to relax for a little while as her eldest sat at the kitchen table, worksheets scattered all over. Kitaro had been catching up with his school work rapidly, showing that the little boy had quite a lot of promise. No big surprise to Anouk or Ela; Kitaro was an Ito, through and through, and as much as he had his uncle's power glare, he also possessed his mother's and what seemed to be their family's trait for drive. Anouk laid back on the sofa, propped up with pillows with a fuzzy Elmo blanket draped over her body. Kitaro was determined that he'd fill out the question sheets about him himself; after all, school wanted to know about him, nobody was him-er than him! Anouk couldn't really argue that and had told Kitaro to just ask if he needed help; she'd be there with a mug of hot chai tea and a book.

Getting to lay down and read something more adult than Goodnight Moon and The Pokey Little Puppy was even more rare than these incredible days off. Kitaro hadn't needed any help so far, so she could just let herself sneak in a chapter or two of something much more fun her many books on better business practices; something she'd actually torn the cover off of. Last thing she needed was Ela picking on her for reading something as trashy as this, but it was something every book store carried and a surprising chunk of her regulars had mentioned, if only as a comparative checklist. It certainly wasn't a work of literary art, and yet? Holy fuck. Anouk couldn't decide if the book was like a train wreck she couldn't look away from or just the literary transcription for a really weird, long porn. And somehow this was on the bestseller's lists. Anouk had just turned the page when she felt a slight tap on her shoulder. She hadn't even heard her baby come down from the chair.

Soft brown curls hung down and framed Kitaro's face. He looked so like Ela when he was seven, except the brown hair and eyes were much more like their father's and Ryosuke's. Dogearing the page, Anouk laid the book on her stomach, for a moment entranced by the absolutely serene look that graced her baby's face. "What's up my love?" she asked.

"Mama, what's sex?"


Lavender eyes went wide as the blood drained from Anouk's face, leaving her suddenly chilled. Of all the questions she'd anticipated from Kitaro, that was NOT one that she'd wanted to hear for several years! The look of shock couldn't have been any more shocked if Anouk watched Takatori rise from the grave dressed in a tutu and go to make Rouenian Toast in their kitchen. She.... He... SEX?!?! Who the hell even brought that UP to her son?! Anouk floundered, lost, and wondering if Ela was listening to any of this. Of course, Anouk had pondered many times when to have that talk with her boys; they were boys, and despite her teasing efforts to squash them back down to size by smooshing against their heads... they were growing up.

But dammit, it was too SOON!! Anouk hadn't planned on having that discussion with Kitaro at least until he was ten! But not yeeeeet! He was still her baby!! Kitaro stood there, quietly, wondering why on earth his mother who was normally so articulate was having a hard time answering. Maybe she didn't know? He idly twiddled the yellow pencil in his tiny fingers, waiting. Normally if he didn't know a word and his mama wanted him to learn it himself, she'd tell him to get the dictionary and look it up, but she wasn't suggesting that this time. But her face was all red... Maybe mama didn't feel good? Finally, Anouk took a breath, trying her damndest to compose herself. "Well, Kitaro.... You see... erm... It's, uh....."

Kitaro shifted on his feet, glancing at the table. He only had one quick question and she said she could help. "Mama, am I an M or an F?" Anouk blinked, sudden realization drowning her like a tidal wave. The stupid form. Sex: M / F. Her face still red, Anouk did her best to not laugh at her own reaction.

"M, dear. It's short for male, which means boy." Kitaro beamed, thanking his mother as he zipped back to the table to circle the right letter, leaving Anouk to pull up a little pillow and smother her face in it. Well THAT was fun, now, wasn't it? The little adventures of days off. But, Kitaro was quickly back to his form and Anouk's heart rate and blood pressure had relaxed once more, leaving her to slip back into 50 Shades with another long sip of her tea.

Things had remained quiet until the door's buzzer went off, and instead of releasing after a second like a normal person would, it held there. UPS? Anouk wasn't expecting any packages. Before she could roll off the sofa, Kitaro had hopped down, moving toward the door. He'd been getting more confident lately as it really started to settle in that things were going to be okay from now on, and Anouk loved watching Kitaro come out of his shell day by day. "I'll get it!" His little feet thumped hard on the floor, Anouk knowing that their neighbors below them were probably always so damned annoyed at the herd of elephants that lived in 1408. Tiny fingers reached up, turning the deadbolt and then the knob, opening the door just wide enough to see the person there.

It was a man in a yellow shirt and a rumpled blue jacket under a long black one. The seven-year-old looked up Zen slowly, sizing him up carefully. He was a stranger, and though Anouk had been showing him that not all people were bad... He wasn't Misser Tuck, and he didn't have kids from Kitaro's class with him. And he'd been good at recess lately! But, who was.... Aerugese brown eyes drifted upwards, fixating on Zen's hair and broad, dopey smile, the child not noticing that his own face had shifted slowly from curious to calm to his default of mimicking Unca Ela. This man had green hair, and slightly yellow teeth. The child thought about it for a moment. The only man he knew of that had green hair and didn't brush his teeth was the Joker.

"Baby, who is it?" Anouk hardly noticed she was speaking in Aerugese. Oh well, if it was someone she wanted to talk to, she'd switch. Ela and everyone who put up with her was used to it by now.

Kitaro turned his head to call over his shoulder, looking slightly panicked. "MAMA! Tell Unca to call Batman!" ....What? She closed her book again, tossing the Elmo blanket off her to get up.

"Honey, who's at the door? You're letting the heat out."

Kitaro paused, looking at Zen again, his baby-Ela-glarelet solidly in place. "It's a clown with green hair, Mama!" He'd switched languages easily enough, but he still wasn't making sense to his mother. Kitaro stood there, holding the door open, staring up at the man he didn't know to thank as he debated grabbing a hold of his bokken, just in case the man really was the Joker.

Last edited by Anouk Ueda on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:37 am; edited 2 times in total
Anouk Ueda

Posts : 85
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Location : Never far behind..

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Writer: Shu

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Re: The Art of the Death-Glare

Post by Elastor Ito on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:40 am

Quiescent. A haze of half-sleep melded through the dimness of closed shades and fleece blankets. Silence. He basked in it as if it were the first time in a long while he encountered it. Once a comfort, now a commodity. He took a soft breath, feeling a dull ache simmer through his lungs, burning his veins. Here, he couldn't pretend things were okay. Here, he was alone and by himself. Here, in the quiet were three others unaware. The solidarity was just an old mask, worn off and decayed. He already knew he could never be alone anymore. Stifling and crowded, his life was filled with samurai action figures, wooden tantos, and ninja turtles. He could not BEGIN to explain his annoyance--his jarring conclusions that usually resulted in a complete topsy-turvy of what normalcy once was. But it was okay. He accepted it and went on. He found happiness in it. Right now, he could deal with it. Nu knew where to prod and where to tiptoe. Anything further, was something dangerous and worth avoiding. What scared him, truly terrified him, was this dependency he had come to have. This silence was alien. Because of it, he couldn't sleep.

The Art of War was perched on his nose, covering his face, and (most importantly) his eyes. Under the pages in the midst of chemically flattened wood, he breathed. Vicious, agonizing breaths poured over the words by Sun Tzu. They bled away into a dreary mindset of thoughts before sleep. There were no sounds but Kitaro's pencil touching paper on the table across the way. He cracked open a violet eye and stared at the tan with blurry lines running across it. He'd have to move to continue reading. This--this just wasn't working. He sighed, feeling something clench and sputter inside him, causing his eyebrows to furrow and the book to slide down. Cracks of light invaded. He regretted breathing.

"What's up my love?" He was awake now, listening in from afar. Nu was on the loveseat, he was on the recliner, not reclined. He guessed Taro finally encountered something--

"Mama, what's sex?" The book fell off his face and clambered to the floor next to a discarded Rurouni Kenshin DVD. Elastor was a disheveled mess of bewilderment. This was like a soap opera. In. His. Own. Home.

Nu looked like a ghost. Worse than that one time Ken nearly fell off the balcony. Ela wasn't going to come to the rescue on this one, he looked to the side, pretending to be entirely interested in the drapes. But wait. Kitaro didn't have a father. Who would give him 'the talk'?! And at seven years was more like 17! Panic struck him, and he shot Nu a horrified look. Not him, not here, not now? His sister stuttered some motherly garble until... "Mama, am I an M or an F?" Relief. It was all he knew and allowed for him to carefully pretend as if he were never even worried. The smothering silence and violent hum of the refrigerator was long gone, allowing him to pick up his book once more and close his eyes under it. He hadn't slept at all last night. It was bad today.

BBBBBBBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTTT Doorbell. He wanted to break it. If it wasn't broken already for being overused like it was Halloween or something. Even if he put an angry sign on the door telling children to go away, some of them couldn't read. He moaned and rolled over away from the commotion. Nu would get it. "I'll get it!" Or not. But a child answering the door could pose problems, and not just for the floor. His feet pounded towards it before his uncle could even think of stopping him. Wait, who would be here at this time of day? Ela placed his book on the coffee table and stood up, brushing the lint off his dark clothes. Whoever it was, he was going to murder them. Slowly. Painfully. He grabbed his sword off the rack with a vicious killing intent. In front of the children, sure. They could watch and learn how it's done so the bastard that dare ring his bell at 4PM would-- He knew he was going too far, but most of the time, his paranoia wasn't misplaced. And in this case, it wasn't.

The door opened. "It's a clown with green hair, Mama!" It wasn't a joke, but the Joker himself was standing on his doorstep. The redhead's breath caught, icy eyes bestirred upon a man he could only assume had been dead. Until now. Well, what was that saying, 'only the good die young'? In that case, he wasn't suprised Zenith Howler was still living. Maybe it would have been for the best if Batman did take him out though. But here he was thinking in cartoons and adages instead of killing the moldy-cotton-candy-haired bastard himself. He hadn't even been given a chance to thank him for saving his life.

"You smell like smoke," Ela barked, wielding his death glare like a toy.


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

Posts : 164
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Re: The Art of the Death-Glare

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:05 pm

When the door opened, a small child appeared in his face, large brown eyes staring him up and down apprehensively. There wasn't quite a deathglare set upon the young boy's pallor, but there were the makings of a true Elastor in this kid's eyes. He could tell already. He grinned, scratched his head nervously, and looked down at the child. Zen was never the best with kids. He'd known that his ex-partner had always lived with two - nephews - but had never had the luxury of meeting them. "Uh... hey, kid," Instinctively, he thrust the bag, filled with cardboard-clad Easter eggs, forwards so that it swayed gently in front of the small, Aerugese boy's face. "...want some candy?"

"MAMA! Tell Unca to call Batman!" Well, fuck. At least this Ito relative had a sense of humour. One-nil for this little guy over Elastor. Slowly, he began to process the facts. Oh, shit. He'd just offered a schoolchild a chocolate. Well, Zen supposed there was a first time for everything. Even apprehensive "are-you-a-sex-offender" Ela-esque glares from the child's mother. "It's a clown with green hair, Mama!" Ironically one of the less-colourful ways he had been described in a negative sense.

Forgetting where he was for a moment, Zen snapped back instinctively. "Watch it, kid, it's brown!" He analysed the child's tiny glarelet and quickly cottoned on to a common, oh-so-familiar deadpan twinkle within it. Huh. Definitely related to him. Maybe baby Ela had a baby stick up his ass, too? With that, he lowered the plastic bags to the floor, sighed, and crouched to the boy's height. "Look, uh, I'mma friend a' ya' unca' Ela's. Now jus' tell him that Zen Howla's waitin' for him outside." Yeah. That was a better idea. Standing inside, especially if Elastor was out... it would be... for lack of a better word... awkward. He could wait for the auburn-haired guardsman he called his "best friend" to descend into the parking lot, and meet him outside so they could catch up calmly. Fuck, if he wanted, he could pull the IA card - even if he wasn't yet reinstated - but the investigator knew the best course of action was just to let things lie for a while.

He still wasn't sure how the Royal Guard would react. As well as that, if Ela tried to draw that sword on him, Zen could get a lot more maneuverability outside in the freedom of the street. Anger and hatred was predictable. A nostalgic and pseudo-furious Elastor wasn't. With that - mindfully leaving the chocolate eggs behind - he began to turn on his heel and walk straight down the hallway. Until... "You smell like smoke,"

Zen stopped halfway down the hall in his tracks. That familiar voice. Smooth. Cold. Harsh. Deadpan. Parallel. Elastor was always a man of few words; and he was the complete opposite. If anyone could have thought to put either of them working with anyone else in the whole of the military, well, ideally, the detective's track records in mind, Zenith Howler and Elastor Ito was the last most commanding officers had in mind. But by some bizarre stroke of weird luck, they'd ended up together. And they'd become closer than ever before.

That trademark Zen grin stretched onto his face. Today he'd smirked, snickered, smiled, and even beamed, but not until that very moment had he grinned. He closed his eyes, cocked his head, and shook it ever-so-gently from side to side, with thought in every movement; consideration, but silent and invisible. Like it was a reflex, fitting back into an old partnership routine like a glove revisited after decades of non-use.

He pivoted back almost immediately and saw the man looking disheveled standing by the door, bags under his eyes, hair a complete mess - even worse than his, fuck - and glaring with that signature, standard, trademark lavender stare of his. For most people it was harrowing or intimidating. For Zen, it was typically the subject of derogatory jokes at Elastor's sense, or expository bar banter. "And you look like shit." He retorted.

"Seriously, we goin' for some grungy teenaga' look here, Ela?" Zen nearly sprinted back up to him, shaking his head in apparent disbelief, all the while grinning like the idiot he was. "Ya' look like someone's dragged ya' through a garden maze backwards, ya' great big dick." With that, he sighed, and extended his hand. "Have a showa', too. Maybe I smella' smoke, but ya' givin' off stenches that'd make a skunk jealous, bro." With that, he stabbed the hand forward even more for the swordsman to shake. "I brought some candy. I mighta' missed Easta' by a bit, but figured it'd do ta', ya'know, break tha' ice."


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