Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Remember Tomorrow (Complete)

Blackwater Reach

"Fingers here. Mhmm. Just like that. Now, slow, but firm. There's no rush, no hurry. Just right."

Irajah and [member="The Slave"] sat side by side on the piano bench in the solarium. She was teaching him to play, a simple but haunting tune- she couldn't have told him the name of the piece, or where she herself had learned it. She started with the chords, teaching him the progression as her right hand absently played the primary melody overlaid.

After that first, strange and awkward visit arranged by [member="Darth Imperia"], he had been true to his word- he had come to visit her of his own accord. And they had done all of the things he had said they would- and more.

Tea as the sun peaked just barely over the mountains, still somber from its midnight slumber. Long hours into the night, speaking of the magic that was bioengineering. And yes, even what food they enjoyed in the garden at all the wrong hours.

It was pleasant. More than. While Irajah had other lovers, few came to the out of the way Blackwater of their own accord. She traveled to them, not the other way around. But as Gideon grew and twisted inside of her, traveling became more and more taxing. Despite the fact that Blackwater was quiet and so empty, she spent more and more time there, out of simple necessity.

Everyone needs company, he'd said.

And in her case, that was true in far deeper ways than he could have guessed.

"Good, you're a natural," she murmured, glancing at him out of the corner of her eyes with a small smile. "Want to give the melody a try now?"
As they sat, the slow and somber tone being belted out by the taut strings, The Slave held a slight glee in his posture. Fingers danced across the keys without a grievance to utter, and yet a symphony of emotion played through the music itself. Her words came in a pleasant mixture that laid beneath the overlapping tones before lapsing into silence as he adjusted to her leads. They’d been at it for a few days, yet he never seemed to tire of it. Somehow, she kept a casual joy about him that he held onto as tight as possible; only now it was in the form of learning the piano.

He’d come to visit every few weeks he was able, between this fight and that, mixed amongst endlessly complex schemes, he always managed to find time to come visit her. At first, perhaps it was to appease Imperia, but not because she asked. In fact, he likely only did it as an excuse, but now he didn’t hide behind such an idea; letting it pass through his mind with the same jubilance as he did casual memories he enjoyed.

Speaking clinically, this was some of the few actually enjoyable memories he had that didn’t include intoxication.

Want to give the melody a try now?

Her voice was thick and sweet with the honeysuckle of faint expression, emotions so deep between them he couldn’t help but crack a small grin at the compliment beforehand. His shoulder met hers as hair met hair, a comforting touch between them as emotions seemed to pass through their physical connection. Two words came low from his lips, more of casual enjoyment than the rudimentary passion she saw his first visit.

Of course.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
She leaned against him, ever so lightly, when his shoulder bumped hers, tilting her head toward him slightly for a moment before nodding.

Her fingers walked his through the motions, once, twice, before returning to her side of the keys. More practiced hands picked up the chords for the underlay as his picked through the melody, while her right also mirrored his in a different key, adding a harmony line that had been absent and impossible before.

Affection. Acceptance. Simple enjoyment of each other's company, both for their own reasons. Passion riddled between, but it was these moments the pair found themselves enjoying just as much as darker moments of singing tension. It had surprised them both, to find it there, though no words to that effect had been spoken.

Which was, as far as Irajah was concerned at least, entirely for the best.

It would have made it too hard.

It was a casual, comforting companionship. And honestly, Irajah had no interest in making it anything else. Though he had seen everything, the bruises, the scars, he had never asked, and she had never explained. Not the past. Not the present. And certainly not what was on the horizon staring her down from the future.

The closest she had come was framing the Gideon virus as a thought experiment. Not even implying that it was real, let alone the cause of so much. Those talks into the early morning hours, hoping in some small way perhaps that a fresh pair of eyes could find something else that she had missed- it had only confirmed what she already knew. That there was no cure. Not for her at least. For [member="The Slave"], it had been an enjoyable intellectual romp. So perhaps it had been odd that, on this visit, she had said, in soft tones, when he started the conversation anew, that perhaps they could talk about something else.

Anything else.

That was where the offer to teach him to play had come, a useful thing to divert his attention and allow her to return back to a simpler pleasure.

As the last tones echoed in the glass lined room, she glanced over at him with a smile, her hands resting lightly on the ivory keys beneath her finger tips.

"Is there anything you can't do?" She teased. "Your turn to pick something now."
With enjoyment holding still in the air, The Slave held his breath for a few careless moments. Moments where you could imagine they were forever stuck where they were, forever pleased and content with their positions in the world. What a world it could have been, to never feel the ever pressing stress of ambition, or the outside world. No, something so simple he’d never have to think again.

His fingers twitched before he brought his pseudo smile to her, offering a slight murmur of satisfaction before speaking himself;

Oh please, if it weren’t for you, I’m not sure what I’d do.

He was honest in that regard. While he was intelligent on his own, especially so considering his upbringing, he likely would have never learned the piano prior. Not because he couldn’t, but because nobody would have introduced it to him. The only skills he possessed that would ever expand were either lewd, crued, or absolutely abhorrent.

There was a hesitance to his words, considering if he should ask what was on her mind. For the first time since they’ve met, she attempted to change the subject when he asked her about her research. It didn’t take an empathic genius to figure out what she said was off base, but to completely make a turn in the conversation to something so different was unlike her.

It was upsetting.

A slight hum was offered in the silence’s place, giving him a few moments to think of what he would want to do. What he would say. An arm wrapped around her and pulled her close as he offered a slight chuckle;

A song, or something else? Because I’d enjoy the musical notes the piano offers, but maybe I’d like to hear what noises you can make.

Lewd as usual, it seemed.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
She laughed, a bright and bell like sound.

"You would flirt, and drink and smoke," she teased. "You would grow in power and influence, and visit wildly exotic places and kiss wildly exotic women." Though she smiled at him, something in that smile didn't entirely reach her eyes.

"You, sir, would be entirely fine without me."

As far as she was concerned, it was nothing but the truth. And so much better that way. It was the place she needed those in her life to be. Matsu, Carach, Jacob- none of them needed her. There was no denying their friendship, even affection. But their lives would change little with what was to come. They would move on, from the success or failure, and their lives would change not at all, she knew. They would be fine.

So why did it feel so hollow to say?

His hand sliding around her waist and pulling her close did the closest thing to banishing those thoughts as was possible. Her smile turned into a slightly crooked smirk as she turned into his embrace.

"Mmm. Well," she murmured, tipping her face up to brush lips against his, "I suspect that we can manage a better range than the piano can, don't you?"

Her mouth was hungry against his as her arms wrapped around his neck. Hungry for him, yes, but also for the place where, at least for a little while, she could forget.

[member="The Slave"]
Sounds like a challenge.

The Slave’s met hers with a mirrored sensation of her own, the foregone thoughts left in a few moments of passion. He moved to pick her up, idly carrying her to the room they had ruined many a night. Where dark nights turned to early morn and they were still awake. Here they had gotten to know each other on a very physical level, and here they would know each other's soul.

He laid her down on the bed, hand held tightly in her hair before his other hand found its way under her shirt. Groping and kissing led to grinding and more, only to end when the moon was high and the sun was low. With passions ablaze, and music forgot, they lay close to each other; forever basking in the warmth of their bodie. Skin touched skin, offering the gentlest of reminders that the other was there, quietly coddling them in their slumber. Yet, despite the slumber, despite the comfort of the moon and the stars above; neither could sleep so well.

While Irajah struggled with her disease, so too did The Slave.

It was obvious she had something going on, from the bruises to the cuts, to the way she always hid her skin beneath long layers of clothes. At first, The Slave simply thought she was being hit by an abusive lover, and even tried tracking such a person down if they existed; but when his investigation went nowhere he pushed it aside. With so many options, he couldn’t narrow down exactly what was ailing her, only to have it confirmed hours prior.

With her disinterest in hypothetical viruses prior, she nearly cried it out to him what was wrong. A disease was racking her body, and something in her research caused a weight to lay on her heart. He didn’t know if it was viral, and he wasn't’ sure he cared, but with every passing moment he sought to bring it up; only to have it flushed down by a tightness in his throat and chest.

While she saw the moon in him, he saw the sun in her. She was the light at the end of a dark tunnel, but not a goal; simply a reminder. She kept him sane when all he wanted to do was kill and fall victim to his own abyss of emotion. He was nothing more than a bruised toy, and while she thought him her savior; in truth she was his. She adopted what was to never be, the creature that was forever forsaken.

Perhaps Imperia planned for this. She was known for such convoluted plans.

He sighed silently, eyes closed tight as thoughts moved past his mind's eye. There was nothing to be said right now, but as much as he tried to sleep nothing came. Only to feel the woman beneath his fingers begin to struggle, if only slightly.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
Irajah had managed to fall asleep after the progression of touch, of mouth and teeth, of flesh- but it was fitful and troubled. Always tired these days. Always in pain as the damage caused by Gideon grew and pushed against the boundaries of her hold on it with the Force. Everytime she sought to expand her knowledge in the Force, it gained ground. She had stopped, knowing that time was precious, despite the urge, the drive, the gnawing hate that the promise of revenge on the Zambranos brought. It could wait, but the virus would not. She had stopped because it was that or risk allowing Gideon to go too far before-

The line of his warmth along her back was probably the only thing that kept the troubled dream from crashing into a full blown nightmare. Instead it was simply snippets, sensations, haunting voices and a particular set of pitiless golden eyes. Nothing concrete- cold mud and suffocating weight and-

She breathed in sharply, eyes opening in the darkness. Any visuals haunting the space behind her eyes vanished with the bright moon beyond the open window, but the feeling of it lingered. All except the line and curve of [member="The Slave"] curled behind her, the warmth of his arm draped over her hip. Letting out a shaky breath, she closed her eyes again for a moment.

Then, carefully, so as not to wake him, she shifted, starting to slide out from his embrace. Despite her exhaustion, she would sleep no more after that. And there was no reason to disturb his slumber at least.
Although she didn’t hope to disturb his slumber, he slept even less than she had.

The sheets shifted as she moved, uttering the whispers of her movements with each hesitant act. It betrayed her stealthy maneuver, and golden eyes peered through the darkness in response; only to watch as she moved to stand and walk towards the window. The moon shown itself bright tonight, casting a soft blue haze of her curvaceous form.

As she sat and watch the clouds move over the midnight sky, The Slave watched her lost in her own world. A world she so desperately tried to hide, thinking those outside it better off without her. She had come to accept a lie to make peace with her possible passing, and the more she struggled the more obvious it became just what she was stressing over, night after night.

The Slave hesitated to say anything. For once in his crude life, he didn’t know how to twist the situation in his favor, not because he was at a loss for words, but because his words meant nothing. At the end of his breath she would still be dying, he would still be faced with loss once more, and all would be stuck in this stasis of tension and forlorn feelings.

Not exactly his idea of a success.

It took a few moments to gain his courage, but he too moved. First, pulling the blanket off him in silence before standing and donning a pair of soft sweat pants. They hung loosely on him, but with their situation he wasn’t exactly concerned with what made him fashionable and what didn’t. He made his way across the floor in quick and soundless strides, each taking him closer to her before his arms wrapped around her waist, and chin on her head. There, he simply held her, basking in her warmth before the conversation would take such a cold path.

Why haven’t you told me?

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
The night was warm enough that she hadn't bothered to pull on the robe on the chair beside the bed. There were so few times, so few places, and with so few people that she didn't need to cover her bruises with- and she was loathe to have them force her hand in that regard in this moment at least.

She leaned first her shoulder, then her cheek, against the window frame, looking out into the night. The manor's grounds, the formal garden, stretched beneath her, cast in shadows and slivers of moonlight. Beyond, the barest curve of black waters, the mountains rising in the distance.

How was it that it was only in these last weeks that she had come to love this place?

She knew he was there a heartbeat before his fingers slid across her skin. She leaned back into his embrace, but her eyes stayed gazing out the window. Her own hands slid down over his wrists, resting lightly on the back of his hands. A cool breeze, just off of the lake, rippled the air around them and she sighed wishing that this moment could last forever.

And then it shattered.

Irajah froze in his arms. For a long moment, she didn't even breath, just closed her eyes and pleaded with something, anything, that this was still a dream, turned sour and dark and out of her control.

The universe responded with expectant silence.

There was no mistaking the question he was asking her. And while she had kept it from him for her own reasons, outright lying to him was a line she had no desire to cross. She shuddered. Nothing like the shudder that he knew well, that shiver of touch and exploration. This one was different. Her voice was small, quiet and tight when it finally came at all.

"Because I wanted something..... just one thing..... where I didn't have to think about it," she whispered, eyes closing tight.

"Forgive me," her voice hitched there for a moment, faltering. "Because I am selfish, because I wanted one person..... who I didn't have to say good-bye to. And have it change the way they looked at me. Because I wanted you here, but I didn't want to wonder why you were here. Because....."

Her throat closed off. Her shoulders hitched. The bitterness of those who meant so well, but focused on how great she would become, how strong, how this would allow her to leave behind weakness. But who never stopped to think that, if she had a choice, one beside this and death, that she might choose a third path.

​"Because I wanted one person who cared about who I am now- rather than being pleased for what I may become."

[member="The Slave"]
The air held still, somber and tense with the words she spoke. To her, it was hell froze over; a flash of heat from her flushed face, and the cold breeze meeting cold words, emotions brazen like the bull in a furnace, forever left still and clinging to their lips and ears. A hesitant second that lasted an eternity as silence held them tight, pulling their lungs from their guts and leaving nothing unsundered.

And then he spoke;

I don’t live in the future.

Those words were still, with a tone like soft silk.

I live now. I see now. There is no future I care about.

A breeze blew past them and forced him to tighten his grip on her, if not for warmth; for the comfort of her being there.

Irajah, I don’t care what you’ll become, I only care about who you are today.

Lips met her shoulders skin, a slight whisper muffled by the subtle curves of her touch;

I’m here because of you.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
"I know," she whispered, eyes closing.

"And that was why..... I didn't want anything to change."

They both knew that was impossible. Just how ridiculous that statement was. Not telling him wouldn't have kept things as they were. It simply would have meant that she never had to face the change. Only he would have been left to carry that weight. Irajah knew it was selfish, and yet, even now, if she could have willed this conversation to never have happened, she would.

It took all of her self control in that moment to not weep. All of the times she had this conversation, few enough in truth, so few people who she needed to tell, she had kept it together, kept a certain distance. It wasn't in her nature however. If anything was true about Irajah it was that she experienced feelings, to the depth and the breadth. So to have herself cut off from the despair that settled deeply in her soul when she considered what was to come- it was necessary, for those around her, she had decided. But it cut like a knife every time.

It was the right decision. It was not the only decision. She could, after all-

But wasn't living worth this?

"I'm not giving up," she said quietly, words and voice tight. "But..... that virus. The one we poured over again and again..... it's called Gideon. And if there is a cure, I won't live to see it. There are..... there is.... a contingency in place. A friend of mine has offered a chance. A fresh start..... but there are risks.... and if I-"

She sagged back against [member="The Slave"], her eyes stinging.

"Why is it so hard to tell you?" It was barely a whisper.

"I don't have to die. They have assured me of that. But only if everything goes right. And even then.... I won't be the same. And I don't know if you will still......"
A hand moved to cover Irajah’s mouth, ceasing her voice with a gentle pressure. In the same way she fought tears, he had long since cut himself off from what he considered weak. In a life of slavery, with all the woe he had witnessed, seen, there was no way one could come through it and deal with such things with any healthy regard; instead numbing one’s self created at least some semblance of rational thought.

In this he had experience, so when she fought tears, his usually coy spirit was nothing more than placid, almost apathetic in nature. Not because he didn’t care, but because he simply forced himself not to; and as a consequence a harsh tightness formed where his heart once was. To fill the metaphorical void, he pulled her closer, clenching his eyes as they stood in silence. Nothing but the nearby clock offered noise, a soft click for every second they put off anything more.

As long as they were silent, it couldn’t hurt them.

It was the monster under the bed, the boogeyman in their closet. They both knew it was there, but neither one truly wanted to face it, letting it wallow and simmer in the darkness until it grew too big to be stopped, too harsh to not feel its pain. In this, she reminded him of a girl he knew years prior; how subtle the similarities they held, and how the gods refused to let him have either.

They’d take what they want, and he’d suffer all the same.

It’ll be alright…”, his voice stifled out.

We have everything we need right here, right now. Let's worry about-”, a pause, a swallow that covered a choke.

- tomorrow when it comes; lets just enjoy each other's warmth tonight, Irajah.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
She choked back one, single sob against his hand as it covered her mouth, cutting off the painful whisper- don't say it, his hand spoke without making a sound. By saying it, by saying that I wouldn't want you, you let it out into the world. Don't say it, and it's not real.

Irajah could have drown in his embrace in that moment and not even attempted to rise to the surface. Instead she sunk deeper into it, eyes closed as his words vibrated against her ear. Her fingers tightened on his arms and she nodded mutely. To focus on the here and now, that was all the she ever wanted when she was with him. A series of moments, strung like pearls on a chain. Eventually, the chain would end, yes. But for now, moment by moment, one stone at a time.

Without opening her eyes, she turned in his arms, pressing her face against his neck.

"You're good to me," she whispered against his skin. "Thank you. For being you. For being here."

She turned her back on the moon, and tried to focus on the here and now. In the morning, maybe, she could explain in more detail. She needed to explain, to ask him to do something for her. Just in case. But now was not the time.

"Let's go back to bed."

[member="The Slave"]
And so he brought her back to the bed by the edges of her fingers, carefully caressing her as they laid down to slumber with the faintest of kisses upon her exposed shoulders. Eventually, a distant music seemed to play, the two drifted off into whatever sleep they held.

The Slave however, didn’t have something so easy to dream about.

As clouds of reality shifted into the darkness of his own mind, the formation of a mob began to appear. He could make out each face, yet they all seemed to foreign to him, each a malignant entity with a grin that spread from earlobe to earlobe. They spread their gaping maws wide, but instead of surging forward to eat him whole as he almost expected them to, he watched as nothing more than a despicable laughter came from each of their malformed gullets. The trepidation in their tones filled his spirit with horror, forcing him to quake on the ground. No matter how hard he attempted to move, he could not; forever congealed into a frozen state of slow movements, as if water itself sought to fight him.

And then he saw it.

Behind the children, if they could even be called that, the swinging corpse of a young girl in her teens could be seen swaying. Her eyes catered to tears of crimson, and her pale features were covered with dirt and bruises; and with it a faint beauty that perhaps only harboured itself in his own heart. He thought to scream, cry out for salvation for her, or himself perhaps, but no sound would come. No matter the struggle his diaphragm put up, the incessant cries of the children always seemed to overpower his feeble voice, his tired screams.

It was his first sin. Cowardice.

And then he awoke. In a cold sweat, he shifted upwards to a sitting position with a the blanket falling to his waist. It took him a few moments to realize just where he was, but as the sun peered past currents to greet them both, he swallowed hard and fought to repress the memories that sought to break free from their cages inside his mind. A hand moved to brush his hair back, while his mind desperately attempted to calm his breathing enough to not appear flustered when Irajah undoubtedly would stir from her own slumber.

He couldn’t let her see weakness. Not now. Not ever.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
She lay beside him, eyes open in the darkness even as she listened to his breathing slow and calm as sleep drifted in. Her head turned on the pillow, dark curls stark in contrast against the pale skin and fabric as she watched him. In sleep, he looked younger- if not innocent (could someone who could do what he did ever be seen as innocent? She doubted that), then at least at peace. While he could find that in stolen moments in the waking world, it was few enough and fleeting.

Eventually, she turned her eyes back to the ceiling, mulling and troubled. The problem, she knew, with 'tomorrow' was that, at least for him, it was always today. When he was here with her, for both of them, tomorrow was a myth. A story told to frighten children and deep rooted, hiding psyches. Whenever tomorrow came, be it past the stroke of midnight, with the rising dawn, or simply upon awakening, it always magically became today.

His whisper to worry about tomorrow when it came was sweet. And easy in the moment to agree to.

But it was deeply naïve. Even if it was always now, the things she feared about each potential tomorrow would still eventually bleed into the today.


It kept coming back down to the blasted march of time.

Irajah didn't sleep again. She rested as well as she was able, still and quiet while his low breathing tickled the hair against her temple. Still and calm, but not asleep.

Which meant that, when he woke up, short of breath and cold with sweat, it was her turn to ask the difficult question. The real one.

They couldn't live in the fantasy of each other forever.

Her hand reached out, fingertips light but warm against the curve of his back. Soft and reassuring. She knew all too well what waking up from hell felt like. Her voice was like her touch.


[member="The Slave"]
The images he dreamt of repeated, an aged movie playing in his mind over and over. Their faces, the girl hanging, the incessant laughing that never seemed to leave his ears; even when awake. It was all pieces of something he never wished to live again, and perhaps subconsciously there was something about Irijah’s situation that reminded him of it. A helpless boy forever lost to the whims of the outside, taking from him what he cared for time and time again.

It took a him a second to respond, his throat far too dry to craft words. He glanced back to her with the same sulphuric eyes as he always had, his voice meek in comparison to what it usually was. To her, and to him, it seemed foreign, perhaps the innocent and child like voice she imagined he might have in his sleep; but one that still desperately tried to hide what secrets it could.

N-no. Just uh… tired or something…”, his voice trailed off before burying his head in his hand.

Unfortunately, in his slightly dazed state that was the best he could come up with; and even he knew it was absolutely not believable. To think that would convince her would be to think fish would fly through the window in the next few seconds. In the silence, while they waited, it failed to happen; as much as he wish it would have, just to change the subject.

He fell sideways lazily, landing his head against her curvaceous hip, his hand coming around to cradle her thigh and hold her close as her hand moved across the sensitive skin of his back. With eyes closed, he simply listened to her breathing, choosing not to ruin the moment with his words; but to enjoy what time they had as the thoughts of the night prior slowly came back to him.

Too much on the mind. Far, far too much...

[member="Irajah Ven"]
Neither of them thought she was stupid. Which was certainly a good thing.

Part of her understood. If she could have avoided talking about her own past forever, she would have. And with the exception of admitting her illness last night, he had never pried into her scars- into the nightmares that he was surely aware of sleeping beside her. He didn't ask about her family, other lovers, why she lived largely alone here at Blackwater. Those weren't the subjects they spoke of when they were together.

In a way, they were both entirely in denial about how their pasts would impact not only their futures, but also their present.

Part of her, however, felt the sting. Because in the dead of night, when he had asked her, she had been honest with him. Rather than lie when it was impossible to do so, she had told him, as best as she could in that moment. Knowing that he didn't owe her that kept the hurt from spilling out beyond the cold in the center of her chest. But it didn't banish the feeling.

It couldn't.

She could keep it contained, keep the burden of that hurt on herself, because it wasn't his responsibility. He didn't owe her truth simply because she had spoken it to him. She wasn't entitled to his secrets.

Irajah shifted as he leaned against her. One hand stayed, stroking along his back and shoulders, fingertips flickering over his own scars. Just as he had never pried about hers, she had never pried into his. Her other hand slid through his hair gently.

Without words, she offered what comfort she could. Without words, she told him you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I am here. His breath flickered jaggedly against the hollow of her hip and she closed her eyes, throat tight.

Also not his responsibility.

She would stay like that until he pulled away. Because it was all she could do.

[member="The Slave"]
She knew, but it didn’t matter.

What she told him was of the future, of a date yet to come. It had yet to happen, it could change everything drastically given enough time. It was prevalent to them now, even; but what he hid, what images he let dwell in his soul, those were archaic. They need not see the light of day once more; not now, not ever.

With eyes clamped shut, he slowly buried the images back to a place he never sought to tread feet in again. With a course sigh, a hand grasped at her skin in a mixture of annoyance and comfort; an odd sensation as nails dug into her skin with a slightly pleasant touch. His words came following them however, ones that carried more spirit than he meant;

Don’t die.

Two words, but a thousand instances that could never be taken back. He knew what they meant, but it wasn’t what he meant to say; and like a child who swore before their parent he lay still with not a breath to quake his frozen form. He expected to be yelled at, or an emotional upheaval he didn’t want to deal with.

At the end of the day, he was a false image of strength founded in a figure so obscure to even himself that there was nothing keeping them separate but whatever character he intended to play. Most often, it was a man known as ‘The Slave’, one so disconnected from reality and the sanctity that was life that there was nothing that could stop him; and it was who she had met first. Yet, with time he stopped playing him, letting her see the core of someone so corrupted by the harshness that was reality he couldn’t even defend himself from the simplest of assaults, be it physically or emotionally.

This was the figure perhaps Imperia saw. The one only the few in the galaxy ever got to see of a wanted terrorist and enigma that haunted the lives of more than a few populations. She knew the devil before he had fallen from grace, but what lucifer was to many was simply a man without a name to her.

And yet, the two words repeated in his head; waiting for her god like wraith. The soft words of ‘It's not up to me’, or something akin; to be given nothing more than an unsure reassurance that meant nothing more than what he made it. He was no fool, just like she wasn’t, but in some ways he almost wanted to hear it. Pretend like everything would be okay once more.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │
She liked to call people by their names. It was a way of showing that she was paying attention, not merely to someone existing in her space, but to the person. Despite what others called him, Irajah never referred to him as 'The Slave.' She refused on base principal to address him as such. It left her occasionally grasping, only to affectionately refer to him as 'sir' or something of a kind.

But in this moment, when those fierce, quiet words fell from his lips against the skin of her hip. When his nails bit down, not to entice or excite but to punctuate- ​She had nothing to call him. No name to murmur in soothing tones. No way to tell him, not that she knew how, that even if everything wasn't going to be alright, that in that moment at least she was there for him. Not simply because he existed in the same space in those heartbeats, but because he was him.

Instead her own hands tightened on him, one squeezing his shoulder the other in his hair. She closed her eyes, unable to answer for a longer moment than was comfortable.

"I'm trying," she finally whispered.

It was, that unending clawing to keep living, what had brought her to this point. Perhaps not this moment, lying with him, no, but to the fact that instead of telling him that she couldn't promise that- that instead she was telling him that she wasn't giving up.

"I've given up everything that I thought I was," she murmured, running her hand through his hair again. "So that I could live."

What went unsaid was that, if she had to, she'd give up everything that she had become just the same. She just hoped that he wasn't one of those things. Not that she could say that aloud. To say it aloud gave it strength. Gave it meaning.

And gave it the ability to hurt if it was lost.

"I don't intend to stop now."

[member="The Slave"]
I don’t intend to stop now.

She meant well, but it wasn’t the ‘I won’t’ he was hoping for. It was a sugar coated answer, one buffered with the sweetness of her heart, for her love of his feelings, to cushion the knife that was truth. The unpleasant truth of death.

He needed to hear something else, anything else. The soft churning of the workers preparing the abode in the early morning hours, alien birds offering a chipper song to announce the birth of a new day, if not the quiet distance that was a synthetic symphony playing over the speakers that littered the estate. As seconds passed, as he pled to gods he didn’t believe in, waiting for its saving grace, nothing came.

His eyes watered with each passing second, but stayed dry no matter how much his heart yearned for weakness. To just offer her a glimpse at what was truly broken, the child that never had a chance to grow up; forever chasing a fantasy he’d never reach. Silver haired and distance, he kept his distance in every sense of the word from almost everything in existence, but of those who ever came close to witness who he hid; it was her.

She came to witness a crumbling wall he repainted daily, but even she didn’t get to see behind it. If it were up to him, neither would he.

His fingers relaxed as he realized just how tight he was digging into her skin, but as he adjusted on her hip; his lungs sucked for air in a hesitant manner, as if chattering. The hyperventilation one often saw in those close to a breaking point, but it only came one; quickly replaced by a soft smile and glistening corrupted eyes. They spoke leagues more than his smile hoped to tell, but they watched her for a moment before the actor that he was began to take hold.

Not because he wanted it to, but because he needed it to. She need not see him like this anymore.

I should uh, get going.”, he said with a scintilla of unsure undertones digging their way into his words.

│ [member="Irajah Ven"] │

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