Old February 3, 2017, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Aelyria Prime] Fancy Seeing You Here

Spring Era XXIV

Booted feet thud hard against the wet city streets.

His breath was a raucous chorus in his ears. Huff, huff - pause - huff. He was used to running, but he had not run this far in a very long time. His body was aching, screaming out against the pain. His lungs were a furnace in his chest.

The cool night air coursed through him like sand. It was grating and raw, as much an assailant as his pursuers threatened to be. He sought reprieve as he rounded a corner, slipping into a narrow alley and nearly doing the same thing on the stone.

He caught himself against the wall, twirling briefly before slamming his back against the wet stone and trying his hardest to breathe. Puffs of fog gust out through the cloth mask he wore, filling the air like the smoke he now yearned for. His dark oiled armor blended in with the shadows of the narrow space, silent even as he breathed.

He cocked his head, confused. In the dim glow of the moonlight he could see other shadows passing, moving in as a hurried a direction as he. But they came from another direction. There was no way that could be right. There had been no time for his would-be captors to engage any reinforcements.

He waited there in silence hoping the situation would disappear, blue eyes gazing skyward in search of a way higher up the alley. He found none. He would probably have to continue on again very soon, but his lungs sought desperately for air and he gave them time to try and claim it.

He considered the possibility that he had dug himself too deeply this time around. He could die a nameless man tonight, a body in the streets. He found the image of a face intruded on that thought, a face he considered, in the blanket of darkness, one he would have liked to see again.

Ah well. Such was life, it seemed.

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Old February 3, 2017, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"You really screwed that one up, Mini," she thought as she rounded a corner, black cloak scraping against the brick. She struggled to sheath her dagger as the leather strapped to her thighs refused to quit moving at the same time as her legs.

Blood had been spilled this darkening. Just, not as much as she had hoped. The man she had attacked had friends. His friends thought they were going to get a free show in the dark alleys of Aelyria Prime. She'd only just began to slide the tip of her blade into the man's abdomen when she pulled off the top of him. How could she have not noticed they were being followed.

"Stupid," she chided casting a glance behind her. She could still hear their shouts echoing off the walls of her passageway. The elf ran faster, her heartbeat thrumming in her ears. She wiped her bloodstained hands on her black shirt. It needed to be washed anyway. Plus, she didn't want the slippery stuff to impede her ability to hold her weapon should she get caught.

Another twist, she leaped over a slumbering vagrant. A dark leather boot splashed in a puddle. The elf continued to run. She needed to stop and catch her breath. Even with her elven litheness, she couldn't keep this pace up forever. She sprinted faster to put as much distance between her and her pursuers as possible before she ceased her momentum.

Her cerulean eyes blazed with adrenaline as she ducked into an alley and melted into a shadow. She pulled her cloak tight and crouched; ready to leap into another race at a moment's notice. She steadied herself against the wall. Chest heaving, she wiped her brow. The back of her hand came back with a small amount of crimson liquid on it. So he had been a splatterer. That made her failure a little more difficult to digest. Those ones were fun.

She wiped her hand on the leg of her black, cloth pants. Her breath slowly began to return. She watched the entrance to the alley, not even noticing the man on the opposite side cloaked in shadow.
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Old February 3, 2017, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The thief had just nearly slipped away from the encroaching sound. He hadn't wanted to be anywhere near it when it reached his hiding place whether it was pursuing him or not. A shock of fear went down his spine as a form slipped swiftly into the ally, but the sounds of their breathing stopped him from immediately turning 'round the corner.

He paused, feeling a strange sense of deja vu come over him. There, in the darkness, the silhouette of a woman.

He stopped to study the shape despite himself, to listen to her breathing. Had he altered reality again when the face had come unbidden in his mind?

It was her, and he knew it. The thought of that frustrated and concerned him. Suddenly his disguise felt nothing like a disguise at all, and that made him angry at himself. What good was he, if the only thing he was good at was invalidated by her?

He realized, then, that she had been running. Gods knew he would find himself with a soft spot for a woman with a penchant for getting herself into danger. That, too, bothered him beyond what his anxious mind could handle.

He slipped closer to her as he weighed his options. He had never considered himself a murderer. But in the moonlight he caught hints of the blood on her clothes and the blood within him boiled.

He didn't think about what he did. He merely passed her without word, yanking a dagger from its sheath as he slipped out of the alley and slammed bodily into one of her pursuers. The blade of his dagger shot upward and past the assailant's rib cage with a satisfying crunch, driven in by the force of both his hands.

He yanked it out, turned, and was met with a fist that slammed into his chest. He stumbled, but swept out with his blade to keep the man at bay. His opponent dodged backwards. Adyn felt someone's arms wrap around his shoulders and hurriedly elbowed backwards, hearing the grunt as the man released him. How many of them were there?

He ducked as the man tried to grab him again, spinning on his heel and slamming the figure into the wall. He had probably made a mistake - would probably be overwhelmed soon. A part of him could only hope that the elf girl had run away.
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Old February 3, 2017, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The man emerged from the darkness so quickly, Ministra didn't have time to respond to his presence before a brawl erupted before her. She watched as the masked human spun with a fury that raged from deep within. There was something about the way he moved that seemed oddly familiar. Her mind hearkened back to stolen moments on the rooftops of the city. She shook her head back to reality.

Whether it was him or not, the fact remained that those were her pursuers. Did he think she needed saving? The situation had been completely under control. It wasn't like she planned on letting them catch her. They would have tired of their pursuit eventually. Right? In any case, they were her problem. She didn't need a masked avenger to fight for her.

She stood and released the clasp on her cloak, allowing the material to fall to the ground. Both daggers were simultaneously drawn. As she twirled them once at her side, they glinted in the scant light. One had already tasted blood this darkening and glowed with an eerie crimson tint. The other was still thirsty. A quick prayer to Jalat, promising to deliver him souls. She was going to bathe in blood this darkening one way or the other. Whether it was her own or her pursuers remained to be seen. A wicked grin curled her lips upwards as her head lowered and her eyes narrowed.

The man who had been elbowed by the masked vigilante had his back to her while he was double over, gasping for breath. She plunged one dagger deep into his throat and held the other against his side. As he slumped into her, she sighed with relief. Twisting her blade, she pushed him away from her, using his falling body as the momentum needed to retrieve her blade from its fleshy scabbard.

She was thankful for the element of surprise. But now that her presence had been announced, she needed to stay on her toes. Knees bent and head on a swivel, Ministra gripped the hilts of her daggers tighter. Her blood was surging through her veins. It had been so long since she'd killed like this. Usually it was softer and more sensual. This raw cacophony of blood and sweat was not her preferred method. The adrenaline she was experiencing now though was causing this event to rise higher in her esteem.

She summoned the rage that had been bottled within her and gently opened the top of the jar. The feeling began to ooze out and wash over her, the most recent incident being this man who thought to protect her. She would deal with him later. For all his foolishness, he didn't warrant a blade in the back. A good tongue lashing or disdainful glare would be more appropriate. For now though, Ministra craved more blood. She readied herself for attack.
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Old February 3, 2017, 12:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Acts without thoughts. Thoughts without words. That was Adyn, hotheaded and poor of communication, exploring a million different ways in which he could find himself in trouble. He had not considered what the woman would have wanted, had not thought that she would have been just fine huddled in the alleyway. In truth the attack had been a selfish thing, a way for him to satisfy the anger at seeing the blood on the woman's clothes.

Of course, now that he was struggling to dodge a man that was much larger than he was, he couldn't help but appreciate that there were consequences.

He saw that one of his assailants had never come back to meet him. In the moonlight the slip of a girl was there again, her blade in someone's back.

Nonono, this wasn't how this was supposed to work. A man decides to be a hero and the woman runs gratefully away.

Damn it.

He slashed out in frustration, feeling his dagger bite into his opponent's skin. The man angrily returned the favor with a fist to Adyn's face, causing his body to hit the wall again. He groaned out loud, shoulders rolling against the wall as he tried to regain his bearings. Fething gods, that hurt.

In the meantime Ministra had found another friend. He lurched from the darkness and reached for her waist, attempting to pull her off her feet. She could feel her boots slipping against the wet stone beneath her.
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Old February 3, 2017, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The masked crusader was not doing so well over there. Ministra wondered why he would jump into the middle of a melee and then just wiggle his dagger in the air hoping to find flesh. "Some hero," she thought as her brow furrowed.

He'd gotten one of them. So had she. The elf vowed to beat him at this game.

In the moments since his surprise attack, the masked champion had done little more than keep the attackers attentions on him. Was that his tactic? Get the feth kicked out of him and die in the streets? She couldn't see that being an effective method for a valiant hero who stalked the night rescuing young women.

She started forward to rescue him.

No, she didn't. She was being pulled backwards by her waist. The elf could feel herself begin to slip backwards. She quickly changed the grip on her daggers and pointed them upwards behind her; aimed at her assailants mid section. Instead of fighting the backwards motion, she jumped into it hoping to plunge her blades into him with the entirety of her body weight and downward motion.

Falling on top of him, she would roll off the man pulling her weapons from him as she stood.
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Old February 3, 2017, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This was embarrassing. If he had seen Ministra's eyes practically rolling into the back of her head, he would have been a significantly more sour mood than he already was. Which was saying something, really, given that he had just been punched in the face.

He darted downward just in time to avoid it happening again. His opponent's fist hit the stone wall hard. Adyn winced at the yell that resulted, not only because it sounded extraordinarily painful, but because he could then hear shouts responding from further down the street.

His opponent had also been distracted by the sounds. He took advantage of this by sending a hard kick into the man's lower shin, causing his foot to slip on the cobblestones. As the figure's body hit the ground he followed up with a vengeful fist to the back of the figure's head. The man's face hit the ground with a wholly satisfying thud.

Ministra's opponent had not expected her to flow with him, his balance overthrown by her body moving full force into him. He, too, let out a garbled scream as her blades bit deep into his flesh, roiling in the throes of pain as she left him there to die.

The thuds of more boots were moving in their direction. Adyn did not wait for them to engage them. He knew they were not friends, the prize he had claimed from them still nestled in the belt around his waist.

Wordlessly he attempted to take the woman's arm and guide her into another alley. He didn't want to fight the men who were chasing him. He tried to pick up speed, to lead her as quickly away as he could. The footsteps gained on them so quickly that he fought the urge to panic. He broke into a run.

"There!" came a voice, its owner breaking after them at surprising speed. Adyn looked over his shoulder and took queue from that, attempting to increase his pace. If need be he'd drag the elf behind him.

The air was sand against his lungs again. Somehow a shadow had managed to find a shortcut and attempted to intercept them. He cut a corner and shifted gears again, leaping over a pile of garbage. Or had that been a body?

The path that followed was fraught with twists and winding turns, his boots attempting desperately to avoid slipping from out beneath him. The rain had been heavy the darkening before. His foot slammed into a puddle that sprayed up in all directions.

Behind them the voices rose higher, a harsh, discordant song.
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Old February 3, 2017, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The elf stood ready to attack again when she felt someone pull on her arm. She spun, dagger whistling in the air raised to her shoulder height, ready for another soul. Jalat would be pleased with her this darkening. Maybe even Jorel too. She sent down a prayer to the god of Chaos assuring him he was never too far from her thoughts.

As dagger was about to meet flesh, her eyes caught up with her body and she stopped; inches away from slicing through the vigilante. She pulled her arm from his grasp and drug her wrist across her face smearing blood along her fair visage.

She turned back to the fight and found a pile of dead or dying bodies. She would have liked to spend a little time with them. The toe of her boot nudged the man who had grabbed her waist. He'd be gone soon. Surely she could play with him a little before that though.

Then she heard the shouts. More? She glanced down the alley and saw men running towards the pair. Had her pursuers somehow sent word to their friends? Now wasn't the time for questions though. She turned and fled behind the hero errant.

She really needed to practice sheathing daggers on the run. Scowling at her current situation and fumbling with getting the precious weapons back into their homes on her thighs, Ministra dodged garbage of the living and non-sentient variety. She'd left her cloak. "Feth," she thought looking back only to be greeted with the shadows of assailants. She'd really liked that cloak.

She kept speed with the human as they wound deeper and deeper into the underbelly of the city. Perhaps he had a secret lair down here. Somewhere where he could keep an eye out for damsels in distress, maybe? The elf didn't even want to look at him. Her brow remained furrowed, but she couldn't deny the grin on her face. She was annoyed as all feth, but Jalat's left tit that was fun! Both emotions were displayed in obvious battle on her face.

Another puddle splashed against her leg. She found herself looking upwards for an escape route. It was something she never would have considered if it hadn't been for human rogue. Perhaps they could scale a building and make their escape.
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Old February 3, 2017, 02:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The human's breath might have stopped when the woman's blade almost sliced right through his skin. It would have been a poetic end to his foolish acts of heroism. He stood there, rigid, for excruciating moments, wondering if she might have thought differently if she had gotten a clear look into his eyes.

He was grateful when she followed. He would have felt compelled to stay behind with her if she had saw fit to turn and fight. He slipped his dagger back into its sheath and maneuvered through the streets. He didn't have a lair. He didn't have a plan, even. He simply ran, using his familiarity with the streets to guide him.

His breath was ragged in his throat as he shot a look over his shoulder to catch the elf looking skyward. He remembered that she had been light enough to lift.

He turned a sharp corner and nearly slipped, but scrambled to his feet again. He leapt up, quickly, onto an overhanging porch and drew his body up with a grunt. His body swayed as he tried to lift it. Once grounded he leaned over, offering both of his arms, hoping she would allow him to draw her upward.

Behind him, there was a door. He rattled at it only to find it open. He quickly slipped inside and held for the elf before shutting it swiftly behind him. He turned and put his back against the door, breathing out a ragged sigh. Above them, a window leading ever higher allowed small slivers of light into the room. It was possible they could continue further up that way.

Still, they were blanketed in a deep and stifling darkness. He listened for the footsteps outside in the hopes they would quickly die away. Part of him hoped they didn't. If they did, he might have to say something - and that might end in small disaster. She had not seemed very pleased to see him.

He stood, slowly, resisting the urge to pace, wanting to get a good look around their temporary shelter. But he couldn't just... ignore her. He looked awkwardly in her direction, his breath seeming so loud in the heavy silence.
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Old February 3, 2017, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Onward and around, the duo ran until the masked maniac leaped upwards. The elf stopped and waited while he pulled himself up, grateful for the reprieve in exertion, though it was brief. She raised her arms upward and jumped into his so he could help lift her to the height. That was strangely familiar. She shot a quick glance at him and scowled again before averting her gaze.

The elf scurried through the opened door and bent over, hands on her knees breathing deep. The door was shut and they were shrouded in darkness. Her back to the human, she willed her blood to settle. If they were going to run again, she needed her energy to rekindle.

She slowly rolled her back upwards and stretched her head from side to side. She was trying to relax, but there was still pent up rage that would not go back into its bottle. There was only one thing she could do to get rid of it.

Her fingers curled into fists at her side. As the human leaned his back against the door, the elf spun around and punched him in the gut. All her fury was contained in that single blow. Shaking her fist, she turned from him and began to rifle through the belongings in their prison, which was not the easiest of tasks given the lack of light. She felt better. The elf could breath again.

How long were they going to have to stay here? She wondered if someone lived here and if they were home. Her eyes followed the scant light to a window. Not being able to see into the alley was problem. She needed to know if those who were pursuing her had given up.

Leaving the human to hold the door, she found a piece of furniture useful enough to allow her to stand on it and look out the window.
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Old February 3, 2017, 02:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Adyn let free an involuntary exhalation as whatever air remained to him sprung free from his abused lungs.

He grabbed hold of his abdomen and groaned, coughing and sputtering as he sunk back against the door. Ioannes Breath! his mind screamed when his lips would not move to say it. He roiled there for a moment, unaware that she had long moved on to storm angrily through the items in the room.

The place seemed like an abandoned shop. Crates of old bottles, damaged goods, and cloth sheets were coated in a layer of dust. The stairs ended halfway up, ending in empty air.

"Gods below," he croaked, letting loose another groan as he tried to find his feet again. Somehow he had ended up on all fours. He determined then that if the men outside did not find him the Little Bird would gladly finish their job.

"You're welcome?" He managed to cough, a gloved hand pulling at the cloak over his head, revealing a muss of wild black hair. It had become far too hot for him to tolerate it any longer.

His eyes fluttered up to see her peering out the window. It was the first time he had seen her face that well since she had stumbled into the alley. Her image had not dwindled much in his mind.

He managed to laugh weakly at the burn of anger that had seeped into her face, and how it was offset by the charm of the wrinkle at her brow. There was a blood smear on her cheek. Somehow the combination softened the weight of the situation.

"I suppose... maybe... I deserved that," he finally breathed, his breath slowly coming back to him. He prodded gently at his ribs and winced... someone must have hit him there while the adrenaline had been flowing. A pain radiated throughout the side of his body at his touch.
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Old February 3, 2017, 03:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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She heard the moans of the man on the ground. She hadn't punched him that hard. Why did he have to be so dramatic about it? She then remembered the beating he had taken at the hands of her assailants. That was his own fault. If he had kept quiet and to himself, they would have left him alone. It was hard to feel sorry for someone who ran into a fight that didn't concern them.

His indignant telling her that she was welcome was delivered to her ears in a voice she remembered. Her eyes slowly tore from the ground below and came to rest upon, "Rogue?" she whispered leaping down from her perch and running to him.

She fell to the ground beside him and gingerly helped him sit back against the door. Making sure he was comfortable, she noticed him wince at a pain in his side. She was no healer but she had to do something. But first-

She brushed his hair from his eyes and traced the edge of his cheek with her fingertips. It was good to see him again. After their parting, she'd wondered if she would be that lucky. She leaned forward and kissed his lips softly, not wanting to hurt his side. How she had gotten away unscathed and he ended up being injured didn't make sense to her. Now that was out of the way-

Ministra slapped the side of his face that seemed the least bruised and stood. "Why did you do that?" she asked as her arms raised in the air with frustration. She started to search through the abandoned shop for some sort of first aid kit. "They were going to run past," she kept her voice quiet and her rummaging slow. "Is that what you do? Get yourself beat up trying to save little girls?" Her annoyance was still evident.

Not finding anything, she turned back to him. Her voice changed to that of concern, "I do not know what I am looking for. Tell me how to help you." She smoothed back the tendrils of hair that had escaped during their flight as she fought back a lump in her throat. She resumed her search. Would gauze help a bruised or broken rib? She supposed if it was wrapped around him enough it might stabilize his torso until they could him to a bed. Why did he have to get hurt?
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Old February 3, 2017, 04:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Adyn winced again when he heard her feet drop from the furniture and come padding to his side. He was worried she might punch him again while he was down. He tensed when she grabbed hold of him to help steady him on the door, but then she leaned forward and kissed him.

He grunted at the sensation of her touch, however soft, against his busted lip. He valiantly pulled through it... somehow. He found himself both upset and relieved when she pulled herself away from him.

He seemed about to say something when she slapped him. He sucked in through his teeth and cringed, silently accepting her critical words. Was he being chastised now? He idly opened and closed his jaw, wondering if this was how relationships naturally progressed.

Despite his thoughts he turned back to her with a softer expression, a true apology in his eyes. He wasn't sure how to say it. He was an idiot - that much he certainly knew, but he had thought in the darkness of the alley that the bloodstains had been hers.

The sound of her voice was gentle again. He realized suddenly how much he had missed it. He wouldn't have minded if she had just kept talking, drowning out the buzzing in his ears. He sighed, the reality of his situation crashing down on him. There was a thud as he let his head hit the door.

"Not the first time I've broken a rib." He breathed, trying to feel with his finger if that was actually the case. He grunted sharply. Yep, probably.

There were plenty of sheets coating the crates and furniture that had long been left abandoned, she would find. They were dusty, thin, and riddled with moth holes. Perhaps it would have mattered more if she had been fashioning a dress, but for their purpose they would serve.

He moved to stand, fighting the sensation in his torso. If they encountered their pursuers he'd have to be ready to fight back, injury or no. He felt annoyed at how large his opponent had been. Did she have to make that one angry? He considered her thoughtfully, wondering what she had done to achieve as much.

The care she took to find something to help him almost made him forget that she had just thoroughly abused him. "You could kiss me again," he offered, flashing her a grin from where he leaned, hunched, against the wall.
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Old February 3, 2017, 05:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Not finding a proper kit, Mini would have to make do with the dusty sheets. She carefully tugged one off it's resting place, fighting back the urge to sneeze at the dust that assaulted her nose. Instead, she batted at the specks in front of her face and did the least graceful spin and sputtered in an attempt to get them away from her. In effect, she got tangled in the sheet and stumbled for a couple seconds.

The dust successfully felled, she shook her head and set about ripping the sheet into long strips. She nodded when he told her to kiss him again, holding up a hand for him to wait a moment. She was working. Her eyes did not return to him, for she knew if they did she would cease this task and sink into him. That wouldn't do either of them any good.

A tendril of hair fell in front of her face and tickled her nose. She blew it away, still tearing the sheet to shreds. It was almost done.

"There," she sighed and gathered her treasure bringing it in a heap to him. She dropped it at his feet and smiled at him, proud of herself. "You're welcome," she repeated his earlier words before bending down and retrieving one of her strips.

As she stood, she gathered the hem of his shirt and gingerly helped him to remove it. Her adoration was hardly hidden as her fingers grazed on his skin. She had him hold his arms up, offering her shoulders should he need to rest them there, as she began the work of wrapping him in rags.

Her arms wrapped around him time and again, making sure the strips were snug against his torso. She gazed up into his familiar grey-blue eyes and leaned in for another kiss, her hands too busy to pull him into her. "You should be more careful." she whispered while gathering another rag.
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Old February 3, 2017, 06:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Adyn pressed an ear to the door as the elf ignored his flirtations and continued her work. If it had offended him he didn't say as much - it seemed easy for his brain to switch rapidly from one thought to the other. In this case the thoughts drifted to the people who'd surely realize their quarry had slipped off somewhere, then fan out and explore the quiet buildings nearby.

"There." He nearly jumped, remembering that one of the men who had run after them had shouted the very same thing. He turned at the sound of her voice, brows lifting at her "you're welcome." He seemed to to be switching gears as far as awareness went, eyes seeing through her at first as she reached for him. Finally he seemed to see her.

"Did it have to be like this?" he murmured. He seemed to be thinking aloud, but he was shamelessly staring at her as she helped to remove his shirt. He was trying to pick out the differences between the woman on the rooftops and the one standing before him now, to see the ways the mask defined her.

He winced again at his own movement, but the kiss he was met with made the pain melt away. He closed his eyes and savored it.

He grinned crookedly at her when she warned him to be more careful, seeming to have difficulty taking his own injuries seriously with her. When she came back up with another rag he grabbed her arms and pulled her gently in.

He brushed his lips against her temple and kissed it. "Thank you," he rumbled in her ear.

Quickly, he released her. He thought that he could hear something but he couldn't be too sure. Regardless, his thoughts had switched back into fight or flight, eyes distant as he listened to the faint sound of footsteps.

Last edited by Adynirach; February 3, 2017 at 06:29 PM.
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