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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
The tempest of rage that had previously taken the Seer had now resided to a dull boil, a slow simmering compared to the flare that had overtaken him just moments ago. Slow breaths were dragged in, even after the harsh hatred of his words had emptied out into the air as Mitsuko would speak, once more drawing him further back into reality and making him realize how close he was teetering to that dark orb that seethed inside of him. How close indeed he had been to sinking deep down in a feeling that shouldn't have seeped as much as it had through the confines of his soul.

Her voice was grounding him again, making him feel a tingle of gratitude at least for her presence, a stabilizing one in her own way, even if she was doing little to particularly discourage the flow of justified hatred, at least the sound of her voice was making the Seer reel in himself before he sank too deep. He had to remember, he was a danger to her and everyone around him the way he currently was. Careful with his rage, careful with his sorrow, and forbidden to allow himself to drown in either emotion. It was this that Byakko had tried to make explicitly clear with Haru, one line that he'd drawn for the Seer in order to keep him on the road to recovery, to purifying himself. Six thousand years of negative emotions however were... difficult to subdue, especially if he stubbornly clung to the emotions like he was now though pushing them deep down until it no longer was as harsh, no longer clouded his judgement.

But, Mitsuko had made only a sad smile finally flicker to life on Haru's face, a question that pierced him and made him suffer just a little bit more. "Yes, it's not the first time." It certainly wasn't, aside from the incident that had taken his leg and reduced Haru to being crippled, there were many times he'd seen his mother collapsed on the floor in his earlier years, her broken hands covering her face after the overseer had gone, and quiet sobs leaving her lips. Her skin lacerated with both the harsh press of nails, the raking of teeth, and slick with the foul man's saliva and seed, whimpering and whispering apologies to her beloved, a man who no longer was at her side, almost begging for him to save her. It was her moments of weakness that tore him up on the inside.

And yet, Honomi would never allow herself to voice how much it was breaking her apart, always trying to keep both Haru and Sorai at bay to prevent Danuja for taking her two children away from her; for at any point he certainly could have. It only took one order, or one excuse, and Danuja would have come and slaughtered both of her boys before her in cold blood if she even so much as tried to resist, tried to even reach out for help. It was sick, that man was sickening and it made a fresh wave of red hot rage to coil within Haru's chest as he closed his eyes tight, forbidding the memories to flare.

Then came the more obvious question, did he do that to his leg. The sad smile turned bitter, long lashes flickering down to half conceal the rubies that turned to look at the leg that hindered him so much, which still shook and trembled and inconvenienced him for years. "...Yes, he did. Because I got in the way," A bitter sneer crossed his face then, "Because I stepped out of line. This was one of my rewards for my 'foolishness'." One, which implied there was more. More that the Seer had to endure, but he would not voice to life now.

Of course, this would be eventually interrupted by Mitsuko's angry voice, frustrated by inaction which for once he agreed. Crimson eyes turned to look at Mitsuko then, an eyebrow raising at her form suddenly falling on her back, eventually the absurdity of it had made a bit of a sharp exhale leave him again, the bitterness fading, "I know how you feel, in all honesty I encourage you to be as reckless as you want. At least with him that is." Rare permission from a usually responsible Seer, but Haru had his own grudge to nurse at this point, he would not deny her the shared rage and anger.

Someone needed to put that bastard in his place.

Just as this sentiment left his lips, Haru's tired eyes had settled upon the flutter of fabric that had slipped from her hakama pocket. Curiosity flared to life then as his eyebrows furrowed in confusion, tilting his head. Was that... a handkerchief? He couldn't quite tell what exactly it was from where he was sitting, but deciding to bring attention to it would do his mood far better than lingering on the topic of Danuja. "..What is that?" Calm now was his tone as his attention was transfixed on the small bit of fabric, a gentleness returning in full to Haru's expression to wash away the angry bite of rage.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko


So it was as she had feared. Ah, how bitter reality was. Just a bunch of scribbled notes of regrets that had been scrunched into balls and stuffed down throats to choke back the tears. Her arm rose to hide the eyes that stung red cheeks, the heat disorienting in how it flared between the two. She regretted it even more now that she hadn't taken action back then. Because now she had not only failed Honomi but Haru as well. If she had known-

Then she would have bashed his head in from behind. Dragged him outside to put him on the axe stump like a chicken, ready to be beheaded for dinner.

Alas, bygones were bygones and instead all she had to show was this distraught display of splayed-out limbs and a slowly heaving chest. The latter, something that would change in a very short time span when the man suddenly changed the subject. "Huh?" She lifted her arm to meet his crimson eyes, gaze traced to the unsuspecting piece of fabric that now lay bare for the world to see. The rhythm of her chest stuttered until the brunette suddenly launched for the fabric. Clutched the handkerchief between stiff fingers as she rolled over on her stomach to hide said fingers.

"HAHA WHAT IS WHAT?" The words spilt from her lips in a nervous ramble while her mind reeled for excuses. Any excuse really to explain it away. Mitsuko, you see, hadn't planned on actually fulfilling her part of the deal with the old lady. Rather, she had planned to throw it away at the first best opportunity and then say that she had lost it or that some street dog had chewed on it.

Beads of perspiration started to form on the neck that couldn't emit any sound with its parched throat. "That-That was..." She swallowed thickly and wheezed through it anyway "-uH...". There was no way in hell he would like this gift even if he had accepted the bracelet. That, had at least been of some quality- this handkerchief that she crushed under her ribs, however, was not. It was crude, stitching uneven and hardly fit to clean one's face with due to the coarse fibres.

Her gaze wavered under the unearthly red gems that crowned his delicate features. It was hardly fit for his face, that was. Her bottom lip trembled until teeth couldn't suppress it any more. "Ugh- fine!" Her exhale came out in a harsh sigh and she yanked the handkerchief out from its hiding place to dangle it in front of the man. The fabric fluttered along with her hand as her face grew uncomfortably warmer. "-I made this earlier with Emao and Honomi. It's a handkerchief." Brows slid into their usual furrows upon her forehead while she muttered "-I was gonna give it to you but it's ugly so I'm thinking of throwing it away".


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
The more he squinted at the object, the more he was convinced it was a handkerchief, curiosity growing more and more with each passing second. The topic change was sudden indeed, prompting the expected sound of "huh" to leave his companion. What he didn't expect was the following, a surfeit of scrambling, of swift fingers to grab the fabric and hide it, the sudden burst of energy making Haru's body jolt in the midst of surprise, crimson eyes reflecting the shock and confusion of her now all too suspicious actions. It was now, dumbfounded that he would stare mute at the woman who was now crushing both the fabric he'd seen and the fingers which clasped too quickly onto it underneath her body and followed by the sudden loudness of her voice just screamed: suspicious.

An eyebrow raised as he looked down at her from his spot, his curiosity burning hotter in his chest at the all too uncharacteristic nervousness that settled over Mitsuko. Why was she making such a big deal over a scrap of fabric? It wasn't as if he'd gotten a good look at it after all, his eyes feeling the pull of exhaustion to truly focus, but nonetheless it made more questions than answers began to spring to his mind. The eyebrow that had raised would lower, and would quickly be followed by a confused tilt of the Seer's head as she was stumbling over her words, making a faint smile cross his face in response. Oh? He'd never seen her this nervous before. Every moment, every syllable that was awkwardly uttered had made the smile grow as he soaked in the new emotion that he'd never spotted. It was something new, something... endearing. It was adorable, he decided, seeing her unlike the usual confident self he was all too used to. Although he perhaps had envied her confidence before, this wasn't too bad either.

It filled his heart with fluttering warmth, a satisfaction in seeing a new side to her making his expression gentle further as Haru was content to watch her fumble for words to explain herself, though a tinge of guilt nearly pierced him once he saw her eyes began to falter, to waver underneath the weight of his own. But, truly was it his fault when she was conducting herself so strangely? He couldn't look away from her, especially not now. Crimson eyes dropped down to the trembling bottom lip, no doubt struggling to hold back an explanation which made him wonder even more, why was she acting this way? But soon he would have an answer.

An answer that was punctuated in her harsh sigh, giving up underneath the weight of anticipation as she had then dangled the fabric before his eyes, a reluctance in the action which made Haru blink a few times as she had explained what it was, but now that she was holding it out for him to see, it made him speechless as she explained that, yes it was a handkerchief, she'd completed it while she was with Honomi and Emao earlier, and that... she intended on giving it to him. The world was a swirl of heat and colors before him then, crimson eyes wide as he gazed upon the handkerchief that screamed of novice hands. There was obvious mistakes within the sewn fabric, little bits and pieces that showed a struggling hand and needle, clumsy in its execution and simple in its design; with bright yellow thread glaring out upon it in the shape of a sun. Ah. His heart was soaring, stumbling and racing in his chest as his expression settled on warmth, a swelling of adoration for what she had claimed as an "ugly" handkerchief.

The handkerchief spoke of her hard work, even if many would claim it to be ugly, to him it was as precious as gold. Slender fingers had reached out then and grasped the fabric gently from her hold, crimson eyes tender in their glow as an all too happy smile had crossed his face, thumbs lovingly running over the battered stitches. Oh, how his heart squeezed, how it swelled with joy at something as insignificant as this. She had considered gifting him the first thing she made, she had given him his second gift. Affection swelled anew at the thought, the weight of the pearl bracelet that still never had left his wrist reminding him all too fondly of how he'd felt when she'd given him his first gift, though he knew not which one he treasured more at that moment. To him, both were just as lovely, just as important, and both would be guarded and treasured by the man who looked as if she'd given him the greatest gift in the world.

A huff left his lips then, forcing himself to snap out of the affectionate daze he had been nearly drowning in, looking toward her with a mock glare, "I can't believe you were considering throwing this away!" The handkerchief as a result would be draw tighter to himself, as if to protect it from even the mere inclination of tossing it, though the false glare would soon gentle and warmth settled in full upon the Seer's all too happy face, "...Thank you, I love it." Genuine were the words that left his lips, not a single lie within. With all of the imperfections of the handkerchief, to him it was perhaps the most precious thing he'd laid his eyes on, just because she had done her best and this was the fruits of that labor. A more genuine and happier acceptance that he was displaying now than from when she had given him the pearl bracelet seemingly a lifetime ago, when he had been trying so desperately to hide his happiness. Now, Haru couldn't even attempt just the mere notion of trying to hide his joy, even when she'd made stew for him before, he had gratefully consumed every last drop.

He would never allow her efforts to go to waste, and he treasured the thought of consideration she had for him... even if he was sure it was perhaps a passing thought, not even true consideration. Still, it felt wonderful and filled him with glee. It chased away all of the rage that had been filling him from head to toe, leaving him grinning like a fool at the handkerchief that Mitsuko had made. Truly, Haru felt as if he was the happiest man in the world at that moment, his joy oozing from him in happy waves. Perhaps, he would have put it away in his own hakama pocket... but he didn't want to get it dirty! It needed to be properly taken care of after all, he had no intentions of allowing it to suffer a sad fate!

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Forest- Silent Hill ost

The fingers that reached out to meet her halfway were gentle. Little eclipses of adoration exhibited in the joints that curled around the handkerchief to thumb over it preciously. It was an endless battle of muscles stretching into a wide smile, each touch spurring his lips to tug as words found no indents to clasp onto and instead washed off him in soundless breaths. Perhaps it was worth it then, to humiliate herself with the admittance of this existence, she thought.

When the radiance of those pearly whites that glimpsed under taut lips shone brighter than the moon and stars alike. The brunette relented a bit in her scowl, the embarrassment still present in the bottom lip that bulged with it. A pout, the mercenary was screwed up in a pout. "Only a weirdo like you would love it." She muttered and heaved herself up in a seat of crossed legs that mimicked her heart that stubbornly refused to open up. To not let the pleasurable shivers blossom any further beyond the eyes that quivered under the weight of her affection every time she looked at him.

How strange. It felt like the time he had only claimed the bracelet in the name of "not letting it go to waste" was yesterday. Now, however, he was beaming in the open about it. Had they changed? The brunette nursed her cheek on her fist in her lap and she studied him in silence. From arguing at every opportunity, to hitting each other, to being unwillingly wed, to arguing and making up again. Maybe they had changed somewhere in between the hurtful words and apologies. The unveiling of trauma and loneliness and irrevocable actions. Lines drawn and breached time and time again to leave them balancing on the edge.

Maybe, they had grown closer. Inch by inch so in the air that filled up the space between them, but was never enough to suffocate the warmth that lingered behind in blazing gazes. He breathed out and she inhaled.

Mitsuko grinned "-Just you wait until I get better at sewing, I'll give you a real handkerchief then. Something to be truly happy over."

Maybe it was okay to grow attached.

The pair separated at the path to their new respective bedrooms. Her wish had been granted, but on the condition that she now had to sleep in the same room as Honomi. Something that didn't bother her at all. It was better than getting a repeat of the previous night and although, Mitsuko didn't want to admit it, she was pleased to finally have a chance at getting real sleep. The past few days had been hectic and as much was demonstrated by the brunette who crawled into the futon. Only to fall limp at the first touch of the pillow.

The dreams took her away in blankets of darkness and the next moment the eyelashes swept up was to the familiar scenery of the theatre camp. A bustling array of colours and people moved past her in blurs where she was stationed in the middle of it. She was an unmovable statue that could only observe from petrified flesh how the surroundings swirled and faces contorted. The skin suddenly twisting off the bones like crumpled paper to reveal the red strands underneath in muscle and nerves.

Little threads pulled taut under her cheeks and she felt how they started to pull away, forward to tug at the glue of the dense network of fibres. Her screams echoed out into nothingness in the chaotic buzz of the crowd and the edges around her eyes shifted into night as the skin was alleviated from sockets. A slow process of unmasking that was interrupted in the middle of it when she heard it-


And saw it- a flutter of purple petals.
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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Fly Away - Panty and Stocking OST

Gentle was the soft waves of affection that flowed from the Seer, though he playfully rolled his eyes in turn at her retort, claiming that he was a weirdo for liking the handkerchief, "Sure, sure." Without bite and without starting an argument, the Seer couldn't help but feel nothing more than affection for the woman at his side and the handkerchief. Her final declaration making a broad grin cross his face at the notion, "I'll look forward to it."

If only such gentle affection could last.

As the two would retire, luckily to different rooms that he didn't comment on knowing damn well why it was necessary, the Seer would close the sliding doors securely and the entryway to the porch; until in a heap of exhausted limbs would let his body collapse against the futon underneath him, a heavy breath leaving his lungs as he felt his tired body recline into the futon.. a futon far larger now that Mitsuko wasn't there. Haru's head turned, cheek pressing into the pillow as a sharp sigh left him, perhaps now with her not here he could have an uneventful night, even if his heart did unnecessary flutters if the single notion of his little sun would cross his mind.

Trembling and fumbling hands grasped hold of the handkerchief that she'd tried so desperately to hide from him, thumbs grazing over all the uneven bumps as he turned his battered body over on his side, smile crossing his face as a flare of pink touched gentle features... that was until he realized the smell coming off from it. Her smell, her scent. Was it due to him training to cause the jolt that went through him, or was the reminder of his dream which is what caused the sudden prickles across his skin? A hesitant sucked in breath would follow as he hesitantly drew the handkerchief closer to his nose, inhaling deep.

Ah... it certainly did smell heavily of her. Had she been carrying it around with her in her pocket for a long time? Probably, for the smell mimicked the faint scent that clung to the futon underneath him, making the pin pricks of awareness began to surge in the Seer's body and subsequently made his heart begin to pound. This was bad.

He inhaled again, Mitsuko's musky scent making heavy eyelids flutter, his lips parting as if it could possibly help him breathe it in deep, sink deep down his insides and imprint itself within him so that he'd never forget it. Flickers and flashes of his all too inappropriate dream glared at him in the waking world as the handkerchief was serving to turn gentle affection into something far less innocent, something far less tame.

"A-ah..." Shaky was the quiet exhale, the handkerchief pressing now fully against his face, his nose. What was he doing?! He should stop. The logical thoughts were a mere whimper compared to the desire beginning to flare in his chest, and the ever familiar sensation that came with such desire, desire that he'd not once permitted himself to relieve.

Shit. The curse flared through his mind as his body coiled, curling in on itself as fingers slammed the handkerchief away from his face and pressed into the futon beside him, crimson eyes now looking down at his shame, an excitement that had made desire known to the Seer's eyes, a desire he'd ignored stubbornly before due to having very well practiced self-control. The throbbing ache however begged to differ this time, taking advantage of the emotions he'd allowed himself to identify earlier for a woman who didn't feel the same way, a woman who didn't love him.

I can't. The thought was useless as hands moved on their own, grasping hold of such shame and digging deep into the vicious pleasure that flooded his mind and caused a sharp hiss to leave past clenched teeth, his hand that was free having taken hold of the abandoned handkerchief and in disobedience, his body had uncoiled; pressing the fabric against his nose once more as a haze would grap hold of him, hesitant to step into the stormy sea that would await him if he continued.

However, Haru's hands served to be the wind that raked such stormy seas in which it would make him drown deep.

One. His body twitched and spasmed underneath the stormy waves, eyes rolling back in his head as his heaving breaths were muffled luckily by the handkerchief, his mind running wild as the storm served to only fill his thoughts with her, his little sun who tormented him with her scent. "H-hnngh!" Was the muffled, horrified sound that left him, perhaps in steep horror at the uncontrolled movements and the improper conduct.

Two. A second wave, not too far after the first and yet no less gentle as it tossed through the Seer's body, disheveled in the ragged clothes that hung off from pale skin slick with his sweat as saliva dripped from his lips, "H-hah..!" The sound was not as intense as the first, but the storm that had taken him was not done. No... rather the raging waves were tearing away at the boat that was his sanity and pressing down into every logical thought, every possible shred of self-control that was telling him to stop. "Mmm..❤"

Three. He truly was drowning, could anyone save him from this curse? The stormy sea doing little at this point to suppress the irrational desire, instead with each wave that crest, it would only serve to push him to reach for more. Haru's body twitched and lashed, his lips trembling as tears swelled in his eyes, his imagination running wild as the winds didn't cease to agitate the waves still drowning him, still dragging him deep. "G-Gah- haha..."

Four. Why couldn't it stop? He was going mad, his battered body already so filled to the brim by stormy waters that he couldn't even process what was happening anymore. Did a flood gate open, or was he always this depraved? It didn't matter, he couldn't stop. His imagination coaxed him and the winds pushed him to continue. He wasn't satisfied, not yet. "H-hah... mm! Hah! Ugh..!" Disjointed sounds left his lips, legs trembling as his eyes fluttered again, the handkerchief now being abandoned as it had already done its cursed job.

Five. "Mmm-! M-Mitsuko~❤" Her name in fractured tongue dripped from the depraved man as his mind was truly battered and broken by the stormy sea, the waves having dashed him against unyielding rocks and nails of his broken boat having been washed away. "It feels- ooh~❤" The unholy, muffled sounds leaving his lips were dying underneath his freed hand which pressed tight against quivering rose petals and teeth that ripped flesh upon his palm in a herculean effort to try to not wake anyone. "Oooh~ good.. hah! Mmm~❤" Haru's body bucked and trembled once last time, the weight of heavy waves loosening it's harsh hold upon him, no longer being dashed against unyielding rocks and cruel torrents. Luckily, the stormy sea that had battered his body now ebbed away into a serene calm, leaving the Seer on a shore, finally done. The winds had died, now exhausted and the Seer was left now with the consequences of his actions.

He truly was a depraved fool.

Haru... was a good soul, right? A sweet and serene soul that embodied the phoenix in purity and serenity... right? These thoughts ran through the man's mind on repeat as he stared, haunted at the ruined futon, slick with his- hahah... he really was crazy, wasn't he? He was insane, utterly insane! Did leaving the temple actually loosen his conduct this much, to act nothing like how he was supposed to? To act like a beast, and cave to such inappropriate conduct?

A nervous peal of laughter left the exhausted man, fingers coiling in messy verdant hair as he looked over a thin shoulder toward the dawn light beginning to stream through the sliding doors that led outside to the porch. It was dawn, and he didn't even sleep, no, instead after the stormy sea had released him from its hold, he spend a good while staring at the ceiling and allowing it to really sink in how messed up he was in his head to not only engage in such a sinful action, but to do so in his childhood home, not once but five times in a row?!

Nausea filled him more so than the weakness that now had settled in his stomach, his gaze settling upon himself. Oh.. he couldn't let anyone see him like this. Clean! Clean everything and quickly! The thought made him surge to action upon battered limbs and uncooperative legs, both of which were wobbly and weak as if all the strength had been sapped from them, the Seer had grunted as he set to work to cleaning up his mess.

This would take him certainly a decent amount of time, much struggling and sneaking around later, it was already deep into the morning by the time Haru would allow his body to collapse upon the floor, his clothes slightly damp due to him having trekked all the way to the river to expell both smell and anything else suspicious that may linger, the futon he'd tried his best to clean as well, leaving the slender framed man exhausted as he panted, staring bleary eyed up at the ceiling, his head pounding from the lack of sleep that was self inflicted by his own stupidity.

Hands soon came up to cover his face as a low whimper left him then, cheeks warming with the heat of embarrassment and shame, "I'm filth.." How dare he, truly? Lusting after his companion, the empress? Truly what the hell was wrong with him?! And he knew damn well she didn't love him either so this action just was completely out of line! Irresponsible! Absolutely abhorrent! "..Lower than filth.." His voice croaked, strained from having to suppress his cries during the night. Certainly he would have Byakko push him a lot more today without complaint. He needed to be punished.

Though as that thought filtered through, the doomed recollection of he had to take Mitsuko with him had made Haru die a bit more on the inside. How could he even look at her today, knowing how much he'd fantasized about her?! Enough to make him reach five depraved clima- AHHHHH!

He groaned as he rolled on his stomach; gazing now at the dejected handkerchief that had started this mess. "..This is all your fault." He seethed, as if the inanimate object had been the one to cast him to his doom, as if it was the one that had forced and controlled his hand which started the dreadful process, the horrid spark. A precious gift indeed... more like a knife to his back! No no... this wasn't anyone else's fault but his, because he was... was-! The Seer's eyes closed as he felt like he wanted to cry. Oh god, he was such a pervert. The thought rang with such shame in the Seer's exhausted body, and yet there was one thing he couldn't deny either was that he had.. he had actually enjoyed every second. A tired hand came to shield his face again, feeling tempted to bash his skull in on the wooden floor if that could help make him feel a little bit better.

The all too shameful recollection of what he'd done had spun before his eyes, a sensation he wouldn't forget anytime soon. In all honesty, he certainly wished he could. The longer he allowed his mind to settle on the shameful actions, the more he wanted to rush out from the porch and retreat to Byakko as soon as possible, forget even upholding his side of the deal to Mitsuko. She should stay away from him, far away! Ah, he was such an idiot, a fool! Teeth caught on his bottom lip as he heaved another sigh, looking to be quite the odd sight on the floor, practically face planted on the wooden floorboards, the handkerchief laying nearby him, though looking none the worse for wear, it just would certainly cause one to question why Haru was laid out on the floor in such a way and not curled up in the futon that had been there but was nowhere in sight. Questions that would receive no answers from the man who was hating himself with every fiber of his being. His body still felt the remnants of twitches, a coiling in exhausted limbs that didn't even want to move anymore due to the sheer extent of how much he'd been enjoying himself... hah, even that thought made him feel much, much worse.

Forgive me, Mitsuko... The pitiful cry rang in his head as he closed his eyes, a defeated sigh leaving his lips again. He just never failed to make things worse now did he? Just when he'd drawn a clear line in the sand, he proceeded to keep walking over it! HIM, THE RESPONSIBLE ONE! A dull smack to the wooden floor was his reward at the scathing thought.
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Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Forest- Silent Hill ost

Mitsuko roused from her dream in a violent jerk. The air entered her lungs in a stab and wrench half and the low hum that had been her heartbeats resonated painfully under its constraints of lips- only able to gape that far. A quivering hand shot up to unscrew her chest over the covers and she anchored her attention onto the ceiling in its panicked flurry. Just a dream. It's just a dream. She willed the thoughts to the forefront of her mind and clenched down on the covers to discover that they were cold and moist.

Her brown eyes undulated in a slow exhale to the slick arm and then the hand that wiped her neck. Wet. It stared back at her in a distressed pallid sheen. The brunette rolled her head to the side. The mound within the other bed laid motionless under the nascent rays of the sun that filtered through the sliding door. Mitsuko sucked in the air in a shallow heave. The mound did the same. Still alive. The tension dispersed through relaxed muscles and a sigh that returned carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The words echoed through her mind once more.

They were still alive.

She fitted her palm over her face to secure the features into place. The seconds turned to minutes in the daze. She let it fall and propped herself up.

The house was quiet except for the muffled thuds that resounded from her former bedroom. It was a worrying sound and the words that she couldn't distinguish from mutters triggered her previous anxiety to flare anew. Her breath hitched in her throat and the lump that had cemented itself between fleshy walls became a second threshold to cross along with the one of the door.

The brunette hovered outside of it for a few thoughtful moments before fingers coiled around the indented handle and slid it open. The scene unfurled with a low rasping sound and a knock that set the silhouette on the floor into focus. Dishevelled, certainly, but not from any of the possibilities that her own mind had conjured up in the bridging of electric signal into action. She deflated once more in another tangled sigh. Not more tangled than her companion, however, where he had seemingly passed out face down on the floor.

"What are you doing?" Mitsuko quirked a curious brow and skimmed the room for the abnormality that was the cause of this strange sight. There was nothing remarkable with the room except for the futon that was nowhere to be found. She retraced her steps back to the Seer in a frown, squints coming to rest upon the dampened sleeves and the contours of his back that clung to the fabric. Did he...also have a nightmare? The brunette fiddled awkwardly with her collar "Are you...okay? Perhaps we shouldn't go to Byakko today-".



surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Content to wallow in his misery, Haru hadn't put any thought to actually trying to make the room seem normal, or even trying to scavenge around for an extra futon while the larger one was still drying from the intense cleaning he'd put it through. Though, almost immediately he regretted it as he heard a sound, the scratching of the sliding door as it moved open from a hand which in turned caused his self-loathing to halt as he didn't desire to look at who it was. If it was his mother, she probably would subject him to teasing and being all too embarrassing about it, but if it was who he thought it was due to her footsteps-

Her sigh punctuated the silence that had taken hold of the room as his exhausted brain struggled to process the embarrassment, the fear that jolted down his spine. Did fate deem it funny to torment him when he was already feeling mortified by his actions? To torment him in foolish images of inappropriate imaginings of his companion during the night, only to land the very same woman to be the first to greet him the following day? In which he received no sleep?! His breathing was shallow for a moment, out of fear now considering her scent had been enough to send him into an inappropriate flurry during the night, fearful of what it would do to him if he allowed himself to breathe in deep.

She must never know, ever! The Seer decided firmly as he had yet to stir from his face down position on the wooden floorboards, crimson eyes stirring in nervousness within the whites as she asked if he was alright. Was he? Was he really? No, he was sick, a fiend, an absolute piece of filth. He wasn't alright, the faint hum within his body told him so, one that had been subsiding but now clung stubbornly to his limbs which felt so weak and still feeling pleasurable shivers. Gah! This was bad.

His eyes were burning, heavy with the desire to sleep, even if his body was trying to throw him back in haunted nightmarish memories of the night, he refused to linger on it. Slowly, he raised his head to face Mitsuko, taking in another shallow breath. Ah.. that helped, though his eyebrows furrowed as bloodshot eyes stared at her in bewilderment. Her appearance didn't look good either, though wait- was she a lot closer to him than before? Bleary eyes stared at where she had been at the sliding door, to now where she stood all too close to him who still hadn't moved. Panic. He was panicking!

In a flurry of limbs, Haru had scooted backward from Mitsuko, sitting upright though the motion itself made him feel light-headed, a grunt flying from his lips as he visibly grimaced, a slender hand pressing against the side of his face as a dull thrum of a headache flared to life, crimson eyes shifting up to Mitsuko as she fiddled with the collar of her kimono, spotting the mark he'd given her for the first time. It chilled him to his bones, and dumped a much needed torrent of fresh shame over him to bring him back to his senses... scum, he was scum. Crimson eyes immediately dropped as he swallowed thickly, attempting to speak now that he knew his silence would perhaps be seen as very, very worrisome.

Haru's lips parted, his voice coming out a bit hoarse much to his chagrin, "I'm perfectly fine." A lie, though her following question made Haru visibly bristle, head jolting upward to meet her gaze, "No!" The word of protest came out a bit strained, but almost panicky, prompting his expression to falter as he quickly struggled to regain his composure, "I have to go." Crimson eyes darted to the sliding door that led to the porch, eyeing it as if he felt all too tempted to dart out now and not elaborate. This situation was uncomfortable, he couldn't tell her what he did! No! She'd be disgusted! His conscious was further tortured by these thoughts as distress filled him from head to toe.

Why did he cave in and told Mitsuko she should come with him? Maybe he could try to convince her to stay behind? Yes! That was perfect. "..You don't have to come with me, you can go back and get more rest." He offered, a tinge of hope flaring in his chest as he glanced back to her, eyebrows furrowing as genuine worry pierced through his fidgeting movements and nervous glances... she didn't look too good. Did she have a nightmare? Telltale signs of it clung to her, so perhaps she did.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko


Her skin was pale and the eyes sketched a stark contrast to the rest of her in dark sockets. There was a weariness in the lines that framed her features in its frown. One that revealed that it was not the first time the crinkles had laid siege to them and certainly not the last either. Even Mitsuko understood that no amount of straightened back and compensating posture would make up for the marks that the terror of night had left behind. But it wasn't as if he had never seen her in a similar condition, or worse, and it wasn't as if she had never endured it before.

Truly, there were worse things than some eyebags. So why was he arching away from her and flexing his claws in shrill words like some frightened cat? Their eyes crossed, her intent and unwavering and his secretive and beady ones. He broke off. Mitsuko trailed after in a drifting gaze that pinpointed his new object of interest as the porch. Oh hell no. The brunette barred his line of sight in a long-legged stride that put her in front of the doors. "Don't be silly." She huffed and crossed her arm over her chest. The sword dangled where it hung at her waist, ready for the journey already.

"You said yesterday that I could come. I'm going to see what that tiger is up to" Mitsuko eyed him suspiciously, peeled back at his layers of skittish twitches and red netted corneas that she entangled herself in. Was this also a result of Byakko's brutish "training"?

She was going to kill that tiger.


Two figures travelled through the barren landscape on foot. The man at the front led the way, begrudgingly so, and the woman behind overlooked the road over his downcast head. His footfalls lumbered and hers were muffled in carefully executed motions. The path that was pursued in muscle memory guided them into an old quarry, abandoned since long ago as could be concluded from the murky equipment that still littered the place. It was probably one of the older salt mines that couldn't be excavated further due to flooding.

In a way, it was quite an eerie place. Belongings left behind never to be returned to their rightful owners as if a catastrophe had suddenly struck the workers and prompted them to flee- or die an untimely death. A shiver darted down the brunette's spine at the second theory and they descended into the valley of slanted hills that unfurled in a large open space.

Awaiting them was an unfamiliar man with long white flowing hair and distinctive stripes on chiselled cheeks. His blue eyes twinkled dangerously in squinting disposition and the pupils reminded Mitsuko of a cat in their slanted gaze. Somehow, he didn't feel as unfamiliar as he should have and this alarmed the brunette who inched closer to her companion. She bent down to whisper in the Seer's ear. "Who's that? Don't tell me-" Her breath stuttered against the skin-draped cartilage when it hit her "-Byakko?".

The grunt came out faster than she could hinder it and her expression twisted in frustration. She would be lying if she said that he wasn't handsome. There was certainly a wild charm to him that challenged her own sharp appearance of hawkish resemblance. Except his charm was of a cat and hers was a bird. Mitsuko snorted and shifted back on her heels. "Oho? I see that the tiger has fallen from his throne and become a mortal. Strange. I thought you hated humans?" Her voice cut through the air in a melodious mocking melody and she pushed her chest out "-Good looks won't save you, though, from the criticisms I have".

The brunette pointed at her still battered companion "You call this training? Beating him up without teaching him a lick of self-defence first? How will he be able to apply the right techniques if he doesn't get an opportunity to even try them?".


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Haru visibly grimaced at Mitsuko's stubbornness, a nervous fluttering in his chest following as she had interrupted his thoughts and on top of that, had ruined any chance of him taking to rushing out like he'd done so before. Why?! The infuriated thought rang through his head as he looked up at her helplessly, biting back a stream of agitated questions. Why was she acting so concerned? Why did she persist to be so stubborn? Why was she torturing him needlessly again?! The closer she moved to him, the more he moved away, shallow breaths being an ever present thought to keep himself in check. He shouldn't breathe deep, he shouldn't allow her to drive him anymore mad than she had unintentionally done. So, of course, he would visibly become irritated by the slight furrowing of his brow as she had crossed her arms stubbornly, prompting a scowl to finally cross his face.

Damn it, he really shouldn't have done what he had... if only he was actually thinking, he probably would have rushed out by dawn and retreated to his lands immediately rather than lay on the floor, deflated and beating himself up over his conduct. Agitation settled finally in thin fingers that racked in a harsh movement as he surged to his feet, "..Fine." The hoarse voice had relented, though not meeting her gaze and close scrutiny that oozed her warranted suspicion. Haru knew he wasn't acting like himself but truly... how could he? This whole situation was unbearably unnerving for him. On unsteady feet, the Seer would hobble to the sliding door, struggling to keep his steps as steady as he could make them, remnants of trembles lingering within as he silently cursed the foolish him from the past for not thinking.

He really hoped his legs wouldn't give out on the way there.

By the time they reached the designated area where Byakko had guided him to the day before, Haru's eyelids were drooping, his legs feeling like lead and his body aching anew with the injuries that lashed his body. Perhaps, he really didn't think this through? Maybe he should have remained at home to sleep and recover, at least then he would actually feel well rested, he already knew how Byakko fought anyways... or at least he sort of did. The ancient beast didn't hold back, and was swift and powerful in each movement and confident step. Haru as he was now was unsteady and weak, sleep deprived and currently still fighting off remnants of his all too long night, nearly stumbling over his feet a few times as he took cautionary steps into the abandoned quarry, prickles of unease settling within the Seer as Mitsuko's presence was a heavy weight on his already scattered mind. Was this his punishment to bear? Certainly, it seemed, since Byakko certainly wasn't going to be enough punishment probably.

Tired eyes settled upon the man whom awaited them, wild in his handsome charm and yet obviously not human all the same. Byakko's humanoid form had startled Haru at first, but now it was normal, familiar and perhaps ruined by the fuzzy ears that twitched in displeasure atop the tiger's head and the stubborn flare of his tail which equally showed his displeasure in Mitsuko's presence there. Icy blue met exhausted red in a single glance, pointed in his glare as if a silent question of: Why is she here? In which Haru would heave a sigh, and slightly sag his shoulders, looking aside from the celestial beast in defeat. It wasn't as if he could win against Mitsuko anyways, at least not as he was now, uneasiness settling deep within the verdant-haired man as he shuffled awkwardly from each wobbly foot, the movement causing Byakko in turn to narrow his eyes in suspicion, causing Haru to desire to shrink back and make himself as small as possible. Why was everyone giving him that look so far today?!

It was nothing compared to how Haru had nearly jumped out of his skin as Mitsuko had whispered in his ear, prompting skin to flare pink and immediately the Seer had sidestepped as fast as possible, his heart feeling as if it were about to stop in his chest. Bloodshot eyes turned to Mitsuko then, a bitter smile crossing his face soon after, "Who else do you think it would be?" The hoarse voice croaked, prompting the Seer to clear his through in obvious discomfort as he turned his eyes back to Byakko who had taken a few steps forward, his attention mostly fixated on Haru who he was certainly expecting, but a displeased glare would soon settle upon Mitsuko as she would speak, prompting the unusual mortal form of the beast to come to a halt, curling his lip and baring sharp teeth back at her in response.

"Watch your tongue. It is this form that allows me to engage in combat far easily with Haru, or would you think that he right now could fight me in my true form? He's weak." The biting final comment had made Haru look aside, embittered, though Byakko sniffed in displeasure as Mitsuko claimed she had criticisms about the way he conducted his training, causing the strong arms of the tiger to cross his chest, a scowl and growl rumbling, "Criticisms?" It didn't take long for Mitsuko to point out the rightful criticisms, or so it would seem to the mortal's eyes. The face of Byakko had relaxed slightly, before a cold smile crossed his face, baring sharp teeth at her, "Is it my fault that he is slow to learn? Perhaps I could spare him some excess energy to speed up his reactions, but as it is the Phoenix is weaker than a toothless cub. We do not have the luxury for me to go easy on him," He glowered at Mitsuko, "..Unless you think that your enemy at your journey's end is merely mortal? You would be a fool to think such a thing. I'm preparing him for the worst, for how us celestial beasts fight, and he must learn quickly... otherwise he will die." The words were heartless, and certainly seemed like there was no concern in the tiger's heart as he looked to Haru again who seemed very much still weak before his eyes and appearing... uncomfortable. His discomfort oozed from his body in waves, an agitation to the pale face and downcast red eyes... did he do something again?

Amusement soared in his heart, recalling how the Seer had appeared just the same to him the day before, just as ashamed and just as embarrassed, looking to distract himself by throwing himself to his studies. Haha, how endearing it was to see beloved Suzaku relearning everything again, even if the only time Suzaku had truly been in adolescence was nigh on more than the six thousand years she'd subjected herself to being mortal, it still made the tiger wish to burst out in laughter at the ridiculousness that Haru was subjecting himself to. No matter... he would have to deal with the pest of a mortal that insisted on sticking her nose into things she didn't understand. Icy blues turned to look dismissively at Mitsuko, quirking an eyebrow at her, "..Do you think you can do better, little mortal? Surely if you have these complaints, perhaps you claim to know better than I?" Sarcasm dripped like venom from the words which made Haru stiffen as his crimson eyes shifted to Byakko whose eyes were gleaming. Oh no, he knew that look.

"H-hey-" He tried, but Byakko had shook his head, the long mane of hair wreathing the celestial beast's head had swayed in the breeze, "No, by all means, please speak, little mortal! You have my attention." Haru suppressed a groan as a hand clasped against his head. This was a mistake bringing her here, a big mistake.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko


It stung to admit it, it also stung to see the Seer flinch away so violently, but the tiger did have a point. How long would it truly take for the court to figure out their location and send the army after them? What if they already had? They did bump into a squadron that other time, although they hadn't been able to ascertain the precise reason for their presence. Luck, they were running on luck at this point and if her dream was of any importance...The brunette's brows scrunched up in a disgruntled look. What use was there in stirring the pot of the subconscious?

He had never bothered to make real of the threat before- why would he do it now? Simply because there was an opportunity and something to gain from it? Hah. She sneered, sound and curdled resentment veiled by the clenched jaws and hardened muscles that steeled themselves in a grin. "You would think I would be a little more worried since if he dies, I die, but you don't see me justifying this as necessary." Mitsuko retorted and cocked her head back.

The brunette made an intentional pause as her eyes rolled to the side to inspect the Seer once more. Well, I might die regardless. She mused silently, dispassionate gaze attesting her true feelings on the matter. Rather that, than let Haru go through the same farce as she had once upon a time. The sight of the dried-up scratches and overripe bruises that dappled his complexion was familiar, to say the least. Doorways that chaperoned her down the road of sword training from dusk till dawn for days on end despite storms, despite sweltering heat and despite frostbitten fingers.

Skin chafing off palms and fingers in shreds and flesh too swollen to properly bend the joints.

Maybe that was the reason why her heart had been so agitated lately. Her head made a lap around her neck in cracking bones. The pops relieved invisible tension from her shoulders, face and remaining parts of her body as she settled back into something more comfortable- more her. The mortal mimicked the god's expression, eye for an eye and step for a step. If the Seer wasn't in a condition to dance, then she would. "Can't say I'm not curious to see if I can." Cinereous eyes lit with fire anew under the chuckle that flared through her features. A pair of restless fingers started to thumb at the hilt of her sword.

"-I think I might just be a little bored as well." She hummed thoughtfully and squinted in devilish half-moons that scoured his figure. From afar it probably appeared as if she was appraising his looks in one of her usual unashamed harangues. The truth wasn't that far off, however.

Crossed arms, his centre of balance should be slightly above his hips, he would be too heavy to go for a grapple- besides I have the disadvantage of only being able to use one arm. The brunette beamed a smile more fit for her past self, the rowdy Empress she had once been- unwavering and untamed down to the bone. The very bone she suddenly gripped from her waist and hurled the Tiger's way in a dagger to his knees.

The brunette started to sprint. Her legs made quick work of the distance before she planted one foot ahead of the other and brandished her sword. It slid out the sheath in one fluid motion and a glare of light in the horizontal slice that aimed slightly higher than the chest in anticipation of a jump. The air was cleaved in a crisp swish.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Amatsu Kaze (Byakko Theme) - FFXIV: Stormblood OST

"Hoh? Such bold words for one so little." Byakko chuckled, the vicious grin sparking in turn within icy eyes, a snort leaving him as he narrowed his eyes at Mitsuko, "You know nothing, little mortal. Nor do I care of your life, or death." For why should he? This mortal that clung to the Phoenix's wings and was dragging the weakened beast down a path that he knew would lead to heartache. If anything, he wanted to discourage the blossom that already was beginning to flower between the two, a doomed end that would serve to lead to an even far more forsaken future; a future which now he'd taken it upon himself that he would avoid, even if it meant pushing the Phoenix to the brink, for doing so would only make the mortal husk stronger. Now, such duties were now pushed aside as he watched the mortal before him, the change that overtook her... haha, it made his blood boil.

Oh how his heart sang for violence, how his blood enticed him for the thrill of battle, the glory of combat! One of the wildest of his fellow divine beasts, the one who drank and consumed violence as if it were his own lifeblood, how it made him feel truly as if he was alive. It mattered not the challenger, nor the prey, but even then he found disappointment that his opponent would be mortal judging alone from the way Mitsuko was eyeing him, an appraising gaze, claiming that she was bored. "Oh? So you deem challenging a beast to be worthy of your time? How foolish." Byakko's wild grin widened, split pupils dilating in his excitement as his heart began to pound. Though, he'd much rather be challenging his beloved sister... this would do to carry him over, at least until Haru was in better shape! Yes, come challenge the western winds, even if he would have to.. certainly he needed to hold back. A brief glance from a rather pinched expression from Haru who was looking at the two as if he was already on the brink of his tether had distracted Byakko for a single moment at this sentiment had flowed through his mind.

The slender framed man looked... miffed, annoyed if Byakko could properly appraise the look upon the husk that harbored his dearest sister's soul, and that irritation seemed to be flowing to his companion..? A pinching and furrowing of eyebrows, an annoyed glint to bloodshot eyes, only for the man to turn on his heel as he waved dismissively as if losing interest, "Whatever, knock yourselves out. I'm not sitting here to watch this bullshit." Angry indeed, but for what reason, the beast pondered, his head turning back to face the foolish mortal who was sizing him up without a doubt, in which the tiger didn't dare to move a muscle until his opponent did. After all, she was the challenger, and considering their difference in strength, he would only serve to drop his strength down to her level.

The beast's eyes settled upon her single arm that remained quite unresponsive... a handicap. He'd have to keep that in mind, no need to go too rough after all, considering Haru's personal interest in this mortal before him, he didn't want to get on the Phoenix's bad side, his precious sister that he was very much indebted to even till this day. The tension would soon be broken by a dagger that was tossed toward his knees, "Hmm?" To his gaze the very movement of the weapon was slow, although certainly accurate. If he was a lesser being, maybe even truly mortal the dagger perhaps would have met its mark, something that he sidestepped as icy eyes shifted to her lunge, her speed wasn't awful... yes, yes.. deadly indeed.

She seemed to know the way of death, a trained hunter that made a kindle of amusement settle into his eyes. But, to him she was still just a cub. A cub that was challenging him thousands of years too early to truly be on the same playing field as he. The tiger didn't move as she slid the sword from her sheath, instead the tiger's arms had moved just as the blade left in a clean and precise cut that perhaps would have been able to divide flesh and cleave into bone, but to him it only took the palm of a hand, redirecting the blade in a swift movement of swift force to playfully bat the sword away as if she was merely brandishing a stick, albeit in the movement it did manage to slice through some of the tiger's long hair, silvery long locks fluttering to the ground as an amused hum rumbled in the tiger's throat as he looked down at Mitsuko, raising an eyebrow at her.

"This is the extent of your strength mortal? Or are you just getting started?" Careful, he needed to remain careful, the reminder had caused his palm to move away from the blade that he batted away, calm as he stepped back, "Do try not to bore me, you're already wasting my time." A snide taunt from the beast who was looking at her with amused eyes as if she were a child, though to him she certainly was. Confident yes, and deadly for certain. He could see truly how she had protected Haru till this point, or at least acknowledge it a little bit, though his eyes flickered down to her arm once more. Perhaps the power behind her swing would be stronger if that did not slow her down. A pity. It certainly would have been a lot more fun to play with this mortal if she was at full strength. However, nothing could be done at the moment. Perhaps he should further handicap himself for her? Make it more fair? No, but that would be insulting wouldn't it?

Slit pupils turned to appraise where Haru had went off to, though the Seer had settled himself a little ways off, his back facing both Byakko and Mitsuko, clearly not interested in watching this go down at all, though in truth Haru was feeling quite irritated, irrationally so in the appraising eyes Mitsuko had given to Byakko. It... made him feel unpleasant, this unpleasant emotion he'd truly not felt before even when he'd been pining after Mai-Jing, it choked him and made him desire to spit fire if he could. He wasn't acting like himself, maybe he was just tired? The man's ears could pick up the sounds of footfall behind him just fine enough, but in truth he didn't want to look anymore due to feeling of envy beginning to spark within him. Not once had Mitsuko ever looked toward him in such a way, it pissed him off. Was it because he was weak? Or.. or.. no, she just wasn't interested in him. There was no competition between himself and Byakko anyways. Another irritated huff of breath left him as his eyelids sagged a bit more, the unpleasant feeling growing.

Not only had she done that, but she had completely derailed everything like usual! What the hell was her problem?! "Tch.." A irritated exhale of breath left Haru as he closed his eyes, the sensation burning a bit as he settled on his side then. Why did he even acknowledge these feelings in his chest for her if this was going to be the result? Acting irrational, doing things that he never would do before... damn it! A fingernail tapped in irritated beat against his cheek as his teeth gritted together, an angry tension in his expression as he glowered ahead.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Pleasures of combat- Bleach ost

The fluttering wind tickled cheeks in electric shocks, which in turn, funnelled into tense muscles and through the tip of the blade as it struck stone. Adrenaline fizzled out into the air in a breathless blur of canines, glittering eyes and a low thrumming hum from the depths of heaving breasts upon the impact. Then it sparked up again with the next swings and quick exhaled wit. "I'll do my best." She winked and flipped her grip on the hilt. Ushered it from below like a raging tide that intended to split him in half. The Tiger's feet evaded the blade and brought distance between the two bodies that continued to dance in choreographed steps.

Lunges, slides and spins composed the deadly waltz that was hardly a waltz but more akin to a flurry of fabric and strands of hair that bared themselves to the wind. Their racing heartbeats united them in their transformation from man to beast and beast to man- Mitsuko mostly giving chase while he heeded thereafter. Perhaps it was intentional, seeing as she fumbled to readjust her grip in between the pants and had to awkwardly redirect attacks in narrow dodges.

The brunette raised her leg in front of her to aim a disarming kick towards the Tiger's abdomen and fired off in a grunt. Her sole baulked off the hard wall that welcomed it and the sheer force exerted bounced back in numbness through her calf. A large hand quickly enveloped her ankle and the next that descended upon him at cheek level. With no feet left to stand on and suspended indefinitely in the air, Mitsuko flopped against his body upside down. A tense stillness seeped in then over the pair as her defeat appeared imminent.

Her brown eyes locked onto his back, a small and solitary figure that refused to reveal what kind of expression he wore on the other side. It was the kind of sight that was swift to quicksand her in the streams of blood that drained from her veins. Her cranium the pit that it would all eventually flush down into as air oozed freely from parted lips. Ah. Of course, he wouldn't look.

The brunette compressed it all under one stifling inhale. Mitsuko braced her abs and expelled the air forcefully in a strenuous swing. Her body curled up in on itself as she anchored hand onto the Tiger's collar and yanked the two of them together. Their foreheads crashed into one another in a painful headbutt- surroundings, his face and her body spinning all the same until she withered in the grasp once more.

"Hah! I-...hah..got you" Mitsuko unravelled in a stuttering mess of trembling pants and peals of chuckles. The latter probed the red dot on her forehead that cradled the lingering dull ache and prompted it to flare up anew as she hissed "Ow, ow, ow-".


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Haru twitched slightly as he heard the banter back and forth, primarily punctuated by shuffling footsteps which prompted the Seer to open tired eyes and look on the two souls who were currently engaged in combat, leaning forward slightly so that he could catch Mitsuko's response to Byakko's taunt, hers being confident as usual which made a huff of breath leave him, only for it to halt in his chest as she winked at Byakko. She did what?! The moment replayed in his mind, although something that he normally would dismiss as Mitsuko just up to her foolish antics again, the swell of envy dug in deep as he bit down upon his tongue, his expression souring and twisting as he turned his head away immediately. Oh, so Byakko was good enough for her then?! Yeah, go ahead! Take him, see if he cared! The envy swelled like poison, irrational in its bitterness as he shifted upward and further away from the quarry, his back now a stubborn and icy wall as he bit down on his bottom lip, as if the pain could release this bitterness... this jealousy.

I hate her. Idiot! Stupid! Dumbass! The insults spilled like a torrent in his mind as the Seer truly felt like he was burning up with these unpleasant emotions, refusing to turn to face them as he fumed and stewed in the fanned flames of jealousy, his envy truly making him not being able to see clearly at all. Certainly the intent was innocent, just Mitsuko's personality as it were, but still... his eyelids drooped as he released his poor lip from his teeth, a deflating in his shoulders as the more calm and sulking thought of, I still don't like it. Rang loud and clear in the Seer's mind, a huff leaving his lips as a heavier mood settled down upon him, not quite extinguishing the rage that had taken him. Why was he acting like this? It wasn't as if he had any claim on her, and besides she had no interest in him anyways, so what he was doing right now was just... foolish. His hands came to cradle his exhausted face as he heaved a sigh, maybe he would feel better if he slept properly? Not that he was going to do that now, but it seemed like an all too viable excuse to explain away this unpleasant feeling.

Meanwhile in the midst of combat, Byakko's heart was soaring with glee. Each movement and practiced swing making his eyes brighten with happiness, granted the Tiger didn't allow himself to get too rough as now he was sensing something quite foul coming off from Haru at this point. Was it daggers being thrown his way? Or perhaps murderous intentions? Either way, the progressing foul mood of the mortal Phoenix was beginning to become more and more of a distraction for the beast, even as he played along to the flow of battle between himself and the mortal master of Haru. Each strike she performed was excellent, and yet she had cornered herself in seemingly a trap, caught by the beast's automatic latching upon her ankle as he was quick to hold her with ease, the residual momentum of her body flopping against his had made Byakko heave a sigh. Ah, just when it was getting truly exhilar-

He felt the collar of his clothing being tugged, though before he could react, there was a sharp collision to his forehead, prompting a shocked exhale from his lips as the blow was harsh enough to stun the beast, his grip nearly slackening upon her ankle as actual pain had flared through his senses. Pain? From a mortal? It was inconceivable, and yet the headbutt had caused Byakko a bit of pain before the divine energy in his body would rob it just as quickly from him, Mitsuko's voice carrying to the fuzzy ears flicked back against his skull in the midst of dazed confusion, her chuckles prompting the beast's lips to press together firmly, only for a snort to leave him as he unceremoniously dumped Mitsuko on the quarry floor, "Gahahaha! You certainly got me indeed!" The faded sensation of pain had fully left as he grinned broadly down at the woman, an all too happy glint in his eyes, "I wasn't expecting much, but now I can see how you've protected my sister. Even if you are mortal, you have some skill." Warm was the praise as he extended his hand for her to take, all too happy to help up the challenger that certainly was a fool, but part of him couldn't help but have a warm respect for reckless souls such as herself, having almost completely forgotten about Haru... though that didn't last for long.

Haru at this point had enough, the warm air that had settled between Byakko and Mitsuko as their duel had came to an end was truly getting under his skin. Even now, crimson eyes glared down at Byakko as the tiger had reached out to help Mitsuko up, the muscular arm now gentle in the hand of assistance that seemed innocent enough to help his little sun to her feet. He had enough, this unpleasant feeling was raging far too much through his body that he couldn't even think straight anymore. Mine. The angry thought flared through his head as he surged to his feet, ignoring the protesting of his limbs or even the shakiness of his legs as he retraced the way to the quarry, his expression twitching up into a pleasant enough smile as he mockingly clapped for the two souls in his approach, "Well wasn't that exciting?" The tone of his voice was... off, not quite bitter, and certainly not obviously angry as his smile didn't drop.

Mine. As Haru approached, he saw Byakko's ears flick rapidly, a quick flicker of his eyes upward to meet crimson rubies who now was glaring coldly at the poor Tiger. Mine. Vengeful was the emotion as his slender hand had grabbed hold of Byakko's arm and promptly sparked in a flare of heat which made the tiger recoil immediately before Mitsuko could take hold of his hand, the fake pleasantry in Haru's voice making Byakko expression look dumbfounded as the Seer spoke, "Oh, did I do that?" Crimson eyes turned to the reddened mark, a clear beginnings of a burn on Byakko's skin in the shape of his fingers upon the tiger's mortal skin, "I'm sorry, I must still be tired." Fake was the apology as the chilly ice that had taken over now dark rubies had glowered at the tiger instead, though the smile upon his face didn't waver as he practically glared daggers into the now completely silent tiger's soul as he obviously wasn't sure what to make of this sudden wrath that had overtaken Haru, nor did he desire to press it further.

It was then that Haru's smiling face turned to Mitsuko, "Go back! You still need some sleep, don't you?" Pleasant was the soft voice that spoke to her, but the eyes didn't match the shining smile. You idiot! Stupid flirt! I hate you! Go away! The insults piled in his head as it seemed like Haru had reached an anger that he hadn't displayed before, but it was all too replicant of Honomi's rage. This idiot.. it was because of her that he was like this! Perhaps if he had been less angry, he would help her up back to her feet, but right now he wanted to give her a swift kick for her stupidity. What the hell was she thinking, flirting like that with Byakko, and even if she wasn't serious, why do that in front of him?! Didn't she understand how that made him feel? The anger was building as his smile twitched, murderous intent oozing from the man as he glared down at her. "Go get some rest, Mitsuko. I'll meet you back home later, okay?" More normal sentences, but the seething rage clearly didn't match at all with the concerned words that would be expected of Haru. Gah, how he wanted to just strangle her!

She really was an idiot, and he was even more so of a fool for allowing himself to get riled up like this. "H-Haru-" The Seer's head turned to Byakko then at the mention of his name, eyes blazing as the venomous thought flared to life: If you keep talking, I'll rip out your tongue, you bastard. The flared up rage had made Byakko step back a bit more, cowed before the Phoenix's anger... something that he'd not seen in far too long, but the burn on his skin was enough to tell him what would happen if he pushed, Haru's voice responded however all too icy, "Yes?" Byakko looked aside, discomfort flaring to life within the tiger as he coughed, "Nevermind.." This caused Haru's expression to waver slightly, only for him to keep his smile firmly in place as he looked to Mitsuko again, "Go home~!" He repeated his tone far more ominous than before, gentle with his tone of voice, and yet holding the sharp blade of anger behind each syllable. Though, perhaps one would come to the conclusion that he was upset Mitsuko had pushed things far more than she needed to... even if that was a minor part of the reason, the Seer was far more hung up on innocent interactions that the other issue paled far more in comparison.

Getting his dirty paws all over her, hahaha and her winking at him! Haha, what a fucking joke! The smile quivered, the swirling thoughts ringing more envy through his soul as he glared down at Mitsuko in now icy silence, expecting for her to leave. He wasn't going to allow her to sit there and watch. Nope! Not right now and not anytime soon!

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Hedgehog's dilemma - Rebuild of Evangelion ost

The exhaustion that pulsed through her body was nostalgic. There was a weathered feel to the ruddy skin that contained it under minor scratches and if she poked, drilled her thumb into the crevices on her surface, she was convinced that the deva-ju would surge forth in red remembrance.

- A day like any other in its shared blue vault that huffs and puffs devoted treasures to in laughter.

The highs of the shrill and articulated racing heartbeats petered back down into heaving chests along with the fuzziness of clouds. They heaped on her face and stifled the peaks of raised lips that appraised the body that was splayed out below her. The teenage girl extended her hand to it. "Zero three to me," She loomed over him and beamed in a solar eclipse of the sun that was obscured by her head "-Wanna give up yet?".

The teenage boy curled his lip in a grunt that made his discontentment known without delay. His hand still slapped onto hers despite this. It was an equally rough grip that was merely not used to swinging the blade that he otherwise forged. His used dupe of the like tossed aside on the earthen floor beside him in a bokken. "Oh shut it." The boy muttered on stumbling legs that were pulled upright. The girl arched her arm back and subjected him to an additional yank once he was back on his feet. The boy wobbled forward until he didn't, face and arms quickly averting away from her body in flushed fury. The girl laughed "-Why are you acting so chaste? You've already seen and touched all of me anyway".

Violet eyes wavered under the turmoil of twitches that encircled his growing scowl "A man can still dislike being manhandled, the two aren't mutual".

"Oh really?" The girl quirked an amused brow "-Then why did you agree to be manhandled by me in sparring?".

His dark long strands filtered into his face from the loosened and dishevelled ponytail. He guided them back behind his ear in a gentle swipe of his finger. The girl pursued the motion with softened eyes. "Well, how would I otherwise learn how to fight? You won't let me anywhere near the clan." His voice lowered into a miffed growl, the kind a sulky child would emit when denied a piece of candy. The sound was endearing to the girl who inhaled it and broke it down in rumbling sniggers. "Well-" Her expression refracted into a more delicate one as brown eyes coiled around rosy cheeks.

She raised her bokken to coax it in under his collar and pushed it aside to show unblemished skin. "-I like your skin the way it is". He flinched away from her at surprising speed in both feet and mouth which was racked by angry mutters. The laughter resumed in its silver bell chimes that carried in the wind beside the rustling leaves.

They sailed into the heavens that served as their only witness to their crimes. The blue vault sealing the evidence away permanently in evanescent echoes.

The brunette stared up at it in her listless form on the ground. A flattened pile of crushed pride and dispersed clouds that nursed a blankness in place instead. Oh. She had forgotten that memory. The tiger's veiny hand blurred into view above her. It was an all too familiar scene that she found herself repeating on the receiving end this time. Mitsuko replicated the sniggers from the past in shallow rattles "I would at least hope so, I've trained a lot for them- though, it appears as if training is not enough to beat a Tiger".

Was it enough for anything? Dazed was the smile that crackled into gentle flames upon her face. She shifted onto her elbows, intending to accept the offer of the hand when the scene shattered in dissonant claps that didn't belong in the reproduction. The sharpened emptiness that resonated from his words made her wince and her shoulders shrunk back. Retreated to the cool earth that seemed the better option than the scalding hand that summoned burns on the Tiger's arm.

"Haru-" Mitsuko swallowed dryly under the invisible heat that radiated off crimson eyes. Her heart fluttered disobediently while facial features dared not to cross the vehemence that dripped from curled corners. A show of cowardice or perhaps shame that was not the norm displayed in the downcast muddy eyes that now matched muddy clothes.

She was a mess. Rips from claws surfaced in new button holes on hems and sleeves and her collar had slipped from its secure place on her throat to reveal a sliver of collarbone and upper ribs. The piercing blues of the Tiger burned holes in her neck alongside Haru and she squirmed nervously on the spot. A confounded look swept over her at the sudden change of mood in the air and then she remembered- the mark. Her hand shot up to quickly palm over it while the rest of her limbs coordinated the scrambling process to stand on her feet.

The brunette flashed a pair of red cheeks before she angled her body away. "I-I'll see you there then," The oscillating stammers did little to stop the second glance she sent the Seer's way though "-Don't go too hard...okay?". She trudged the trail in her memory back to the perimeter of the quarry.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Her voice made the Seer's angry halt falter for a mere second, before the memory of her reactions to Byakko had robbed the gentleness and prompted jaws to clench tighter and eyes to blaze hotter in rage. She shrunk back from his anger, a shame filtering over her immediately in sight of his envy, his anger. Perhaps if he was thinking properly, he would apologize, but instead he seethed before her as she looked down at herself. Messy and uncoordinated, rips and tears in her clothing from Byakko's claws, bare skin revealed underneath the ragged fabric.. enough to show the mark he'd placed in sleep upon her neck.

Haru's expression faltered then, a cold chill going down his spine as remembrance of why he'd been so eager to come to train anyways had dumbed a cold bucket over all of his rage, crimson eyes transfixed on the love bite that he'd imprinted upon Mitsuko's skin in a supposed "dream" that had turned reality, driving the breath from his lungs as shame tainted the emotions in his chest, despite the conflicting feelings within his chest. A rush that he'd taken a physical claim, no matter how small on her first? Or was it merely him feeling rooted to the spot as he could have sworn he heard Byakko snort behind him. Was he.. was he laughing at him?!

Mitsuko's hand would sweep up to conceal the mark thankfully before both beast's eyes, prompting Haru to look away, a flare of angry red surfacing upon his cheeks, mirroring his companion's own reddened face as the unspoken event that had went unaddressed had seemingly resurfaced in the tangled events that seemed to be progressing worse and worse down a far more dangerous route. Why did he consistently do these things? He was a fool... but, again Mitsuko's voice had pulled at his heart and made frustration surface in the midst of her words, making his eyes glare back at her from an angry face, losing the embittered smile completely. Oh? So now she was acting like she cared about him again?! Now that he physically was before her eyes, she finally was giving him some acknowledgement, some attention?! Well he sure as hell didn't need it! Not him!

A surge of heat flared past his lips, crossing his arms as he turned his head away. She didn't even deserve a verbal answer, not from him. Go fawn over Byakko some more, see if I care! Don't be acting like this now! Irrational and unreasonable, sulking in the lack of attention that Mitsuko hadn't given him, even if she was by all means trying her best to take care of him in her own way... the Seer couldn't see it like that. His ears picked up the sound of her footsteps retreating from the abandoned quarry, and it wasn't until her shape had disappeared over the ridge had Haru heard Byakko move, the heavier steps of his mortal form creeping close to Haru who refused to look at him, his face contorted in a frustrated scowl, only for him to hear a.. sniff?

Jolting back, the Seer's body flailed in an uncoordinated movement of arms and legs, as he stared wide eyed at Byakko, "W-What the hell are you doing?!" The exclamation left his lips, both angry and bewildered as the tiger's nose twitched, before snorting, "You reek of seed." Spoken so calmly and uttered with not a single bat of his eye, it made heat flow through Haru's body as his lips trembled, strangled sounds leaving him as Byakko's eyebrow raised at the Seer, his expression appearing like that of an amused parent before an all too embarrassed child, "Do not think that I can't pick up on that, all of us beasts have good noses after all... even if mortals do not. All that river water isn't enough to disguise it from me." Teeth gritted together as his face burned bright, shame flooding anew through the embarrassed Seer's face, "I- you-" He struggled as Byakko assessed his burnt arm, a hum leaving the tiger's lips.

"And that mark.. was that the reason that you came to me in such a flurry yesterday? My, my... aren't you unusually shy for this lifetime? Has mortal desire finally overtaken you after all these years?" More strangled sounds left him as Byakko gazed down at the now flustered Seer, his mouth opening and closing like a beached fish, horrors flickering to life in the embarrassed rubies that gazed back, no longer nursing murderous intentions but instead seemed more inclined to plead for the Tiger to stop! It was cute, truly. The Tiger stepped closer to Haru, his head coming close as he grinned a knowing glint coming to his eyes, "Fret not, it is only natural that mortal bodies desire to breed, to mate! A sentiment that is as natural as breathing air for lifetimes that are usually cut so short. Even for beasts... though it seems like you've already tried-"

Hands clamped immediately over Byakko's lips muffling the words as Haru yelled, "Shut up! Shut up!" AHHHH! He didn't want to hear this! His head was spinning with heat as he stammered, "I-I didn't- It's not like-" This was... this was so embarrassing! His hands retreated from Byakko's face and instead buried his face in his hands, "I-I don't want her like that! I-"

Was the swift retort which made Haru's face flared a deeper red in denial, as he snapped, raising his head to glare at Byakko instead, "I'm not lying!" His hoarse voice strained, causing Byakko to give him an all too knowing look, "Really? Then how come you were acting quite aggressive today?" He raised his burnt arm before mortified crimson eyes, though the burn itself was slowly beginning to fade, "If it is as you say, then you wouldn't have had such a violent reaction to her sparring with me. Are you worried that I will steal your mate away?" The vulnerability of embarrassment that settled in the trembling Seer had made Byakko throw back his head and burst out laughing, the laughter further flaring up the poor Seer's shame, "Gahahaha! Oh how adorable you are, little one!" Playfully, he pinched a reddened cheek with a broad grin, "You fret too much, I assure you I'm not in the least interested in your little mate, and I assure you she isn't interested in me either!"

Haru's expression twisted as he slapped Byakko's hand away, a hiss leaving his lips, "C-can you just- just stop!" The last thing he wanted Byakko to do was start referring to Mitsuko like that, and it wasn't like he signed up to be discussing topics like this with the Tiger! Moments of his shame, at times that he failed his duty to just remain his role as a Seer and subsequently crossed lines that he shouldn't. If he could bury a hole in the ground now just to bury himself, he certainly would. Of course, his plea for the Tiger to stop seemed to fall on deaf ears as the great beast hummed, "There is no shame in feeling this way, you do have feelings for that little mort-"

"I said shut up!"
A swift punch was Byakko's reward as an angry left hook caused the Tiger to stop, the Phoenix husk before him breathing heavily, tears of embarrassment swelling in his eyes. Oh? So another fight it is then! With joy, the beast grinned, an all too familiar an eerie glint coming to his eyes as Haru's face paled in reaction. Oh no, what had he done?

Once again Haru would return by nightfall, and once again he was battered from head to toe, sporting bruises and cuts, only slightly less than the day before but certainly not much of an improvement. Staggering steps and heavy lids that threatened to make him stumble onto wrong paths or walking into objects he could have very well avoided had made the journey all the more treacherous, causing a multitude of new scrapes and cuts upon his flesh.

By the time his childhood home was finally in view, the Seer's exhausted eyes settled upon the porch as he grumbled a few incomprehensible words under his breath, his mind in a heavy fog as he was reduced to struggling with getting up on the small ledge and promptly slid open the sliding door before closing it securely behind him. Exhausted body then served to dump him on the futon that had reappeared in his room, no doubt finished up being cleaned by Honomi discreetly while Mitsuko and Haru had left earlier that day. It smelled fresh, no longer held Mitsuko's scent upon it... thank goodness.

Haru's eyes threatened to close as he mumbled quiet curses toward the stupid Tiger that seemed to eager to be blabbering about his shame out loud. As if it were that simple! As if anything could be so simple for him! Though, part of him had a sinking suspicion that the beast was merely saying such things due to knowing that it would get under his skin and cause him to throw the first punch, causing the two to be entangled in yet another violent fight for his life. Anger sparked to life in Haru's chest then, remembering the day's events making him sink deep into another dark mood as he hissed, struggling to move as pain rewarded him. He really hated Byakko, sincerely did.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: m & r: suite pour piano, flute basse et orchestre- shiro sagisu

Had she messed up again? Shown him something ugly- something closer to her true nature? Showed him the rabid dog that she was underneath all these layers of expressions, clothes of fabric and flesh meant to mask- muscles conditioned to kill and bones that would return to earth in dust at the end of the day. Shown him that he would likewise also come to abhor her for it at the end of it.

There was something that would never change about her. No matter what those hands that had embraced her tried to communicate in soothing rubs over the dirt; no matter what the woman claimed in the name of caring for her "daughter" and no matter what lies she would apply to herself. It was just that, she was dirty. Inside and out. A cur that relished to return to the basest of instincts and relinquish common sense under the gripe of violence.

The sudden insight was like a disease. Mitsuko concurred to the thought in a collapsed state of hands clutching her head. A disease that she wished she could suppress to the back of her mind again between blithe fingers. Because even if she did get attached, allowed herself to feel these feelings, and expanded her place in the world- did she deserve it?

The apparitions that had haunted her back at their dragon encounter surely didn't think that.

The quarry howled its loneliness in the wind.

The road home was an equally lonesome one, trekked in silence as invisible eyes seemed to track her from the corners of her eyes. She took one step and there was a crunch of dirt behind her. One breath and its exhale were sighed from other lungs that loomed nearby. She spun and...there was no one there. No one and nothing but the bleak and barren landscape that suggested that the village and quarry were but mirages of the tortured mind.

The brunette pulled her clothes tighter around her body and focused on the sensation that was real. Namely, that one of cloth stretching over skin and bone.

Honomi welcomed her with open arms, immediately sensing that something was off and that it required special attention. The women seated themselves on the porch with a new set of sewing materials and Mitsuko was put to work. Needle piercing through the fold of one end to connect to the next in a long scar. Fabric to needle and needle to skin. A mundane routine that culminated in a flower. The brunette instantly undid the stitches by ripping out the thread, prompting the woman to ask: "Do you not like flowers?".

The youth remained silent for a pondering moment before she answered:

"Not on myself I don't".

A lethargic whisper that was hushed into an early death under closed lids.


Morning arrived in stiffness, not only in limbs that had yet to awaken from their slumber. But also in brown eyes that refused to acknowledge their surroundings outside of the firepit. A catatonic state of wilful stillness that didn't stir even for the new set of footsteps that announced the last arrival of their party of three. Breakfast was served, the first one that they had shared since their decision to lodge with his mother.

The mere notion irked her and the discomfort was an insidious affliction that spurred skin to bunch in prickles along her neck. "No important business today?" She snorted, at last, not able to withstand the urge.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
The night was spent luckily in the depths of sleep, no inclinations of unbecoming actions from the Seer, nor was he graced by dreams. It was empty, gray and comforting, chasing away the angry bite of envious wrath that had corrupted him for the rest of that day and would perhaps hopefully fade again by the time morning would come. After all, it wasn't like Haru was a disagreeable person, right? He could apologize if he was in the wrong, if he saw the error of his ways and in turn tried his best to account for it, to smooth over everything and make sure that all would be as it was, peaceful and content. These were all things that would be expected of him, as the holy Seer.

And yet, they couldn't be farther from his true nature in regards to pettiness, or lack of grace in regards to his jealousy.

Envy was something that ill-suited him, and choked whatever rational thought that would normally take him. Envy would be the first emotion to greet him in the morning when his eyes would open and the sun streamed in, reminding him in aching muscles and bruises both of the celestial beast that she seemed to like so much. Envy was the emotion that guided tired hands to come to teary eyes, fanned by winds of red-hot rage that boiled in the usually composed soul. This anger, although unfamiliar was all too familiar to the place where they had started from, anger directed toward his idiot of a companion who failed to realize how to read his emotions, or even so much as attempt to understand how he felt... how he could misunderstand. It was a familiar situation that slid back into place, one which he was filled with rage at her, not guided by hatred this time but awful envy that he'd not once felt before; not a single time.

It was unpleasant, and he wasn't in a good mood, even if he rested decently enough, sleep would not be enough to make him calm and agreeable again. Oh no, it was never enough.

A grunt of pain left his lips as he crawled on hands and knees out of his futon, suppressing the urge to curse at the exhaustion that lined his slender body still very much unused to being Byakko's punching bag as he slowly but surely supported himself on tired legs as his uneven gait would echo in the silence. He saw his mother glance up, brown eyes widening as she took in Haru's appearance which made him cringe on the inside, temporarily dampening his rage. She would have questions, that he knew, but from the single glance between both mother and son and the pursing of her lips in displeasure, she was worried. Very much worried. Haru lowered his gaze from her own, now turning to her.

Immediate red-hot anger had flared again as crimson eyes immediately turned from her again, the feelings of warm affection he'd felt just the day before had now been suppressed under the grudge he was nursing against her stupidity. Honomi's worried eyes followed her son as the man had made his way over closer to his mother than Mitsuko near the firepit, a contempt in the Seer's expression and body posture as he seemed all too willing to give Mitsuko the cold shoulder, an action that made Honomi's eyebrows cause furrows to begin to crease upon her face, squinting at her boy to attempt to unveil what was the cause for this, which she certainly had picked up on in Mitsuko when she'd returned home. Did he say something? Or was it something that was remaining unspoken between the two?

Mitsuko's question had pierced the air, only the crackling of the firepit lingering between the three souls, Honomi's eyes shifted once more to her son to gauge his reaction, noticing a clenching of his jaw and a flicker of rage in his eyes which made a sinking though of, O-Oh dear. Ring within the woman's mind as trembling fingers hesitated, her fingers pausing in the midst of preparing their breakfast for that morning. More silence, then the Seer finally spoke, completely ignoring Mitsuko's question much to Honomi's horror, "Mother, let me help." Pleasant was his tone toward her, which wasn't unusual but the fact that he was enraged enough to result to stonewalling the poor woman who he supposedly was in love with had made Honomi's head spin. She never knew her son to be this rude! "Haru?" She spoke, her tone gentle though she did narrow her eyes ever so slightly at her son, crimson eyes met hers and she could see the reluctance within them as his expression wrinkled if he'd tasted something sour.

"No. I don't." Cold was the response in turn to Mitsuko, as cold as it had been in their days spent in the palace. It was worrisome indeed to Honomi who now glared at Haru in both shock and irritation at her son's conduct, in which he seemed to ignore his mother's glare, a tightening of his expression as there was something obviously lingering underneath now that caused more questions than answers to flare to life in the woman's mind. What had gotten into him? She never had seen him act this way!

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: futile devices - sufjan stevens (doveman remix)

Silence returned the question empty-handed to the brunette. A silence that was as disquietening as it was loud. Loud in the way that it delivered the message to the woman who bristled up in a frown at the unsaid implication. The whole situation was just a bunch of contradictions, really, her refusal to look at him one of many in the brown eyes that probed at him anyway in glances.

A depiction that could just as well be analogised to a dog that was inquiring its Master about its wrongs with uncomprehending puppy stares. Bleary under the triangle of furrowed brows and carefully tip-toeing so as to not pull another wrong-doing over itself. As if it understood that its ignorance was the biggest wrong of them all that it had committed. Was he truly that angry over her display of violence? Or was it the foolhardiness of it all that annoyed him so?

Her lips parted to enunciate her thoughts out loud. The sound never arrived, but his did after some delay: "No. I don't". Frozen solid and without any discrepancies in the translucent resentment that it carried within. The icy shivers that it commanded under her skin iced over her resolution to speak and stiffened her mouth in place. It wasn't like she had never encountered his glacier wall before but to see it erected anew between them was...her gaze faltered to her clenched fists- disheartening, to say the least.

Mitsuko forced her lips to breach the ice and weld shut over the simmering turmoil. She thought they were past this. Past the silent punches they would aim at each other and past pretending that they weren't. The punches hit her in full force anyway, air bereft from her lungs as dizzying impacts lulled eyes to look elsewhere. Seek for comfort elsewhere in the ragged walls, the cracks in the floor and the porch that enticed her with the prospect of escape. Her existence hung suspended over the wooden floorboards, a pale and fading picture that saturated in the next muffled inhale.

The realisation seeped in soundlessly. I don't wanna be here. Then. "I forgot something in the bedroom," The words blubbered out of her in quick succession of both sound and movement. Mitsuko shuffled to her feet, teetering while the wave of emotions that swelled to life threatened to submerge her. They bulged in glassy eyes, hidden under the hills of slanted brows, and hitched in her throat in splashes against the cliffs of erratic swallows.

It was irrational for her to be so affected by something so little. So she fled, stormed off into the corridor alongside the tide that overtook her once she was alone. The brunette sunk down on the floor in the bedroom and cradled her knees in a last effort to lock everything down. Not let anything out while she disputed the evidence that had already been made obvious. That she was, in fact, not affected by his coldness. That she did not care if he disliked her now.

That the wetness that assembled in scrunched-up eyes was, in fact, not tears.

So why did her heart ache so? Why did her breaths shrivel and why did her lips vibrate like strings pulled taut and played for sound? "-Hicc." She was pathetic.


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Tension and with it came the inevitable fleeing before the frigid space that Haru had deemed suitable as punishment, as cruel as it was to the fool that frustrated him beyond common sense. Part of his anger did recoil at the frigidness that had settled deep within his heart, a bit taken aback that he'd reverted so quickly back into the early days where his anger was his guiding hand, one that manipulated his voice and carried with it his frustration that bloomed in the iciness that had overtaken him and froze him to his core. Mitsuko would say an excuse, and her absence in turn made the room feel that much colder, her lack of presence within the room now leaving Haru and his mother in silence, crimson eyes downcast as the warm brown eyes of his mother had turned cold themselves, piercing as her eyes shifted from Haru's currently sitting form to the path of Mitsuko's all too hasty retreat, perhaps to lick the wounds that had just been ripped open by her son's iciness.

Taking in a breath, the woman's eyes turned back to the verdant-haired man, eyes tracing over the battered husk of her son, new rips and bruises lining him where there certainly was none before. The hardened edge to his eyes, worsened by his bewildering anger had made both concern and intense frustration swell up within the woman. She knew him well enough that he refused to say anything again, though who knows what happened to make him this bitter. She meant to get to the bottom of this and quickly. Gritting her teeth, Honomi had paused in her movements and shifted to her feet, "Haru, outside now." The voice was firm, losing the usual gentle edge as Honomi would step out from the house itself, giving Mitsuko some further privacy for not only herself, but to prevent the young woman from walking in on the conversation that she certainly needed to take with her son.

There was a hesitation in her boy, crimson eyes flickering up to Honomi's face in disbelief for a moment, "What?" Dripping with confusion as if he was stunned by the sudden change in Honomi, though one more passing look from the warm brown pools that were now like glaciers had made any following protest die in the man's throat as he heaved a sigh, grimacing as he stood to his feet and shuffled after his mother, their steps taking them to linger on the side of the house in which the small frame of his mother had turned around and in one swift movement had turned to face him, "What was that?" Her voice was calm now, but as she pointed to whence they had come, Haru had looked aside, annoyance flaring in his chest, "I don't know what you're talking about." Bitter was his response as rubies glittered with iciness in his skull, "I answered her question, didn't I?" The cold quip had made Honomi's hands clench as she glared at her son, the behavior being displayed was unfamiliar to surface within her boy, but she was certainly appalled.

"Haru, I know for a fact I didn't raise you to be this way. That was uncalled for, I'm sure whatever had happened between you two is unwarranted for that!" Haru's jaw clenched as Honomi pressed on, "That was cruel, and you know that!" Haru's expression twisted further, his heart blackening in frustration. Cruel? That was cruel? Cruel was the actions she'd consistently done on her own, cruel was the interest she was displaying toward another man, cruel was the pain she was inflicting on him and cruel was her lack of awareness of him and how he felt. If anything, just giving her a cold shoulder was the bare minimum that he could have done in retaliation! These angry thoughts buzzed within him as his anger ran hot in his veins, Honomi's eyes however being enough to still his tongue, "Do you not realize how much your actions can hurt others? I know you're a smart boy, Haru-"

"Me? Hurt others?" The words interjected Honomi's before she could continue, bitterness overcoming him as he laughed, "Give me a break.. so, what you want me to apologize? For something she started?! Like hell I'm going to do that-" A sharp slap suddenly split the air as Haru's head jolted, eyes widening in shock at the fresh stinging upon his cheek, a stunned hand coming to his face as he stared dumbfounded at his usually gentle mother whose trembling hand was shaking more so from the sensation of pain that had flared within the limb, her lips betraying the agony in the faint trembling as she seethed, "You do not have the luxury to act like a barbarian underneath my roof, Haru, nor did I raise you to be heartless."

Haru shrank back, the piercing glare from his mother freezing him to the spot, "Heartlessness gets you nowhere, and anger clouds your mind, your judgement. I've repeated this plenty of times before, but it appears I truly have to make it stick this time." A trembling hand gripped his collar then, the warm browns fierce in their anger as they met his stunned crimson, "And jealousy is like poison, take care not to allow it to rob you of good sense. Otherwise, I'll have to fix it for you, wouldn't I?" A chill went down his spine as Honomi released him from her hold, displeasure in his mother's expression as she stepped past him, "Come, if you know what's good for you, you'll be on your best behavior. And you'd better apologize to her, I don't appreciate rudeness under my roof, do you understand?"

Too stunned to speak, Haru's lips parted in the beginnings of a sentence as if trying to bring air in his lungs. Why was he the one being treated like the villain here? He... he wasn't in the wrong now was he? "Do you understand me, Haru?" The voice was far more angry this time, Honomi looking over her shoulder to him in a chilling glare that froze him to the spot, causing his hand to drop from his stinging cheek, "Y-yes.. mother." The anger that had fueled him had flickered out into embers of frustrations, but more than that a bit of fear for the small woman who seemed so very utterly harmless had displayed anger he'd not seen before. It made him nervous, bringing him to heel as he followed after his mother who firmly glared at him in a final warning once they crossed the threshold as Haru had settled once more in his previous spot near the firepit, his expression void of the frigidness of before, though the noticeable red mark on his face was enough to tell what had occurred just outside the little house on its own as he heard Honomi's steps retreat in the direction Mitsuko had gone in.

A hand came to the side of his face as he grumbled under his breath once his mother was out of earshot, "..Why am I being treated like the bad guy for this? Shit.." The curse left his lips as his lips pressed together in a tight line, shoulders sagging.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Visions of Gideon (instrumental)

This feeling was going to be the death of her. She knew it right down to the bones that rattled in their attempts to control it. Waves upon waves crashing over her all the while she gasped for air in choked wheezing. It was an ugly sound, one of intermingled mucus and saliva that stock-piled in the throat and nostrils until she was sure that she would burst. Flesh and skin susceptible alike to the imagery in her head that depicted the force shredding through it in splatters of tissue over the walls.

Even her sadness was violent. Her feral sobs were perhaps the most damning confession of this. Mitsuko wished she could go back to a time when the tears didn't come as easily. When she could still deny the truths that she had come to face during their journey. Back to when she had studied her reflection in the river and resolved to not fall victim to such weakness anymore. She was a fool for thinking she could escape and a fool for beginning to desire that very same weakness, the same privileges that all humans shared- the privilege to feel.

Maybe it was the tiredness that had deteriorated her defences or maybe it was the paranoia. The ever-present fear that vilified every shadow to her subsequent tenseness. Maybe...it was just a matter of that she liked him a little too much and she wasn't used to acknowledging it. Regardless it had all boiled down to this melting point of absolute shambles.

The brunette rocked in her cradle a bit more before creaks of the floorboards alerted her to the presence that was approaching. She wiped her face in her haste to compose herself and whipped away from the entrance at the last second before it slid open. The clatter of the sliding door reverberated through the room in its suspiciously pressed silence. The slumped back that Honomi glimpsed at the back of the room told her all that she needed to know. "Oh dear child," She cooed and let her soothing voice carry her all the way down to the closed-off brunette that winced at the touch of hands and words.

The woman sidled up to her in caresses over the shoulder blades that culminated in a grip on the real shoulders. "Do not fault my son too much. He is yet too immature to realise the damage that his actions have." Honomi brushed aside a few strands of hair that hung loosely down her neck. If only she knew. Mitsuko sunk deeper under her lids that skirted the cusp of a relapse of her earlier antics. Her fingers grazed in chilled tips along the skin beneath the hair.

"I do not know what transpired between the two of you yesterday, but I know that you must overcome it." She echoed the sentiment in an all too sad show of a wary smile that persisted through the crinkles that weighed her down. Honomi extended her reach to brand her trembling palms with new burn marks in cups that moulded around the brunette's cheeks. She steered their faces into mirroring each other. "-Daughter of mine, strength lies in forgiveness. Of both the perpetrator of the hurt and of yourself." She cascaded over Mitsuko in a mollifying coolness that quelled her fiery outburst "And to forgive is, to be honest. Mitsuko, you must be honest with Haru for him to understand the hurt that he has inflicted".

Their foreheads touched and grounded the brunette in the tears that welled forth from painfully squinted brown wells. It was almost as if...Honomi didn't address only Mitsuko throughout her speech but also herself as she blinked the dreamy luminaries away. The glazed reflection hardened in newfound conviction and she clutched the younger woman's hand "Now come. He's waiting for you".

Honomi's familiar figure led the way first in steps that shuffled to the side of the door opening. Mitsuko trailed after and minced her way out in front of the judgmental crowd that consisted of merely one person- Haru. Her fingers fidgeted with her sleeve and her eyes darted undecidedly. She gathered her courage in a deep inhale. "I-apologise for leaving in the middle of breakfast like that." Her gaze had yet to discover the scolding he had received in her absence as she stammered on "If there's anything I've done to anger you, I would ask you to express it. In all honesty I thought-".

She faced him truthfully for the first time that she had entered the room then and was immediately taken aback. "-I thought you had become scared of me." Mitsuko breathed out weakly at the sight of the red cheek that matched her red-rimmed eyes "That you were disgusted by...well, I guess my...show of violence".

Her heart had ceased its throbbing the moment she had laid eyes upon her companion and she suffocated, slowly under the breathlessness. The fidgeting hand fell limp in a flounder of facial features. "I was rash." Again she meant to add but died off.
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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
In the midst of attempting to heal his bruised feelings, and stinging cheek, the Seer sat in a more relaxed stance as he waited for the inevitable. His mother's steps resounded first to his ears, followed by the far more quieter and muted steps of her. His expression tightened in discomfort as he looked to the floorboards as if that could help him stabilize the stirring thoughts and feelings within his chest, swallowing back a wave of bitterness as she approached. Awkward, this situation was awkward. The palpable tension within the air was threaded along by the stumbling words of his companion, clumsy in the way she spoke and yet her words made his expression soften only for a tinge of frustration to crinkle up in the depths of crimson eyes as he looked to her, finally meeting the dark brown eyes that was enough to drown him in, though noticeably tinged with red, causing a sword of guilt to plunge into his heart and twist it.

He'd... made her cry. His intention certainly was not that, never that as his expression faltered more, the mere embers of his previous rage having flickered and died out. Wasn't Mitsuko far more tough than that? Hadn't she been one to laugh at his insults, far more cutting than the words he'd spoken earlier? Did she... was she ill? Confusion swelled in his mind as he tried filtering for the reason as he stared mutely at the woman who foolishly thought, jumping to foolish conclusions even despite him telling her before that he wasn't afraid of her. How could he when she was acting like... this? Fidgeting and floundering for words, teary eyes and all too meek and fearful glances, as if he'd reject her, as if he'd turn her away. Eyebrows furrowed and formed familiar creases, a frown crossing his face as silent judgement reigned in the rubies that now truly looked at her, no longer with the frigid ice that had taken them... but regret.

Did he hurt her this much? His heart bleed slightly more from the sword that had met its mark in the organ, guilty hands twisting the blade just a little bit more in guilty consciousness as he lowered his gaze to his hands when she'd fallen silent, certainly feeling more like the villain in this situation than before. "..What are you even saying..?" He mumbled those words, quiet under his breath. Frustrated with himself for feeling that unpleasant emotion that had pushed Mitsuko to this point, even making him rage against her in coldness. This was a complicated situation indeed, feeling like he was standing on the edge of a cliff with a knife at his back, a knife that Honomi seemed to be holding in the daggers she was shooting at her son as a silent observer: Be honest.

But how could he be honest? If he did, for that one truth that he didn't wish for her to know... she would spurn him. Or perhaps, he would make himself vulnerable to be devoured, just like Mai-Jing, the one that caused fear now to sink more into his bones every time the monster flickered to life before his eyes. The way they were now, the way they were merely companions, even if it didn't soothe the ache of what he wanted, it was comfortable. Anything more would push that careful relationship to collapse and with it change everything that he knew, everything that he wanted to hold onto still. A conflict raged inside the silent man, before he stirred to his feet. Like with everything, he needed to fix things, and make the idiot that thought he was afraid of her know that he wouldn't leave her side. Honestly, didn't she know him by now? It wasn't as if he'd lied to her that night. Idiot.

The Seer approached her then, glaring back at her only for hands to come up and pinch her cheeks, "You're an idiot." The words were spoken a bit harshly which caused Honomi to stir from her spot, as if taken aback by Haru's words yet again, but the man continued, "I already told you once, but it seems like I have to tell you again! I'm. Not. Afraid. Of. You." His grip tightened on the woman's cheeks, relishing at the feeling of her skin beneath his fingers, electricity sparking through his flesh. Let go. Immediately, he would react on the thought, allowing her to be freed of his pinching fingers as he crossed his arms over his chest, a sigh leaving him, irritation flaring to life behind rubies, relying more on the fuel of frustration that she didn't seem to understand him by now to guide his words, crumbling under the fear of saying too much, of allowing her to know the emotions stirring in his chest with her presence, "I would think that you wouldn't forget that and actually take those words to heart. But, it seems like once again you prove me wrong-"

He hesitated, stilling his tongue before it could devolve into a rant or even another scolding, feeling Honomi beginning to drill holes into him which made the Seer shuffle awkwardly from foot to foot. Ugh, if only she wasn't there, then he would be able to do as he always did, scold her and then proceed how they've always done. But, Honomi wouldn't allow him to leave this spot until he was honest... he didn't want to be honest. It was so foolish, so childish now that he had placed a hand over his face, shame coloring the skin of his cheeks as he now couldn't look Mitsuko in her eyes. Oh god, he had to admit that he had... he had been jealous, didn't he? She had asked him to be honest with her in regards to what had upset him so much, and he could still feel her gaze upon him. He really was a fool, wasn't he?

"I-" Love you. The cursed words rang in his mind, but didn't filter past his tongue, swallowing back the words before they could leave him, a quickening of his nervous heart beginning to race within his chest. He knew that was the truth, but he couldn't! Not ever to her! Say the less reality changing one.. one that was innocent enough in its confession, but just as devastating to their little tightrope of companionship. "I-I was... worried that you would have gotten yourself hurt in my stead... I didn't want that." Stuttering words that evaded his shame as crimson eyes couldn't even look her in the face, his hand still remaining upon his now ruby red face as he could see barely from the edges of his vision that Honomi had raised an eyebrow, already knowing in her own way that Haru was trying to dodge around the answer. Damn it!

"...I was jealous..." The words were spoken so very, very quietly that it couldn't even be heard, prompting Honomi to shuffle a bit from foot to foot and clearing her throat, making her already flustered boy to bite into his bottom lip as if tearing the skin could help ease this embarrassment. He'd already spoken it out loud, wasn't that enough! Oh, how his courage was failing him in this moment, making him want to sooner run than admit this embarrassing moment of childishness from the usually composed and responsible one. He took in a breath, crimson eyes finally peering from behind the veil of fingers in all too reluctant rubies that seemed skittish, nervous in how they stirred upon the equally crimson face of the Seer, "I.." His voice threatened to fail him, fear robbing him of the words that tried to spill from his lips as he stared at the face that now served to make his heart race, to make envy burn bright when those eyes drifted from him. This situation was unfair! He didn't want to admit this to her! No! Never!

Teeth gritted as his fear tangled with his embarrassment, forming a red hot ball of something akin to anger to settle in his chest. Or was it only embarrassment? He didn't know, but he knew he couldn't back out of this now as much as he wanted to scream at her in his usual habit of shoving her away that he hated her, or something along those lines... but he'd already hurt her enough somehow. Those teary eyes of hers ripped at his soul, his consciousness as he took in another breath, eyes turning away, burning face and all as he finally snapped, "I was jealous, okay?! You're such an idiot! You don't think at all!" The words came out spinning with his insults as he could feel the room beginning to spin. His shame of his emotions spiking the words into angry snapping as his hand had fallen away from his face, glaring at her with the heat of embarrassment. That face that now was becoming something he adored, was also so very... very infuriating. And yet, he couldn't bring himself to follow up with the usual 'I hate you'. Insults spun like a hurricane in his head, desperate to perhaps bury down the admission that he had been jealous underneath it all, maybe if he quickly rushed out of there it-

Honomi's voice interrupted the situation with a clap of her hands, "Oh my, now was that so hard?" Yes! VERY! Haru wanted to scream, his lips turned in a scowl as he turned away, "Hmph!" For all Mitsuko's apology, it seemed like the Seer was trying his best to keep his composure as he retreated immediately away from her so he could avoid looking directly at her, and putting some much needed space between the two. He couldn't even say 'don't read into it' anyways, due to the lie that they were putting up for Honomi right now, a lie that neither of the two had firmly denied. The Seer settled upon the floor then as he resisted the urge to cover his face again, now glaring in another direction as he wanted to disappear on the spot.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Die for you - The weeknd

Approaching stomps presented the overhanging threat of closeness and her heart skipped a beat when hands, previously soft and unmarred, captured her cheeks in a raw grip. His thumbs burrowed into the sensitive skin and the brunette grimaced as he tweaked it. His red eyes drilled into her own lukewarm brown ones with intensity. It stripped her bare of all the anxiety-ridden twitches and agitated the surface in friction that scoured forth pursed lips. "It's not like I forgot..." She retorted in a mutter to his accusation.

Mitsuko pried her gaze off the man to break the spell that he had cast on her with the proximity of rosy lips. She hadn't forgotten. She had merely assumed that he had never meant it in the first place. It was hard, after all, to believe that someone was capable of accepting her as she was. Broken and malfunctioning at every turn that proved something new to her. Something that made her more human but also more vulnerable with the acquired knowledge of it.

Her cheeks ached in the absence of the warm fingers, either of hurt or of something else. Lashes swept back up to shift her attention towards his disgruntled expression once more. One that was so familiar yet so perplexing in her current predicament. If it was not disgust nor a response to her regression to senseless behaviour then...what was it? Why did his face churn with such stubborn uneasiness? Why did he struggle so to justify his reasons in speech? Why did he...look so adorable in the way he peeked in red between the gaps of his finger mask?

Ah...An urge to reach out, to coil her own digits around those fingers and pry them off him in an unmasking of the chastened reaction tugged at her. Tormented her in the electrical pulses that curled her joints into the fabric of the hakama. The desire entangled itself in the cloth and rippled below the lips that made marks on the blank surface of her face. When he finally bridled his hesitation he first blurted out: "I-I was... worried that you would have gotten yourself hurt in my stead... I didn't want that." and then after some pitiful squirming-

"I was jealous, okay?! You're such an idiot! You don't think at all!"

Mitsuko blinked. Once, then twice. Speechless at the revelation that connected all the dots and made it make sense while it also didn't make any sense at all. He was...jealous? Her mouth motioned the question of 'who' in a silent o shape. Then it levelled out to an unassuming crack in her facade. Her breaths filtered out of it while deafened heartbeats returned in audible thumping to provide a beat for her thoughts. He? Jealous? Of her and who? The staccato words accompanied a frenzy of pictures that she sorted through. The sequence flickered by in even and uneven possibilities and she pulled the brakes on the single figure that she saw as a conceivable perpetrator.

It inched to a halt on even, Byakko, and her expression shifted over into uneven. A lopsided grin soon in place on her face as she slithered up to Haru. Her knees plodded down onto the floor in a resounding thud and she leaned forward on her palms. "You? Jealous?" She echoed her thoughts in disbelief despite the exhilarated kinks that plagued her facial muscles. The collar of the kimono slackened in its hold around her neck to replicate another scene from the past- one of a mischievous exposure of swells of breasts.

Her canines gleamed in faithful imitation of the lurid quirk that glimpsed gums. "Bite me, asshole. I didn't know you cared that much." Another purring appropriation that he had technically already fulfilled on her neck. The dangerous slits raked his body in brown smugness. The grin relinquished a sliver of the harshness to replace it with something more genuine as her hand shot out to take revenge on his cheek. Mitsuko rolled the plump flesh between thumb and index while invisible lightning struck nerves into flutters between the touches. "You're so cute." She hummed thoughtlessly. Her gaze dipped from eyes to his lips and then she let go. Retreated into safety in a rocking motion to sit pretty on her knees.

"No one can take your place Haru." Admittedly she had at first meant it as the Phoenix and his role as companion, but the more one pondered over it the more confused one would become. Especially considering the gentle affection that permeated from her being as she uttered them. Could it be that he was as anxious as her to lose the other one? Ah. Mitsuko couldn't stop her cheeks from ripping up into another gleeful simper despite the hand that palmed over it. Perhaps it was a bit overkill but the frustrations of the recent days just flowed out of her one after another.

"..Besides it isn't as if Byakko couldn't heal me if I got hurt." She jolted at the slipped mention of the Tiger and bit pressed her lips shut. Her eyes darted, not very discreetly, to gauge Honomi's reaction who quirked a brow at the supposed secret. Oops. The woman waltzed up to the pair and placed two steady hands on their heads in a joint shackle that held them still on the spot. "Well well, it seems that you have neglected to introduce me to one of your friends Haru." Her beamed seething was the predecessor of Haru's and much more scathing in its implied repercussions.

Her hands ruffled their hair in true fashion to the trembles that otherwise plagued her digits "We'll need a nice and loooong talk later Haru. For now, we shall cook. I have some roots that need to be sorted out along with fish that has to be preserved."
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surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
True Love - P!nk

Stubborn and embarrassed, Haru had every intention of not meeting the gaze of his companion, or even acknowledge her existence at that point. Too wrapped up in his all too embarrassing revelation to muster up anymore quick retorts that he without a doubt needed to arm himself with; though that sentiment in his mind had scattered as he heard her knees hit the floor, soft thud in all as the heat from her body radiated closer and her accursed scent with it. Gah! Stay back! Was the immediate thought as he immediately shifted to shallower breathing, serving to not help him very much as the room was already spinning in the midst of his flustered state. Her tone of voice echoed disbelief which made a chill run down his spine as he whipped his head around to face her, perhaps say something scathing... yet it died upon his tongue as nothing more than a faltering squeak would leave as he realized with horror the situation she was replicating so much.

The dreaded "nightmare" and the Mitsuko before him in the present overlapped in the all too ominous pose as her eyes squinted at him, his own eyes fidgeting as he was struggling to place them anywhere but the most tempting place that was calling to him. He wasn't some child! He needed to pull himself together, though... was she doing this on purpose?! Teeth clenched tightly together then as he managed out, "Stop-" Stop teasing me! You idiot! But the sentence wouldn't prosper as Mitsuko's eyes kept him pinned to the spot, wishing desperately for the previous hatred he used to thrive on to come back and put a much needed slap of reality into him as crimson eyes met hers, predatory features that he found now he adored was all so set to teasing him and making him squirm. Chills flowed over his skin as he glared at her, her words mimicking a night he no longer remembered, but all the same drawing more attention back to the dreaded mark upon her neck, causing his eyes to strain to not look in that direction. Oh why?! Why was he such an idiot?!

"You-!" He tried again, his heart pounding in his chest, infuriation quickly flaring to life in the midst of his embarrassment. Although, perhaps if they didn't have an audience, Haru certainly could have been capable of doing something rash again, the boiling in his veins and the fans she insisted on fanning doing little to help the brilliant red that had overtaken his soft features. She didn't know he cared that much? Embarrassment flared to life then, if only she did know... but he didn't want her to. Wasn't she not being serious about this anyways? So quick to jump on the soonest opportunity to make him ignite a brilliant shade of red, he... he should've known this would happen! She always did this without fail!

Goosebumps flared to life over pale skin as her eyes raked over his body, prompting his traitor of a heart to continue to speed to a worrisome beat within his chest, breathing remaining shallow as to not allow his body to go down a dreaded path that certainly didn't need to be known right now. Her closeness made him squirm as she had gripped his cheek, reciprocating the pinch he'd done to hers, sparks flaring to life on already hot skin as he winced, glaring at her in the midst of his flustered state, the following claim of finding him cute had made his heart drop then proceed to do joyous flips in his chest despite him desperately trying to tell himself that she didn't mean it. He needed to say something! Anything! "..I hate you so much.." He seethed between clenched teeth, brilliant red face certainly contrasting the now meek attitude, a sucked in breath punctuating the sparking electricity within his body as his heart replicated thunder within his chest, the dark brown eyes of his cruel little sun had drifted to his lips, the pressure alone of her gaze upon the now trembling rose petals had made them tingle, anticipation and desire sparking through the embarrassment, the frustration of this moment. "..Y-You-" He began, his brain feeling as if it were melting in his skull, unable to string together another coherent sentence as accursed desire flared to life to combat against embarrassment. Stop it! Stop teasing me!

Pressing lips together into a tight line, he was all too relieved (and oddly disappointed) when Mitsuko had released him from her hold, a hand coming up to his cheek to try and chase the sensation away of tingling flesh, glaring at her from the much needed distance that needed to be put in place, and her final words had echoed within his mind, causing him to tense in disbelief only for his expression to become somewhat.. somber. The genuine tone to her voice, the seemingly gentle affection that flowed from her... it was a bitter lie. Was she only saying that to make him feel better? To placate him for a little while? Or did she mean that he simply couldn't be replaced as a divine beast? Even as these more cynical explanations flared to life, part of him... part of him wanted to believe her words in the heart that sang with joy when she was near, who drowned in affection for the fool across from him. But, of course he couldn't be honest, turning his head away as he struggled to regain his composure, "W-whatever, s-say whatever you'd like. I don't care." He did indeed, very much cared.

And yet tension settled upon them as she had let slip Byakko's name, and with it came the storm of Honomi as Haru's eyes went wide and the red had drained from his face, "U-Um, I-" He tried to begin to perhaps come up with an excuse, it wasn't the Tiger of the western lands, it was just... some random... oh god, he couldn't even think of a good excuse! He swallowed, feeling his throat becoming dry as Honomi loomed over the two, her trembling hands feeling firm upon his hand as a bit of nervous laughter escaped from an all too dry throat, though he looked to the floor, immediately becoming meek and docile before his mother, "Y-yes ma'am.." Why.. why did Mitsuko say anything?! A sharp glare was given to her from the corner of his eyes, though it seemed as if they were even for now in terms of sensitive information escaping their lips. Regardless, the Seer didn't say another word, his brain still in quite the useless puddle within his mind as he moved to at least go about the duty of preserving fish, nostalgia perhaps guiding the choice... even if he would have to extensively wash himself after to get the fish scent out.

Sei Shonagon

lord of the flies
Kanamori no Mitsuko

Theme: Sodus - Cemeteries

To think that he was worried about something like that and regarding her as well. It made her feel oddly...warm. Giddy with the little embers that the firepit had seemingly infected her with. Even the glare that she earned from Haru wasn't able to startle it more than in the gaze that innocently drifted away under lifted brows. The ceiling took the form of an imaginary sky as she floated into it in guileless cloudy composure. If her slip truly posed any trouble, she would doubtlessly get to hear about it later.

For now, she would relish in the knowledge that she had at least a modicum of space in his thoughts. That he, unwillingly or not, thought of her. In any manner at all. Her lettuce head. The brunette regarded him from the safe barrier of scooped-up knees and veil of brown strands. She trailed down the gentle slope of lids and lashes that drooped in shame, his apple cheeks that were dappled red in immature splotches and the jawline that framed it all in.

Mitsuko burrowed her head in her sleeve and groaned through the sludge that befuddled her mind and heart alike. A mess, he had made a mess out of her and continued to do it even now in his unsuspecting presence. The presence that she desired to spoil again with her self. Provoke him into prickly reactions, drown those ears in her words and chase his breath in devouring touches that demanded to hog all of his attention for herself.

The brunette snorted and her gaze hardened in a forlorn look. Were these the thoughts of someone that was satisfied with merely a corner of his mind? The filthy liar was her, wasn't she? A corner, an assumption that they had reconciled enough to be friends. It sufficed, didn't it? The threat of otherwise powered the fight or flight mechanism where she chose the latter of occupying her mind with the roots. Her hand filtered through them in flighty stutters.

Some of the roots were familiar. Roots that she had relied on during the harsher times of her travels as a mercenary. Amidst them was burdock rock, distinguished by its tiny thorny balls, and groundnut. A bulbous cousin to the potato that had given her a real stomach ache once when she had eaten it raw. Or perhaps the fault lay in the river water? Regardless, it was quite the meagre diet that they prepared for the woman. The notion brushed by her in the scrawny silhouette that bent down to retrieve the basket of sorted roots.

Mitsuko moved on to help the Seer with the fish once she had completed her task and they finished up after an hour or two. The sun was still hanging steady halfway across the sky at that point. She inspected her rolled-up sleeves and sniffed the stench of fish that hit her before her nose had come anywhere near the source. It scrunched up "Is there a river nearby that I can wash up in?".


surviving on coffee
Roleplay Type(s)
Tsumi - Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni OST [toward end of post]

Haru could feel her gaze on him, her presence being far more heavy within the room as they would scatter to do their individual tasks. And more so than that, he hated intensely that his eyes despite trying to fixate on the task of preserving fish would perpetually drift to her, as if she were a sudden blinding light in the room that he could not tear his gaze away from. Though this was familiar to him, considering his previous affections for Mai-Jing, his eyes would always follow the former empress, just as much as it fixated upon Mitsuko... but there was a difference in between such attractions he was beginning to observe; a sheer difference between the two women who had captured his heart in this lifetime.

Mai-Jing had once inspired fluffy and innocent feelings of adoration to flower in his chest, though all the same had kept him just within arm's reach, never breaching an invisible wall that he sought time and time again to break by being her loyal lapdog. She never truly treated him, however as a person, although acknowledging and relying on his gifts which made him for once in his life adore his own talents, he always felt an underlying sense of wrongness with the attraction. Puppy love, was it? But, no, the feelings were far stronger than that, far more devoted and perhaps verging on the brink of insanity. Disturbing thoughts, although infrequent would pass through his mind in fading moments that left him cold in the dark; how complacent he would be if by chance Mai-Jing desired to take his life, and the tension that reigned between him and Mai-Jing was more akin to that of willing prey and an all too hungry predator. But, even through his blind devotion, he had indeed loved her... but this feeling for Mitsuko was vastly different.

Mitsuko he found detestable from the beginning, but their relationship from the start was... normal, if he could put a word to describe it. There was no pressure there, no force in regards to making him be something that he wasn't; granted the lack of pressure on his gifts only came from his stubborn refusal of her time and time again. Of course she had been annoying, and was the source of his personal anguish for a long time, and she still persisted to have her moments that drove him over the edge... but part of him enjoyed her rashness, desired to see the different emotions that would fly across her features, desired to learn about the woman that was Mitsuko; even if he'd treated Mai-Jing as if she were on a pedestal that he could never touch. Mitsuko felt more... achievable if that made any sense in his scrambled thoughts.

There was something far more humanizing in Mitsuko now than before, and she sparked such strong reactions and desires within Haru that he had not once felt for Mai-Jing. Granted, these feelings resulted in less than appropriate behavior being the all too recent one of clouded self-pleasure or even prior to that with him retaliating against her teasing; those emotions had never once surfaced within him in regards to Mai-Jing since, once again in his mind he put her so far up on a pedestal that she wasn't seen as just another woman in his eyes. She was the master that tugged on his leash, and he was nothing but the ground beneath her feet. That wasn't a healthy dynamic, it wasn't normal and it surely didn't give him any room to explore other desires that he may or may not have... granted he still had such a stubborn sentiment in feeling that he shouldn't be feeling these things for Mitsuko, for desiring her as a woman, but it wasn't in the same vein of putting her on a high pedestal or anything.

It was because it was new, because it was unknown territory and because in part of her prior history that he knew well enough in the palace. It was a fear of the unknown, of getting too wrapped up in his feelings for her that she would wind up hurting him... or even worse, that this was all a horrid ruse at his expense and she was merely leading him ahead to his inevitable doom; that the joy on her face was not honest or genuine and that she too was following the same footsteps that Mai-Jing had left behind. That she would betray him, and leave him in darkness yet again.

The acknowledgement of this fear had made him finally tear his eyes away from Mitsuko to fully settle on his taste, faded hallucinations beginning to flare upon his skin in a horrid remembrance of his many deaths before, as if to scold him for having any hope that she could genuinely love him. For she would be a traitor like all of the rest, even if he was addicted to her poison, it would be inevitable for her to leave him broken and bleeding. He shouldn't trust her with his heart, nor should he be getting too carried away. There was a tension that returned to his face then, schooling the blushing edges until they would fade and settle deep down so he could suppress this adoration for Mitsuko, even if he desperately wanted her affection.

Perhaps he was getting too naive again, too trusting for his own good. But he wanted, he needed his little sun-

Haru's head snapped up as Mitsuko had spoken, beginning to grow more lost in the conflicting tangles of his mind as his hands had finally settled on empty air, having not realized at all that she had drawn near. Granted, the smell of fish and salt had caused his own nose to wrinkle up, looking in distaste down at his hands, "Yeah, there should be one near-" The sentence broke off suspiciously as memories flared to life of his shameful conduct, reminding him all too well of his efforts to hide any trace of that night, the result making the Seer clear his throat as he stood up straight, "Let's go." Not willing to open up further on the matter due to him not desiring to make their relationship teeter off in another strange direction; they already had a strange bond as it was. Complicated in the interactions between the two, but comfortable enough that neither had pushed for more.

The river was nostalgic for Haru, one that he frequently stopped by in years prior to fish, the clear waters cutting a sharp path in the land that trailed down from the hidden lands of Byakko, separating the slave providence from the village raised high above that belonged to the Engan, and further down one could see the river empty out into a vast, clear ocean in which it seemed like ships were coasting slow amongst the waters, a sight that would be typical during the day as those unfortunate souls who were shipped out to other parts of the continent were now housed within the rocking ships. Haru had settled by the river water, allowing the cold water to sink into his skin upon his hands, the icy chill reminding him too much of another disgraceful memory of him throwing himself in a raging river to extinguish the spark of life in his soul.

The memory made a bitter taste flow upon his tongue as he gazed down at his reflection in the calm water, interrupted by his fingers setting to work on chasing the fish smell from his hands. Since then, he had changed... granted there was a hollowness within the crimson eyes that peered back at him and a raggedness in the hair he normally would go through plenty of grief to keep cut, but instead had certainly grown from the usual length he would pride himself on. Lines of scratches upon his face told of injuries facing Byakko, and even if he didn't actually appear to be particularly unhealthy, he had dropped a few pounds, perhaps due to all of the traveling that the two had to go through and the lack of regular meals. It wasn't as if Haru would be particularly vain in that regard, considering even prior to going to the Jade empire by Mai-Jing's hands, he'd appeared far worse then, scrawny and gaunt with not a single bit of fat upon his body. Starving and haggard, bulging eyes and sunken cheeks, cracked lips and far wilder hair. The memory of the slave he'd been back then had in turn made his leg ache anew as he reigned in the wandering thoughts. It certainly seemed he felt like reflecting a lot that day didn't he?

The icy water was a welcome sensation to draw his mind back to reality, his head tilting back to look upward toward the distant sea again. The ships coasting on the waters now that he thought about it were... bigger. Slave ships normally weren't so large, perhaps these were new? A chill ran down his spine as he squinted, as if that would help him get a better look, but these ships held no insignia, nor any distinguishing features upon the sails which made him in turn relax a little. Yes, they had to be slave ships then, even if it was rather sad and sobering to think that such atrocities continued, there was little that could be done about- Pain.

Pain rang in his head as a damp hand flew to his temple, rubies stirring within whites as he struggled to take in a breath. Something was wrong, the feeling of dread that had flowed deep within him had made the Seer suddenly surge to his feet as he turned on his heel, gazing back toward whence they'd came. Mother. There was no usual vision or foresight that flickered before his eyes, but the sensation in his chest couldn't be ignored, a sixth sense if it could be called that had caused the Seer to whisper, "We have to go back." Go back immediately, go back as fast as their legs could carry them. Something was wrong, and he never was usually off the mark about these things. Mother... mother. A familiar and all too ominous and quiet voice had rang within his soul, as if for once the Phoenix within him and he were on the same page in regards to emotion. Honomi was in danger.

Soft hums left the unsuspecting woman's lips as she took both preserved fish and roots alike to store them away properly, the song upon her lips cheerful in the now silent house as Honomi's mind was settled distantly toward that of Haru and Mitsuko. A tingle of regret did spark within the woman in regards to how she treated Haru, especially considering the rather harsh slap to the poor boy's cheek, her teeth caught upon her lip as eyebrows furrowed, looking down to her trembling fingers. What had gotten into her...? No, it was rather a desperation that had sparked once she saw the two young souls beginning to fray, the friction between them that echoed of a long lost pain of her own, of words that she could no longer express to a man who no longer was with her. Ah, how the shadows in her soul grew longer at the sorrowful memories that plucked at her heart, prompting her to suck in a breath as she allowed the sadness to flow, breaking the usual smile upon her face. How... lonely it was..

Brown eyes drifted to the entrance of her home, almost as if expecting to see him return any day now, the man who her youngest son resembled so closely, those fierce eyes and cold demeanor that would thaw upon seeing her, to feel the strength in his arms that turned gentle and warm for her, the calloused hands that would chase her tears away, the warmth of his voice as he would call her name, and the reciprocating warmth that made her heart soar as she would echo his, a name she'd not spoken for so many long years due to the pain that echoed in her chest. Honomi's lips trembled, twisted fingers coming up to hastily brush away the tears now beginning to spill down her cheeks for a beloved that was lost to her, but never forgotten. Yes, though he no longer was with her, her sons still carried on in his stead, and that was enough to chase away the bitter bite of grief that never had faded with time. "I'm being so silly." She whispered those words to herself, a jest at her own sorrows to an audience that consisted of no one else but her... and the looming shape right outside her home.

"So, you're still hung up over that bastard?" The rough voice had caused the blood in her veins to run cold, familiar as in response Honomi settled upon apathy again, the echoing sound of armored boots crossing over her threshold as his knee hit the ground behind her, large calloused hands settling upon the sides of her neck, ghosting touches that sent feelings of disgust to run through her as thick fingers snagged in the collar of her kimono. Trembling hands made no efforts to stop the man as his breath heaved against her ear, "You're not going to answer me, like usual?" Anger was beginning to creep within the man's voice, Danuja who for once had spotted some other emotion on Honomi's face had now only received the usual apathy, a coldness in the warm brown eyes that previously appeared so tender for a bastard that didn't deserve her. Rough hands came underneath the slender neck, gripping her chin and wrenching her head to face him. He saw her long lashes flutter in the movement, a tension coming to her face briefly as her lips remained firmly shut, brown eyes staring directly back at him again with no emotion, no spark.

There was angry quirks in Danuja's face, this was obvious to Honomi's eyes, her expression hardening. This poor fool, the fool who tried his best to make her react at all, to give him her emotions, the one who had brought her nothing but shame... she knew enough from his words plenty of times that he had some sort of sick obsession with her, a possessiveness that flared from within the wretched black heart of his. Though, Honomi would normally seek out the best in others, there was no best, no good in Danuja. The man was a horrifying monster, quick to anger, and even if she knew that her silence would serve only to enrage this beast of a man, at least she could be satisfied in knowing that no matter what, she would never allow him to break her spirit, never allow him to claim her heart, her soul. Terrifying though he was, this was one long fight with him that she refused to let him win, and he knew it from the veins that popped to life upon his forehead in the iciness she greeted him with.

"You bitch!" There it was, the rage. Pain flared like searing fire upon her jaw as the punch came, knocking the woman back as her body fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, dazed in the agony as he grabbed her by her hair, seething, "What was so good about that traitor? Huh!?" A choked sound left her lips, struggling not to cry out as he dragged her toward her room, his heavy breathing showing his intentions enough though from the anger within his fist, she could tell that perhaps a beating lay in wait for her first. Very well. Resigned was the thought as she fell deeper into apathy, Danuja's raging words bouncing off from ears which received but lips that didn't respond as she was flung upon her futon, her eyes settling upon the ceiling only for another raging punch to collide in her jaw, making the woman see stars for a moment, her body unresponsive as she sucked in a sharp breath.

The insults spilled like molten lava from the man's lips, bared in a childish rage as his nails ripped rivets into her collarbone, tearing bloody welts upon pale skin and ripping her kimono top from her. Hah.. This is how it began, humiliating her by mutilating her flesh. How many scars did she already bear upon her torso for his rampages? His dirtied fingernails ripped at her like a beast's, searching for any sound of discomfort, any pain. Tears did swell within the silent woman's eyes, but she didn't cry out, instead her chest heaved in response, a heavy sigh leaving her. She was tired of this. His body would press down upon her, forcing her mouth open as he shouted at her in anger for her lack of emotion, and yet the warm browns wouldn't respond, refused to react until he left. Her face already was swelling from the two sharp punches, torso bleeding with the fresh cut of his sharp nails that ripped at her, and yet Honomi would retain her silence.

"I'll kill you, you whore," Danuja seethed, her silence truly beginning to sink a blade deep within the disturbed soul above her, his hot breath fanning over her face, bringing with it the taint of alcohol. Ah, so this was what caused this unwelcome visitor to come to her again? She wasn't surprised. "Thinking that you're better than me! Me?! Who the hell do you think you are?!" Hah, what a noisy child... but the change in the air was different, the man's hands coming to her neck, nails biting into the sides and squeezing hard. It was harder than usual, prompting the woman's eyes to flicker in shock as she struggled to take in a breath, his hands restricting her airway as her limbs trembled, struggling to respond to the need to breathe as black glittering eyes glared down at her, a vicious grin on his face, "I was getting real sick of your bullshit, anyways Honomi." His hands tightened further, "No one will blink an eye at another slave showing up dead anyways, hahah!" Madness, this was madness, the twisted features of the man beginning to blur as she struggled to hold onto her cold front, and yet her fingers twitched to fly up to the hands which was tight like a vice around her neck.

She was choking, expression twitching as the man slobbered, saliva dripping past his lips, "Oh? Is the righteous Honomi finally going to beg for her life?!" Saliva dripped upon her naked chest, burning her skin as she began to struggle underneath him, the human need to struggle to breathe beginning to flare to life as her expression slackened. His laughter coiled in her ears, taunting like that of the nightmares that he would haunt both in waking world and that of her dreams, "Hahaha! Who knew this was all I had to do?!" His fingers suddenly released her, gasping breaths being her reward as she swallowed air into her body, only for a flare of pain to coil in her side as Danuja had shifted above her futon only to give her a swift kick, the iron kiss of his armored boot making her cry out in pain, trembling hands coming to her mouth immediately to suppress anymore signs of pain, though this would be denied as Danuja's hand coiled in her hair and yanked her head back, his free hand tearing her hakama from her as the very same hand had trailed disgusting violation over her skin, the woman closing her eyes tight as the nightmare was beginning to drown her.

Close her eyes and it'll all be over. Don't react and it'll all be over, he'll lose interest. Just...

Haruki... help me.

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