The first couple of days after the mission had been awkward to say the least, the duo scarcely talking to one another outside of the casual greetings. At first it would have been nothing out of the ordinary, after all it was not an easy feat for a new Meister and Weapon to slay their first Kishin, to take a life despite how corrupted it may have been. However it was more than that and Alcross knew that it had something to do with the events that happened right after he had been thrust deep through the chest of the Kishin. Camilla's reaction, her fear and inability to move had resonated with Alcross, who he himself could experience a taste of the emotions that had gripped her heart. It was far from normal and something that hinted towards a dark secret that she had yet to reveal, outside of that momentary glimpse of the silhouette that had appeared in his soul room.
Having spoken to his little demon, the only information that he had managed to wrestle out of him was that the figure which had appeared was definitely connected to Camilla and it made sense, considering their souls were connected during their fight. It was a pathway into his soul room and it was logical that whatever had haunted her had managed to leak into his area also. That being said, Alcross despite wanting to be there and help Camilla had decided to leave her be. Like her, Alcross too was attacked by a dark past. A memory he had wished to bury deep and forget about and he himself did not want to talk about it. So he had no right to poke and prod Camilla about her darkness, not when he wasn't ready to shed light upon his own. The only thing that he could do for her was to be there when she needed it and when the time came and she was ready, he'd be the shoulder for her to lean on.
Just like it had been at the dorm, the classes too carried a different air about them; the looks and expressions that the other students had being completely different compared to the feel good factor of the first week. Like Alcross, Camilla, Llewellyn and Alice, it seemed like almost every other student had come face to face with 'reality' and had in one way or another been affected by it. Missions were looked at differently, groupings were taken more seriously. Having already experienced the horrors once, it was only granted that the newly resolved Meister and Weapons would take their next missions with a more stern and prepared mentality.
Two months and 24 kishin souls later, Alcross and Camilla's teamwork had improved drastically; the duo putting behind their troubles as they continued to grow as a partnership. Whilst other partnerships had flew ahead in their tallies, Alcross and Camilla had progressed at a steady pace, a pace that Alcross was comfortable with considering Camilla would have had a harder time mastering his weapon form's. Considering he had four different forms and thus four different styles to be wielded in, it was only logical that Camilla would have had 4x the work of getting used to fighting differently considering which for she wielded him in. Though truth be told, she would put many meisters to shame considering how proficient she had become when wielding him as a sword. Alas, they did not have to worry about that today.
Dressed in a simple white T-shirt and grey coloured jeans, a somewhat impassive face had peered out from behind the screen of a manga book held firmly in two hands, the blue haired boy pausing on the page as he heard Camilla from down the hallway. The day thus far had been rather peaceful to say the least, Alcross finding his way into the small living room space picking a spot on the sofa closest to the open window; a tranquil breeze wafting through. Today was Halloween, a day that had easily racked up a lot of expectations from the citizens of Death Vegas, evident by the various sounds and commotions coming from outside as people went about their preparations.
There was to be a big festival tonight, countless vendors and merchants eager to display their themed wares to the plethora of people who would be venturing the streets in the darkening hours. Excitement rife in the air, it was not uncommon for the city of Death Vegas to take their festivities to the extreme given the nature of the DWMA's work. Death, sadness, despair... it was only wise for the people as well as the academy to take full advantage of any opportunity to negate those feelings, even if only for a day.
Glancing out the window and sighing, Alcross finally rose to his feet and placed the book on the sofa to his right side; the book face down so that the passing breeze coming through the open window would not alter the page he was on. Unlike Camilla, Alcross wasn't as 'excited' for the event. Having grown up in Death Vegas, he had seen it all before and knew what to expect, unlike his partner whom he had learned had grown up elsewhere.
Turning the corner towards Camilla's room, Alcross stopped in his tracks as the crimson red hair caught his attention; before his eyes wandered and saw the rest of her costume. "U..U...Uh.." he stuttered, complete taken aback by how she looked. A flush of red appearing on Alcross's face as he glanced away, not used to seeing Camilla garbed in such attire. "It.. it looks really good.." he mumbled, avoiding eye contact with her as his eyes fixated itself onto a small portrait on one of the adjacent walls. "When... when did you have the time to get your costume..?" he asked meekly as he tried not to stare at her somewhat revealing top.
"I'm not doubting anything Alice... but it does not hurt to take extra precaution does it? It would be quite disheartening if something were to happen to you, Llew and Gwen" replied Baira as he turned to face Alice, though his left hand did continue with its attempt to snag a cookie off of the fresh tray; though just as he was on the precipice of taking one his arm quickly retreated to his side and he stood firm. Caught. At least it seemed that way as Gwen called him. "Yea....oommphhh" attempted Baira to respond, though he was cut short as a wooden spoon covered in cookie dough was shoved straight into his mouth, before she brandished the bowl that held even more of the batter; Baira quickly grabbing it from her hands as he turned around and sat down with his back pressed against the counter side, the white haired werewolf in pure bliss now that he had a bowl of dough. Gwen was indeed the right partner for him, knowing just how to make him happy.
Lost in euphoria as he ate, he had only half listened to what the girls had been talking about; the white haired boy glancing briefly towards Lew whom had remained rather quiet throughout the day thus far, though Baira didn't really attempt to question him about it, not after he saw Alice take the lead. Baira knew little about the personal side of Llewellyn and Alice, so whatever it was that seemed to be bothering him would have probably been best left to the pair to sort out, especially if it meant their guard would be down.
The cookie dough was delicious, yet it still paled compared to the alluring scent of the baked cookies resting on the counter above. With only his partner Gwen on guard right now, he'd have a better chance sneaking one, two or even three of those tasty delicacies into his mouth... Alas... faith seemed to be on their side as the sound of the front door opening had caught everyone's attention, Baira turning around and kneeling know as his head appeared just above the counter; a quick sniff of the air signalling to him that this man did indeed live here.
Introducing himself, Baira stood to full height, placing the empty bowl into the nearby sink and walking around to better see the man he towered over. "Yes I am Baira, It is an honor to meet the pack leader of this house" replied Baira, "Rest assured, I am looking after Alice and LLewellyn" he added, walking behind them and placing a flour covered hand on each of their shoulders, a strong natural grip present as he smiled. Though the smile was quickly wiped off as the man departed into his basement, A place that had instantly piqued his interest as he leaned forward so that his face was between Llewellyn's and Alice's.
"Hmm... What's in there?" he asked, sniffing the air.
Today; today was the most splendid and amazing day ever. The messiah of days where the fountains of bliss ran as if overflowed. It was Halloween! The trademark candy holiday, Juri’s favorite holiday. The only Holiday that mattered if she was to be honest with anyone. Okay, Christmas slightly counted too, there was usually candy exchanged too but not like today, nowhere close to today. On this day, Juri went from sweet DWMA instructor to evil candy stealing tyrant. Though, was it really considered thievery if they willingly handed it over? Just because she tricked people with her cute features and looked young enough to trick or treat every year, didn’t mean she was really that much of a hoodlum. Juri rolled out of bed, literally, and skipped over to the kitchen to put a teapot on the stove, heating up some water for her morning tea. A bagel was popped into the toaster, the teacher humming a spooky tone that just sounded adorable coming from her petite and tiny self. She was in the middle of spreading cream cheese all over the bagel, overly lathering it because it was strawberry and sweet, before she noticed a big yellow envelope that had been slipped under her door. Those purple-ish hues stared at it for a long time, widening slightly as she dove over the counter and landed atop of it. Just like a lion that was pouncing, she kept it pinned down as if expecting something to come out of it. A few seconds went by, hands suddenly switching to a more delicate tone as she went about gingerly opening the envelope.
At first, nothing was said, no expression, no movement, no sounds. It was silent. This went on for about a minute before she finally let out an ear piercing squeal that would terrify anyone within earshot of it. She began dancing around her living room with the papers in hand, clutching them to her chest as if giving them a giant hug. “ Armstrongggg, I’m leaving! Make sure you take the kettle off the stove when it goes screeeeeee or you'll burn the whoooole house down! “ She tried to mimic the noise it made but failed miserably, uncaring as she swiped her shoes off the box by the door and slid them on in a frantic rush. She peered at the arrangement of candy that she had put together for later and even though it broke her heart to do so, she also grabbed it and slid the papers into it like a gift basket. Those hands went about fluffing the plastic, making it more presentable. “ Oh my, oh my, what am I gonna say? W-What if he rejects me? “ Juri’s face quickly filled with dread, head shaking about as she quickly dismissed the thought. “ I’m awesome. Yep. Super cool, he will totally be happy with this. “ She convinced herself, running away from her house and towards the student housing. The pink haired woman stopped in front of the correct door, she had triple checked, and bounced around in place. “ Okay, okay. Knock. Hand papers, wait, then attack. “ She nodded along to her words, going over the plan a few times before she puffed out her cheeks, trying to make herself feel bigger as she reached out to knock on Akron’s door. The basket of candy and letters completely covered her face as she held it out in an adorable fashion, waiting for him to appear.
The servant found Lady Gwen's solution to Lord Baira's gluttonous tendencies fairly amusing and wonderfully resourceful. With some luck the cookie dough that had been sacrificed would stave off the white haired male's advances towards the remainder of the confections that were still in the kitchen. Though, Llewellyn did happen to feel a slight pang of an unknown feeling as he watched the other pair interact. They seemed to be close, not romantically close, surprisingly enough but close nonetheless. How did those two accomplish that? More importantly, was it proper behavior between a Meister and their Weapon? Was Llewellyn supposed to be more open with his own Meister? His hands slowed their work as Llewellyn's mind struggled to grasp the elusive answer to what he considered to be a life altering question.
In the moment's distraction Llewellyn failed to notice that Lady Alice had approached him until he felt a hand on his arm and the girl's voice emanating from the spot right beside him. The servant turned his gaze to meet Lady Alice's so that he could convince the girl that he was indeed fine when her emerald eyes looked upon him accusingly, cutting into his soul as they searched for the cause of his sudden betrayal. Then Llewellyn blinked and the blond girl's gaze was once more filled with concern and worry that had to have been fake. The servant then closed his eyes for a brief moment to steady himself before he responded to Lady Alice's question. "Yes milady. Everything is well. Our task is progressing smoothly and you will all more than likely have some time left after for relaxation and conversation." He had hoped that with his response, Lady Alice would let the matter drop so that Llewellyn would not have to deal with the girl's false kindness again. Alas, he realized that his hope was not to be as Lady Alice continued to speak, claiming that Llewellyn could speak to her about his troubles, reassuring him that it was okay to be open with his emotions and pleading for him to act in a manner that would be grossly improper for a servant such as himself.
Thankfully, the Lord of the house entered before the servant could potentially say anything that would bring about his Meister's displeasure. The man's entrance also gave Llewellyn a moment to return his attention back to the task he had halted in favor of conversing with Lady Alice. Normally, Llewellyn would have offered to assist the Lord with his bags, but this time he did not since his hands and uniform were covered in flour and other ingredients the group had been utilizing whilst they created their confections for the party later that night. Though, for now Llewellyn was more than content to allow the Lord of the house to handle things on his own while the servant tried to finish his given task. Not even Lord Baira's physical interruption deterred the servant from finishing. Still, when Lady Alice spoke up once more to reaffirm what the Lord had said in regards to what the house's kitchen arrangements were, Llewellyn had looked up from his current task. A moment later he realized that his action was a mistake, for when his eyes lifted from his hands they then landed upon Lady Alice's emerald orbs. He looked away swiftly as he gave his response to his Meister's question. "Yes milady."
The servant truly did wish to try to be a good partner for his Meister yet he did not quite know how to best go about doing so, hence their current predicament. How was Llewellyn supposed to properly atone for his attempt on Lady Alice's life? How was he supposed to open up to her when he already was being completely honest with the girl? What was it that he was missing? Was he to assume that the way Lord Baira and Lady Gwen interacted was the proper way to do so? Perhaps I should speak with one of the DWMA faculty or Lord Death himself about this. If Lady Alice has been honest in her claims to keep me on as her Weapon partner, then I should at the very least look into these concerns. Though, if her claims were merely a form of grandstanding or something similar, then the knowledge will be useful should some other future Meister be unfortunate enough to pair with myself. Llewellyn found that his mood soured slightly under his neutral mask at the thought of having to move on to another Meister. It should have been a surprise, but it was not. He genuinely had been enjoying his time with Lady Alice even if he was not entirely convinced that the girl would keep him. The servant had tried to kill the blond girl after all.
Llewellyn's focus was drawn away from his task yet again, but this time it was the other Meister who had done so. Lord Baira had inquired as to what was within the house's basement. "That area is the Lord's workplace. He gathers intelligence for Lord Death and sends reports I believe." The servant was not entirely certain as to whether or not anything he had just relayed to Lord Baira was the truth. Llewellyn had never been allowed down there for any extended period of time, not even to clean. The basement was the Lord's domain for all intents and purposes.
Sometimes Alice felt like Llewellyn couldn't ever look at her for long periods of time. Usually she would blame her Madness for it, he saw the monster behind her emeralds no doubt and that's why he refused to look at her. When Baira placed his hand on her shoulder while putting his face between hers and Lew's, she spoke up "Lew's pretty much on the dot with it. Pops works with the DWMA and helps them out. He used to be a teacher but then after finding me, he took the stay-at-home role and became Lord Death's personal assistant." she said with a warm smile. Though she hadn't realized that she practically told Baira and Gwen she was adopted. No one would have thought that just because she did look similar to him. Her hair and eyes were different, yes, but something about her face had matched too well with her Pops. "I used to sit downstairs with him all the time when I was younger and watch him as he taught me while raising me. It was fun! As I got older though, I began to train with him up here to become a Meister and capable of defending myself when I needed it."
Her emeralds turned back to the Candy Apples she started to work on, putting them in cute Halloween baggies and tying them up with purple and orange string so they wouldn't be left out in the open and uncovered. "Hey Baira? Do you wanna do one favor for me please?" she asked, glancing up at him "Could you start washing the dishes? We have plenty of sweets so far and I want to get the things we don't need right now, out of the way. I can give you a candy apple~" she said, trying to motivate the wolf with the bribery of sweets. Candy Apples were easy to make, all that was needed was Apples from the store and the candy mixture. Two things that made it simple. Hell, if Baira liked them that much, she'd make a batch and give them to him because why not? "We can finish with the stuff we have now and get the last of it into the oven, if we even have leftovers."
Looking back at the candy apple she was wrapping, the blonde happened to get a little lost in her thoughts as her pace slowed down. Lew had no idea how he was making her feel, seeing Baira and Gwen felt like such a relief, but knowing that her own Weapon continued to treat her highly and continued to keep himself low to the ground... It didn't feel right. It gave her mixed feelings and made her feel so unsure. Maybe he needed someone more demanding? Someone who could put their foot down and tell him what to do and when to do it? ...No, that wouldn't be right. He was human too, he had opinions, feelings, actions. He didn't need someone to demand him with anything and everything. I'm never going to get him to speak freely, am I? I'm just going to get the same old thing 'Yes Milady' 'No Milady' and all that... No matter what I say, no matter what I do. He cant even look at me for more than a second. As soon as his eyes lock with mine, his head turns away or his eyes close. Maybe she was just too ugly to look at, maybe her Madness made her seem less attractive, less friendly? Her look slowly darkened before suddenly lightening up again and picking up her pace with the candy apples.
A happy face always made others happy, right? Made them feel lighter and more relieved to be around others? A mask she could hide behind without question. No one would know, just as they didn't know the constant struggle she dealt with. The only person who could see through her mask, was her Pops. He knew when things bothered her, he knew when she was upset and always came to her to get it off her back. Taking a deep breath, she tried to let it quietly out, gathering the candy apples she finished and moved them into a more comfortable spot before returning back to her station and wrapping the rest of them up. "Alright, Candy Apples are done. I'll start on coloring the icing!" she said excitingly as she went through one of her higher cupboards and pouted when she realized how high the containers were put. If the counters were cleaned off, she could climb them, but she couldn't now. "Why did pops have to put the icing so high? Did he forget how short I am..." she murmured to herself. At least she could reach the dye which was on the bottom part of the cupboard. Taking that out, she placed it on the counter and went back to square one of her problem.
Akron had contuied to stare at himself in the mirror for just a little while longer when a knock on the door broke him out of his contemplative state. Akron wondered who would be here so early, maybe it was some of the other students? probably looking for Liam, or maybe him as well? His question was quickly answered when upon opening the door Akron would look down to see the small pink haired form of Juri, holding up a basket of candy along with a letter. Instead of freezing up Akron would actually smile at her arrival, juri was the only female Akron felt truely comfortable around being, it was probably the closest relationship he’d ever had with a woman.
It had started mostly innocently when juri had asked Akron about his scars, of course Akron explained clearly how he’d ended up with them, yet he didn’t fell so force respond to Juri as he would others there was just something different about her at least to Akron. they’ed end up spending more time together during class something Akron would look forward to that time, as well as the lunches and sweets she’d bring him, Akron had felt something He’d not had ever, Love.
“Good morning Juri wasn’t expecting to see you this early“ he‘d reply happily taking the basket from Juri’s hands, placing it down by the door keeping the letter with him however as he’d assumed it was maybe a cute little card or something though he seemed a little big for a card. Akron was right it was a bunch of papers, looking through it however it was so much better then a card, tears welling up as he read smile widen across Akron's Face. He couldn‘t hold it back anymore tears began to flow and in a instant Juri was pulled up into the air by a massive bear hug curtesy of Akron. “Thank thank thank, I... can’t tell you how much this means to......mom” Akron blurted out still overcome by the joy and relief that those small bits of paper had provided him. Freedom from his family... and a new one in its place.
Elvy’s head popped up over the side of the couch at the sound of the doorbell, crimson eyes for once giving off a very childish vibe as she tilted her head. “ Whooooo? “ She chimed out, body shifting up onto the couch so she could lean over and gaze down the hallway towards the door. Takeshi and Marcus were both spotted entering and she grinned rather widely at them both, a hand waving about in greeting. That energy drink was still working its course, the amount of energy she had right now was actually quite scary and didn’t seem to be dwindling anytime soon. “ Hey hey, are you ready to do this? “ Elvy asked with a look that screamed suspicious, hands rising to rub together in anticipation. “ I’ll grab my things. “ She began to run off towards her room, already having prepped what she required to temporarily dye Marcus’s hair and a mask she’d hand carved for him that would help complete the look; at least in her head. Her steps came to a slow, eventually a stop, as she watched Takeshi leave and call out over his shoulder that he’d be back later. Genuinely, Elvy would’ve normally inquired about it but he was quick out the door and she had company over. What a perfect time for an escape.
That happy expression faltered for a moment before it perked right back up into place. She trusted Takeshi, if anything these past few months had proven that to her. There was zero reason to doubt him anymore, or herself for that matter. They’d spent many hours just cloud watching on the little downtime they had. Since she’d taken a hiatus from work for a while to dedicate their attention to missions that meant she was able to sometimes train with him, desperately trying to build on their connection and adapt a bit to his normal lifestyle. Even if it was at odd hours, even for her, it was something else they were bonding over outside of their meister/weapon partnership. To her that was necessary, to not only work on themselves as a pair but to improve as their own person too. The physical strain was harder and more expected of her since she was the meister and she wanted to grow in skill, not simply for him, but for herself. Plus, Takeshi had come this far, been thrown into a different country and was surrounded by a whole different culture. She wanted to understand him and this seemed a good way if any to at least try to. Somehow his way of training was relaxing and tedious at the same time. If she was being honest, she was in no way prepared for what it was putting her through but after a while it became fluid and welcomed.
“ Sorry coming. ~ “ Her voice carried itself through the house, items now acquired as she moved back towards the living room, motioning for Marcus to sit on the couch. Carelessly she began to nudge everything out of the way that was piled and scattered about the floor with her foot, shifting it all off to the side. With a satisfied nod she plopped down beside him and stared at his face for a good few moments as if analyzing it. “ Hmm, if I’m correct I believe this should perfectly fit your face. I’m going to try it, sorry if my hands are cold. “ She held up the mask and left it hovering against his face, gazing through the holes that were meant to frame his eyes. It was pushed gently against him, fingertips chilling near his ears as they put a little bit of effort into holding it there to make sure it stayed. A smile tugged at her lips slightly, hands retracting and leaving behind an icy touch as she leaned back a bit to observe her handiwork. “ Perfect. You can check it out when I’m done with your hair. Now down, please. “ She pointed at the ground, hands guiding him down onto the carpet with a soft push. “ You wanted the neon green, right? I added a few things, it’ll even glow at night so that’ll be neat. Sorry for taking over your costume and adding my own touches, I get really into Halloween. “ Her hand rose to her neck, rubbing a bit bashfully as she realized what a control freak she sounded like.
“ Well let’s get started, yeah? I’m not sure when Takeshi will be back and I’m sure you’ve got places to be. “ Elvy took great care with unscrewing the top of the mix she’d made, slipping some gloves on and laying a few things out. Her body moved into a more comfortable position, knelt behind him on the couch on her knees as she grabbed a tool that resembled a paintbrush. With the hands of an extremely skilled surgeon she began to part his hair, fingers running through it to separate it as she started applying some color in specific areas. She was quiet for the time being, having felt the uncharacteristic wavering in Marcus's soul. It wasn't something that she wanted to investigate but she fully welcomed him talking about it if he so wished. They weren't close enough for her to pry. If it had been Takeshi, she wouldn't need to rely on words to understand what he was feeling. Being around others and not knowing what they were thinking or feeling was beginning to feel weird and unnatural. It was... inconvenient to say the least. The soul could give away much from a glance but feeling it, embracing it? Two totally different things that opened two very different doors.
"I look like an idiot..." Was all Elgin could say, sizing himself up with the costume Winry picked out for him. He was wearing a fancy looking outfit, slightly unsure of the theme behind it. Was he suppose to be some sort of aristocrat or a magician? "I don't think so! I think you look great dressed up all fancy like that!" Winry spoke from behind him also dressed up for Halloween. The little girl wore and adorable pumpkin outfit, something that she picked out for herself too. "(Sigh) Well I suppose it doesn't look that bad. It's only a costume after all. Not like I'm gonna wear this again after tonight's party." Upon hearing that Elgin was going to a party, Winry's eyes lit up with excitement. "You're going to a party!?""Huh? Didn't I tell ya?""NO! YOU DIDN'T! CAN I COME!?!?" Elgin stared at the hyperactive girl for a good moment. Unsure of how to answer the question. "PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!!!!""I thought you were gonna go tell Arthur about trick or treating and go with him?""I'm WAY too old for trick or treating now!""You weren't saying that 10 minutes ago..." "I WASN'T OLD ENOUGH 10 MINUTES AGO! NOW I AM!" A sweat drop appeared on Elgin's head. He grew up with this girl and still he had no clue how her head worked what so ever. "Nope. No way. Nuh uh. Place is gonna be packed. What if I lose you?" Winry pouted at him, clearly unhappy with his reply. "Selfish! Selfish big brother!" He looked away refusing to be taunted into letting her come. "Yup that's right. I'm a suuuuper selfish Big Brother."
Realising her tactic didn't work. A different approach was made. The dreaded sad puppy eyes. "B-but big brother is gonna have fun... I wanna have fun too... (Sniff)" Comically large tears formed in the corners of her eyes. Looking like she was teetering on the edge of bursting out crying. The veins in Elgin's head popped as he finally caved in. "ALRIGHT FINE YOU CAN COME TO THE PARTY!" Winry's face changed to one of complete joy as she tackled him into a hug. "Yay! I knew you were the best brother!""On ONE condition! You gotta convince Arthur too. I can't keep an eye on you all the time in a place like that so I'll need the help..." Is what he said, but his actual thoughts we're to the fact he'd feel bad if the anxious Meister was left all alone for the whole day. "You got it! I'll tell him all about the wonders of Halloween! AND the delicious sweets it provides at parties!" Like that she charged out of Elgin's room, barging into the spare room that Arthur had now taken Custody of. "ARTHUR! YOU SHOULD COME TO THE HALLOWEEN PARTY WITH US!!!!" The girl entered with quite a bang and a loud voice. Probably scaring the hell outta him.
At first Elias felt tempted to say something but that unwavering fear remained, rooting him in place as he watched the entire scene begin to unfold before him. It was uncharacteristic of him but his face shifted for a singular moment when he saw Rin hit his girlfriend, well soon to be ex girlfriend, with a small smile coming and going like a minuscule fleeting thing. He offered her a grateful look with his eyes when she told him to go ahead, sliding past the two and making his way into the locker room to clock in and begin changing into his proper work attire. He flinched a bit as his muscles flexed while pulling his shirt over his head, the soreness of the deep scars still there as if haunting him. A sigh fell past his lips, hand resting against the locker assigned to him as he braced himself, taking a few deep breaths in a calming manner. All of those emotions, Takeshi’s voice, the memories flooding back, it was a little much. Frankly, getting through his shift was going to be hell today. Maybe a bit easier with Rin there. Maybe. But reliving some of those terror gripping moments had him on edge.
The noises of the cat fight in the hallway was hard not to hear, the words being spoken sounded like they were echoing and bouncing off the walls to resonate into the employee room. He is far from that.Those words alone rung the loudest out of the rest. His head began to shake back and forth as he silently disagreed with her. Why does she have to say stupid things like that? He thought to himself with a hint of disdain. Clearly pushing her away wasn’t working. Not only was she stubborn but she seemed to hold onto this steeled conviction that drove him absolutely insane. The door slammed shut and he straightened back up immediately, hand retreating from its current place to go searching for his work shirt. He turned slightly when Rin entered and began speaking to him, his exposed chest and arms ridden with bandages standing out like bright neon lights that screamed, ‘ hey look at me! ‘. His jaw set, eyes hardening as she trailed off when trying to speak. He stared at her for a long time, attempting to formulate some sort of response when she finally finished the sentence she had tried asking before. He felt the gears shift in his brain, thoughts free-falling into the pits of pessimism where they liked to reside as of late.
“ I’m better now, I guess. I’m sorry she insulted you though. I thought you were going to gun me down on the spot when she opened her mouth.Not that I would've blamed you. “ He admitted, slowly slipping his shirt on, the motion once again sending a jolt of pain down his limbs. He began tucking it in while speaking, his tone curious now. “ Why do you think I’m not those things that she said? You don’t really know me. We fight a lot or have you forgotten? Frankly, I’m an asshole and I don’t care about people so in turn you shouldn’t care about me. “ Finally, fully in uniform, tie meticulously put on, he straddled the bench and took a seat beside her. “ Are you just standing up for me because you feel sorry for me? If you are, don’t bother. I’ll give you a big tip now because you’re one of the good ones, okay? I’m a waste of your energy. That's just the way it is. The sooner you accept that, the better things will be for you. “ Elias shrugged a bit as if brushing the entire conversation off in hopes to end it and stared up towards the ceiling, red eyes fixating on the light directly above them. He was counting on the belief that she didn't have some witty ass remark to throw in or some counter argument because he certainly wasn't in the mood to deal with it, but it was Rin he was dealing with. For all he knew he probably just lit another fuse and she was about to go round two but with him instead.
Elias actually thought that she would gun him down? Rin was starting to think he never noticed that he hadn't done anything wrong that entire fight and blamed himself even though it was far from it. Hearing the rustling of his shirt, she took a side glance and noticed he finished dressing himself, though she shifted her eyes away as she listened to the words coming out of his mouth. "We may fight, and we may not know each other entirely well, but that doesn't mean I would just abandon you like that." she shifted her gaze down at her hands that were sitting in her lap, closing them for just a second, only to be met with Elias's terrified look already ingrained into her mind. Quickly she opened her crimson eyes and lifted them to look at the lockers in front of her. His words really sounded harsh, especially for himself. He was beating himself up it sounded like, and Rin wasn't sure how to take it. "It's not that I pity you. I just think you deserve better." her voice was softer now, serious and just trying to keep the mood at a tranquil state.
Her hands had clenched into fists again, the pain of seeing his face the way she did hitting way too close to home "The way you looked at her after she hit you and said those things..." her jaw tightened as her head lowered "That expression alone could kill me if I ever saw it again." she had seen a look like that before and it shook her to her core and never did she forget it. Seeing it again, for the second time in her life was already enough. Looking over at Elias, she seen him looking to the ceiling, not even looking in her direction. He really won't see what he's saying, will he? I don't pity him, I actually want to help. It's one of the reasons why I stepped into that fight. it didn't take long for a remark to leave her lips, however "Don't apologize for that Bimbo by the way. I gave her what she deserved for causing so many issues." her hands had unclenched and she stood back up, fixing her clothes a little bit.
As she stood there, she realized how much softer she got in so little time and this alone made her almost growl under her breath and instead let out a huff while puffing her cheeks up. The hurricane of feelings really destroyed her neat piles she had set in her mind and frustrated her just a bit. "It's also rude to not look at me while I'm talking!" she shouted, wincing in the process because of her throbbing head. Dammit, was this day going to get progressively worse? Rin seemed to have had enough of the bullshit for the day. Turning to face him, she moved up to Elias and sat right in front of him, her hands grasping his face and forcing him to look at her "This is how you talk to people. I'm not that light up there." she moved her one hand for a second to point to the ceiling. While holding his face within her hands, she started to get an unsettling feeling while staring at his face. Her eyes taking in every scar he had, but also locking eyes with his. Which only frustrated her more while a light blush covered her cheeks.
"D-Don't look at me like that, dammit!" she looked off to the side, puffing up her cheeks and dropping her hands onto the bench they were sitting on. He has this look. I don't know what it is. I don't like it. her thoughts said one thing, but her cheeks and her actions said something else. All the while her heart began to pick up in pace. "I-I'm just teaching you how to l-look at people when they're speaking!" all this yelling was only making her poor head worse. But she couldn't help the defenses that she was trying to put up, but ultimately failing. Clearing her throat, she spoke up once again "Listen, You may be a jerk, but you need to realize one way or another that I care about your stupid face. We argue but I never get so mad that I want to murder you like I did with that birdbrain outside." she tried saying this with confidence, but her face was giving her away on what she was actually doing. "You deserve better, despite your explosive tendencies." she crossed her arms and looked back at him, her face even worse than what it was before. Her cheeks no longer pink, but red now.
Looking back at him was her biggest mistake because the way he was looking at her only made her heart skip a beat and increase in pace. He's doing it again! Him and his dumb face... looking away wasn't even an option anymore because she couldn't. Rin was locked and her body refused to move anywhere. Her cheeks puffed up as her face was now as red as a tomato "If you cant see what I'm trying to tell you, then I'll just show you, you jerk!" she shouted, her hands shooting out and grabbing his face before leaning in quickly and pressing her lips firmly to his. Crimson eyes closed tightly as she did this."Frankly, I’m an asshole and I don’t care about people so in turn you shouldn’t care about me."his words echoed in her mind"I’ll give you a big tip now because you’re one of the good ones, okay?" If you don't care about other people, then why did you try to give me advice? A warning even? she asked herself before breaking her lips from his and pulling back, her eyes opening and looking off to the side to avoid his gaze.
I can't stop this feeling In my chest... I feel like both my head and my heart is going to explode.
Hanako Hagihara GrieveWriter
After hearing Shinobu announce her presence, Hanako couldn't help but hurry through the room that she was in to go see her. When she caught sight of the meister, she quickly hid and waited a little while before peeking back out from the room and allowing her crimson eyes to trace Shinobu. Being how she was, Hanako followed her all the way up to her bedroom, peeking in through the doorway and watching the Meister cut the flowers and put it together before she was finally caught, greeted and went back to work. Quietly walking over, she went to see close up what she was up to with the flowers. With a tilt of her head, she spoke softly "Why are you making a bundle of flowers, Shin-Chan?" she asked curiously. Watching the flowers and taking in the colors "Did someone say they like you?" Hanako always wondered what it felt like, granted, she was young, but she couldn't help her very curious nature. Placing her hands on the corner of the desk, she rested her chin on it as well, quietly watching and waiting for Shinobu's reply.
Heart to HeartAs Marcus stood outside the Stein household, he questioned if rather or not his day could get any worse. So far it was off to a bed start but from here on out things could only get better right? No it can't, because as soon as Takeshi appears, Marcus' face become the most expressionless it could ever go."It just got worst."He says without a care in the world. As Takeshi opens the door, he stood outside contemplating if this was really worth it. Could he really tolerate Takeshi's presents as he tried to relax and get his costume together? Despite what Marcus may seem on the outside, he holds no animosity towards the swordsman, there's someone far more greater than Takeshi who holds Marcus' number one hate spot. Takeshi on the other hand is neither liked, nor hated, he's simply just there. Getting over it, he takes a breath before entering the one place he once called home, closing the door behind him. Stepping inside, he was instantly reminded of his one week experience of living here. Takeshi was constantly sleeping, Elvy was performing her "social" experiment on him using him as a lab rat, and Elias and him were training and vining to music coming together as both partners and friends. A small smile formed on his face as he thought about the good ole days with everyone under the same roof.
Soon enough Elvy, comes up from where he assumed was her lab. "I guess I'm ready as I'll ever be." he says nonchalantly as he shrugs his shoulders. As she runs off to grab the rest of her stuff, and Takeshi was moments away from living, Marcus reaches into his bag and pulls out a portable speaker. The silence was killing him, and despite the somewhat pleasant memories of being here, things still felt wrong and he needed a distraction. Connecting his phone to the speaker, he plays some chill hip hop beats at a somewhat medium low level. The music was loud enough to hear as background music, not too powerful enough to interrupt any conversations. He walks into the kitchen grabbing him a bottle of water just as Elvy returns. He follows her towards the couch plopping down next to her. She was getting the pile of items together before holding up the mask she crafted for him. From what he could tell it looks pretty decent. As she placed the mask on him, Marcus looks through the eye holes of the mask and stares into Elvy's. He couldn't help but wonder, what was going deep through her head. Was she really okay? Was she not phased by what happened? Does this black blood bullshit even make you invincible to going through the pain much like myself? Those questions flowed through his head, up until he felt her icy cold hands. "Why are your hands so damn cold?" He says with a slight chuckle trying to act like himself in front of her. "Is your lab really that cold?" He questioned.
Finishing up with the mask, she tells him to sit down on the floor, and that hew does. Sitting on the floor, he props one of his legs up and leans his head back onto the seat of the couch. "Yeah neon green, and that's fine. I'm glad you decided to do that, it gives it a bit of flare, you feel me. I think this costume is going to be the best one there." He says smiling. He then closes his eyes, and begins focusing on the music in the background. So far things were going smoothly, until his mind wonders thinking about that night yet again. The image of Elias flashes in his mind, forcing him to snap his eyes ope and jump forward gasping for air. Sweat formed on his mind as he looked around, scanning his surrounds. His head then slowly turns towards Elvy, who was just starring at him. A frown form on his face, before he slammed himself back against the couch. "You don't have to look at me like that." He says releasing a short breath. "Before you get straight back to doing my hair, tell me this Elvy. Do you still think about that night? Do you ever think about that night?" He questions glancing back towards her before looking straight ahead. "I simply ask, because for me, I see that night ever time I close my eyes. It's like a constant nightmare for me, and once it passes I'm left awake unable to go back sleep. Since then, I've been averaging about 3-4 fours of sleep every night. Do I tell anyone at the academy...no, they'll simply stop me from going on missions, and I'll be damned if I take away from him too." He says before pausing taking a sip from his water.
"Elvy...do you know what your brother is currently going through right now??" He ask. "If so please enlighten me, because I don't see you come around to check on him, all I see you do is run around with that sword of yours capturing Kishin eggs left and right. Do I blame you for that, no I don't. That's your partner and you guys are going all in to reach your goal, and all I can say is...I'm jealous. While you and everyone else are going all in, I'm trying to fix the biggest mistake of my life. I'm forced to keep up a happy and positive attitude while I'm with your brother, just so he doesn't fully know how messed up my mind is right now. And honestly I don't want him to. This is my punishment, I deserve all this mental abusive and tricks my mind constantly plays on me. I even fell off my bike today on my way here, because I saw yet another image your brother covered in blood. Shit I can't even wield him as fluid as I use to. Every time I hold Elias, I feel nothing but the entire world weighing down on me, and I that thing is tiring. I get so tired so quickly in a fight, I can barely move or fight as good as I use to. We're only sitting at 35 souls and all those souls were only pour portion from the team missions we took, because Elias can't handle solos. I-i failed...no...I destroyed him." He says leaning forward resting his head into his knees. "I don't know what to do Elvena, and I don't know how much longer I can go like this." he says looking back at her with tears slowly forming in his eyes.
Gwen didn't need to be a freaking crime scene investigator to read the atmosphere in the room. There was something going on between Alice and Llew and it wasn't the ambiguous chance of romance. There was some kind of tension in the air as the pair spoke to each other. Llew spoke with such elegance and mannerisms that it was like oil against the water of Alice's personality. Normally their teachers said that having a partner different from yourself allowed Meister and Weapon to achieve balance; iron out the flaws and strengthening the pros each pair had. Besides making it clear she was off the menu for romance; Gwen had gotten along famously with Baira. Maybe they had gotten lucky that their personalities synced up enough? Regardless it looked like whatever was going on with Alice and Llew was not something that could be left unchecked. But she wasn't a damn therapist, the way she solved problems was a head on approach and this technically wasn't HER problem.
"Hey I'll give you a hand fast Baira." Gwen offered as she scooted over to her Meister and away from the other pair so she could speak in private. "You reading the atmosphere in the room?" she whispered too low for human ears but not for her partner's wolf like hearing. "I'm a little worried for Alice and Llew, somethings wrong between them and I can only imagine what's gonna happen since they can't seem to talk you and I do. Isn't there someone they can talk to back at the academy?" she asked a little uncertain as she had never actively sought someone out for these kind of issues. Hearing Alice's plight over the top shelf however made Gwen softly nudge her Meister's side. A perfect opportunity for him to leap into action to show off for a girl.
Her hands halting over the flowers, Shinobu paused for a second before looking over to Hanako. Having been preparing for a question the moment the young Hagihara entered, she leaned back in her seat and tapped a finger on the desk as she gave a low laugh.
"No... not exactly." she answered before leaning forward and plucking a rose from the pile. She lifted it up in front of her whilst looking it over, her thumb rubbing up and down its stem a few times. Finally, she tilted the rose towards herself and took a small sniff of its fragrance. Nodding to herself, she finally let her gaze wander back over to Hanako momentarily.
"There's a party tonight, the DWMA's celebrating Halloween in its own way." Shinobu explained whilst carefully leaning the rose away from her "Odds are fair that there's going to be some lovely women showing up all dressed up and ready to have fun, so I'm going to need several bouquets at the ready."
More than that, in fact. Her gaze briefly wandered over to several other vases with similar assortments of flowers. She didn't have time for favoritism when showing her appreciation. She would have to come fully loaded and well equipped to show every woman she could the proper appreciation. Then there was also that issue of what her 'pals' had said earlier. She'd have to make a special bouquet if what they'd said turned out to be true, but she'd need more information before having to go that far. But Hanako didn't have to hear about that, especially considering its questionable validity.
"It pays to be prepared for things," Shinobu said as she resumed assembling the Bouquet "wouldn't exactly feel right if I rolled up to any kind of part and wasn't prepared. I've got my mask for the theme, so I just need these for the girls."
She couldn't exactly stay true to herself if she wasn't able to stay consistent on her admiration for beauty. She liked to think that consistency was one of her most valued traits. No matter the scenario, no matter the objectives, as long as she stayed true to herself then everything else could be withstood. That was what had helped her through the years she'd spent with the Yojiware-Kai. Even when having to dance to Dormu's tune, she could always have faith in herself and her capabilities. So what if she couldn't do magic, so what if she wasn't a true Basili, so what if she lived with a bunch of criminals who hated her guts? She... stayed... consistent.
And for consistency's sake, she'd have a contingency for every type of beauty she could find. That meant plenty of Bouquets, and luckily for her she had more than enough time to do so. Giving recognition wasn't always an easy task, but Shinobu would be lying if she said it didn't feel good.
"I might not bring it up often, but in my old... line of work I wasn't often treated to the company of girls my age. In fact I can't remember ever meeting one up until a year ago." Shinobu shrugged before giving a humored sigh "Yet now I'm treated to their likenesses nearly everywhere I go. I can't not be grateful for that. Doesn't have to be a matter of being Liked, its just a matter of gratitude."
"Hmm is that so?" replied Baira as both Llewellyn and Alice had answered his question, the wolf boy still staring intently at the basement door; his curiosity for the moment satiated yet not completely quashed. A rather unique scent had permeated through the briefly open door, a scent he had not caught whiff off before and one that had tickled at his senses so much so that had he not been on good terms with the opposing duo, he would have kicked the door down in order to satisfy his need to know. Alas, he was not that wild as to make a mockery of todays get together and jeopardise their relationship with the other Weapon and Meister pair. He'd accept their answers for now, even if that answer did bring forth more questions. Alice's choice of words did not go by unnoticed by Baira as he briefly turned to glance at her though unsure if he had misheard, he had simply brushed it aside for now.
"He sounds like an honourable father" replied Baira, briefly reminiscing towards his own upbringing. Baira had not been immediately accepted by the pack, considering he was only subpar immitation to them, a half-breed whose Wolf blood had been mixed and corrupted by that of a human; his meister mother. Alas, he had worked hard and fought for his right to be accepted as one of their own; the Wolf pack of Fenrir prioritising honour through strength more so than honour through blood. His own Father had ensured that the harsh training undergone would be sufficient enough for Baira to walk out on his own and discover a strength that neither a Werewolf or a Human could find on their own.
A quick prompt to help with the dishes followed by a small bribery had soon found Baira walking over towards the sink; the promise of a candied apple being enough motivation for the white haired male to start the cleaning process; his ears twitching at the mention of leftovers though he'd be unable to reach them, not when Gwen had appeared by his side, offering to help him though she soon revealed ulterior motives to her decision. It was a bit disheartening to know that she didn't come here to help him out of the kindness in her heart, but rather because she had a secret motive to do so.
"Hmm?" replied Baira as she questioned the atmosphere. Baira truthfully had not put much thought into the relationship between Llewellyn and Alice outside of thinking that the submissiveness of Llewellyn was rather awkward. Though considering that his experience living in a society full of humans was quite limited to the last two months, he had simply assumed it to be the norm for some humans to act that way. Thinking about it a bit more as he grabbed a dirty bowl, Baira had quickly concluded that if Llewellyn had ventured into the territory of his clan, he'd have been chewed up and spat out with little remorse. He would have been at the bottom of the clan's hierarchy; one of two Omega's designated to rearing the children; The last to eat and often left with the unwanted scraps on the table. The clan's hierarchy of his clan was after all all about asserting dominance, to fight for your position and earn your share through your own hard work and strength. Not to conceal your own selfish desires in favour of shining a light upon someone else.
That being said, Llewellyn was not a wolf much less a member of his pack so the standards of his clan did not apply here. "I guess it's a little strange" replied Baira turning the sink on again to clear the soap suds. "Though.. I don't really know much about your species behaviours so I assumed that it was one of the normal behaviour's of humans to submit to a woman. " he continued placing the bowl on the dish rack. "... and yeah... there is a professor at the Academy... the same one that had helped me when I first came here... after all your society standards and expectations are quite different to what I am used to so the academy has assumed that I required regular check ups to see how I was adjusting" A nudge into his gut had caused Baira to drop the plate into the sink and turn his attention towards Gwen, almost ready to chastise for her rude gesture though it became apparent what her intentions were when he noticed her gaze towards Alice; the short statured girl struggling to reach the top shelf.
"Oi LLewellyn" barked Baira, "Alice can't reach the top shelf.. why don't you be a stud and help her out. Perhaps carry her on your shoulders... you are her partner after all, so being all hands on shouldn't be a problem for you" goaded Baira. "Personally I'd love to have my hands on her and help but my hands are wet.. so as the only other man in the room its your responsibility to take the lead" he continued, attempting to push Llewellyn in his own way.
While the other three individuals in the kitchen continued to go about their own tasks and conversations, Llewellyn had finally completed his own. It had taken far longer than he would have liked thanks to the distraction his thoughts had provided. Still, now the servant could move on to the next task within the kitchen. Wherever that may be. Llewellyn glanced around the room to see if there was still some confection or baked goods that he would be able to work on with little success. It seemed as though the four of them had been able to complete their quota fairly swiftly. Though, now the servant was at a loss for what he was supposed to do next. Lord Baira had been convinced to tend to the dishes, Lady Alice was finishing up the Candy Apples and Lady Gwen was assisting her own Meister. There did not seem to be anything for Llewellyn to do himself.
Llewellyn was planning to pull out the frosting and cupcakes he had set aside earlier so that he could focus on assisting Lady Alice and the other Meister and Weapon pair when Lord Baira spoke up from his spot at the sink. In response to the other Meister's words, the servant stopped trying to fulfill his own task and instead turned his attention towards Lady Alice. Upon seeing that his Meister was indeed struggling to reach some item higher up in the cupboard shelves Llewellyn decided to do as Lord Baira had suggested. Llewellyn walked the few steps over to Lady Alice, then he reached upwards towards the item she had been attempting to acquire. The servant had to completely stretch his body out to it's full extent and even push himself upwards on the tips of his toes just to allow his fingertips to weakly grip the item so that he could then carefully retrieve it. Then, Llewellyn carefully lowered himself before placing the retrieved item in front of the blond girl next to him. "Here you are milady." Now that he had successfully assisted Lady Alice, Llewellyn decided to head back over to the refrigerator so that he could pull out the two containers he had stored earlier before returning to what he had been doing before Lord Baira and Lady Gwen had arrived. Finishing up his own batch of cupcakes.
Alice was trying to think of various ways to get the icing but only ended up at square one each time because any potential solution had only ended with ruining the sweets. As soon as Baira spoke up, her eyes widen and she whipped her head in his direction "Baira!" she shouted, not because of his comment about his hands being on her, but the fact that she told Lew to help her because she was struggling. The blonde didn't wanna bother him because she wanted him to get his own individuality without needing people to tell him things. "N-No I don't need help Lew!" she said, trying to stop him but merely just watching helplessly as he walked to her side and stretched his body enough just to reach the top shelf. Grasping that container of icing as she watched before he placed it in front of her before walking away "Thanks Lew..." she said softly, picking up the icing and looking at it. I really didn't want him to do it unless he wanted to...Not because he was ordered to.Pops had told her that people were different and did different things and maybe he was just hardwired like that.
She couldn't take that as an answer! There was more to Lew and she wanted to bring him out of this shell he was so attached to. Emeralds staring at the icing, her look was a little sad as she released a sigh and shook her head and grasped the dye with her other hand "I'm going to split up the icing so we get different colors, okay?" she said to the rest of the group, smiling softly as she grabbed some plastic baggies, as well as bowls and placed them by the cooling racks along with the dye and began opening the container of icing. She paused for a moment and grabbed a spoon so she could scoop the icing out of the container and put them into bowls before having to put them into their baggies for piping onto the sweets. We need purple, orange, green, black... I don't think we need more than those four colors. with that thought of, she split the icing into four bowls and placed the empty container on the side. When looking at the small box, she opened it to see what colors they had. It wasn't a lot and she could have sworn they had more than just these four colors...
Looking on the back, there was a chart for the different colors out of the Red, Pink, Yellow and Blue. She pursed her lips for a moment before putting it down and searching the lower shelf that she could reach in hopes to find black. Yellow and Red had their Orange, Blue and yellow had their green. The pink and blue would most likely have their purple but black was a harder dye to look for and she really didn't want to load one of the icings with dye. She leaned her body against the counter top as her arm reached in the shelf to find another box of dyes. She would occasionally pull her arm out to check out a box if she grabbed onto another dye box. I remember having another set... It had more colors the last time I looked at it...Unless dad tossed them? Why would he toss them? Dye doesn't expire...Does it?dye was a liquid, so it going bad... It didnt make much sense for that to happen. Her head was tilted while she stood on her tippy toes and giving her arm as much leeway as possible.
Hanako's crimson eyes watched as Shin bring the rose closer to her face. Listening as she mentioned a party and some girls being at said-party "My sister told me about the party... She has to ask mom when she gets back home from work" she said her voice soft as she began to think to herself. Did that mean that she would get a bouquet of flowers if she went to the party too? "It's your way of appreciating girls." she stated as a matter-of-factly. Her eyes shifting back to the flowers in thought. Shinobu was a new person that Hanako grew to like, just because of how nice and respectful she was. Her scary appearance was only scary with the mask on, but underneath she was a beautiful person. Rei would have liked her very much and appreciated the Meister just as much as she appreciated other girls. "Shin-Chan, did I ever tell you that I'm happy that you're Rin's partner?" she asked, looking up with her large eyes "It's been a long time since I had two siblings in the house instead of one." she said with a small 'hm' and a small smile.
After losing her other sibling, Reiko, Hanako found the home just a little empty. Something just always felt off and she had told Rin that. Of course, upon telling her that, she felt saddened and since then she had been trying to make up for the second twin being missing out of the home. But now that Shinobu was here, the house felt fuller. Just how it should have been from the way beginning. It was horrible to lose one of her older sisters, but she eventually accepted it and knew there was no other way that she would be coming back to live with them. Hanako snapped from her thoughts before focusing on Shinobu "Do you think you can take me to the party, Shin-chan?" she asked, wanting to continue on with the Halloween talk.
The sound of a metal tray being dropped and clanging with the sink could be heard as it slipped through Baira's hands, the white haired man visibly annoyed as he watched Llewellyn disregard the opportunity that he had been presented with. Most men that Baira knew would have jumped at the opportunity to get all 'hands on' with a lady, to show off in front of the opposite gender in a vain attempt at displaying their machismo and appeal. However this wasn't the case this time as the ever successful Wingman that was Baira watched the opening he had made go completely ignored. Rather then taking the bull by the horns and doing what Baira had suggested, Llewellyn instead went to reach for the item himself rather then aide his Meister.
Heck, Baira would have even been satisfied if Llewellyn had attempted to 'flex' when he went for the item that Alice wanted, to show off his male appeal to his female counterpart. Alas, that didn't occur either and Llewellyn simply retrieved the item like the good little helper he was; even finishing it off with a 'Milady'. Now Baira was feeling a little bit annoyed at the other guy. Sure, if he wanted to play that role on the battlefield that was fine... but they were in a home, off-duty and preparing for a festival tonight... there was no reason for him to maintain this charade, to persist with the white knight/princess roleplay that he seemed to embody. Especially since it didn't look like Alice was trying to play the princess or damsel either.
No longer concerned about the dishes, Baira continued to observe Llewellyn as he handed the item over and grabbed two containers from the fridge, moving over to his own spot and beginning to work on his own. That infuriated Baira even more as it meant that Alice had been left alone despite this being meant to be a 'fun' gathering. Something was clearly 'off' about their partnership. It just didn't seem the same as the others in their class, how Meister and Weapon seemed to bounce off one another's energy; enhancing their strengths and covering their weaknesses. A half wolf at heart, Baira trusted his instincts and chose to act upon it, despite how it risked ruining their progress thus far.
"Gwen, forgive me for what I am about to do..." sighed Baira as he washed the soap off his hands and brushed past Gwen, finding himself in between where Alice stood and where Llewellyn had placed himself. With a predatory glimmer to his gaze, Baira looked the shorter man over, from top to bottom and from bottom to top, examining him much like a predator would examine a small prey animal before sinking its teeth in for the kill.
"So what's your deal?" he asked matter of factly, his large exposed chest a meaty wall that separated the opposite Meister and Weapon. "It's been bugging me for awhile now and I tried to ignore it.. but I really don't understand this Milady business that you keep spewing" , continued Baira, reaching out to grab a cookie from one of the pans on the counter and biting down on it. "Is Alice making you treat her like a queen?" he asked matter of factly, not really considering about how Alice would react to his blunt question."Cause from where I stand and what my instincts are telling me, it doesn't seem like she is" continued Baira, taking a step closer towards Lew and tilting his head down to glare at the shorter man. Baira was clearly irritated with Llewellyn's behaviour thus far.
"Tell me Lewellyn" Baira's voice was stern as he swallowed the rest of the cookie; his eyes never leaving the blonde haired boy. "Do you not see how she feels whenever you spew that nonsense?" he asked, having seen the small tells on her face. Small hints towards how she felt about being treated this way by her partner. "Because I can see it... we can all see it..." continued Baira, grabbing a portion of Lew's attire and using it to wipe his hands; his act intentionally done to try and rile up the other man. Without the right ignition, the right spark to light up LLewellyn, then Baira would not achieved what it was that he wanted to. "A real man wouldn't make a woman feel that way. A real man wouldn't make a woman feel sad" Baira was now leaning in so that his face was basically hovering above Lew's shoulder. "A real man wouldn't shy away from facing their problems head on" a faint smirk had appeared on his face as he knew he was probably going too far and would get an earful from Gwen, but rather than stopping he persisted. "What are you afraid off?" he asked, his right arm gripping the opposite shoulder of Lew's tightly. "You have a beautiful woman as your partner... yet you seem happier to prostrate yourself and serve her rather than to be her equal. If Gwen ever attempted to do what you do to Alice to me, then I'd resign from being a Meister"
Baira tightened his grip even more. "Continue to play this game and you'd sooner find her leaving you for another...or worse stolen... perhaps by me"
Just as she finished binding together what she knew would be the first of many bouquets, Shinobu found her hands pausing the moment that Hanako brought up Rin's job. Though she gave a nod back to Hanako in thanks for recognizing her need to appreciate, when she stood to set the bouquet aside she found her mind wandering. Getting to work on the next Bouquet, Shinobu found herself wondering exactly how her Partner was doing at her job as well. From what she'd heard that job had its ups and downs, one of the more prominent ones being that her coworker was none other than Elias.
Shinobu was certain that her own interactions with that particular classmate had been rather lacking, something which only became more apparent after the incident. While she had only heard about it from second hand sources, the effect it had on both Marcus and Elias was clear to see. While rumors and whispers could be passed all day, Shinobu knew better than to look anywhere other than Lord Death for reassurance. Besides their change in living arrangements and the off dispositions, they were still their classmates. Shinobu would continue seeing it that way until she was provided with new information. It wasn't as if she had many personal dealings with any of the parties involved... except for Rin.
Now Shinobu had always recognized that the relations between Elias and Rin had been less than amicable for a while, but ever since the incident she'd found herself more and more having to get her partner's mind off of her coworker. It seemed to really bother her, and Shinobu didn't exactly have the first-person context required to try offering help in the scenario. So she'd made a habit of working hard to help Rin forget about those problems, if only momentarily, while she was home. There wasn't really much else she could offer without feeling intrusive. She wouldn't have to work as hard in that department today, not when the party itself should be distracting enough on its own.
She had just set the second completed bouquet next to the first when she heard Hanako speak again. While she gave a small chuckle at the initial piece of gratitude, Shinobu found her head tilting slightly to the side at Hanako's mention of her two siblings. Shinobu slid one hand into her pocket momentarily, making her way over to the desk so she could get to work on the next Bouquet. She knew this might've been a fair opportunity to learn more about this third sibling of theirs, but Shinobu had learned a long time ago just how important certain secrets could be. That would be a conversation for another time, just not now. Thankfully, Hanako moved on with a rather odd question.
Take her to the party? Shinobu paused beside her chair at the question, glancing back to Hanako with a raised eyebrow. She watched for a moment before smiling under her mask and walking over to her.
"Hanako, we both know that there's no way Rin would head to that party without you if she can help it."Shinobu said before reaching over and patting Hanako on the head "But just in case, if something keeps her from doing that, then I promise that I'll take you."
Stepping back to her seat, she got to work on the next bouquet and giving a small shake of the head before continuing, "Speaking of which, any idea what you might wanna dress up as? I might already got a mask to rock, but I hear some of my classmates are really pulling out all of the stops tonight."
The servant was in the middle of frosting his now cold cupcakes when he noticed the other Meister approaching. Llewellyn did not think too much on the other Meister's approach as he continued with his current task until Lord Baira placed himself between Llewellyn and Lady Alice. The white haired male's body language hinted that he wished to speak so Llewellyn decided to keep him within his line of sight so that he could pay attention to Lord Baira's words. When Lord Baira began his short speech it became quickly apparent to Llewellyn that he had frustrated this man. The servant did not quite know why Lord Baira had been so upset of Llewellyn's behavior towards Lady Alice. Even when the white haired male explained in further detail Llewellyn was still confused as to why Lord Baira was upset. Though, when Lord Baira advanced closer to the servant, it seemed as though understanding was not necessary.
Llewellyn had been in a situation vaguely similar to his current one when Lady Helena was still alive. He had upset Lady Lacey in some form and because of that Llewellyn was approached by Lady Helena in a calm manner, much like Lord Baira had. Though, with Lady Helena, Llewellyn had received 3 days of starvation and five times his usual amount of chores as punishment. Lord Baira did not seem quite as forgiving as Lady Helena at the moment. The servant expected this instance to end with physical harm. Still, now Lord Baira had Llewellyn's full attention as the servant set his utensil down and halted frosting his cupcakes. He did not wish for any potential altercation to ruin the treats he had created for the rest of the class.
When Lord Baira wiped his hands upon Llewellyn's uniform, the servant did nothing in response yet, he could not hid the slight frown that appeared from seeing the creases and rumples now present on his attire on top of the flour that already coated it. Then, when the white haired male continued with his speech after further ruining Llewellyn's uniform, the servant found himself feeling amused. Does Lord Baira truly think that I am a Human? He does not seem to be mocking me. No, if anything this is a scolding. I suppose I should feel ashamed, but this is honestly humorous. Llewellyn heard someone laughing once Lord Baira had finished his speech, but it was not until he felt his lungs burning that Llewellyn realized that he was the one laughing. Knowing it was disrespectful to laugh at one of his betters Llewellyn took a moment to forcefully close his mouth with one of his hands. Then, after a second or two Llewellyn felt as though he was well enough to speak in a manner fitting for one of his station. "Forgive me Lord Baira. I truly mean no disrespect." The servant was not able to show his sincerity too well for there was a small, pitying smile on his face while he spoke to the white haired male. "However, I fear that I must inform you that I am no man, merely a servant. A tool if you will." The servant's light blue eyes shifted to gaze at Lord Baira's own as he kept speaking. "Otherwise that was quite a wonderful speech milord. Were you practicing it on me?" While he maintained eye contact with Lord Baira, Llewellyn seemed defeated. There was no fight, no anger, no sorrow, merely a tired acceptance.
The air temperature was noticeably cooler. Homes were more elaborately decorated for all the extra time and attention. Garages had become demonic dungeons, severed limbs poked from closed doors and dire warnings to trespassers were pasted dripping red paint. Most of the city was covered in interesting Halloween decorations. A lot of places sold Halloween-themed products to get in the spirit. "Yeah we could do that after, sound good?" "Yep!" Liam and Audriel walked and talked.
They were on their way to sing some karaoke and planned to go to a Halloween-themed cafe afterwards. Out of the corner of his scarlet eyes, Liam noticed a somewhat familiar face. He turned to see who he remembered as Mara standing near a bench outside a coffee shop. She was waving. As usual, not using his head, the redhead looked around to see who she was waving at. "She's waving at you.""Oh." Liam walked towards her and smiled. "What's up, Ma-? Wha!" He tripped right before he reached Mara and fell towards her. The way things looked, he probably would fall onto her and they'd both end up on the bench, Liam on top of her. Audriel gasped. "Oh my gosh! Liam!"
Ok so none of that worked out remotely near as well as Gwen had been hoping it would've. Was she expecting Baira to be so forward with Lew? Maybe not, but at least her Meister had tried it his way. She had scooted herself over next to Alice to help her track down the dyes for their Halloween goodies but when her friend's Weapon spoke up once again....it was time for the other Weapon to step in herself.
"That's not true! If you want a non practiced speech here goes!" Gwen didn't speak out of some form of bitter retort as she turned to look at Lew directly. "Last I checked tools don't have arms and legs and can't talk outside of kiddie movies. Alice wouldn't have wanted you as her partner if you were just some tool servant." her shoes softly tapped against the laminated kitchen floor as she moved towards Lew. "You are able to connect with her very soul, and our school books say that's something pretty awesome! You got a lot more going for you as a person than you think Lew. Swear on my heart and soul itself!" Gwen was undoubtedly a raging fire, there was no denying what she was deep down. She never backed down, and always made sure to prove it. Yet when the symbolism with fire was made they always focused on the destructive aspects the natural element could invoke. Yet Gwen was both sides of the coin, she displayed warmth and comfort to those around her when she could. She rarely lied and had a heart bigger then the unholy engine she installed in her car.
If Lew was all about that high class etiquette then he could tell if Gwen was swearing on such important attributes then maybe he would trust she meant the kindness she dispalyed.
Alice wasn’t paying much attention to Baira and Lew just because she was focused on not breaking anything in the cabinet. Though, the sound of newfound laughter had found its way into her ears and she’s paused while Gwen found the dye she was looking for and placed it on the counter before going to the two guys. Pulling her hand out from the cabinet, she looked at both her partner and Baira, who were standing dangerously close. Almost looking like they were going to start a brawl in her kitchen. Her emeralds couldn’t help but lock onto her partner, seeing the smile on his face with the laugh before he composed himself. Then proceeded to call himself a “servant” and a “tool”. Hearing that only made her heart ache Does he really think that he’s a servant? A tool? I heard it myself but I can’t accept that. I’ve been trying my hardest to not bother him and to give him orders unless absolutely necessary...
She then looked at Gwen who told him that a tool doesn’t have arms and legs, nor do they talk. The blonde opened her mouth to speak but then thought against it for a second. The other duo was trying so hard to defend her and speak for her that she almost felt helpless to speak for herself. Alice then walked over to Baira and Lew, squishing herself between them “Guys I really don’t want us to fight... we did this so we could be happy and have fun.” She looked up at Baira and smiled at him “I appreciate your help, Baira, Gwen.” She then looked at Lew. What could she also say to him that would make him see that he wasn’t a tool? Alice seen him as an equal, no matter how many times he kept pressing.
Many times she asked him to not to call her “milady” or “lady” but it always fell on deaf ears and he kept doing it. Eventually she gave up and allowed him to do what he felt like he should do. There was no way to convince him otherwise. Not that she could tell. “Gwen is right. We have a soul bond. We share the same wavelength. You’re more worth it than you realize.” This was something she wanted him to realize and hopefully, he’d see it. Especially by three people who tried being blunt with him. Her emeralds looked between the two guys and spoke again “We can get along. I know we have our differences. And that's okay to have differences. I just dont want everyone to be at eachother's throats for it.” Making everyone else not hurt was her biggest concern. Only because her life had consisted of days and hours of pain. No one else should deserve that. Unless there was the biggest reason to deserve it. "Also...This was the first time I've ever seen you smile, as well as laugh so genuinely, Llewellyn."
Hanako smiled and nodded affirmatively "I have my costume in my room! I want to be a pumpkin witch!" she said excitingly. "Mom helped me make it and it's so cute. I can show you." before Shinobu could even approve or deny, the young girl hurried out of the room, her little feet thumping lightly on the hardwood floor as she ran into her bedroom in search of her costume. Once found, Hanako quickly put it on, struggling a little bit but she eventually got it on and put her hat on before running back to Shinobu who had surprisingly not moved from her spot. "Shin-chan I found it." she said with a smile. Despite her soft voice, she couldn't help but get super excited and get a little louder when expressing her love for the little things. "I think this one is my favorite costume out of all the other times." she looked down at her dress and twirled, showing Shin her entire outfit. If one word described her outfit, that would be 'Fun'. "Do you like it?"
Halloween was one of her favorite times of the year because not only did she get to dress up, but there was candies and sweets involved that were given out for free! Rin would also always add to her pile of gathered candy just to make it larger. Rin wasnt one to eat sweets very often and found Hanako had more use for the candy than she ever did. Folding her hands in front of her with her with a big smile, she hopped a little bit on her toes from excitement. She heard the front door open and Hanako perked up, moving to the doorway and peeking her head out to listen to the voice. It was her mom as she announced she was home "Hi mom!" she said before looking at Shinobu.
Baira glared at Llewellyn as the blonde haired boy began to laugh; the audacity of this individual to even think that this situation was humorous was beyond belief. Was he really this oblivious?. Had Baira been the more explosive type of person, he'd have socked the boy straight across the jaw for his apparent lack of awareness to just how his actions were more detrimental than beneficial to his partnership. While it was entirely plausible that Baira was reading too much into the situation, he could not deny noticing the tell tale signs on Alice's face whenever Llewellyn had addressed her as such. Clearly there was something off, something that did not sit right and threw a wrench into the cogs of their workings. That was undeniable. Both Gwen and Baira had seen it and while Baira had initially tried to shrug it off as not being his problem, the proud alpha instinct within him could not persist with sitting idly as a women suffered.
Right now, Llewellyn was displaying attributes that Baira tended to detest, the mere idea of another male finding humour in how they were negatively impacting their female counterpart was just unfathomable. Much less he showed little remorse or acceptance that his selfish desires were doing more harm than good. What exactly was funny about him making Alice feel the way she felt?, What exactly was humorous in the fact that despite Alice's brave front, she was clearly troubled?
"I'm not the one you need to ask forgiveness from"retorted Baira, shoving Llewellyn away from him. Llew's admission of being a servant and a tool was the final straw for Baira and it took every ounce of his strength to not react in a physical manner. "You have issues, deep issues that you need to sort out", his tone on the precipice between normal speech and a growl. "After everything I have seen, the last thing I think Alice see's you as is a tool and a servant, Think about it for fucks sake" growled Baira, "If that were the case, then she wouldn't have been affected by your words, she wouldn't have tried to start conversation with you"
Gwen had now joined the discussion, the fiery haired partner of Baira taking a completely different approach. Where he had been rough and blunt in his approach, she had been far more controlled and relax. As she spoke, Baira had turned to glance at Alice, to see how she had been reacting to the whole situation. Her silence thus far had spoken volumes as she stood there. Baira did feel like an ass for starting this whole argument and truly felt guilty for causing her trouble, however it just was not in him to remain composed and silent about this issue.
Baira reached out and grabbed a ladle that had been on the counter. "This is a fucking tool. Some inanimate object with no voice, no emotion. Are you telling me that you are no better then this ladle?" Baira tossed the tool into the sink. "Continuing and forcing your one sided master/servant relationship with Alice is just selfish on your part. If you want to be of proper use to your partner then try opening your damn eyes and realise that you two are equals. A Meister and their Demon Weapon are two halves. I am no more Important than Gwen is to our relationship. She is my equal and I hers, as is the case with any healthy partnership. The fact that you are quick to dismiss this as some kind of practice speech is pathetic. You are a coward, afraid to face your own issues, Afraid to face your partner as an equal"
It wasn't long before Alice finally joined in the discussion. Thanking both Baira and Gwen for their actions thus far; a sigh of relief escaping Baira as he was half sure she would be rather angry about him causing a scene. Encouraged by Gwens input, it seemed like Alice too had decided to join the discussion and as Baira had suspected she too held concern for how Llewellyn had been acting. However any attempts to stop Baira had fallen on deaf ears... at least temporarily as the Wolf boy had to get the last word in.
"See. She is telling you right now. YOUR partner is telling you how she feels. Listen! Open your damn ears and pay attention to her!" Baira paused and glanced at Alice, "... or are you going to simply ignore her and laugh it off again like some kind of joke?" Baira turned and walked over to where Gwen was, placing a hand upon her shoulder. "Gwen..Sorry about all this" he spoke softly.
Camilla should have guessed he'd be in his usual place reading a manga he picked up, she never understood what the appeal behind them was.. Well she'd have to read one first to find the answer to that of course. As Alcross stepped round the corner he was greeted by an excited crimson haired Meister."Sooo what do you think~" Camilla twirls on the spot to allow Alcross a proper look at her costume. The blue haired weapon managed to stammer out a reply. Camilla jumped with joy when he said it looked good. "Oh I'm so glad it does! I've never been to a Halloween party before so I wanted to look the best I could!" Alcross asked when she had time to get her costume. To which she chuckled to herself a little bit. "You see... I had a little help from one of our classmates~ It turns out that Morika knows how to make costumes too! The dress was all her work! But I had to get the trident and the horns seperately to finish the look... But since you think it looks good I think it was all worth it!"
Camilla was now in a very joyful mood, humming to herself as she thought about how much fun they were gonna have at the party. Looking back at Alcross however made the girl cock her head to the side with confusion. "Hey... Is everything alright? I can tell you're trying not to look at me... Is there something wrong with the costume? ... Did I do something wrong? Are you mad at me?" Camilla was growing more and more concerned as she inspected the boy further. Noticing his face was slightly flushed. "Your face is red... You aren't coming down with a fever are you?" She moved up closer to Alcross, probably closer than he was comfortable with at the time and turned his head towards her as she put her hand on his forehead, trying to check his temperature. "Hm... Doesn't feel like you're overheating..." She stayed like this for a little longer, making sure she wasn't mistaken before she pulled her hand away and took a step back. "Still you should keep and eye on yourself! You don't wanna fall ill on the same day as the party do you?" She paused for a moment, mention of the party sparking something else in her mind. "Oh right! What are you going as? I'm really curious to see what kind of outfit you picked out for it!"
"Oh" mumbled the blue haired boy, who was still suffering from a sudden inability to formulate proper sentences. He had not quite prepared himself for just how daring of a costume Camilla was willing to go for and had suffered the consequences for his foolishness. Her mention of Morika however did manage to jog a few memories from Alcross as he thought back to couple weeks ago and it was quickly starting to make sense to him; the weapon briefly recalling a couple of the other's mentioning that they were getting costumes from Morika.
Though that little fact didn't really come to mind immediately due to the fact that Alcross had had his head buried in his arms during the discussion and had only really heard parts of the discussion due to how loud they had been when discussing it. It was only due to Camilla mentioning Morika's name that Alcross had finally remembered. As if lost in thought his right hand rose to scratch his chin as he contemplated when Morika would have had the time to make several different costumes, especially considering the fact that he had a rough idea as to how their last two months had been. According to the current tally, Morika's partnership with Samara had managed to acquire 1 more Kishin soul than he and Camilla had managed to do and if they had been working as hard as Camilla and Alcross were, then there wouldn't have been that much time to do so.
Alcross however was shaken from his distraction as Camilla's excited tone quickly changed and she began to voice concern; yet her worries did little to actually help Alcross in this moment. Rather it had the opposite affect as it made him even more nervous due to him carelessly looking directly at her once more; his eyes wandering just like any healthy boy's would. Unable to stop the inevitable, the blush on his face became a deeper shade of red and he could only fidget on the spot and avert his gaze once more. Rookie's mistake.
"Uh...Umm... uhhh... yeah.." fumbled Alcross taking a step backwards and raising a hand behind his head as he glanced away from her. "I..I'm fine.. no.. nothings wrong. Th.. the costume is... goo.. it..it looks good " he continued to stutter, taking another step back away from her. "..a..and I.. I'm not mad or.. anything.." a 3rd step backwards and Alcross found his back colliding with the wall and his retreat halted temporarily, though that short second was all it took for Camilla to close the gap immediately, the crimson hair of hers catching Alcross's eye as she stood mere inches away from him, questioning if the redness to his face was down to a fever, yet Alcross remained tight lipped, not because he wanted to but rather because he couldn't answer. Alcross genuinely was at a loss, unable to comprehend why he was acting the way he was and unable to put this confusion into words.
By now, Alcross's heartbeat was racing as his nerves got the better of him, this unfamiliar situation taking advantage of how completely unguarded he was to the whole situation. Alcross was no stranger to being this close to women, he was no stranger to close proximity physical contact. He had grown up with it, a childhood where he was forced to endure much of the same treatment from those that participated in the environment that he found to be suffocating. The selfishness of those that revelled in their own wealth such was the case that it wasn't uncommon for people to try and introduce their daughters to Alcross, often motivated by ulterior motives. Each and everyone one of them sounded fake, like little robots merely repeating the same thing over and over again as if each and every one of them had rehearsed the same speech before being introduced to him. These attempts had only helped to shape his warped views and had hardened him to such underhanded tactics, so much so that at an early age he had already become indifferent, unwavering to their simulated praise; their simulated concern.
Yet Camilla was different. She wasn't like all those other girls, she wasn't some puppet on a string that was being strung along in an attempt to win him over and despite how guilty Alcross had felt for not being completely truthful to his partner, he could not deny that for the last two months he was enjoying the feeling of being treated normally. To have eyes look at him for who he was and not what he was. Of course this wasn't limited to just Camilla, as Alcross had remained tight lipped to the others in the class as well, however outside of his family; she was the closest person to him. The fact that she was unaware of his past and still showed concern could only mean that it was genuine and because of that Alcross was at a loss for how to react to it. He couldn't blame his ancestry for it thus he could not run from it either.
Two hands forcing him to look at her once more as she checked his temperature, Alcross's face was beginning slowly beginning to heat up as sweat began to form on his brow. Though thankfully the wind coming through the open window of the living room had made it hard for her to feel any heat that was out of the norm. Had the wind not been coming through the open window, then she may have felt how hot his head was becoming Uncomfortable with the situation, his initial instinct was to try and push her off of him and escape yet Alcross forced himself to remain still, persevering with this influx of new emotions and feelings as he clenched both hands by his side and tried to focus on something else; though to his misfortune his mind refused to cooperate.
As her hands pulled away, Alcross felt his shoulders slump in exhaustion and had it not been for the wall supporting his back, he would have collapsed to the floor. A short sigh escaped him as he raised a hand to his forehead and wiped the small droplets of sweat that had formed, disguising his action as a self attempt at feeling his own temperature. "Y.. Yeah.." floundered, forcing a smile. "I..I feel fine.. It must have been the heat.. I guess." he added, thankful that her attention had switched from concern to excitement once more as she began to question about his attire.
"N.. nothing special" he replied. Halloween wasn't much of a big deal to Alcross; the boy having long since grown out of the need to wear a costume; especially since his mother adored getting him, his father and his sister to wear a family themed get up; one that was usually quite embarrassing. A brief thought to the unopened package he had received from his mother the other day had sent a small shudder up his spine, no doubt it was his costume for the family set. Alas, he was no longer under her roof and therefore not required to fulfil her selfish demand. He could always lie and say he never received the package. "I.. I've got some monster gloves and fake fangs..I'll just wear that with one of my hoodies. One with fake ears... I didn't really put much thought into a costume..."