Child, you shouldn’t always be this sick.
You’d be surprised.
Don’t you have anyone to take care of you?
*squints* I’d suggest that you identify yourself and your purpose before further pursuing the conversation.
Raven couldn’t help but smile when Karl agreed to take him outside. Of course he’d known that he would likely take him stargazing anyway, but it still made him feel better to actually hear those words. Simple words of encouragement and assurance were sometimes all he really needed, especially after dealing with nightmares. Just little signs that he was back in the real world and not still trapped in the dreams. Really, just having Karl around was enough to make him feel better.
The Major, Prozen and Kirsche were all Raven really had in the way of family. They were his lifelines, the only source of any sort of normalcy in his life. His fragile trust was given to them readily. Even though he had been with them for a year, he was still only just showing his true personality as some of the mental damage was slowly undone. It was just something that would take a long time and lots of gentle encouragement and love to fix, which both Prozen and Karl offered unconditionally.
A moment later Raven slid out of the windowsill, bare feet flattening out on the hardwood floor with barely a sound, turning to the soldier. Where would you like to watch the stars tonight? He repeated the question to himself in his mind. The garden was his favorite place, but it also took the most effort to get there. He didn’t really want to trouble Karl with such a walk, but it would be the only place to get a good look at his favorite constellations. Biting his lip slightly in unfounded worry, he took a brief moment to assure himself that it was alright to ask things of the man before he answered.
“Can… we go out to the garden, please?” he managed to put a bit more strength in his voice this time, even producing the faintest of smiles. It was a small step forward for him. There was another split second of hesitation before he reached out and took the Major’s offered hand, wanting him to lead the way. He relaxed visibly following that action; physical contact was always such a soothing thing for the young Imperial. It was one of the few things that concretely proved to him that he was truly awake and not in that half-dreaming state where things seemed real but really weren’t. Just the warmth of another person, the sound of their breathing and their heart was sometimes all it took to help him calm down and forget about the nightmares.
Watching the stars and just spending time with Karl would be the last little assurance he needed. They had spent several nights outside following episodes of nightmares, and every time save one he had fallen asleep against the Major shortly after they began to look skyward. A subtle, tentative sign of trust. The stuffed Saber Tiger he usually held had been left on the bed in his haste to look at the stars. Hopefully after some time outside he would finally be able to try and sleep again, and perhaps this time remain peacefully asleep without the torment of nightmares there to wake him.
He could see simplicity and grace with ease, and when the boy came about his slight settlement, Karl was appeased. The books were but a blur in the corner of his eye, and bound together with the dust, and the darkness, and what little starlight touched the endings of the edges; his thoughts were gentle, and wandering from his usual ways of his work, and the ink wells and street-curb-colored pages of reports and maps and other things that belonged in an old world.
Breathing very quietly, he watched Raven as if there were some great distance between them—that he might secure a sharp visual on any sign of danger, and leap at it in the span of a second—and gave a steady nod. Once. It seemed remotely formal.
Raven had departed the windowsill, and the moons looked just as bright behind him. The soldier stood; slowly, he reached for the toy and cradled it in the crook of one arm, and slowly, he smiled back at the child and fixed the front of his uniform. He turned his back to the frame and the curtains all around, and with it, the sea of shade and stars that stretched through the whole girth of the sky and settled into the treetops—distant as they were, around the edge of the garden. They would circle out there through the the stretch of the long, manor halls.
Karl held the boy’s hand and hesitated, looking briefly to the open door, the pathway beyond with he’d now to guide them through. And answered softy, with a trace of his sorrows lying still on his tongue, “Of course.” The words were even and honest.
"You’ll have to tell me all about the constellations, though," he motioned corridor and folded the top bedsheet carefully under his arm with the stuffed little Saber Tiger. "And promise to say if you’re cold."
With that, he started for the door, lightly on foot the way a first snow always starts, and sorting through stories in his head: adventures, mysteries, fables—and all of Raven’s favorites, and whatever sagas they would make up together. Time would tell for what tales came next: for the darkness grew deeper, their troubles dimmed; and the infinite empyrean, long-lived and eternal, waited patiently, and without complaint, over the heat of their heads.
ooc; I’m not dead on this account, all! D: (Or Rob’s.) I just have some things going on and am having trouble writing these two characters at the moment. Nothing’s quite turning out right.
My most sincere apologies. I know I owe some people replies too.
Thomas’s hissy fit slowly calmed down when he realized that Karl wasn’t exactly going to strike him with the nearest heavy object, unlike a certain large Republican with equally large hair. He wiped his eyes and sniffled, lifting up Karl’s fabrics to blow his nose rather haphazardly on them. He took a deep breath, held it, then let it out with a shaky end-sob before meeting his older brother’s timeless eyes.
“I…. I told you. I woke up the other day feeling really weird and to be honest, the past couple days were a blur. I either got really drunk or really stoned or something, cause everything’s fuzzy—” he choked back another sob as a fresh round of tears appeared in his eyes, threatening to fall. “And one of those clear moments was when I totally, deliberately slapped Herman’s ass.”
"You aren’t feeling well," said Karl, quietly. It was more of a temporary answer until he could draw proper conclusions. The stories wouldn’t add up. He knew Thomas would never do such a thing.
And so he couldn’t believe it. Neither did he want to. The colonel drew another tissue from the box and handed it off to the palm of Thomas’ hand. His gaze washed over the tears and the floor and came to a gradual rest, certain in an earthly dark-light. “Perhaps you’re right,” a predictably muted reply. “You went and did something that left you in this state. Go rest. We needn’t dwell on it any longer.”
He could draw from no anger. There was no flicker with which to fuel any outburst of rage. Karl could only focus back to his brother’s sad-stricken face.
And the apparent fact that he was going to have to thoroughly wash his uniform.
… It’s times such as these that I sincerely regret deciding to try to acquaint myself with the recent occurrences.
[Piano] The Gapra Whitewood (Final Fantasy XIII).
Video-Game soundtrack composed by Masashi Hamauzu.
Sony PlayStation 3 & Microsoft XBOX 360. Developed by Square-Enix (2010).
“Not every interaction is about transaction; Karl.” Prozen studied him intently. “Sometimes one just asks because of concern. I want nothing. Well; perhaps I’d like answers. But I don’t deserve them; and I know that. I know I’ve breached whatever trust you had in me – trust which, quite frankly, I never actually deserved, if you were able to forward me just the slightest shred.”
He pulled back, giving Karl the space that perhaps he needed.
“You’ve left the celebrations that normally cause great cheer amongst the Imperial Court – you’ve left early. And without an attachment. You’re dissatisfied; either with what’s been said; or what you’ve seen. Perhaps the daughter of an aristocrat has slighted you. Perhaps a son has rejected you. You don’t feel comfortable, so you come for a walk.”
Prozen paused, taking off the hat now; looking at the brim of it; feeling the wear beneath his fingers were the band rested against one’s head; could smell faint sweat, something minty; shampoo maybe; but then the lingering fug of the cigars so favoured by the government types. Prozen did not look up.
“You come to the imperial gardens.” Voice soft. “Somewhere you perhaps felt safe. You found…me. Instead.” Now he looked up. “And all you can do is ‘keep me out of trouble’? No calling of the guards? You take my teasing with such stoicism that you put me to shame. I should be asking why you’re here, Karl. With the last person you’d ever want to see. The first person you should be trying to put in the ground.”
And for a moment, his breath was quite buoyant with the flavor of sarcasm. He watched the space grow between them, like a tree in the middle, pushing out, all the branches built up from the darkness. Several voids where the roots must be, and the heart of all his hatred. His body was still caught in the cold and very brittle in appearance.
Breathing was easier now, and his lungs coughed at something inside that he gave no hint of. Emptiness and ennui. And another emptiness that spanned the whole range of the gardens and upwards to a vacant night sky, the deep dust, and star’s impressions in the reign of black that split out and looked just like the trees. And the patterns were great and spiraling, all sorts of milk-colored circles, and wherever they went, they twisted and remade themselves and grew.
Karl went supervising the shadows and whatever minute motions Prozen made beside him.
I can’t forgive you for what you’ve done, he narrowed his eyes, and faced that forest-night sky with silver starlight streaking what showed of his neck. “It is not my place to dispatch you. Nor my right. And His Majesty has made his intent quite clear—that you are to remain alive.”
Then his voice was terribly soft and grave with the same weight as a stone in the ground, “Killing you, or calling the guards- it would solve nothing. Whatever damage has been done: people are dead. Others still dying. Nothing I could ever do will change that. I will not sound the alarm.”
A slight pause. And I can’t hurt you.
I can’t do it, Gunther.
He stared past Prozen’s shoulder and to the black-green growths in the garden. Which seemed very content and at-rest, and as if everything might be listening. The colonel was quiet for a moment again and let his lips spread apart, albeit slightly. Maybe it was safe there. He remembered few voices from earlier on in the evening and something sown out in the yard seemed to straighten and sway.
"I thought," said Karl, "that we might be here for just the same reason."
For within himself, he could see nothing but darkness too. And the walls all around finished up with the flowers seemed too tall and too long and were closing in quickly. “We just wanted to feel we were free.”
ooc; I have good news and bad news. I’ve got a job now. Which is going to mean more absence from me. And I’m so sorry for all these out of character posts and my lack of activity.
I applied originally for part-time, but my employer stressed they are also looking to hire some full-time positions. I’m in three days of training and then entering a two-week trial period to find out if this is a good fit for me. It goes from there. We’ll see what happens.
Bear with me—I’m going to reblog this to all my RP accounts for notice. So I apologize for Dash spam.
In the advent of the sudden wake of cyber-set chaos, and on behalf of the Guardian Force, it is my duty to inform you of our intent to halt this perversion. My fellow officers and I have already begun taking measures to maintain peace and stability for the people of Planet Zi, for it is in our every intention to ensure action against these criminals and bring them to justice. Our purpose speaks for itself: we will not tolerate the threat of such iniquity.
((Independent post-GF Karl Schubaltz/Schwarz RP blog. Also doubles as the reincarnation of the old ask account. Thank you to Ibeyla for the sprites.))