2.0.2 2.0.2 as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
Beasts of Beyond

Private as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p


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[ certain somewhere has been renamed as just "eden" to avoid copyright infringement
+ human au because... reasons
disclaimer: not from this timeframe/verse ]

Bastilleprisoner could no longer remember what it was like to be a part of something larger than himself. As a child, he expected nothing else; he felt no special affinity to his mother's Clan, and was too full of anger and frustration to feel much of anything else. At some point, all of the energy, the emotion, the pent up rage had simply... faded. And then there was the apathy. He'd felt nothing, needed no one, and spent his months traveling as a loner, unwilling to attach himself to some Clan when he knew that all he could do was fail. It had been comforting in a way, rebelling against what Fate clearly had planned for him -- those goddamn Furies with their vice-like grips could not possibly drag him down with sorrow and suffering if he refused to give a damn about anything, refused to let himself become a fuck-up yet again.

And then Eden had happened.

He wished he could say that he regretted it. He wished he was selfless enough to change it all if given a chance, to go back and keep walking, to pass the castle by. But he wasn't. Much as it killed him, much as the wounds still ran deep to this day, Bastille could not and would not wish that it had never happened. He was much too attached to the friends he had found there, in that long ago home of his, to take it all back. Even if it meant saving them. Even if it meant things ending differently. He was a plague, and he knew it -- but he could not pretend that he regretted Eden, that he regretted feeling alive for those short years.

He had known. He had known from the start that it was all going to go wrong, long before Eden and long before everything that had happened. He had known from the first goddamn day that he was on this Earth that he was damned to hell and back, that with his trio of failures there was no other option for him. He had known from the first second that he started to get attached that he was going to lose them all eventually, either because he fucked up too badly to be able to keep them or because he took them all down with him. He had known.

And yet it still stung, watching it happen. Error after error after error -- Bastilleprisoner had never learned. He'd tried, tried so hard to be better, to be good, to be worthy, but even he could not outpace Fate. He had tried to tell them, tried to warn them, fought and fought for everyone to see that he would be right one day; he still remembered screaming at Dahlia, insisting that she just fucking demote him already, because they both knew damned well that he could not and should not be the one left behind if something went wrong.

If only she'd listened. If only things had been different. Bastille sometimes wondered if she'd known that day that she promoted him what was going to happen. Surely she couldn't have predicted Jackdaw fucking sacrificing him, but maybe she would have turned on them anyway. Maybe she put Bastille in the position that she did on purpose, knowing that her ultimate revenge on Eden would be to damn them to his leadership. Of course, Dahlia had known that the worse thing she could do to Bast was to force him through the trial, stab him with the betrayal and make him the one to carry out the sentence, to drag himself into the very last role that he wanted to be in. It still amazed him, the true extent to which she played him. It was all perfect, so neat, so carefully lain out: the lack of a Justice, making the duty of trials fall to him; making him her successor, knowing that taking action against her would force him to essentially promote himself; the fact that there was no one else, no one who could take the burden from him; the sick knowledge that if Bast did anything to Dahlia, Hazel would hate him forever. (Hazel. His pulse stuttered, and he pushed the name away.) It was the perfect revenge.

And he couldn't help but to believe that he deserved it. He had spent so long, trying to figure out why -- why she had betrayed him, why she would turn on Eden, why she hated him so much, why she wanted to see him fail, why had she stopped caring? He'd asked himself why so many times that he'd forgotten what it meant, and finally he'd reached the inevitable conclusion that it all came back to him. It wasn't just that he pushed her over the edge, tempted her into the darkness. No. It was that she knew. She knew that his mere presence was a toxin, that just by letting himself grow attached to Eden he was jeopardizing them all. Perhaps she still hated him for the Exiles, for what he had done, for the suffering she bore in his stead. He'd never been so humbled in his life as that day, when she showed him what true leadership -- true grace -- looked like. But maybe that was where he had sealed his fate, sealed their fate. Maybe she had always resented him for his foolishness.

He would never know. She had given him nothing, nothing but hatred and the goddamn plague that had ended his home. He'd never gotten the chance to beg her for understanding, to ask why him, why Eden; at the trial, it hadn't been his place to drag his personal emotions into the mix, not when he was expected to by their Judge; at the border, there hadn't been any time before she unleashed the demons on them. And he had never seen her again, left with that last, haunting image of her shrouded in darkness, leering at him.

He had known then that it was the end. That Dahlia had won, as she always did -- that her legacy would be his failure. He had tried so, so hard to avoid it, to run away from the inevitable, and it had caught up to him in the end. Hazel hated him, abandoned him with a crumbling Eden, and he'd had no one left to lean on in the face of it all. And he'd tried. Oh, he'd tried so desperately to lead them, to fight the plague and get Eden through to the other side. He only needed to keep them together long enough to survive the demons, and then maybe someone else would step up, would take the reigns from him and lead Eden as it deserved to be led. He'd fought tooth and claw to save his home from his own wrong-doing, but it hadn't been enough.

These days, he tried not to think about Eden. He was always reminded far too much of lost friends, lost family, and always found himself getting caught up in what he could have done different, if he could have saved them after all. Bastille had nearly driven himself mad with the hypotheticals, the what-ifs, for months after Eden finally caved to the plague. He'd saved everyone he could, but he didn't have it in him to try to relocate, to move on. He'd left them just as soon as he'd gotten them to safety, the tiny rag-tag group that was left. He didn't even know what became of them, if they started again. All he knew that his Eden was gone, and he'd killed it.

It was always worse when he couldn't shut off his thoughts quick enough to avoid her. Sometimes, he prayed to all of the gods that he could think of that they would just take her away, purge her from his memories; in his worst moments, he desperately tried to manipulate his own memories, to force her away, to stop the aching, throbbing pain in his soul at the very thought of her. But there was no escaping her. He could not think of Eden without thinking of her, and there was no greater suffering than the agony he felt knowing he'd failed her, that he'd failed her terribly enough that she had left their home just to be rid of him. That she'd left him to crash and burn without her, broken.

And so he had learned some time ago that it was best to just feel nothing. To bury the sorrow and memories under blank apathy, to push on and on until he no longer recognized the lands around him, no longer was so frequently reminded of everything he'd lost. He wasn't even sure if he had a firm grasp on a sense of time any more. He knew that the sun rose and fell, but he rarely cared to keep track of when or how many times. It didn't matter when he had nothing left to live for, no higher purpose to serve.

"Easy, O," he murmured as he rested a hand against the mare's neck, ice blue stare sweeping out over the foreign plain slowly. Bastille had no idea where they were, but he rarely did these days. As long as there were resources to keep Octavia healthy and himself alive, he didn't really give a damn. The further away from people, from those he could break and ruin, the better. "Easy. We'll go for a run later, alright? You need water before you go any farther."

He wondered, sometimes, what he would do without her. There were times when he felt like O was his one shred of sanity, his tether to reality, to life. Even after everything, after years, he still had her. Even when he could barely feel anything, he could still register her warmth, her steady company. He supposed that was something, at least. "C'mon," he murmured, rubbing a hand down the Arabian's flank before he knelt to dig through his bag for his water bottle.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 10:40:35 PM by BASTILLEPAW »
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

Offline ★ HAZEL

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 10:37:57 PM »
Hazel collected shells.

She wasn’t sure why; wasn’t sure what seemed right about picking up the smooth, ridged, or serrated things she found along the beach. But keeping them safe, tucked away in Arion’s saddlebag, Hazel would take some of them out on lonely nights, running thin fingers over the ocean’s craft.

Her favorite was the spiraling conch she had picked up one day not too long ago. Her fingertips seemed to fit the gentle, creamy grooves just right - like it was a gift, custom-made. She’d slip her hand along the inside of the shell where it was a soft pink, pressing her fingernails back against the tight curve where the material began its coil. She would run the flat of her thumb over the soft interior over and over, wondering in quiet thought at how such a gentle, graceful thing had come from the tumultuous ocean.

Wondered how such a thing could be tossed in the waves, and come out so cleanly on the other side.

Wondered how nature couldn’t have done something similar with her.

Wondered why she came out so scarred and bruised and upset with herself, and what she’d done. Why she had gone to Eden so young and innocent and impressionable, only to leave tired and numb and hollow. Hollow like the shell that rested in her lap on lonely nights, when she found herself missing everything she used to have. Numb like the blunt ends of her nerves and emotional ties, because her body and mind couldn’t handle anything else. Tired like the ache in her feet and back and all over after a long day that would have been so much better in Eden, where her friends and family were.

Hazel would turn the shell in weary hands, shifting it down in her grip until she could trace the small, dull spikes that lined the coils on the top. Traced them as keenly as she had thrown herself into the life of a new place, desperate to get away from her childhood, to make something of herself. That place just happened to be Eden, with its once-undamaged courtyard and massive oaken doorways; with its old hallways, grand hearths that filtered a smoky scent throughout the room, wooden floors soft with use, permanently lit lamps casting a golden light across the floor, and rugs and tapestries and paintings and furniture that smelled of home.

Eden was daunting and formidable when Hazel first arrived. With great stone walls and towers that climbed high into the sky, the castle had been frightening. But within the cold cobbles lay flower beds, just as within the great palace lay welcoming, friendly people. Hazel had immediately sunk into the warmth of the embrace that was familial, losing herself to it. It became her greatest attachment, her greatest loyalty. And with that loyalty came a great, great price.

As Hazel grew, so did Eden and her family. Drama twirled their whiskers and plot twists jumped at them from behind every corner. Caught up in the midst, she had no choice but to follow along. She poured her heart and soul into Eden and its doomed cracks and crevices; filled them with everything she had so she could live the life she wanted. So far into chasing her perfect life, she refused to acknowledge as things crumbled.

There was more to her story than a paragraph. Oh, there was much more. There was the chaos of leading a mirrored sort of life with two souls, tests of nature, and people. So many people that changed her life and point of view: big brothers and best friends and mothers and sisters and...love, maybe. Her heart skittered.

But eutopias never last the test of time, and thus things went from tightly wrapped to loose and frayed, much like the coil of the conch shell. People left, or died. Hazel always thought watching someone leave was more painful than watching them die. When dead, they put a permanent halt on life and time and memory. Things stayed as they were. When they left, they were turning their back. Making a blatant statement and saying that no, that wasn’t for them.

Hazel had left.

Hazel had left because she couldn’t live within those walls anymore. Couldn’t live where Dahlia had walked, where Alfred and Shatteredpaw and Romanpaw and Glitchedpaw had all walked. Couldn’t live haunted by their memories. She couldn’t turn down the hall without seeing something that reminded her of what Eden used to be when the sun shone and the ocean stayed on the horizon and demons stayed in her dreams and under her paws. She couldn’t fucking live knowing they had all left on a cliffhanger; abrupt, with no explanation. No ending. Just...gray. Hazy gray.

Except for Dahlia.

Dahlia had left on the worst sort of ending: the kind that made you cry in frustration and confusion, leaving you equal parts hoping for a sequel and knowing that was it. Dahlia had left as the total opposite of the person Hazel had grown up knowing. Hazel had known the nurturing mother figure, the mentor and general caregiver. She easily became Hazel’s adoptive mother, giving her comfort in her darkest hours and support in her weakest moments. She taught Hazel how to sword fight, and how to stand up for herself. She could still feel the blisters and calluses bubbling on the inside of her knuckles - could still feel the gentle brush of Dahlia’s fingers and see the spark of sympathy in her eyes. She could still feel the drop of her stomach as Dahlia walked away, commanded that she do the drill again; Hazel could feel the lump of pain lodged in her throat melt into liquid motivation that slid into her lungs when Dahlia, voice hard and clipped military staccato style, told her that she’d never get anywhere crying over blisters and scrapes. She’d never make it on her own (why would I need to make it on my own, Hazel thought, when all I’ll ever want or need is right here?) or in battle. And fuck if Hazel was tired of being weak.

Whether she liked it or not, Dahlia was wedged into her deepest foundation as a person.

In the days leading up to the trial, Hazel had been distant and drifting. She didn’t know where her mind went, or why. She just knew that one minute, everything was alright - a little out of focus, but alright - and the next, Eden’s sky was black and Dahlia had murdered someone and Bastilleprisoner was grand prior. (She ignored the frantic skip and ache of her heart at the name.) Everything was thrown ass over tea kettle, and Hazel couldn’t tell up from down.

She had always known Dahlia was a demoness. Hell, she never really tried to ignore it. In fact, Hazel looked up to Dahlia for that reason, too. As Charlotte had been a daughter of Hades, Hazel’s grip on the Underworld was a strong and unwelcomed one. Knowing that Dahlia had a corner of darkness within her as well was a strange sense of comfort for her. And in some small part of her mind, she knew there was the threat of Dahlia going dark.

But when that threat finally proved itself, Hazel wasn’t there to see it. She wasn’t there to know the root cause or the entire scheme of it. She was just...in the dark. And it was frustrating - so endlessly frustrating and confusing and infuriating because she didn’t know who to believe or who to talk to - and she could talk to Bastille, if she had really wanted, but she was mad at him before they even left the trial room because there had been absolutely no option to try and - god forbid - save Dahlia, because the goddamn trial system didn’t allow for emotional interventions like that.

Hazel hated the trial system. Honest-to-god hated it. It relied on cold hard facts and theoreticals - the conclusion usually even more so. She tolerated it when used on outsiders and strangers, but when used on members? On her family?

Hazel remembered the apathetic indifference on Bastille’s face when he presided as judge; she remembered the stone that sank deep in her heart. She knew it was a mask - knew it like she knew tomorrow would come inevitably. She could feel it in the shreds of their broken bond; the way the panic frothed at his feet, the threat of too much responsibility looming over him. So he shut down on autopilot, as done when he had reached a breaking point. It wasn’t the calm before the storm - it was the absolute silence that lasted a heartbeat before detonation.

She knew there was a piece of the puzzle she was missing. Hazel knew there was something she wasn’t getting. But Hazel also knew one thing that she would hold on to until the last drop of sunlight left her: Dahlia could be saved. Because if she was saved from damnation once, she could be saved again. She could be saved again. Hazel just didn’t understand why nobody tried.

And, in a small trip to Hazel’s ever-growing guilt, she hated herself for not trying. For being too shocked to actually move her ass - to throw Bastille’s “court manner” out of the window (because she really wasn’t afraid of what he’d do…?) and grab Dahlia by the arm, yank her into the next room, and shake her until she came back.

In the end, Hazel’s anger and hostility festered too much. She never felt the same after. Bastille and Dahlia had been the only remaining members of the old Eden, and Hazel couldn’t take not having someone to talk to or vent with. Petty, but...pathetically true. Not having her safety net was frighteningly debilitating, and she hated that, too. She lost too much to her anger (and wasn’t that funny? Bastille was always the angry one): her best friend, her support, her clan, her loyalty...her identity.

It was how she found herself miles and miles and miles up the coast, following Eden’s ocean shore north. It was how she found herself numbly tagging along with a little rag-tag group of stragglers well-versed in survival, and they openly welcomed a girl with a young, supersonic stallion. She was almost always barefoot, with her sword hanging heavy at her side and Arion a constant presence behind her unless she told him otherwise. She looked like a part of the land; had lived here too long to not look it.

Her friends were constantly travelling. Today, they had decided to set up camp half a mile or so from a stretch of rolling fields. They’d stay for a maximum of a week and four days, collecting information and local resources to take with. Hazel was out on patrol - or, was supposed to be. She was...to a degree.

Crouched in a tree on the line before forest smoothed into field, she tightened her grip on her sword handle, watching a stranger and his mare pass by underneath. Her mind was carefully blank, as it was most days now. Ever the territorial, Hazel was more aggressive with border patrols than her friends were. She’d grown up protecting Eden’s borders, and she’d do the same now.

The stranger murmured something to his horse - Arabian, she thought with such clarity it startled her - too quiet for Hazel to make out from this distance. Then he knelt, rummaging through a bag of some sort.

He didn’t seem like much of a threat. He had a sort of dazed aura about him when he walked, like he was having a bad daydream. Still, he was young and strong and Hazel was itching to get some sort of energy out. And honestly, thank god she left Arion back at camp, because he’d be all over the mare.

Hazel wasted no time in raising the bandanna over her lips and nose and dropping to the ground, quiet and reflexes sharp. She darted forward, aiming to close one hand around the man’s shoulder and spin him around and then shove, hopefully forcing him onto his back in his surprise. She would then kneel over him, one knee pressing against his ribs and the opposite foot pressing his wrist into the dirt. She leaned in, heedless of the mare next to her, and stared at the stranger with such intense gold eyes they seemed to shine, drawing her blade in a flash of motion and holding the cold metal against his throat.

“Who the hell are you - and what do you want?” She growled, lips parting to bare her teeth.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 10:42:49 PM by ★ HAZEL »
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Offline Suiteheart

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 11:38:36 PM »
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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2018, 12:43:45 AM »
It had been a long, long time since Bastille made contact with anyone but Octavia. He couldn't even say how long, precisely, other than Eden had been dead for over a year and he'd managed to avoid people for roughly the entire time. Sure, he'd spent a week or so trying to help his rag-tag little Clan along, making sure the few survivors managed to find homes in neighboring groups, but after that... He was gone. Might as well be dead to them, and to everyone, for how thoroughly he managed to erase himself from existence. He didn't want to make new friends, settle into a new home; he couldn't bare to be near every one, not after losing Eden. No -- not after he ruined Eden. He couldn't do it. He was already broken, and staying with them would have killed him.

There were a few stops he made along the way, when he had no other choice; sometimes he was so fucking lost that he had to ask for directions from the local -- and seemingly only -- group around. Other times there was no goddamn water for miles and he had to spend the night somewhere to make sure Octavia didn't waste away, figuring out which direction to go in to avoid dying of dehydration. He wouldn't really mind, honestly -- it was an interesting variation to the current deaths he had on record. Murder-suicide, drowning, falling, sacrificial offering to demonic gods; dehydration might actually be the best one yet. And maybe he and his jack-asses of souls would actually stay dead. What a notion. Alas, much as he didn't really care for his own well-being, he did care for Octavia. She was all he had left, and he wasn't willing to give her up (nor would she be willing to go with anyone else, frankly). So, as long as there was Octavia, he would keep himself alive. A tragedy.

Most of those stops had been in the beginning, though. Within a few months, he'd learned his lessons the hard way, and managed to gradually figure out how to keep himself and Octavia going without stopping for any more unfortunate visits. It was better that way. Strangers asked too many questions, and he didn't feel like risking being around others for too long. Clear, he had not learned the lesson that Echo had: he was a plague everywhere he went. Staying and getting attached would do no good.

He wasn't sure if he had coping mechanisms for the sudden loss of interaction. He had Octavia, and he had the vast abyss of apathy to lean on. More than that, though, Bastille had perfected the art of slipping away, taking a back-seat role. When he felt sick of the movement, the traveling, the emptiness, when he dares to miss Eden, he could disappear in a single breath. Someone else could take over, could be Bast for the day; usually it was Echo, who seemed to actually miss living (now that his powers were under control, that is), but occasionally it was Zaniel. Never Pollutedsoul, though. Polluted would murder Octavia and seek out a group of strangers to murder all of them too, likely -- the crazy fucking freak. Sometimes it was hours, sometimes it was days; Bastille didn't really care any more. It wasn't like they were interacting with anyone other than O, and she didn't care, either. She was used to the others, now; had accepted them as part of who Bastilleprisoner was.

It didn't always work, though. Sometimes Bastillle tried to shut down, and found that no one was willing to step the fuck up. Oh, they were perfectly fucking vocal and opinionated when Bast wanted them to shut up, but when he wanted to take a break suddenly no one felt like living? Great, guys. Real fucking useful and helpful. In those times, Bastille was trapped without anywhere to go, and it was exhausting. He was pretty sure that the number of times he found himself in this predicament was what helped him get so used to the apathy once more. He was forced to just... shut it all off, to go blank, to push through on his own. Autopilot.

It'd been a while since Bastille had taken a damn break, honestly. He could go for one, perhaps after he got Octavia sort out, and just thinking about it made the thought suddenly horribly tempting. How long had it been? A month? Only a couple of weeks? He had no fucking clue, but it felt like long enough. If no one wanted to take over, then worst case scenario he went the fuck to sleep. This place would do for the night, any way. And then he could try again tomorrow morning.

He didn't get a chance to finish up with Octavia, though. Bastille's reflexes were swift and controlled, but there was little he could do about someone dropping on top of him. Besides, by the time he was ready to throw her off of him, his senses had already picked up on something that took him several beats to comprehend fully.

He knew her.

Of fucking course he knew her. He knew her aura almost better than his own, could track her from a distance without batting a fucking eye. His body knew her faster than his brain did, that's how fucking ingrained her aura was to him; he saw the molten, liquid gold sunshine before he even saw her face, and he knew. The only reason she got him pinned down in the first place was that he knew, and he... didn't know what to do. He was frozen, systems crashing momentarily as he stared up into fierce, fierce golden eyes. (Octavia didn't even fucking flinch. She knew, too, which was a fucking testament to just how fucked Bastille was.)


The name was like a dagger, even if it was his own thoughts betraying him. He tried to avoid her, pushed her away desperately, marked her as off limits and kept her in the far, far recesses of his memories. He refused to be reminded of her, had trained himself to simply ignore the things that might have been immediately associated with her in the past; he no longer watched Octavia romp and was reminded of Arion playing with her; he no longer saw gold and saw her eyes instead; he no longer heard singing, or saw art, and thought of her. He had purged her from his thoughts, stamped it all down and removed her from his life.

It had taken months. Hell, it'd taken the year or more that he'd lived since Eden burned to the ground. He still was taken aback sometimes, unable to stop the memories before the crept in, but those moments were rare and far in between. The pain hadn't been enough to shock him out of it; no, he'd worked on it, spent hours and hours of empty days teaching himself how to forget. He'd trained it out of himself, and it was the hardest thing he'd ever done, besides the actual act of losing her. He'd... Gods, he'd been desperate to save himself from her phantom.

He'd learned pretty quickly that he couldn't just manipulate the memories away. He didn't have it in him to track down someone else with his talents, to make it more real. He'd tried to cajole Grimm into blocking the memories away, into hiding them; he'd begged and begged and lost every time. He'd tried everything.

Bastille had never really had a taste for alcohol, or at least not one that he was willing to admit to. He knew, he knew, that Zaniel was an alcoholic -- he knew that he had it in him, that if wanted to like it, he could. He knew that if he dared to try it for too long, he'd be forced to admit that he wasn't actually repulsed by the taste or smell, not like he claimed to be. Sure, the idea of who Zaniel was had always induced disgust in Bastille, produced that judgmental stare and wrinkled nose... But he couldn't deny that he had no true opposition to the taste.

Oh, sure -- the taste brought back memories he'd rather ignore, pretend weren't a part of his shared past with Zaniel. But Bastille would rather remember that than remember her, and he was willing to try anything. When the alcohol lacked appeal the first few times, he gave up and let Zaniel have his way with his body, resolved to let Zaniel teach him, so to speak. As if all this new body needed was to drink properly and in excess before Bastille got the hang of it.

(He still remembered that party. It had been one of the last groups he'd visited, the last he stayed the night with; what started with passing a wine bottle around the camp fire had dissolved into relative chaos, and Bastille had ceded to Zaniel, having given up on vodka as a tool for forgetfulness. Honestly, he should have anticipated Zaniel doing exactly what Zaniel does when drunk and within touching distance of literally anything with a pulse. Maybe he had anticipated it and just hadn't cared, but that was beside the point.

What he certainly didn't anticipate was being snapped back into reality, into control, so abruptly that it gave him whiplash. The sudden, crisp awareness of everything as he was back in the driver's seat with no notice as the girl kissed his neck and tugged idly on the bottom of his shirt. The dazed confusion, followed by annoyance, followed by the immediate and overwhelming wrongness of it all as he shoved her away and went to find air.

He hadn't really understood what had happened until Zaniel had told him in disgust, Well, we're still you, too. Just like you're us. I just didn't realized your stupid little hang-up would ruin my life, too. Dumbass. It'd been a cold wash of reality, of dread, of fucking misery to realize that Zaniel couldn't even ignore the memory of Hazel. That somehow, Bastille's love for her ran so fucking deep that all of his souls were infected by her, traumatized by her very existence.

He didn't let Zaniel do the drinking again after that night.)

At some point he'd given up on erasing her entirely, but he'd gotten really, really good at almost forgetting. And now... Here she was. Hazel. Hazel, in all her bright, fierce brilliance, her aura just as blinding as ever; Hazel, just as hostile as he'd last seen her, with all that anger and viciousness and tension; Hazel, older, changed, but still overwhelmingly Hazel in some way; Hazel, staring at him as if she didn't even know who he was, somehow, as if her soul didn't recognize him immediately in the same way that his recognized her.

Everything that he'd pushed away hit him all at once, and it was... Horrible. Horrible, and awful, and painful -- but it was also good. Gods, he had missed her, and in a sick, twisted way the sudden crushing weight of her existence slamming down on him once more was amazing. He could remember her laugh and her singing and her radiant smiles just as easily as he could remember her leaving and her anger and her blame. As much as it killed him, tearing him apart, he couldn't imagine trying to shut her away again, couldn't turn the apathy back on and forget her if he tried.

Not even two full sentences, and she'd already wrecked him.

Months and months of work and desperation, destroyed. Just like that. All he had to do was look at her, at those golden eyes, and he was a goner. Damned straight to fucking hell, and... She didn't even recognize him. How? How? Of course, Bastille was older, but they'd parted at an age where he'd already passed puberty, that the affects of age weren't really going to make much of a damned difference. He was still Bastille, with his dark mess of hair, freckles, and cold blue eyes. He had the same scars on his shoulders, the same line across his throat; the only real difference was how fucking tired he was of living, the new scars he'd gained from fighting the demons, the slightly harder lines of his jaw.

Maybe she'd managed to forget him.

Oh, Bastille wouldn't be surprised. She'd been so angry, so quick to blame him for everything, and at the end of it all she'd just... left. Left him alone to fail, left him alone to struggle against an Eden that was crumbling. She'd damned him the very day she left him behind, if he could even be damned more than he was. She'd written him off. Bastille knew, he'd always known, that her leaving had been her choosing to leave him, to be rid of him. She'd given up her home just to escape him, and she hadn't even said goodbye. She'd just... left.

Could he really even be shocked that she had forgotten him, too? That maybe she had the will power, the strength, to ask someone to purge him from her memories in the exact manner he was too weak to do to her? Hell, fuck will power -- she'd probably been happy to do it. She'd already walked away from him; what were useless memories of someone you hated?

Something in him had woken up at the sight of her, the feel of her -- something had come back to life. But when she spoke, when reality hit him, he could feel himself dying. Just as quickly as his body responded, it shut down, the quick burst of emotions withering and evaporating straight back into apathy as he reminded himself that she wasn't his Hazel. His Hazel had died the day Dahlia betrayed him.

In one sudden burst, Bastille went from complete stillness to movement. She made the mistake of assuming he gave a damn about his life; cold metal against his throat could not deter him, and in a sweep he knocked her legs out from under her and shoved her away from him. He didn't really care about cheating, and tossed her a few extra feet with the wind for good measure, rolling to his feet with a scowl.

"Don't kid yourself, princess," he said lowly, turning to regard her with expressionless eyes. There was a nick in his throat from her sword, a thin line of blood that intersected the scar that was already there. Bastille glanced at Octavia to make sure the mare was fine, but she'd taken a few steps away and was grazing impassively. Figures. When he glanced back to Hazel, he finished disdainfully, "You're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that if you plan on keeping me down."

He didn't both to answer her questions; she didn't deserve it, not as far as he cared. It's not like he wanted anything from her, anyway. (He did. He desperately want her back, wanted to know why she had left, why she hated him, why she refused to understand that it wasn't his fault. Bastille had long ago determined that these weren't things he would ever know, however, and that he'd never get her back. There was nothing he wanted from her, now. There was nothing he wanted or felt, period.)
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 05:22:33 PM »
Had she forgotten him?

The answer, quite simply, was yes. Hazel had forgotten him like she had forgotten Eden.

Forgotten what they used to be; forgotten what they had been in the time where everything was just smooth sailing and stupid jokes, back when they were just kids trying to figure out what the extra thud of their heartbeat meant. When they were just children trying to find their footing on an unstable life.

To forget is different than to let go. Forgiveness is forgetting’s counterpart, the yin to its yang. Forgiveness is to let go, but forgetting is to leave behind. You can move on from leaving something behind, as you can if you let something go. The only difference is that once you let the rope swing across the cavern, you cannot reach out for it without backtracking and retracing every productive step you’ve taken. That is why when people let go, they willingly let it swing to where they cannot reach it, because they won’t be turning back. They won’t be retracing their steps.

Hazel did not let Eden go, and she did not let Bastille go. She tucked them away, deep into the darkest spots of her mind; the place where the shadows fell and the light did not touch. She locked them where she could feel nothing but their reflections.

It had taken months and months of tears and anxiety attacks and panic attacks to lock Bastille’s memory away. She might have left Eden angry at him, but their history was rooted so much deeper than her anger. Bastille was rooted deeper than their surface tension.

For the first few months, she would startle awake in the middle of the night, haunted by Charlotte’s past and her connection to the Underworld, and would immediately stand to go and find Bastille, knowing he wouldn’t complain when she showed up shaking and teary. Then the realization would slam home as the cold of the ground seeped into her feet, and Hazel would fall back against Arion, a choked sob escaping her throat. Guilt would crawl up her arms. Other nights she would dream of him and Alfred, and the stupid grin that would light up their faces when they shared an inside joke. She would think about the comfort that smothered them when they were all together, content and warm and lazy and happy. She would wake up from those dreams crying, too, her cheeks sore from smiling so much.

Sometimes it was worse during the day. Usually, the smell of salt stung the air from the ocean that lay a mile or two in parallel, or the woodsy scent of the forest would cling to her skin or Arion’s mane. But in the days where Hazel was tired, her mind (and senses, apparently) would drift, and on her next inhale, she would catch pine and smoke, and her heart would stop. Her mind would whisk her away, shoving her into the memory of tucking her nose into the crook of his neck and winding her fingers through his curly hair, her thumb sweeping across his scalp as she breathed in, committing the pine and smoke smell that stuck to his shirt and skin to memory. For the rest of the day, Hazel would sit underneath the nearest tree, hands shaking so badly she couldn’t work on the whittling project she carried with her.

Half a year passed like that. Half a year with his ghost following her, the only one bright enough to actually bother her. Weeks and weeks of seeing his freckles and his curls; weeks and weeks of seeing his icy blue eyes in the water, in the stars, in the blue flowers. Memories bubbled, quick and painful: power outages, uncontrollable storms, cracked courtyard cobbles, hundreds of flowers, nights by the fire, racing through the fields with their horses stretching neck and neck until she finally gave Arion the go-ahead and he pulled into the lead with ease, breakdowns, possession, souls, the smell of the stables, glitter fights, nicknames, training, a kiss.


Fuck. Fuck, Hazel hurt so much in those six months. She felt like she was walking with an open wound, bleeding for weeks on end. Her chest grew sore with heartache, and she was crying more often than not. Her fury at him for Dahlia lasted a mere two weeks before she missed him too much to be angry. She wanted him. Didn’t care that Dahlia was gone from Eden because he had exiled her. She wanted him.

But it was too late.

It was way too fucking late for any of that, and Hazel had foolishly screamed her frustration to the stars too many times in those six months.

Now she knew she would never see him again. She knew he was gone, lost with the perfect memory of Eden.

She had no picture of him. She could no longer remember the shape of his face, despite how many times she had run her fingertips over the line of his jaw. She couldn’t remember what his laugh sounded like. She could remember that he had curly chocolate hair and blue eyes and more freckles than the sky had stars, but for the life of her, she could not remember him. And that was just memory.

She should have mourned that fact. She should have cried over it, like she had for six months. Instead, she was grateful. Grateful because she could finally get on with whatever the hell she was doing with her life. Hazel was well aware that he would forever be ingrained in her, his mannerisms and humor seeping into hers, making her snort whenever she thought of something that he would have lashed out at with a sarcastic snap.

Steadily, Hazel lost her ties to him. She forgot how to read auras, or how to even look for them. She forgot how to control her powers - what little control he had taught her in the first place, anyway - and how to care for someone besides herself and Arion. She lost touch with her souls (was she happy or sad about it?). They just...faded into the ground.

So she moved on.

She moved on. She walked and talked like a normal person. She rode Arion for hours in the open fields they found. She joined a group of travellers for protection and made new friends, even if she held them at an arm’s distance.

Now she was here, staring this seemingly tired boy in his icy blue eyes.

Ice...blue. Ice blue. Ice blue eyes that weren’t tired, but apathetic. Dead. Truly cold in not only color but virtue. Something unhinged in Hazel - something like dread and fury and apprehension and panic, and he couldn’t see the way her lips parted underneath the bandana, couldn’t feel the way her heart slammed against her ribcage as her eyes darted frantically, up, down, and a glance in Octavia’s direction. Couldn’t see the ruby that popped up at her foot, because this definitely was not -

The boy shifted and lurched underneath her, throwing her off with far too much ease. There was a pause before she hit the ground, bounced on nothing, and then dropped. Taking only a moment to recover her breath, Hazel stood, ignoring the gems that popped up around her feet. Ignored them like she had every day for the past year.

”Don’t kid yourself, princess.

The color drained from Hazel’s face.

There was her confirmation. She didn’t even need to see the haunted expression that flashed in his eyes to know who this was was. The nickname was enough to give her goosebumps - enough to strike her right through the heart.

And then it just broke. The lock in her head snapped, and so many things flooded her mind she started to tremble. Happiness, relief, disbelief, fear, panic, love, heartbreak, sadness and fury rolled through her, all expressed in her slack jawed expression. She tottered back a step, sword dangling at her side. Stared at him with wide eyes. Refusal to be believe.

Then that refusal turned into anger. You’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that if you plan on keeping me down. He said. Hazel’s fingers curled into fists, and her arms shook. Confusion was rolling, toiling in her stomach, making her sick with nausea and frustration.

She was so lost, her world fucking flipping ass over tea kettle and shaking her like a rag doll. Twelve months of mental training, and then some. Twelve months of knowing that she had lost her best friend, and it was all her fault. Six months of living with that grief. Six months of emotional pain so strong she could touch it. And then finally coming to terms with it, and taking shaky steps to start her new life.

And then he just magically fucking pops up and turns it all upside down.

Hazel lurched forward with a broken yell, raising her sword and taking an expert swing at him. No! I left Eden! I left it behind! Things fell apart and I -” She spun and swung again, wishing so desperately that he had a sword as well and this was a fair fight. “Dahl - ” Hazel choked on her words, but swallowed, and kept going. “Dahlia was gone, turned dark, but I didn’t know why and - and you! You didn’t tell me anything! I didn’t - you disappeared for - for a week before Dahlia went dark, and nobody knew where you were, and then you come back, and everything’s wrong and Dahlia’s a demoness and you looked like you didn’t give a damn and then demons were everywhere and I couldn’t -” Her voice broke again, and her next swing was weaker as she stuttered on a sob. “I couldn’t do anything, and - I couldn’t - I didn’t understand what was going on, and so I left! I left and I left Eden and I forgot, and I’ve been okay and - and I left you on your own. Her voice grew quiet, and she didn’t bother wiping at the tears streaming down her face.

She couldn’t bring herself to say what she meant: that she had finally pushed him away, like he’d wanted her to all these years. She’d finally pushed him to the farthest part of her mind and left him there, because she was so certain that she’d never see him again. “I’m...I left to - I left - ” She whispered, unable to form a complete sentence as she backed away from him, chest and breath hiccuping. She finally reached up to pull the bandana off of her face with shaking fingers, crumpling it in her palm and shoving it in her pocket.

Hazel was still angry. God, she was. She could feel it humming under her skin. She wanted him to leave, because she knew he didn’t want her...wouldn’t ever want her. She wanted him to leave so she didn’t have to keep staring at him and remembering the one time she had been young and stupid and planted her lips against his. So she didn’t have to remember the way he held her, arms wrapped tight enough to bruise, but his intentions softer than they’d ever been. So she could quit feeling the brush of his skin against hers when he dragged her into bed for an unannounced cuddle session. So she didn’t have to remember how fucking great their lives had been at one point, and how she’d single handedly managed to screw the entire thing.

God, why was he here?
— hazel — "speech" — six months — the ascendants — tags
c) miithers
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 07:52:02 PM by ★ HAZEL »
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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 12:24:14 AM »
Bastille could see it happening. He didn't need her expression to tell him, because he could see it in her aura, the swirling chaos of emotion and final flame of anger as she realized and she remembered. She remembered her hatred and her fury and the reason that she had left in the first place. There had been a second there where Bastille had not been certain of what she was going to do, how she would react -- there had been a brief, tiny flame of hope, as if she might not hate him entirely, as if she might actually have missed him even a fraction of how much he had missed her. As if their past meant anything to her.

And then he could see the anger leaping for, a raging flame in those golden eyes, and he died all over again. He silently chastised himself for expecting anything else, furious that he'd let her get under his skin already, something vicious and bitter and dark twisting angrily in his chest at the mere notion that he'd fucked himself over with even hoping. Of fucking course she still hated him. Of fucking course. Was he really stupid enough to believe anything else? No, so why the hell had he considered it for even a moment?

(He swore there had been more there, at first -- could swear that her aura had told him a story of so much more than just anger, but now that was all there was there. That was all that she felt for him, when it came down to picking a side. And she'd picked the anger.)

There was a brief moment of complete stillness in which Bastille could just look at her. Look at he and wonder where he had gone wrong, how he'd managed to push her away so thoroughly, how he had managed to make her so angry. He had pissed her off before, sure, but never like this -- never to the extent that she couldn't forgive him. And now she just... She just hated him. And he knew that even if he couldn't pinpoint the exact moment when he'd fucked it all up, that it was still his fault. It was always ever going to be his fault. It was always going to go up in flames, and it was always going to be him on his own, looking back on the wreckage knowing that he did this. Somehow, he did this. It was simply who he was.

He was, briefly, surprised when she came at him. He shouldn't have been; no, he should have been ready for that, been ready for Hazel to look at him with such anger, such hatred. But somehow even now, he couldn't believe that she would actually kill him if given the chance; something about the knowledge, the quick flickering second of realization, struck him so deeply that it didn't even matter what she said or did to him. Bastille had already shut down, his systems going offline as he simply stared at her blankly, his chin tilted up slightly. It was either an offering or defiance. As she charged him, however, he didn't move.

Bastilleprisoner just stood there, accepting that if Hazel wanted to kill him, he wasn't going to be the one to stop her.

Not when it was Hazel. Not when she was the one person who had ever given him any semblance of hope, who had ever looked at him and seen straight into his soul and decided to stick around. Hazel was singularly the only true, radiant light that he had ever had in his life. Bastille had developed a sense of loyalty to a lot of people, but there was only one person that he would, without a doubt, do absolutely anything and everything for. She was the only one who had claimed him so entirely and so completely that he wasn't sure that there was a Bastille who existed without some stamp of Hazel on him. Even when he tried to forget her, tried to push her away, he was still forced to acknowledge that she owned him in a way that no one else would ever be capable of, would never be allowed to. There was only Hazel. And if Hazel hated him that much, then he didn't care to stop her.

There was the sharp sting as her sword slashed across his chest, but Bastille merely winced at the impact, his stance tightening as he held his ground in the face of her fury. Her words were just a tirade of sound at this point, a continuous flow of her anger, her blame, her hatred; he stared straight back at her with little regard for the blood seeping through his clothes or for the immediate follow up, the quick follow up that struck him in the ribs and dug in deep. He just didn't care. He already knew how she felt, accepted her words without protest, without concern; he didn't fucking care how many times she swung at him or how badly it burned, because he deserved it. He'd broken the only person in the world that he could not stand to break, and that alone cut him deeper than her sword ever could.

Another slash; she was going to kill him, and he didn't care, but suddenly there was the brief, flashing pulse of thought, of Oh, you motherfucking idiot, exploding through his thoughts. There was the agonizing coldness of her sword cutting him once more, the prickling sensation of fresh blood, and then there was a subtle shift in his aura, his eyes, his thoughts. Before he could fully process it, it was already done; in a quick slide Bastille was gone.

His eyes had always been icy. Even on his best days, in his best moods, the blue was simply cold in the manner that it was so light. However, the color of his eyes had always been in the slightest way discernible from any of his souls; even when it came to Echo, who also had blue eyes, Bastille's weren't that cold. Echo's eyes were several shades lighter than his own, so much icier in a way that was difficult to describe in any concrete terms. Only comparison could do it justice, and the brief flicker of Bastille's eyes suddenly shifting in color offered for a great example of their differences to the careful observer.

Echo caught her next swing with his hands, because Bastille was a fucking moron and had not really left him with much to work with, here. There was little room to navigate with a fucking maniac swinging a sword at him, and the sharp burn of the edge hurt like fuck, but he'd had worse. It cut deep but it also stopped moving, accepting the force of his palms pushing against it as the end of its arch; with a quick jerk, Echo shoved hard against the blade, ignoring the way it pushed in deeper and sending her sprawling backwards with a burst of wind.

"Damn, boo," he huffed, shaking out his hands as if splattering blood everywhere was actually going to do him any good. His shirt was tattered, three vicious cuts standing out against the exposed flesh, and there was fucking blood everywhere. Like, what the fucking hell, Jesus. "I knew there was a reason I didn't like you much, like fuck."

As fluid as the transition to Echo was -- there was no tension, no turmoil, no passing out or ominous glowing -- he knew damned well that he wasn't going to be able to hold onto control for long. Even if he wanted to, and even if Bastille had wanted to stay away from her, the pull of her aura was too strong; it dragged Bastille out of him, latched on and yanked until Echo was clearly wavering, struggling to hold on and prevent that idiot from getting them all killed. It was no use, though, and as quickly as Echo had emerged, he was gone.

Bastille staggered slightly, the ground around him splintering with brief cracks; the sudden slip in control came from many things, but the jarring impact of switching back and forth so quickly and from the sudden overwhelming pain everywhere as the force of his injuries hit him once more threw him briefly off balance. He looked down, as if assessing the damage his powers had done, but there was nothing but blood and more blood; no point in trying to focus on the ground below him when he could feel himself going just a bit light headed. Not enough so to be any cause of concern -- what did he care, anyway? -- but enough to prompt him to look back up, back to Hazel, as if looking at her might ground him in the face of brief dizziness.

For a moment, he simply stared at her. There was no sense of apology, nothing to indicate the sort of regret that he might have shown in the past over Echo slipping out; he had no shame left, not in his souls, not in who he was. Bastille had given up a while ago on trying to pretend he was something he was not, in feeling guilty about being such a fuckup. He'd warned them. He'd told them fair and square, and it could not possibly be his fault that they failed to listen.

Echo's interruption had not really changed anything, though. He didn't care if they felt so passionately they would try to save him; he didn't care about anything. He simply stared at Hazel, feeling vaguely faint with the reality of it, with the blood dripping down his chest and from his palms, and memorized the look on her face. He prayed to whatever gods there were that they wouldn't force him to come back, wouldn't trap him into the vicious cycle that his souls had been stuck in with him. He didn't want to live a life being forced to remember this, remember her, remember the anger behind her sword. He didn't want to live a life at all.

"You're right," he said flatly, devoid of anything at all, "You did leave. You left Eden, and you left me. You left me to fail on my own, and deal with Eden on my own, and to watch it all burn to the ground no matter how hard I tried to save it. You left me, Hazel. Our home is gone now, you know? I bet you never bothered to check in, see what became of them, of Eden, but it's gone. It's all gone. The plague wiped it out." He simply spoke without pausing to think, no filter, just a stream of words he had never gotten to say, things he had never gotten to tell anyone. His eyes were dead and his voice was dead and he was going to bleed out sooner or later, so who the fuck cared if he let her know everything that he'd been thinking for a year and a half?

"You think everything was so hard because you were confused and you cared about Dahlia and it wasn't fair, but guess what, Hazel? I was confused and I cared about Dahlia and it wasn't fucking fair that she turned on me. She played me, Hazel, she played both of us and you did exactly what she expected you to do. You did exactly what you needed to do in order to make sure Dahlia won and that Eden would inevitably fall." Bastille spoke as if it didn't matter, none of it, and it didn't. It was all over any way.

"And I get it, Hazel. I do. It was my fault. It was always going to be my fault. I knew that the day I joined you, I knew that every fucking day that I spent in Eden. I knew I would fuck something up eventually, and I just know that somehow, it was my fault. Dahlia wouldn't have snapped if not for me. She wouldn't have left, and you wouldn't have left, but I don't know what to fucking tell you, Hazel. It wouldn't matter if I told you I'm sorry, or that I tried, or that I needed you. It doesn't fucking matter. Eden's already dead, and if you want to kill me for that, I don't really care any more."

It was nice of her to take that damned bandana off so that he could actually see her face when he bled the fuck out.
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

Offline ★ HAZEL

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 04:11:56 PM »
She couldn’t decide if her initial surprise came from the fact that he didn’t move to block her swing, or if it was because he didn’t block her swing.

Hazel always knew that he would outmatch her when it came to combat. It would never come as a surprise or an advantage he used against her - it just was. However, the one token she held over him was swordplay, even if she was sure he could hold his own in a sword fight. Because of this, when she lunged for him, she had imagined him ducking out of the way or raising any sort of weapon or power in his defense. But he didn’t. Bastille simply fucking stood there and took it.

The sound of ripping fabric was like a slap to her ears. It broke a little something inside of her, knowing that she was hurting him. It broke her heart, her soul, her memory of him. She could see the red glint of his blood on the edge of her sword. Hazel could watch as it slid down the blade and over the hilt, dripping across her forearm and painting itself there: a sticky, hot, unremovable tattoo. A brand. Hazel was crossing a line, and she knew it. She knew it, somewhere in the back of her head, that this wasn’t how things were supposed to go.

And yet? Hazel didn’t stop.

She didn’t stop when she noticed him stand his ground, his face some sort of cross between apathy and a concentrated amount of certain sadness. She didn’t stop when the blood seeped onto his clothes, bleeding through his shirt. She didn’t stop when she realized she had never seen him do absolutely nothing. The anger knotted in her chest, the hurt, was too much, too hot - it tinted her vision, tinted her mind.

It was the glowing fury and guilt of leaving that bypassed some sort of firewall in her mind. The firewall used to be impassable, but now…? Now, adrenaline was pumping through her veins, feeding her frustration and clouding her mind.

Had her mind been clear, Hazel might have reflected on the underlying reasons for her upset. Was she truly mad at Bastille for sending Dahlia away? No. She couldn’t be, because in the end, Dahlia had murdered someone and sunk to the depths of Hell and truly deserved her punishment. No, she couldn’t hate him for that. But she could be miffed and offended and furious that she had been cut out of the loop when it came to knowing about Dahlia.

Back in those days, Bastille, Dahlia, and Hazel were the only remnants of the old Eden. They were the last surviving members; the very final piece of the place that had become her first home. Not only that, but Hazel had a very personal, very deep emotional connection with both, each of them touching her mind and soul in a different way. So…yeah, it stung a little when she learned Bastille hadn’t come to her when faced with Dahlia’s dilemma. It stung a lot when the two people closest to her didn’t come to her or ask for help, despite knowing that any sort of decision would influence them all.

Hazel would have been more than willing to help Bastille come to a conclusion. Didn’t...didn’t he know that? Had she not proved that on multiple occasions? He had brushed past her like he didn’t know who she was - stepped right up to the top of that pedestal and begun the trial like he had begun life in Eden: apathetic and cold with fact, sheltering his internal war with an icy facade.

So no, Hazel didn’t care that Bastille had been the one to exile Dahlia. Hazel cared about the line of trust that had seemingly snapped between them, leaving her confused and lost and in the dark and wondering where it had gone all wrong.

Hurt and broken, Hazel swung again. Only this time, not only did Bastille block the swing, he caught it. Caught it right against his palm. Hazel could feel the blade sink into his skin. But he still looked empty, still looked nonplussed, and she found that it was his absolute indifference that prevented her from stopping.

Immediately adjusting her grip, Hazel made to tug her sword away, but was instead thrown backwards by an intense burst of air against her chest. A small noise escaped her throat as she hit the ground, her sword skittering a few yards out of reach. (For the better, really.)

Hazel was on her feet before she really recovered, standing shaky and winded. She wasn’t sure what her next move would have been had he not opened his mouth - would she storm off into the woods? Or would she whistle for Arion? Maybe she’d pick up her blade and keep swinging, keep fighting off the memories of Eden that she’d worked so hard to lock away. Maybe...maybe she’d sit down and draw her knees into her chest and cry for the old days, for what they had lost. For what she had ruined.

But Bastille did speak. Only, it wasn’t Bastille, but Echo. And it hardly took Hazel more than a second to realize it, considering the nickname and what he said was something Bastille would never, ever say to her. Echo brought a whole breath of fury that flared in her aura, though it was different. She would never make peace with Echo - ever. That was just a straight fact, and one Hazel didn’t feel guilty about. Just the sight of him - the change in demeanor - was enough to stir her own restless souls.

“No worries,” Hazel spit through grit teeth. “The feeling is mutual.”

She might have said more, might have snarked about how impressed she was with the lack of turmoil in the transition, but her attention was drawn elsewhere as Echo lost his grip. As the earth splintered, Hazel felt an ancient sense of familiar throb in her heart, though it might have also been fondness. It was something she had seen before; a sign, one might say, that Bastille wasn’t completely emotionless to the whole ordeal. It was...comforting?

Then he spoke, and this time, it wasn’t a different soul. It was Bastille, his voice flat and toneless.

He agreed with her. He knew what she did, he knew she left him on his own. Jesus Christ, of course he did. And a smaller, crueler part of Hazel wanted to snap that she shouldn’t have had to buoy him up the entire time. But she didn’t, because the frustration behind it was false. Hazel had always found comfort in knowing that Bastille needed her. She could never hate helping him take care of himself, or looking after him when he was incapable.

Hazel clenched her fists, restless but unsure of what to do. Part of her was enjoying hearing his voice again - hearing so much of it, even though it was dead and stoic. The other part of her - the majority part - was still crumbling, forgetting how profound Bastille could get with his words. How deep they could cut. Tears clogged her throat, but were unwilling to rise fully.

So she spoke instead.

“You’re right,” Hazel said bitterly, unaware that she had echoed him. “I didn’t look back when I left. Want to know why?” No, he didn’t. Probably never would. “Because nothing would have changed if I had stayed. The demons still would have wiped Eden out. I didn’t make a difference.” Her voice wobbled.

Her fault then, yeah? Hazel’s fists curled tighter. “So what if I did? So what if I played right into her hands? So what if it was all my fault for being completely left out of the loop, for not being told what the hell was going on, and not being able to get close enough to you to ask and expect a decent response? So what, Bastille? What do you want from me? It’s over and Eden’s gone and if you want to blame me, then go right the fuck ahead.” She growled. “You know I would have helped if I’d gotten an explanation. You know that, somewhere, because that’s what I’ve always done. That’s how it used to be.” Hazel stared hard at the ground, and sucked in a deep, painful breath. “We fucked up somewhere. The death of Eden falls to both of us.” She amended. Her voice was sad and angry and had dropped in volume, because who was she to point fingers? She left a crumbling pillar standing with no support. In one way or the other, it would have fallen. That was just gravity.

Hazel breathed in and out, her mind so overwhelmed it all turned to white noise. She wanted the old life back so badly; wanted him back. Wanted the both so much that it ached. Hazel loved them both, and had lost them both. She was shaking with the indecision, with the exhaustion and anger of it all.

But Hazel couldn’t stay angry forever.

It wasn’t in her blood; it wasn’t written in her soul.

Eventually, she gave up. Gave up because she knew she couldn’t have him, or Eden. Gave up because she was done and she was tired. There was no fuel to her fire anymore. She had burned up her entire store. So the fight seeped out of her shoulders, and she dug her nails into her palm once more before letting go. She raised weary, faded eyes to Bastille, ready to tell him to do as he pleased - to yell or go off or leave or get back at her, she didn’t care - but instead found the boy covered in red.

The panic set in immediately. Hazel had lost her grip on the fact she’d cut him to ribbons in her haze. He talked like he was fine, like he wasn’t about to bleed to death. And Hazel might have been ready to let him leave and expect to never see him again - he seemed to want that much - but she was not prepared to see him die. Dread washed over her, cold and icy.

“Shit, shit -” She cursed, adrenaline somehow managing to make it back into her veins. On instinct, she raised shaky fingers to her mouth and blew against them, only to have it backfire and sound like a harsh sigh. A few choice Latin expletives rolled off her tongue, and she tried it again. This time the sound came out loud and clear, ringing in her ears.

“Fuck, look what I did, look at what I - why are you still standing, sit down,” She said, borderline whining at him because why was he like this. “Arion’ll be here in just a second, and there’s some extra cloth in his saddlebags, but there’s nothing around for miles and we don’t have proper supplies and Deus, I’m such a moron - “ Hazel rambled, moving towards Bastille, heedless of the danger he still presented to her.

She stopped before him, hesitating and knowing she should ask before she did anything. But....this was Bastille, and knowing him, he’d refuse her help, saying he deserved it, that he didn’t care. But Hazel did. Hazel still cared for him a great deal, despite having sliced him nine ways from Sunday.

So she asked...after she started working, assuming he actually sat down.

“I’m so sorry,” She whispered. She knelt next to him, taking the strip of cloth from around her waist to press against his chest. “I’m so sorry. I’m - let me help, please.” Her quieted even further. “I won’t leave you like this - I’m not going to break our promise. Remember?” Her gaze flicked to his for a fraction of a second. “Remember what we promised?”

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 08:46:09 PM »
That faint tinge of light-headedness was getting stronger, a faint prickling in his temple as his wounds throbbed idly in time with his heartbeat. He was losing blood quickly, but he didn't move, made no effort to change that; O had wandered several feet away, disturbed by the swinging sword, and Bastille wondered absently if Hazel would take care of her. She had always liked Octavia, and he didn't think she had it in her to abandoned the Arabian on her own; she had a soft spot for horses, and presumably still cared about O, even if she clearly didn't like him very much any more. Ironically, Hazel had brought him the solution he'd lacked for months: he had to keep himself alive because he cared about O's well being, and she happened to be the one person he could trust to take care of her as well as the one person actively trying to kill him. Maybe Fate did exist.

The tangent side thoughts snapped and coiled away as she spoke again, and Bast just looked back at her. He wondered how she could think she wouldn't have made a difference, but he didn't have the energy to argue with her; his vision was getting spotty, and he was very, very slightly swaying. It could easily be passed off as a shifting of his weight, but in reality he was just fading very, very rapidly.

"How was I supposed to tell you, Hazel? There was nothing I could do to give you any warning. Hell, I didn't even get an explanation from her. I had to bring her straight from the fucking murder, before the evidence disappeared or she vanished. You can hate me all you want for springing it on you, but you're forgetting that she sprung it on me, too. And I couldn't just ask her why because there was no one else who could run the trial. I should have recused myself for being too close to the situation, but I couldn't, because she fucking knew that there wasn't a Judge and that I'd have to do it myself and--"

He took a breathe, forcing himself to calm down as that little flame of anger burned in his gut. He could swear the escalation of his pulse made him bleed out faster, before he was feeling even more faint as he muttered, "I had to be impassive, Hazel. The judge can't have a stake in things, and I couldn't let anyone think I was letting my personal feelings infect the proceedings. I didn't get to be Bastilleprisoner. I had to be the fucking law, and the law doesn't get to have emotions or stop to ask questions about why." He shook his head, and then regretted it; he already felt dizzy, and now it was worse. "I couldn't have given you an explanation, Haze. There was no time and I didn't even have one for myself."

The sudden shift in her aura was palpable; he could feel the anger diminishing, the tension leaving her shoulders. He wasn't really ready for the switch up, though -- he found himself simply staring at her in confusion at the sudden panic and concern, at a loss of what to do at the emergence of... his Hazel. The Hazel he hadn't seen in years, literally; the Hazel that had disappeared from him long before the girl actually left Eden. It was... strangely comforting, in a morbid way. Maybe he could only have her back when it was going to lose her again.

He was too hazy and sluggish to really do anything than abide by her demands, letting her push him down (it was more of a stumble before he slid down against the tree) and start yanking at the remains of his shirt. He was still just staring, gaze flickering over her face -- so close, he could smell her familiarity and see the fine details of her eyes this close. His stare had gone half-lidded, his head spinning, everything too blurry to process much of what she was saying. Hell, he must have been losing blood faster than he thought, because he could swear he could feel her warmth seeping into his sink and setting it alight with golden sunshine. When had Hazel abandoned the icy hatred for this warmth?

He blinked back at her, struck by the sudden intensity of her stare focused on him, but he didn't need to be reminded of exactly what promise she was talking about. He didn't get a chance to respond, though. He had almost missed it, disorientated as he was, too out of it to sense the sudden rise of twisted bitterness surging through him-- The clambering, grimy assault from Pollutedsoul out of no where--

There was a faint flicker in his dead eyes as he realized, as he silently swore over his slip in focus and control. Bastille suddenly jerked, doubling over slightly as his fingers fisted in his hair, teeth gritted as he struggling to fight Pollutedsoul back. It was too late, and his control was too weak to fight him off, nor had he ever experienced such a vicious surge from a soul before-- "Fuck, no, nononono--" he swore through his teeth, clenching his hair harder as if the additional pain might ground him, but there was nothing he could do.

Pollutedsoul slouched back against the tree, and reveling in his success. When the boy let his bloody hands drop, he tilted his head up and stared straight at Hazel with odd, mismatched eyes -- gone was ice blue, replaced by one green and one blue (a much warmer shade than Bastille's, but someone eery). Oh, yes -- he'd been waiting for this. There was a dark, vicious anger brewing in his gut, the bitter sense of betrayal that she'd left them, that she'd attacked them. A love trying to escape, but Pollie would not lose another; she wouldn't get away from, either. If he could kill the first, he could kill the second.

He shouldn't be able to move too much with so much blood loss, but he didn't need to. And beyond that? That was a deranged madness about Pollutedsoul that lent him a determined steadiness. The boy lunged at her, trying to tackle her to the ground in an awkward, desperate attack. His bloody palms were scrambling, first assuring that he had her pinned under him, his knees digging into her sides viciously, then seeking out her throat with a feral grin. He pressed down savagely on her windpipe, leaning in close to her with a dark, psychotic stare fixed on her golden eyes. "Sorry, birdie," he breathed, "I'm not going to keep that promise. I'm going to keep you for-ever, instead. You can't leave me again, then, can you?"

Pollie did not seem to draw the same lines of distinction between himself and Bastille, not in the way that Echo appeared to. No, to him, they were all one and the same; the anguish and betrayal of one was his, devoured by his greedy, tormented soul. There was a fluid connection between them all, a shared experience; an attack against Bastille was an attack against them, and he felt something nasty towards this girl for trying to kill them. More than that, though, there was an aching pain over her abandonment -- it was all too familiar for Pollie, and he hated her.

He may be able to slaughter his love in cold blood, to revel in it, but he was still Bastille, somewhere -- and Bastille would sooner die than fucking harm Hazel. There was a tight, desperate squeeze of his fingers as Pollutedsoul felt the sudden surge, and then his grip went lax as his irises chill into soft blue once more, the psycho fucker jerked backwards.

"Haze," Bast murmured, still so close to her, his voice weak with the horrible dizziness as his hands slipped away from her throat, his weight falling to his elbows as they bracketed her head. There was a crushing regret there, for not being able to stop Pollie, for having to look down at her and see her trapped under him, but more importantly there was the cloying darkness pulling him down. He couldn't handle two swaps and this much blood loss all together; his lashes fluttered as his eyes closed, and he lost consciousness almost as quickly as he had regained control.

Unfortunately, that meant Hazel got all of his weight; fortunately, he was already so close to her, practically resting on her already, that it wasn't like there was much impact from the collapse.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 08:52:37 PM by BASTILLEPAW »
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2018, 08:36:07 PM »
Hazel was busy ripping open his shirt to gain better access to the wounds. She could have used her sword, but honestly? She didn’t want to touch it. Bastille’s blood would forever stain the golden blade as well as her heart. As soon as she got the chance, she was going to kick it into the ocean - let the salty waters claim another part of her identity like it had throughout the years. Maybe it could wash away her bitterness over Dahlia, too.

Not only did she not want to go anywhere near her sword, but she also didn’t want to leave Bastille’s side. She had been the one to make him bleed, so she sure as hell was going to be the one to make sure that he lived.

Her mind was muddled, a little confused - three minutes ago hatred and anger and guilt at being the one to blame had built every fiber of her being. Then it had all just...seeped away. She  wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was the intensity of longing for what they had, or realizing that her anger was trivial and unnecessary and utterly stupid.

Her heart hadn’t stopped slamming against her ribs, the fear of losing him making her hands shake. She murmured nonsensical things to herself, to him - apologies and endearments and that he couldn’t die, because he needed to kick her ass for letting her one up him at something he was so good at. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.

When Hazel glanced up next, she slipped her hand to his jaw, tilting his head up so she could search those glacier blue eyes. “C’mon, stay with me - stay with me, Bastille, c’mon - ” She murmured, frantic. Her pulse quickened when she realized the light was fading - dying. A strangled noise caught in her throat, and she pressed against the wounds on his torso with more pressure, ignoring the blood on her hands.

“I can’t believe you,” She muttered. “You live through all of that, and then I-I’m the one that - that -” She choked on her words, guilt ringing a bell so loudly in her ears she had to pause to blink away the tears.

Hazel shook her head, opening her mouth to say something else, when Bastille suddenly doubled over, swearing. She lurched backwards, startled from his deathly stillness to abrupt movement. She held her breath, hesitant, reaching out with a shaking hand, his name on the tip of her tongue - and -

Her blood froze in her veins.

His eyes, once such a familiar icy color, are now warm blue and green. And it’s - it’s chilling. Bastille’s eyes are cold, but they’re Hazel’s fire in the middle of a snowstorm. Seeing him with these is...unsettling. She’d met Echo, and was certain this was a different soul, but had no idea of his name.

Hazel opened her mouth, but didn’t get the chance to say anything before he lunged, moving like he wasn’t currently bleeding out. In fact, the yelp that slipped out of her mouth is one that tries to warn him not to move, that he can’t afford it. Before she could get the words out, Hazel was slammed on the ground, the breath knocked from her lungs and pressure squeezing her ribs. Hands wet with blood find her throat, pressing down with vicious intent. Immediately, her hands fly to his forearms, trying desperately to pry him off. But there’s no purchase; there’s two much blood.

Hazel gasped, pain and lack of oxygen darkening her vision surprisingly quick. Panicking, she tried to get her legs under her, but he was too heavy.

A part of her thinks I deserve this. A very large part. She deserved every bit of this, and if it wasn’t so against her primal instinct, then she wouldn’t have struggled. She would have taken it. Done penance.

And as soon as it starts, it’s over. There’s a second where his eyes flare with panic and his thumbs press further, and Hazel squirms - then he’s lurching backwards, and his arms come to bracket her head. Hazel wanted to curl in on herself, coughing and sucking in as much air as she could get, but he was still on top of her, pinning her.

She doesn’t want to look, afraid to find psychotic tropical blue and green staring back at her. But she does, and some sort of relief floods her when she finds drooping glacier blue. He gets the barest hint of her name out before he collapses.

Hazel’s breath is punched out of her once more, and she grunted with the weight of him. It was an uncomfortable parallel to hugging, except when they hugged, they were both conscious. A different sort of panic surged through her, and immediately, she rolled them over, cradling his head so it didn’t slam against the ground.

“Bastille?” She whispered, voice hoarse. “Bast? Deus, Bastille, please don’t die,” Hazel shakily reached for the cloth she had been using, and pressed it against his torso, tying it where the bleeding was worst. Terrified, she felt for his pulse, knowing that if she couldn’t find it, she might never move from the spot again.

Then a faint throb reached her fingers, and Hazel almost sobbed.Gratias Deo, habitas. She whispered, resting her forehead against his for a brief moment.Mane mecum, Bastille.” The Latin slipped off her tongue as she placed a ginger kiss to his forehead, sweeping her thumb across his forehead to move the bangs from his eyes.

With a great thunder of hoofbeats, Arion arrived seconds later, and Hazel spent the next few hours bandaging up what she could, building a fire, and watching the sun set. It was dusk when she finally sat down again, checking Bastille’s pulse and his breath. She was no medical expert, but she knew the basics.

She watched while Arion frolicked after Octavia, the young horse elated to see such an old friend. Absently, she ran her fingers through Bastille’s hair, humming a broken tune that her radio used to play in the castle.

(this literally should not have taken as long as it did but i’m babysitting my brother and he’s a handful so this is a poorly written mess and i apologize)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 10:55:06 PM by ★ HAZEL »
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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 01:34:33 AM »
There was nothing in the darkness. Sometimes Bastille dreamed, and he dreamed vividly; for the most part, however, there was nothing but the vast expanse of black -- a free trial of death, test it out and see if it was your flavor or not. Sure, most of the time when he passed out suddenly, he found himself in the clearing with that three point star; hell, he usually knew it was coming and could steel himself for the shitty commentary that was about to be headed his way. This time was a little different, he supposed -- blood loss and near death didn't quite equate to soul troubles -- but Bastille would later have the greater theory that Pollutedsoul was hiding from his wrath. The crazy fucker was completely unapologetic for his actions, but even he wasn't crazy enough to think he was going to escape Bast's steady burning fury. It wasn't like he could really do anything to him, but he could make damned certain that Pollie never saw the light of day ever again. And, to some extent, he cut him off from even experiencing the world through Bast; it was cruel, but Bast darkly reflected that he did not care. Pollutedsoul was a fucking plague that he would purge if he could.

As it was, there was no way for him to measure the stretch of time. Grimm needed time to preserve his host, however, and therefore it would not be for hours that he started to stir. His unconsciousness was deep and thorough, and it was only with a very gradual sense of awareness that he started to come to once his body had recovered enough. The humming invaded first, coiling around him in the darkness, and there was a groggy happiness there -- he couldn't say why, unable to quiet place the sound, but it filled him with such an immediate and intense warmth that he realized that he must be waking up. And then there was the gentle drag of fingers in his hair, and her aura engulfed him like a flame consuming his soul.

Things were hazy in those first few moments, where he felt nothing but the bliss of her warmth, her proximity; he could swear he was dreaming now, because his princess was gone, but after a beat his head was clearing. In the wake of his memories catching up to him -- he could see nothing but her panicked stare, her thrashing as he strangled her -- Bast felt chilled, her warmth abandoning him, and then he was really awake.

He was pushing himself upright in a jolt almost before he had finished processing everything. His body did not appreciate the movement, and he winced at the stab of pain, but he didn't care -- his gaze was on her and he was surging forward, his hands catching her face as he ducked his head and kissed her with a desperation that was palpable. Because he was fucking horrified at the prospect of losing her, and he could practically taste the regret in his mouth as he berated himself over and over for letting Pollutedsoul take advantage of the situation, for not stopping him in time, and he had missed her, missed her so fucking badly that some part of him had died of mourning only to gasp for life once more at the sight of her golden eyes--

He was drowning in her, and he didn't want to come up for air, but he knew he had too much to say that he could not say with actions alone. When he drew back from her, it was with the barest of movements, only parting enough to speak as he stared into fathomless gold. "Haze," he breathed softly, reverently, before his words were coming in a wave, "I'm so fucking sorry, Hazel, Jesus-- I should have been able to stop him, and he's an asshole, and-- I'm sorry you had to see that. I never wanted you to see him, Haze, see that part of me, but you know that I wouldn't-- I would never hurt you. I don't care how fucking crazy he is, I wouldn't let him hurt you if it killed me."

His stare was searching, as if he was desperate for the confirmation that she believed him, that she didn't hate him for who he was deep down. He couldn't handle to be this close to her again, to feel her warmth, only to have her push him away because of Pollutedsoul of all fucking people. His thumb moved absently against her cheek, and he tilted closer to her once more, breathing the breaths she released as if she alone could give him the oxygen he needed.

His injuries were such a distant thought, partially because Grimm had managed to string him the fuck together and possibly because with Hazel this close and this radiant, he didn't have a thought to spare for the faint throbbing of pain. Hell, he didn't even care any more about her words, or the force of her anger; his Hazel had made a comeback in the end, there, and he could remember the look in her eyes so vividly that it stole his breath just thinking about the intensity of it. And that was to say nothing about her close her eyes were now, leaving him immobile for a moment as he just stared.

"I'm sorry," he finally breathed again after a moment, stare half-lidded as he murmured, "I'm sorry for everything, Haze. I should have tried harder to pull you back, but you were pushing me away and I was too stupid to just slow you down and make you talk to me. I couldn't handle your anger. I just didn't have it in me, and I let you leave, and I'm sorry. I never should have let you go, and I'm sorry I couldn't hold onto Eden for you, either."

Bastille lived with a lot of regrets, and he always had -- but he had never so easily reached an apology in his life. Usually there was just too much anger, or there was no one left to apologize to; hell, he never would have gotten this chance if not for the strange decrees of fate, but once he had her here, her golden gaze on him from so close, he found that it was the easiest thing in the world. There wasn't a single thing that Bast wouldn't apologize for if it meant he got to keep her for a little longer, got to beg her not to hate him, not to leave him again.

He tilted forward and kissed her again, because he was fucking starving, but then he was speaking again, his voice low, "I'm sorry that I love you--" his thumb swept over her cheek once more, brushing curls out of the way as he stared at her, gaze dark and intent, "--because I know that I could never deserve the radiance of your soul, but I do. I thought for the longest time that I could save you from myself, that you could never know, but--" He paused briefly, and then a faint half-smile flickered upwards, voice tinged with hints of amusement as he shifted his words slightly and said instead, "And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire."

The words were fluid, gentle, but possessed the sort of reverence that said he was quoting something. (Ironic, he thought, that Sydney Carton's words were the ones that came to mind.) They might not be his own, but he couldn't think of a more fitting summary -- when he had met Hazel, he'd been so cold and empty, closed off to the world, feeling nothing and being nothing; he was convinced that it was only through her that he had learned what it meant to care, to feel. She had breathed life and hope into him, and the golden warmth of her soul had ignited something in him that had taken him years to fully understand.

"I love you," he murmured against her mouth, possibly the most earnest words he'd ever said in his life as he pushed forward to catch her lips again, "Fuck, Hazel, I love you so much."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 01:41:21 AM by BASTILLEPAW »
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 05:35:29 PM »
Nothing had ever been quite so lonely as it was in that moment.

Her life had always been full of roller coasters; from top to bottom, Hazel had seen too much. At the ripe young age of nine, she witnessed the deaths of her four friends. At ten, she ran away from home, having crumpled under the anonymity of her siblings. At fifteen, she discovered that she was not a single person, but a body comprised of two souls, rendering her insignificant once more. At sixteen, she witnessed a ruthless clan take over her home and torture her friends publicly. At seventeen, her brother-figure attempted to kill himself, and then acted as if it never happened. At eighteen, she lost her home to a tsunami, and was forced to move and reshape her life all over again. At nineteen, her best friend disappeared. At twenty, she discovered what it was like to feel out of place in her own home. At twenty-two, her adoptive mother was found guilty of murdering an innocent in cold blood, and was banished from their home at the hands of her best friend.

She was a plague of bad luck, forced to bring both sides of the scale wherever she went. Despite her cheery demeanor, she bore the weight of an extra soul who had a grip so strong on the Underworld it had transferred into her reincarnation. And yet...amongst the misfortune and suffering that trailed after her, there was light:

At age ten, she discovered a high-spirited colt who quickly became her guardian and friend. At twelve, she met adoring new friends. At thirteen, she met a woman who would become her mentor and adoptive mother. At fourteen, she met a boy with glasses and a reckless sense of humor that became her big brother. At sixteen, she listened to music in the dead of the night, when everything was quiet and perfect. At seventeen, she was exposed to a three-way bond, rooting a sense of trust in comfort so deep in her that when it was ripped away, it took a piece of her with it.

At twenty-three, she learned that home was where the heart was.

At twenty-three, Hazel sat next to her best friend, carding slim fingers through his curly hair and watching his chest rise and fall. At twenty-three, she allowed her thumb to sweep across his freckled skin, the dark canopy of eyelashes that fanned against his cheek, and the pale skin on his once-pink lips, dragging a damp cloth over the crimson that stained him. She hummed to no one in particular an old lullaby her mother used to sing, pretending not to notice the way her voice cracked and broke.

At twenty-three, Hazel nearly killed the love of her life.

Not only would she never forgive herself for it, but she would never forget it, either. The gashes she left in his chest would scar, creating a permanent reminder of her faults. She would pretend not to see them, but in the end, the swing of her sword would haunt her mind until the day she died. The absolute fantasy of fate and chance would forever ring in her ears and close around her throat. The suffocating guilt and shame.

The horror of it all.

She wanted to remember him with such fondness; his blue eyes, the way he always smelled of smoke and pine, the books he read and tried to keep secret, his hatred for flowers but his love for the color pink, his sweet tooth, his power malfunctions, his impromptu cuddle sessions, his fierce loyalty and steadfast determination, his genuine smile that could light up a room - even the cobbles that he had splintered throughout the courtyard. She wanted to remember the way his fingers felt against her skin and the sharp breath he would take when she buried her nose in the crook of his neck; she wanted to remember what his eyes looked like when he looked at her and realized he would do anything for her.

Hazel wanted...she wanted

Suddenly he jolted, eyes flying open and his deathly still body realizing that it was still alive. Hazel jerked backwards in her surprise, shock faltering and then rebounding against the back of her mind to hit her brain full force when he pulled her in for a kiss so overdue she swore fireworks went off in her brain.

His lips were warm and metallic with the taste of blood, but Hazel didn’t care. Fog filled her brain, thick and tangible as she melted, soft under his touch and the thing she had craved for so long. The thing she hadn’t experienced since she was seventeen; the thing that made her heart slam against her chest and the universe explode behind her eyelids. A soft sound spilled out where their lips parted, one that echoed the ache in her heart.

She watched, waited, golden eyes owlish and young and unsure in the face of his proximity. He spoke so quietly, so gently - it was something Hazel had only heard wisps of in the early morning when it was still dark outside and midnight parties blurred with the hangovers of tomorrow, and untold truths were mumbled into pillows and soft blankets. But the words tumbled faster, spinning off his tongue until she was sure that he would trip over himself. But he didn’t. He was apologizing - apologizing for trying to strangle her.

Hazel’s fragile composure - if it was ever there at all - fractured.

Scio. I know.” She whispered, lower lip trembling when pulled into a shaky smile. She wanted to say more, to start her own ramble of apology, but was caught up in the brush of his thumb beneath her eye. It was so gentle, so uncharacteristic of him, that she almost wanted him to be rough - wanted him to drag her in for a kiss that bruised and ached and was a piece of pain and punishment all wrapped in one. She felt like she might vibrate out of her own skin with the want for him to yell and curse at her.

Then he was speaking again, still apologizing; apologizing for not making her stay, for not making her listen to him. Hazel wondered how he could possibly take the blame for that - how they had managed to spin so out of character and then collapse right back into what they were.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t hold onto Eden for you, either.”

Hazel shook her head, dead set on telling him that it wasn’t his fault, that she was being a child and a brat and he was doing his best with what he had, but instead found his lips back on hers. This time was less hesitant, less reverent. Desperation filtered through on both sides, making the kiss quicker, harder. Hazel reached up, curling shaking fingers around his wrists on either side of her face and holding him there, not wanting him to go and when he broke away she leaned in, trying to follow for a heartbeat.

“Bastille - ”

Her heart caught; snagged on something in her chest. Six words - three words, and it felt like her breath had been forced from her lungs. Six words that she wasn’t surprised were in the same sentence when it came to Bastille, and three words that she’d thought she would never hear. Three words she had been waiting to hear her entire life, spoken with the sincerity and genuine love she heard in his voice.

His quote went almost unacknowledged, for her blood roared far too loudly in her ears. Besides, she had no idea that it was a quote - it sounded a little odd; a little too poetic for the way Bast usually talked, but Hazel was really too far gone on him to really care.

“I love you. Fuck, Hazel, I love you so much.”

She felt the words fan against her lips and memorized the sensation. She felt them brush across her skin like sunlight, like music, like summer. Like love, like longing and loneliness and pain. She felt the years of an unnamed, obvious emotion explode in her chest, slamming against her ribs and crying out. Hazel felt like she was dancing in the rain. Her heart soared; ecstasy floated, light and airy in her mind while relief and guilt and shame battled for custody of her nervous system.

A breathless laugh was punched from her lungs, the corners of her mouth dancing with a smile as she tilted forward to close her eyes and rest her forehead against his. Tears dripped; she couldn’t have held them back if she wanted to. Then she was shifting up, catching his lips as he moved to catch hers and pressing forward, wanting to have a say in it, too. She tucked her lip between his, her fingers curling against his wrists like she was holding on to her lifeline.

“I love you too,” Hazel echoed, parting their lips for what seemed like the hundredth time.Deus, te amo, Bastille. Amo te tam multo. I love you, I love you -” Fuck, she loved him. She loved him so much.

She glanced down through teary eyes, looking at the angry red that seeped around the bandages. Her smile fell, and her grip on his wrists slackened.Paenitet me, Bast. I’m so sorry.” She murmured hoarsely. She shuffled a little closer, gently wrapping her arms around his neck so she wouldn’t hurt him more. “I’m so sorry.” She didn’t have a justification, because it was inexcusable. She just had to hope that he could find it in his heart to forgive her.

“I’m sorry you had to deal with me for all this time.” She choked out, forcing a small laugh as she drew back, wiping at her eyes. “I don’t...I don’t blame you for Eden, Bastille, I don’t.” She studied her hands in her lap. “I don’t know what we lost during then and now, but...I want to find it, whatever it is.”

She dragged her thumb under her eyelid, gently shaking her head. “I don’t deserve your loyalty or your love - not after I left you alone to run Eden and…” Hazel paused, the words “almost killed you” too painful to get out. Her next words were quiet, barely audible with the fear that he might refuse, despite his confession.Ignosce me. Forgive me.”
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 05:36:42 PM by ★ HAZEL »
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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 12:31:30 AM »
He remembered that first kiss, years and years ago; the confusion that had shut down his mental functioning completely, the complete and utter shock of her proximity. He'd been frozen, too startle by the gesture to do anything until she was already pulling away from him -- and then she was apologizing, dismissing it as dumb, and Bastille had just... accepted it. Accepted that she had been overwhelmed, that she hadn't meant it, that he could breathe again because it didn't mean anything. His lips had tingled for days after that moment, but he had pushed all thoughts of her mouth far, far into the darkness of his mind. He didn't want to remember, didn't want to admit to wanting something that he couldn't have. His first kiss was the only one he wanted, but it was also the most devastating.

As he felt her relaxing under his mouth, kissing him back, he wondered why he hadn't just grabbed her then. Why hadn't he chased after her, drowned out her sputtered apologies and gotten a real kiss from her? For two years now, he had wondered how he had been so stupid to pretend that he was anything but in love with her, and he always came back to that moment. She'd given him a chance, and he'd wasted it.

How different could things have been if he'd stopped her from pulling away?

Maybe nothing would have changed. He liked to believe that if he'd just let her in, allowed her even closer than she already was, they might have survived Dahlia's betrayal together. The last year and a half that he'd spent alone wasn't worth it to him -- there was no looking back on it and saying oh, the distance was necessary for growth. There was no justification for losing Hazel for that long, possibly forever if he hadn't run into her by chance. There was no point to it, and if he could have gone without the absence, he was convinced everything would have been so much better. Even if they lost Eden, even if it didn't make a difference -- they still would have had each other, and everything would have been a little more bearable.

The prickles of thoughts washed away in the face of her warmth, however, and for a moment Bastille just stared back at her, memorizing the glow of her golden irises. Scio. Did she know, though? He realized, belatedly, that he'd kept Pollutedsoul so hidden from her that she didn't even know who that was; he'd shoved that tormented soul so deep down into the darkness that the only person who knew him nearly as well as he knew himself didn't even recognize the deranged fucker. How could she really know if she didn't fully understand who she was dealing with?

Bastille brushed a thumb across her cheek, and murmured softly against her mouth, "He murdered his love, because she betrayed him. His whole family, too. He's... the worst of the darkness that I never wanted you to see, Hazel, but I should have warned you. You had the right to know who I am." He offered a vague half-smile, like he found it ironic that he was forced to acknowledge that Pollie was a part of him. "I don't plan on letting him see the light of day ever again, though." There was a hint of viciousness edging his voice, but it was hard to stay angry -- even at Pollutedsoul -- with Hazel this close to him, this radiant.

In a way, he was glad she didn't protest, didn't try to disagree with him; he felt lighter than he had in years, having finally gotten the chance to apologize to her for fucking everything up so badly. He had tried, he really had, but he would always be sorry that he had failed, would always regret what could have been if he'd just clung onto her harder. (If he'd just kissed her back that first time, would they have drifted so far apart when Dahlia betrayed them? Would she still have left?)

He was much more thankful that she kept kissing him back, however. As if her proximity alone could fill him up with that golden warmth, he felt like his skin was on fucking fire -- a blissful fire, though, none of the white-hot rage that accompanied his flames usually. Her fingers against the insides of his wrists were little embers, and he could feel his pulse throbbing against her grip, had an acute awareness of every point of contact between their bodies.

Once upon a time, he might have been worried to bare his soul to her, to finally tell her how he'd felt for years. He found that he frankly just didn't care any more as he looked at her; he'd waited so long to get her back, and at this point, he wasn't sure if he had any apprehension left. There was only the simple fact of his love for her and the straight-forward fashion in which he asserted it, devoid of any anxiety -- there was only the burning heat he felt and the relief at finally just saying it.

Her laugh was sunshine, and he smiled as she leaned into him, offering her one of those real, genuine grins in response to her murmuring. "Easy, princess," he breathed as she babbled in Latin, laughing lightly as he tilted his head down and cut her off with a quick kiss. He could listen to her tell him she loved him for hours, but he was pretty sure she needed to breathe at some point, too. Which meant that he should probably let her breathe, but not before he drew the kiss out for another moment before leaning back once more, offering her another grin. "Respirare, yeah?"

It seemed that the second she took that time to breathe, however, her happiness was dimming. As she tried to drop her hands, Bastille caught them, lacing their fingers together as he leaned closer to her and kissed her cheek. "Hey," he said softly, squeezing her hands slightly, "It's fine, okay? I'll be fine, and I don't blame you. It doesn't matter any more, not if I have you back finally. Nothing else matters." His mouth quirked up slightly as he said lightly, "Besides, now we're even, yeah?" He would rather she slash at him with a sword any day than let Pollutedsoul any where near her, anyway.

He ran a thumb over the back of her hand and smiled slightly, tilting his head so that she was forced to look him in the eye again. "I forgave you the second I saw you, Hazel," he said lowly, peering at her intently, "There isn't a single part of me that can bear to shut you out, you know? I don't care about what we lost, or how fucking long it took us to get here. That year and a half that I spent without you? It means nothing to me, Haze. All that matters is that you're here now, and I don't care about the in between."
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃

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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 05:42:04 PM »
No, she didn't know.

Hazel didn't know Pollutedsoul; she didn't know the depths of his insanity or the lengths he would go to. She didn't know his history, or what he was like, or why he was the way he was. She didn't know anything about him, but the comfort fell off her lips automatically because she was reverting back to the age-old feeling of trust. Because she was leaning back on the thing that had become such an important lifeline between them: faith. Faith and trust. But no pixie dust, because that was all sugar coated bubble wrap that got people killed.

Faith and trust had the potential of doing the same thing, but Hazel couldn't really find it in herself to care. Bastille had proven time and time again that he wouldn't let his demons hurt her, and Hazel let herself lean on it. She let herself trust in his word.

Hazel had poured herself into the cracks and crevices of this broken boy, hoping to make him whole again. Hoping that he would be happy one day. Along the way those cracks and crevices had only fractured more, and Hazel found herself to be only a temporary solution. She couldn't fix him entirely, but she could try. She couldn't make him whole again, but she could fit together the pieces she had. And Hazel did - she did so with vigor and determination. In the end, he wasn't quite whole. But...neither was she. It had her thinking that maybe, just maybe, they might be the missing jigsaw piece to each other's puzzles.

So Hazel leaned in, letting him rest his forehead against hers. She let him run his thumb over her cheek and she felt the warmth of his skin seep into hers and the way it made her heart beat faster. She let him talk against the corner of her mouth as she scooted closer so they weren't quite so far apart. She let him say what was on his mind because that was her job, and she would gladly set aside her screaming mind at any point of the day for him.

She dropped a hand, reaching forward and allowing her fingers to skim feather-light over the bandages and the skin on his exposed torso, fulfilling both her own satisfaction and his crave for touch. Horror and shame still bubbled low in her chest, but his heartbeat under her fingertips was the best sort of reassurance.

When he finished, Hazel couldn't say she wasn't shocked. The story of Pollutedsoul was a tragedy, but she didn't find herself particularly worried. Instead she reached up and wound her fingers into the curls of his hair, pulling his lips to hers. "I don't care," She breathed after a beat of silence, because she really didn't. "I don't care about his backstory. As long as he keeps you the same person that you've always been, I don't care." Maybe she should have cared. Maybe she really should have thought long and hard about the boy she loved and what type of cosmic dust he was made of, but she didn't. Because he would always be one person to her. Bastille would always be one being in her mind, and there was nothing he could do to change it.

"Someone once told me that souls don't define who you are," Hazel murmured, gaze flickering up as she paused, tongue resting against her lower teeth. Would he remember all those years ago? "But I think they might have a small say in it. They might not define you, but they influence you. And whatever influence your souls have gave me the love of my life, and I might find it in me to say thank you." She offered him a small smile that just barely tilted the corners of her mouth up. "I can't say I like him or what he's done very much, but."

But I deserve it. Is what she didn't say out loud. She deserved every second that his hands were closed around her throat, because god, she'd done so much worse. And as her breath hiccuped in her sore throat and her hands started to shake, Bastille laced his fingers through hers, and she wanted to laugh at the blood that stained their skin. But she didn't. She focused on him instead: his eyes, his freckles, his teeth. She focused on him, and his voice. His voice that flowed like ice water.

"But what if it matters to me? What if I want to make up for it?" Hazel whispered, tears gathering. "What if I want to make up for time that's already gone, and relive the parts where I missed you the most? When I woke up and went to find you, but then realized that you weren't there? That I'd left you and Eden to burn, and it's...my fault, it's all my fault." She blinked hard, wanting to get rid of the tears so she could see him better in the fading sunlight, like he might disappear when he realized what she'd done.
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Re: as he asks me to pray to the god he doesn't believe in | p
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 07:02:59 PM »
Bastille wondered, briefly, how they had gotten here. Well, he supposed Hazel had a soul that was meant for happiness -- she was bright and lovely and radiant; she was liquid gold, with the gentlest touches of divinity that made his head spin when he looked at her aura for too long or too intently. She was... she was good. She was the light. It didn't matter what struggles or traumas life threw at her: she always would have achieved happiness, some how, some way. She was destined for it.

He had a mixed relationship with Fate. He believed in it, as much as he believed in anything. He had always believed that his souls were damned to failure and that he was destined to fail with them. He believed that Grimm chose hosts for a reason, and that it was no coincidence that his last host before Bastille -- Grimmkit, the form he still envisioned him in -- was Zaniel's son. The fact that his own father was a drunken player who only met his mother once couldn't be chance; nor the fact that the tom had belonged to Echo's Tribe, albeit several generations after the stealth-walker had lived there. Everything in his life could be connected to his souls in some way, and he knew that in some form, Fate existed. Gods, he often said -- though he had no clear concept or care for who, precisely, he meant. Maybe he meant all of them, or maybe he just didn't care enough for any religious values to truly think about what he said and why. Maybe he'd simply borrowed the phrase from someone, a past host or past life. No, the only true absolute that he believed in was Fate and her cruelty.

So he wondered, not for the first time, how Fate could have brought Hazel to him. He had no idea what his aura really looked like, but he knew that it could never rival the vibrance or purity of hers; he knew that, no matter what he did, the darkness of his pasts would shine through. Zaniel, Pollutedsoul -- they'd be good once. Hopeful, young, in love with their families and Clans, eager to be good and do good. He imagined that at some point, their auras had been good, average, decent. But he knew that auras could change as people did, that souls could be corrupted, and he knew that there was darkness there. With Echo, there had always been darkness; Fate had chased him through his lifetime, too.

So, what did that leave him? He couldn't be sure. Of course, his entity was entirely comprised of his souls -- he didn't have a fourth one of his own, even if he tended to consider the four of them as separate identities -- and of their vices. But Bastille wasn't necessarily like them. He carried a mix of their traits, could trace more of his habits and inclinations to one or the other, and he carried their weaknesses -- but he was supposed to be their redemption, the physical manifestation of restless souls finally being put at ease as their last wishes were accomplished. He fought against the mistakes they had made and tried to be better. Did that make his aura a good one, or did it simply mean he was in denial about his reality?

He supposed he would never know, not really. Whatever the answer, he wasn't sure how, exactly, Hazel could have ever been intended for him -- the light to his darkness, so to speak. And yet she was. He knew that, had known it from the second he met her, if he was willing to be honest with himself. No one had ever struck him as intensely and wonderfully as Hazel did, and his love for her was not something that burned out or withered with time. She was it. She was his, or rather, more accurately, he was hers and always had been. Against all odds, he'd managed to find his way back to her, just as they always seemed to. It may be dramatic to consider her his sun, but she certainly seemed to have a soul-binding, gravitational pull on him.

For a beat, he simply looked back at her, at a loss. He supposed he had never really considered what she thought of his souls. Sure, he'd always assumed that she must carry the same grudge against them as he did, and he knew she wasn't particularly fond of Echo, but he hadn't really thought of the fact that for all the times he'd asserted that he was them, more or less, that she'd agreed. She'd agreed and not cared, had even been able to appreciate them for spitting out Bastille. He would remove Pollutedsoul if he could, but she was right -- without him, he wouldn't be the same.

He ducked his head to kiss her again, and found himself smiling against her mouth as she threw her words back at him. Hell, he was pretty sure that she had used them more than he had, at this point -- he remembered, briefly, the dim of her room and the vicious, gnawing guilt as he forced himself to face her in the aftermath of Echo, remembered her reminding him then of what he'd told her so long ago. He pressed another kiss against her mouth, warm and demanding, and then breathed, "Thank you." For accepting them, for loving him back, for always forcing him to take a step back and consider his own advice. For being here, warm and light and seemingly an impossibility.

His smile dimmed as she spoke, and he brought her shaky fingers to his mouth, kissing her knuckles gently. He didn't care if he'd gotten blood on them both, really — all he cared about was her, was bringing out that same bright happiness once more. ”It’s not all your fault, Hazel, any more than you’ll let it be my fault for letting you leave or letting Eden fall. I shouldn’t have acted like you alone were responsible for saving me. I don’t blame you for leaving, not any more,” he murmured, mouth hitching upwards slightly as he added, ”If I’m not allowed to wallow in self-loathing, neither are you. If forgiveness is what you’re looking for, I’ve already given it. I don’t care what happened, or what could have been, or anything else.”

He dropped their clasped hands once more, focusing instead on her eyes, her proximity. ”The only thing that matters now is that I found you again, and I don’t plan on losing you this time.” He leaned back slightly, stifled a wince, and kept going — let himself fall backwards and drew her with him, coaxing her to lay down next to him. He tugged her close against his side and leaned his head against hers, adding finally, ”Now stop being ridiculous and tell me about where you’ve been.” He thought that it might hurt, wondering where she’d been or what she’d been doing for all this time, but instead there was simply a vague curiosity. It was hard to feel sorry for the time in between when she was so warm against him, when he hadn’t felt this content in years — bloodloss be damned.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 07:19:17 PM by BASTILLEPAW »
Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror years ago, Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on his sword, Innocence died screaming; honey, ask me, I should know, I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.   ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃


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