thesilentstorm: Eye: Gaze (Eye Three)
[personal profile] thesilentstorm posting in [community profile] spira_rp


Lindblum was, in Lumi's opinion, a singularly awful city.

Built atop a mountain, or possibly a cliff, it bore the sort of architecture that made it amply clear that it had been added to over time, that it had started off much smaller and had grown, almost organically, outwards and then upwards, like a particularly unpleasant fungus of mismatched brick and tile all contained within the immense castle's fortified walls.

Lumi's nose had wrinkled as they made the approach to the Falcon's Gate via airship. Even from a distance he could see that, without more space for the city to crawl beyond the walls, as most seemed to when they outgrew a castle's ramparts, it had just gotten ... taller. Idly, he had wondered how it would fare in the event of an earthquake.

Once the airship had docked and he and Marluxia had disembarked, he decided that the city was even worse than it had looked from their approach. The winding streets and irregular buildings did little but compound the fact that the city was not purpose-built. Some of the houses leaned like drunkards and some of them had larger, over-hanging upper floors, as though they had been added to at a later date by a less skilled builder. It looked disorganised, ramshackle and untidy.

With any luck, they wouldn't be there long.

They were in the city on a mission, or, at least, a favour. In deference to the alliance he had made with the most recently recruited of his old ... "colleagues", Marluxia had agreed to make a trip to Even's old home to pick up some items that he hadn't thought to bring with him on his would-be temporary relocation to Daguerreo. It wasn't safe for him to go himself, on any front, and Marluxia had the freedom of movement accorded to an established and voluntarily joined member of Clan Khamja.

Lumi stood in the street outside the Air Cab station, a frown on his face at the feel of the uneven cobbled floor under the soles of his shoes. It was a warm day, but it was growing clear that Summer was on its way out in this part of the world. The breeze that blew down the street carried upon it the scent of woodsmoke, hanging baskets and the promise of rain. It was, despite the pleasant day, cool enough to make Lumi stiffen where he stood. He scowled, looking up. The sky was, at least, still blue, though grey clouds were visible in the distance.

He looked to Marluxia for direction. It was he who had the address of Even's old residence.

Date: 2016-05-13 11:24 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#5403317)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Contrary to Lumi's opinion of Lindblum, Marluxia found it quaintly charming. It was clearly an old city, that had bowed to the inevitabilities of increased demand for housing and work by adding on to its existing infrastructure wherever there was room to do so. Space wasn't wasted in Lindblum; the city no longer had the space to waste.

It had been an informative few weeks for Marluxia. Firstly there was the fact that Vexen, now regularly going by Even but some habits died hard, had allied himself with Skite well enough to travel with them. Not only to travel with them, in fact, but also to return in one piece, having earned the respect of some of them. Particularly the Summoners, it seemed.

It had been an informative trip for Vexen, which had also made it a useful one for Marluxia. He had, apparently, witnessed an Arrancar open a Garganta, he'd even traveled through it. In concept they weren't dissimilar to the corridors of darkness the Nobodies had once used, and found closed off to them on their arrival on Spira. The only real difference between them was that, unlike the corridors, the garganta could only be used to travel within the confines of Spira.

This had not presented an issue to either Vexen, or Zexion, both of whom had seen the potential benefit of a mode of behind the scenes transport that they could utilise from anywhere.

It made journeys shorter too. To an extent. It could not be used to make a journey of a thousand miles in a few steps, but it could be used to traverse a long and winding road as the crow flew. Or as the Hollow traipsed, to be wholly accurate.

Getting to Lindblum to hold up Marluxia's offer to retrieve some of Vexen's personal effects had required the airships. The journey could have been made using a portal, Marluxia still thought of them as that, and even Vexen and Zexion slipped in and out of that old habit, switching between thorough accuracy and the familiar terminology at will, but it would be easier to transport things back by airship, and why not travel in relative comfort to begin with?

On arrival, Lindblum put Marluxia in mind of a rabbit warren, but there was a certain charm to the place, and a certain cultural stuffiness that Marluxia could see fitting Vexen. Saix too, if one considered his clipboard wielding side ahead of his inner wild animal.

He'd made sure to get precise directions from Vexen. Wandering an unfamiliar city didn't appeal to Marluxia, especially one in which other former members of the Organization had set up their new home.

"This way," he'd told Lumi, and led him down the cobbled and twisting streets of Lindblum towards the place Vexen had previously lived. Autumn was on its way in this part of the world, and Marluxia smiled, faintly. This was the season of apples and blackberries, which, fresh from the plant, were pleasures Lumi would not know.

Education may be in order, amusing as it was to see him scowl at the sky as if threatening it against even thinking about dumping water on him.

He led Lumi along the streets towards the address they'd been given, keeping one eye on the mismatched architecture as they went. There was a certain smug pleasure in getting to poke around Vexen's former home.

Date: 2016-05-14 01:02 am (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503119)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
There were a few benefits to being taken for a Selkie on Spira. For one, it meant that Marluxia and Lumi, traveling together, didn't attract attention. Ordinarily any pair that looked like they did would have been the subject of stares and comments, but Spirans were used to it. For two, Selkies had a reputation. This reputation was best summed up as 'they are basically all like Grimmjow', a presumption that Marluxia had thus far found to be hilariously inaccurate. That said, given the prevalence of Selkies in Skite, for example, he could see how people reached such conclusions.

What it all meant, really, was that he and Lumi weren't particularly notable, and were also given a respectably wide berth by the general populace.

Vexen and Saix had made their home in an area that was respectable enough; one or both of them must have maintained a predictable income, but the area wasn't so stuck up that Selkies drew attention. Of course, Saix would have needed to fit in as much as Vexen, so that only made sense. The house itself looked small from the outside, although it was hard to judge how deep the building went from the front.

Marluxia had Vexen's key, and he didn't bother to lurk around looking suspicious before he unlocked the door. A big part of going unnoticed meant looking as if you were supposed to be somewhere.

Date: 2016-05-15 09:41 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503115)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia closed the door behind Lumi. Inside, the house smelled as if no one had lived here in a few weeks. It wasn't the smell of a house that had stood empty while its owners were on holiday; this was an abandonment that had gone on longer. It smelled slightly dusty, and yet almost sterile underneath that. No one had cooked, cleaned, or breathed here with any regularity in a while.

The first door on the left was ajar, and Marluxia pushed it open cautiously. The hinge creaked at the end of its swing, revealing a living room that may not have been that often used anyway. There was a television, a sofa, and a single chair. Saix and Vexen clearly hadn't been the entertaining type, and Marluxia suspected the chair existed so that one or the other could sit here without it seeming like an invitation to the other, and the sofa was because they had occasionally chosen to sit together.

There were books on shelves around the room, an entire bookcase in one corner with some gaps in it suggesting someone had removed books and not returned them. The decor left something to be desired, but that was Marluxia's opinion of the house in general. He preferred the finer things in life, and whoever was responsible for this room had been much more pragmatic. It did what it was supposed to, and wasn't out to impress anybody with the fact that it could do that.

"I'm impressed they haven't been broken into," he said, his voice, like their footsteps, intrusive in the quiet of the house. Empty houses attracted that kind of thing, but, perhaps, people knew the inhabitants were with a clan, or perhaps they knew they had little to steal. There were a multitude of reasons possible for why no one had bothered.

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Date: 2016-05-17 10:37 pm (UTC)
notjustanyolddude: (pic#2741431)
From: [personal profile] notjustanyolddude
Vexen had done a bunk.

Which was funny really because if Xigbar had been asked to put money on one of the two of them doing a runner, his money would have gone on Saix. Saix was the one that had hooked up with Axel, and Xigbar trusted those two together about as far as half the Saturday night patrons of the Sandsea could piss, which seemed to be about as far as their own shoes.

But no. Vexen had done a bunk, and Saix lurked around Rabanastre, working in the Sandsea. Maybe there was something else keeping the dude hanging about, some part of him he couldn't put his own finger on. Or maybe it was because some jokester had found him a clipboard.

It worried Xigbar a little, to have lost Vexen. Losing Zexion had been bad enough, but so long as Lexaeus stuck with them Xigbar was reasonably sure that Zexion would find his way back. It might take him time, he might have to fuck something up first, but sometimes you had to let kids run off and make their own mistakes before they came back with their tails between their legs.

Vexen though.... He'd run off to Daguerreo, which was predictable enough. Upset that nerd and he'd go and find the books to drown his sorrows. But he hadn't come back yet, even though Saix had moved out. Xigbar had been back a few times to check on the place, to see if there were any signs of activity, and fight the urge to hide a fish in the curtain pole while he was there, and there hadn't been.

It was getting very concerning. Vexen should be cooling off by now, because for an ice elemental he could be damned hot headed, and Xigbar hadn't heard from him at Daguerreo despite attempting to get in touch.

Xigbar's own business took him to Lindblum anyway on a semi regular basis, and after making his drop off he dropped by the former love nest. The front door was locked, of course, Saix had made sure of that, but he habitually left the key in the back door, and for someone whose kekkei genkai as they called it here was twisting space and opening little portals, it was no big deal to reach his hand in, grab the key, and turn it.

He retreated from that portal and opened another to the top of the door, so he could slide the bolt back, too.

He no longer expected Vexen to have stopped home, but it was worth giving him another chance, and failing that, a clue as to where he might duck to other than a giant library would be helpful. There were too many other possibilities.

Date: 2016-05-17 11:21 pm (UTC)
notjustanyolddude: (pic#2741428)
From: [personal profile] notjustanyolddude
Xigbar opened the back door and let himself in. He was used to getting in this way by now, so this was practically routine for him. He knew the layout of the kitchen, the exact positioning of that one cup on the draining board, and the layout of the rest of the house.

He was also familiar with the usual sound and feel of the house, and today it felt and sounded wrong. Xigbar paused in the doorway and paid attention. The house was usually achingly quiet in a way that made the slightest noise seem ten times louder, like abandoned buildings everywhere.

Then there was the feel of it. Xigbar wasn't the most sensitive of the Thirteenth Order when it came to what the locals called reiatsu, and vestigia, but he wasn't a novice with it. The house had its own vestigia in that it sorely lacked anything overwhelming. If you really paid attention for a long time, you could feel the faint impression left by an ice elemental and a berserker, and if you really paid attention you could tell which rooms they'd spent the most time in (Vexen was his study, Saix was the kitchen), but those traces had faded even while Xigbar had made his visits. Now it was background noise.

Today the background noise was being overwhelmed by something else. Something familiar, and something not so familiar.

There was someone here, or had been someone here, and it wasn't Vexen.

Xigbar reached for his own guns, wondering if the house had finally been broken into. Some things were only a matter of time.

He headed for the door to the hallway warily, keeping an ear out, in case he got a clue as to the whereabouts of the intruders. Definitely intruders.

Date: 2016-05-18 12:14 am (UTC)
notjustanyolddude: (pic#2741425)
From: [personal profile] notjustanyolddude
Xigbar pushed the kitchen door open a little wider slowly, keeping himself to one side as he did so. He silently cursed the fact that the house, and doors, and importantly, hinges, weren't so new. It creaked, and tried to swing back into place.

Xigbar scowled, and nudged it with one of his guns instead. They weren't his arrowguns. Xigbar had those at his disposal too, but he preferred to keep those in reserve for if he really needed to shoot some poor fucko with a shitload of bullets. The real guns he had were Spiran made, and he'd found himself with a particular fondness for magical bullets. There was a certain nasty pleasure in shooting something with an elemental it was weak to, and trust Spirans to have gone to the trouble to magically imbue lead pellets to maximise their ability to fuck people up.

Whoever was here, they knew he was here, too. He had to be careful. He scoped out the hall through the gap in the door before he pushed it open again, his other gun at the ready.

Date: 2016-05-18 12:21 am (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503115)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia had located some of the materials Vexen wanted retrieved. What he could make fit his pocket, he had, but Vexen wanted some books as well, and those didn't fit away as easily.

He'd stacked them on the desk, the one floorboard near to it creaking with the shift of his weight.

There was an answering creak from downstairs as one of the doors shifted on its hinges. Lumi was refreshingly uncurious a lot of the time, and he'd been particularly so when it came to Vexen's old house. He wouldn't be opening doors slowly enough for them to creak, and certainly not for no reason.

Marluxia paused, frowning as he turned his head and concentrated on senses other than sight.

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Date: 2016-05-18 05:41 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503105)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Flash step made the journey faster, but keeping it up over the long distance had proven more tiring than Marluxia had anticipated. Lumi had been out of it for the trip, a dead weight that had been steadily bleeding on Marluxia for the duration.

It worried him.

He'd brought them as close to the Palace as he could manage. Navigation in the world behind the scenes was odd, and tricky, and in any case, he didn't want to come out too close to the Palace in case they were met with a bunch of defensive Arrancar. Marluxia didn't have the patience to argue, right now.

He'd had to adjust his grip on Lumi, shifting the man's weight and putting him back on his feet to free up Marluxia's hands so he could open the doors and take them both inside. He wondered, idly, how much of an audience they might have. Their arrival wouldn't go unnoticed, that it was earlier than anticipated definitely wouldn't.

Date: 2016-05-18 07:10 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503105)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Lumi probably wouldn't want to be seen being carried through the Palace to the infirmary. Something like that could really hurt a reputation. Under the current circumstances, however, Marluxia didn't trust that he wouldn't collapse under his own weight if required to move more than a few steps.

He picked Lumi back up and carried him through. He didn't bother to linger, either. The doors closed themselves behind him as he crossed the entrance hall and made his way to the infirmary.

If Szayel wasn't already there, it wouldn't take him long to arrive. Especially, Marluxia thought, when he carried a bleeding and barely coherent Lumi past Grimmjow on his way. The walk felt longer than it normally seemed, and not just because of the weight he was carrying.

The infirmary doors were designed to simply swing, since people badly injured or sick enough to seek out Szayel's attentions were probably too far gone to correctly operate a door handle. Marluxia hit the doors with his back and turned Lumi through them without a word.

Date: 2016-05-18 07:17 pm (UTC)
sipthehoneylikeabutterfly: (can help to keep you fair)
From: [personal profile] sipthehoneylikeabutterfly
Szayel was already in the infirmary. The unexpected reappearance of Marluxia and Lumi had been noted, but he hadn't thought anything of it. Those two weren't a pair he'd ever thought would grace his doors here. They had a knack of staying out of the worst of situations, avoiding fights they couldn't win, and were generally, well, more like the other full members of Khamja.

As such, he sat up quite straight at his desk and watched as Marluxia carried Lumi in, the smell of blood already hitting Szayel's nose, to say nothing of the sight.

He blinked, and pushed up his glasses with one finger before his mouth curled in a smirk and he slipped from his stool to head over. "On there," he said, gesturing to one of the empty beds with a wave of his hand.

Sometimes it was good to be wrong.

Date: 2016-05-18 07:41 pm (UTC)
sipthehoneylikeabutterfly: (instructions will repeat)
From: [personal profile] sipthehoneylikeabutterfly
Szayel would have time to enjoy this situation later, he told himself. Right now, he had a patient, and science would always be his first love.

He opened a drawer at the far end of his desk and removed a syringe, and a bottle. He could already tell from Lumi's shaky breathing and the fact he wasn't walking that it must be fairly severe, so he'd need sedation. He drew a healthy amount into the syringe before he walked up to the bed, retrieving some nitrile gloves from a box on the wall and pulling them on. "Those clothes will need to come off," he said, as an opener, and instruction.

He couldn't even see what he was dealing with under the blood and cloth. Blood was all over Marluxia, too. He'd carried Lumi some distance.

"What happened?" He asked, turning to look Lumi over. The preferred injection point was in the vein at the elbow, although the back of the hand worked if necessary. It might be worth inserting a canula; with this much blood loss, Lumi would benefit from a drip, too.

Date: 2016-05-18 07:48 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503115)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia hated that it was Szayel, or rather, he hated that their best option was Szayel. This, he realised, was the reason the man was still alive. He managed, by dint of being both capable and aware of their individual circumstances, to be the least distasteful or inconvenient option.

"Ran into an old friend," he said, mildly, "gunshot wound." He looked at Lumi, deciding he'd have to apologise to him for this later, and began to unfasten his clothing and strip him to the waist.

"Incidentally," he said, his attention on Lumi as he removed his clothes, but his voice low and intended for Szayel, "if you even consider any impropriety in your conduct, he will kill you, assuming I don't do it first."

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Date: 2016-05-19 09:41 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#6503121)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
"Careful," Marluxia said, closing the book he'd been reading. It had been a long night, and he hadn't trusted Szayel one bit, so he'd stayed. Most significantly, he'd stayed awake, with the help of a lot of coffee, and a book.

He'd changed his clothes, too. For that, he'd been forced to leave Lumi in Neliel's care for a few minutes, and she'd been understanding enough to bring him something to eat where he was.

The dead hours of the morning had been the hardest. Marluxia had catnapped then, in the lone, somewhat uncomfortable chair provided in the infirmary. Szayel wasn't the type to encourage visitors, and the patients weren't the type to receive them, so the infirmary wasn't equipped for it. Marluxia had tucked the chair against the wall and dozed on and off, and read inbetween.

He put the book down now, and stood so Lumi could see him. "You've spent the night in the infirmary. How much do you remember?"

Date: 2016-05-19 10:12 pm (UTC)
gracefuldahlia: (pic#5403311)
From: [personal profile] gracefuldahlia
Marluxia nodded as he listened. 'Somehow', he thought. It wasn't something that would make sense to Lumi, and he'd been unable to properly warn him. Lumi didn't seem to be able to make sense of much that had happened just after he'd been shot either, or remember much of anything after he'd collapsed inside their exit portal.

"Xigbar shot you," he said, "with a fire elemental bullet." He glanced away, towards the rest of the infirmary, automatically checking for the proverbial ears in the walls, but they were alone. "His power as a Nobody had been to manipulate space. It's not an ordinary form of magic, but his preferred tricks were to shoot from behind while he was standing in front of people, or to warp space around someone so they were trapped in a very small area they couldn't escape," and then fill that area with bullets, Marluxia thought. "At least some of that ability transferred here. He shot you from the other room."

Marluxia looked at Lumi again, "You were barely conscious, and unable to stand. I brought you here through a portal. Szayel had to remove the bullet." He smirked faintly at the memory, but he had his own questions to be asking about that.

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