The First Age

Full Version: Reacclimating (Kallisti House of Burlesque)
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"Last time, the circumstances were different."[/color=gold] Elyse said, no malice in her words. It was the past and it hurt, but as a wise baboon once said, you could either run from it or learn from it.

The words of a feral brother brought back to mind the one she had released back home. Elyse never knew how that played out. Since she had left, she had heard nothing about it, but news from home was not forthcoming. Her parents had made no contact since she had revealed herself to them.

[color=gold]"I'll keep that in mind,"
she said. "I've not lost control yet. But I'm always careful."

Elyse sighed. "You know - that was painful. When we broke up. And for my part I'm sorry. And for the pain - well I forgive you of that." She smiled. "It feels really good to say that."

Now that they were away from the crowd, Elyse could smell Nox. That familiar scent was still there, but beyond that she could smell something else. "Something's wrong. I can smell it. You don't have to tell me what it is - but know if you want to talk, I'll listen."
Nox laughed. "Yeah, that's what I need to talk to my ex-girlfriend, who I cheated on with the same guy I just fucking cheated on my current boyfriend with. What's else is not wrong in my fucking life." While he spoke his anger rose, the grip of his artifcicla hand on his knee closed and Nox growled in frustration as he twisted the arm off and stood up with angered grace. "The difference being this time this time it's eating me alive. No offense Else." Nox said as he pushed the door open next to her and tossed his arm on the bed and started making a pot of coffee with the power.


Nox grabbed a bag of jerky and took a stick out and started gnawing on it while he stared at Lily with love and adoration. "I could keep it to myself and he'd never know. We were completely and utterly alone in the cave in the depths of the world. I could make excuses as to why it happened. I thought they were gone. I had killed the hoard. I had killed Nova and they were gone. I felt them all die." Tears fell down his cheeks as he stared. "He saved my life. And he kissed me. I fucking tried to say no, but the instincts came to life and I gave in. I was unprepared. But it's not an excuse. I promised. I fucking promised."

Nox's hand balled into a fist and the power about him rolled with fire and urgency. The coffee pot sang it's finality and with great effort Nox let it drop and poured a cup. "I fuck up everything I touch."
And he could at least fix the temptation to fuck something else up even if this part of his life was over.

Nox pulled his wallet out and held it on wings of air as he tapped at the small keyboard with one hand sending a message while he sipped at his coffee. "Just give me a second." he whispered mostly to himself but so Elyse could hear.

I should have told you this way before now.
I have a boyfriend. And I made him a promise. One which I failed to key.
I thought I was a different person than when we met, but obviously I'm not.
I can't say no to you.
In an effort to be the man I want to be, nothing more will happen. Regardless of where my current relationship ends.
Thank you for helping me find myself. But I need to do the rest alone.
Keep making the hard choices for the right reasons.

Nox looked through the long litany of words and hit send. @"Jay Carpenter"

Once the message sent Nox took a screen shot of it, and then blocked the number. He didn't want to see what Jay sent back. Some joke or another, some attempt to lull him back with humor. And it would work. Jay was more than just a friend, but he'd never be anything more than what he was right then. Nox sighed. He wanted to do one more thing, but he had company it could wait.
Elyse could see Nox getting angry and his scent changed as he did. At his statement, she realized the familiar scent was that of the man that Nox had cheated on her with. Elyse didn't respond as he spoke and wrote a text on his wallet. His anger seemed to subside at least.

"I'm sorry," Elyse said demurely. "I didn't mean to upset you."

She let silence reign for a few more moments. "I don't think it's true though. I don't think you fuck up everything you touch. You helped me realize that it's okay to be me even if others don't accept it. You care about other people and want them to help. We all screw up and sometimes we screw up more than we should, but I think you've seen a lot of shit - shit no one should ever see, and maybe this is a trauma response...

Elyse's voice trailed off. "I'm sorry - I shouldn't say such things. It's not my place, but even though we didn't work out, I'd still like to be friends, and I'd like to help if I can and you would like me to."
[[ ooc: you shouldn't be able to smell Jay on Nox, they were covered in grime and dirt and blood and guts from the hoard, and he took a very long and hot shower to clean himself of all that grime. But you don't have to change anything just letting you know. ]]

Nox sighed as he set his hot cup of coffee on a platform of air as he returned to his spot in front of Raffe's door. Sitting down with one arm was a challenge, getting up was far easier and relied more on his core than actually his arms. And he didn't want to spill his coffee. He needed it to get up.

"You didn't do anything wrong." Nox said taking his plain tin coffee mug and sipped at the hot liquid. not perfect but good enough. "Ever since I lost the arm, my temper is shit, my libido is through the fucking rough and I am ravenous. All thanks to whatever remained of the parasite after I severed my arm. I have doctors studying the effects but they know shit about Chups and have even less idea what the fuck those things were."

Nox pulled a piece of jerky from his hoodie pocket and started gnawing on it after each sip. "I'm a fucking mess. I thank you for your kind words and of course we can always be friends. You are one of the few people who understands what being Atharim and a 'monster' is like." Nox raised his hands and made air quotes with the only hand he had. His other arm raised out of habit.

He laughed softly to himself. "Doesn't help that the new arm is usually there, but I've been wearing it too long, my arm is sore and I just need freedom."

He was rambling. He did that a lot. He was anxious. He knew that. He really needed to talk to Raffe. "There isn't much you can help me with though. I have to learn to cope with the fucking instincts that didn't go away when I killed the hoard. And they are stronger than ever so killing the remaining captives probably won't change anything. Probably only make it stronger. I can't keep eating like this." He lifted the jerky to indicate what he meant. "I'll ruin this body." He smirked with a wink.

"If you are serious about working her you'll need to think up a gimick unless you plan on being the only female bouncer."
[[continued from Following the White Rabbit]]

Sage proved to be easy company, and Raffe was both relieved and grateful to be pulled along without having to think about where he was going or what he was doing. Despite his oblivion at the church Sage was surprisingly cognisant when he wanted to be. If he still tuned out a little oddly now and then, Raffe stopped noticing the quirk as the time rolled on. Not that he judged it even in the first place. He was happy enough just to not be alone to pass the time like molasses, and Sage accepted him like he’d known him a lifetime. Raffe extended the same courtesy.

Hearing about Nox’s life from someone else’s perspective was curious (and certainly Sage had a curious perspective). Raffe knew about Aurora, about her life and her death, but it was something painful for Nox to talk about, and Raffe rarely pressed on those kinds of wounds – just listened to what was offered, and comforted when it was needed. It buried something sad in his chest to hear Sage talk about her and the impression she had clearly left on him. Nox had been right; Raffe would have liked to have met her. They would have gotten on.

By the second coffee house, the conversation moved on to stranger things. He wasn’t sure if Sage made up the stories about the people who drifted or marched or paraded past their table; the details seemed too specific and random for him to be making it all up on the fly, but there wasn’t a wallet or device in Sage’s hand – and Raffe couldn’t see how he’d trace strangers so quickly even he did, no matter how talented a hacker he was. Not that it mattered either way. The distraction worked, and Raffe let it. He’d done the same thing once, with fairytales for frightened and lonely kids in the orphanage growing up. He knew the power of a good story.

He’d relaxed some, but tension still strung him through when his phone finally vibrated a message. Anticipation this time, rather than worry. Raffe grinned to himself as he shoved the device back in his pocket, about to speak, but Sage was ready to leave like he’d already known.

When they arrived the club was past opening, the line still snaking around the elaborate stone steps of the entrance, so Raffe led them to the staff door down a clean and well kept side alley. If he pushed his way through to security they’d likely recognise him, but wander in dressed like this and Carmen would only frown (and possibly worry – not about his clothes, but about the tiredness pinching his face). Plus he wasn’t working tonight, and he didn’t want the distraction of the girls or clients that might want his attention. After he scanned himself in and waited for the beep of admittance, he paused to affably pat Sage’s shoulder, and grinned. “Thanks for today,” he said, and meant it. “Free drink on the house if you’re interested? Just tell them Raffe said so.”
Elyse laughed, feeling better now that Nox seemed to be a little more calm on the outside. "Yeah - a gimmick. That's the problem. Being the only female bouncer has merit though. I mean, I can kick ass for sure. It'd be fun with the first couple of morons who underestimate me. Of course a girl that can beat you up is pretty sexy too."

It got Elyse to thinking. As a Dane, she had learned about the Vikings - her ancestors from way back. That was definitely a direction she could go.

"What about Viking Princess as a gimmick. It reaches into m background. It allows me to use some of my fighting skills - with a few modifications - it could be a dance. It's strange. I never thought about being a burlesque dancer, but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I'm sexy as hell, Nox, and I kind of want to show that off. Is that weird? What do you think? About the theme and me dancing that is?"
Nox smirked.  "I'm not real fond of getting beat up by girls.  Not saying it can't happen -- it has.  Just fighting isn't foreplay for me, know a few guys who think that way though."  Nox remembered hanging with Bas a few times and that's where he went afterwards.  There was a lot of death in his life -- some of it his fault, some of it not.  Bas wasn't his fault -- but he lost a lot in that fire.  He hadn't lost Nova then, but Nova was gone now.  More fucking death.

Nox's body drooped against the door, the sadness, anger and exhaustion pulling at his body.  He really needed to talk to Raffe. 

Elyse's question pulled NOx from his thoughts and he wished he had rewind like Sage did.  Would make life easier.  Maybe he could have something like that installed on his wallet so he could zone out like Sage and still be able to see what he missed.  Wouldn't be as convenient though. Nox gave Elyse a tired smile, he didn't refute her sexy as hell.  It hadn't been what he'd found attractive it was the banter and the connection.  "Dancing doesn't mean you can't bounce or the other way around if you wanted on that payroll too.  But let the girls run you through the ringer first. I don't need your resume. I do both -- though I've not danced since losing the arm." he lifted the stump cut off just after the elbow.  It felt nice having it out, floppy hoodie sleeve and all.  And less likely to break something in this tired state.

"It's not weird. Be a sex symbol, do what makes you happy. But remember that the personas on stage aren't always the same as they are back here."  Nox meant that as a reminder Mist did not equal Mae.  Hell whoever he was on stage was definitely not who he was behind the curtain.  Hell most of the time behind the curtain Nox was still a mask.  Right now he felt that mask slipping.  There was only so long he could put out the happy-go-lucky bright-eyed boy when his anxiety was at 1000 and his body ached with exhaustion.  The door beeped downstairs -- was that Raffe? 

He heard the voice and his stomach flipped. “Thanks for today. Free drink on the house if you’re interested? Just tell them Raffe said so.”

Sage laughed. "Maybe another time. I wanna see if Aidan's home." He lied -- Sage knew exactly where Aidan was, just like he knew exactly where Nox was.

Nox put his left hand down and forgot his arm wasn't attached and he tumbled into the door jamb. "Fuck!" he shouted. Thankfully the coffee in his other hand wasn't scalding hot as it spilled over his hoodie and jeans. Nox sank back against the door and gave Elyse a don't even look as he reached through the slime and grime of the power with in. His stomached rolled even more with the off putting ichor now part of his day to day life. Nox took a deep breathe biting back the gag reflex as he pulled the coffee from his clothes with the power of the gods. "Elyse. I gotta go, or rather, you gotta go. I need to talk to Raffe."

When he was finished cleaning up he stood up without trying to support himself with the missing arm. "Let me introduce you, we can talk tomorrow if you want. Or you have my number." He didn't really wait for Elyse to acknowledge as he started down the stairs.

His stomach flipped and he kept his breath steady. Seeing Raffe standing down stairs brought all the shit back and he had to push it away. "Hey Raffe.This is Elyse, she'll be stopping by tomorrow for the girls to give her tryout. Elyse, this is Raffe," Nox licked his lips nervously as he said the words, "my boyfriend." That might be the last time he uttered those words. Fuck he hated himself right now.
Sage turned the offer down, and Raffe wasn’t of a mind to insist. He nodded and waved a farewell instead, then headed inside. The thump of the club’s music seeped through the walls as Raffe moved through the staff backrooms and headed for the stairs. His heart was drumming in his chest. He planned to take the steps two at a time, but Nox was already there at the top of the landing, and for a moment it stopped him dead. The relief drained him and lit him up all at the same time. Despite the texts, he’d never quite been able to let himself believe until his own eyes bore the proof. Five days haunted the back of his mind; the hard lesson that hope was just an illusion, and no one listened to prayers. He realised he’d been waiting for someone to pull that veil from his eyes, like the cops had when they’d told him his mother was dead.

He grinned. It was several seconds before he peeled his eyes away long enough to acknowledge that Nox had company, and it flushed his skin with a breath of embarrassment. “Hi,” he said as he headed up, more sedately paced than he’d planned. He realised he recognised the name after a beat, and his fingers rubbed his throat on reflex, but his welcome was warm. What she was beneath the contacts didn’t bother him. Kasun’s nature hadn’t either, even after the attack. And reconciliation could be no bad thing, which he assumed must have happened if she was interested in the club and Nox was happy with it. “Sorry,” he added. Mostly because he wouldn’t normally be so rude to someone on first introduction. Though probably she’d understand if she knew anything of the circumstances. He offered a somewhat apologetic grin anyway before he was swept into another orbit. The last few steps brought him closer. His palm found the back of Nox’s neck. Probably ought to wait until they were all the way up the stairs, but he didn’t. His forehead brushed close, and it was like remembering home. Then he kissed him.
[[ sorry couldn't wait any longer I've a too 'excited/anxious' muse in my head.]]

Raffe approached and the whole world seemed to stop. He loved the way Raffe flushed when he realized he had gotten lost in the moment and not notice Elyse. The touch of his forehead and the hand to the back of the neck pulled tears from Nox's eyes and when their lips met their salty tasted coated his lips. Fuck!

It was tender and sweet and carried the weight of the world on the lingering taste of the man he missed so much. Nox snaked his good arm around Raffe and pulled him closer in the moment but he tipped his lips away from Raffe and took a deep breath. "God I missed you." He started rambling in a quiet whisper. "I love you. I want you. I need you, but I fucked up."
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