Wednesday, July 7, 2010

[RP] False Alarm Pt. 2

Authors: Ysani & Keilos

She was too nervous to fit her key into the lock. It jittered out of her hand and tinkled softly on the hall mat, then was scooped up by a haphazardly-dressed Dir. He winked at her, quietly unlocked the door, and bent down to drop a kiss on the top of her damp head. Good luck, he mouthed, and was gone... but not without a quick squeeze to her ass on the way.

Safe from Dir's grabby hands, Ysani very carefully turned the knob and pushed the door inward on its hinges. Elphi greeted her with a muted mew and a head-butt to the calf. "Shhh," said Ysani. A quick scan of the room nearly undid her; Keilos sat fully-armored in his favorite chair next to a bowl of dead cigarettes, and it took her a few moments to realize he was very much asleep. Light, I need to calm down. Relax a little and go change your clothes, it'll give you time to think.

Last night's ill-advised skirt and top combination tumbled to the floor around her feet and she had a mercifully brief flashback of remarkable quality from the previous night. It could have been even worse, she thought to herself before her no-nonsense voice piped up with a hurry up and get out of that wet underwear too, moron.

Dir thought she should talk to Keilos about the things that bothered her. So did Keltyr, now that she thought about it. Unless she was mistaken. Not that it mattered. There could really only be one reason for him to be fully armored and passed out with what looked like a carton's worth of tobacco products smooshed into the tray. She was, indeed, in a fair amount of trouble. Creeping close, Ysani put a timid hand on his shoulder. "Keilos?"

Keilos frowned to himself... someone was calling him.
Why can't they let me sleep? I'm tired. And Ysani's missing again. Ysani...wait. I shouldn't be sleeping, I should be searching. The Blood Knight's head snapped up as he forced his eyes open, locking gazes for a moment with the red-haired girl in front of him. He blinked, in a half-waking daze, trying to process that it really was his lover in front of him.

"Ysani," he whispered. "Oh,'re okay." Levering himself stiffly to his feet, he winced as his neck complained about the position he'd been sleeping in. He reached out towards the other Blood Knight, frowning in confusion at the expression on her face. He wanted to hold her, to touch her, to bury his face in her hair to reassure himself he wasn't dreaming, but the look Ysani was giving him stopped him. "You're okay...aren't you?"

"Were you smoking...?" Ysani put her hands tentatively on the chestplate strapped over his torso, eyes sweeping over his battle uniform with a furrow in her brow. "I'm sorry I didn't leave a note, I just went down to the lobby to have a drink and ended up having a lot."

Keilos sighed, looking ruefully at the overflowing ashtray as his cheeks reddened in a blush. "I was trying to calm my nerves. I was worried. It's coming up on a year since... I guess I over-reacted a little." The blonde knight started to say something else, but was interrupted by a rough-sounding cough. Wincing, he grabbed the cup of tea he'd left sitting and tossed it back, making a face at the taste of the cold, stale tea.

The furrow deepened. Ysani wrinkled her nose, sensitive stomach turning at the smell of stale smoke up-close. Squeezing his arm, she turned and went to the stove in the apartment's small kitchen to start a kettle of water. "I'll make you a fresh cup."

Keilos nodded, eyebrow arching as he saw reactions flicker across his lover's face. "Let me get out of all this and stick my head under the sink in the bathroom." He pulled his tabard off and tossed it into the pile of mending, nose wrinkling as he caught the smoke odor. "Now I remember why I quit in the first place," he grumbled.

She stood slump-shouldered at the counter while the kettle began to steam, examining the tiles and trying to work up the nerve to say anything at all. Instead, she opened a tin of tea and prepared enough for two cups, one for soothing her hangover, and a wake-up brew for Kei.

Keilos padded into the kitchen, hair damp and mussed, wearing a soft shirt and pants he kept for just lounging around. Standing close behind Ysani, he watched her spoon tea into the strainers. Pressing a kiss onto the nape of her neck, he mumured, "I did over-react, didn't I?"

She sighed. "Yeah. A bit." The kettle whistled, but she stood where she was for another moment with her back against Kei's chest.

Keilos reached around her and moved the kettle onto the padded straw potholder. "Are you sure you're all right? Did something happen while you were out?"

Ysani was suddenly quite glad she had her back to him. It would be hard to hide the burning red spots that appeared high on each of her cheekbones as she remembered snippets of her morning. "Not really. I got falling-down drunk and Dir gave me a place to crash for the night." She managed not to wince and hoped she sounded more nonchalant than she felt.

"Dir lives in the Legerdemain. If you were that bad off, why didn't he just bring you here?" Keilos slid his hands up Ysani's arms, then gently moved a hand to brush her temples and let the Light flow through the other elf, applying what little of the healing arts he remembered. He pressed his lips together, trying to ignore the turn of unease he felt in his stomach.

Her headache dissipated slightly and she sighed again, shrugging as she poured boiling water into their cups. "I was pretty drunk. Maybe he didn't want to disturb you so late, or maybe I couldn't find my key? I don't really remember."

Kei frowned again, but didn't say anything. Silently, he took his cup and withdrew to the living room, where he curled up on the couch, a million thoughts running through his head.
Did Dir not think I might be more disturbed that she didn't come home than if he simply woke me? And if she couldn't find her key, a simple knock would have gotten the door open. What happened that she doesn't want to tell me about? Did her brother show up again? Did Haydren? And if it was Haydren, why wouldn't she want me to know? Keilos sighed and stirred his tea half-heartedly before taking a cautious sip.

In the kitchen, Ysani stirred several spoonfuls of sugar into her tea, miserable. He's upset. C'mon, think. How do I fix this? No solutions presented themselves, so she simply picked up her cup and sat silent on the couch in the small space next to his feet, staring down at the reflected light on top of her drink.

Keilos drank his tea, not really tasting it. His tongue felt thick and awkward in his mouth, and he didn't dare say anything, because he knew if he did, he'd say the wrong thing. Instead, he simply sat and watched the redhead at the far end of the couch, hoping his expression might convince her to tell him whatever it was she was hiding. She poked listlessly at the couch upholstery with one hand, cup balanced on her knee. "He said I should talk to you."

Kei set his cup aside, wincing when he made the china rattle as he put it down. "What about?" he asked softly, holding a hand out to Ysani in an attempt to draw her closer. She shifted, careful not to spill her tea as she curled up close to him with her knees drawn up in front of her.

"I've... I've just been noticing things that have changed since last summer." She took a deep breath, then continued, cupping the warm mug of tea in her hands. "I miss the times I could be spontaneous and just do whatever sounded like fun at the time. It feels like they stole that from me."

"I think they stole it from both of us," Keilos said softly. "I've been watching over my shoulder for a year now, just in case." He reached out and gently began to rub what of Ysani's back he could reach. "Is there anything I can do to help you get that feeling back?"

"I want to be able to do what comes naturally. I'm not scared anymore. I mean, I'm still careful and keeping an eye out for trouble--" she squinted, a completely subconscious gesture at the common phrase. "--I just would like you to feel like I can judge what is safe and when to be careful, and I'd like not to feel like I did this morning, when I utterly panicked because I hadn't checked in with you at every turn and thought you'd probably be a total wreck. And... well, you kind of were."

Keilos blinked at Ysani, totally lost for words. For several long moments, he sat there, gobsmacked and speechless. "I...I didn't realize. When it got to one or two and you still weren't home, I started looking, because I remembered feeling so foolish that I'd wasted that time before when I didn't think anything was wrong." The blonde knight sighed and turned on the couch, knotting his hands in his lap. "I was afraid they'd taken you again," he said softly.

Ysani could feel that her entire face was flushed, but the topic was open so there was no sense not forging straight ahead, was there? "That was different, you know. I went completely out of town, alone, without thinking that there could be danger at my own brother's house. Believe me, I am not that clueless anymore. I like to think I'm better at judging what is safe and what is not than I was back then. I'd like it if you thought so, too."

Keilos nodded wordlessly. He couldn't bring himself to look at Ysani, and felt vaguely sickened that all this seemed to be his fault. He swallowed noisily and squeezed his eyes shut to try and calm himself. When he finally did speak, his words were barely above a whisper. "I am so very sorry, love."

"Hey-- hey." Ysani set her cup on the floor and knelt beside him on the couch, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pulling him in close. "It's not like you killed my kitten or something, love. I just want you to trust me. And I want... I want to stop changing how I act just because I'm afraid of what you'll think. Or do."

Keilos didn't open his eyes, though he did frown at her words. "Afraid of what I'd think or do?"

Ysani gulped. "Yeah. I'm uh. Well, I'm guilty of saying things in certain ways or leaving things out because I don't want you to get upset. Or start a fight." This time it was impossible not to wince, and she kept her eyes down, unwilling to meet his if he decided to look her way.

Kei slowly opened his eyes. He wasn't sure which stung more at the moment... the fact that Ysani had lied to him about things, or the fact she thought he might start a fight with someone. "I don't understand," he said softly, running a hand through his hair. He glanced over at Ysani and realized she wasn't looking at him. "How many times has this happened?" He rather thought he probably didn't want to know the answer to that question, but it was out now, and couldn't be called back.

Light, you're doing a great job of screwing this up. "It's not that you've been in a lot of fights, love. It's just that... that you can jump to arms really easily if someone offends you, or treads on your boundaries. I feel sometimes like I've got to be a buffer between you and the things that upset you. Maybe that's not really my job, and I should stop feeling like I need to do it. Or like it needs to be done at all."

The blonde knight sighed and let his eyes close again. Without opening his eyes, he said, "No...I don't suppose it is your job. Though I will admit to not making the best decisions in the world when you weren't here. I should have decked Vranesh like you did instead of trying to make a deal with him." Keilos turned his head towards Ysani, and arched an eyebrow, still not opening his eyes. "How do you want me to try and fix these things? Particular things you want me to do, I mean. 'Be good, Keilos' is charming, but not particularly informative."

Ysani shrugged unhappily and attempted to curl up on his lap. Light, her stomach was just as unhappy as she was, and that certainly took some doing. "I don't really know. Be more sure of yourself, maybe. You don't have to feel threatened by everything. I mean, look at Keltyr. He doesn't let much of anything bother him. Sure, he's also kind of an asshole. But there's got to be some kind of middle ground, hasn't there?"

Keilos sighed and ran the tip of a finger around the base of Ysani's ear. "That's the problem. I tried acting like Keltyr - and he told me not to, because it was getting me in trouble." A second sigh and Keilos leaned his head against the back of the couch, staring up at the ceiling. "I wish I could be as self-possessed and cool and as good at everything as he is. But it seems I keep screwing things up when I try."

Ysani leaned against Keilos. Her headache was coming back, slowly but surely, and the steady throb was making it hard to think. "Well Light forbid you become Keltyr, I didn't sign on to date him."

Kei chuckled softly, beginning to gently rub Ysani's temples. "Well, I should certainly hope you didn't. I don't think Dorri likes to share anyway." Softly, he added, "And I should add, love... it's never been you I've not trusted. It's every other son of a bitch out there. In all seriousness, though... there's going to come a time that I can't help but worry. When you go out... when's it okay for me to do that?"

Ysani lifted her pale face up to his and tugged on a loose lock of his hair. "I don't know yet, but if I don't get some food and water in me real soon I'm gonna regret it. I'll think about it, will that do for now?"

Keilos nodded and gently patted the red-haired paladin on the behind. "If you'll get out of my lap, I'll cook for you. How do blueberry muffins sound?"

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