The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:50 pm

Laven watched Menel's fascination with the balloon popping game, laughing softly and drawing him closer before untangling their arms and sifting through his pockets for a few spare coins. "You can hardly blame me for expecting to have to dodge uncomfortable questions, can you?" He fished out a handful of coins and stood behind the young man that was failing admirably, giving him a sympathetic nod when he ran out of darts. The woman running the booth switched out the damaged balloons for fresh ones, and Laven gestured for Menel to step up next to him.

"My treat? See if you can win a prize for your sweetheart, wherever they are." Red eyes watched the human with an appraising look before the woman stepped up to him with her hand outstretched.

"Three coppers for five darts then, lads. Get all five balloons and you can pick a prize." Above her head hung small cloth rabbits and what Laven assumed was supposed to be a gryphon of some type. They were cheap trinkets at best but the fun was in succeeding, not the prize itself. Handing the woman six coins he collected his darts and looked the board over, balloons bobbing gently from the currants of air people caused by moving. "I am curious now, I admit. What question could you have that you can't put into words? Is it something I would rather not be discussed in public?" He smiled once more at Menel before returning to the task at hand.

Letting his eyes unfocus and his attention slip back into the haze he had been fighting was easy. The first dart in his hand vanishing from his fingertips and striking a balloon with a crackling pop. He had enough presence of mind to wait for Menel's turn at least.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:09 pm

Laven moved away from him a bit and Menel shook his head. "Not really no." He offered the other man a slightly self-deprecating smile. He couldn't blame Laven at all. The elf motioned for Menel to join him at the dart booth and Menel did so without hesitation. He always had enjoyed challenges regardless of the source, and when Laven offered to play a round with him his blue eyes lit up with a boyish eager light. He blushed just a little. His sweetheart?

The woman handed over a few darts in exchange for coins.
"I guess I could try to win something for you." His eyes flickered over the stuffed animals. They were hardly quality products but really it wasn't about winning. For him at least it was just about having fun and if one of them happened to win then that was so much the better.

In front of him the booth woman looked between the two of them with curiosity, standing back away so that they could try their hand at the game. Laven's throw landed perfectly and a balloon popped. Menel grinned.
"Nice shot!"

He aimed his own and considered the other man's question, letting it slip through his fingers smoothly. A blue balloon exploded loudly and Menel shrugged. "It's just not something I can think of a way to ask politely." Menel looked at the other man. Watching his focus. The way that he took the shot so seriously. The swordsman could appreciate the skill that such focus took.

"I guess I just wonder why... With your talent and skill you could have a different career. So why choose the one you're in?" Menel turned his eyes back to the balloons. "You don't have to answer, but I admit I'm curious."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:30 pm

Laven chuckled softly at the renewed blush on Menel's cheeks, eyes watching Menel's dart strike home and pop a balloon. One and one then. Always a good way to start off any mild competition. Laven winked once at the woman behind the stall, earning a mild frown from her. Ah well, not everyone on Maquina was keen on seeing a 'traitor' flitting around no matter how many years passed. Still, a little distrust was easy enough to ignore.

"Hmm, that's a loaded question isn't it." Laven twirled his second dart between his fingers as he thought, watching the way the colors shifted and blurred before pausing and launching the sharp end towards another balloon. No hesitation in his motions, he didn't even need the wind to help line up his shot.

Pop!


"The short answer is that isn't what I do for a living, my dear." Laven smiled and gestured to his coat, the tiny gold threaded emblem on his breast. "I'm a clothing designer. Have been since I was old enough to hold a thread and needle." Knowing that Menel had wanted an answer about why he killed people for money, Laven paused for a moment and watched his companion launch his next dart before continuing.

"The long answer isn't really for prying ears. I suppose we should leave it at 'I'm good at my jobs, so why not?'"
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:44 pm

Of course it really was a loaded question. Which was one of the reasons Menel had been so hesitant to put words to it. The swordsman watched Laven twirl the dart before releasing it. The motion was so smooth and practiced that Menel couldn't help but admire it a bit. He knew personally how much effort it took to make something look effortless. The swordsman wasn't surprised at all when another balloon fell to the man's dart.

He was surprised to find out that Laven was actually a clothing designer, and perhaps just a touch impressed. There was some part of Menel that simply admired those that could create something from seemingly nothing. It wasn't what he expected though. It seemed even more odd to him if anything. If he had not only his talent as a fighter, but the ability to work as a tailor, why would he spend his spare time as an assassin? What kind of man was Laven to choose to kill?

Menel turned back to the board of balloons, flickering his fingers and aiming for another blue one. Amusing himself by increasing the implied challenge of the obviously rigged game by choosing particular balloons as his targets. It exploded with a small pop. Menel's eyes flickered over the other man looking at his clothes. The swordsman knew nothing about clothing design. So long as it was functional and comfortable that's all he required.
"Did you make that then? What your wearing?"

The rest of it... Well Menel wasn't going to press. If Laven felt comfortable telling him, he'd do so in his own time.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:05 pm

"I did," Laven preens just a little, hand smoothing down the coat. Honestly he shouldn't even wear it out for 'jobs' since it has his personal logo on it but lately he had been less than worried about being seen. A stupid mistake that might cost him someday.

But Laven was increasingly losing his worry over the future. It was enough to stay in the present and deal with his day to day life. He watched with a smile of satisfaction as Menel popped a blue balloon.
"You're very good. I was afraid you might hold out on me even after promising me a prize." It doesn't escape his notice that the human is only focusing on specific balloons, and for a moment Laven entertains doing the same with the red ones that bob gently. But having already gone after first white and then green the idea seems a little silly.

So instead he leans in closer to Menel and taps the man's cheek with his next dart.
"Pick the next one for me, love?" He narrows his eyes and smiles. Laven probably shouldn't flirt so teasingly with Menel but it was easy to get the taller man to blush. And a good way to focus. The fact that it drew a few odd stares was enough that he almost laughed, though the thought of too many eyes on him also had the effect of making his skin crawl.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:30 pm

Menel gave Laven's outfit another look. Since the other man had made it the swordsman tried to look at it's quality more objectively, but... he really had no way to really judge how well made it was. It fit the other man very well, moved with his body in a comfortable fashion and seemed to serve it's purpose perfectly. Nor did it seem to be in disrepair. "I can't say I know much about clothes but they look good." He smiled. "I'd wear them."

That was perhaps as much of a complement as he could honestly give. Almost he wished that he did know more about how clothing was made but... so long as it fit and it didn't fall apart after a few uses... that was all Menel had ever needed out of his clothing.

The swordsman let Laven's complement roll off of his shoulders with a little shrug and a small laugh.
"I wouldn't want to let you down now would I?" His blue eyes twinkled merrily. Menel lifted a hand, running it over his short white hair. He was about to say something in return, a comment that he thought Laven was a bit better. In his opinion at least it seemed to him that Laven was a bit more practiced than he was. Laven however leaned toward him, touching his cheek with the fetching of the dart and Menel's words died half thought in his mind. Lost entirely when Laven spoke forcing another rise of pink color to his cheeks.

For a moment he didn't know what to say, he cleared his throat a little, blue eyes flickering toward the board. He motioned a little, but his attention was caught on the other man's red eyes. He couldn't seem to get a good read on Laven. The man was as much a mystery to him as a black cat in the night.
"How about the purple one?" He picked it not only because of it's color but because their throwing had left it out in the open just a little. Menel knew that the other man was talented enough to hit it, but if he did miss it would mean that there was no opportunity for it to accidentally strike another.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:17 pm

It took all of Laven's willpower not to open his mouth and say how good Menel would look out of his own clothes, not to mention how he'd look in Laven's. It was a physical press that almost left the elf laughing. The poor man had barely seemed to understand when Laven was flirting with him in any case. And Laven was beginning to feel bad for continuing with the less than subtle words. Menel was clearly much younger than him, after all. Maybe the ignorance and blushes was his way of rejecting Laven's gentle flirtations. Ah well. It wouldn't stop him from feeling infinitely pleased when the younger man reminded him that he planned to win a little prize for him.

He chuckled gently when Menel pointed out the purple balloon. It was sitting alone, most of it's neighbors already knocked out of the wall.
"You're going to challenge me then?" He smiled up at Menel before tapping the dart against his lips. "That's good, nothing like a little challenge to warm the blood."

Maybe he'll stop flirting later. That blush is just too sweet to forget.

Laven knew he should probably stop showing off all his tricks in one go, but it was too good of a chance. Dropping a slow wink Laven leaned in just a little closer to Menel, flicking his gaze towards the balloon before looking back into Menel's eyes. He was definitely in the other man's space now, and leaning just a hair closer until he could murmur directly in his ear.
"How did you know how much I like purple?" And then he released his dart, red eyes still locked with blue.

Pop.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:27 pm

With the assassin so close, he probably should have felt more on edge, but there was no threat in the other man. No indication that he meant Menel any harm at all. The more time they spent together the less Menel thought of it. The swordsman's blue eyes showed that the smile on his lips was not simply an expression, he really was having a good time with Laven; enjoying the challenge.

"It wouldn't be any fun if it wasn't a challenge would it?" The other man tapped the dart against his lips. They were standing very close to one another now. Close enough that it would have almost been more natural to be touching in some way. Red eyes flickered toward the balloons then back to Menel's eyes. He couldn't help wondering what the other man's plan was. It made his blood warm too, the idea of this challenge. Trying to one up one another in a way that wouldn't end with one of them hurt.

Laven leaned forward, voice lowering as if he was going to offer some kind of secret but it wasn't. The swordsman saw a flicker out of the corner of his eye, heard the small sound of a balloon popping. He didn't have to look to know that the purple balloon was gone. His lips parted, and he had to admit that he was impressed. Not only had Laven caught the balloon without looking, but he had not closed his eyes at all. The other man had not needed to focus his other senses, but had simply known where the balloon was all along.

Menel wondered if he could match that.


"You're amazing." He didn't have to speak loudly, just quietly and honestly. The swordsman could only try to match this talent, to challenge the other man further. He might fail, but he could try. Menel did not look at the board, bringing up the image of it in his mind. He trusted that he knew where all the blue balloons were. He did not even glance to make sure, but trusted himself, trusted his instincts and let the dart fly from his fingers.

He was rewarded with a small sharp pop. Blue eyes slid over crimson. They were close enough that Menel could smell the other man's scent, watch the motion of the air moving individual lavender hairs. The way that the scar on his face moved when he spoke. There were fine lines around Laven's eyes. The marks of the years he had lived, years that had been gracious to his features but that had not been able to resist leaving some loving mark upon him.

If Laven could do better than that... then Menel knew he couldn't match it, but he couldn't think of a way of making it more challenging anyway.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:47 pm

"Thank you," His tone was sincere and Laven tipped his head slightly in acknowledgement of Menel's praise. There had been a chance he would miss his target since he hadn't been looking at the balloon when he threw the dart. But being trained his whole life in the art of knives meant he had a very good sense of space and how to adjust to make sure his strikes were true. A standing target like the balloons here were nothing, not like the rapid changes that came with attacking something living. Sometimes he envied his cousin, a master of projectiles more suited to Maquina's technological advancement.

Laven watched as Menel focused internally, eyes still on him as he readied his dart to throw. Was he going to mimic Laven's little trick then? If so he was also one-upping the elf since he hadn't even looked at the board. Instead there they were, looking at each other and pressed quite close without touching. When Menel let his weapon fly and they both heard the satisfying sound of the balloon rupturing Laven felt himself smiling again, skin around his eyes crinkling in mirth.
"And you said I was amazing? I think you're  the real master here, Menel."

There was a brief moment when Laven leaned in closer, the brush of his arm against the swordsman's before Laven broke the gaze, attempting to reign in his self control long enough that he wouldn't make a complete ass of himself by reaching up to press a bare hand against  the human's face. No, he had to remind himself where he was, what he needed to do still, and that Menel wouldn't be safe in being lavished with too much affection from someone like Laven. It was a pity, just a few more inches and Laven could have leaned in and...

A sudden loud cough from the woman manning the balloon booth snapped Laven back into reality like a slap to his face. Blinking red eyes pulled back and focused on the spot where Menel's dart was lodged, tatters of blue material hanging around it's point.


"Any time now, gentlemen." She snapped, and Laven wondered if it was his race, their gender, or perhaps the fact they were lingering and keeping her from making more money that had her temper fraying. With an apologetic wink in Menel's direction Laven bowed at the waist towards the woman. "Forgive me for getting carried away, madam. Shall we wrap this up quickly, love?" He gestured to the board.

"What's my next target to be?"
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:45 pm

Laven's complement made Menel smile. Like every complement before it, it was met by a small graceful shifting of the swordsman's shoulders. Menel knew he had skill, he had spent most of his life practicing to make it so, to deny the complement would be to deny that he had spent all those long hours at work. Yet he couldn't really accept it either because he felt that it wasn't really him so much as it was simply hard work. It was hard for him to see that his hard work had carried him only so far and that he truly was as talented as he was skilled.

The assassin leaned forward a little, and Menel thought he might whisper something again, try some trick that the swordsman couldn't yet imagine. For a moment their bodies touched by a breath and instead Laven suddenly looked down. Breaking the tension and Menel's expectation with a single quiet motion.

Beside them the woman who ran the booth coughed and Menel flashed her a broad smile. She looked irritated and Menel could only imagine it was because they had made a game out of something that they shouldn't have been able to do at all. She'd rigged the game and not only were they beating it, they were having fun doing so. The swordsman started to say something to that effect when Laven spoke up instead.

Pink rose to his cheeks again, his stomach tightening. He coughed and let out a little laugh.
"I don't see why we have to rush, we paid for our darts and we're here to have fun aren't we?" He looked at the woman giving her a little smile. "That's the point right?"

The woman sighed in exasperation but nodded. Menel doubted that she really meant it, but he was sure that policy demanded that she not push things to far. She'd scare off all the customers that way, and if someone didn't win now and again it would prove that her game was rigged. "How about that purple one up at the top?" Menel gestured toward it smoothly. They both knew that the trick to the game was that the darts weren't sharp. That the only way to pop a balloon was by arcing the dart so that the weight of it would force the balloon to explode. Which meant that the balloons that were higher up would be extremely challenging to pop since getting a proper arc on them would be far more difficult than one that was across from them.

"Since you like purple so much." Menel grinned.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:52 pm

Menel's determination to continue their game at their own pace made Laven smile and shake his head a little. He didn't doubt that Menel meant his words, and that the woman would let them finish at their own pace but that didn't stop Laven from recognizing that caution was sometimes needed. But then again, as far as Laven could tell the human wasn't a transplant on semi-hostile soil. That taught you in more ways than one how to be grateful to indifference and watch that you didn't overstep yourself.

But it wasn't Laven's place to reprimand nor expect Menel to understand. So he gave the booth woman another gently apologetic nod before focusing on his companion once again. A purple balloon that was clearly meant to be impossible to hit was pointed out to him and he laughed softly, resting his hand on Menel's shoulder before giving him an incredulous stare.


"Really? I didn't know you had such a wicked streak in you, Menel!" Laven grinned at the challenging look on the human's face before returning his gaze to the purple balloon. It was at the top of the board, and Laven knew right away he'd only be able to hit it if he put significant force behind his throw. It wasn't as if Laven couldn't pop the balloon but doing so might cause a bit of a stir. Squeezing the human's shoulder before dropping his hand, Laven picked up his fourth dart and considered it carefully.

It was a little crooked from multiple bad strikes and clearly in need of repair. Which was probably why it was used, another mark against the thrower. Laven rolled it under his fingers and felt the way it wobbled. Best to use his left hand then. He looked over at Menel and smiled before shifting his feet to get better propulsion with his arm.
"I do like purple quite a bit." He admitted before moving the dart from the right hand he had been using thus far, to his left. The hand he used for his claws. Threw the dart hard, and watched it embed itself in not only the balloon but deeply into the board it had been fastened to. Smiled sharply at the look on the woman's face.

"But I admit I want a prize just a bit more."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:22 pm

Menel didn't miss Laven's apologetic nod to their reluctant hostess, the man was polite, and surprisingly good-natured. In short he was in no way what Menel might have expected from an assassin. What really might he have expected though? It wasn't as though it was common for him to have a conversation with one. For all he knew all assassins were polite in their everyday lives. If he hadn't been having such a good time, he would have felt a flicker of guilt over assuming so much of the other man based on no more than his career.

Laven laughed, touching him on the shoulder and Menel responded with a little smile that had him running his hand over his short white hair again. It was something of a nervous habit for the swordsman. Whenever he was feeling uncertain or nervous he would run his hand over the short white hair feeling the hairs tingle along his palm. It wasn't the touch, but rather Laven's words that he wasn't sure how to respond to. He couldn't deny after all his competitive spirit.
"If you don't want a challenge you shouldn't ask me to pick for you." He suspected though that it was part of why Laven asked him to pick them. Did the other man want to see if Menel would challenge him, or if Menel would underestimate his skills and pick things that were easy for him?

The elf clapped him on the shoulder once before looking at the dart in his hand. Even from where Menel was standing the swordsman could tell that Laven had a poor tool at his disposal. All of the darts were cheap things. Battered from use and ill-cared for. Menel would have been embarrassed to own something in the condition that even the best of the darts was in. The one that Laven turned over his fingers however was particularly battered.

Every subtle shift in Laven's weight was captured by the swordsman's keen attention. Years of fighting had made him incredibly aware of the way others moved, and he could tell that Laven was prepping for the shot just by the way his weight shifted. Then the dart flew from his fingers and even before it closed with the balloon Menel felt a flash of warmth roll over him. The dart hit the balloon with such force that the arc didn't even matter. It buried itself halfway into the board and Menel doubted that the woman would be able to free it with much ease.


"Damn." The soft curse left Menel's lips before he could even think of it. Menel's expression bloomed quickly into a smile, smaller than before, but his eyes... Menel's pupils had dilated leaving his blue eyes looking almost to bright as they were swallowed up by his excitement. "I could pop another blue one but... I can't think of any way to one up that."

He shook his head, eyes shifting to the man beside him. By old habit he had been using his right hand dominantly, but the truth was that he was quite ambidextrous - a necessity since he dual-wielded his swords in combat independently of one another. His left being somewhat stronger but his right being more convenient to use for mundane tasks... like throwing darts. Still, he couldn't put that much force behind a dart. He simply didn't have the skill necessary to do it. "Your going to have to come up with a challenge for me this time Laven." He grinned suddenly, more than a little excited at that prospect. "It's only fair since I've been picking for you."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:27 pm

Elves were usually gifted with keen eyesight and better than human hearing, and Laven was no exception to the rule. But they were close enough even a half blind child could have seen Menel's reaction to his throw. Red eyes caught Menel's suddenly expanded pupils, the catch of breath ringing in his ears even around the mass and noise of the crowds. While usually Laven wasn't keen to letting what he knew had just happened effect him this time, he knew that was one of the reactions he was hoping for. The warm little flame under his heart licked up just once before he forced it back down. Laven might not have been much of a predator, but there was always a surge of excitement when it came to a hunt like this.

In fact, it had been quite some time since he had even thought of the dagger this whole event was riding on. Laven had been enjoying himself, and he hadn't been feeling muddled in the past and present as was his usual state of being. As much as that was a joy to realize, just the idea he was forsaking Remembrance was enough to sober Laven up. Eyebrows furrowing even as he smiled at Menel's words, he forced the almost bubbling feelings inside of him back to the slow and careful flow he was used to. Focus.


I will not betray your memory, but let me just have a little fun for this moment.

Smoothing his expression back into pleasant smiles Laven raised his eyebrows at Menel's request. "Oh? Too much to ask for you to mimic me on that strike?" Laven very much doubted Menel couldn't do the same trick and impale not only a balloon but also the dart board itself. But if he wanted a unique challenge who was Laven to deny him?

"Okay. Let's test that talent of yours." Stepping back and away from the barrier keeping people from the balloons and prizes Laven moved until he was behind Menel, his heeled boots allowing them to be the same height. Reaching up over Menel's shoulders Laven dropped his right hand over the human's eyes, long cool fingers blocking his vision with gentle pressure. At this angle Laven's mouth brushed against Menel's ear and he dropped his voice so only the swordsman could hear him.

"Three rows down, and five balloons in from the right of the board. It's pink." Laven used his left hand to deposit Menel's next dart into the man's hand. "Good luck." He murmured against the tan skin, and held his breath.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:52 pm

If Menel really made an effort he might have been able to mirror Laven's throw, but the truth was that he doubted he could. Thrown weapons were not Menel's forte, and while the swordsman trained himself in several skills that might come in handy aside from swordplay throwing darts, or even something close to darts was not among them. So far he had done well based on skills that were similar in nature but slightly different in practice. That and the fact that this wasn't the first dart-booth that he had ever tried his hand at. In fact, he could have done mirrored such a move at a natural level, but one so high... Well it was again treading into territory he was far less practiced at.

The elf's gentle teasing turned quickly into acceptance and Menel watched him move, realizing belatedly that Laven was walking to stand behind him. The swordsman was so used to facing who he was talking to, that he actually started to turn to keep Laven in front of him. Menel allowed the elf to stand behind him, ignoring the edge of tension that spilled over him at the knowledge that someone was this close to his body and behind him. Laven slid fingers over his eyes and Menel let out a small amused noise.

Covering his eyes?

Menel's eyes closed behind Laven's gentle fingers, lashes brushing lightly against the unfamiliar hands. He could hear the other man's voice low in his ear, directing him to a specific balloon.

Now, this was a challenge.

The swordsman let the tension, and even his excitement for the moment spill out of him; breathing it out and away from himself and finding the void inside his mind. It consumed everything save Laven's directions. Inside the stillness he brought up his mental map of the board. He had specifically marked in his mind where all the blue balloons were, but the rest were there as well albeit more hazily. He let his senses spread out from himself. The scent of Laven overriding most everything else. His fingers almost a distraction but they remained still. As close as they were, Laven would undoubtedly feel it. The way his body simply stilled.

This was why Menel practiced in the night, in dark rooms with the lights turned off. His eyes closed so that his other senses could fill in. His job to often made it necessary for him to be able to rely on something more than his eyesight. It came in handy now.

Like a spring Menel unwound. Muscles moving not like a well-oiled machine but with all the languid, effortless power of a lion. He moved with perfect surety. His mind telling him exactly where the balloon would be, and he trusted his instincts to guide the dart to it's final destination. He was rewarded with the sound of another pop, and the small realization that Laven had been holding his breath.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:47 pm

Laven's breath left him with a shaky laugh, a hot puff of air against Menel's ear. The pink balloon was in ruins, Menel's dart having pierced it dead center. When he had felt Menel still suddenly in front of him Laven had wondered if he was overstepping a line by pressing so close to the human. Now he knew it had been the prelude to launching his dart with only memory to guide his hand. It was thrilling and just a little frightening.

Laven slid his hand from Menel's eyes, running his fingers down the warrior's cheek before resting it comfortably on his shoulder.
"You're marvelous," He murmured. The smell of leather and Menel and the heat of the man in front of him was intoxicating. All of it was just enough to make Laven flush a pale pink along his ears and cheeks. To be so bright and good and powerful, Laven wondered what it was like. Menel was like a burning flame, making things better just by being beside them. It wasn't any wonder why Laven was clinging to him even having not only just met him but also fought with him over an important job.

It was at that point Laven realized he was quite literally clinging to Menel, the hand still on the human's shoulder resting comfortably while the other was resting against his waist. With an embarrassed noise he unwound himself, coming back around to Menel's side bt not meeting his eyes.
"I apologize. I forgot strangers don't usually appreciate clingy from people in my line of work." He smiled and shrugged off his discomfort before looking at the last pair of darts between them.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:44 pm

Laven's breath came back in a shaken laugh, as if he had held his breath so that it would not affect Menel's shot. Even before he opened his eyes he knew that he had hit the correct mark, and when Laven's hand's slid down his face he could see it for himself. The pink tatters that hung from the edge of his dart exactly where it was supposed to be.

The elf let his hands rest on Menel's shoulders and the swordsman shifted slightly so that he could see Laven. The elf looked... Menel might have said he was embarrassed if he had to guess. Menel knew some of the symptoms of it with nearly painful acuity.

In truth Menel didn't even really realize how close they were. Not until Laven pulled away and stood at his side, his words making the swordsman realize that they had been close. Yet... he didn't feel at all that Laven should apologize for it. Menel certainly hadn't felt uncomfortable with his presence.

Menel watched Laven shrug and acting entirely on impulse he leaned toward the other man. Fingers sliding over Laven's jaw and with a gentle pull making those red eyes meet his blue.
"I don't mind at all." He let out a little chuckle. "Honestly you have me half thinking that my only chance to make you miss is to see if you have some kind of ticklish spot."

Well, actually trying to tickle the man might be a bit rude but it was a thought that was growing ever more tempting.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:15 pm

He almost jerked away when Menel's hand touched his jaw, the instinct to keep his guard up and the instant surge of affection at being touched fighting each other. The feeling of gentle yet callused hands won out over discretion and Laven looked up into the younger man's eyes. The expression on Menel's face was of concern and kindness for the assassin. Laven didn't know what to make of it.

Was this a gentle soul that simply wanted to make Laven comfortable after a mildly awkward moment? Or a very subtle flirtation? Or simply a blunt way of getting Laven's attention? He had very lovely blue eyes. Pale and bright, like a summer's afternoon. For a moment Laven was back in the past and remembering another pair of blue eyes, these ones framed in curling red hair. But then he blinked and these eyes had never been so cold as the forgotten pair had been. And those eyes had never just threatened to tickle him to throw a competition.

He laughed, eyes crinkling again as he reached up and took away Menel's hand. Laven squeezed his fingers lightly before dropping them and picking up the fifth and final dart.
"There's a secret I'll never tell now, love. Not when I have victory in my sights." Clear red eyes met blue again and he raised his eyebrows. "Though I suppose if you're going to try and distract me now is your last chance."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:00 am

The flesh under his sensitive fingers twitched in subtle reaction. Perhaps a touch of surprise that Menel had touched him, like the swordsman himself Menel suspected that Laven wasn't used to someone entering his personal space. Or perhaps there was something else to it that Menel did not know. It did make the swordsman wonder just a little.  

He let the thought go when Laven laughed, lifting his hand to Menel's hand and easing Menel's fingers away from his face. The action made that curiosity stir again, but then... Laven was simply a befuddling man. Nothing about him seemed to make much sense to Menel. He both liked the man and simultaneously realized that in the time they'd been together he had learned little more about him than that he was a tailor.

Once more his words made the swordsman flush. He was almost certain now that Laven was doing it purposefully. Trying to embarrass him. Perhaps to throw off his game and thus make things more challenging, or simply because the other man seemed to enjoy his embarrassment.
"Ah, would you tell me otherwise then?" Menel made an amused noise. After all it might come in handy later. When and how were unnecessary details.

Laven's eyes met his and Menel very seriously considered a way that he might distract the other man. Like him the other man was ambidextrous so the shot could be done with either  hand. Both of them had managed shots with their vision obstructed... He could try to upset the other man's balance but actually moving Laven seemed to much like cheating which meant that he had to come up with something else.

In the end it was the lack of ideas that had Menel moving, coming up behind Laven and almost mirroring the way that the other man had stood close behind him. He did not lift his hands to the other man's eyes instead he teasingly leaned forward, blue eyes sparkling with mirth that Laven couldn't see.
"I guess while you're busy shooting down another I can search for it."

The swordsman's humor deepened his voice subtly, and he rather slowly slid his fingers around the other man's waist as if he did indeed have every intention of tickling Laven... or at least trying to find a ticklish spot in order to distract him.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:50 pm

"Maybe once you get to know me better." He replied, mirth in his eyes as he watched Menel think for a moment. At this point Laven wasn't sure he could come up with another challenge for this particular event. At least nothing short of magic or dirty tricks, which he was loath to use. So he was actually curious on what Menel would do to try and throw him off balance for this last dart. He'd thought that maybe some kind of restraint would come into play.

And when Menel swept up behind him and moved to get his arms around his waist Laven was torn between a laugh and an exclamation. The swordsman's voice was richer and far too close to Laven's ear as he professed his plan. As soon as fingers touched him Laven made a softly strangled noise and glanced at Menel.
"If this is payback for all of my flirtations it's certainly working." he managed to mumble before grasping his last dart and staring at the board in determination. It wasn't that he was upset to suddenly have the very handsome human at his back, it was the fact that he was ticklish. And If he was lucky Menel wouldn't find any of his weak spots until he had struck his fifth balloon.

Luck wasn't with him it seemed. Laven knew he had to get the dart in the air as quickly as possible so he had pulled back his right arm to throw. And then Menel's fingers found the bruised ribs he had inflicted on Laven earlier. Laven's arm stuttered, his jaw clenched at the sudden bloom of pain, and the woman at the booth cleared her throat loudly all at the same time. Just as he let the dart fly for an easy target.

And watched it thud off of the backboard harmlessly inches from the purple balloon Laven had chosen. Laven gave a soft and unhappy sigh, hearing several people behind him also make sounds of displeasure. It seemed that their showboating had earned Menel and Laven a small audiance. At least that should help perk up business after the pair moved on.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:10 pm

In full honesty Menel's plan was only half formed at best. It did seem like to much to actually move Laven in some way, but if he could be distracted or put off his game either by the threat or by Menel's light touch then that seemed fair enough to the swordsman.

Even as Menel's fingers touched the other man's waist gently Laven made a soft sound and Menel tilted his head slightly, wondering if it had been that easy and that the other man was ticklish just there. But the elf managed a few words and Menel blinked.

Laven had been flirting?

The swordsman's sensitive fingers slid over the other man's clothes gently. Careful not to get in the way of Laven's arms but delicately touching his waist, his sides. The other man's body responded under his gentle prodding his arm twitching and the dart landing nowhere near it's mark.

There was no way for the swordsman to know that it was pain rather than a spot that was sensitive in some other way, so he let out a small amused noise.
"It seems I found a sensitive spot after all." He leaned forward slightly, the others who had gathered, the woman at the booth; he paid them no attention at all. His fingers trailed down, so that he wasn't touching that exact spot anymore. Smiling because when Laven turned to look at him, he intended to greet the other man with a mischievous grin.

"Well, I'd welcome you to try and find one of mine, but I'm afraid that my armor would repel any efforts you'd make to return the favor."

Maybe he'd won this competition after all, because now all he had to do was pop one more balloon. But that wouldn't answer his lingering question. Why would the elf be flirting with him?


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:21 pm

"So you did," somehow Laven managed to speak in a normal voice when he answered Menel's cheerful jab. Years of learning how to hide physical pain coming in handy as he tried not to rest a hand on his bruised side. Instead he looked down at Menel's hands that were still on his sides, eyebrows furrowed in speculation.

Maybe he was being foolish, maybe the young man was an affectionate person. Affectionate enough to have someone he knew was a killer in his arms as if this was a date for lovers that were comfortable with each other. It was surreal to Laven. Two decades he wouldn't have been able to see himself ever having someone with their arms around him like this. And a decade ago he would have pulled away like a startled animal. At it was he felt like this was something he very much so would have enjoyed. Even if he was currently battling with the painful throb of bruised flesh and old aching ribs.

It took a conscious force of will for Laven to wrench himself from contemplation and turn enough in Menel's grasp to look the other man in the eye. Hopefully the lines of pain around his eyes were gone, just the expression of bittersweet exasperation remaining. Laven let his hands rest on Menel's bare upper arms instead, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.
"True, you do seem to keep all your more tempting areas wrapped up in leather and steel, don't you."

It wasn't a question, despite the phrasing. Laven tilted his head and watched Menel's face for a moment. He drank in the mischievous grin and the easy posture, the twinge on his side fading back into a whisper he could ignore. His expression was schooled into a soft smile as he reached out and cupped the side of Menel's face, thumb brushing under his eye in a casually affectionate gesture.

"I'll never find out if you plan to keep me wrapped up in your arms instead of trying to claim your prize, though. Unless you think you can hit your mark like this?"
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:58 pm

Slowly Laven turned around, not really disturbing Menel's hold on him much. Particularly when the elf lifted his own hands to touch his biceps it simply seemed more natural to stay like this. Standing very close to one another, almost hugging after a fashion. It wasn't that for Menel it wasn't a little strange, but nothing in his instincts suggested danger and he trusted this level of comfort he felt.

Laven looked into his eyes, and Menel returned the favor. Noting in his way the edge of tightness in the skin around those crimson orbs. A hint of emotion which was perhaps half pleasure and half frustration. The swordsman could read the emotion well enough, but it did not tell him why Laven felt that way. Perhaps over the shot? Or the fact that Menel had found a sensitive location so quickly? The emotions were to tied with one another for him to hazard a guess.


"That is the point of armor after all." Menel agreed quietly. It wasn't exactly a question, but he answered none the less, smiling easily as the other man lifted a hand to touch his face. The motion was wholly telegraphed and so Menel did nothing to avoid it, allowing the other man's thumb to run over his cheek softly. Curiosity flickered inside those sky blue eyes.

"Do you mean to try if I hit my shot then?" Menel's felt that flicker again. Warmth sharp and pleasurable at the thought of a challenge. Was Laven trying to find a ticklish spot a reward then? It certainly wasn't unfair, and he would enjoy watching the other man try. "I will only have to move a little, I don't have to let go of you."

The swordsman shifted just subtly, and it was like before when Laven had been holding him from behind, but also different. So many more muscles could be felt moving, shifting as the swordsman lifted his right arm a little. Though the dart only needed to pass between his fingers his body flowed with it. A heartbeat of motion and then an almost delicate pop. Menel smiled a very small satisfied smile; his hand returning to where it had been only a moment ago.

"Would you like to pick your prize Laven?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:16 am

If Laven was the kind of person that believed in the gods he might have wondered if they had a hand in putting him into bizarre situations. As it was Laven didn't know what to think of this current situation. He was being held in the very comforting grip of an attractive man who had just informed him he had no intention of letting go of the elf's waist as he finished up the competition the two had started as a means to pass time.

All so Laven could earn his dagger back, and hopefully kill the man Menel was hired to protect.

Bizarre was the only word that could describe such a situation.

As Menel shifted his hold once more, Laven shifted as well, pressing just a hair closer and moving his arms up and around the human's neck into a more comfortable position. This way he couldn't look at Menel without craning his neck back. Instead he felt the man's muscles tense and coil in preparation for throwing his final dart. Laven would be lying if he didn't admit to himself that it was quite a romantic picture they were painting, standing like this. Even if Menel seemed oblivious to it all and Laven wasn't sure why he was going along with it so easily.

It was like this that Laven felt Menel's arm tense and then relax, and heard the sound of the balloon he'd chosen rupture. He began to laugh, quietly and against the high collar of Menel's shirt. It wasn't as if he'd tried very hard to disrupt Menel's concentration. But it was still charming to know the man's skill was evident.

"Would you like to pick your prize Laven?"

Laven almost responded with a cheeky you, shaking his head and laughing against the swordsman a moment longer before lifting his head and looking at the booth runner. The woman had apparently remembered that the point of her job was to make people believe that the event could be won. She was currently hawking to the crowd that had gathered about  how easy it was to succeed. "This young an just did it for his sweetheart, so can you! Step right up and win yourself a prize!" Her shrewd eyes looked the pair over before she gestured above her head.

"What'll it be lads? The rabbit or the gryphon?"

Laven shook his head again before pulling free of Menel's embrace, looking up at the cheap but somehow endearing stuffed animals. Knowing exactly which one he'd rather have. "The rabbit, if you please."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:43 am

His question earned a laugh as the elf finally pulled away from him. Menel hadn't even really been aware of exactly how close they had been standing until the other man pulled away and the lack of presence was a notable thing. Unsurprisingly the woman took her chance to play things up, telling the crowed that they could do it too though Menel doubted that many of them had that kind of skill. It wouldn't really hurt them to try though, and at the very least they like him could enjoy the challenge.

Menel didn't fail to notice that she called Laven his 'sweetheart', the swordsman smiling just a little. He wasn't surprised at all when Laven chose a rabbit. Between the two options he felt that it was probably the nicer looking animal. The woman hastened to get it down for them, handing it to Menel who had come up behind Laven a little and then quickly turning away from them to the next customer in line so as to not give them a chance to try again.

The swordsman wasn't insulted, really it was only fair if they had to get back in line for the booth, but at this point they'd both proven that it wasn't much of a challenge. Menel smiled and offered the stuffed toy to Laven.
"Just as I promised." In a small way he hoped that he had proven to Laven that he was a man of his word. That the dagger was safe in his possession until he gave it back to the assassin.

"So..." Menel turned his blue eyes toward the other booths, stalls that lined the streets then Laven once more. "What do you want to do next?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:20 pm

Laven wrapped his fingers around the stuffed toy that Menel offered him, shaking his head and smiling at the ridiculous thing. "It seems you keep your promises, don't you?" He laughed and stroked the rabbit's head before tucking it against his side and taking Menel's arm once more to draw him away from the booth they had been loitering in front of.

When Menel asked him what they should do next the elf pondered the question, looking around at what was available. And then up at the sky, which was growing dark. That fact startled him. They had been enjoying themselves far longer than Laven had realized. If it was getting this late already that meant there was at least one event coming up that wouldn't wait for them to spend another hour making up challenges for themselves.


"I have an idea, but we'd have to do something a little dangerous for a good view." Laven smiled at Menel and raised his eyebrows. "You'd have to trust me, but I think it's worth the end result." They'd have to hurry and find a tall building with an accessible roof, but seeing as how that was Laven's forte it wouldn't be much of a struggle. Of course the swordsman would have to be willing to follow where he lead. It would be a much nicer surprise that way.

He gave Menel a hopeful look and squeezed the arm he was holding gently. Laven wouldn't blame him for saying no, but it was worth a shot.


Last edited by Laven on Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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