The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:54 pm

Laven sat besides Menel at his insistent tugging, smiling softly at the human's expression. It was so happy and surprised, Laven knew he was making the right choice. Knew this was important. Grief was weakened by joy, wasn't it? So Laven tucked his feet up under him and leaned against Menel, a gentle laugh the only thing coming out of his mouth at first.

"I did tell you it was a good view, didn't I?" Another faked drink of wine before pushing the bottle on his companion. Then as a brilliant red display of sparks exploded over them Laven made a sound of appreciation. It had been years since he'd seen the fireworks during the summer solstice. Usually if he wasn't working he was with his cousin. The two of them drawing strength from being together, in a place where they were constantly hounded by memories. Holidays being the worst.

But here he could just bask in the glow of lights and magic, Menel a solid presence beside him. In the darkness, with the starbursts and showers of colors around them punctuated by thunderous sounds, Laven let himself relax and enjoy himself once more. Laughing suddenly at a twisting, screaming sparkling trail of fire that vanished into the night and then opened like a flower made of jewels hung on velvet.
"Beautiful," he whispered to no one, resting his head against Menel's shoulder and smiling.

The splashes of light painted Menel in soft colors, softened the strain he had been carrying around his eyes. Laven watched the swordsman and the fireworks, quiet and glad to give just a little joy. Hoped the wine would be gone later rather than sooner.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:17 pm

Beside him Laven laughed and it was a good quiet chuckle. Relenting to the swordsman's tugging by sitting at his side. The first two fireworks were being joined by others now. Not all at once, but with a little lull and then two, three, four at a time. Lighting up the sky so much that it almost seemed like daylight. The last time he'd seen this... He'd been a very young man, and the memory simply couldn't measure up to the present.

Laven offered him the bottle again and he took another drink. Already the taste of the alcohol was fading away to the more pleasant taste of the fruit on his tongue.


"I haven't seen anything like this... since I was thirteen." Menel admitted it easily. The memory might have stung, but it was easy to let slide from his fingers. Leaving an oddly tilted nostalgia in his tone. "The view wasn't nearly this good."

It was comfortable, Laven leaning against him. The night was warm and he felt it in his bones. It shouldn't have been so easy to let his cares drift away but... he didn't want them. He just wanted to sit here and enjoy this moment for once. Just the present.

Menel tilted his head, idly passing the bottle back toward Laven. Tilting his head put his cheek on top of Laven's hair. So that it tickled his cheek pleasantly. Suddenly he made a little amused noise.
"Is this the point at which you try to find my ticklish spot?" In retrospect... he had no idea where that question had come from.


-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 Jul 06, 2015 11:46 pm

Laven simply made a noncommittal sound to most of what Menel said, his eyes half closed as he watched the display in front of them. It was very easy to simply slip into a relaxed state with the swordsman. If he had been able to, Laven knew he would have shared the wine in earnest, enjoyed the fireworks and the comfortable body beside him and felt that thread of affection come to life once more under his skin. Even fighting it he knew it was there, knew he was definitely attracted to Menel. It should have made his life harder. It didn't.

When he felt the press of Menel's cheek against the top of his head he huffed out another laugh, taking the bottle back as it was handed to him. The wine seemed to be going to Menel's head, and Laven smiled at the words that trickled out of his mouth.


"Oh? Is that what you'd like me to do, love?" Laven glanced up through his lashes at Menel, one eyebrow cocked up in amusement. Slipping his arm around the human's shoulder, Laven's fingers ghosted over the exposed skin of Menel's neck. Reaching back behind him Laven tucked the wine out of the way and suddenly pushed Menel onto his back, the fireworks exploding over their heads. Laven couldn't see them, instead he was leaning over Menel and smiling with a little more teeth than usual. A predator's smile.

Fire and light exploded behind him, casting his face in deep shadow. He watched Menel's closely, one hand resting on the human's chest and the other next to his head, close enough that his thumb brushed against Menel's ear. Laven brought his face close to Menel's, the echoing of the fireworks rolling through his chest as the lights danced across the swordsman's face.
"I could give it a shot, If you wanted me to. Though I think I'd rather kiss you right now."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:15 am

The question made Menel blush, not really because of the question, but because of that word again. Love. Laven shifted and Menel looked down. Surprised just a bit to see Laven looking up at him. He felt the elf touching his neck and a corresponding tingle of warmth. It wasn't a place he was used to being touched, but...

Suddenly Laven pushed him over. The action was so smooth and unexpected that Menel didn't have a chance to try and stop the elf. His stomach clenched and heat flooded his veins so that when his back hit the ground his heart was pounding. It wasn't fear so much as excitement. The sudden thrill of adrenaline.

Light exploded behind Laven. Purple and crimson. The elf was grinning like a madman and Menel grinned back in response. With all the light that smile and the gleam of Laven's eyes were all he could see of the elf. He could only feel Laven's finger touching his ear lightly. It felt like his heart should be a physical presence even through his armor to the hand on his chest.

He wanted to say that it would only be fair, that he'd promised Laven the chance but the rest of the elf's words made his words stall behind his lips. Kiss him? Heat flooded his cheeks again. The light dying in the sky so that they were both of them left in darkness.
"It would only be fair." He whispered the words and flushed harder when he realized what he'd said. He didn't mean the kiss he meant the tickling. The swordsman felt terribly warm, his lips parted in surprise. Why would Laven want to kiss him? "Why...?"


-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 Jul 07, 2015 12:40 am

"Why...?"

The question made Laven pause, eyes roaming over Menel's face before he ran the hand on Menel's chest up to rest against the human's cheek. He tilted his head, a tiny line between his brows appearing. "Why not? You're handsome, I like your company. Is that a no?" Laven waited, his thumb brushing over Menel's flushed cheek. He felt like he'd been receiving mixed signals since they had met, Menel easily accepting his touches and flirtation but seeming oblivious to anything overt from himself towards Laven. If it hadn't been charming it might have been unsettling. Laven wasn't the kind of person who pushed when he wasn't wanted.

The fireworks continued to explode around them, coming in rapid fire bursts that seemed to scramble Laven's heartbeat. He focused on the man beneath him. The pale lashes and blue eyes that were strange and lovely at the same time. This wasn't the first time he'd found himself attracted to a human. In fact his only long term lovers had both been men and human. But no one as unique looking as Menel. Not that they were lovers, but it was an idea Laven could see himself entertaining...


"Menel." He murmured, the glitter of explosions framing his body in the night. "I'd very much like to get to know you better. Not just as a friend. But If you don't, I want to know so I don't say or do anything you don't want. So may I kiss you, or should I let you up?" He smiled gently at Menel, brushing his knuckles over Menel's lower lip as he waited for the answer.


Last edited by Laven on Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:30 am

If he had given those reasons back to Laven, would the elf have said yes to him? The question floated lazily up from his mind. Followed by another sleepy question. Did he want Laven to kiss him? What really did he know about Laven in the end? Almost nothing. That he made friends with a lonely little girl who trusted him implicitly in a world where her sister had been taken away. That it hurt him to know the trouble those children were in. Menel knew that Laven's hands were bloodied, but his weren't clean.

There was light exploding behind Laven. Again and again. It did nothing to still Menel's heartbeat but he couldn't focus on the beauty of it with Laven before him. He couldn't think about the past, or the future. The swordsman hadn't had lovers, but he had known love. Enough to know that he couldn't judge how he felt now against that.

Strangely he didn't feel surprised, in fact he didn't even feel confused though he almost thought he should have been.

The welter of lights made the softening expression on Menel's face as clear as day. He lifted his own hand, mirroring the way that Laven touched his lips. The swordsman couldn't deny the way his heart quickened. The way his fingers tingled tracing the scar up over Laven's face. He let his fingers press into Laven's hair over his angled ear, not caring if he messed it up. Gently but firmly he held onto the other man.

Menel answered in silence, rising up against the press of Laven's fingers and kissing Laven himself. It was just a press of lips, soft and inexperienced but warm.

He couldn't have said no, because Menel wanted the kiss, and saying a single word might have broken the elf; but this once... He knew that it should be him giving the kiss. Somewhere a firework exploded in the distance, and Menel didn't care even a little bit that he was missing it.


-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 Jul 07, 2015 11:44 am

The feeling of the hand sliding up his face to cup the side of his head made Laven's eyes close for a  moment. It was like an exhale, a sudden sensation where he knew he wasn't going to be denied. Laven leaned his head into the touch, feeling some of his hair slip free from it's confines and not caring in the slightest. Eyes opening to the sound of another firework bursting behind him, Laven looked down into Menel's eyes and smiled, expression infinitely warm. Hair turned silver in the low light framing his face as he watched Menel beneath him.

And then he felt the flex of muscle under him, felt the push of Menel rising up a little to meet him half way, and Laven shifted his hand's position, cupping the back of Menel's head to help support him as their lips met gently.

It was a chaste kiss, just the feeling of mouths pressed together but it made Laven's lips curl up into a smile. Gently he dropped a second and third kiss against Menel's skin, each one as soft as the first. He could feel the inexperience, but also the lack of hesitation. And even though he knew that pushing all that wine onto Menel was probably the reason he agreed to willingly a part of Laven felt the warmth in his chest, the little coil of joy and desire that had been dead for a long time.

After the third kiss Laven let go of Menel's head, coaxing him to lay back down while he shifted his weight from the hand that had him propped upright to the same arm's elbow. Still above Menel, but much closer. Then he pressed himself down, darkened eyes closing before pressing another kiss on Menel. Inviting and soft. Laven knew what had to happen next, so he let himself be swallowed up in the feeling of Menel's hand and lips, and the gentle scents of wine and leather around him. The fireworks a distant thunder in his ears.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:01 pm

Laven's hair felt soft against his fingers. Long enough for him to tangle his fingers in. Which he did as his first kiss turned into a second and third from the elf. They made him smile. The terrible lighting made it hard for him to see Laven but he could feel the curl of Laven's lips against his skin.

He felt Laven's fingers slip out of his hair and he felt a small flicker of something close to disappointment even as he allowed the elf to push him back onto the ground. He liked Laven's fingers in his hair... The elf was close enough that the other man was a weight against him. An entirely comfortable presence.

Even without the warmth of alcohol burning in him he would have kissed this man, though if Laven hadn't asked him... He never would have guessed that Laven wanted to kiss him. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew he should be careful. That he shouldn't be selfish. That there were reasons to protect the kind-hearted elf from a man like him. Yet those concerns... they were so easy to ignore. Easier than they had ever been for him to let slip away as if they had never been there at all.

Laven kissed him again and Menel let his other hand slide over the elf's waist. It was the opposite side from the one he'd gotten a reaction from earlier. He still hadn't really apologized for hurting Laven, but he was distracted by kissing Laven's lower lip, and the warm flash of color beyond his eyelids.

He would apologize later.


-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 Jul 07, 2015 5:47 pm

The long moments of lips chasing each other and hands stroking faces and sides continued as the sounds and lights behind them began to die down. Laven found himself carding his hand through Menel's hair and rubbing his thumb in soothing circles around the man's temple. The hand on his waist was a comfortable weight, warm and supportive. Menel had grown bolder as time went on, kissing at Laven's bottom lip and causing the elf to smile and open his mouth a little, making an appreciative sound before leaving kisses along Menel's jaw and down to his neck. He left a long kiss there, sucking on the skin hard enough to bruise before kissing the spot with a gentle laugh.

Then he pulled back, long fingers continuing to stroke Menel's hair and face. Laven's face was tinged pink, but it was nothing compared to the full flush of the young man beneath him. Laven smiled even as his chest felt tight, and he placed a kiss beside Menel's ear before murmuring into the rounded ear.


"Menel, where's my dagger?" Laven kept his voice soft and even, no trace of fear or coercion apparent. The fireworks around them had died down, though one would shoot up every few minutes from private collections. But Laven ignored them, focusing on the disheveled and hopefully drunk swordsman. What he was about to do would be cruel, but Laven's kindness was often tempered with painful realities.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:29 pm

Laven's lips left his. Trailing down his jaw to his neck. Menel felt his breath catch in his chest, fingers curling into the elf's hair and side. He'd never even considered how sensitive the skin of his neck might be. Much less that Laven might do such a thing like sucking a mark on it. Menel made a low sound in his throat in spite of himself. By the time that Laven rose up a little his whole face was flushed his breathing more unsteady than it had been when they had fought earlier.

With his eyes closed they had adjusted to the darkness. More than enough to see the smile on Laven's lips. Enough to wonder if he was imagining that there was color on his cheeks. He smiled himself licking his lips a little and tilting his head into the touch of Laven's fingers. His own thumb rubbing a soft line beside Laven's crimson eye. Menel could feel every time his finger crossed over the scar where someone had left their mark on the elf's face so long ago.

He was half thinking that he should sit up, share the food; discordant thoughts that scattered as Laven leaned back down to him, kissing him softly beside the ear. The swordsman didn't expect a question and it made him chuckle darkly.
"Are you worried about it?" The question wasn't mocking but gentle, understanding. "It's been digging into my ribs all day. But it seemed important to you, so I kept it close."

Rather than taking it off with the rest of his weapons. He could risk loosing one of those by some weird coincidence, including both of the boot knives in his boots but Laven's dagger... He'd kept it close at first because it might be vital for his own safety and later because it had been important to the elf. His description of it's location also made it obvious where it was. There were no other sheathes outside of Menel's armor. Which meant it lay in a sheathe of some kind under his vest. "You don't have to worry Laven. I will protect it with my life until it is returned to you; as I would for either of my swords."

The location of the dagger had never been a secret, and the ease with which he said those words were proof that he meant them. He wanted to reassure the elf that the weapon was safe in his care.


-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 Jul 07, 2015 7:09 pm

Remembrance had been so close this entire time, trapped under Menel's armor. Laven's eyebrows went up but otherwise his expression didn't change. "That must be uncomfortable." He said instead of doing what he wanted, which was ripping into the armored vest and retrieving the stiletto to make sure it was still in good shape.

But whatever he had learned from Menel today, it was that this was a person who kept his word, and treated everything as irreplaceable. Laven wished he had that much kindness in his heart. Instead he found himself leaning in and kissing Menel once again, shifting so his legs were on either side of Menel's hips. With a chuckle the elf continued to stroke Menel's hair, bringing his free hand up to rest on Menel's chest. It was only a little pressure, but Laven could feel it now that he was looking. A length of oddly placed boning in the vest.

Or a dagger in it's sheath.

It was simple enough to do what came next. Kissing and touching Menel in a calming way, he leaned into the hand cupping his face and met Menel's eyes even as he figured out the catches on the front of the vest. Got the leather opened to the man's navel and exposed the dagger. Laven wanted to look down, wanted to make sure it was his dagger. But instead he kissed and bit Menel's lips gently, making a soft purring noise at the skin under his hands.

Knowing where the dagger lay was enough for now. Laven leaned back, nimble hands leaving Menel and popping open the buttons that ran down his green vest. Underneath was more of the deep red shirt that clung to his body like a second skin, obscuring Laven's shape in a way the green vest was too light colored to do in the night. Smiling down at Menel he discarded the cloth, and reached out, holding Menel's face between his hands. Left one more kiss on his forehead.


"I'm sorry," Laven murmured before he pulled his left hand away and struck, knuckles connecting with the area just outside of Menel's collarbone as he had been trained to do when he needed someone dizzy for a few moments. His right hand had the dagger in his grip at the same time, and with speed he hadn't exhibited since the first time they clashed Laven was gone. He left the coat and belt, the vest, and even his knee high boots. Two running steps brought him to the building's edge before he glanced over his shoulder at Menel, pain in his eyes.

And then he stepped over the edge, the wind -his magic- cushioning his fall before the ground could kill him. Laven vanished into the night, his bare feet silent as he raced for the home of the child thief.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:54 pm

Even with Laven kissing him again Menel didn't miss the other man's fingers over his vest. He didn't blame Laven for wanting to reassure himself that it was there and besides... Menel was far more than half distracted by Laven's weight over him. The swordsman was quickly learning from Laven, returning the kisses with skill that grew in remarkable leaps and bounds. Which suggested that he had been woefully lacking in a practicing partner which was of course entirely accurate.

In the growing silence as the fireworks died out Menel heard Laven's fingers at the zipper that held his vest closed even before he felt the vest giving way. A little sound rose from Menel's throat, fading quickly under the pressure of Laven's teeth on his lip. The cooler night air that touched his skin felt unreasonably good and the firm muscles of Menel's stomach flexed under Laven's touch.

The swordsman blinked as Laven pulled back, his mind feeling heavy with a lot more than the alcohol that he had imbibed earlier. His blue eyes flickered toward Laven's fingers as they unbuttoned the green vest that the elf wore.
"Laven..."

It was a soft whisper in the night air, falling as gently as Laven's vest to the ground. Laven's fingers slid over his face and Menel touched his side now covered only by the dark reddish vest he wore. The elf kissed him lightly on the forehead and Menel smiled just a little.

"I'm sorry,"

Suddenly Laven exploded into action, slamming a fist into Menel's chest. At least that's what it felt like. For a second he couldn't breathe, his vision turning white while he shifted, trying to catch his breath. He was helpless for a moment, long enough for Laven to grab the dagger and take off. Menel could hear his footsteps across the rooftop. Menel groaned, pushing himself up stubbornly on limbs that didn't quite want to obey yet.

"Laven!" He said the other man's name as loudly as he could but it came out wheezily. Laven paused at the edge of the roof, his regret written plainly on his face even in the darkness. Why? Menel pushed himself up but Laven was already jumping off the roof like he could fly.

Quickly he stumbled to his feet running to the edge of the roof and staring. Almost he expected to see Laven... but the elf was just gone. So stealthy that Menel didn't have a chance to find him that way. Menel cursed, fingers pressing through his hair so hard that he was almost pulling it. Adrenaline pushed back the haziness of endorphin's and alcohol, enough that he knew exactly where Laven was going.

Why?

Unlike Laven he had to take the long way down, forgetting all of his own things on the roof they'd shared. His vest slapped against his chest as he ran, recalling to his memory the way to where his client was sure to be now. Every slap sounded like the question that was ringing through his mind. Why? Why? Why?

He knew the answer.

Laven was going to do what he had to do to save those children. Menel stumbled rounding a corner, hand slapping against stone and pushing himself hard off the wall. Stones bit at his feet and he zipped his vest shut, fingers lingering where the dagger had been. He could feel the loss of it like a physical thing. It didn't hurt, but he knew it was gone. In Laven's hand headed for the man Menel was supposed to protect. Not now but later. A man Menel didn't want to save at all.

The man he really wanted to save... was 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 Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:25 pm

He ran like his past was chasing him. Like the monsters in his nightmares were nipping at his heels. It was easy enough to imagine in the dark enclosing space of Roa's streets. The night was long, and most of the city  was still in the merchant quarters soaking up the celebration. Laven's feet on paving stones and breath in his lungs were the only sounds he could hear. He knew the city like an old friend, dodging through alleys and climbing fences to get to Ryliegh's home faster. He had to put as much distance between himself and Menel as possible.

The hand gripping his dagger tightened until his knuckles turned white and the guilt could be shoved aside until later. Laven could regret his actions when the children were safe, when Ryleigh's blood was on Remembrance's blade. And he could crawl home and berate himself with only his cousin and her hound to see his failure.

Another street, another dark alley and Laven saw movement, saw the flash of ginger hair and a stocky body was racing alongside him. Helsmi. Remembrance was slipped into it's sheath along Laven's thigh as he slowed his gait to something the dwarf could match.


"He's still inside, but ya better hurry Laven." Her accent was thicker than her daughter's, her eyes icy chips as she watched where her feet landed in her hurry to keep up with the assassin. Laven sidestepped to avoid a broken flowerpot, his feet making less noise than her soft soled boots. If Helsmi noticed Laven was barefoot and wearing less layers than she'd ever seen him in she resolutely said nothing, instead rattling off what she knew about the mansion Laven was about to storm into.

"Three at the gate, but the wall should be simple enough to scale for ya. Your sister took out the security cameras easy enough, but she said it was only good for three hours. Get in and take the bastard out. If you get the bairn's location even better but make sure he can't take another soul." At her last snapping plea Laven spared her a glance, reached out and squeezed her shoulder, and broke away. No words to say, and he needed to save his air for his muscles.

He knew Helsmi would melt back into the scenery and keep an eye out for trouble, and that if Menel happened to run into her he wouldn't end the dwarven woman's life so he didn't bother to warn her. Instead Laven dropped into shadows as well, only cursing for leaving his coat and it's deep hood now that his hair could stand out as a beacon. The wall was in sight, the guards facing forwards as if that was the only way a threat could materialize.

Laven was over the wall as if it was nothing, dropping to the ground on the other side with only the sound of grass crushed under foot. It would be easy enough to get into Ryliegh's personal room undetected now that Revvie had the security disabled with one of her gadgets. Scale another wall, this time to a balcony and glass door that let him into a dark bedroom. But the study was his goal. Where the monster in the shape of a man would be sitting, looking over the last of the paperwork needed to cement his profit for selling children as if they were cattle.

A long breath and Remembrance was back in his hand, a comforting presence. Time to do his job.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:49 pm

Menel didn't know the city very well, but he knew how to get to where he was going. He didn't tire, didn't stop. Laven ran with the dogs of the past nipping at his heels, and so too did Menel. He didn't want to be to late this time. To late to save someone he cared about. He could almost hear Javed's voice in his mind, but it wasn't really Javed's voice. It was a mocking one. Telling him that he would never be there in time. That he couldn't save anyone.

He ran with all the hope that he would. That just this once he might.

Unlike Laven he didn't have to go around the back. There was no need to sneak in. In fact if he made a lot of noise... all the better. He could hope that it might scare Laven off. Force the assassin to withdraw. The swordsman was certain that he could take care of the rest. That he could keep Ryliegh in the house and away from the hand off... It was the only solution he could think of.

At least it would keep everyone alive.

The swordsman stopped short of the gate, waving at one of the guards and catching his breath. It didn't take more than a few seconds for the man to recognize him and open the gate. Menel didn't hesitate to head straight for the house, another guard peeling off to find out why he was here. Menel waved him off, and the man rolled his shoulders, not bothering to give chase when Menel started running for the house again.

He didn't stop until the front door was behind him and even then he was jogging through the house. Thankfully Ryliegh had interviewed him in this exact place, and he remembered the way to the man's office. Menel shoved the door open, panting more than just a little, a single word already rising from his lips without thought.

"Sir?!?"


-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 Jul 07, 2015 11:15 pm

The room could probably be called cozy, in a different world. If one didn't have the knowledge of the horrible things that had happened within these walls. But Laven couldn't see the plush carpet, the gorgeous hand carved desk with it's baubles and decanter of something undoubtedly both expensive and worth every coin.

Laven only saw two men's backs looking down the hall, hands steady. And a man sitting with his back to them all, reading and sipping from a cut crystal glass. It took less than a thought to let Remembrance's pommel kiss the back of the guard's heads, watch the bodies slide to the floor and push the door shut before the thumps could even be heard.


"I told you idiots to keep the door open. We'll be leaving momentarily." Laven turned, facing the desk as the chair rotated, the look of irritation on Ryliegh's face turning into one of shock. The color drained from the handsome man's face an he gripped the drinking glass with shaking fingers. "You." He muttered as Laven watched him, expression detached and eyes cool.

"There's only one chance for you here." Laven murmured, stalking forwards in his bare feet and shirt the color of old blood. "If you tell me where the children are. If you do not lie to me I may show you mercy." His voice was cold, distant as his face. But Remembrance glinted in the light with purpose, the glass set in the pommel stained with red from this monster's hired men. It would be a lie of course, but the offer of life was a good incentive for evil men.

He sputtered, tried to make it sound like there must be some mistake. The drink splashing from his hand as Laven moved closer and crossed the desk as if it was barely a hurdle. His dagger poised at Ryliegh's throat.


"T-there's a warehouse on the docks! Used to house confiscated shipments until it fell into disrepair! They're there! I swear it!" His voice raised into a shriek as the blade pressed closer, pushing him out of his seat and forcing Laven to follow. A bead of red welling against the throat. And then Laven heard the heavy beat of footsteps running, heard a harsh voice cry out and didn't need to turn around to know who was at the door.

"Sir?!?"

It was simple enough to slip behind Ryliegh and use him as a shield, the dagger now pressed against ribs where a quick jab could pierce the heart. Red eyes met blue again, and Laven smiled at Menel.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:30 pm

Menel stalled inside the door.

It was as though someone had set the stage on a play. A beautiful room filled with obvious signs of wealth. No one would have questioned the opulence of a man as famous as Ryliegh was. No one would have thought that the handsome older man was a monster that sold children. Menel caught the blur of motion, his hand falling to the hilt of his sword by instinct alone but just rested there.

He should have guessed that Laven would be the faster of them. He'd only hoped... Blue eyes flickered to the dagger resting point-first against his client's chest. He could see the relief in the man's eyes, the gratitude that someone was here to save him but... Both he and Laven knew that there was no contest between them. Laven could kill Ryliegh whenever he wanted and there was nothing Menel could do to stop it.

The swordsman's hands fell to his sides even as Ryliegh breathed a small sigh of relief. Believing that the assassin wouldn't dare to kill him with Menel in the room only a few feet away.
"Menel thank the gods."

Menel's eye twitched. How could Laven smile at a time like this? Like he was glad that Menel was here? The swordsman licked his lips. He had more hidden daggers. He could throw one... hit Laven in the shoulder, or the hand and force him to drop the dagger. Hand would be better. More likely that the pain would force him to drop his weapon, that Ryliegh could roll away. Laven would live because Menel wouldn't kill him... and they both knew it.

"Just walk away... please. Don't make me hurt you." His eyes were tight but he would do it. He would hurt Laven more than a little to save everyone in this room. To save Laven from himself.


-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 Jul 07, 2015 11:51 pm

"You know I can't do that, sweetheart." His voice was even, gentle as if trying to convince someone not to cry. He had felt Ryliegh sag and then still when Menel burst into the room, knew that the man thought his savior had arrived. And maybe Menel would be. Laven had never lost a job, but he knew that Menel was born to fight. Knew that those two daggers he had seen while they were watching the fireworks together couldn't be the only blades besides the twin swords he bore.

But the room was small, and those swords were long and would be awkward in the space provided. He hadn't used any sort of magic so it was either non-combative or he didn't trust what they could do in a fight. Laven's mind whirled as he took stock of possibilities. He could fight Menel. Did not want to any more now than he had before. He wanted to plant his dagger into Ryliegh's heart and run to those lost children's rescue. Wanted to kiss Menel's beautiful betrayed face and ask for forgiveness.

He wasn't sure any of those desires could be reality, but one of them carried more weight than the others. He had what could be the location, he didn't want to crush Menel's heart.

He wanted the man under his knife to feel pain that couldn't end. And something flickered through his eyes at that point. Something dark and merciless. Laven's left hand shot out and gripped the back of Ryliegh's hair, forcing the man to bow backwards and the dagger to leave his chest. Laven met Menel's eyes and smiled again, though there was no mirth or joy in it.


"I'm glad you came, Menel." Laven lifted his leg, and slammed his heel into the small of Ryliegh's back. The sound of bone crunching brutally loud even as Ryliegh opened his mouth to scream. It was easy to bring Remembrance's pommel down once more against skull, feeling the impact and way the bone gave as the blow struck far harder than the ones inflicted on the guards. Ryliegh fell forwards onto his desk, and Laven watched Menel once more with gentle eyes, dagger in hand but loosly grasped.

"You can try and save his life, or stop me. The clock is ticking for both of us, love. Do the smart thing."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:11 am

Yes, he knew. He knew that Laven couldn't leave any more than he could but... It didn't have to be like this. It felt like the silence, their moment of decision stretched out forever. Was this what Laven meant when he said that they'd have a choice to make? The bottle of wine wasn't gone... and so many things between them had become lies. Enough that Menel wondered exactly how much of a fool he had been. He wanted Laven to tell him. Wanted answers to to many questions and none of them could be answered like this. In this place.

He wondered if he'd find Laven later... with this man's blood on his hands on a rooftop. Collecting his boots and trying not to get it on a little girl's borrowed blankets.

Menel felt everything spread out into fathomless calm. The storm brewing on the horizon. Waiting for the moment where Laven would choose one path... or another. The swordsman saw the change coming long before it did, taking two steps forward before Laven shoved a boot into Ryliegh's back with words of thanks still echoing in the room.

It broke the silence with the thunder crack of breaking bones and a scream that was never fully formed. The pommel of a dagger striking down with the weight of judgement. Ryliegh fell bonelessly onto his desk. He could have been dead but he was still breathing. Menel's blue eyes found Laven's crimson ones.
"We both know I wasn't going to chase you Laven."

His voice was soft, lacking judgement but tinged with sadness. "Thank you." It was a harsh whisper, his eyes tight for a moment and he moved back away, toward the door. His employer was far beyond any help that Menel could give him, the swordsman would have to find a doctor and quickly. "If... if it wasn't all a lie... I'll expect to find you on a rooftop. Don't go disappearing on me Laven."

A single tear slipped down Menel's face before he turned away entirely to find a doctor. He wasn't sure why it fell. If he was crying because he was glad. Glad that Laven hadn't killed the monster and become one... or if he was crying because some part of him didn't expect to find the elf waiting for 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 Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:47 am

He couldn't answer. Couldn't do anything but look at Menel's face from behind a dying man. If he was more of a romantic Laven might have convinced himself that he was memorizing Menel in case he never saw him again. But Laven had been devoid of romance for a long time. So he told himself it was to make sure Menel wasn't going to lash out with his weapons and leave Ryliegh to fate. Almost believed himself as he spun the lie through his head.

When Menel turned away Laven moved, a jerky step towards the retreating back that seemed so small and sad. Then with a painful sound he turned to the only escape route he had left. His legs felt like lead, his feet bruised from running on hard pavement. But Laven dragged them with strength of will, found his way out of the estate through the bedroom window and moving to where Helsmi was waiting and watching in the darkness. It was time to save those children.

---

It was hours later. Laven wasn't sure how long he had been moving, running with small children in his arms and then less small children holding his hands as he delivered them to their homes. There were tears, none of them his.  The sky was beginning to lighten when he and Helsmi clasped arms, silent understanding between them. He watched the woman carry her burden away, bowing his head as the pain he felt for her and little Mahri burned through him. It wasn't over though. Laven's tired eyes looked for a familiar building, it's flat roof ideal for viewing the sky overlooking the waterfront.

It felt like an eternity climbing back up. Laven's body was screaming at him to stop but he refused. It was a trick you learned when you were being trained to be a weapon. To push your body until it moved almost mechanically. But the rough brick wall was torture on his already battered feet so that when he finally crested the top he almost cried out in relief. He sat on the edge, elbows on knees and head in hands for a long time, afraid to raise his head and see if anything was left.

If anyone was left.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:07 am

Time ceased to have proper meaning. Menel remembered distinctively finding a doctor and standing by. Lifting Ryliegh's body and carrying it carefully to a bed as he was directed. Everything carefully. Talking to the other bodyguards. Reporting to them that the assassin was long gone. They were surprised that Ryliegh was still alive. Credited him with the miracle. He'd stood at the man's bedside like a vigilant angel until the doctor declared there was nothing more to be done. Ryliegh was alive but... They didn't know if he'd ever wake again. Even if he did he'd certainly never walk on his own two feet. All their medicine, all their magic and technology... only so much could be done.

Menel had left the money Ryliegh had paid him on the desk in his office. Half in advance of a job he'd half failed. More than half failed really. Ryliegh was alive but it wasn't because of him.

He'd walked back to the building like a ghost. Not feeling anything. Not even the chill that made his heavy limbs even more numb. Walked until he found it and then climbed back up. Everything was where he'd left it. He put his socks, his boots back on. Left the weapons laying on the ground because they couldn't do him any good. He folded all of Laven's discarded clothes up neatly and sat down by them. Hanging his feet over the edge and thinking that he should fold up the blankets too but...

Instead he drank the bottle of wine until it was gone. Not because he wanted it... but because he wanted answers. Because it was the only thing he could do.

It didn't seem like to long. But time was a funny thing and he wasn't sure. He was sure he didn't care. He could hear someone climbing up the building. Slowly. Methodically. He waited for the sound to reach the top but didn't move. It might not even be Laven. Maybe it was a thief. It would have served his maudlin mood.


"I finished the bottle... does that mean I get my answers now?" He hated the sound of his own voice. Cold and just empty. He turned, seeing Laven there and felt his resolve crack like a mirror. Menel shifted, trying to move toward the elf but the haze of alchoal made his vision swim and he drunkenly swayed instead. Catching himself on his arm and forcing the bulk of his weight by sheer strength to rise up from the edge and face Laven on his knees; thinking that he should help Laven up but Laven was already up.

He hicupped in a short miserable sound.
"I didn't think you would come."


-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 08, 2015 1:28 am

Laven watched Menel sway through the hair in front of his face. he kept his head in his hands, his eyelids feeling like leaden sandpaper each time he blinked. Finally it was easier to just keep them closed. He heard Menel's tone, cold and and blank. It reminded him of his own and Laven cringed inside at the thought. Cringed when he heard the accusation that he would leave Menel hanging after everything that had happened.

Finally he shrugged, not trusting himself to standing just yet.
"If you ask I'll answer, Menel." No sweetheart, no love or another pet name. No deflection in his voice. It rasped and Laven wished Menel had saved some of the wine so he could at least have something in his body. Even if the alcohol would knock him flat. He deserved it after his night, and it would have soothed his throat.

Shaking hands pushed silvery lavender hair back, tugging free the strip of leather he used to tie it away from his face. Laven combed his fingers through the mess, the smell of the piers and stale unwashed bodies clinging to the soft strands. He did what he could to smooth out tangles and knots formed by tiny grasping hands and the winds he used in his magic. But in the end just let it hang around his face before raising his head to meet Menel's eyes.

He knew what he looked like, circles under lined eyes, strain leaving the crease between his brow visible where usually he could keep it smooth through training. His burgundy shirt was dirty, the buckles around his neck covered in finger prints and children's tears. He looked like he'd been through the worst Roa could offer, and he had.

But Menel looked terrible as well, and Laven almost cried to see it. Winced and looked away. And knew he was at fault.
"I couldn't not come." He managed at last, hands grasping each other in his lap.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:48 am

It took him far to long to realize that Laven was tired. That he was messy and unkempt and not like himself at all. It probably hadn't been easy. Saving all those kids. Menel felt a small tinge of guilt at the thought, but he already felt miserable. Even the other man's words didn't really soothe him. There were to many questions and he couldn't remember them all. He didn't know where to start.

Then Laven let his hair down and Menel found himself staring at the other man. Just blatantly staring. It was practically a slow motion moment. Watching Laven card his fingers through his hair. Watching it unfold around his face. Shifting in the wind and every time he moved even a little bit. He could still feel Laven's hair under his fingers.

He had to stand up. It took all of his concentration to manage it. The world didn't want to remain still under him but the swordsman could be powerfully stubborn when he chose to be. Walking across the roof to where Laven was sitting by the other edge. If he'd been a bit more lucid he might have been grateful for the years of training that kept him upright.

Menel stopped just beside Laven. He meant to offer the other man his hand but his fingers slipped over the elf's hair instead. Pushing it back behind his ear. It was such a mess. He leaned forward, his other hand reaching for Laven's. Fumbling badly, but trying to grasp the elf's fingers. He ended up with his face half in Laven's hair tugging uselessly not on fingers but on a buckle on the other man's thigh instead. Trying to help the other man to his feet.

"I'm glad. I'm glad your okay. I don't know why you came... for a man like me but..." He choked a bit fingers stilling, holding onto Laven's head with his fingers and lips pressed tightly to the other man's crown. Laven smelled like war and beauty. Like a man who had been fighting but his hair was warm and soft. "Did I say thank 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 Jul 08, 2015 2:39 pm

He watched Menel approach, saw the tell-tale signs the wine had gone straight to the swordsman's head. Kept silent as a soft breeze made his hair move along his shoulders and cheeks. When Menel reached him and reached for him Laven froze like a wary deer, letting Menel's fingers comb through his hair and fumble against the buckle on his thigh. Remembrance shifted against Laven's thigh, the guard making noise where it tapped against the concrete.

He would have stayed sitting, hunched and completely exhausted and letting Menel manhandle him uselessly. If not for the lips against his head, the hitched and slurred words confessed into his hair. There was a pain in Laven's chest that grew and faded at those words.

Shaking hands lifted, one taking Menel's fingers away from the bit of metal on his leg, the other resting against the back of Menel's neck, just under his hairline. With strength Laven didn't know he had left in him, the elf pulled himself upright and crowded into Menel's space. He pressed himself close, holding Menel's hand trapped between them against their chests, head turned down to rest against the bit of exposed skin below the warrior's throat.


"Don't thank me." He managed to whisper. "Don't thank me. I came because I wanted to, because you asked me to." Laven moved his head in a tiny shake, pressing as close to Menel as he could. He was silent for a long time, eyes closed and thumb brushing the base of Menel's neck. He could hear the sounds of the city stirring around them, could feel his heartbeat in the soles of his feet. Could hear Menel's heartbeat against his ears.

"I came because you deserved it."
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:27 pm

Menel wasn't sure if it was his own fumbling that finally found Laven's fingers, or if Laven took his in hand. He was grateful for them. Grateful for the fingers sliding over the back of his neck. Laven's hand was almost heavy, but it was a comforting weight. Proof that Laven was real. Not just some illusion or dream concocted by his mind.

Laven rising up shifted his balance but it felt good to have the elf in his arms. Menel wrapped around him like a human coat, fingers buried deeply into the back of Laven's head; entwined with his hair. The other pressed between them almost uncomfortably because Laven was holding onto it and Menel didn't care. Alive, his mind supplied happily. Whole and alive and that was a good thing.

With both of them in their bare feet it was much clearer that Menel was the taller of the two, but that only made it easier for Laven to rest his head against Menel's chest. Besides the difference in their height was not that extreme.

Why shouldn't he thank Laven for this?


"Do I?" Menel asked quietly, his voice sounding surprised. "I'm glad you came."

Even though he was repeating himself he said it firmly. Letting out a little sigh. "I don't you know... I don't deserve anything..." His thoughts were discordant fragmented things, and it was obvious that drinking this much gave him a tendency to both ramble and say whatever it was that rose up in his mind. Menel's fingers clenched around Laven's tightly. Laven had looked so tired... "Are you okay?"

He should have asked that first.


-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 08, 2015 5:17 pm

It took a lot of effort to speak now that Laven was leaning against Menel. He was cold despite it being summer and Menel was warm. Leaching his heat was making Laven sleepy, and in the back of his head he remembered that sleep deprivation was like getting your body drunk without taking a single drink. "I'm tired." He managed, resolutely not thinking about the last few hours. He could compartmentalize it for now and take his feelings and pain out later to accept and recover from the whirlwind of events.

"I'm tired, sore, and hungry. And you," He squeezed the back of Menel's neck with his fingers as he punctuated his words. "Are drunk. Are you okay?" Laven didn't know if Menel could even answer that clearly. It was obvious that the wine had gone straight to his head by the way they were swaying just barely, by the way Menel stumbled over his words and repeated himself. Laven heaved a sigh and pulled back, slowly making his way back to the blankets. He tugged at Menel to get him to follow. Kept their hands clasped.

Helsmi was going to flay him alive when she found out he still had them. The thought of the dwarf and her new burden to bear made Laven choke out a sound that could have been a sob. He managed to get himself sitting on the edge of the threadbare material, knees automatically drawing themselves up so he could rest his face against them. His eyes were dry, but they hurt. He wanted to cry but didn't think he could. Didn't think he was allowed.
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Re: The Longest Day [Menel & Laven]

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