Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:41 pm

Laven deposited the papers back onto his nightstand before answering any of Menel's concerns, his face set in a determined look.

"I refuse to force you to run and hide, Menel. Besides that, if anyone is watching the house they'll know when you leave and that will be a much larger warning bell than you staying here with me." The assassin made his way to the door leading downwards, tugging Menel along with infinite gentleness. Before reaching the handle he turned to face Menel, reaching up and touching his cheek tentatively.

"Let me help you, please." Laven's eyes were tired, worry and fear making him feel like a weight as pushing him through the floor. "You're used to being the protector, love. But sometimes it's okay to be the one protected." It wasn't easy to ask that, not so soon into a relationship where the two of them were still feeling each other out. But what Laven knew about Menel was telling. He would either attempt to sacrifice himself to repent or spend his life hiding. Neither were acceptable for Laven, not when he could find an answer that both of them could agree on.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:49 pm

So many times in his life he'd protected someone else. Taken a bullet, a blade, found himself in a hospital with broken bones or being tended to by a healer. It was his job as a bodyguard, and for all the risks involved it was a job he liked. He had never, never been the one that had to be protected. For all that he could not begin to number how many times he had taken a blow meant for someone else, there had never been anyone that did the same for him. Much less someone asking him to let them help.

Menel lifted his hand to mirror Laven's touching the other man's face gently and smiling. Bringing their heads together softly. How Laven could make him smile at a time like this he didn't know but he was glad of it. Glad to have Laven at his side.

He tilted his head back and offered another more roguish grin.
"I can't promise to stand back and let you protect me... I'm just not good at that sort of thing but..." His fingers curled in Laven's lavender hair. "You are more than welcome at my side Laven."

He knew Laven was experienced with the side of this that Menel knew nothing about, but he couldn't promise that it would be easy to keep him alive or even that he'd make it easy for Laven. Not when his only suggestions had been so quickly discarded. "I'll even try to follow your lead and you can yell at me if I step on your toes to much."


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Laven breathed out a wry chuckle and closed his eyes, taking the moment to ground himself with Menel's presence. "I suppose that's better than the alternative." They stood there quietly, Laven's back to the door and his hands against Menel's face.

As soon as he opened that door it would be to return to work, and Laven knew that even if Menel didn't. He wasn't sure how to be a shield except by making sure his blade found the enemy before they could find Menel. And if that was what needed to happen then Laven would accept the role. Damn the consequences. The elf had grown tired of people thinking they could take from him, thinking those he placed under his care were disposable.

Too many people had forgotten that his family had been known for their fangs.

With a gentle tap of foreheads together once more Laven pulled back and smiled at Menel before turning the knob on the door and leading the way back down the stairs. If Revina was still in the house she'd likely be in her study or in the basement rooms. Laven suspected Menel would appreciate them, if that was where the other elf was hiding. With the office proving empty Laven huffed and ran a hand through his hair.
"I suppose you were going to see it eventually... Alright." Back in the sitting room where Laven had left the blankets (now home where they belonged) there was a door, plain and innocuous. When the elf opened it there was a distant echo of a single voice. Shouting, grunting in effort.

Down cement stairs into a dimly lit area that was completely unadorned they went. There were weights along one side of the walls, floor to ceiling mirrors with scuff marks from years of rough treatment in some places. And Revina, still in her black clothing and aggressively punching at a suspended bag full of sand while snarling and cursing at it with each connect of fist or feet.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:49 pm

Menel followed in Laven's wake like a pale shadow, his eyes sliding over the walls and the small details that the home held. He didn't know enough of the house's layout to guess at where Revina was at, so instead he thought of what he could do to keep himself alive. Not taking a job seemed likely in the short term, in fact from the elf's words it seemed like he might very well be stuck inside this house for the short term.

The idea was strange to Menel. He rarely remained in any one location for any length of time, and even when he did it wasn't usually in a place as nice as this one. Or with company half so fine as that which Laven offered. The swordsman let his blue eyes trail over the elf, smiling a little at the other man's exasperation when his first effort at finding Revina proved unfruitful. This strange, kind, assassin had so neatly slid into his life. If they had never met the day before during his job... they might have met in another way. In a flash of steel and silvered metal that had no end that was not bloody.

Even as he followed Laven with a tinge of curiosity over their destination he couldn't help but wonder at the strange quirk of fate which had brought them to this moment.


"You will chose, in the end. Your fires will not let you have it any other way. Will they die as the price of your love or will you be the killer you're afraid you might be? You will chose between action and failure. Both will be bitter ash on your tongue."

For a moment Menel stood stock-still behind Laven, deaf to the sounds rising ahead of them. Why would he think of those words now? Why think of words which the man himself had told him to take with a grain of salt. For the sake of his sanity, he had to believe that somehow Javed had mistakenly seen his past and thought it the future. Or that the words had some meaning that he could not yet divine.

Laven was no child to be coddled, but a fighter in his own right. Not the sort of man that would so easily let the fangs of whatever danger lay in Menel sink into him.

Menel shook off the discordant thought and dragged himself back to the reality of the moment, eyes widening at the sight that lay before him. He'd been to distracted, far to distracted if he hadn't noticed them approaching this. There were weights on the wall, the open space obviously heavily used and Menel could well imagine to what purpose it had been put. Particularly with Revina punching a bag of sand, while slinging curses at the inanimate object.


"You know... If I'm going to be staying around here for a little while... I hope you wont mind if I spend a good part of it here..." The swordsman practically had stars in his eyes.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:38 am

Laven turned and couldn't stop the small smile that pulled on his lips, the way his eyes crinkled and spoke of his deep amusement at seeing Menel's expression. "Really? Was it the weights or the sight of our lovely Revina pulverizing the punching bag that decided you?" He winked to soften his words, only looking back when Revina spat a particularly foul string of curses and landed one last blow against the poor sandbag and caught it as it swung back towards her.

"Oi, nah you two can't be sneaking down here for a quick feel up, got it?" The female elf curled her lip as she wiped sweat off of her brow with the back of her arm, her knuckles wrapped in protective tape to keep them safe in ways she hadn't in her youth. Laven raised his eyebrows in mock innocence but then decided against egging her on with further insults.

Instead the assassin paced forwards, leaving it up to Menel to decide between following him or investigating the rest of the room.


"Revvie, did you read those contracts you accepted?" He frowned and chewed on his lower lip, taking in his cousin's perplexed expression as she tried to figure out why he was asking.

"Only the very basic summaries from the guild. Why? They lie about the details or something?" Revina tugged the tape off of her hands as she spoke, using her teeth to rip it when the adhesive refused to give way. Laven tapped his fingers on his thighs and forced himself not to begin tapping his foot in agitation.

"No, but one of those contracts is an extermination request. For Menel." Revina looked up sharply at that revelation, switching from Laven to Menel and tipping her head in acknowledgment.

"Well that's something. Congratulations, Snowflake. I take it you two like each other enough that Laven didn't drop a dagger between your shoulders?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:50 pm

It wasn't the weights or Revina actually. It was the clean open space and the knowledge that here was a place built for a purpose that he was very passionate about. He actually spent very little time lifting actual weights, preferring to use his own body as a counterweight where he could. Though they certainly didn't hurt though and were good for certain things.

The swordsman followed Laven into the room, letting his eyes rather than his feet do what little exploring was actually necessary. There was plenty of room here if he wanted to practice his forms or work out. His muscles tensed slightly just with the thought. He hadn't had a chance to practice today... perhaps he could convince Laven to spar with him.

Menel's attention was brought back to the conversation by Revina's question. He had the grace to look a bit embarrassed, running a hand over his short white hair.
"I'm not sure that's the sort of thing I want to be congratulated on." Unless she meant congratulations that he was still alive? He wasn't sure he wanted to be congratulated for that either. His eyes flickered toward Laven, his lips twitching a little in a small smile. "He refused to carry out the contract."

His blue eyes shifted back to Revina. "He even offered to help... He mentioned that you might know more about who wants me dead." His hand fell to his side and his expression became a touch more serious. "If you're willing to help of course."

He wouldn't pressure her into it any more than Laven. But... If she attacked him on her brothers behalf... would he fight her? His chest tightened. Could he fight someone that Laven cared about so much?


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:40 pm

Revina frown and met her cousin's eyes again and wadding the protective tape up to be disposed of. "And you wanna know what else I know about the job? You got the file?" She stalked away to one side of the room, flicking on more of the lights and dropping the garbage into a discreetly placed waste bin. The room was flooded with illumination, revealing cubicle style doors set into the wall. Revina pulled one of them open and took out a thin towel, scrubbing at her still sweating face before dropping it around her neck.

"That's the beginning of the plan, yes." Laven tugged Menel along with him by the hand as he followed Revina, a tiny bubble of hope welling in his chest. Getting her interested in the idea of helping was the first step in her helping. It was clear from the set in her face that she was still wary of Menel and Laven couldn't blame her. It had been a strange few hours. But Laven didn't feel the prickle of concern with the swordsman at his back. Instead it was comfortable. A shield in place.

"I left the dossier upstairs, there wasn't anything more than Menel's description and name. And something about it being 'for Michael'." He squeezed Menel's hand gently as he said the words, brow furrowed.

"Eh yeah, I remember reading that now." Revina let out a low whistle and brushed her sweat-dark hair away from her face. "Lemmie see if I can reach some contacts, yeah? Better take this gentle, especially if they know where you are, Snowflake." She slapped Menel's shoulder in passing as she made her way to the stairs, apparently unconcerned.

"Have a little fun, no one expects your head on a platter for at least a few more hours. Laven might be good, but he's not stupid an' they know that. Takes time to track and subdue prey, yeah?" She cackled and climbed the stairs, her shoulders set and bare feet climbing silently. Laven frowned deeper and watched her leave before looking over at Menel and shrugging in resignation.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:00 am

Like Laven, Menel felt a small swell of hope at the fact that Revina didn't immediately say that she wouldn't help... or attack him. He followed after Laven, more than comfortable at the assassin's back. There was always some part of him that fell easily and naturally into the role of a bodyguard. Trailing behind someone looking for whatever threats might arise. Though if he really had been guarding Laven he would have protested them holding hands. Still, both of them were ambidextrous which meant that one hand being momentarily compromised was not to large of a risk. Particularly in a place where they should be relatively safe.

Still, none of this stopped the small reaction that Menel had to the mere sound of Michael's name. He could never hear that name without feeling a strange mixture of rage, sorrow, and guilt. The swordsman offered Revina a brief smile of gratitude as she passed by, hoping that she would be able to find something that would help. Really he wasn't sure what he would or could do if they couldn't figure out some way to deal with this. He shook his head a bit at the woman's back, his blue eyes falling upon the elf at his side.


"Does she really expect me to be able to relax so easily?" Maybe it was common for them. How many times did an assassin have to worry about someone wanting revenge? The swordsman scrubbed his free hand through his hair. "Well... we are in a practice room. Want to spar a bit while we wait for her? Maybe a bit of hand-to-hand?"

The swordsman was smiling, his blue eyes twinkling with the edge of hopeful anticipation. A bit of exercise would clear his head. Mischievously he let his grin spread wider. "I have to admit after that dart-throwing match and the bit of a brawl we had yesterday... Maybe there's some way we can make it interesting if you're not inclined?"


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:06 am

"I think she's just... trying to put you more at ease in her own special way." Laven shook his head once more as he heard the door shut at the top of the stairs. Left alone with Menel's suggestion Laven tipped his head to the side and smiled at him. "Oh, so that's how it is, mmm? Get me down in an empty room and try to make your move?"

With a soft chuckle Laven broke away from Menel, moving into the space Revina had occupied and lowering the lights back down to be less harsh. "You want to spar? I'm not terribly good at pulling my punches, Menel." The elf looked him up an down for a moment and raising an eyebrow as he appraised his physical shape.  "And while you're obviously built to take some hits... I would hate to leave you in a mess on the floor. At least not a fun mess."

He was also pointedly reminded of not only the strike he'd landed on Menel's sternum, but also the bruises on his ribs from the swordsman's kick when they'd met. While it would be good to stretch out those muscles and get the blood flowing so nothing became stiff... He had already hurt Menel in more than one way during their brief scuffles.

But the competitive nature in Laven perked up at the idea of making the match a challenge in some way. Because the dart throwing had been fun. More so when they had started mixing it up and testing each other's limits.
"... What did you have in mind? To 'make it interesting'?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:24 am

Menel let out a little laugh at Laven's words. "Something like that I guess." It wasn't like he'd attacked Laven out of the blue or anything though. That would have been incredibly unwise with someone with finely honed reflexes like he suspected Laven had. The elf had all the grace of a well-seasoned warrior and Menel had little doubt that a surprise attack would have landed him on his butt.

The swordsman rolled his shoulders, eyes flickering over Laven with a touch of playful respect. He returned the weighing because Laven was looking him over, but he already knew everything about Laven that he could tell merely by looking at the other man. He didn't need to add anything to Laven's commentary. He could take more than a few hits, and so long as there weren't any blades involved it would be rather difficult for Laven to accidentally hurt him badly. The elf's slender body might have concerned Menel more, but the swordsman suspected that Laven was hardier than he looked.

He knew when Laven asked him what he had in mind that the elf was considering it, which made the warmth in his blue eyes light like a fire.
"Maybe some kind of bet? Really I'm not well versed in that sort of thing but I'm sure you can think of something you might want that I can do." Household chores... work for someone that needed it. Menel couldn't think of much off the top of his head but there was bound to be something he could do. "And if I can pin you, I'll get something I want."

There was definitely a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes at that, Menel leaned back slightly, it looked a lot like he was making a purposeful opening in his defenses for the elf. "Your cousin said to relax, I find that a good fight always clears the mind." He made a small welcoming motion with his hand. Inviting Laven to attack 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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:48 pm

Laven's red eyes watched Menel carefully for several long moments, taking in his expression and the way he shifted his body. Oh that seemed like an opening, but if he wanted Laven to take anything like this seriously he'd have to try better than that to entice the elf. A smile curled Laven's mouth up and he sighed. "Why not? But no props, please."

And then he dropped low, his left leg sweeping low to catch Menel at the ankles while his balance was still shifted. The playful smile was gone, masked in careful neutrality. Laven didn't have Menel's bulk or strength, but he had speed and flexibility. That was what he would have to use to keep Menel on the defensive, keep pushing him backwards.

As soon as he completed the sweep of his leg Laven was moving to the side, using his hand to help propel him away from Menel's retaliation. He kept his back away form the walls and the punching bag that was still hooked into the center of the room, using his familiarity with the space to move blindly and keep his eyes firmly on Menel.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:05 am

Menel started to chuckle but Laven shifted his own body weight. There was almost no warning in the motion, if Menel hadn't had years of training, and if Laven had chosen a slightly different method of attack the swordsman wouldn't have been able to move exactly as he'd intended to move. He gave a little hop back, Laven's foot sweeping smoothly through the space that the elf had been in only a moment before.

He'd expected the elf to be quick, their first encounter had proven that to Menel. For all his size and muscle however, Menel was equally fast. His muscles meant strength, but he hadn't sacrificed his speed for it. The elf quickly rolled to the side, using his hand as momentum to carry him further and faster.

The swordsman was already moving as well, shifting his weight and moving toward the other man as quickly as his feet could carry him. Like his welcoming motion to Laven his attack was simplistic and straight-forward. He kept his center of gravity low and rushed toward the other man. If Laven countered by moving, then he would find out exactly how quickly Menel could roll his mass.

Laven's expression was carefully neutral, but Menel's was filled with the excitement of the moment, the thrill of meeting Laven in a good clean fight.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:56 am

Menel was very straightforwards in his attacks, and if Laven hadn't already faced him with his swords out he might have thought that he was too simplistic. But as it stood what Laven saw was  moves that had been condensed to the bare minimum. No excess in the way he followed Laven's retreat, smooth and faster than Laven had given him credit for. This was going to spell a shift in tactics.

Instead of retreating or attempting to dodge Laven simply shifted the weight on his bare feet, turning and darting towards Menel. When they met in the middle Laven shifted all his weight onto his far leg, grasping Menel's arm and rolling the larger man over his shoulder. The floor in this room was deceptively padded, hard layers of tile over material that was easier on joints and bodies when they met it with force.

Without waiting to see if Menel connected to the ground Laven shifted his weight again, sweeping his tied back hair away from his face with a sharp shake of his head before cocking his hand and arm at a sharp angle and lashing out, a feint at Menel to keep him moving or connect to his neck and hit a pressure point.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:11 am

Menel saw the subtle shift in Laven's weight and when the elf met him Menel fully expected to be thrown. He let his body be carried forward, rolling with the throw to cushion his fall. The ground connected solidly, but nowhere near hard enough to even bruise him. Immediately Menel   rolled himself forward, popping back up so fast that the motion was like lightning.

Right into Laven's pointed fingers.

The swordsman lost his breath for a moment, a half-gagging sound exiting his throat. The pain made his vision turn white and he should have backed off. Instead his body reacted on instinct, rolling over Laven's arm and hands grabbing for the elf's ling delicate fingers. He didn't even try to breathe, didn't try to see. He didn't need to.

The arc of Menel's movement could have easily have carried Laven several feet, but that wasn't Menel's intention, instead he meant to throw Laven down to the mat just like the elf had done to him. Then he could pin the smaller man to the ground and bury him under nearly two hundred pounds of muscle.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:27 am

The sound of Menel choking back a cry of pain broke Laven out of his distant mental state and caused him to hiss in a breath of concern for the swordsman. Only for Menel to grab his wrist and flip him feet over head. In the space between those moments Laven almost laughed, would have if there had been time.

Laven had a moment of disorientation before his feet hit the ground with a soft grunt and he twisted his wrist to break Menel's grip, feeling him shift to try and use his greater weight against him. The elf braced himself on his right leg and brought his left foot up and down against the back of Menel's knee to drive the other man back to the floor. He moved with the inertia, turning and wrapping his right arm around Menel's neck. His left was poised just above Menel's kidney, ready to lash out in a hard thrust like he had just moments before.


"I should have had you disarm." He murmured against Menel's ear, his breath barely stirring Menel's hair. He was also kneeling, Menel's right leg and sword between both of his.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:42 am

When the moment of instinct cleared in the secondary rush of pain as Laven's foot connected with his knee Menel felt just a tinge of guilt. He hadn't measured his throw at all, hadn't thought about it before acting. He disliked sliding into instinct, that was when people got hurt. Hurt more than he intended them to. Thankfully Laven was quick to react, pressing him down and wrapping an arm nimbly around his neck. Menel wasn't slow to press his jaw to his chest to keep from being choked.

He let out a slightly strained laugh, his voice still recovering from Laven's blow. It would have hurt even if Menel hadn't stupidly thrown his body weight into the blow.
"I won't draw on you. I should have taken them off though." Instincts and all that. Thankfully in these close quarters Menel wasn't likely to try and draw either of his blades. They'd be more of a detriment than a benefit.

The swordsman's fingers touched the edge of Laven's knee, his thigh just above the bone. There was one moment where Laven had warning. Menel's muscles tensing beneath him. But even if the elf attacked there was no stopping the roil of movement which the swordsman began. From his toes to his head the swordsman lifted the elf's weight. Pushing backwards with all of his strength and meaning to trap Laven. This time with the elf and himself on their backs. Though certainly unless Laven could skitter away again, the elf would be feeling the reversal a lot more than Menel would.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:57 am

Laven struck out with his left hand as Menel lifted him, hoping to disrupt him and cursing in his head as he tried to think of a way to escape before he was crushed backwards under Menel's weight. When he drew a blank it was all Laven could do to grasp Menel around the neck tighter and lean himself forwards to soften the blow as they both collided onto the floor.

It drove the air out of his lungs, momentarily. Laven's head connected with the ground and he blinked away the little bursts of light that sparkled in his vision, twisting his right leg around Menel's and keeping it pinned. The arm around the swordsman's neck tightened, and Laven debated releasing his hold and attempting to strike at Menel's collarbone but gave up on the idea as being a gamble he was unlikely to win. Even if he connected with enough force at this angle Menel was unlikely to move enough for Laven to get free.

Instead he wriggled a little, letting out a frustrated sound against Menel's neck before he huffed out a laugh.
"Surely you don't think you're the first person to have me pinned on my back, love?"

Pulling his left hand back and swinging it open handed towards Menel's side, Laven released a massive gust of air, dropping his leg lock and right arm as he shoved the swordsman away and let him tumble towards the opposite end of the room.

Drawing his legs up and his hands backwards and pressed against the floor, Laven kicked out and brought himself to his feet in a smooth motion, tipping his head to the side and watching Menel.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:25 am

The swordsman felt Laven's blow in the moment before the elf was driven beneath his body. He could hear Laven's breath leave his body and quickly tried to assess what he could do from this rather awkward position. His options really were severely limited. Particularly with Laven's leg wrapping around his own. All he could really do was tuck his jaw as tightly down as he could and bring a hand up to try to give himself a little more breathing space.

Laven wasn't in a much better position though. Without the angle to put pressure on Menel, or without actually slipping his arm around the swordsman's neck the elf was simply stuck under a mass of muscle and bone. Which Menel was entirely willing to let the other man feel.

Menel made a small amused noise, but didn't really have the breath to respond to Laven's words. He considered a number of options. He could roll on his side, but if he did so that would give Laven the leverage he needed to torque his leg. He could of course have headbutted Laven, or tried to pry one of the elf's fingers free, but Menel wasn't really willing to hurt the other man. This was just a friendly wrestling match, and if he couldn't think of a way... he didn't deserve to win.

In the end Menel's plans didn't matter. Suddenly the fingers released him and Menel tensed for the expected action though he had no idea what it might be. Was Laven surrendering?

A mass of force drive into the swordsman's side, pushing him off of Laven and several feet further just for good measure. Again Menel rolled, trying to cushion the impact and then pushing himself resolutely up with hands and feet. Across the space that now divided them Menel found himself weighing Laven once again. That blow... it hadn't been Laven's hand. There was simply to much force behind it. Magic?

Menel smiled, fingers at his belt, unbuckling the swords he wore there and gently leaning them against the wall he'd nearly hit. He took one step forward, his weight on the balls of his feet, that easy swordsman's grace evident in every line of his body. Blue eyes sparkling with sharp warmth that tingled through his veins.
"I have to admit I wasn't expecting you to use magic after your comment about props." His hands fell open at his sides, arms spread a little wide. "You have me at a bit of a disadvantage there; I'm not very good with magic and what I have isn't very appropriate for a bit of light sparring."

His lips twitched, another smooth step forward, stalking closer to Laven. "I don't mind the challenge though." He considered it a complement. If Laven was driven to magic to escape... then Menel was hopefully pushing him. Just as he wanted the elf to push him. The swordsman suddenly darted forward again, all smooth crisp lines as he moved. Closing the space between them and shifting suddenly to the side just before entering Laven's reach. One hand feinted toward Laven's face, almost to reach around it, the other however was moving lower, toward Laven's waist.

Another feint.

His true attack was lower, his right foot rising and hooking not to sweep Laven's legs but rather to buckle the elf's left knee and disrupt the other man's balance that way. If they hadn't been fighting, it might have looked merely like they were dancing.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:29 pm

Using magic had been a cheap tactic, but Laven had been trained in dirty fighting. There is no honor in death. His grandfather's rich voice echoed through his head as he had taught Laven where to hit to best incapacitate his target. Strike fast, strike hard, and then finish the job. It was like hunting, you didn't let your prey suffer. Menel wasn't prey though. Menel was a challenger, someone to fight but not to break. The magic had been the better of Laven's two options at that point. Between pushing him off or starting on the warrior's kidneys...

Laven had enough time to huff out a laugh, brushing some of his hair out of his eyes as Menel unbuckled his swords.
"I had been thinking more of the fact that we're surrounded by mirrors and it would be a shame to lob an object at you only to shatter glass instead."

As Menel approached Laven shifted, circling and keeping his eyes trained on the swordsman. "I'll keep it to a minimum, though. Wouldn't do to knock something loose or push you too hard." He winked and then shifted as Menel began to close the gap. He seemed amused by the dirty trick, but the way he darted in to strike at Laven from two different angles meant he was trying harder, pushing them both harder.

It was a simple matter to duck the hand going for his head, and to bat away the one going for his waist with a simple swing of his own arm. When he felt Menel's leg hooking behind his knee Laven let his weight take him down and twisted his waist, his left hand hitting the floor and allowing him to twist and kick out with his right foot against Menel's hip.

The momentum of the blow allowed Laven to pull himself upright once again and he launched himself forwards and after Menel, shifting his weight to his shoulder to shove into the larger man.


Last edited by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:09 pm

Laven was not only quick, but incredibly agile. Menel could certainly appreciate how much work the elf must have put in to make himself this fast, this dexterous. The swordsman was also quickly realizing that Laven was simply better than him at hand-to-hand combat. Menel trained occasionally to keep himself from being entirely useless without his swords, but he so rarely lost his blades that he got almost no practical experience in fighting others in this way. The elf had already landed a number of hits on him. If Laven added magic to the mix... This was going to be incredibly challenging.

There was little Menel could do but accept the solid kick to his hip, readjusting his balance and blinking with the realization that Laven was popping back in a rush to tackle him. Menel grinned, spreading his arms and leaning forward in the instant before Laven struck him. For the second time Menel lost his breath his feet digging into the ground beneath him to keep from being toppled over. His arms wrapping around Laven's slender form.

It was worth the loss of his breath to have the elf in his arms. Still, he was probably going to have a few bruises from this scuffle. Admittedly he didn't have the best grasp on the other man, but he doubted that Laven had the physical strength to match his. And if the elf thought to drop down, Menel would take that chance to bowl the elf over once again.


"You're really good at this." The complement rolled off of Menel's tongue a little breathless and deep. His throat still ached a bit from that first blow. Would Laven spar with him like this again? He hoped so. He could learn a lot from the elf, a thought that excited Menel as much as the idea of fighting him again.


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:30 pm

"Thank you." There was sweat prickling along Laven's back and along his scalp, and a warm thrumming in his veins that made him realize just how much fun he was having with Menel.  He grinned up at the swordsman cheekily, grasping the waist of his pants and shifting his center of gravity so that Menel was supporting his weight with his grip around Laven's back.

It was a swift motion. One moment Laven was standing with his feet between Menel's and the next he had heaved himself up, planting his feet against the white haired man's chest and stomach before he pushed. The motion broke Menel's grip and propelled Laven backwards so that he had to land on his hands and tumble back onto his feet.

Between one breath and the next the elf was once again in Menel's space, this time grasping his arms and using his momentum to propel himself up and around, his legs catching Menel around the neck. It was like a viper striking, pure speed and a burst of air magic pulling him forwards and upwards. The way Laven swung himself, they both were spun and then gravity took over and knocked Menel onto his back, Laven's knees locked around his throat. He let his weight rest on one elbow, ready in an instant to break away should Menel try to keep going.

He felt flushed, breathing carefully but hard to get his stamina back. shifting his weight but keeping his knees pressed against Menel to keep him on the floor, Laven sat up and looked down at the swordsman beneath him. His hair was coming loose from it's restraint and had begun to stick to his face, but he was smiling, wide and teasing.


"Yield?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:57 pm

He fully expected Laven to react, catching his balance easily on the other side of Laven pushing him back. His chest ached, his blue eyes widening just a little at the sight of Laven coming back at him so quickly. The swordsman had his balance perfectly, thinking to use Laven's momentum to throw the man but Laven grabbed his arms as they came up, using all that momentum to propel himself so much higher than Menel expected.

The next thing he knew he was flat on his back the elf's legs wrapped securely around his neck. Menel huffed, his breathing controlled but a little fast. All it would take was a little pressure. A small shift of weight. Adrenaline tightened low in Menel's stomach.

Both of his hands were still free. He could dislodge Laven, possibly break the hold by sheer strength. Laven's question was met by a moment of contemplative silence. It was difficult for Menel to give in, some part of him was still raring for the fight. A long slow breath left his lips and Menel forced his body to relax. A small amused noise leaving his lips.
"All right." He chuckled, fingers touching Laven's calf gently. "I have to admit I wasn't expecting that."

He would in the future. Already his mind was coming up with counters to the impressive mood, wondering if he could do similarly. It seemed unlikely unless he was facing someone the same size or larger than 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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:02 pm

The instant Menel gave up Laven relaxed, dropping from assassin back to just plain Laven like discarding a cloak. He shifted off of the swordsman and reached out to run thin fingers over the tender area of Menel's neck that he had struck. "Sorry, I should have been more careful with you." Laven tsked under his breath and sighed before offering Menel a lopsided smile. "I didn't break anything did I?" There was a thin note of concern in Laven's voice. Fear that that was exactly what he had done, lapsed into a half-aware state where bringing Menel down was the only thing that mattered. It happened on occasion with Revina, but she knew his tells well enough to best him in a brawl.

Thank the stars Laven had left Remembrance upstairs. He wouldn't have been able to forgive himself if he had attempted to subdue Menel with live steel.

Laven ran his hand along the places he'd managed to land hard blows on Menel, his brow creased as he tried to sooth the tender muscles in apology. He shifted to sit on his hip, his legs curled under him as he leaned in and over Menel to look down at him apprehensively.
"I'm sure we have something down here for bruises if you want me to go find it for you...?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:18 pm

Menel suppressed a mild wince at the touch of Laven's fingers on his neck. The spot was still a bit tender, but Laven's gentle touch and the small tinge of pain warmed him. Behind him the elf shifted, allowing Menel to lay comfortably on the ground which he did. There was no reason to get up so quickly, and he could be on his feet in a moments notice if necessary. For the moment however... It was nice to look up at Laven.

"No, it'd take more than that to break me. I'm wouldn't want you to treat me with kid gloves Laven." He smiled, the elf's fingers tracing almost apologetically across his chest. Without his armor, with only simple cloth between his skin and Laven's the touch was something he could feel distinctly.

The elf's fingers slid a bit lower, touching his side and Menel made a small sound, his lips parting slightly and pink rolling across his cheeks. It felt like that touch spread electricity across his skin. His blue eyes darkened just a touch and he lifted a hand to soothe some of Laven's hair which had been disturbed by their tussle.
"I'm fine I promise. Stay here and relax." He smiled roguishly. "I'm much more interested in what you won for yourself than I am in getting a few bumps that don't need it looked after."


-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: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:45 pm

Laven smiled, leaning a little closer so that Menel could touch his face more easily. "As long as you're sure." The elf was quiet for a long while, fingers tracing over Menel's face and chest while they looked at each other. When Menel made a sound Laven raised an eyebrow and chuckled, the corners of his eyes crinkling in amusement.

"Ticklish I see." His voice was teasing, and if he hadn't just tossed Menel onto his back several times Laven might have given in to his instincts and tested his fingers against Menel's sides. Instead he moved, sliding over so their hips touched. Then the assassin leaned down, lounging over the swordsman's chest with his hands folded over Menel's breast and his chin propped up on them.

"I confess, I hadn't really expected to win so I wasn't sure if I should even entertain the idea of having you do something for me." Laven smiled and tipped his head to the side, his eyes half closed. That was only partially true. Laven had considered asking Menel to let him handle the contract alone, to keep the poor man a little safer. But after fighting him not once but twice... It might be wise to have him at his side in case the situation grew out of control.

Laven hummed under his breath and closed his eyes, thinking of what would be a good request. There was a little whisper in his heart, a warning that he was falling far too fast for the human under him. That he should pull back, that it would only end painfully. But hadn't that been true for every relationship he had been in? Laven's brow creased and he looked over at Menel, untangling one of his hands to lay it over his cheek.
"Tell me a secret. It doesn't have to be a shocking one, just something no one else but you knows." He chuckled at his silly request. Juvenile but easy, something Menel could answer with almost no pressure.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

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