Feb 18, 2018, 07:56PM


Mature Content Tweak
January 11, 2018
Mature content now depends entirely on the birth date listed in your profile. It will automatically decide if you're above 18 and start displaying mature threads to you. These are highlighted yellow, so you can still avoid them if you'd rather.
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January 5, 2018
Wow it's weird to be typing 2018... anyway, we have a new theme with some fancy stuff, but some of it is still broken. Also the email field for guests appears again, I'll fix it eventually.
Introducing Battle Suite 4.0 RC2
October 24, 2017
We now have a working version of an early write-up of Battle Suite 4.0 available for use. This system completely automates tabletop functions, and is very user-friendly.

Embers // Afterlife Fantasy

Welcome to the first day of your new life. Embers is an afterlife fantasy cyberpunk RPG, running since 2006, first under the name War Chain, and then under the name Tamashii no Chikai, originally as a Bleach RP. Some Bleach influence still remains, but it is all presented differently and features new elements. The recent 2016 reboot under the name Embers follows a very similar standard and focus that War Chain and Tamashii no Chikai did, and we hope Embers will grow into its own free of its fandom ties. Here's to 157,000 more posts!
Mature themes, half the board is gay. Not recommended for bigots or individuals under 16 years of age. You must be 18 or older to gain access to the mature boards.

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my reason why

October 22, 2016
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 06, 2017, 06:09AM // 749 Words
His day had gone fine. For the most part, it was entirely uneventful. Drills were had, paperwork got done, general conversation happened around him (and miraculously, or not, no one managed to overload him with sounds, but most stayed at least a foot away from him), and then the day was done. It was like any other day that he didn't have patrols for, those also not on patrols tended to shoot the shit, and typically, Surya had a lot of amusement listening to them banter among each other. Only very rarely did he interject in conversations others had around him, as he had little interest in partaking in conversation with even one person, let alone more than that. Somehow, for some reason, today just wasn't his day.

Nothing had really gone wrong, it just wasn't a day he'd call good. His mind couldn't decide on anything, and for whatever reason, he'd been sad through most of it. It was difficult for him to explain these random dips in mood, so usually, he didn't try. Today was no different, albeit both his father and his grandfather prodded gently here and there throughout the day. It was difficult to explain what was in his head, when he himself had no idea. Likely, it was just his brain chemicals firing wrong, or something, like most every problem he ever had tended to be caused by. Sometimes, he wondered why in fuck's name he was still a Lucain, because quite frankly, he was almost a liability to them, never mind Valkyrie. He supposed it didn't really matter, the whys and what fors, because logically, he knew, even if someone suggested he was a liability, the entirety of the rest of his family would rail against the mere idea, and may well smack a bitch for having the audacity to butt into their family's business.

Logically, yes, he knew that. Every other way to know something was another story. Many wondered why he was so quiet, but it was nothing fantastic or mysterious, or nefarious. Surya stayed quiet because some of the things that crossed his mind had no business being put to audible words. Rarely did he feel like a contributing member of Valkyrie, let alone anything else, rarely did he feel like he belonged here. It wasn't as if Surya had anywhere else to go-here was where all his family were, where anything that meant anything to him was. Most of his memories were here, some of them better than others. He didn't know where else he'd belong, if not here.

He didn't regret it. It'd all led him eventually to Tihaan, and he didn't regret it, not exactly. Sometimes, though, maybe he regretted making them deal with it. It wasn't as if they'd really given him a choice. Seia refused to go away. Sati and Sahura hadn't let them out of their sight for practically ever after that. He wouldn't be surprised if they both followed his Force signature wherever it went. He couldn't be them. It was unfair to hold himself to the same standards as them, and yet he still did it.

As he finally got home after work, as always he did, he got his boots off, chucked them to the side in the entryway, shuffled into the living room, tossed his Invisor onto the table by the doorway. Rarely did Surya keep it near him when he wasn't at work, because if anything went wrong that he needed to know about, he would. The joys, he supposed, of living with his Captain. Why was he still alive... why was his brain misfiring this time? He shook his head, following the little blip of Seia-Force. Of course, when he found her, he just watched her for a moment, and then shuffled over and laid down, carefully flopping over in her lap, so as to neither disturb nor accidentally hurt her. She wasn't glass, he knew that, but he was always careful with Seia, because Seia was one of his reasons why. Even when it hurt to breathe or got hard to think, he kept going, because there were several lights at the end of the tunnel, and Seia was one.

Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 06, 2017, 08:17PM // 729 Words
Seia worried.

It seemed to be all she did anymore, worrying. She worried about her kids, about what adventures and misadventures they got up to in Asgard away from her watchful eye. Even here, in Asgard, she still worried. Only Tihaan was at the Academy with her, and she... she shouldn't. She shouldn't, she knew, they were more than old enough to take care of themselves and it would be unfair of her to push her presence onto them, which was why Seia rarely acted on her irrational concerns. She worried about her sisters, Narcissa and her various fears, Laelia and her issues that she still would rather ignore than deal with, Metella and the burden of all the weight of expectation placed on her shoulders. Seia tried to help where she could, tried to ensure that the Academy taught its students enough that everything should run smoothly once they were placed in a division, but it still seemed so little. Everything she did to help, or at least try and help, seemed like so little against the constant, never-ending assuage of the world, and sometimes it felt like she was scrabbling at rubble and even after her fingers were worn down to bloody stumps it still would've made no difference.

She worried about Surya. Of course she did. She worried about everything, but the thought of Surya was a constant one that chewed at the back of her mind. It's been like that since the day she found him, and even if she tried, even if she wanted to, she couldn't push him aside. But again, she tried to not make it so obvious. Tried to, but it probably showed all the same. Seia had always been somewhat reserved, but when she felt something she had never been good at holding it back, and while she was practiced enough by now to fool most people, Surya wasn't most people. Mm. Then again, rarely did she ever make the effort to hide any part of herself from him. Surya had been through enough, and she didn't want him to even suspect that she would lie to him, give him any reason to be suspicious or afraid of her.

Sometimes she spent days at the Academy, but whenever she could, Seia took her paperwork home and worked on it there. She knew the Academy and its grounds well enough by now to be able to Blink to wherever she's needed, and she never took off her Invisor. There were times when Surya or the kids made it home early, and even Mirah usually dropped by at least once every couple of days. Seia tried to be here whenever they were, even with all their erratic schedules, even if they spent the entire time at opposite sides of the mansion and didn't talk to or otherwise acknowledge her presence. She didn't push herself onto others, but she still wanted to give her family the assurance of her presence. Most of them seemed bored with monotony, and she was the same way, but there was something to be said about consistency.

Curled up in the corner of a large loveseat, absentmindedly tapping a pen against her lower lip, she felt Surya's Force before she heard the door open. She didn't look up immediately when he walked in, scribbling her signature on the last page of another contract before she clicked the pen closed and placed them back on the side table. Her eyes rose to meet his, and she shuffled over a little to make room for him only to find his head on her lap. Ah. This was fine, too. Her fingers came down, lightly ran across the braids of his hair. Gentle, always gentle, she was always so careful when touching him, so focused on every shift of his body, all of his nonverbal cues in case she toed too close to the line of too much. Seia didn't speak, didn't ask him if anything was wrong, if he wanted to talk. Sometimes, it was hard to make sense of what went on in your own head, and there were times when talking helped and times when it didn't. She let Surya decide which one it was.
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 07, 2017, 12:34AM // 604 Words
That was calming. Always it was, though, and it didn't surprise him after he thought about it for a few moments. Eventually, he kind of snuggled down in her lap and relaxed a bit. Seia was Seia, and she tended to have that effect on him. Besides, he was home. Home was safe, and if it wasn't, it would be shortly. He somewhat envied his kids, that they'd grown up here. Sahura had built the manor sometime before Surya came home, and his kids grew up in the manor complex. It wasn't terribly fancy, but it was home, and it was safe, and Surya was much happier about them being in a central area. He'd gotten separated that way, of course, wandering too far from Sati. He didn't want to lose his kids like that.

How did Seia do this? Why did Seia do this, this thing where she calmed down all of his stupid fears and jumpiness, where she tolerated it at all. Sometimes, logically, he knew why. If things were the other way around, of course he would, too. Even knowing that wasn't how love and life worked, often, he still wondered what he'd done to deserve it, any of it, the patience and the kindness, when he wouldn't really blame anyone if they didn't want to deal with it anymore. Most of the time, Surya didn't want to, either, but it was his brain that misfired and mucked up. It wasn't like he could just magic it all away, but he wished it was that simple. Who even knew how brains worked on this side of the binary? Admittedly, Captain Shiba got relatively close to figuring it out, but he was one of very few.

"Why do you put up with me, anyway," Surya asked quietly. He didn't really expect an answer, but Seia usually didn't ignore him. As much as it felt like he should get it, he never really did. There were times he'd avoid her, because he didn't want to make her deal with it any more than she had to, times when he just stuffed himself in the closet and stayed there, because the world was too much and Surya wasn't really one to ask for help, because they all already helped enough. When was it enough? When was he going to stop having to lean on them so heavily? He knew he couldn't do it himself, he knew that, he never tried when he knew he really couldn't do it alone, when every little thing made him antsy and jumpy and scared, when the roaring in his head wouldn't shut up, and all his logical capacity just ground to a halt in the face of whatever demons in the back of his head never actually died.

He wasn't a very good husband. And neither was he terribly good at this being a father thing. Now that they were all older, it was easier, but in the early days of screaming tantrums and afternoon naps, there was only so much he could handle then. There was only so much he could handle, now. The Lucain trait of being a decent parent, it seemed to have skipped him. When would he just stop being such a broken pain in the ass, and go back to being a functional being? Apparently not anytime this millennium. Why was she still here?
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 07, 2017, 01:50AM // 492 Words
Ah. This again. A slight flicker of sadness crossed her face, though she didn't pause the slow, steady motions of her hands. Seia didn't hate dealing with his moods because she found them annoying, but because she hated the fact that he even had them in the first place. No, that someone had put them there. It wasn't his fault. It wasn't, and he knew this, but sometimes logic and emotion seemed to operate on entirely separate axes. Seia would give almost anything to silence the demons in his head, but there was only so much she could do. There was only so much he could do, and it was unfair, it was unfair and she hated it, hated the fact that all the burden was on his shoulders when it wasn't his fault, hated the fact that there were people, multiple people out there who would willingly do this, who would purposefully plan this.

Those who were responsible for him and Tihaan's ordeal had already been dealt with. It wasn't enough, though. Vengeance was good, but it didn't erase any of the actual damage. Her hand traced down the back of his head, skipped his neck, and came to a gentle rest between his shoulderblades as she leaned down and ghosted a featherlight kiss over his hair. "I don't," she said, just as quietly. "I don't put up with you. None of us do." Funny how he asked that when Seia wondered the same thing, wondered how he put up with her and her irrational fears and her ever-changing moods. Sometimes, she couldn't rid herself of the bone-deep tiredness that sat within her, and other times she couldn't bring herself to sleep for weeks because of a fire that raced within her blood and ate at her until she was left a spent, hollow shell. It was a good thing that Seia had spent so long cultivating her self control because she knew, she knew how easy it would be for her to slip into too much, for her to tip him past that delicate balance, and she would sooner die than hurt him.

It was almost selfish of her, how she hadn't ever really left him alone. Sometimes she wondered if she was a terrible person, if she had manipulated him into liking her somehow. He had learned of love and kindness far too late in life, and while she never pushed her presence onto him she had always hovered at his periphery. It was because she worried, she worried far too much, especially about him, but... but maybe she was blowing it out of proportion. No, she probably was. How selfish, for her to be dwelling on her own irrational insecurities when she should be focused on Surya.
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 07, 2017, 10:41PM // 459 Words
Every time he asked, she always said essentially the same thing. He'd always found it difficult to believe, even though, in the back of his mind, he knew it was right. Seia wouldn't lie to him, he knew that, what she said, she generally meant. His brain just wasn't accepting that, at the moment, but it was usually like this. Anymore, it was weird when his brain was in agreement with what it already knew. Sometimes, he really wished he could just, get a new brain, because this one wasn't working, but he knew enough about Daeni technology to know it didn't work that way. Last he'd checked, at least, it didn't work that way.

She always said that. She always said that, why'd he keep questioning it, like he didn't believe her? Because he didn't, he knew that, no, he did believe her, but then he didn't anymore. Maybe he just needed the reminder, because it was easy to forget it, when his head kept insisting he was such a giant burden to everyone, even though he didn't seem to be. They'd all changed, because of him. Seia wasn't really quite this calm. His dad wasn't, once, but it was hard to say how much of his change was Surya's fault, and how much was his being mostly Daeni now. Sahura certainly wasn't. Tahsin used to be more energetic. It wasn't fair. But he didn't know where else he'd be, if he wasn't here. They shouldn't have to change for him. He still remembered how it was before, when he was younger, before he'd gotten lost and not come home for hundreds of years, but the memories were faint, ethereal, there and not. Sometimes, he wondered if they were memories, or if they were just stories he'd heard that his mind had tried to imagine, and decided were memories.

"M'sorry," he said, curling up in her lap a bit. ... in retrospect, he wasn't really sure what he was sorry for, so despite thinking he should clarify that, he ultimately didn't. Sorry she was stuck with this, sorry his brain kept backpedaling and changing its mind, sorry he kept questioning everything, sorry he had such a crappy memory, sorry he was a terrible person to attach to as a life mate, sorry, sorry, sorry. It wasn't like sorry ever fixed anything, anyway, so he wasn't sure why he said it like it was going to make it all better. Because tomorrow, he'd probably ask the same thing, when he forgot, again.
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 08, 2017, 01:10AM // 538 Words
Don't, she almost said, before she stopped herself. What she meant was, don't be sorry. What she meant was, it's not your fault, there's nothing to apologize for, don't blame yourself, please don't blame yourself, but she didn't want Surya to stop coming to her when he was like this, when every synapse of his brain fired wrong. She didn't want him thinking that she didn't want to see him like this, that he should bury all of his grievances and pretend they weren't there. Instead, she moved with him, curled around him and held him like she could protect him. She wasn't enough. No one was enough, no one could ever be enough for just one person, she knew this, she knew, but gods be damned if she didn't hate feeling so helpless. Usually, Seia was fine with who she was, but at times like this she wished that she wasn't so small, wished that she could pull off intimidation like her sisters and her children and everyone else who was tied to her, wished that she could roar so he didn't have to, so he could hide in the darkness of her shadow. She wouldn't. She wouldn't, because she knew that it wasn't what he needed, wasn't what he wanted, especially from her, and she wasn't so selfish that she would ostensibly change herself for him just to appease her own anxieties, but it was so easy for her to see why people would.

"Surya," she murmured. "You're so brave. So strong. You don't see it anymore because you've grown so used to it, but I do. I..." she trailed off, ran her hand down his arm until she found one of his hands and laced her fingers in his, held it with a gentle grip in case he wanted to pull away. She wished that he could see himself the way she saw him, how bright he was, how he was the sun, her brightest source of light, how he was the north star that guided her every step. It wasn't obligation that kept her with him, wasn't pity or guilt or a reluctance to change what's become routine. She wasn't tied to him. There were other paths for her to walk, other roads that she could explore, but Seia never thought of stepping off the one that led her back to him. She chose him, again and again and again, not because she thought she should but because she wanted to, because she wanted him.

"I love you. I love you. Every part of you that the world sees. Every part of you that I see. Every part that you keep apologizing for. I don't mind. I'll never get tired of telling you this." A pause, and she pressed another kiss to the side of his head. "Thank you," she whispered, "for letting me in. I know it's hard for you. Thank you."
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 08, 2017, 02:16AM // 492 Words
So people said, sometimes. Surya never did understand why, because it didn't feel like that. Maybe she was right, and he just didn't see it anymore, but it didn't feel like strength or bravery, it felt like... like not enough. It always felt like not enough, like he wasn't enough, because really, he wasn't. And maybe it wasn't fair to hold himself to the same standards as he did his dad, and his granddad, shit, his kids, maybe it wasn't fair to think in enough or not enough, but damn it, nothing about this was fair to begin with. Seia deserved better than this, better than him, because he wasn't enough, and he never was going to be.

He knew better than to say that, by now. It just went in circles, circles they'd already danced around many times before, circles they didn't need to go around again. Whatever god there was knew they'd go around plenty of other circles they kept going around, and probably always would, because this wasn't fair, Surya wasn't enough, and he never would be.

It had to get tiring eventually. For just a second, albeit a rare one, he honestly didn't believe something she'd said. He didn't mention that, either, his hand squeezing hers just a tiny bit, pulling it under his head. He couldn't really make sense of most things he felt, but he really didn't want Seia to go away, even if he did think, maybe it'd be better for her if she did. Just the thought of it made his heart squeeze, and it was more his own selfishness that kept him from telling her maybe she should try those other things she wanted to do, that she didn't have to stay here where he was. Surya didn't think she didn't know that, he just worried, sometimes, that maybe she'd just gotten used to it and didn't think about how her life could be, because she was so focused on how it was. He didn't want her to go, anyway. If he lived and someday died with her, here, that was a good life. Maybe it was just as irrational as everything else that flit through his head, but what if it wasn't?

"Seia, are you really happy here?" That was what he wanted. He wanted her to be happy, but she didn't really seem to be. "I..." Wait, no, that was in the wrong order, pausing for a second, rearranging the words in his head. "Sometimes, you seem really sad. I don't want you to be sad, Seia. If I make you sad, then..." His heart squeezed. He just left it there.
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 08, 2017, 03:15AM // 581 Words
What? No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Seia couldn't help it when her face crumpled, when her breath caught on the next inhale, when - shit - shit -

Instinctively, she started to pull away, then paused, torn between - he needed her, she couldn't just - but she didn't want him to see, didn't want to... what was wrong with her, she was so selfish, so weak and fragile and selfish, this wasn't about her so why was she making it about her, why wasn't she stronger, why wasn't she enough. All of her carefully cultivated self control shattered under her fingertips like it always did when it actually mattered, and her vision blurred with tears she tried to blink back. They fell, instead, clung to her eyelashes and landed on the arm she had drawn over him to shield him from herself. She was so weak, it's been so long and she was still so weak, so weak compared to him and his father and her sisters. There was a time when Seia had hoped she might grow out of it, that she might be able to call herself a true Livian, but as the years passed, turned to decades and then centuries and then millenia, she had to accept the fact that this was just who she was, that she would always be lesser, more fragile, someone to be protected, someone who couldn't grow her own armour no matter how hard she tried, someone whose wounds never scarred, never closed, only continued to hurt and fester and bleed her dry.

How did Surya stand her. She wasn't much better as a Lucain, wasn't much better as anything. Seia had so much longer than him to man her defenses, to harden her heart, but she felt like glass that was stretched too thin held together by paper strings. "Sorry," she whispered, voice wavering as she pressed the back of her hand to her eyes, willed herself to stop, because this wasn't about her, she was being awful, she needed to get over herself, she needed... her other hand squeezed his, almost gripped his fingers with none of the careful control she usually showed him before she forced them to relax. She wouldn't make him feel trapped. Maybe this was him, telling her he's finally had enough, trying to give her an out so he wouldn't have to hurt her, still so kind even now. Something akin to panic started to choke her throat, and desperation tried to cloud her mind, tried to push all rational thoughts out of her head. Please don't go. She bit down on her tongue, shook with the effort of holding it back.

She wouldn't hurt him.

She wouldn't hurt him, wouldn't trap him, wouldn't be one of those awful things that happened to him. Mutely, she shook her head in answer to his question and swallowed, body curled towards his, silently pleading even as she ducked her head and tried to hide her face, curtain of blonde hair falling between them. "No," she choked out. "No, you don't -" her voice cracked, and her next breath came out in a shudder. Shit.
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 08, 2017, 03:53AM // 505 Words
Damn it. Damn it, he'd screwed up again, like he always did, said the wrong thing. He always did, eventually, he always did, chose the wrong thought process, said the wrong thing, clung a little too hard, pushed people away too long-damn it. This just proved his point, didn't it? She was crying. She was crying and it was his fault, because he'd said the wrong damned thing like he always did, god, why did she deal with this, wasn't this some form of abuse or something? Why couldn't his brain just fucking work right, it'd been hundreds of years now, and he still didn't do anything right. If just the suggestion made her cry, she wasn't going anywhere. Maybe he'd go, instead, maybe he'd-no. Damn it, when did that come back, why, why, shit, he'd made her cry again.

"You're literally crying, Seia," he said, moving around, sitting up and pulling her into a hug, a little less loose than usual. "M'not good at this, sometimes it's okay, but then it's not, and all this o-... I seem to do is hurt you, damn it," he'd thought he was over that. His eyes squeezed closed, more in annoyance at himself than anything. This one, like he'd been calling himself that forever, but in his head, he had been, and sometimes it confused what was then and what was now. "I don't wanna hurt you anymore, but m'not gonna get much better. Seia, I want you to be happy. I love you, I really do, you make me unimaginably happy, I have so much because of you, you're one of the biggest reasons I get up everyday, why I try so hard. That hasn't changed. I still love you just as much as I did when we got married, maybe more. But all I do is bring you pain, remind you of stuff you don't need to remember, I can't keep doing that to you. I don't want to, but I can't... make it stop, either, just-" Fuck. "Every day, Seia, this is every day, every day these things go through my head, I know, I know, you always say you don't mind, but I do, you should-you should be with someone that makes you smile, not-" Not him, not Surya Lucain, who seemed only really capable of making her sad, or worry, or both, and he knew some of it was just, how she was, but he certainly didn't need to go making it all worse. But he did, just, by existing, by being who and what he was, and...

He'd probably just made that worse. He hated this. He hated himself.
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 08, 2017, 05:34AM // 708 Words
A slight shiver of relief passed through her when Surya moved closer instead of away, and Seia closed her eyes, leaned her head against his chest, bit back another sorry. He wasn't leaving, he wasn't leaving, he wasn't leaving, he wasn't, he wasn't. Her arms wrapped around him, fingers digging into his shirt with a white-knuckled grip she wouldn't ever think to turn on him. He was staying, he wouldn't go, didn't want to go, gods she was so scared - Surya was strong. Surya was strong, he could handle almost anything that life threw at him, but Seia wasn't. But Seia needed people, needed the reassurance of their presence, and never handled it well when they left even when they hurt her. Surya never did, though. He had a - ... not a right, but it would be so easy for him, and she wouldn't fault him for it, wouldn't hold it against him. Maybe she should, but she wouldn't, and he knew this, of course he did. In some ways, he was just as careful around her as she was around him, and if she was beating herself up about this then he must be doing it twice as much.

Seia sniffed and wiped her eyes, tried to get her breathing back to a semblance of control. The world felt fuzzy and unreal. She felt fuzzy and unreal, and Surya seemed like the only real thing right now. She listened to him talk, listened to the rapid thud of his heartbeat. He almost called himself that again. If only she could make time pause for a second that stretched on forever, if only she could pluck every worry out of his head and burn them to ash. Still with her eyes closed, she reached into her hair and pulled out the pins that kept Ceridwen in place, unclasped the golden collar around her neck that also made up Ceridwen's sealed state. For a moment she held her daemon in her hands as she let herself melt against Surya without any hard implements getting in the way, before she reached back and placed her daemon on top of her abandoned paperwork.

"You don't hurt me, Surya." Her voice was still a bit thick, still somewhat uneven, and a few tears still leaked from her eyes but they were dying down. She reached up and wiped them away, leaned against him almost hesitantly. "I'm sorry you think - no, I'm sorry I made -" Dammit, no, no, that's not what she meant, not what she wanted to say. "... sorry."

It wasn't him, it wasn't, it wasn't, but how to say it in a way that didn't sound cliche, in a way that he could understand. She barely understood, herself. "It's not - I'm not -" She didn't want to add to his burdens, didn't want to heap her problems on top of his when they seemed so inconsequential in comparison, but - she was a terrible wife, wasn't she. So caught up in not hurting him directly that she didn't notice when she did so indirectly, and she must've, if he thought that he made her unhappy. Seia didn't like to talk about herself, would rather help him work through his issues, and... shit. When the dam broke for her, it always broke like this. Surya was much better at this than she was. "You don't hurt me," she repeated, and curled her legs under her, tucked herself into the crook of his arm. "You don't make me unhappy, you don't, I promise - please don't leave." Her voice dropped to a whisper at the end, as she finally let herself say it. He said he wouldn't. He said he didn't want to. It was okay to say it then, right? If he wanted the same thing as her, she wasn't being unfair or coercive.
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Dec 09, 2017, 02:37AM // 637 Words
Except he did...? Maybe the semantics of it didn't really matter. Maybe it didn't have to make sense, maybe he should just, take her word for it, because it wasn't like he knew any better. It felt like he did, like he should, like he had the right answer and just wasn't seeing it, but that was such a common feeling, now, he hardly thought twice about it, anymore. Most of the time, his brain was wrong, about whatever it thought it was right about, at least as far as anyone else told him, and it wasn't like he knew better, and he never really would, probably. He was always wrong. He was always wrong, because he wasn't Sati and he wasn't Sahura, and he couldn't just know things like they did. His dad used to say, eventually, someday, maybe he'd know things, too, but it never turned out like his dad said it would. He didn't know if he remembered that, either, or if it was a story or a mental flight of fancy that had stuck and never gone away.

Surya was tired, by now, of being so messed up, of never doing anything right, of fucking up all the time, of constantly having to beat off his insecurities with a lit torch. He was tired of being the broken one, the fragile one, the one that jumped and spooked at everything, the one that never moved and never held still, of being why everything changed, because he went and got himself into more trouble than he could handle, because he went and made a mistake, because dad had to come save him as he couldn't just save himself, he was tired. It was just a general tired, anymore, the kind of tired that didn't go away when you slept, because it ran deeper than that, stronger, than just what sleep would fix. Sometimes, a lot of times, he wished he'd go to sleep one night and just not wake up in the morning, because maybe then, his family could live their lives without the weight of him resting on their shoulders, without having to walk on eggshells all the time because the stupidest things set him off, without having to change who they are because too much, it was always too much, it was always him. Even the manor had changed, when the vibrant lapis lazuli detailing in the entryway and the brilliant shimmer of gold in the banisters sent him into a jittery panic, because it was so bright. It was all muted slates and grays and greens, now, pale blue tones where there should've been brightness, because that was what House Lucain was, it was bright and it was loud, and it was too much.

It was always him that needed them, not the other way around. He was just in the way, in the end.

"Okay," he said. "If you're sure." Was she sure, because really, he didn't know. He didn't know if she'd know, if maybe there was no point in talking about it, because neither of them knew. He should... maybe he should change the subject. They wouldn't really get very far, if neither of them had answers, and they were questions that maybe didn't need to be asked, either. "How was your day?" It seemed strangely mundane, after all of that, but if she said-it wasn't like he could really question it. That wasn't really his place, anyway. Not that he knew what his place was.
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Dec 09, 2017, 04:28AM // 812 Words
He didn't sound convinced. If Seia took a moment to look at her reaction from his perspective, she could see why. Insisting that she was fine after having burst into tears didn't seem very convincing, and - well.

She had never been a good liar, but she wasn't lying. But she was, wasn't she, because she kept her mouth shut and kept her head down even around him, because she was terrified of pushing him too far, because she couldn't stomach the thought of hurting him even incidentally, even if he asked, even if it was a type of hurt that most people were used to, that he should be used to if the world hadn't seen fit to break him from such a young age. Because lies of omission were still lies no matter what Laelia said, and Surya was her husband, not her child, so why was she treating him like one. There was a line between being considerate and outright neglect and she had stepped over it a long time ago, hadn't she. When was the last time she talked, actually talked to him? When did it become instinct for her to press herself ever-smaller in his presence, to pull on a mask that was even more opaque than the one she wore in public. Terrible, she was terrible, Surya deserved so much better, why was he still here, why was she so fucking selfish. Guilt chewed at bones, unleashed a hot wash of shame with every bite.

It wasn't his fault. It wasn't his fault, it was all on her, if only she hadn't been so stupid, so shortsighted, so self-absorbed, he wouldn't... or maybe he still would, but it'd be easier to blow away his concerns and have him actually believe her. This was all her fault, why did he still blame himself. No, she shouldn't - she needed to fix this, somehow, fuck she was such a colossal failure and she didn't deserve a second chance - no, she needed to fix this. Hadn't she spent enough time feeling sorry for herself? Being too self-absorbed was what led her to this mess in the first place, she needed to stop. Seia just nodded in response to his first statement, curled her body towards him as she poked through her head, tried to make words out of the jumbled mess of her panicked brain. ... wait, no, no, he was changing the subject, and for a moment she was almost tempted to follow along because she didn't want to think about this, because she couldn't find the right words to say in order to bring it up, because she'd spent so long not opening up that she didn't know how to anymore. She was so bad at this, how did Surya put up with her, why did he seem to still want to, why, why, why?

... or. Actually, going along with it might not be the worst idea? It was her being reticent and closed off that started this whole mess, and she could apologize until her throat turned hoarse but it still wouldn't actually fix anything. Surya might not believe her, and he'd be right not to, because she'd been terrible to him. Really, he'd be right to walk away from her after the way she'd treated him, but for some reason he was still here. She needed to fix this, and she had to start by not doing what she had been doing, didn't she. "It - um." Her voice faltered, and a nervous vulnerability that almost seemed shy crept into her tone, one he wouldn't have heard in years. It was fine, she almost said, her habitual response on the tip of her tongue, the same one she had been giving for the last forever before redirecting the conversation to be about him. "Someone tried to. Tried to sneak a bomb into one of the dorms last month. The students don't know. Most of the teachers don't, either. I'm. I've been drawing up more contracts for a bigger security team. I hope..." her voice trailed off, and she cleared her throat. "I hope it works?" The question was almost meant for him. Did she do that right? It seemed right, but. Shit, why had she let it build to the point where she was second-guessing herself while telling Surya about her day. This was the normal type of stuff that people told their husbands, right? Gods above and below, she was so bad at this.
Surya Lucain Offline Kashi // dragonborn There is strength in standing alone, but there is more in recognizing you can't. 675 HP 1,112 Years Male Eighth Division Seat 04 Musanan
my reason why Jan 13, 2018, 06:30PM // 722 Words
This was, normally, the part where she said, it was fine, and let it go, changed the subject, asked him about his day, instead. Out of expecting her to do that, the whole time she was quiet, he was thinking about the words, how to say it, because really, his day hadn't been bad, it just, hadn't really been good, either. He was very off-kilter, today, he knew that, she probably knew that, and stating the obvious always seemed like such a stupid thing to do. As if she didn't notice, and he would have started noticing her tells, maybe he had here and there and not realized it, but it seemed like he knew of very tiny, insignificant snatches of would-be tics instead of the ones that really seemed to matter. How did they get like this, he wondered, because Surya swore he could remember a time, a long time ago, when he'd first come to Valhalla and their relationship hadn't quite bloomed yet, when she was more open with him.

He knew why it'd changed. That was never a question. Being honest about it, Surya never considered it, too hard, because he knew she didn't mean it maliciously. In fact, it was probably a direct response to the mind-boggling number of sensory overloads, PTSD fits, time-line skews, she'd dealt with since then. He knew, it was probably just, her way of trying to protect him, but she couldn't protect him from the demons in his own head, and the emotions in his heart. That wasn't how it worked, rather unfortunately, and he knew, somewhere in there, she knew that, too. It didn't mean you didn't try, of course, even knowing that, ultimately, the effort was at least mostly futile, because, on the off chance you might ease some of the weight, wasn't that worth it? He got it. He'd never really blamed her for it, but, there was some part of him that thought they'd already drifted apart, a good deal, over the years, felt like she was here and wasn't, like, at some point, he'd looked away, and when he turned back, there was a giant chasm between them, where once she'd been right next to him.

Perhaps it was his own head, playing tricks on him, again, as always it did, as always it would. It was difficult to imagine, despite having lived it, once, that someday he may be able to tell the difference. As typical, for him, he should just accept it, acknowledge it existed, and let it go.

Instead of the usual 'it was fine,' though, she decided to actually tell him how it'd gone. ... it was only in rare snatches like this one that you knew he really was a Lucain, because his first thought was, 'was it at least a good bomb?' He snorted, after thinking that, and made a face. "Sorry, thought of something else. ... you know, granddad's first question would be, 'was it at least a good bomb?' or something like." It'd seem, apparently, he had an inner Sahura.

"But, I hope so too. Do you think it will?" Sometimes, there were other ways of handling something, that one didn't think about, until someone else pointed it out. Bombs did not in the Academy dorms belong, of course, and despite his inner-granddad's apparent amusement at the idea, it would be best if it never happened again. Albeit, his inner conspiracy theorist slash anxiety seemed to be wondering, mostly, if it was an isolated incident, or part of something bigger. There was always something bigger, when it came to Valkyrie and Valhalla, and he'd learned not to expect that things didn't interconnect, somehow. He hadn't heard of anything particularly terrible going on, but he wasn't sure if that was because nothing terrible was going on, or simply that no one had felt it necessary to talk about it, just yet.
Seia Lucain Offline Valhalir // Huli 635 HP 2,106 Years Female Ceridwen
my reason why Jan 24, 2018, 09:39PM // 519 Words
For a second she seemed startled, and then Seia gave a quick, nervous smile, and shook her head. "It wasn't - well. Um. It depends? On your definition of good. For bombs." Bombs were meant to... explode and all, but this one had been relatively stable. Still with the capacity to cause damage, but not as much damage as many had feared, judging from how it'd looked. Flashy. Flashy and eye-grabbing, was what it was, more for the sake of intimidation than causing actual damage.

Seia wished she was surprised. The various conflicts of Valhalla and Asgard spilled over to the Academy, too. In many cases, that was where people first got drawn in. It was a nexus point, and for many, the first introduction they'll have to those from other walks of life. It was meant to be unbiased place of learning - well, unbiased except towards Valkyrie, and Seia tried to keep it that way, but she knew by now that it was an impossible mission. No institution could be kept unbiased, because they were staffed by people. "It will," she said before she'd thought the question through. As always, the urge to reassure Surya trumped all others. "At least... the students will feel safer. It won't hurt." That is, if she chose wisely. If she guessed right, if her stringent vetting actually covered every base, if the position of power didn't go to their heads.

Seia didn't voice any of this. There was the guilt rearing its head, whispering how dare you be so selfish. How dare she place her burdens on him when he had so much to deal with already, when the last thing he needed was her problems. She shouldn't - she was terrible. She was terrible, and apparently the tears weren't quite as gone as she'd thought because there was the too-familiar choking sensation rising in her throat again, but this time it wasn't a flood. Thankfully, the pressure didn't break against her eyes this time, and she bit her lip as she swallowed it back. Shouldn't she be over this by now? Or, at least, a little better at pretending. She hated how easily she cried, how her tears made every situation seem worse than it was. It was so overdramatic and manipulative and attention-seeking, and she should be better than this. She was better than this, why was she suddenly so weak. "Surya," she said, hesitant, and almost closed her eyes before she cast them down. She couldn't bring herself to look at him right now, and it wasn't so much the admission of her mistake that made it so hard for her to push the words out, but the fallout that may follow. Or lack thereof. "I think - no." She shook her head, let out a soft breath. "I've been terrible to you. I'm sorry."