Behind Closed Doors

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potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
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Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#1
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When Alfonso's parents told him they were heading to London on business, he wasn't sure what to expect.

At first, he assumed this was their subtle way of informing him that he had best build up all the energy he could to prepare himself for the long, arduous journey to England; a journey that ran the risk of definitively killing him off. Having been sickly since the very day he was born, suffering from conditions that could kill him, staying in bed and conserving the energy needed to survive was the best plan - but his parents refused to let him do that, all in the name of preserving their reputation. What sort of reception would they get if people discovered their son and heir was weak and sickly? If they had to force him to attend balls and events across the continent, they would, regardless how detrimental it was to his health.

Because of the experience of being made to attend such things, solely because he was the heir to their fortune and responsible for continuing their name after they died, the mention of business sent alarms ringing in the young man's head. He didn't want to travel anywhere, let alone a journey as long as to London, so he ought to have been delighted when the news came through that his parents didn't plan on taking him.

Instead, he was surprisingly devastated by it. He would get to stay at home, in the luxury of their manor, and continue to recuperate after the last trip he took. He could spend time in bed, devoting himself to his poems or novels, or even to the play he was experimenting with. With servants to wait on him hand and foot, including the nannies he saw more as family than devoted staff, the news that he was being left behind should really have been music to his ears. In one way, it was a relief. Mostly, though, he felt like he was just being pushed out and that this was the start of his parents completely ignoring him. He was the heir to their estate and while he saw the positives in being left at home to rest, he also saw it as a negative. His brothers and sisters were all attending the trip; the whole family would be heading off without him, passing off their lives as perfectly blissful and the image of domesticity while he remained behind closed doors, all but alone. Nobody was going to feel particularly happy about that.

The month proceeded without them, without so much as a letter sent from London to assure their eldest son that everything was okay. He didn't even know why they had gone until a servant informed him of his parents' plans to bring in a strange cat-hybrid from ashore. Alfonso knew what the creatures were, having been at dinner parties where the aristocrats around him either spoke in wonder about the beings, or proudly boasted about the ones they had purchased for themselves. They were seen as a status symbol; a physical representation of the power households held if they had one for themselves. Alfonso knew his parents would inevitably seek to follow the trend themselves and while he had nothing against the creatures, he didn't want to share his home with one.

He was barely getting attention from his family. When Edgar arrived, he knew whatever attention he did get would immediately be handed to the hybrid instead.

It didn't stop him curiously waiting at the window from his room when his parents returned home after their long trip. Alfonso could comfortably stare out the window, knowing nobody would really see him doing so. Despite his illnesses and the fact he could barely walk (sometimes not at all if the pain was that bad), his room was at the very top of the house. The farther away he was from his family, the more they could pretend he wasn't there, sadly.

All his mother noticed as she got out from the carriage was the curtain twitching from her eldest son's room, and she put that down to the ferocious wind that had picked up. Instead of focusing on that, she turned her attention to Edgar, ushering him inside with her own warm coat wrapped around his shoulders. The kindness she and her family had shown him wasn't false. The woman, like her husband, came off as perfectly enjoyable people to be around, rather than the cold, power-hungry parents Alfonso knew them as.

"Let's get you something to eat, it's been a long journey," she murmured fondly, breathing a sigh of relief once inside the warm manor. "Having you here is a good way to practise our English, so speak in your mother tongue, Edgar, it'll be good practise for us-- now, the servants will get on with a light lunch. Would you like a tour of the place? I'm sure you could take a wander around with one of the children."
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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#2
Edgar had mixed messages of the situation, naturally. While he was taken away from the horrible home that he would describe easily as a prison, that meant he was placed in the hands of strangers who not only he had never met but also didn’t speak even a hint of their native tongue. Hell, he could barely read so the idea of learning another language was terrifying. Plus the large amount of family members that had joined them on the train was overwhelming... but he held himself together. He had been trained to keep quiet and hold himself together but once approaching the large manor, he had to keep from his jaw from dropping.

“Thank you,” He whispered once the coat was draped around his shoulders, a small smile on his lips. It was terrifying and the urge to jump had to be held back. For all he knew, these seemingly nice people could intend to torture him for fun while simply keeping a disguise to lure him in. He had heard stories of that among others, after all. Taking his time to walk inside, he pursed his lips as his tail swayed behind him.

“This is all too much,” he insisted once the coat was properly on his shoulder, laughing nervously. “Ah, are you sure, miss? I could try to learn my best attempt at Spanish,” he promised, his smile halfhearted to hide his fear. “If that is what you want I... will try my best, aha... I don’t mind. It’ll be... fun?”
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Meh, depends really. I tend to be more aggressive I suppose, but I find a good balance with my roleplaying partner and adjust my style accordingly.
Favorite Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#3
"Oh, that would make things easier, but there's no rush. You could start with a few phrases and you'll be fluent in no time," the woman smiled in reply, busily removing the coats from her younger children (as well as her husband's) before finally allowing herself to relax. The journey was stressful and incredibly exhausting, though she always knew to keep herself from showing that until she was safely back at home.

It had been stressful not only travelling to buy Edgar, but deciding what to do with him once they had. He wasn't brought in as an adopted child of theirs, but nor did they have any plans to subject him to the hours of long, hard work their servants would perform. Such work would only have an effect on how 'pretty' he could look, and because they needed him to be perfect at all times, servitude was not an option. They wanted guests at their house to marvel at the hybrid, and show their amazement at how pretty he looked; something they couldn't achieve if he worked his fingers to the bone for long shifts every day.

But he wasn't there to do nothing all day, either. Eventually, they settled on a role they felt he could perform whilst not dedicating too much energy to. He would work as a nanny (of sorts), but most of that would be spent sitting down and simply providing some company and an observant eye. Rather than perform the actual hard work the nannies put in around the house, the couple decided Edgar's role would mostly revolve around observing the children, intervening if any problems arose. That way, he would technically be a servant, but one who didn't have to do all that much and could, instead, provide most of his energy into looking as perfect as possible.

And if his role was to simply sit and observe her children, Alejandra decided the best place for him to start would be with her eldest. Alfonso wasn't a child but he did require the most help, and she didn't have the time nor the patience to try and help him down all the stairs. Edgar came in handy for the duties she could now avoid doing for her son.

"Would you be a darling and head up to fetch my son down for lunch? He'll need some help getting down all these stairs and I'm sure you'd do a marvellous job-- but don't go straining yourself. If it gets too tiring, tell a maid and they'll take over. I'd hate for you to tire yourself out, Edgar."
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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#4
"Oh, I'll be fine," he reassured her with a smile, though his eyes were instead locked on the interior of the home. The bright, warm tones of just the entrance were amazing and so different from what he was used to. It all just felt so... warm. While his anxiety was still on high, the thought of sleeping on one of the couches seemed heavenly on their own. He didn't even take into consideration the fact that he would be sleeping on a bed. He held back his excitement with a pursed smile before cautiously approaching the large staircase.

Peaking into every room curiously, his ears flickered in excitement at all of the fancy decorations and large rooms covered in books. With nervous hands, he had no problem walking up the many stairs while unaware just how grueling it must be for Alfonso. Once eventually in the future Duke's room, he was shocked at just what he saw. He was told that the other was 18, yet his sickly frame easily made him seem younger. He also didn't expect him to be bed bound, despite being somewhat alluded to the other's poor condition. With his hands behind his back and his lips pursed, he offered a smile as he stood over the bed.

"Is it safe to assume you're Alfonso?" He questioned quietly, not quite sure how to approach. For all he knew, the other could lash out and he'd be left in big trouble. Or, on the other hand, he could be faced with.... vomiting? He had never seen someone so sick before so he was more than hesitant to approach. "I'm Edgar, I'm... a new member of your family," he explained, not really quite sure how to express his new role.
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Meh, depends really. I tend to be more aggressive I suppose, but I find a good balance with my roleplaying partner and adjust my style accordingly.
Favorite Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#5
Alfonso was smart enough to realise that the hybrid would be used to help him in some way. As much as his parents seemed to like him and want to preserve his perfection, Alfonso knew the couple wouldn't pass up the opportunity to get another servant on the books, especially one they could roll out at events for guests to stare in wonder at.

What he hadn't expected was to be greeted by him this soon after his arrival, especially without a knock on the door which would give him some time to prepare himself and look a little more presentable. He was sick, that much couldn't be up for debate, but he didn't want his first meeting with Edgar to give that impression; he wanted to look lively and at least like he wasn't gravely ill. Unfortunately, he never had the time to sit himself up and give that image. Instead, he was curled up beneath his blankets, trying to convince himself that the all-round pain he felt wasn't that severe and was simply in his head. Fortunately, Edgar's introduction did distract him from fighting the pain off, at least for a few minutes.

"...Edgar," he murmured softly, smiling politely as an introduction and because he instantly decided he liked the other, if only based on appearance and accent alone. Being left alone most of the day, his appetite for company grew daily. Even if he didn't like the fact Edgar was going to be treated better than him, he wouldn't deny that he was eager to get to know him, perhaps make himself a friend in the process. He was sure his parents wouldn't like that too much, being convinced that his sickness was contagious, and he knew they wouldn't want their precious new toy to catch anything from him. However, when he did have time with the hybrid, he fully intended on using it to befriend him.

"I like that name, it fits you well, I think," he croakily replied, doing his best to speak slow and quiet to avoid a coughing fit; another impression he was desperate not to imprint on the other. With all the energy he had, he managed to sit himself up and swing his legs out of bed, sinking his feet into his slippers. "Can you pass me my walking stick? I'm fortunate enough to use it outside the house without ruining my... parents' reputations. It's seen as a status symbol; something fashionable. I don't understand what's so fashionable about it, but all the men seem to have one... I suppose that's a good thing because without it, I'd be in bed all day-- this isn't a very good conversation, I'm being selfish-- s-so you're from London, yes? You're... part of the family now, that's wonderful, truly... wonderful."
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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#6
“Thank you,” he replied with a nervous smile as he watched the other get up, not quite sure what to do. He knew some people didn’t like to be touched without being asked, him included, and he didn’t just want to help him without his permission. He did move closer to just make sure that if Alfonso fell he could catch him and not be yelled at.

“Yeah, I’m from London - born and raised,” he teased lightly before adjusting the bow around his neck. He needed to look prim and proper or he would be kicked out onto the street, right? “Do... you mind if I help? There are a lot of stairs, I don’t want you to overwork yourself. I may not look it but I’m pretty strong,” he insisted before daring to carefully hold the other’s hand. “I mean, unless you don’t want to but I think it’s better for both of us if you just let me do this. I... just got here, I don’t want to be sent back immediately.”
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#7
How was Alfonso supposed to tell the other that his parents would have no problem dumping him the moment the cat hybrid trend went out of fashion (assuming it ever did)? They weren't inherently bad people, but they were hell-bent on preserving their status in society, and that inevitably clouded their judgement and often made them make horrendous moral decisions... like forcing Alfonso into situations when it only worsened his condition.

Seeing Alfonso so desperate to make a good impression, as though one bad move would end his time there, only made Alfonso frown and feel bad for him. Nothing he would do would cut his time short, and if his parents did lose interest in him, it would be because the upperclass had discovered something else to marvel at. It would be out of Edgar's hands... yet Alfonso didn't think that would comfort him, so wisely chose not to mention it. If he was happy believing Alfonso's parents were paragons of virtue, and angels for rescuing him from imprisonment, so be it. It was better than lumping him with the truth.

"You won't get sent back, I'm sure they'll do anything to provide you with a wonderful life here," he promised as he slowly took the other's arm. It was always strange whenever he was introduced to a new servant and expected to let them lead him around, but he never once told them he could manage himself. He knew he wouldn't cope independently, and he also didn't want to make them feel awkward. He was often desperate for someone to talk to, and walking with someone provided him with that chance.

"I... I'm sorry you're lumbered with me. I'm sure you'd prefer to be with my other siblings, rather than assisting someone like me who needs help just to get to the dinner table," he laughed lightly, attempting to make a joke at the situation, however self-deprecating it was. "...I like your accent. I like London a lot, in fact. It must be difficult for you to move countries like this?"
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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Furry
#8
“... between you and me, your siblings have me a headache,” he whispered honestly. The hours upon hours of hearing them chatter in another language was bound to give him a headache, one that continued for days. Alfonso at least seemed more on the quiet side which was all he could wish for. Glancing down at the other, he offered a soft smile.

“It’s terrifying,” he admitted simply. “No one speaks fluent English, the climate is completely different, everything is just... foreign. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, granted, but it certainly isn’t what I was expecting. I don’t know what I was expecting, though... sorry, I’m babbling,” he chuckled. “I’ll admit, I think I’m most excited for the food. Some of my friends told me about how good Spanish food is and I’m sure it’s better than anything I’ve ever had.”
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#9
"I don't eat that much, but I can assure you our chefs are marvellous, and I know my parents will feed you nothing but the best. From what I've read on your kind and the role most people want you to play, looks are everything. They'll feed you up and make sure you're healthy, you won't need to worry about that. I'm sure they'll fall in love with you, you seem perfectly lovely," the boy naturally praised, nodding for emphasis as he carefully left the warmth of his room, grimacing to himself at how daunting the staircase always seemed to appear. He often had help, but that didn't make it any less frightening, or any less painful, in fact. Years of dealing with the flights of stairs often resulted in great amounts of pain and, frequently, he tumbled down and that was enough to scar him mentally.

"Can we just take this slow? I... used to fall down them quite a lot as a child, it still scares me to this day," the younger man smiled, clutching the other's arm tighter in desperation. Growing so dependent on a complete stranger minutes after meeting him did cause his inner voice to ridicule him, which was never a nice experience. He was aware that his parents would call the sight pathetic, and years of dealing with their emotional abuse meant that he now saw himself as that; pathetic. If he could handle the stairs by himself, he would - but fiercely showing his independence would only result in him falling down, potentially to his death.

"Sorry," he apologised again, releasing his grip on the hybrid just a tad. "I... I'm like a child, I can't do anything by myself. You must be annoyed that you travelled all the way just to be given the job of caring for me."
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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#10
"I'm fine, really. You aren't very heavy and it isn't like I'm doing anything else," he reminded with an encouraging smile, holding on to the future duke with out a problem. He had been a big motherly figure towards many of the younger hybrids and that feeling was only emphasized with Alfonso.

"Well, how about we try some food together? We can get more food in you and you can show me some of the best meals from Spain," he offered as he took his time taking careful steps, waiting at every one to help the other at least feel a little less afraid. "I'm... Very boring but I don't mind if you want to know more. I want to learn more about you though. You must live a pretty nice life...".
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#11
"I do eat, you know. I eat quite a lot, actually. I... I don't need any help with that, I'm perfectly capable feeding myself," he retorted defensively, frowning at the emphasis made on feeding him up. He was acutely aware of how thin he was and that he ought to do more about it by actually finishing his meals. He just didn't have an appetite most of the time, and being forced to eat food he wasn't hungry for only made him queasy. Having that issue highlighted never made him eager to eat more healthily, though the initial anger faded when he realised that the hybrid was hardly aware of that.

"...It's a nice life, I suppose. I did nothing to get this, I was simply born into it. I don't know if I agree with inherited titles and wealth. I'd rather make my own money and earn a reputation through my work, but... we'll see what happens," he laughed quietly, alluding to the fact his father may simply organise things so the titles, land and money all went to one of Alfonso's younger brothers, rather than to him. He knew he was a disappointment to them, and he wouldn't be surprised if he was left out of the will andcompletely overlooked for the inheritance of the estate.

He wasn't going to ruin the honeymoon period for Edgar by informing him that his parents weren't good people, and telling him how horrible they often were to him. The boy had just arrived and, if he was observant, he would see it all for himself. Alfonso didn't want to impose his opinion; if his parents were as terrible as he thought, Edgar would surely see that, like all the servants did.

"...You're very nice, I apologise for snapping," he sighed, taking a deep breath once finishing the first flight of stairs. "It's just difficult. I know people are trying to help but I'm an adult, I... can do some things myself."
 

saturnia pavonia

waking ups a drag
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Passive more, though occasionally I'll do aggressive
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Furry
#12
Immediately growing quiet, Edgar decided to instead simply help the other to the bottom of the stairs. He had been walking on eggshells his whole life so naturally, being yelled at even the slightest caused him to stiffen. His mind raced, immediately wondering what would possibly happen now. He had heard horror stories of being kicked out onto the street to being killed by their masters, so it was no surprise the hybrid began to nervously adjust his footing, his eyes avoiding the young royal.

“I apologize,” he eventually murmured once at the bottom of the second flight, bowing politely. “Please, don’t... kick me out, sir. Not when I just got here, aha... I didn’t mean to mention your, ah... condition,” he promised, his cheeks growing pink in embarrassment, his eyes growing glossy as he waited for the other to help him down the final flight.

“You just don’t understand how important this all is to me, sir,” he tried to explain, his tail between his legs as his ears folded. “I’m so happy to be here, and grateful, I promise I’ll do better. This is a learning experience?” He attempted before offering a wary smile.
 

potassiumboron

We're all monsters, living in a dream~
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Meh, depends really. I tend to be more aggressive I suppose, but I find a good balance with my roleplaying partner and adjust my style accordingly.
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Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality... I could go on.
Genre You DON'T Like
Furry, sci-fi, boring high-school, slice of life genres that are bland and don't have some twists somewhere.
#13
"Stop calling me sir, I don't like it. I didn't yell at you either, I... I said I'm sorry," he grimace,d more at himself for his own behaviour rather than at the other. He had no real reason to be mad at someone who was trying to help, and in all honesty, he wasn't used to anyone being that eager to assist him. As normal as he wanted to feel, it was also difficult to do everything by himself; having someone show consideration to him ought to be appreciated, not rejected.

Though the fact a compete stranger had shown him more care than his own family had was mildly upsetting.

"I have no power to throw you out of my home, though I'm not sure I'd want to even if I did. I need help, even if I don't... want to admit that. You're the only one who's really assigned to help me personally, so... so of course I don't want you to leave. L-Let's just draw a line under this and start again?" He suggested weakly as he reached the bottom of the stairs, trying to regain his breath and not look like he was that exhausted by the venture downstairs. Quite clearly, from his red cheeks and deep gasps for breaths, he was.

"You're actually happy to be here? I... suppose you would be. My parents are going to look after you; you'll get to wear fancy clothes and be gushed over by visitors. I'm sure this is wonderful for you." Alfonso smiled as he gripped the walking stick at his side, holding back the urge to ruin the other's current outlook. He could blurt that the home was a prison and his parents were power-hungry, but he was too nice for that. "...Let's have lunch, I'm sure you're hungry."