Behind Those Golden Eyes

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Taliesin, Jan 26, 2014.

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    "Sir! We're almost there!"

    Taliesin Night moved his golden gaze from outside the window to the carriage driver, though he could not actually see the man through the wall. He grimaced and let out a heavy sigh. "Yes, Thank you." He replied with annoyance. He didn't want to be here. If it wasn't for the fact that his current applicant was filthy rich he likely would not be here at all. "With any luck I'll be in and out with the contract before anyone realizes I'm here." This was muttered to himself while he stared blankly up at the roof of the carriage until they pulled up in front of the most expensive inn in town, The Dragon's Breath. It was one of his old haunts and definitely not his first choice of meeting place. For the 100th time he considered just dropping the offer but he had been without work for long enough that he was about to go out of his mind in boredom.

    He shrugged off the thought and let himself out of the carriage. He didn't bother speaking to the driver. He simply waved him off to whatever he did in between his carriages being rented and headed inside to the front desk. The man behind the front desk gaped as he realized who was standing in front of him "Tal! You're back in town!"

    Tal winced. Well, there went any hopes of everyone not knowing he was in town within a half hour. "Yes, yes here I am. Don't spread it around too quickly." He reluctantly accepted the effusive handshake and gingerly retracted his hand. "You have my usual ready I assume?"

    Kevin, the man behind the desk, nodded enthusiastically. "It isn't under your name but-" He stopped abruptly as he realized what that meant. His excited expression schooled carefully into a noncommittal expression. "Of course, here is your key." He grabbed the key from under the counter, handed it to Tal and then hurried off to speak to another patron.

    "Wonderful." Tal rolled his eyes and headed up the stairs to his usual suite. There were two hours before his client would be showing up so he figured he was going to just take a nap. He stepped past his bags that had made their way up to his room and fell down face first on his large comfy bed. It was far too stressful to be back here.

    Tal fell asleep almost immediately but was awoken far too soon a familiar presence in his room. His eyes snapped open and he was off the bed with his sword pointing at the intruder before he was fully conscious. The silver haired man standing across from him smiled brightly, completely unworried to have the most dangerous assassin in the land pointing a sword at him. "It's been a while Taliesin."

    Tal frowned at him and did not shift from his ready position. "I see you enjoy using doors as much as ever father." His father's smile widened and then abruptly they were exchanging blows. The battle lasted no more than a minute and ended with Xerxes calling victory after managing a tiny slice along Tal's left hand. "And you are still as fast as ever." Tal put his sword away with a wary smile at his father. He was still on relatively good terms with this parent in theory. Unfortunately the strain between him, his mother and his brother tended to extend to strain his relationship with Xerxes as well. Namely the fact that he turned down the position as Knight that he was expected to step into and instead ran away to be an assassin.

    "I see that you have maintained your skill level."

    Tal's smile turned flat. And there they went, subtle parental disapproval at it's finest. His grip on his sword tightened and just as he was going to retort a loud banging came from the main door of the apartment. By the time he had glanced over and glanced back towards his father, Xerxes was gone. He sheathed his sword and stalked over to the door, muttering curses as he went. "What!?" He ripped the door open.
  2. "..Sha... Aisha. Wake up." Aisha opened her eyes, even though all she wanted was to fall asleep again.

    "Go away." She muttered to her older brother whom had started poking her to get her attention. It was a bad habit of hers to stay up to work all night, and eventually fall asleep during the day and not get any work done. Not because it mattered when during the 24 hour cycle she did her job, as long as it was done in time for the customers arrival.

    "Fine, but don't blame me if he's gone when you wake up." He said and started to move towards the door as slowly as possible so that she would have some time to process what he just had told her. It didn't take long. Even in her drowsy state of mind there was still some brain activity going on.

    "He who?" She asked, almost sounding drunk when speaking into the pillow. Her brother didn't say a word, instead he waited for her to look at him and then he gave her a grin, as if to say 'isn't it obvious?'. And that was all she needed. "He's here?" She almost screamed while throwing herself up from the couch she had collapsed on. "Where is he?"

    She was running through town just minutes later. They had been tracking him down for some time, and they knew that he had been heading towards town, but it still felt unbelievable that he was back again. Aisha almost didn't want to meet him, he had been so cold every other time he had visited. But she had to see him, she couldn't give up on him. He was too important. They had been best friends once, why couldn't they be like that again?

    "Ash" The man behind the front desk exclaimed as she entered. But he didn't get time to say anything else.
    "Which room?" She asked plain and simple. The man gave a quick look at her messy hair, as if she would have cared to fix herself when Tal could disappear any minute. She gave him a stern look and he sighed before telling her.

    "Good luck." He told her as she walked up the stairs. Though her heart pounded so loudly she could barely hear him. It had been such a long time since they saw each other, what would she say? How would he act? Suddenly she felt nervous. What if he rejected her. Told her to leave. No. She had to stand her ground. This couldn't continue any longer. No matter what, she would stay with him until he stopped fooling around. There was a reason why he behaved like he did, and she wanted to know. She wouldn't let him run away on his own any longer.

    She stopped outside his room and took a deep breath before knocking on the door. Maybe someone would have imagined a weak knock from a nervous girl, but the more nervous Aisha got, the harder she punched, or in this case knocked. Her anger towards him also fueled it a bit, and made it much louder than it should have been. Yes, one part of her was angry, hopefully that side of her wouldn't try to jump at him as fast as the door opened.

    And opened it did, and a not so amused Taliesin stood in the door.

    "Hey Tal." Aisha greeted with a small smile, waiting for his reaction. 'Please don't slam the door. Please don't tell me to leave. Please, let me in. Please talk to me' She chanted in her head while keeping a somewhat happy front.
  3. Tal didn’t know who he was expecting when he opened the door but Aisha wasn’t it. In fact after the past few times they’d met he was sure there was no way he would probably ever see her again. Yet, here she was, standing in front of him like she would have 10 years ago. He stared blankly at her in shock for several seconds before his brain kicked back into high gear. He calculated the time and realized that Adrien was going to be here any moment and there was no way Aisha needed to get involved with that. He would try to drive her off but there was no telling if he could do so in time and he did not want Adrian’s first impression of him to be him arguing with a girl in front of his door.

    Tal thought fast, glancing down the hall and murmuring a curse under his breath. “Come on.” He grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the suite, going back to his bedroom and pushing her quickly inside. “Be quite, and whatever you do don’t come out here until they’re gone. You can add your grievances to the list then.” He told her coldly and shut the bedroom door just as another knock came from the main door. He moved swiftly to open it, hoping against hope that Aisha would actually listen to him. “Ah Lord Adrian! Just on time.” He stepped to the side and let the entourage through, keeping note of the amount of guards he’d brought with him. Tal couldn’t help a faint amused smile. His reputation preceded him apparently.

    Once everyone else was settled Tal moved over to the chair he had staked out as he own with a few pointed glances. “So then, Lord Adrian, what brings you to my door?” Tal had been acting slightly subservient up that point but now that they were in negotiations he sounded as bored and insolent as prince.

    Adrian gave him a haughty look before motioning to one of the guards. The guard pulled out a piece of paper and handed it gingerly to Tal. “I am prepared to offer 50 thousand if he is dead within the week.”

    Tal looked up from the paper incredulously. “50 thousand?” He let out a dark laugh. “You are a fine joker Lord Adrian but I will settle for nothing less than 100 thousand.” They settled into the negotiations proper, finally deciding on 85 thousand to kill the mystery man. Lord Adrian and his men left in a hurry while Tal watched at the window to make sure they were properly gone. He turned then to confront his unwelcome visitor. “Alright so what are you here for then Aisha? You sure made it over quick.”
  4. Well, that was a surprise. He did let her in, actually he puller her in. But he also threw a door in her face. Was that encounter a good or a bad one? She wanted to be childish and disobey him, she wanted to go out there and scream at him in front of whoever he was going to meet. Luckily though, she did have a rational side, and part of her told her that if he's meeting someone as an assassin, then she should probably not get involved. Who knew what those kind of people would do. How good of a person could you be if you hired someone to murder for you? How evil did you have to be to actually do the job?

    She shook the thought away. Tal wasn't evil, he just had a lot going on. And she would help him to get back on track, it didn't matter if he wanted her to or not.

    Just seconds after being pushed into the room she could hear the knock on the door, and shortly there were voices. She listened carefully and tried not to make a sound. So he was there for a job after all, not because it came as a shock for her, work was the only thing that attracted him. Not even his family could convince him to come back home. 'What happened to you Tal?' She thought to herself as the people on the other side of the door continued their bargain. Who was he going to kill? Did she know the victim? Probably not. Or rather, hopefully not.

    Then the men left as suddenly as they had arrived. Tal came back to her and gave her his attention. Well, that was a first in a long time.

    "What am I here for? Seriously Tal!" She said as if she couldn't believe her ears. "Is it weird to want to see your childhood friend, your best friend, when he's finally back in town? I missed you, we all did." She told him, her voice being softer than before. "Why can't you just stop this and come back home? People are worried about you. We don't want to see you hurt."
  5. Tal had approached this conversation with annoyed resignation. He was sure she was going to go on and on about ‘duty’ and how dangerous his chosen profession was. And while she did do half of what he expected, things went terribly wrong as soon as she mentioned ‘we’. Tal’s eye’s narrowed into the familiar cold expression and he actually took a step back to sneer at her. “We?” He laughed darkly. “We. We. We.” He put a hand to his head and looked like he was about to cry from the hilarity of it. “Don’t put words in people’s mouths Aisha!”

    He turned his back to her and strode across the room, looking for a minute like he was going to punch the wall before restraining himself and turning the other direction, coming back up to Aisha. “I am happy with what I do Aisha, I see no reason to stop.” He made another lightning quick draw, pulling out his sword to rest it on her shoulder. “And you’re wasting your time worrying about me. There’s only one person in this country who can give me trouble and parental disapproval aside he has as yet to degenerate to killing me.” He rolled his eyes at the thought and sheathed his sword, once again pacing down the length of the room as if being close to her was painful for him while he was like this.

    “As sweet” He sounded like he was hurting himself spitting out the word. “As your concern is Aisha, you should go home. You have no business being around someone like me.” While he said it as a matter of fact, there was just a hint of loathing in his tone.
  6. As his eyes changed, she knew she had said something wrong. Maybe it wasn't up to her to tell him that others missed him, but it wasn't a lie. There were people missing him, people they had played with as kids. Though most of them had since long given up on him, they didn't believe they could get back their old friend and now saw him as a completely different person. But they did miss him, at least the old him.

    She flinched out of surprise as Tal drew his sword. It pissed her off that he did that, not because she thought he would ever hurt her, more because of the meaning behind the act together with his words. If he didn't want to listen to her, then she would make him listen, even if it meant for her to be childish, even if it would take an eternity.

    "I refuse" She said. "I might not have any business around someone like you, but I do have business with my friend. I won't go home, not before I know that you will get a grip of reality and stop chasing death around." She told him matter of factly, though she wasn't certain how much sense it made since she just improvised with her feelings out of control on the inside. "Maybe it's a waste of time, but I don't want to give up on you. I'm not living in a dreamworld where I think that we can be like we used to be, but at least let me understand why. Why did you leave? What me you change? How am I supposed to let go when you haven't given me any reason to?" She started to realize how much she rambled, and so she forced herself to stop.

    From composed and strict to an emotional ramble within seconds. Who could blame her? She hadn't seen him in years, and there were too much to say to get everything out within such little time. During their whole childhood, Tal had been like a brother to her, and she did love him as she loved her own older brother. Even now after he had changed so much, Aisha still couldn't see a life completely without him.
  7. Tal stopped in his frustrated pacing to turn and stare at Aisha in shock. He had forgotten how stubborn she could be sometimes. Maybe he should have just had it out with her in the hallway, client or no. “What do you mean I haven’t given you a reason to!? Were the cold shoulders and ignoring you not obvious clues enough!? I am not that person anymore! You friend is dead and gone and only this demon remains!” He held a hand in front of his heart before flinging it to the side. Aisha could now see his eyes literally glowing with power. “You are wasting your time. My reality in this and it is not me who chases death it is death that follows in my shadow.” How could she not get that he was a monster now? Not to be anywhere near anyone who still lived on the light side of things.

    Tal turned his back to her again and took a few careful breaths. It had been a long time since he felt himself losing control and if he did so now the suite wouldn’t survive it at the very least. He carefully put the demon away in its box and flopped down in his chair, suddenly looking very exhausted. “I’ll say it again Aisha. Go home. Stay away from me and all of this. What happened is long buried and what’s done is done. You can hardly change it now. Go back to your pretty world and forget I ever existed.” He just needed her to go. He couldn't stand the pulling, the memories. He was happy so long as he could keep them all locked away. He needed to sleep it all away and return to his normal self in the morning.
  8. Aisha looked at him a bit shocked. She had never actually seen him loose control like that before. Did he really believe he was a demon? A moment of silence spread in the room before Aisha spoke.

    "I can't." It was just a whisper, but it should have been hearable in the silent room. "I can't forget you, and it's all your fault. You left without a word, without any explanation, leaving me to try and figure out why. Do you know how lonely I felt? When people told me you would never come back, and I should just forget." Her voice was stronger, but not angry, nor very blaming. She calmed herself a bit before she continued. "We can't change the past. Whatever happened, happened. But the future is a blank slate and you can decide to change it to the better if you just want to." She paused for a bit, but continued before she could be interrupted.

    "You're not a demon Tal, you've changed but... I can still see you. I can't give up on you, not while I'm still breathing." She knew that it sounded like an invitation for him to kill her if he dared. And it was. Because she knew he wouldn't do it. If he remembered their childhood together, if they secretly still meant something to him, then he wouldn't be able to do it. But if he actually did kill her, then he probably had turned into the demon she sometimes feared he would become.
  9. Tal briefly considered just banging his head on the wall a few times until he didn’t have to deal with this anymore. He honestly didn’t even know what to say to all of that cheery hopeful bullshit. Just the thought of it made him want to vomit. He put his hands over his face for a few moments just for a few moments of peace. The thought of killing her never even occurred to him. If he was that far gone he would have just left her out in the hallway to run into Adrian rather than hiding her. “Sometimes I wonder who is worse at listening…you or me?” Tal leaned back in his chair and sighed heavily. “Just what do you expect me to do, Aisha?”

    He fixed her with a steely expression. “I am not going to stop what I am doing. I have a good business going, I do what jobs I want and whatever I want in general. I lack nothing in funds. Everyone just freaks out because of the job title. It’s not like I am not going to stay here where I can linger in the shadow of my so-called family either. So just what are you hoping to accomplish here? What is this ‘better’ you speak of? Because as far as I am concerned I’m just where I want to be. Or I will be, once I am far away from this city.” He waved his hand at the window irritably. “I’m just fine as I am, there’s nothing to ‘give up on’ or ‘not give up on’ or ‘fix’ or whatever the flavor of the week is.” He got enough ‘fixing’ from his brother, before the incident. He’d had enough of the guilt as well.
  10. "So you are happy with being feared, to not have anyone whom you can trust because they might stab you in the back at any time, and loose every friend you've ever had. And what for? Money? Will you still be happy when you stand there, hurt, alone, without anyone to give you a hand when you need help." Aisha tried to reach him, but it felt like whatever she said only made her fall further away from him. How could she ever convince him to stop behaving like he did.

    "You don't want to go back to your family? Fine, then don't. But why kill for money? Why shut people out? There are other ways to be happy... I just don't want you to get hurt. But if you continue like this, then there will come a day when everything around you will do nothing but hurt you. And you will be all alone because you threw away everyone that wanted to help you. You are digging your own grave Tal."

    If only he would speak to her, tell her why everything had changed. What had gone so wrong in his life that he had chosen such a way of living. Why hadn't she noticed anything wrong before his disappearance? As his best friend she should have known if he wasn't acting normal. Of course she blamed herself for what happened to him all those years ago. Because she hadn't seen what was going on in his mind. So now she had to make everything right again. The only problem, she didn't know how.
  11. Tal felt tonight was just too good of a night for dark chuckles. Pretty much everything she described was already his life. After all, when family thought you were a monster who do you trust? And who trusted you? “There is the thing Aisha, I don’t need help!” He jumped to his feet and started pacing again. “I kill people for money because I enjoy the challenge and it serves a purpose. Aside from the blood I shed, you’ll find that our country is the most peaceful it’s been in years!” He pressed his lips together abruptly, feeling he may have given away more than he perhaps intended there. He probably had been this whole time.

    What could he say to get her to go away? She just wasn’t moving! “I already told you that no one except father can kill me Aisha.” He was so deeply mired in his own darkness that the thought of anything other than physical pain was laughable in his mind. Maybe if he played along she would think it through and realize she was wasting her time. “And again I ask you, what do you expect me to do? I have a very specific skill set. There are not a lot of other career paths that I could go down.” He couldn’t address the other part of what she said without speaking about what happened. “You say you’re here to help, just what are you suggesting?”
  12. She watched him as he started to pace around again, while she stood where she stood. Somehow it felt like he would be able to push her out if she dared take a step. 'You'll find that our country is the most peaceful it's been in years!'. Why did he suddenly mention that? It was true that the country had much less violence than when they were kids, but could it be because it was him whom took care of them? Was that what he was doing? But why become someone everyone hated or feared? If he killed the people whom did harm, why didn't he just say that to begin with? She still couldn't believe what he did was completely right, actually she wasn't even certain if that was what he meant, but at least it would feel more acceptable than only knowing that he killed random people for money without knowing what they did.

    "I expect you to not shut me out." She told him. Because at the moment she wasn't certain exactly what it was he did for a living, nor how bad he actually was. But one thing was certain, she didn't want him to abandon her. Did all those years together really mean so little? "What are you so afraid off? What could possibly have changed you so much so I don't matter anymore? What happened with best friends forever and always be there for each other? Didn't that mean anything to you? You could have talked to me."

    She knew exactly how she sounded. Selfish, childish, stuck in a childhood fantasy. She hadn't changed at all since they were kids. A dreamer whom tried to reach for the moon, and always getting stuck halfway there, and then ending up crying over not reaching an unrealistic goal. When would she learn? Apparently not today.
  13. Tal found himself drawing a blank again, he seemed to have lost his ability to push people away with just a few cutting words. He could feel everything inside of him bubbling up and threatening to explode again. He had progressed past the glowing eyes and could feel his nails thickening and sharpening into claws. He clenched his fists and hoped she wouldn’t notice anything unusual about his teeth either. “And that is where you’ve got it backwards.” His voice sounded off, sounded more like a growl. Shit. “Who says I didn’t leave to protect you?” He grit his teeth and walked over to the entrance of his room. “I was not kidding when I said you don’t belong around a monster like me, and I wasn’t referring to my profession.” He slipped inside and slammed the door shut, locking it and moving hastily away from the door while he worked himself back to his normal state. “Go home Aisha.”
  14. Aisha stood there, staring at the door for minutes without a word. Protect her from what? She would have understood it if he had said that it was because of his job. If an assassin had people close to them, they could become targets. But he said that his profession wasn't the reason. Why did he refer to himself as a monster? Before she had thought that it was because of his job, but now she wasn't sure. And how come his voice had sounded like... like a growl? As if he became an animal. Was she over thinking it?

    Finally she moved forward. She laid a hand on the locked door, as if it would magically open it. "You don't have to protect me, I'm not afraid of you. I want to help, but I can't if you don't tell me what's going on. Please Tal, don't leave me in the dark again. Open the door." There were so many questions, and so few answers. So much she didn't know, so much he didn't know. Why did they both have to be so stubborn? Would he leave her again without her knowing why?
  15. “You should be.” Tal yanked the door open against his better judgment, glaring down at his old friend. He was still entirely recognizable. His demon self only manifested visibly in claws and fangs, along with that persistent glowing eyes. Most everything else was in his super speed and strength. And…occasional blood lust. “Back at the manor I destroyed almost half of it without trying.” He would leave out the rest. She didn’t need to know about the twisted relationships in his family. “It almost happened again tonight. This entire building gone in a matter of minutes.” He resisted the urge to turn away and run again. “I am not fully human Aisha. I don’t belong in your world.”
  16. "What does it matter?" Before she had thought about what to say, before she even had fully understood what he meant, she had already answered. "You're Tal. The boy I played with every day and adored of all my heart. What does it matter if you're not fully human? You're still the guy I grew up with, you're still my childhood friend. Why does that have to change?" Aisha could barely believe how calm she sounded. Maybe she was shocked, that could make people turn off what was happening in front of them and they could act calmly. Or maybe she just refused to see him as he saw himself. Though she couldn't deny that one small part of her brain told her to run as she looked into his glowing eyes. An instinct which she ignored.
  17. Tal grit his teeth and let out a tired hiss. He gave up. He honestly, truly gave up. “Fine!” He turned around and threw up his arms, letting his body return to its less demonic state. “Obviously you have less of a self-preservation instinct than a lemming.” He rubbed at his eyes and sat down on the bed, facing her. “Fine, so when I lose control again and tear down the nearest building with all the people in it don’t say I didn’t warn you.” With that he flopped down backwards. “Still though, I am leaving. There’s nothing you can do to change that. So just what is it you are planning to do with our new ‘relationship’ hmm? Because after I leave town I am not coming back here ever again. One minute in my father’s presence this time was enough to convince me of that.”
  18. Aisha crossed her arms over her chest and narrowed her eyes. "My self-preservation instincts are working perfectly fine, I just don't care to listen to it when I know it's wrong." She said half jokingly and half serious. She thought about his question for some seconds while observing the room. Everything had changed in such a small amount of time. He wasn't the cold-hearted assassin she had thought he were, and now they were in a situation which she couldn't possibly control.

    "If you're not staying then I'm coming with you." She eventually told him with a smile, even though she knew he would call her crazy, and most likely say no way. It was a crazy idea, but she would have to move out from her parents home at some point anyway, and now she might finally be able to help him. She didn't know how yet, but knowing the problem was half the battle.
  19. Tal had been afraid she was going to say that. It was one thing to not be afraid of him but to volunteer to follow him about the country was…well a very her move to do. He internally sighed. Traveling was going to look a whole lot different from now on. “Fine.” He waved his hand apathetically, not even trying to argue it out with her. It’s not like he had won any of the rounds so far. “Follow me around all you want but let’s keep the lecture s to every other night.” And preferably not the nights he had work to do. This sort of thing drained him like nothing else did. Emotions were a pain best left in their boxes.

    “Well, I’ll be here when you get back. Have fun telling your parents you’re leaving and pick whatever other room in here you want when you get back with your stuff. We leave tomorrow.” Probably rather late tomorrow since he needed to sleep this off, but he wasn’t going to wait around too long in case any other family members decided to show up.
  20. Aisha would probably have dropped her jaw to the floor if she hadn't been frozen solid by the shock. He wasn't even going to argue about it? She had been prepared for more screams, or some kind of lecture for why she couldn't come with him. But instead he said it was okay. It even sounded to her as if he encouraged her to do it. Or maybe that was her mind changing the meaning of his words and tones around.

    "Really?" She exclaimed enthusiastically. If she hadn't been so excited she would probably have remembered how much she hated early mornings. "Well, you said it, so don't you dare change your mind." She said, mainly joking, but also with some hints of seriousness. She turned around and hurried away, almost frightened that if she weren't quick he might actually change his mind and leave immediately without her.

    There were some curious eyes looking her way as she ran home. She wasn't too concerned what her parents would say about it. Her father had always been off the opinion that his children should go their own way, wherever it may take them. And he would probably convince her mother, like he always had to do when Aisha wanted to do something her mother didn't agree with. Which happened all the time. In worst case scenario both her parents would say no, and force her to stay home, she would sneak out in the middle of the night and once they noticed that she was gone, she and Tal would already have left town. Hopefully she wouldn't have to do something like that, she didn't want to give them a heart attack.

    She left her house for the last time in a very long time some hours later. A backpack was hanging on her back with some important things she might need. Her mother wasn't speaking to her, but she had at least acknowledged that she had lost the battle and couldn't stop her daughter from leaving. Her father gave her a hug and wished her good luck. "You're crazy." Her brother told her, even he had tried to make her stay. In the end her father had told them all that you only can learn from your mistakes, and if you never make mistakes you'll never learn. This was Aishas choice, and if it was a mistake, she would learn and choose more wisely next time. Her brother also gave her a goodbye hug before she left.
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