Full Version: chose to close my eyes
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she should be in the barracks, sleeping while she had a chance. but instead here she is, traipsing wearily through the halls of the hollow. it's comforting, in some ways, despite the dreariness of it. it reminds her of her youth, racing through the halls with pyr at her side and the rest of the dawn court looming around them. but that was before - before the law family shirked their responsibilities in the court to leave for the matriarch's. before her life - and pyr's - was wrenched out from under them.

before he decided he hated her.

she sighs, grinding her teeth against one another and shakes her head. unwilling to dwell but unable to move on. she can't wait until the matriarch gives leave for the courts to separate she dreads not seeing him again.

she pauses with a quiet little sound of dismay - or frustration - and leans her shoulder against a sharp but of stone jutting out from the wall. she rests her jaw against the cool rock, eyes slipping closed and squeezing until her vision dances with spots of color. when she opens her eyes, she can nearly make out the shape of him: of pyr. and her lips peel back, body jerking away as if struck.

the banshee's call ramps up, then, crooning to her in a sick lullaby. lysitrata is reminded why few come here as she turns back the way she's come, hoping to dodge the spectres for as long as she can.
you said my heart has changed and my soul has changed, it’s an odd place to wander, this place of ancient stone. every inch of it reminds you that the land you stand on is ancient and it’s ghosts just as old. the night made the shadows grow teeth and claws, feeding the rumors of children who wandered in a bit too deep never came back. banshee food. the stone echoed under the soft patter of steps that wandered away from the parties, from the only glimpse of noble life he allowed himself to have. it helped that he’d grabbed every flute of champagne, every mug of mead, the servants could bring to blur his mind. it was easier to talk to the courtiers drunk, easier to laugh at their stupid games and attempts to woo him for some gossip or his bed. he liked the creases in their smiles when he told them no.

and now he’s here—suit rumbled, tie loose, and reeking of alcohol—to test old wives tales and rumors for himself. a little drunk adventure never hurt anyone, especially when their thoughts are distant shapes kept at bay.

pyr drifted into the dark, blinking dully when that old banshee screams her pain into the wind. he wished he could scream out his own, wished he could tell the world about the people he lost, the life he lost, and the shell he is now. he wished he could tell the world of the scars on his heart like the one on his cheek and the way he didn’t know how to feel about burying his father, alone. there were too many times he wished he’d been the one to drown, the one to burn, the one buried in the ashes of what once looked like home.

but he’s not.
he’s still here, stuck in the halls of a queen he hates, and losing himself on pieces with every breath.

so he keeps his mind blurred tonight. without it, he thinks he might cry, might break, under the weight of a crown that wasn’t his.

the banshee wails again, the wind if her cry ruffling the golden blonde of his fur. he breathes in her sorrows as she breathes them out, burying them deep down in his soul. it’s then when he see that familiar ghost of his heart lingering in the dark, pied and pretty even in the shadows. it’s a hallucination, he’s pretty sure, and he’s too drunk for the feels her ghost brings. a grunt is the the only greeting he gives the haunt as an eager nod almost knocks the coronet on his brow sideways. “hello, ghostie,” he murmurs, “you on an adventure too?”


orange juice
cause honey now this house feels like a grave // she doesn't turn away from the sound in the depths of the cavernous halls - the spectre blurs as it peels away from the darkness and she's left with the very man who's been haunting her all night for months. he's practically stumbling as he meanders her way, wearing a lopsided crown and a lopsided smirk that is so familiar it makes her chest clench. she raises a hand to it, fingers curling into a fist, and raps her knuckles once, twice, there before letting her hand rest. lysistrata presses it hard enough to bruise, against her skin, pinching the corner of her constable's emblem between her fingers an her flesh.

she hates it - hates the high court - more than she ever has, in that moment.
hates herself, perhaps, more.

her jaw tightens, grinding loudly enough that she jerks back, unclenching the muscles abruptly lest she break a tooth. her ears flip uncertainly back at his drunken croon even as she leans, just a little, in his direction. she reaches out to gently straighten his crown just enough that it won't tip from his head fully - and she lingers, unable to pull herself away right away. her fingers skim down his cheek, pressing feather-light against the scars that curve there, before jerking back abruptly as she swallows, clears her throat.

{is that what i am to you, now?} she asks, forcing her voice not to quiver - forcing it to come out measured. she tries for quiet, calm, and lands somewhere around flat and emotionless; because if she lets even a hint of her wall crack, she's afraid she'll start screaming and she might not stop. {a ghost?} and she wants to wrap her fingers around his tie and shake him until he realizes that she, too, is alone.

that she lost so much when she left, too.
that her family has pulled away, faded into almost nothing, and left her alone in this hall of madness. strata has never been prepared for the political games and catty dances of the courts but she did it. for them. it's never been about herself or what she wants.

it couldn't be ( because what would a prince want with her? )
those soft outlines of her start to become doubled and he drowns in the warmth of sepias, creams, and jaded. if he believed in gods, he’d pray to never wake up from whatever drunken dream or hallucination this was. he’s far too drunk to notice the tension in her jaw before she relaxes it, but he’s not so gone that he misses soft touch against his cheek. It startles him, his eyes suddenly wide as he stares at her. It wasn’t very princely of him, but he leans into the touch, letting this moment where they’re not arguing bring him some sliver of the friendship they’d had in another lifetime. somewhere the banshee screams out all that pain into a cold wind, but he can’t quite hear it. It’s muffled beneath the tension in this moment between him and a ghost of his past and he hopes it lasts forever.

It doesn’t. With another soft touch she rights the stupid coronet on his forehead and then backs away from him like he’d burned her. Pyr stares, pouting at the lack of touch and the way the fantasy bleeds away to whatever the fuck this mess was. He should have drank more or took one of those nobles up on their offer. Anything was better than this and the way his chest felt all jumbled up with emotion his lungs had no room to breathe. The way she’s already pushing back has him frustrated. He just wants to have some fun, to pretend he’s not stuck here in the high court.

”Allmother’s sake, can we not fight?” he was so tired. so, so tired. ”this is ridiculous.” his murmur is slurred with alcohol, with all these feelings he’s kept buried for so long. ”I’m drunk Lys, not stupid. Of course you’re not a ghost.”

He yanks the stupid coronet off his forehead and tosses it into some dark corner of the shadows. It clinks against stone before it’s lost and he’s stalking off toward a godsdamned adventure, even if he has to force it. ”Coming?” he yells over his shoulder. ”can’t prove the banshee’s real without a witness.”

his eyes shoot wide and her breath hitches in her throat, hand going still, afraid she's offended him. hurt him? you've already hurt him again and again, stupid girl. but then he leans gently into it and her breath loosens in her throat, exhaling with a long sigh. but she ruins it, allmother she always ruins it, and when her fingers touch the coronet she can see the ire in his gaze. her teeth chew at the edge of her lip as she considers him, considers the crown, and considers his words.

{please.} she says finally, leaning back further and tipping her head up to regard the ceiling of the cavern above them. because she doesn't want to fight, no matter what he thinks - of her, of them - and to think they could have a single interaction without it.... it soothes that part of her that wants to scream along with the banshee.

Pyr insists he's just drunk, not stupid, and her gaze drops abruptly to his. she wants to snap back that she never said that - but instead a faint smile teases at the edge of her lips and a brow quirks. she manages not to utter a word in response even as the taunt jumps to her tongue. lysistrata is afraid to jest, to poke too hard, in case the humor bleeds to anger, in case they can't go back to that.

the delicate crash of his crown in the dark surprises her and she winces, her ears twitching back to her skull, as she eyes the prince with uncertainty. but he's sauntering off, then, and she snorts at his words. {you're more likely to drown in a puddle, you alcoholic fool.} she snips, though there's no heat in the words. there's only a fond sort of exasperation. "you're impossible," she'd told him once and allmother she still thinks it, even as the why of him being impossible has changed.

she glances at the crown, hesitating, before she snatches it and plops it on her own head, unsure where else to put it so it doesn't get lost. the matriarch will just gripe about it if he loses it - it'd been a gift, after all - and she'll spare him that grief if nothing else, she decides as she trots after him. {wait up,} she demands, leaping a few steps in an attempt to catch up with him.