Visionary Tales

IC => Fandom => Topic started by: Kei on May 17, 2019, 01:10:18 PM

Title: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on May 17, 2019, 01:10:18 PM
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Atem frowned, turning his attention in the direction of his mate as he noted the strain in not just her posture but across their bond as well. He did not chastise her though, knowing well it would do little good. Instead, he came down to land near her with the use of his shadows as a sort of staircase. "All things considered, this actually did go well. Slifer is up and dealing with his tantrum in the shadow realm. Tokoyami isn't hurt, at least not any amount a good rest won't clear up. This one here," he gestured to the small female dragon in his arms, "didn't hurt anyone either. At least not irreparably so. That was my main cause for concern here. She would not survive causing another's demise and, what's more, she is more than capable of doing it. This tail could even give my scales a good scarring."

He looked down at the small bundle, grateful she slept. He'd have to return her to someplace safe for herself--she wouldn't tolerate waking up in Tokoyami's presence after the monumental blunder that had just occurred. "This is the most nonsensical thing, really. The both of them need precisely what the other offers in their basic nature, and yet neither can act on it." He stopped as Yugi spoke of Tsuyu and then nodded. "That's honestly just as well. It should have happened years ago. It won't be comfortable for any party included, but it needs to happen. Whining over it, or avoiding it, isn't going to work for either party anymore. The both of them will do better after it is all said and done, and he can finally start acting like an actual dragon inside of one held down by chains that do nothing but wound him. I know he doesn't care for that aspect of himself, but that may be because he's never had the choice to enjoy it." He sighed.

"I will leave him to you and meet you back home after I get this one somewhere safe."

Yugi sighed and shook her head; feeling the concern from her mate over the strain she'd put herself through and thankful he hadn't said anything to her about it. After all, it went against her nature not to help a friend in need and Tokoyami had definitely needed the help. Even now as he rested against her she knew she'd have to get him home somehow; which was annoying but not impossible. Instead she focused on Atem and his words regarding the situation and Tsuyu's return. "They had to do it on their own, or it would have been so much worse. I know that sounds stupid, but it's just how it works with them. And he never enjoyed it because he's never felt like it was his choice either way to embrace or reject that part of himself; not because he couldn't enjoy it. And he may yet decide he'd rather reject that part of himself, but at least he'll be able to decide for himself and not because he's at the mercy of his instincts. That has to count for something."

She looked over the female asleep in Atem's arms and shook her head. "Take care of her, I'll get him home then I'll be home as well." She considered the pair quietly for a long while before sighing. "Even if they are what the other needs, it's ultimately their choice what they want to do and we both know that." Which was why she was never repeating that statement of Atem's near Tokoyami, he just wasn't ready. In time, maybe, but the both of them would be staying well out of it in the meantime. She waited a beat until Atem had left with Evelyn before shifting again and taking Tokoyami home. She was so far passed exhausted when she finally got home it wasn't even funny. Tokoyami's emotions were not a fun place for her to be.

It was a week later when Yugi got a phone call that made anxiety and tired resignation enter the bond. It was time then. 'Atem, Tsuyu's coming over to visit before she speaks to Tokoyami. I've already cleared my schedule for the day, but do you think you'll be able to be here when she comes? We've got about an hour if that helps. If you can't that's fine too, but I wanted to warn you.' Because she knew her friend needed to brace herself before speaking with Tokoyami once more. Tsuyu was a blunt person, but hated hurting those she cared about. So she was understandably nervous and it put Yugi - who was stuck in the  middle of it - on edge. Hence her desire to have Atem with her. She'd held either way, she'd just rather not do it alone.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on May 17, 2019, 08:32:50 PM
“It’s not stupid,” he answered. “Though it is a bit grating and decidedly inconvenient at times. You are right, he may still decide to reject that part, though I’d wish he’d give it an honest attempt before deciding it was the worst possible thing in his life. I do not think it fair he loathes that part of himself when he isn’t even properly acquainted with it. Be that as it may, I cannot and will not fight him on it. It is his choice in the end.” He nodded to her request and wished her well before he left to find a safe place for Evelyn.

The following week when he received Yugi’s warning, a mental wince crosses over the bond. While he would certainly try to be there, he had been called to assist with a bit of body guarding of a high profile official for a certain event scheduled in the downtown city area. ”I will try to be there, but I am not certain when this mess is supposed to end. If it drags on for much longer, I will see if I can get someone to cover for me while Tsuyu is visiting. I’m not certain at the end of it all it is wise for either of us to be there when she speaks with him. If she wants us, that’s another matter, but he is entirely too private to care for my being there and, much bough he loves you, even you may be too much to witness his wounded pride in that instance.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on May 20, 2019, 10:54:36 PM
Yugi sighed, running a hand through her hair. She was already tired and her friend hadn't even arrived yet. 'It's just Tsuyu coming over, not both of them yet. I think she wanted to talk about some things before she spoke to him. I'll...let you know how it goes so don't worry about it. I just wanted to warn you what was going to happen because once she's in the city again it won't be long before he realizes it. I just hope I can get out of range if things go south. I'll hope for the best though, for both of their sake.' She sounded sad but resigned to what would come; because really it did need to happen. Still, this wasn't going to be good no matter what and she already knew she'd have a migraine afterwards.

She thought about it long and hard for the next hour and just before Tsuyu had said to expect her she reached out again. 'Don't worry about this, I think I can handle it alone. me a favor and get me some hot chocolate on your way home.' She took a moment to pull some of the calm confidence her intended wore like a second skin around herself as well before taking a deep breath and letting it out just as slowly as she released him from her hold. She could do this. 'This isn't going to be fun, wish me luck.' She pulled away from the bond between them after that just as a knock sounded at the door. Tsuyu had arrived. Taking another deep breath, Yugi went to answer the door and start what was sure to be a difficult conversation.

She managed not to wince at the sight of her friend with her walking cane and instead grinned at her and let her in. Part of her still felt badly for what had happened to Tsuyu even though it wasn't any of it her fault. Looking the other girl over though, it seemed she hadn't changed much in the last few years. She'd gotten a bit taller definitely, and now Tsuyu stood with a calm sort of quiet confidence and had always amazed Yugi for how strong her friend must be. She could feel the conflicting emotions slamming up against her shields even as the girl feeling those emotions looked calm on the outside. She also sensed the sudden tension in the distant Tokoyami as he roused from sleep as the sudden awareness of his intended hit him hard.

Yugi did wince at the stronger, more chaotic emotions coming from Tokoyami before tightening her shields around her even tighter and mentally cursing the timing her two friends had for doing things. She kept herself calm though, because she was going to have to. Tokoyami wouldn't come unless he was called, thankfully, but this entire thing had her tense and on edge in a way little else had in her entire life. In fact, the last time she'd been this tense, she'd been a new student at UA. This was going to be bad.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on May 20, 2019, 11:45:08 PM
”I cannot imagine this will go any sense of the word civilly.” There was a touch of disdain in his phrasing but otherwise Atem was as calm as ever. He truly did hate not being able to be there with her. Even if there was nothing he could do for the situation with her friends, at least not until they patched things up between the two of them, he could hopefully be there for his mate.

”You know I wish you the utmost luck. I will certainly bring you whatever you wished once I am done with this business. Just let me know if you need my interference for whatever reason. Things will go as well as they should.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 01, 2019, 01:17:37 AM
'Civil, yes, it goes against the disposition of both for it not to. But rather or not it will go well is still up for debate.' And by the tension she could sense in the pair at their awareness of one another in the same city, she'd have to say this wasn't going to be a good day for her. She led Tsuyu to the couch before setting about making tea for the both of them knowing her friend would need it and so would she.  Yugi took the time to strengthen her shields more against the coming onslaught of this situation and she couldn't help but wish it was over already. Yes it needed to happen but her poor head wasn't thanking her for doing the right thing by her friends. She gave Tsuyu the silence she needed to gather her thoughts and was ready when her friend finally was ready to talk.

The conversation went alright, Yugi felt, but the powerful emotions - usually dark ones - that were constantly bombarding her were giving her a serious migraine and making her dizzy. Thus it was probably a good thing she kept her seat through the entirety of it. Then again, this was only the first part of what was going to be a very bad day for her. Tokoyami was aware of just how close to him Tsuyu was and he also knew that soon she'd want to speak with him. That tension in the both of them at that knowledge was overpowering with one of them so close to her and the other holding a tie to her because of her need to help him so often with her quirk. Still, she kept her breathing even and her expression calm even as she was constantly now needing help through her tie to Atem to not show the pain such combined powerful emotions was causing her. It was a major downside to her quirk; one she'd never get rid of and she accepted that.

Instead she drew more of the calm strength of her mate closer to her and let that settle her frayed nerves because she knew this was all about to get so much worse. This proved to be correct because Tsuyu outright asked if it was alright for Tokoyami to come so she could speak to him there in what would be a neutral place for the both of them. Yugi sighed, but she did agree, sensing Tokoyami moving before she had the chance to reach for him. He knew he was wanted and he was already coming to Tsuyu's side. She watched as her friend turned to the right just as the shadows lengthened before moving back to reveal Tokoyami. The instant tension in the room between the pair set Yugi on edge and she sat up straighter in her seat. 'I have a bad feeling about this...' She really hoped she didn't have to call Atem from his mission to help her.

She watched Tokoyami reach out for the woman that had once been, and yet remained, someone that he loved dearly. She winced as he dropped his hand before it ever touched her, feeling unworthy of doing so considering his failure against her. Tsuyu, for her part, held her ground and met his gaze squarely. Yugi, however, felt the echoing pain from Tokoyami and focused on bracing herself again. This was really very bad. The two stood before each other for the first time in years, simply taking each other in after so long a separation. This was painful for the both of them and Yugi could tell this. Tsuyu hadn't realized just how badly she was hurting Tokoyami who in turn was in so much pain he couldn't deal with being around others for long and taking his true form was something he both found painful and abhorred absolutely. They had destroyed each other and Yugi felt it wasn't fair to either of them to have been stuck lingering in this in between for so long. It wasn't like Tsuyu had been told what it all meant, she'd been flying blind the entire time, but still.

She really felt like she shouldn't be here in this place for this mess, but they both needed her there so she couldn't just leave. Besides, it was her home they were using for this. 'If I have to knock him out because of this, I am not going to be happy.' Which considering she already wasn't happy was saying something. Mostly she was just snarking to distract herself, and she was aware Atem would know this. She didn't remove herself though, mostly because she didn't want them to destroy her home if things go violent between them. She didn't expect them to be so, but Tokoyami's emotional state was a delicate thing at that moment so she wouldn't put it passed him either. Mostly though, she just wanted this entire thing to be over so they both could move forward with their lives. As expected, Tokoyami was the first to do something in the situation, though his tone was subdued and very cautious.

"Hello starlight..." He shook his head, bracing himself against the instinct to be closer to his intended one even though she had rejected him so. He had to stand strong in this, he couldn't fail her again. "Tsuyu I...I'm so sorry. I know I...I failed you. I couldn't...hold onto who I was and gods know I tried. I should have been stronger, I should have...done something, anything!" The keening sound that left him had Yugi wincing again as a sharp pang of sorrow went through her at just how hurt this had made Tokoyami. He felt things so deeply and was so quiet about it, she'd known he was in a bad way but this...It made her sincerely grateful for Atem's presence in her life and that they'd worked things out between them. Because this...she didn't think she'd survive going through the same. She was startled out of her thoughts by sudden movement as Tsuyu moved forward and placed her hands gently on either side of Tokoyami's face.

Her expression was gentle and kind as she spoke in her usual blunt but truthful manner. "You can't help who you are, ribbit, and I failed you just as much Tokoyami. I thought I could handle all of who you were, and when I couldn't and things got out of hand...You hurt me, but I forgive you. I'm just sorry it took me so long to come and do this, ribbit, you didn't deserve to be hurt so much because of me." Nevermind that she had also been hurt deeply by this entire mess, it was just part of who she was to put others first. Watching them together, Yugi could see clearly how they could fit so easily together if things had been different, and it pained her to see them finally having an end after falling so far apart from one another. She knew they still loved each other, but they both knew it was good for them to be together and it was very brave of them both to take this step into the unknown.

She saw Tokoyami nuzzling into the palm against his face, a gesture she knew he couldn't help but make after having been away from his intended for so long. Still, Tsuyu didn't seem to mind so she didn't intervene. She was thus startled when Tsuyu turned to regard her. "How to I do this Yugi? What do I do? I don't know that he ever knew either, but we can't stay this way either of us. It's not right, ribbit." She looked back up at Tokoyami, knowing his instinct was what had gotten them so far, but she also knew he didn't know how to set them both free either. It wasn't as simple as saying some words; they were too deeply bonded for that. The fact that he was crooning lowly to her in an effort to comfort her only made this hurt all the worse. He was a good man, was Tokoyami, and he deserved to be with someone that could handle and accept all of him. She hated that it wasn't her, but she'd tried her best and it hadn't been enough. She had to accept that and let him go just as much as he had to accept it wasn't his fault and release her from his hold as well.

Yugi shook her head, heart breaking for her two dearest friends but knowing this was for this best. It hurt to see them like this, but there was nothing for it. She racked her brain for a long moment over Tsuyu's question, then realized they already have the answer. Sorrow filled her heart and it made her eyes burn, but again this was for the best. " both already know how even if you don't realize it. It's always that way with dragons. Just...let each other go. The connection between  you should recognize this and release." She imagined it was going to be painful for the both of them, but it was a necessary evil. And suddenly she really didn't want to be alone dealing with this, it hurt, but Atem was busy and she couldn't be so selfish as to ask him to return simply because this entire mess upset her. It just hit way too close to home, so she couldn't help the way she felt. She dropped her head to give them privacy as they looked up at one another and she knew they were having a conversation only they could hear.

Yugi curled her arms around herself and waited, then was surprised when they both asked to use the roof of her building. She nodded numbly and led them up, startled once again when Tokoyami shifted causing Tsuyu to take a step back in reaction. She realized then what was happening. The bond had been created in this form and it had to be broken the same way. She gaped at just how large her friend was like this, and she also realized he wasn't in any pain right now despite having shifted. Right now he was a dragon showing off for his intended and he was well aware of his strength and power, all of which was for her. It was an instinct in Tokoyami she'd seen before, and now she got to marvel at it as he spread dark wings wide and bellowed a very specific sort of challenge out into the night sky. Tsuyu walked forward slowly, her cane clicking loudly against the ground as she approached.

She lifted her hands as a large, dark head descended towards her; gently taking his much larger head into her hands once more. She pressed her forehead to his, not minding as shadows swirled around the pair of them. She held her place for a long moment, remembering everything that had happened between them; all the good and the bad. Every failure, every victory, every moment of coming together and each moment of falling apart. She remembered because Yugi was right they did know how to do this. She remembered until tears fell down her face and a low keen left Tokoyami as he too remembered just as she was. It hurt, it would always hurt, but this was for the best. 'I love you, I always will. But now...I'm going to let you go. I forgive you, Tokoyami.' His entire frame shuddered as  pain shot through him, but he had to end this. 'My know I love you as well but...For you, now let me set you free.' At the same moment the two released each other and stood back; Tokoyami retaking his human shape and dropping down to his knees; crimson eyes dull and lifeless. This was  necessary, but gods did it hurt. He couldn't feel her anymore, he was alone again and he hated that. Still, he let Tsuyu walk away and knew it would be a while before he'd see her again.

Eventually Yugi came back and led him back downstairs, letting him stay with her for the night. She knew, as well as he did, that he shouldn't be alone. Tsuyu would go stay with friends as well, so that neither of them had to be alone for what was going to be the worst night of their lives. Poor Yugi was beside herself, but at least the worst was over.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 02, 2019, 12:59:02 PM
Atem could only intermittently reach out direct to his mate, though his shadows kept a steadfast and loyal hold on her home in the event she needed more of him. While he hated the fact he could not be with her for this particular ordeal, he imagined it was likely for the best. Tsuyu was still, according to Tokoyami's instincts, his mate and Atem's presence, well meant and non threatening or not, would not have been received well. There was also the matter it was an already extraordinarily tense situation and, given how Atem felt about the whole matter and how it should have been cleared up long ago, he doubted his input (despite the fact he wasn't likely to give it) would be in any way well received. Yugi was committed to sticking this out with her friends, though, and as they both actively needed and wanted her help, he wouldn't intervene. She would be the only one who would be able to calm Tokoyami down after this distressing time anyway and, though he held no real grudge to his grandson, he wasn't exactly thrilled about having him inside the house for the duration of that same necessary healing process. Family or not, it was still a grouping of male dragons and there was only so much courtesy they could extend to one another.

He offered warmth and reassurance when Yugi sought either throughout the long, difficult conversation between two parting mates. In the end, he did feel saddened for both parties but this was a necessary evil. Neither could move on without accepting the separation and, for Tokoyami this was a huge part in getting to a point where he could actively work alongside the Symbol of Peace without the general populace and his fellows heroes questioning what was wrong with the man. Atem remained away for long enough to accomplish his mission and to acquire food. In the event Yugi was hungry, he wanted to be prepared, nevermind the fact it was a nice gesture since she likely hadn't gotten to eat in the time it had taken for her to calm Tokoyami down and to see Tsuyu out.

He came through the shadows, a tentative tendril sent out to locate both parties in the home. "Come eat little star. I got you your favorite. I know he's asleep now, which I'm sure you pushed him toward, but he really does need the rest. With me here now though, he won't be around long. I suspect when you wake up tomorrow he will be gone but you've done a great thing for your friends. It's really all you could have done, so do not sorrow over feeling as though you needed to help more. Come and eat and then we both can rest and he can see what tomorrow will bring him."
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 12, 2019, 10:01:56 AM
To say Yugi was relieved when familiar shadows reached out to her was an understatement. A gentle smile crossed onto her expression and she left the sleeping Tokoyami where he was, shutting the door to give him privacy. 'You have no idea how happy I am right now. Besides the fact I'm starving this was...extremely difficult. He's out cold now, which is good, but if he disappears in the morning without telling me goodbye he's knows I'll kill him so he'd best stick around long enough for that. Good thing I'm an early riser anyway because I don't want you two in close proximity for too long, I know you don't like it though he's too strung out to care just now.' Once she reached Atem's side she quietly reached out and hugged him, nuzzling in against his side for a bit of comfort she desperately needed. She really hadn't liked having to witness such a thing, and the echoes both saddened her and gave her a serious migraine.

She took in the scent and warmth of the male standing there so close to her and just let herself be for a long, silent moment before stepping away again to look up at him. 'Food sounds good right about now, and then I'm exhausted and need some sleep; preferably in that order or I'll be cranky in the morning.' It was a gentle tease, but it made her feel better to voice it. The coming days were going to be difficult, she knew, but now the hardest part was behind them and at least now Tokoyami had the chance to heal and then decide, for himself, how he truly felt about being a dragon. She'd be sad if he decided he still didn't like it, but at least she could take comfort in the fact it would then be his choice. That was something, at least.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 14, 2019, 11:25:18 PM
Atem offered her a long, warm hug. She’s been through a trying few recent hours; he was inclined to let her stay in her current position for as long as she wished. That said, he did eventually know her hunger would get to her so, privately, he was pleased with himself for anticipating her needs thusly. ”It’s good he is well and truly out of it now. He wouldn’t favor my presence anymore than I his in his current condition. Regardless, I am proud of the both of you for what you accomplished tonight.” He released her with that so she might get her food to avoid the “crankiness” she had forewarned him about.

Some time later, after she had plated her food and enjoyed a few bites, he brought up Tsuyu. ”I hope she handles this process well herself. If she is up for it, my offer still stands to give her my assistance. I would suggest giving her some time, perhaps a month, before approaching the subject. Once this isn’t so immediate in the mind she may be in a better state to handle what would need to happen in order to heal her. Until then, we will just have to wait and see what time brings for the both of them.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 19, 2019, 06:35:04 PM
Yugi was pleased to have been fed and have the company of her mate once more. She was tired, but she ate quickly and held her silence on the issue of Tsuyu and her injury for a while as she considered it before finally responding. 'Better make this two or three months because she'll need it to both settle from this mess and adjust into the next stage of her life. I'll let her know to contact me when she's ready though, I just don't want to push her too soon. This was...hard on all of us.' Though she knew Atem was probably just glad it was all over; considering how he felt about it, she still needed to let her friends adjust to what was a new and uncertain future for them. Tokoyami still had a ways to go deciding how he felt about himself now that he was without his intended, and Tsuyu just needed to learn to be on her own again. Then again, they both needed to learn that.

And wait and see is definitely what they'd have to do; though come morning Tokoyami only stuck around long enough to have a slightly less tense than before breakfast with them before wishing them both well and leaving. Yugi knew he was going to still need her while he adjusted, but at least he shouldn't always be in constant risk of losing control of himself. It was a step in the right direction on what she knew was going to be a long and difficult road for him to walk. He had so many questions to answer for himself, and so many choices to make that would affect the rest of his life. She wondered how he'd feel about being a dragon now that his intended had set him free. Would it still bring him so much pain that nothing and no one could ease it? Or would he, maybe, begin to accept himself as he was and embrace what that meant for him? He was a magnificent male, and she saw no reason he shouldn't want to show himself off once he had settled again. Though not so large as Atem was - given their relation - he was still a much larger male than many out there and he should begin to regain the confidence this entire mess had cost him. That was the hope at least.

Yugi decided that hands-off was the best approach to dealing with Tokoyami and so she watched as the days went by and he holed himself up to properly mourn his loss in peace before coming back out some days later looking much better than he had in a long while. He was officially on leave from hero-duty, but it was necessary and it was easy to see he was doing much better because of it. His confidence slowly began to return and he filled out a bit more, beginning to put on muscle and a bit more height; not unlike the man he was related to. He still wasn't completely set on being a dragon, but he was slowly beginning to show signs of accepting that things were as they were and he couldn't change them. And though Yugi was pleased with the progress he was making, she was also worried for the warning signs of what would eventually happen. Tokoyami was settling into who he was meant to be, and that meant that, eventually, he'd be at his peak and then the risk came. Would he, like Atem, go into rut?
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 19, 2019, 07:51:31 PM
In the interim of Tokoyami finding himself released from his previous mate and Yugi and Atem both waiting to see how the man would react to the situation at large, Evy herself was rather removed from the process. She’d settled into a routine again of working with her clients, helping friends when needed, and even setting up time to meet new prospective clients in the wake of her newly found free time now that she wasn’t reaching out to Tokoyami anymore. While she had felt there was a great deal left unresolved with the man, and he clearly still had a ways to go in his own healing process, she was not keen to reaching back out. He’d expressed a severe disdained for as much in the past and she wasn’t one to intrude where she clearly wasn’t wanted. He had handled her heat exceedingly poorly and, while she acknowledged hurt feelings were apart of her avoidance, him remaining in the wind as he was was simply the added assurance she did not need to be a part of this all.

As it stood, she boxed up everything that had been a remnant of that particular patient and tucked it out of sight and out of mind. With her heat behind her there wasn’t a chance of them encountering one another in that particular fashion anytime soon. Even less now that he was on leave as she had heard through one of her clients. While she believed this would be good for the man, again she wasn’t getting involved, nor did she wish to be. He would determine if he felt he wanted to be a dragon in his own time and whether or not that included being among others of his kind or not would come later.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 19, 2019, 08:05:19 PM
Tokoyami, once settled a bit from what was the worst day of his life, decided that there were still things left unresolved in regards to the female that had been helping him. He'd done exceedingly poorly during her rise; even though he'd only been trying to help. He hadn't expected she'd use her gift on him nor his reaction to such a thing. He knew it had just felt wrong and it had hurt him, but she hadn't meant to do so. So after a few weeks of dealing with things by himself he felt confident enough to at least attempt to mend what he'd done wrong. So he set up a time when she wasn't busy - going through her secretary and explaining his need to apologize and make amends had required him being more charming than he liked but it had worked - and then just waited. He hated that he was going into her space to do this, but she clearly wasn't going to be the one to reach out so one of them needed to do so.

Thus, knowing she wasn't expecting him, he knocked on the door to her office and waited. When she opened the door he stayed in the doorway and calmly and  firmly stated his intentions. "Miss Wolfe, we need to talk. Also...also I need to apologize to you for my behavior. It was out of my control at the time but you were still hurt by it so I wanted to make amends in whatever way you deem appropriate." After all, he still knew how to act around a female dragon, even if he didn't necessarily like it. Also he still needed her help with the things he was going through and he wasn't afraid to admit to needing someone to help him now that he'd begun to do so. It was a difficult first step to make, but these things that were worth it were never easy.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 19, 2019, 08:36:53 PM
Though her secretary had kept her thoroughly out of the loop of whom was coming to her office, it was no secret once he entered the building and came up through the stairs and down the hall into her more personal space. She knew immediately upon opening the door, before he even spoke, whom stood before her. In that instant before his first words came free, her facial features slipped into a grimace that bordered on a scowl. He was uncomfortable being here in her territory and that discomfort served her well enough to not budge from her current spot in front of the doorway. Let him be made uncomfortable—it served him right for how he had acted during her rise. It was petty to snap at him in the wake of his apology, and it had taken effort for him to come here to do so in the first place, so she could only acknowledge his statement. Whether she accepted it or not was another matter.

“I believe you’ve already accomplished that point then. You have said what you came here for.” It was direct, but not snappish. She was on edge but she was also not a breed of dragon prone to any sort of violence so, while he knew to play things safely, she wasn’t of a mind or nature to bite his head off. Regardless of the fact she did wish to give him a right good shove for the sour mood he had placed into her heat. “I do not need or want you to make amends, though perhaps it would do you a world of good to hear how absolutely asinine your behavior was.”

She had a terrible gift for cutting right into the heart, hitting the greatest possible nerve to trigger the most immediate sense of shame or disdain in oneself. “I did not care that you were there, but you had the clear ability to stay away knowing your own instincts. And more importantly, knowing your own hang ups. You didn’t, though. Instead you turned a normally beautiful thing into a spoiled, nasty memory of an experience. I hear well enough how terrible my own human form is to others. I did not need the experience of having my dragon side found equally disgusting, thank you.”

Of course that hadn’t been his intention, but intentions hardly mattered when faced with the reality of what damage that had done. “That being said, that moment is already past and I have months of time before the next instance I will have to make certain to be well and truly away to avoid any repeat performances. So what else can I help you with other than hearing your apology?”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 19, 2019, 09:07:30 PM
Tokoyami kept his head down, knowing a reprimand when he heard one. He let her rant at him about his behavior and didn't move as she did so, he knew he deserved it after all. He really wasn't completely up to this so soon after separating from Tsuyu, but it did need to be done. He let her wind down and couldn't help the low snarl of sound that left him at just how she saw him. Hands balled into fists and the urge to say something, anything, to defend himself welled up but then he shook it off because what right did he have. Finally blazing crimson eyes lifted and locked onto the female before him, a moment of confidence having him refusing to fully back down.

"I did nothing of the sort and you know that. I did stay out of it, even after I shifted. It wasn't even until you touched me with your power that I had a bad reaction - one I wasn't expecting by the way. So excuse me, Madam, if it was more important to be certain Slifer didn't succeed in forcing himself on you regardless of what it would do to me personally!" He took a step forward, into her space, riled up for some reason but unable to help himself. "I fought every instinct that told me not to shift, because I saw you were in danger. I rose into the air in a shape that only hurt me trying to protect you and all you can see from that is that your power hurt me when it shouldn't have. I'm sorry I didn't react so well, I would rather have flown with you and made that day what it should have been, no one has the right to take that away from a female!"

His shadows rose around him for a moment before moving back inside his body, because he really hated to have everyone disappointed with him for something he honestly had neither expected nor intended. So he gave her truth, then he would leave her be. He was done trying to make amends with a female that clearly wanted nothing to do with him just the same as Tsuyu. His eyes flashed golden for a moment, power riding him hard before he contained it again and turned back the way he'd come. His tone was quiet and emotionless as he left, be his point was made. "Next time I'll remember not to do something so stupid as try to protect someone that can only see the bad that comes from a failure to do so. Now, I've invaded your space long enough. If you'll excuse me!" He hadn't meant to get angry; didn't understand why he was, but now it was over and he stalked out of the office and disappeared into the shadows so he could get away as quickly as he could. He wanted...he...He really wanted to destroy something. He wanted to go and kill something and make it bleed until it stopped moving. He hated feeling this way.

A brush of concern touched him and he was so irate he lashed out to make it go away, sensing sharp pain from Yugi before her presence disappeared altogether from his mind. He just kept walking through his shadows, travelling far until he was somewhere he wouldn't hurt anyone again.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 19, 2019, 09:31:09 PM
Something sparked, a sharp sensation that was almost painful in its intensity, in the air around her as he drew nearer. She wasn’t listening to his ire, not because she felt it unjust or because she didn’t care, but more because there was something else which was commanding all her attention. She felt his frustration acutely and that was fine. It was deserved and she knew why it remained. The fury as well was acceptable. What was not, however, was the deep sense of failure that radiated and, before she could get a word in edge wise, he was gone and storming off. He always ran. There was never any other solution because he was long since accustomed to saying his peace and leaving things at that. It would not fly with her, not today when she had discovered something so critically important to something he needed for his own personal development.

He was gone in the shadows, sure, and though she couldn’t follow after him in that fashion eventually the fool would have to come home and that was precisely where she was headed. Her office was locked up securely and she took her leave out her window, assuming the smallest form she held and tracking down his dwelling as she had in the past. It was here she waited, quite literally on his doorstep after having shifted back to a human form. She stood in his way, knowing full well he could simply enter his home through the shadows and not bothering to care. As close as he would be to the shadows of his home, he would hear her even if he didn’t wish to. It was these shadows she spoke to.

“You are an absolute idiot. The most difficult, hard headed, nonsensical man AND dragon I have ever met. You make the worst manner of problems for yourself by running away whenever you feel you aren’t wanted because for some reason you cannot imagine you should have enough self worth to stay in someone else’s life. You insist on thinking anything that you do that isn’t absolutely perfect is a failure and that isn’t the case. I do not hate you, you stubborn, difficult man. I wish you had handled things differently, but that is always the curse of hindsight. Now you can come outside and actually talk about and what you are going to do next or you can commit yourself to having my ass as a porch fixture until you come to your senses. Either let me in or come out here because I am done with letting you dictate what is and isn’t a failure in your life when you cannot understand what that even means.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 19, 2019, 10:43:08 PM
Even hours later he was still fuming mad over the entire mess with the female, and coming home to her perched there acting all high and mighty wasn't helping matter any. He snarled lowly, a vibrating growl filling the air with his ire. He didn't want to deal with this female that always thought she knew best unless she disagreed with it. He came out of the shadows and invaded her personal space, clearly towering over her smaller frame but he wasn't trying to intimidate her just make her go away. "I think I've had enough of your 'I know best' attitude.  I'm tired of that from everyone! I don't know how to be a dragon, I don't know how to be anything other than what I am right now! Yet you're just like the rest, insisting I must be fixed because something clearly is wrong with me to be behaving like this. I've given you more trust than I have anyone else yet here you are pushing the boundaries because you just have to be right. Well fine then, tell me how stupid I am and what a mess I made of things! It's not the first time nor will it be the last."

The shadows crept around him now, and his eyes shifted into shimmering golden slits even as he felt the press of power that meant a shift was imminent if he didn't calm down. He just couldn't though, not to her and not to anyone else ever again. "Females are all the same, it's your big day and ooh there's a male and ooh he made a mistake and even though I know he relies on me I'm going to cast him aside like he's trash because he made a mistake! I didn't know I'd react that way to you Evelyn or I would have just gone after Slifer directly! I wasn't trying to hurt you, and yet any other actions I made that day are forgotten in the wake of that one moment! I don't care what you think of me, I don't, I've already dealt with enough by speaking with Tsuyu and ending things with her just so I could function like a normal person! Yet here you are, provoking me all because you think you have any right!"

He stalked around her, violence coming from him in waves both from frustration and his inability to deal with how he was feeling at that moment. "Did it ever occur to you that I'm trying my best here? You don't decide what I feel is a failure, that's not your right it's mine. The fact is, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't keep bad things from happening and I couldn't make the right choice. All I could do was keep you from hurting others because I knew what it would do to you when you stopped being angry. The rest is a mess and you don't have to rub it in. Now, GO. HOME. I don't have anything else to say to you. I'm done."  He slipped into his shadows again, needing to retreat before he lashed out and hurt her no matter that he felt it would be justified. Hadn't he been brave enough for a moment by speaking with Tsuyu and putting an end to their mutual misery? Hadn't it been enough to stand in Atem's presence and not want to kill him? Why couldn't he just be done for a while without someone else insisting he be more and do more? He was done, he'd had enough. He didn't have the patience for this nonsense just now. She needed to go away!
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 19, 2019, 11:12:08 PM
Evelyn did not flinch in the wake of his ire, did not so much as even move. She held her place calmly, unable to see his movements and unaware of just how he would react if he were to continue to be pushed. As much as she was aware of his thinly veiled control, something deeper, far more primal, was goading her. Something that told her this was important, that if she left now neither side would ever be contented with the outcome. She didn’t come here to rub anything in his face as he assumed. She wasn’t here to pick a fight, more to impress a point. He may have assumed she felt she knew best, but really it was the farthest from the truth. Because the truth of the matter was she wasn’t completely certain why she was here now. Just...some nagging sensation in the back of her mind told her not to leave. It was important to stay, even if he hated every moment of the experience.

“Tokoyami, I certainly don’t know what’s best. If I did I wouldn’t be here right now because clearly I’m at the very real risk of setting you off in a frenzy and, as tough as my scales are, I’m not sure I could withstand your fury. I have never insisted you needed ‘fixing’ as you put it, only that you are missing something which I can feel acutely even now. I have never wanted your times with me to come to the black and white decision of human or dragon, because it’s not something that should be viewed that way. You don’t have to pick a side; you are you and if other people don’t have the sense to see that, that is their loss. I only ever wanted you to be able to see clearly what both sides offer, which I feel even still isn’t something that you can approach too openly because there is so much pain in you for things that were outside of your control. I do not have all the answers, and to be frank I wouldn’t wish to. I do, however, wish to help you find your own.”

She was quiet for a moment, and though truly she felt like dropping her head under his accusations she held herself steady if only just. It stung to hear his assessment of their kind and her gender in particular, but it was fair and she acknowledged as much. “I am sorry you view us all the same. I cannot change how I reacted either, but in that same vein I do not think it is fair to either of us to apologize for what came as an instinctive behavior. Thank you for saving me from myself.” She was humble enough to admit she was wrong in this regard. He had done something that was both painful and uncomfortable for himself, and it was for an entirely selfless reason. Her head dropped in a submissive gesture, exposing the vulnerable line of the back of her neck to his shadows.

“I am not leaving you,” she whispered, perhaps so quietly he would barely hear the words. “Because that is what everyone else has done. I don’t know what you need, and I don’t know why I want to stay right here, but I do just the same. So go ahead and yell. Hate me if you must, and strike if you feel the need. I can take it, and willingly at that. I just don’t want you alone tonight.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 20, 2019, 02:32:05 AM
Shadows lashed around Evelyn's frame now in the wake of the ire directed at her for her refusal to just give him some, much needed, space. He didn't need her to stay there with him, he needed time to unwind and stop feeling so angry at the world at large. He didn't need to be soothed, he needed her to back the hell off! Her stubborn refusal to leave was grating on his very last nerve and he just didn't have the energy nor the inclination to deal with this female right then. He gritted his teeth though, even as a snarl left him at her stubbornness. "Not that I don't appreciate the concession, but I don't need you around me tonight. I'm not fit company for anyone, and I'd never hurt a female on purpose. Now go home and leave me be, I need space not a stubborn female that can only remind me of the problems I've dealt with the last few weeks."

He didn't think it was too much to ask, being given his space while he needed it, but females always thought they knew better. Well, female dragons at least. He ran a hand over the top of his head, glad the shadows hid him as he tried another approach to make her go away. "Go home Evelyn, I've had enough for this night. Just...let me have some space, please. I desperately need that right now instead of always being around people that mean well but only make things worse. I understand, you're worried, and I'm sorry. Just...please go back home. I can't do this with you right now. I really, honestly can't." It was the best he could do, and the most control he could exert over the fury rising through him in waves. He didn't want to be coddled or comforted, he just wanted everyone to leave him the hell alone until he was again ready to deal with them. It wasn't too much to ask, but rather he'd get it or not was another matter.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 20, 2019, 10:53:19 AM
“I...-“ Evelyn stopped. She knew the shadows around her were unstable and, just the same she knew they were capable of great damage if she pressed. She didn’t want to leave, because even still something said stay, but he was adamant in his demand. He was frustrated, offended, and hurt and she understood the why of it all. Just the same, she understood a critical point, something that tore deeply at her heart for his own sake. No one would be who he lost, and no one would ever be able to fill that role. No one could live up to the expectation she had set. How terribly lonely that would be...

Her voice was quieter now. The fire had left her. “Whether you’d be good company or not doesn’t matter. I’m sorry people only make things worse for you, especially when they only want to help. I wish you would allow someone else in, anyone, because I still believe letting you be alone right now is a mistake, but I won’t be your burden tonight.” Going home though, well, that wasn’t going to happen either.

She shifted there on his doorstep into a small form. Fittingly she felt, it began to rain. Slowly at first as she got her wings up under her and then the deluge came in earnest. Thunder and lighting, the wind whirling and whipping raindrops about until they turned to tiny spears against her hide. Evy took shelter in a nearby park, settling under the cover of the tree canopy. She couldn’t fly in this, and more to the point she wasn’t going to walk in it either when the storm deafened her best way to get an understanding of her surroundings.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 20, 2019, 07:51:30 PM
The silence left in the wake of her departure caused a sharp feeling of relief to go through Tokoyami even as her words made him quietly worry about her. Still he moved through his shadows and dropped down onto his bed; letting the relief of finally just being alone wash over him in a comforting wave. They always meant well, but by refusing to give him the space he desperately needed people were still just taking away his choices all over again. So now that he had the chance to just be he let his eyes fall shut and  just stayed where he was. Echoes of the past flickered through the silence, but he accepted them now that he was letting himself do so. It had been stupid to face Evelyn so soon after parting from Tsuyu; he realized that now. He did wonder at the sudden surge of so much anger from himself at her behavior though; it had been nearly impossible to control and he wasn't normally one prone to such violence. Perhaps something to worry about another time, for now he just wanted to linger in his silence and let his frazzled and raw nerves heal a bit more.

It wasn't long before the sound of the storm outside broke through his reverie and allowed thoughts to intrude. He knew Evelyn couldn't fly in his mess and couldn't see if she shifted, so he had to hope she'd gotten home alright. Then again, given the shouting he remembered from that place, he wouldn't blame her for not wanting to return there. It bothered him enough that he couldn't sink back into the healing silence from before and thus he sent his shadows out searching for the familiar heartbeat belonging to the female. He found her huddled in a nearby park and sighed to himself before rising into a standing position and rolling his eyes. Why did females have to be so difficult? He slipped through his shadows to where she was, holding an umbrella and his shadows over her head and blocking the rain. He was tired and didn't want company, but he wasn't a cruel man and thus couldn't leave her out here. This led to him extending a tentative hand to the female. "Since your stubbornness caught you out in the rain, let's head inside so you can dry off. You must be freezing."

He was trying to be kind, but he didn't have it in him to press her should she refuse his help. There was still too much fury lingering inside him for that.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 20, 2019, 08:34:55 PM
Evelyn hadn’t noticed his approach until he spoke to her and this startled her enough to nearly fall from the branch she sat on. She had resigned herself to wait out the storm, because otherwise she would have had the worst of times getting home as a sopping wet human with no vision. She could have shifted to her larger form to get through it all of course but she hated to do so in a crowded city. She wasn’t a small female herself, at least not in her full glory, and she didn’t favor unnecessarily startling anyone. That, and it would have made her a far bigger target for lightning which she wasn’t keen on discovering if she had the particular fortitude to handle it. She hadn’t intended to get caught outside, hadn’t even known it was set to rain really, but this was her own fault regardless.

Bright eyes peered back at him, listening to his offer. He was tired, cranky, and still on edge from before, but he had come just the same for some unknown reason to find her. He certainly hadn’t need to, but she accepted the gesture for what it was—a kind one. She stood up on her branch, carefully walking down the wet limb until she came to his outstretched hand. It was here she paused, dropping her head. ”Thank you.” It was said quietly but honestly. She did appreciate the gesture for what it was. One small clawed hand reached out tentatively, slowly reaching forward. She seemed to be judging her distances and, in a quick movement, she had leapt from the branch to his outstretched palm. Thankfully, in this small of a form, her claws were hardly a threat and she had been careful with the sharpness of her scales so as not to hurt him.

Should he choose to take his shadows, she had no earthly idea of how that would fair for her but, as it was, taking his hand had been easier than dropping down into the soaked earth to slowly walk back to where she had been. She would do so of course if he wished it, and she said as much. ”You don’t have to carry me back, but thank you.” There was a pause. Her head dropped again. ”I am sorry. I should not have snapped at you. I’m not even mad about the other day. It happens, and it would have been a lot worse if you hadn’t intervened. It’s just…It is hard to explain. You will have your own time in your life where perhaps how I reacted will make more sense because you’ll go through the same thing. It’s the instinct that is offended, that is made to feel unwanted, not the person. I know you didn’t mean anything with it, but I could not help how I reacted then.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 20, 2019, 10:44:52 PM
Tokoyami merely inclined his head respectfully as the small female jumped into his open palm. He tucked her up close to his body so his heat could warm her before turning and heading back through the rain towards his home. He wasn't going to risk a passenger when he was still very new to travelling with his shadows. It didn't take long before he was back home and he used his shadows to open the door because it was locked and he'd forgotten his keys in his desire to check on Evelyn. He shut the door behind himself and left Evie in the doorway of his bathroom with a large shirt to change into. "Here, get a hot shower so you don't get sick. The guest room is across the hall you're welcome to stay until morning."

He shrugged at her apology, it was what it was. "It's fine,  I'm used to women being disappointed in me by now. At this point, if you'd just not bring it up while I'm trying to wind down I'd appreciate it." He sighed, running a hand over his head before going to change as his clothing had definitely gotten wet as well. "Sorry if that was rude, I'm just really wound up lately with everything going on. It's funny, because before this mess I was looking forward to telling you about finally settling things with Tsuyu. It was hard, but I thought at least you'd be proud I'd faced that fear. It wasn't what happened, but nothing I want ever is. Anyway, enjoy the shower."

He headed to his room and shut the door so he could change clothing and try and settle down for the night. At least things couldn't get any worse.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 20, 2019, 11:14:03 PM
A shower? What? Evelyn nearly tilted her head in her own confusion. While it was certainly a nice offer, and she truly didn’t want to catch a cold, it felt rude accepting his offer. This was his home, and it was already a great deal of strain for him for her to be in his presence let alone utilizing his things. Still, it wasn’t wise to snub his generosity, particularly not when he was already in a foul mood. She would accept this for what it was and that would be the full truth of it. Though what he said was harsh in regards to himself, she didn’t speak against it as he had requested she not. The fact remained though that he wasn’t a disappointment in her eyes. Far from it, really, but that would have to be said another time.

With his departure she headed into the bathroom herself. After locating the various nobs and the potential pitfalls and traps a bathroom held for the blind, she shifted and disrobed. The wet clothing she wore was settled into the sink so as not to drip. From here, she took a quick, steamy shower. Once dried off, she hung up both her towel and all of her clothing, drenched undergarments to boot. It was easier to find the bedroom as a seeing dragon so she carried the shirt in her mouth after shifting, coming upon the room. Here she shifted back and dawned the shirt.

It felt invasive really, to look about his things and the space he kept to himself apart from the world, so she held her human form to avoid that rudeness. As it was, she felt bad enough taking what she already had so she refrained from laying on the bed. No, instead she sat in the floor, leaned up against the dresser to think. He’d told her a lot tonight whether he realized it or not. She’d have to speak with him about it once he calmed down of course, but for now she could mull things over.

While it wasn’t her intention to fall asleep, the evening had worn on her as had her own thoughts. She drifted off, still somewhat upright from her musing. It was no matter—he was already asleep surely.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 21, 2019, 12:20:21 AM
Tokoyami waited until he heard the shower running before stripping out of his wet clothing and changing into dry ones. He really couldn't get sick easily, he ran much too hot for that, but he still didn't want to be in cold and wet clothing. After about an hour had passed, something urged him to go and check on his guest and when he found her he shook his head in disbelief. Really, she was his guest, she couldn't stay there on the floor. With utmost gentleness, he lifted Evie off the floor and placed her in the guest bed, pulling the blankets up over her body and tucking her in. He  turned out the light but left the door cracked open and the hall  light on; a habit he'd had since his time at UA, then he headed back for his own room to read a book and wind down for the night.

Her scent invading his private space bothered him on a deep, personal level but it could wait until she left the next morning and then he'd smother it with his scent and be done with it. He pushed the dark thoughts out of his mind and forced himself to focus on his book again. He needed to calm down and settle his mind again; perhaps it was time to pick back up meditation as that had helped him back in school. Part of him felt he could ask Atem to spar with him but in his current state he was just as likely to try and kill him as spar with him so that was definitely not a good idea. He felt like something big was coming though, and it was going to happen soon, he just wished he knew what.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 21, 2019, 01:33:47 AM
Evelyn was not disturbed when she was picked up from the ground, nor did she stir as she was settled into the bed. She sunk into the pillows tiredly, curling up almost immediately. She was throughly out when Tokoyami left the room and slept soundly and deeply through the night. Morning came and it was only instinct which roused her. Otherwise she would have been most keen to sleep in. With a quiet yawn, Evy got out of bed and made it back up again. She stripped, folded the shirt neatly, and shifted so that she might see to get back to the bathroom.

Once inside, she returned to a human state and redressed in her now dry clothing. Whether Tokoyami was awake or not, she did not want to disturb him with her departure. He would need whatever additional time he could get by himself without the distraction of her presence after the night prior. She was keen to give him as much space. She returned to her smallest dragon form, padding carefully out of the bathroom.

It was easy to find her way back to the front door, but not so much to open it without fiddling with the locks in her smaller form. After about two minutes of trying, she finally succeeded and got the door open. From here, it was easy to push the door open and to slip outside. It was closed within a moment, secure again without, she hoped at least, disturbing him.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 21, 2019, 03:09:15 AM
He did, in fact, wake when she started stirring for the morning. Long accustomed to quiet, he became a light sleeper when anyone stayed over and now wasn't the exception to the rule.  Still, he didn't bother her and shook his head after she left. He padded out of his room on bare feet, shirt still off as he walked to where she'd slept and proceeded to smother every inch of his apartment in his scent so he wasn't bothered nor distracted by the female scent there where it didn't belong. It was odd, after so much happening the day before now he had no clue what to do with himself.

He didn't feel like he could speak with the female that was meant to be his therapist any longer; he felt like she didn't want to speak to him anyway and that was fine after what he'd done. Still...that meant the irritating and daunting task of finding someone else he found suitable for the job. He didn't want to be a bother to Miss Wolfe, after all, and she'd made her opinion clear before even if she'd apologized for the behavior. It was what it was though, and he didn't want to step on her toes such as it was. He wasn't happy about it, but he'd manage. First though, he'd give himself the time he hadn't before to just be and try again some other time to be out among the public.

He really couldn't risk another outburst like the one before, so he had to wait.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 21, 2019, 11:07:38 AM
Evelyn’s flight home was a strange one as her mind wandered and she considered the events of the night prior. He was an irritating, stubborn sort of ass when he wasn’t keen to reason or at least when he wanted things in his particular fashion. Even still, he did have a good heart and his intentions weren’t bad ones. He just needed more time to himself than he allowed himself, or had even accounted for. While she hated to admit it, she was not certain her methods would be the best for his process. She always came across wrong, or he felt he was an imposition, but she felt as though she should see things through. It was a dilemma, one she struggled with even as she came back into her office.

She had meant what she had, and hadn’t said, and there was much he had said from the night prior that hadn’t settled well with her. Still, she did have to make the effort, because she owed him as much. With a sigh, she settled down to write him something, creating what she believed was going to be her last package to that particular home.

I suspect you are well past the point of being done, and I don’t blame you for that. There has been a great deal of disappointment, personal disappointment, in your life. None of which was deserved. You do a great deal for many people, and yet when it comes to things for yourself you have the greatest struggle in being able to see you are worth that same investment. I believe this is where that “all females” comment comes from. In a way, we really all are the same. At the core at least, instinctively they would all wish you contented, friend or not. Everything in between is the hardship, and how we differ, and I cannot give a broad scale apology for my gender’s behavior, only mine toward you. I’ve included a list of other therapists in the area, ones that if you wish I can send your file to so they are not starting new again but rather picking up where we left off. Of course this doesn’t need to be decided now. Enjoy your leave of absence, and take some much needed time to heal. When you are ready the files will be here. I await your instruction.

All best,

She sealed up the small envelope and left it with her secretary to mail. For now, she was going to take her own advice and get some much needed peace of mind. Perhaps she’d take a short vacation even.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 21, 2019, 07:45:15 PM
He got her message, of course he did, but he didn't have the fortitude to care much about it just then so he left the issue alone and unresolved; something that normally he hated to do. In this case though, it was necessary so he left the note where he wouldn't forget it and went about his day. Months went by in which he remained out of the public eye, reconnecting with old friends that weren't in the city and travelling without worrying about constantly having to fight. He went anywhere that reminded him of himself and not of Tsuyu and slowly things began to find a better normal than he'd been achieving before. He practiced with his shadows again, something he hadn't bothered to do since graduating from UA. He pushed his power to the limits and toot he time to decide just how he felt about being a dragon. He still really didn't like it because of the how of it, but he could accept there was no changing it.

He went to the other side of the world, picked fights, got himself into trouble, and then got himself out of it again. He tried flirting again tentatively and found it was sort of fun even if he was bad at it. He discovered women found him charming and basked in the knowledge that while the female that had once been his intended hadn't thought so, others did in fact find him attractive. He could accept that and move on, even if it still hurt his heart on a deep personal level. He still loved Tsuyu, and he felt he always would on some level as she'd been the first woman to hold that place in his head. Still, as time went on he began to move forward one steady step at a time. He learned quickly that shifting without pain was definitely possible and that flying brought him great joy as he danced through the air in the shadows around him. He thrived under starlight and if needed he learned his shadows could block out the sun for a short period of time. He was aware of his body changing and growing and decided it was probably normal for what he was and who he was related to. He nearly stood as tall as Atem now; something that secretly pleased him as he had hated having to look up at the man.

He still found the undercurrent of rage inside of him unsettling but he could push it back and he found no source of it nor any safe way to release it so he left it be for the moment. When he returned to the hero scene six months later, it was with a bang as he used a wall of solid shadows to stop a massive tidal wave just off the coast. He was only passing through, but it made him happy to help again. When finally he returned to the city that was his home, it was with a different sort of energy surrounding him. His baring was calm and confident and assured of his own strength; a vast different from when he left. He reveled in that strength even if he had no one to protect with it any longer. No matter, he knew himself well and eventually he'd be ready to try again even if that wasn't just right then. And because it was important to him to be able to work around his fellows no matter what, he went willing to meet with Atem. His stride was even and unhurried as he waited patiently for the older hero to finish with an interview before approaching him. If felt like a lifetime since he'd seen the man that was his ancestor, but that was fine he felt ready to face him once again. "If you have a moment, I'd like to speak with you." His tone was calm and direct, and he gave steady eye contact but no indication of challenge. Simply one hero needing to speak to another. This was important to him, speaking to Atem again, and inwardly he was very proud of himself for making it this far. Still, this was only one step on his list of things to do, but at least it was a good step.

Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 21, 2019, 08:41:17 PM
Months had passed and, had anyone believed it possible at the time to have suggested it to him back then that Tokoyami would be visiting his agency requesting an audience, he would have believed them mad. As it stood, he was just as surprised as he imagined Yugi would be when he told her of his unexpected guest. He looked...well. Rested, calmer, more at peace. There was still yet some lingering tension of course, but this was to be expected; he was only just now coming back to his role as a hero and there were likely many individuals he would meet with over the coming weeks.

It was not missed on him that he was nearly directly eye level with his great grandson now. Were he of a mind to, he might have smirked about the growing resemblance but as it stood he wouldn’t mention or hint about it. “Welcome back. It is good to see you. Yugi will be thrilled to have you back in the city. She has been trying to keep her distance and give you space, but she does miss you. I hope you will have time to carve out to see her as well. She would love to talk to you about your travels.” Of course she would also likely want to know the deeper things. How he was doing, was everything less painful to him now, how he felt about being a dragon. None of this Atem would ask, but he would speculate.

“You look well. I hope the time has been favorable to you.” He gave a dossier to an intern that had come in to collect it from the interview. She left as quickly as she had appeared and apologized for the disturbance. “But I doubt to talk about those things is why you are here. Would you like something to drink? There’s gin around here somewhere...” The Pharaoh trailed off, moving toward his desk.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 21, 2019, 09:43:59 PM
Tokoyami took the consideration given to him in stride as he felt it was probably the last thing Atem was expected in getting a visit from him. The mention of Yugi had him smiling faintly before shaking his head. "Oh she knows I'm back, I'm just avoiding her. That female is unstoppable curious when she wants to be and I'm not of the mind to answer a few thousand questions before she remembers what rude is." He snorted at that, clearly not minding his friend's antics but still not willing to go and put up with them just now. Besides that, she was bound to ask questions he'd rather not answer at present as mostly they were none of her business. "And you can tell that nosy female I said this, but it's none of her business how my personal life is going or what choices I've made along the way. She can wait and see what happens just like everyone else." Because she meant well but she always aimed for the heart and he didn't like that. He'd never liked it but in his present state it just grated him much too much the wrong way.

Rolling his shoulders, he regarded the man before him with consideration; noting that he looked much the same but still very well indeed. Thus when the conversation continued he nodded in response. "I'm...well as I can expect to be at this stage of things. Or at least I get no complaints from those I've let be around me." He could feel the smug smirk on his face before he settled himself back into a neutral state to deal with Atem once more. He decided a bit of honesty was probably due. "I'm just...adjusting. Some things are fine, some are not but I'm working at it. As you can clearly tell I've been going through a few changing and it hasn't been fun adjusting that that but I've managed." He sighed at the mention of a drink and how Atem got straight to the point. For once, the man was wrong. "No thank you on the drink, I'm just fine. As to the rest...I actually did come here to speak with you about everything going on, at least partly. Though mostly I felt the need to come and apologize for my asinine behavior before when your input and advice would probably have served me very well in figuring out what to do."

He grew quiet for a long moment, the slowly had to admit what he was now having trouble with. "Honestly though...I'm needing advice about something even now and you were the one I felt may be best suited to assist me. If you're willing." Still as formal and polite as ever, that was Tokoyami for you.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 21, 2019, 10:48:38 PM
“I would tell her but as I favor my hide, you’ll have to forgive me for abstaining from passing that on. I will, however, tell her to keep her questions to herself for now. She means well, but you are right she would pry whether she meant to or not. It is just in her nature to want to make sure the people she cares about are well and happy.” Not that Tokoyami would blame her for that of course, but Atem has to at least express where Yugi’s side of things was coming from.

He arched a brow, surprised with the sheer honesty. “No, I don’t imagine it has been particularly pleasant. Usually those changes would happen when you were much younger. Hopefully it hasn’t been painful. I’d recommend some time in the hotter seas, perhaps the Caribbean. The sea has a bit of healing to it, and eases even old scales.” Unsolicited advice, but still something just the same. With his offer for a drink declined, Atem stopped looking for his particular poison and instead turned his focus back to Tokoyami, reckoning against the front of his desk.

One hand raised to halt him. “Don’t. You do not have to apologize.” His hand dropped. “It’s a terrible pain, what you went through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and I’ve lived it in my life to know it tears you in all sorts of ways.” He sighed. “You can’t hold yourself accountable for what was said in those days. I’ve been around long enough to know you cannot base people on the moments they break. That isn’t the measure of you, so I don’t consider it something you should apologize for. That said, I’m not sure what I could help you with, but I will certainly try. What is on your mind?”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 22, 2019, 01:08:44 AM
Tokoyami snorted at Atem's reaction over repeating anything he'd said to Yugi. His old friend could definitely be scary when she set her mind to it. "That's probably a smart move on your part, though it would be funny to watch if you did." He did note that Atem was surprised with his honesty but what else could he expect from someone finally coming into his own. It was...refreshing not to have to be so careful with what he said and did all the time now. He did hear the advice and considered it, but he'd had to think over if he'd do it or not considering how much work he had to do now that he was back.

The hand raised to halt his apology surprised him and he tilted his head curiously at the explanation before nodding in understanding. That was fine if it was how he wanted to do things. Instead he went the other way. "Thank you for that, then." As to what he could help him with...well...He scratched at the back of his head in clear embarrassment, before working up the nerve to admit his failing. "Well....not sure if it's because of all the stress I've been under or my more recent changes but my shadows have been acting...I'll say odd....lately. I'm not sure if it's normal or what, but before this mess I certainly wasn't capable of blocking out the sun with my shadows." He's caused an eclipse that had lasted a good half hour before he'd figured out how to fix it.

Normally, before, his shadows were weakened by the light, now they seemed to draw strength from them and that just threw him off his game very badly. He disliked having to learn himself all over again after so long, it was irritating. But if it was also normal because of his bloodline, he'd have to accept and deal with it.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 22, 2019, 08:00:43 AM
The Pharaoh was quiet as Tokoyami seemed to stumble over what it was he wished to say. When he got the words out, Atem merely nodded. “I had thought that was you.” He’d sensed the disturbance, though he’d been too far away to directly see the event physically. “It’s to be expected. In your blood there is a duality that is very rarely found in others. You wouldn’t consider it abnormal yourself, because you have met others with that capability themselves, but globally what you have is quite rare.” He paused, allowing this to sink in. Knowing how Tokoyami had felt about being blood relations to him some years back, and even as recently as a few months ago, he didn’t want to dwell on drawing attention to a point the man had hated. Even still, it was somewhat necessary here as it was part of the explanation.

“I am not of this world. I wasn’t born to it, but I was part of the burst that created it. In me there is a cosmic balance from that time. I control not only the light but the dark as well, but I would wager if I asked you you would associate me with the sun, correct?” He waited for some sense of acknowledgement before continuing. “It is the same for you, though up until recently, without coming to terms with things as you have and are still doing, you wouldn’t have had access to it. Yours is not with the sun but rather the moon. You are stronger at night, and more so in the absence of light at all, but now you can see a greater potential in your night. Light is not the enemy of the dark. They are perfect separate halves, and both have the ability to consume the other, just as you’ve seen with your eclipse.”

While it may have been unnerving, to know such power came to him naturally, he should have expected it. He came from powerful blood, and more of it had presented in him than any of Atem’s descendants thus far. “You will continue to grow stronger like this. You will notice more changes up until a point, which you may be rapidly approaching now given the acceleration of the changes. For a male dragon a rut is the signal of his pinnacle, the mark of the predator coming into its finest age. You’ve been around me long enough to know that mine is a recurring event, something uncommon among the dragons which have sprung up on earth. That is because of the immortality aspect, but I would wager if your ties to your celestial body are strong enough, you might achieve some semblance of that yourself. Speculation of course, but still.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 23, 2019, 03:44:28 AM
Crimson eyes regarded Atem carefully, nodding when it was clearly needed of him but for the most part just listening. It wasn't long before his eyes started to get bigger and shock overcame his features at just what he was going told. This all was...only going to get worse? He'd guessed his shadows were gaining in strength, but to such a degree...His expression went troubled then instead of shocked as he clearly considered what he'd been told. It was a lot to take in and absorb and he wasn't certain he enjoyed it at all.  "I...the eclipse wasn't done on purpose. It wasn't anywhere near what I was trying to do. I was just...trying to do the right thing." The tsunami, the pouring rain, the resulting tidal wave; it had been instinct that led to him shooting out his shadows to try and protect the coastal town he'd been passing through. He hadn't expected his shadows to expand until they blotted out the sun. It had been terrifying.

And to think this amount of power was meant to be his naturally...It just blew his mind. He hadn't thought being related to Atem would cause such an upset in his life like this. Yet his shadows had always been such a huge part of him, first in the form of Dark Shadow and now as an entity in and of themselves separate from him yet apart of him at the same time. So this news was definitely troubling, given how hard he was working to come to terms with himself as he had become. Still, best to get clarification. "So you're telling me my shadows are only going to grow stronger with time. That everything I've known I could do for years is going to grow and expand and change because I'm only getting stronger as I age. Is that about right?" If so, it was a terrifying prospect he faced for the future. Especially given he wasn't settled on how he felt about what he was.

The talk of a rut had him shuddering in terrified horror. That....wasn't something he ever wanted to go through; he'd seen the start of Atem's before and never wanted to experience it himself. He already hated the loss of control that came from a female's rise, so to know there was another thing to cause that was just...a bit more than he had expected. It meant all his changes were leading up to it though, and if he were to guess it was the cause of all the anger he still harbored inside of him. His hands fisted at his sides as his thoughts raced, shadows sparking out of every corner where the light  cast them but not lashing out in any way, simply reacting to the strong emotions of one that could use them. Tokoyami didn't really know or understand it, but he had the unquestionable loyalty of the shadows he commanded. They could be swayed to a more chaotic power, sure, but they'd always return to his command willingly for his bloodline was ancient and powerful all on its own.

Something had caught his attention in what Atem was saying, so now he had questions and it was better to speak and ask them than linger in his overwhelming and troubled thoughts and emotions. "What do you mean by 'celestial body' and my ties to it? I don't understand." It was better to ask, but part of him honestly didn't want the answers. Perhaps he shouldn't have sought out Atem, but he knew it was necessary even though it was exceedingly difficult.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 23, 2019, 12:14:45 PM
“I didn’t imagine it was on purpose. Usually instinct will take over. Your shadows wouldn’t cause either you, or those around you direct harm or harbor malice. They react to your subconscious will.” At least he was making an effort to reassure him they wouldn’t do anything he wouldn’t have wanted done. His assessment was correct—the shadows served him, and loyally so. They would not act out of place. He nodded. “Yes, they will. It’s part of the aging process though; you will grow out to be able to contain them. It’s why you’ve changed so much physically these past few months.”

Atem had noticed the shift in his behavior, knew that he wasn’t particularly pleased with what he’d heard, but it needed to be understood. “The moon. You have access to the same powers from it as I do the sun. We are both of us tied to both bodies, but there is a direct favoritism in each of them in us. It’s how you were able to draw the eclipse. I would wager, given time, perhaps right on the heels of your rut, you will be able to handle the moon in the same fashion I might with the sun. It may give you more than you bargained for. Holding a tie to an eternal body will change you. It could be such that you, much like myself, will outlive those around you.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 24, 2019, 12:52:21 AM
Tokoyami looked deeply troubled the more he was being told about what he could expect if he kept changing the way he was. Change was a part of life, but to change so drastically in so short a time...well it made him uneasy. More-so the knowledge that he could go into rut at any time once the changes were completed. The idea was horrifying. At least he could take some relief in the fact his shadows weren't going to grow outside of his control, so that was something. And that the biggest of those changes would occur after something he was terrified of was even worse.

So he could possibly gain control of the moon like Atem had over the sun. The fact in and of itself wasn't terrible but the hinted at repercussion of such a thing had him reeling. To think he could stop aging, to think he wouldn't die even if he were to so wish it...To leave behind someone he could come to care about, it was all too much. He sat down in the nearest chair, hands clenching either side of his head as he attempted to make sense of everything he was being told and maintain his much needed calm at the same time.

It was a lot to take in, truly it was, but he was grateful Atem hadn't tried to lie to him about it. "I need...a moment. Also...some tea. This is...just a bit too much for  me right now." At least he could admit to it out loud, and there was no shame in not being able to handle something life-changing like this all at once. He just...was thrown very far off kilter by it all. If this was true...what was he going to do?
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 24, 2019, 07:53:29 AM
Atem nodded. “Of course, take your time. Let’s see if I can still remember how you take it and what you prefer.” He was of course referring to the tea. He recalled the former but did have to reach out to Yugi to confirm the latter. Half right was better than not at all at least, and thankfully he did have the particular variant his guest would enjoy. He slipped out of the office for fifteen minutes or so, coming back with a tray which held not only tea but some sushi. The cook living in the agency full time was nothing if not prepared for all hours of the day and night to contend with a dragon’s appetite, so getting a smaller portion ready was a simple task. Not that Tokoyami would take any of it, but it was there if he wished.

Atem sat the tray down beside of him, pouring his tea before he retreated to a separate chair some distance off to give the man his space. “I will tell you this. Living with that responsibility on one’s shoulders, it is hard but it’s not something I imagine you would have any trouble with. It would be second nature, so if you worry about the responsibility, I would say you needn’t have to. For another individual, yes, but not for you. Outliving friends does suck, I will be honest. But you cannot not have relationships with others. It keeps you human, and it keeps you grounded. The small mercy in that is if you do find someone you come to care for, time isn’t made an enemy of them either. It’s the same thing Yugi will experience when she’s ready for it—that energy and life that revives you, that transcends. The moon wouldn’t leave its guardian without a proper mate.”

He spoke of the celestial body as though it bore its own existence, thoughts, and feelings. Perhaps, for him who had been there since it was formed, it did. “Letting someone see that side of you though is another matter entirely.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 24, 2019, 12:59:52 PM
Tokoyami was still in the same position he'd been left in when Atem finally returned. He sat up slowly and took the offered tea, offering a quiet word of gratitude before staring down at the steaming mug in his hands. He did hear Atem speaking, of course he did, but it really wasn't helping his state of mind. He really couldn't wrap his mind around the concept of even possibly living for so long, let alone anything else. "Why must I always just accept that I'm changing so much without any control of what's happening to me? Forgive me, but, to me this is not a good thing. I would not wish to live forever, even if it's only a possibility, I've seen what that did to you even when I was only part of your life for a short while. I saw the struggles and the pain, and I've had more than enough of that already. What is so wrong to simply want to be me? Why must I simply accept it all without conscious choice in the matter?"

Honestly he knew most of his trouble stemmed from the fact that he'd been rather forcibly thrown into his birthright as a dragon without any of the support he'd desperately needed because they didn't understand why he'd struggled. He'd told them now, of course, but at the time they hadn't known and had only made matters worse. This entire mess felt the same way to him.  He was a simple man at heart, and really only needed one person to see his struggle and let him know it was alright to be afraid like this. He didn't need everyone just telling him it was part of who he was because he happened to be related to someone. He just...needed someone in his corner. He didn't think that was too much to ask. Of course, like before, Atem could simply tell him it was better this way because he could handle it. He could suggest things, and he had, but in the end he missed the most important thing about all this. Tokoyami was scared and on the heels of everything he'd been through he felt utterly alone even knowing he had friends to support him. It was just...entirely too much.

What was more frustrating was the fact he didn't even had the outlet of speaking with Ev-Miss Wolfe any longer because of his own folly from before. Even mentioning Yugi didn't help, but her breed of dragon already lived for a few hundred years all on their own so what was an eternity to someone after that? For Tokoyami, he could expect normally to live to be at least a hundred if not a bit more, so the notion of forever like was terrifying. And he'd never wish that on another living being if he could help it, he'd rather be alone. But again, there was no choice really, was there? He'd change again rather he liked it or not. His fate was sealed regardless of his choices, just like before and he absolutely hated that. He took a deep breath for calm even as his shadows moved around him soothingly; sensing his distress. He barely tasted the tea as he took a sip of it, mind too caught up in everything happening. He was scared, what was he going to do?
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 24, 2019, 01:25:20 PM
“Because if you try to worry about controlling every aspect of your life, you will be in the most miserable sort of existence. You don’t have to ‘accept it’ so much as you have to just let it go. What will be will be, regardless of whatever that is. Worrying doesn’t fix it, and planning won’t negate it. Your fate is no more predetermined than mine is, or anyone else’s for that matter, so trying to set your life to one avenue isn’t a game you will win. You worry so much about the how and when, when really those do matter in the grand scheme of things. You won’t care about them in a week’s time, and certainly not in a year’s. The only thing that matters is who and why. Who you do it for, and why you do it.” Dark crimson eyes regarded the younger dragon, and his expression gentled considerably.

“You paint what I have experienced as a curse, and really it’s nothing of the sort. I have lived through so many wonderful moments in the history of man. I’ve had the time to learn my fill of any subject I sought after. Yes, there were moments of pain. But singular moments mean nothing when compared to the eternity of many, many millennia. Time is the most precious commodity on this Earth. A standard human may have eighty to one hundred years at best, only so many of which will be spent able to move and able to do things of one’s own will. When you eliminate that from your equation, you are only left with what you choose to surround yourself with. It is...Incredibly freeing, but I only speak for myself.”

He shook his head. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be you. You are the only one who can, after all. But I wish you wouldn’t be so set in saying you know all of you, and who you are. You’ve not yet had the time to find that out fully, and very few people ever do. You know the things you hate, some at least, and things you enjoy, but what do you know of what drives you? Your purpose? Who would you selfishly suffer through any injustice for, just because living apart is unspeakable? You know some of you, Tokoyami, but you aren’t yet aware of all of you. Speaking from experience, you won’t until you have a mate, and then again until you see tiny eyes looking back up at you, if that is something you want in your future. Family, friends, none of them matter when you have those two looking up to you. And when you do, no amount of time with them is too much. The enormity of eternity is lessened when it is spent in idle, loving company. But if it truly troubles you so greatly, I may be able to help. I cannot promise I could quite literally take the moon from you, it picks its champion, but I may be able convince it otherwise if that is what you want.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 26, 2019, 08:38:22 AM
Tokoyami set his drink down and dropped his head back into his hands, deeply troubled and in thought. Atem really didn't understand why this bothered him, did he? He wasn't like the often immovable Ra, eternity wasn't something that was a good thing to him. It wasn't something he expected nor was it something he wanted because he'd been human first. That mentality was firmly embedded inside him and it wasn't a simple matter of just accepting it or not. He forgot often that Atem didn't think like the rest of him, so maybe it had been a bad idea to discuss this with him in the first place. Not every person wanted to live forever, and it wasn't some great gift like Atem seemed to think it was. Honestly he'd been content with the time his natural lifespan would have given him.

And again he realized that much of the problem here lied in the fact that he had no one in his corner. Atem had Yugi for those times things became too much, but Tokoyami was alone in his corner without anyone that understood. He'd chased away the one that might have stood with him by his own actions, so now he faced the consequences. That was her right though, considering how he'd made her feel during her rise, but he did dearly miss having a sounding board for his thoughts and emotions. At least she stood a chance of understanding where he was coming from and not simply acting like the immortal god that always knew best about everything even when he didn't. That trait of Atem's grated against his nerves, but he'd come here willingly so he'd put up with it.

He realized it was probably time to go and slowly rose to his feet; still feeling unsteady but needing to get away. "I think...I've have as much as I can take today. And, for the record, though I do appreciate you giving me your time today and I thank you for it; you've entirely missed the point in my coming to you. I'm not like you, Atem, I don't process things the same way. Maybe it's enough for you to just always let it go, but I don't work that way. I don't process my emotions that way. Right now, all this is new and it's terrifying and unlike you I don't have someone in my corner. I don't need much to be happy, I'm a simple man, but I just..." He shook his head, this wasn't worth it and Atem couldn't understand anyway. After all, he'd been a dragon first.

"Never mind, I don't know that you'd understand even if I explained it to you. You've never been human, after all, so all this comes naturally to you. I'm not angry about that, I'm just tired. I think I'm done for now, and again thank you for your time. I'll let you know if I have questions about anything else." Because he really did need to get away and not be bombarded with Atem's well-meaning version of 'get over it'. He didn't need very much to be happy, but it would have been nice to have one person that would just acknowledge his feelings as okay. He desperately needed someone in his corner helping him manage this, because he really wanted to have one person tell him it was okay to be afraid. He knew it without hearing it, but he needed to hear it.

He'd spent so long with everyone in the mindset of 'get over it' that when he couldn't just do that hearing it was okay to be afraid would have gone a long way in helping him adjust. Atem didn't understand this, but Tokoyami was drowning out on his own. His fear didn't rule him, he just didn't like to be facing all of this alone. And even with friends, he felt completely alone with no one on his side. He needed that, but there was nothing for it. He couldn't even acknowledge Atem's offer to dissuade the moon; he couldn't wrap his head around it to even speak of it. He shook his head, excused himself, and stepped through his shadows back out into his home. Without thinking, he wrote a quick message about how he was feeling in simple terms and though he tried to throw it away his shadows delivered it to whom it was meant for. He may not realize it, but he really did need the support Evelyn provided him with.

The message would appear near her, the shadows gently nudging her so she could find it before disappearing. They knew she'd have to shift to read it, but at least it had gotten where it was needed. After so long silent, Tokoyami had reached out to the only person he felt still might listen to him. The message was short and simple but betrayed a wealth of information. 'I'm sorry Evelyn, my actions from then hurt you and I never properly resolved it. You have every right to still be angry at me, but honestly I need you. I need someone in my corner that listens, I need someone to tell me it's okay to be afraid. Because I am terrified right now and to face it alone...I cannot. I wish you well, even knowing you'll never read this. At least I've gotten it out on paper. I know I should reach out to you, but I'm afraid of being pushed away again. Yet, I know you alone may just understand or in the very least you won't tell me to 'get over it'. Perhaps I should come speak to you, but I am afraid. I cannot do this alone, but I've no right to ask you to help anymore. Regardless, be well little starlight.'

Clearly the missive wasn't meant to be read but it had still been delivered and it remained that his shadows knew he needed her.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 26, 2019, 11:03:14 AM
Atem sighed, and as much as he felt he should still speak with his descendant, he let the younger dragon go. Really, as often as he accused him of missing the point, he’d missed as much if not more today. Atem has stated of course that what he felt of eternity was his own opinion, and he’d not given Tokoyami a set plan to follow as though it were law. He had given an honest assessment of what he believed troubled the man, and that had been merely because he had been asked for it. At no point in time was he so narrow minded as to suggest this was the only way, or that Tokoyami was unable to make his own choices. Really, it wasn’t and he could, but he supposed this too stemmed from having no one as the youth had put it. So long as he knew as much, Atem wagered he’d come to the conclusion appropriate to him, and then perhaps in time he would come back with another apology for escaping from what he had thought to be a terrible situation when in reality it was only the opinion and facts he had asked for.


Evelyn was surrounded with packing boxes. The entirety of her office was a dusty, upheaved mess, but this was to be expected because packing wasn’t exactly a clean affair. It was a happy occasion at least, something she’d been looking forward to doing for a year now. Her clientele had expanded and she needed a larger, more professional office to direct people to. As it stood now she was in the thick of packing, compiling patient records to be transported to their new location when she felt something nudge her foot.

A normal individual would have likely startled. Evelyn was accustomed to not seeing what came at her though, and as it nudged her seemingly for attention rather than simply bumping into her while passing through the remains of her office, she had to assume it was directly trying to get her to acknowledge it. Whatever it was. She squatted down, feeling around the floor where the thing was but coming up with nothing but paper. Probably from a file that had fallen down. She sighed, knowing if she didn’t get it in place now she’d never find it again when she needed it after the move. A quick shift in a smaller, more manageable form proved otherwise as she read the contents of the singular piece of paper.

A small, white blue head tilted in confusion. This...This wasn’t something she felt she should have seen. It did not read as though it were something the individual she knew it had come from would have wanted her to know about. So how had it gotten here? His shadows she supposed, but did that mean they were willful and moved of their own accord? It had to be the case, otherwise this would have stayed in the trash where she imagined it had gone in the first place.

There was no telling where in the world he was. He’d dropped off the radar six months ago, and so it wasn’t like she would know he’d be home then to visit and tell him she wasn’t mad about the past. was she to tell him it would be alright? Perhaps...Slowly, small clawed feet carried her to the nearest shadow she suspected his had emerged from. If they had given her this, they had to still be lingering because they would have wanted her reaction. It was worth a shot at least.

One paw gently tapped the shadow as it lay cast on the floor. ”Would you tell him I am not hurt or angry from before? I don’t care about what happened back then. If he needs me I am always here. Maybe not this exact place, but he’s welcome to find me.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 27, 2019, 10:29:52 PM
The shadows at her feet moved gently around her, pressing slightly against her hide in a quiet sort of acknowledgement for her words. Of course they'd stayed to listen to her, they knew she could help the one who controlled them. They listened intently to her words before retreating gently away from her form once more. They traveled back the way they'd come and curled around Tokoyami as he paced around in his home trying to settle his overly frazzled nerves. He startled when they surrounded him, before realizing that they'd never harm him and letting the shadows soothe him. He listened as they whispered to him what they'd done, and told him of the female's words as well. Crimson eyes were wide and startled, before his emotions settled into more embarrassment than anything else. He slumped down heavily on his bed, dropping his head to rest it in his hands as he mind whirled with possibilities and he tried to decide just what it was he was going to do about this situation. He did desperately need someone he could trust to speak to that wouldn't just consider his fears as silly or over the top. He needed someone that understood that he'd been a human first before he'd been a dragon.

He did  trust Evelyn not to judge him, but he wasn't sure how to face her after the disaster of their last meeting. He still felt so angry at the world and uncertain of his place in it, but to take the risk and go to her side also didn't sit well with him. He wasn't that sort of man to just take advantage of a female like that no matter the need in him for comfort from another person. She'd tell him his fears were normal, right? She wouldn't just discard them and tell him to get over it, would she? He didn't feel she was that sort of female, and he did need one person to there while he was so terrified. He hated feeling this way, it made him weak and vulnerable and he knew Atem meant well but he really hadn't helped by missing the underling issue in the things he'd been telling him. The fact Tokoyami was scared wasn't a small thing, and he'd needed support he hadn't gotten. So then, now that it was a possibility, did he take the risk? He wasn't sure he could, and it made him dizzy to think about it. He wasn't nearly as brave as Yugi gave him credit for, and just now felt more like a coward than anything else. What did he do? How could he move forward? He wanted to, he really did, but he lacked the tools to do so.

Eventually he settled on what to do while he could still convince his shadows he didn't want them to do something for him. Instead he asked them to deliver a message and that is just what they did; disappearing and curled gently against Evie before they shared their message with her. 'Where are you?' Because despite the fact he was very good with doing things with his shadows, he was still learning how to actively find people he wasn't connected to with them.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 27, 2019, 11:02:25 PM
At least in this form Evy had seen the shadows approach her and was unafraid with their arrival. The question they parroted back to her was a good sign, or at least she took it as such. If he hadn’t wanted help, if he wanted to be alone to work this out on his own, then he wouldn’t have bothered to send word back through them. Instead, he was offering a chance to discuss the matter, but she had to exercise the utmost caution in responding back to him. Otherwise he very well might flit off again and she not hear from him for another six months or more again.

”In what remains of my office. I’m afraid it’s not very company friendly anymore—all the big furniture has been prepared for the new office already. But I can be most anywhere quick enough. If I know where to go at least.” She was willing to meet him head of course, but the fact remained her office was a mess due to the move and she wanted him to be in a place he was comfortable with. That had never been here and she readily acknowledged that.

”Just tell me where you want me to go and I will be there. Or this is fine too. I can just listen.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on June 29, 2019, 12:57:03 PM
A faint smile tugged on his expression before fading, because of course she'd want to see him. Still, that didn't mean it was easy for him to decide passed the crushing wall of his own feelings. He did need the help though, and that in and of itself was a major step forward for him to take; accepting that he needed the help even after how far he'd come. His response was a long time in coming, and when it did it was through the protection of his shadows, for now at least. 'Just...tell me one thing if you would, please. Am I a coward? I couldn't bare to face someone that helped me so much knowing that I've become such a thing.'

Because he was afraid, dearly so, and it showed in the tremble of his words and the shuddering of his shadows. He was a simple man, he didn't need much, but he did need this. He just...couldn't bare to face her knowing he was a coward. Fear was such a devastating thing, in the end. If she told him he wasn't a coward for being afraid of the overwhelming things going on with him...he wasn't certain how he'd react because he hadn't heard it from anyone else. Everyone else had their answers, their truths, but all he needed was something very simple. He needed someone to tell him it was alright to be afraid but that things would all be alright in the end.

Even if that was a lie, he desperately needed to hear someone say it, just once.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on June 29, 2019, 02:11:13 PM
”No, you aren’t a coward. A coward is someone who is incapable of enduring difficult and dangerous situations, because their fear paralyzes them. You contend with those on a daily basis, and you conquer them as well. I have never known you not to act, and so I do not think I could ever see you as a coward. What you’re feeling, that fear and uncertainty, it’s just that. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and you don’t know if you want it or something else, and that’s okay. That’s normal.” Her voice was calm and soothing, but there was no trace of the croon she did desperately want to let through. He had never accepted he dragon side of himself, and though he’d freed himself from the instinctive bonds of a mate that didn’t want for him, there was no telling how he’d react so she kept the expression carefully tied down. Maybe in time it would be okay, but only time would tell her.

”I could not imagine the depth of what you’ve gone through. Both the sacrifices you have made, and the changes that have come as a result. Not all change is bad, although I know it may feel like it, or in the very least it may be overwhelming. But I do not believe you have been met with anything that you cannot best in the end. It will be on your terms, how you handle things, how you conquer them. But if you want someone to help you with those demons, I will gladly listen and offer whatever I can to make that fight easier. Sometimes listening is enough, and sometimes you need someone else to fight while you rest. I don’t mind being either, hero.”

Because truly, for her at least, he met every definition of his title.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on July 10, 2019, 11:59:11 PM
For a long moment the shadows went deathly silent in the wake of words spoken. Then, after a silence that stretched on for so long it would be easy to think he'd left, the shadows instead moved and took up every inch of space in the small office. The walls seemed to fall away and in the darkness that remained crimson eyes glowed, but from above and not at eye level. Honestly, Tokoyami was beside himself, but this was something else. It was something he could do while not being there and yet he was there because his shadows were.

A massive dark frame seemed to fill the room, a low vibrating growl of sound coming from the depths of a massive chest though not in threat. He was thanking her and he did need the contact but couldn't bring himself to face her directly. So he'd come up with something not unlike what Yugi did with her starlight only his was powered by his shadows. They took on the truest shape of him, and in this there was only truth. A massive wedge shaped head dropped and touched the ground before her, crimson eyes looking up at her briefly before his head rose and pressed firmly yet oh so gently against Evy's cheek as he nuzzle her just once before going still again; he didn't want to hurt her after all.

A warble of sound left the massive shadow dragon, not quite a growl or purr just a sound pulled from deep inside him. He was showing her gratitude. For a long moment, he stood there curled around her yet not there at all. He was still at home, eyes shut and consciousness far from him as it lingered in the  shadows miles away. He just....needed connection but wasn't ready yet to face another face to face discussion. So this is what he did instead. It was hard, and inwardly he marveled at how easy Yugi made it seem now, but his shadows didn't waver as he knew his own strength well.

He stayed like that for a while, and without moving offered her his heartfelt response to her words. 'Thank you, starlight. I hate feeling so afraid but...really I just needed someone to tell me it would all be well in the end. I didn't need much, and yet more was piled on top of me and I'm just....Honestly overwhelmed by what's expected of me. So...thank you, truly. And if you don't mind, please....just...let me stay this way for a little while. I hate to be alone.'
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on July 11, 2019, 12:19:22 AM
Slender legs held steady as his head rose up, trying to secure her footing. It wasn’t the force of the action she feared would topple her, no he’d been rather easy in his gesture, but rather the sheer size of the head which greeted her in comparison to her own frame. She said nothing about this of course, and though she did sway slightly to one side with the tender gesture she did not seem bothered by it in the slightest. It was difficult to maintain size, and he’d already proven he had fine control of that in just this behavior. The tip of her maw inclined and Evy took just one step forward. The top of her maw pressed delicately underneath the chin of his shadows. It was a kind, reciprocated gesture meant to reassure him she was neither afraid nor going anywhere.

”I will stay as long as you wish me to.” She truly did mean this. Even if it would likely rouse the greatest of ire in her father for her continued absence. Bruises and blows were small prices to pay for breakthroughs, and he needed someone to listen and hear him out for a change of pace. She couldn’t risk that progress no matter the cost.

”There’s nothing wrong with being afraid or overwhelmed. It’s a part of being human, and dragon alike. I don’t know what has got you so distraught, but I can tell you this feeling of helplessness, this notion where you are a victim of time and circumstance, it will pass. You may not know the answers now, but they will come in time. Especially if you are still willing to find them.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on July 24, 2019, 03:55:10 PM
A shudder went through the shadowed form Tokoyami had taken. It wasn't a good movement, however, more that he was overwhelmed and hated it. He was just beside himself with everything that happened and what he'd been told was to come. He was tired of feeling as if all his choices had been taken away from him from  the very beginning. He still was only just learning what it meant to be a dragon and how he felt about that, but he was also having to come to terms with the fact he couldn't change what he was. And then there was the worry of his going into rut which he didn't want to do. He hated that lack of control when he had so little of it these past few years. Then his quirk was changing and his instincts were terrifying and now to be told he'd likely live so long as the moon remained in the sky was step too many. He hated this, he hated facing it all alone, and to those that had always been dragons and had never thought they were solely human, he couldn't expect them to understand just why he was so afraid. He was a hero, but he was afraid and he hated that so much. He knew Atem had meant well by giving him the answers he'd sought, but he'd only made things that much worse. It was just...too much to have to bare alone.

But maybe, just maybe, if he could admit to things out loud it would help him in some small manner. And at least the little starlight wouldn't judge him for this mess he'd gotten himself into. It was worth a try at least. Though what he thought he needed to say and what actually came out of him as truth both surprised and horrified him for the topic. 'I...hate dealing with all of this alone. Instinct tells me I shouldn't be going through this without someone there to balance me. I miss her, so very much, even though it's best for us to be apart now so we aren't hurting each other. I just...I miss that constant presence of someone knowing me and just being there even while my life fell apart around me. We hadn't been near one another in years, but just knowing she was out there gave me great comfort before and now...I'm just alone and no one seems to understand why I'm struggling so on my own.' Another shudder went through him, a soft keening cry coming out of his shadows in a quiet breath of air that he couldn't hold in. He knew he was coming apart at the seams from too much going on, but he really just couldn't help it and none of them understood.

'I need someone with me to go through this; it's not worth it to me to keep persevering if in the end I'm all alone. Atem doesn't understand; he's always been a dragon first and his notions of what I should be able to handle because we are kin are sorely misconstrued. He tries, and I appreciate it, but I don't get the support I'm desperately needing from him. Yugi is the same, she was a dragon first even if she was born human. She's always known what she was and thinks differently from me because of this. It's all just normal for her and despite her empathy she fails to understand that these things happening to me aren't just 'for the best'. I don't want to just bully through this mess, I want for something to make sense! I don't want to just be told the truth I want someone with me to tell me it's alright that I'm afraid and stay with me despite that fear I know it's stupid and childish and selfish but I want these things so badly and it hurts me to be alone in my own head!' The shadows lashed out in agitation but didn't hurt anyone or anything because despite his distress Tokoyami held perfect control of the shadows that were so loyal to him. His form shook and he felt his eyes burning from emotions too strong to contain. He just...he needed someone to hold his hand while he went through this.

'Everyone says I'm so strong; that I can handle anything life throws my way. They're wrong, so very wrong. I don't want this chaos so out of my control there is no choice left but to face it. I just want one thing I have a say in; and that's something I haven't had in almost six years now. I haven't even decided how I feel about being a dragon now that I have the chance to find out. I'm terrified to fly lest some female wrest me from the sky with her rise and take my choices away yet again; even though I long to fly with another at my wing. My quirk is changing and growing and I can barely control it now for the strength of it, and Atem says I'll go into rut within the year and I don't want that lack of control yet again when that's what started all this in the first place!' And there was the crux of one of his problems. He was terrified of going into a rut; something normal for male dragons, because he viewed that as the turning point to all the bad that had come into his life. Things had spiraled out of control when Atem had gone into rut, after all, so it made sense he'd associate the two events now. His true form, so many miles away, had curled up onto his side in a vain attempt to protect him from the powerful emotions he was feeling. Yet he didn't stop talking because he really did need to say it before it all destroyed him. 'I just....wanted time to adjust to one thing before everything else fell in my face. And he says I could live forever or he could ask the moon to loose me and I don't know how to feel about that and it's all just too much. I don't like that he could change how my power works; it's mine and he shouldn't be able to change it. I just...I can't do this anymore. No more...I can't'

He nuzzled against Evy's small frame again, shaking and lacking a proper way to deal with his feelings. It had been a truly trying few years for him and he'd pushed it all away to try and be a hero even to his own detriment. That was showing in his behavior now, and he knew he should have dealt with this long ago. Just...he hated to be alone and without a purpose.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on July 25, 2019, 12:26:03 PM
Goodness but that was a lot to try to absorb all at once. Evelyn could understand precisely why he would feel overwhelmed; she didn’t even catch or understand all of what he’d said himself about the situation so it was likely had she understood it all she’d be just as confused herself. One problem at a time though, and she had to remind herself of this as well as him because it seemed he dearly needed the reminder. ”Let me start with your relation first, because I feel there’s a lot misunderstood there. I’ve met him, more than once actually. That dragon as you call him is not so unaffected as you seem to believe. I’m not defending him, I’m merely saying I believe you two have different ways of handling things, and you both carry your burdens very differently. I am sure he cares very dearly for you, and wouldn’t intend you harm. But just as I’m sure you’re realizing now that the possibility is before you, it is difficult to be attached to people when you know you will outlive them.”

It was a safeguard, she assumed. He got close to few people, not just because his job put them in danger, but as a god the Pharaoh opened up his heart to continual loss as those he cared about died around him. It spoke a great deal to how he felt about Tokoyami that he even bothered to keep trying to mend the distance between them. ”Life is very much chaos, dear shadow. It isn’t something you can control, you can only take the moments as they come. You’ve done an amazing job at that, and you should be proud of yourself. I know you don’t feel strong, and you feel alone and like nothing will make any sense and that it isn’t fair and you just want so badly to be able to breathe instead of moving forward. But you would hate yourself if you couldn’t follow through; I know enough about you to know you wouldn’t give up. It’s hard, all of it. I cannot imagine what you’re going through, but if you want to talk about it, if you want someone to listen and be there, then I am here.” Her maw dropped, two small clawed hands gently cupping the muzzle of his shadows. A gentle, barely there lick was pressed against the brow of his shadows. He needed comfort whether he knew it or not.

”I cannot speak to the nature of a rut completely, having never gone through it personally myself, but I have joined one. The nature of my breed keeps me safe from going too far, becoming too physical. He didn’t push me. He knew, and he was aware. The stronger the male the worse the aggression to other males, but that’s not a problem when they’re kept away from them. You don’t lose yourself. You would fight any male dragon on sight right now—it’s not any different. The only thing that changes is the...appetite. They’re all only there to make you more comfortable. Whether that’s getting you food or servicing you or simply going swimming, it’s a choice all your own to make. It isn’t mindless rutting, shadow. You wouldn’t hurt anyone who came to you, I can promise you that.”
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Kei on July 30, 2019, 09:46:29 PM
Tokoyami sighed, the sound quiet in the open air of Evy's office. 'I know he's not as he seems; I've been around him for years now. I just...the differences mean the way he gives his truths often causes more harm than good. He doesn't seem to understand why I'm struggling so much; he's always been that way. I just...I guess I went to the wrong person for comfort when I needed it most.' He sounded so sad about that, but didn't elaborate on it further. He hadn't gone to Atem to have him offer to make the problem go away, he'd gone to him to get reassurance that he could come out on the other side even if he was currently terrified. The shadow dragon seemed to slump; it's strength gone, even as the conversation continued. Eventually, he admitted to something that both shamed him and was his greatest weakness he'd yet to overcome. 'Honestly...honestly...I'm tired of always having to follow through. I'm so tired of having to push through it just because I must. I want to stop, I'm so tired, I don't want to keep moving forward for once. I just want to stand still for a moment until I don't feel so much the need to just disappear where nothing can touch me. I'm tired of hurting like this, and I don't want to have to deal with the more that comes from moving forward. I just want...'

Here he trailed off and sighed; unable to continue as he felt deeply ashamed for the fact that sometimes he wanted to just give up and stop instead of always pushing  through it. But that was also part of being alive that sometimes you didn't like being so. It hurt, so much sometimes, that he wanted to just let his shadows take him and disappear from the world where he could rest until everything made sense again. He couldn't though, there were people that would miss him too much. He gave a barely there croon to the female as she licked him, but the sound was short lived as he lacked the energy to continue it. She was trying, but he was just so tired. He shook his head hard at the mention of a rut, a low snarl of displeasure leaving him. The shadows went prickly and lost their shape even as everything in him denied going through what Atem had. He just, didn't want that. She wouldn't call it a loss of control, but she was a female and they always had the power to choose. He hated this. It grated against his nature because of how tightly he bonded to an intended mate. To consider straying for any reason; and to know he'd have no say in that straying, burned him from the inside out.

He didn't care that she might be alright with it, he didn't want to do it. Also he felt awful and now that he couldn't hold his shape so far from his body, he had to end this conversation. Or in the very least, change the direction it had gone. 'I really don't want to talk about that just now, please starlight.' He tone was almost begging because really he couldn't deal with the rut issue just now on top of everything else.
Title: Re: His Shadows Bow Down [M] (Aeon+Kei)
Post by: Aeon on August 01, 2019, 06:16:25 PM
"I'm not so sure I understand why you went there for comfort to begin with. You both have been at odds for awhile now. I understand you have mended in some areas, but I cannot imagine your relationship with him is anything but tenuous still. Still, he would be the foremost authority on what you might experience. He lived it, and he's the only male dragon living you could go to to ask any question you might have. It makes sense, but I wish I understood your reason behind going to him first with that." Because really, it didn't make sense. She wasn't being nosy, she just wanted to help and that would be more easily done when she knew the why of it all. If he chose to give it of course.

"There is nothing keeping you from staying at the point you are at right now in this moment. If you need time, then take it. You have said so yourself--he will not make a move on other aspects of your changing until you tell him one way or the other. It's not like that is in jeopardy. I doubt you will have such a surge of power so suddenly you won't be able to contain it, and if you keep out of stressful situations that may trigger it I believe it could stay that way for some time. There is no reason to feel you have to take it all on now. Take a step back and breathe like you so desperately want to." Her tone was gentle, an effort to be comforting. He didn't need to do this right now. He would have to deal with it eventually, but for now it wasn't a pressing matter. There was still time to this year, and the rut he feared may not even happen so soon or at all with how terribly he felt about it all. But he didn't want to talk about that so she wouldn't bring it up even if it may be comforting.

"Then we'll talk of the night. It's getting dark out now. The stars look lovely this evening. I try not to fly under them too often. They don't belong to me after all, and I only find it respectful, but it is something I miss."