i'll believe in anything

Description: TAG: eusebio/aster

Adelmo Araya

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Fal

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    4 Posts    0 marks
i'll believe in anything
« on: April 22, 2019, 01:42:07 AM »
This was….a lot of alcohol?

Like, a lot a lot? Probably too much, if he was being honest with himself. But Eusebio had looked like he desperately needed it, and alcohol didn't go bad, did it? And it had other uses? Like couldn't you use it to sanitize wounds, or something?

He really should've paid more attention in school.

As it was, Adelmo had not paid much attention at all in the Healer Academy; he'd left that to his cousin. If they ended up with liver poisoning, at least one of them would be able to treat it, and that was 50/50 odds, and those were good enough odds for Del - especially since he had the following day off from teaching. It would be a lie to say he hadn't shown up for class hungover at least once, but based on the quantity of spirits currently cradled in his arms, it was safe to say there would be more brew than salt pouring off of him the next time he worked up a sweat.

Ever the determining kind, Adelmo had plans to ease his cousin Seb's mind that evening, and if the man wasn't amenable to a night on the town featuring one or two equally amenable ladies - which, he was decidedly not, judging by the way the Prince had blanched and only barely managed to conceal the look of distaste one might have when finding a spider in their own mouth - a quiet night at their city home would have to do the trick.

And it would, in fact, for once, be quiet; Adelmo's own daughter had returned to Telavera with her aunt to visit family, while his niece, Sofia, was safely tucked away in the care of another Queen for the evening.  As much as he loved the women in his life, it was somewhat of a welcome reprieve. Even moreso, in that it didn't require fumbling awkwardly through conversation with the lot of looming Hayllians that had seen fit to descend on their household.

It was little wonder Eusebio was in something of a state. That Queen Sofia's first bonded male outside of the family would prove to be some dark-jeweled long-lived foreign Warlord Prince wasn't exactly ideal, Del guessed. As the Warlord padded down the hallway, he shot a doubtful look at the loot he carried. Maybe this wasn't enough alcohol. Maybe there wasn't enough of the stuff in all of Shalador.

A rap of his knuckles, which was awkward without a free hand and probably ended up sounding more like he'd just banged his head against the door (if questioned, he had done no such thing), was the best he could manage to signal his entry. Then Adelmo leaned his elbow atop the doorknob and pushed down, the grooves of the ornate crystal cutting into the flesh of his arm as it turned and unhooked from the jam, sending the door swaying open.

"Back." Del called out with more enthusiasm than he suddenly felt, entering what amounted to a sitting room, if far from a modest one, and spreading his wares across the dark wood buffet table pressed against the back of a couch. "Wasn't sure what you were in the mood for, so, uh." He waved vaguely at the bottles. Only then did it occur that his trip would've been much, much easier, if he'd only thought to vanish his purchases temporarily - but, wait, he had thought of that, and had done so, hadn't he?

Oblivious to any response his cousin might've given, Adelmo rifled through a mental inventory, then promptly summoned another five bottles and an assortment of newly acquired glassware. They had more than enough fine china and the like to host with already, of course, but that was prior to his accidental swipe of that cabinet the night before. "Got some new glasses, too. I don't know if we'll ever stop finding broken glass on that floor, huh? Figured a peace offering was in order, if I want to keep my soup poison-free." Del busied himself fixing two drinks of the stronger stuff - his was doubly stiff, in an attempt to balance the differences in strength tolerance between them - then turned to face his cousin with a smile, one drink extended.

"Cheers to…hm. What are we cheers-ing? The beginning of the end, I guess?" The question was accompanied by a laugh too loud for the room they were in, a beat of awkward silence, two very deep gulps of his drink, and a pointed look in Eusebio's direction.

Eusebio Araya

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    7 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 12:27:12 PM »

He waited until the sharp point of her chin began to dig into his shoulder, to officially acknowledge his niece. Partially because the work he was doing was thoroughly attention-consuming; he was no Black Widow, of course, but even still the wrong balance of herbs in a healing brew could be disastrous and, at worst, deadly. Of course, the other reason was because he knew it would irritate his beloved Sofia, and there were times he couldn't resist the urge to rub her the wrong way and watch her fluff up like a kitten. Her hands were setting on the curves of either shoulder before he finally spoke to her.

"Yes, Conejita?" Although Sebastian's attention was still predominantly on the pestle in his hand, he could picture the dismayed wrinkle of her nose. "I know you didn't come here to watch me work."

Oh, she might have, he supposed. When Sofia had been very small, she had enjoyed sitting on his lap while he worked, helping to stir the brews when she could, and holding the bottles steady for him to pour the potions into when she couldn't. It had been more than a handful of years since his niece had last assisted him - the demands of being a training Queen, and the more pressing interests of a girl becoming a woman had (rightfully) captured the majority of her interest. Still, he'd spend enough time wrangling his precious girl to know when she was trying to wrangle him.

There were a few more heartbeats before she spoke, each word digging her chin harder into his shoulder. "Are you mad at me?"

The question caught Eusebio off-guard, and he paused in his work, settling the pestle down on the table.

"Why would I be mad at you, Sofia?" He turned, catching her face in his hands so that he could look at her better. "Because you're a Queen, and men are going to be drawn to serve you? I can't be upset at who you are."

He rubbed his thumbs against her cheek, hoping the words dimmed some of the anxiety in her face; he regretted, now, making her wait for his attention, so Seb folded her into his arms and held her against his chest.

"You don't like Ziauddin," Sofa said pointedly, her words muffled by his shirt. "I thought you were going to try to kill him."

Oh, well, he couldn't deny that split-second urge to murder the man lounging on his steps, with an arm thrown around his daughter, declaring service to his Queen; Seb suspected that there was no way to explain the instinct to a Queen, who would know intellectually how possessive her men would be of her. The thought had lingered no more than half a heartbeat, because by nature Seb wasn't a violent man and- even if he had been, his Summer Sky had no chance against the Gray. Especially the Gray when it was wielded by a Warlord Prince.

"Your Prince startled me," he said instead. "I think Adelmo and I thought we had a few more years before this started."

He could feel her chuckle more than hear it, and then she finally pulled away slightly - still in arms reach, his wrists still resting on her shoulders - and smiled at him cheerfully. In these moments she always reminded him so much of her mother; before surrendering herself to the Twisted Kingdom, Millie had been the most beautiful, vivacious, woman Seb had ever known.

"I have a dinner party tonight," Sofia said slowly, and he realized she'd picked up on the fleeting bittersweet memories; she was too good at reading him. "I can cancel though, I don't think any of my Sisters would misunderstand if I explain."

"No," Seb said, lifting a hand to catch her nose between his fingers in a little tweak. "You should go, little witch. It'll do you good to have some feminine company, and Adelmo and I were looking forward to having the place to ourselves for awhile."

She studied him, a sly smile twitching her lips. "I'll make some of the hangover brew you like before I leave, then."

He grinned back, and gestured to his work table. "If you help me finish the ones I've started, I'll walk you to your dinner party."

---

Eusebio had only just returned home a short time before he heard Del at the front door. The hangover remedies he and Sofia had worked on that afternoon were ready to go, sitting in the chill box waiting to be needed, and he had been in the process of rolling his shirt sleeves back down when he entered the sitting room and saw what his cousin had returned with; he paused and began rolling the sleeves up once more.

"Mother Night, Del." Eusebio whistled, and then paused to re-evaluate what his cousin had brought. All Blood had metabolisms that burned harder than anything a landen could hope to match; it would still be fairly easy for Eusebio to get drunk enough to stay that way, at the Summer Sky. For his cousin, it would take substantially more. He stepped around the sofa to get a good look at the various bottles.

The drinking glasses were a welcome addition as they appeared, and he nodded seriously. "Gisela was ready to murder both of us for it - I still wouldn't eat anything she doesn't also serve herself and Sofia."

He knew Black Widows had a reputation - and rightfully so - but Eusebio maintained that anyone who had more than a healthy fear of those belonging to the Hourglass had never lived with a Hearth Witch.

Seb picked up a bottle and squinted at the label - rum - before he set it back down. This was a private celebration (or commiseration) of a young Queen who was beginning to take those steps towards ruling and being shared wtih men outside the family. He'd figured he still had a few more years before the first mature male showed up expecting to be allowed access to - and service for - Sofia. The fact that she'd handled it better than he had said a lot more than Eusebio wanted it do. He settled on a bottle of clear golden liquor and then stared at the glasses.

Maybe they wouldn't need those after all.

Lightly touching the bottle he held to the glass in his cousin's hand, he said quietly, "cheers to daughters who grow up before you realize they're even doing it."


Adelmo Araya

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Fal

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    4 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 07:19:58 PM »
"Oh."


Apparently it was worse than Del initially thought - at least, judging by the way his cousin ignored the offered glass in favor of putting a bottle straight to his lips. After clinking one glass against the side of the bottle in Eusebio's hand, Adelmo contemplated the two full glasses in his own, shrugged, and downed both, tipping his head back in rapid succession. His exhale after doing so stung with the vapor of the liquors, and he hummed a commiserative noise at Eusebio's revision of the toast.

"It has happened fast, hasn't it? I dunno what I expected, but - eesh." The Warlord shook his head sadly as he poured himself another glass, leaving the now empty one his cousin had refused to idle on the buffet table. He continued to speak as he rounded the couch, taking a moment to tug the curtains back and crack the double doors, so that they could enjoy a few cool breezes before the impending storm.

"At least with the students, you can, I don't know. Feel the inevitability, there? With Fia - hell, even with Tilly, already - you so much as blink, and you've missed a milestone, somehow." Heaving a sigh, Del sank into the couch and patted the cushion next to him. "I imagine it must feel different to you, though. You've always paid attention, and it's not like you had much of a choice in how things sped up. I keep thinking - if I'd just paid attention, you know, hadn't let her out of sight in that damn market…" Adelmo rubbed his temples, and shrugged. He wasn't looking for Eusebio's consolation - not when it was his own fault that the man's daughter was seemingly being courted by a stranger - and it didn't do to dwell on the past. Not like that, anyway.

"Could be worse, I guess? Lady Kalyani is nice. I've learned a lot from her, already. If it weren't for Aura and Roxana, I'd never have believed they were related. They're night and day, seems like." How two people could be so different - his sisters, the Priestess and her Warlord Prince brother - was a mystery that Mother Night seemed content to leave unsolved.

Eusebio Araya

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    7 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 11:24:18 AM »

"Mmm," Seb agreed, as he settled next to his cousin on the sofa, bottle settling between his knees. "With the students, you know you've got a finite time with 'em. You teach 'em what you can in that time, and send 'em on their way and hope they remember everything you tried to cram into their heads."

Teaching was something Eusebio enjoyed more than - well, more than anything outside of being Sofia's father, and he suspected his pleasure in both came from having the same needs met. He liked to share what he knew, and loved watching young people grow into themselves and their confidence. (Not that Fia had ever need to grow any confidence, she'd been born with more than her body could hold.) Still, it was that same joy that felt so hollow now - his little girl had grown up, and she'd grown into a confident and charming young queen, and he couldn't resent that for even one second. So he waved off his cousin's apology, and smiled faintly at Del. They'd always been more than just cousins - he counted the other man as one of his best and closest friends. (He suspected Adelmo had already taken more an an unfair amount of blame on his shoulders in this life already.)

"Don't kick yourself over it," Seb suggested, and tipped the bottle back for another swig. "It was gonna happen regardless, you know? might as well happen now, and it might as well happen like this."

No, any resentment or frustration Seb possessed had more to do with the Warlord Prince smug, possessive, mannerisms than with the idea that another male had found Sofia and knew her for his queen. (And the creeping feeling that the familiarity between Warlord Prince and Queen was already more than just that.)

"The Lady seems nice enough," he conceded. "What in the world have you learned from her, though?"

Adelmo Araya

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Fal

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    4 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 11:54:30 PM »
Nodding on repeat, Adelmo reached behind him and grabbed a bottle of whatever was closest on the long table that sat flush to the couch, pouring it into his glass as Eusebio seconded his sentiments.

"It's all about knowing how much time you've got." He agreed with what was intended as a summation, before it took on a life of its own. Time wasn't a friend to Adelmo - nor to anyone, he supposed - but only then did it occur to him that he knew precisely what it was like to lose someone too soon, for every plan to be laid so carefully in front of the other, and to still be left utterly helpless the instant fate took a turn earlier than predicted. In his case, it had been much, much earlier than predicted.

The Warlord smothered his frown against the glass of liquor, nodding again at Seb's reassurance and sending an appreciative jab of his elbow into his cousin's side. "I guess so." Adelmo acquiesed with a sigh, but came right back to attention when Eusebio asked after Lady Kalyani. He set his glass down precariously on the empty seat next to him, turning to the Healer Prince with full range of motion for effect.

"Oh, all kinds of stuff. She's a genius. We spent a good chunk of the evening after dinner with her. She taught Tilly - and therefore me - how to count to ten in Hayllian," He demonstrated, fumbling a little with five through seven, before nailing the landing. "Then she recited at least five nursery rhymes, sang us a few songs, and taught Tilly - and therefore me -  how to make paint pigments and use 'em. Oh, and," Adelmo felt around in all six of his pockets before remembering he'd vanished the item in question for safekeeping. He summoned it into his hands, and remembered it was not at all pocket-sized. Spreading the roll of paper out in front of Eusebio and himself took the length of both his arms. Depicted on the paper was an elaborate sketch of an ornate temple, every detail inked in a dazzling array of colors. A combination of recognizable Shaladorian and Hayllian inspirations infused the design.

"She let me hang on to this. This, is a building she and Prince Ziauddin designed themselves? Apparently they've built tons of 'em, but mostly in the capital. This one is along the border with Shalador. It's partly a homage to the time the Prince spent here, during the war, I think. I counted motifs from at least four different folktales I know." Brandishing the paper lightly, the Warlord finally looked away from the paper, to gauge his cousin's expression. "Think Gisela will let me hang it somewhere?"

Eusebio Araya

    Tiger Eye to Summer-sky
  • Healer Prince
  • Played By: Aster

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    7 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 11:39:29 PM »

It wasn't unusual for Adelmo to throw himself so thoroughly into a topic of conversation. The man tended to live at the fullest extent of his energy, and after a lifetime of friendship, Seb knew his cousin well enough to be aware of it. Still, the appreciation Del was exhibiting about this young Priestess who had arrived with Sofia's new Warlord Prince was...a bit more enthusiastic than usual. It might have been the way she had included Tilly in her cultural exchange, or just the way her sharing had engaged Adelmo's senses (he was always a man who liked to touch and see and hear things.)

Whatever it was, her presence had brought back a little more of the incredible enthusiasm Del had shown prior to his wife's death, and Seb would owe Lady Kalyani for it.

As the large parchment was unrolled in front of him, Seb reached over to hold Del's glass, because what was being unveiled was, in fact, a thing of beauty. Like his cousin, he could see the references to their own native folklore, but also find the more obvious Hayllian influences in the color choices and angles of the building. "I think if you don't hang it up, Gisela will be offended on behalf of our guests," Seb said dryly. "But that's beautiful enough I don't think Gisela will have any qualms about where you hang it."

Also it was his house, damnit, but he didn't have the nerve to say as much out loud.

"Maybe you should offer to take her sightseeing in exchange for all the things she's shared?" Seb waited until the blueprint had been safely vanished once more, before he held the other man's glass back out. "Prince Ziauddin indicated that the lady has been unwell lately, maybe some sunshine and good company will be good medicine for her."

Seb took another swig of the alcohol, letting it burn its way down his throat. He did not want to think about the Warlord Prince right now.

Adelmo Araya

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Warlord
  • Played By: Fal

    Almades Uni Instructor
    Shalador Terreille
    4 Posts    0 marks
Re: i'll believe in anything
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 01:08:21 AM »
Clearly delighted by Eusebio's agreement on the quality of the piece in his hands (and relieved at the confirmation that the resident Hearthwitch wouldn't hate it, or try to throw it out, or something else terrible, which was the assumption he brought to situations where his baby sister was concerned), the Warlord smiled brightly. As soon as the Healer Prince had gotten a good look, he promptly vanished the artwork before he accidentally destroyed it. Better to keep his grubby hands off of it entirely, until he could get it framed. Which - that sparked an idea.

"Oh, hm." Adelmo tapped his chin, taking his glass back from his cousin. "I wonder if Prince Ziauddin would make a frame for it, himself. Aly - Lady Kalyani, says he's good with his hands. Apparently he makes doors, and stuff, too, so. It's all wood, right?" He shrugged, taking a sip of his drink, leaning forward to dig both elbows into the meat above his knees. "Maybe I'll have her ask him. Who can say no to a sister?" Eusebio understood better than most, just how impossible it was to refuse a request from one's kin. "Unless you'd care to, of course. I know you were intending on meeting with him pretty regularly, to, ah - keep things above board, as it were."

A self-dismissing shrug took Adelmo's shoulders upwards and back down again, before Eusebio's suggestion took hold - as well as the reason behind it. "Oh, what? Unwell? How so?" Concern wedged its way between Adelmo's features in the form of deep lines. He didn't wait for his cousin to respond before going on. "Yeah, of course, I - well, I can think of five places she might like, off the cuff. If it's sunshine she needs, I can find it. Dunno how much of Shalador she's seen, at this point, but it might be nice to do something worthwhile with the break coming up." If there wasn't enough growing up happening already, the newest class would be moving on within a few weeks. Adelmo couldn't remember the last time he'd actually done something with the free time offered between course seasons; it was an exciting prospect, even if there were plenty of places he still wanted to avoid.

"Maybe we ought to plan a trip. All of us. You, me, Tilly, Sofia, Gisela - hell, I wonder if Roxana would come - and Kalyani, of course, and, ah, Ziauddin." Del took a drink. "It could be a break, though, you know? A nice change of pace. And it gives Fia a chance to branch out, start getting to know who's who outside of Almades, while also enjoying herself." Already committed to the plan, Adelmo waggled his eyebrows.
 

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