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No title.
(2013-04-26 - 2013-04-29)
No description.
Riku Bad things happen when you don't focus. Especially when you don't even /remember/ to do so, despite all the past evidence that doing things like portal jumping when emotionally imbalanced and not thinking about it leads usually to being Tree'd.

Case in point.

Leaving the Alexander, which is moving, to an only vaguely imagined place /away/ from the Alexander leads to Riku appearing roughly in Archades, yes. Even roughly in the same general area of building complex.

Just... outside them, instead of inside. Riku yelps as being dumped out into open space is a /very/ quick way to keep one from a catastrophic mope. He claws at the outer surface of a wall, thumping with bone jarring force on a ledge some distance down. He almost topples off that ledge as well and considers an inexorable journey to an inevitable splat but catches the ledge with one hand and pulls himself painfully onto the short ledge. Riku cradles bloodied fingers and laughs softly to himself as he grinds his face into the rough texture of the building, nearly crying from frustration and bottled up emotion.

Eventually he calms down enough to mutter. "Pay.. attention." he knocks his head gently against the stone. "..You'd think.. I'd remember.. after awhile." As he listens to the city noise and the wind muffling it all, the radio clicks on and he listens to Cirra and Gabranth talk. He almost flinches when he hears Zargabaath speak.

Riku huffs out a breath, gritting his teeth slightly in determination. He pulls himself painfully to this feet (That's going to be a marvelous bruise for the next day or three) and tilts his head sideways. It didn't.. quite work as well anymore but he has a vaguely good idea of where he was going. Well. A /much/ better idea than before.

It's a short time later and a bit of focused preparation and cleaning himself up before he goes looking for Gabranth, wherever they may be right now.
The Judge Magister, or was Judge Magister, now stuck with Civilian Rank for the time was actually in his apartment. He was glad to see that he could still access his old office if he needed too because though Cirra was put in charge of his seat for the time, the office space was still his.

Riku probably got the directions to where if he did ask and what makes it odd, or so he may find, is that Gabranth chooses where he lives is odd to many. Most Judge Magisters have enough funds for a nice size private home, yet Gabranth apparently chooses to live in a less classy location of Upper Archades in a rather basic apartment of two bedrooms and not very large square footage.

Needless to say the apartment itself had a main foyer you walked into with a nice size window to over look the city, off to the side was the kitchen/dining room, to the other side was a hall that went into a bathroom directly straight and bedroom down one way and the other bedroom the other-- which was apparently turned into a place to hold armory material and shelves of books. Mostly books ranging from military, tactical knowledge, political knowledge, demographics, and research type materials. Only a small section seem to be for fictional materials.

As for the man of the hour himself, he was snoozing on his couch that sat in front of the large window. The book he was reading, some fictional book it would seem was layed over his face. The table in front of the couch was a nice dark wood oval coffee table that had a bottle of some type of liquor and a glass that was half empty. It looked to be a form of Brandy. Perhaps some Archades equivalent too.

There was also a type of flint lock weapon on the table next to the glass, just out his hands reach and his sword belt was hanging on a hook at the foot of the couch with the Highway Star and Chaos in their proper scabbards.
Riku Riku had gotten turned around twice, which annoyed him but he was still determined to see this through. He actually hadn't been here before and so the unfamiliarity made him vaguely uneasy.

It also kept his focus on something else for awhile and he didn't give the slightest damn about intruding at this moment in time. So it's perhaps just a few moments before an extremely loud BOOM echoes through the apartment from someone slamming their fist onto the door. Or.. maybe that's just what it sounds like in the silence.
There was a loud 'BOOM' and this did indeed get Gabranth's attention. It was almost that jump attention with a soft growl in annoyance. He lifts up the book and just glances toward his door. He blue eyes just stare at the door with a look of 'how dare ye' before he sighs softly and goes to stand up. Resting the book down on the table, picking up the flint-lock and then placing the weapon on the backside of his pants to carry it encase he would need it.

Gabranth actually wasn't wearing much truth be told. A form of denim (for once) as his pants, a belt around his waste and that was about it. Though he did have a chain necklace around his neck that was holding onto a white crystal that glowed softly with white, bluish light. Also a pair of dog tags on a black leather cord.

So he goes to undo the lock chain, the one of the lock bolts, before reaching down for the final lock. His hand freezes there for a moment as he debates on unlocking it, or reaching for the flint-lock then unlocking it.

Paranoia. Something he was starting to realize he had far to much of since he arrived back. After what he said to Zargabaath...

He unlocks the bolt and opens the door. His blue eyes skimming for who made the loud sound, before they fall on Riku. He stares at the youth for a moment before he inhales deeply. "Hello Riku." He then opens the door fully to let the youth in before he walks back over the coffee table. Yes that flintlock can be seen, and yes the safety is indeed engaged. The place was really bare compared to the couch, maybe the one chair that was against the wall that somewhat divided the kitchen/dining room, and the coffee table.

"Shut the door behind you, if you don't mind and what can I do for you?" Gabranth asks as he picks up the bottle and then the glass. He will just finish this later he figures as he goes to walk around the corner and places the cup on the counter and the bottle back into an upper cabinet.
Riku Riku enters and pushes the door closed, locking it as he looks around briefly. His stance and manner are agitated, eyes roaming from point to point to point without really resting on anything in particular.

"Pay up." he demands flatly, crossing his arms. He looks around at the sparse apartment and shakes his head. "..No. Not good enough." he slams a hand into the wall, the offending limb disappearing up to the elbow as he opens a portal straight into the wall. He extends the other to Gabranth, heedless of bruises or several ragged or torn off nails on that hand.

"Come on. You coming or not? I've got something to say."
Gabranth comes back out into the main foyer an raises an eye brow as he hears Riku say 'pay up' then 'not good enough' and suddenly dark portal. He looks at Riku's condition, then to the Dark Portal. Just what was this about anyhow?

The former Judge Magister grabs his swords off the hook, drops the flintlock back on the table. Locks the doors and just grabs the jacket off the coat hanger. No time for a shirt. He throws the black leather jacket on, the belt over his shoulder and takes Riku hand. "..Though I might ask you something before you break down your questions to me." Gabranth admits.
Riku Riku wrenches the Judge Magister.. or.. whatever through the portal. The wind howls mournfully on this building. It's one that Gabranth has seen before, one of the highest buildings in all of Upper Archades.

There is a low dark box set up against a ridge in the architecture, half tucked away from sight. Riku's control this time is flawless and deposits them on a stretch of sun warmed rooftop. He spins around almost immediately, exclaiming.

"What?" tucking his stinging hands roughly into his pockets as he lets Gabranth ask his question before whatever
Gabranth notices where they are and this time isn't nearly dumped right off the building. Those blue eyes glance around the area. Looking at where they are and remembering this location fully now. He glances over at the black box and raises a brow before he looks over to Riku.

"What did you do to your hands?" He asks calmly before strapping on his sword belt correctly and then buttoning up the leather jacket in order to protect from the slightly cooler air here; mostly from the wind chill factor. Even though the sun was rather nice.

He looks at Riku once more waiting for the youth to maybe answer the question or just flat ignore the question. He did have the right to do that after all.
Riku "Fell off a building. No. Actually. Fell /next/ to a building, which is pretty much the only reason I'm not a greasy smear." Riku grumbles lowly, the anger directed at himself and then exploding outwards as he glares at Gabranth. "One thing I've learned." he growls in an echo of previous words. He goes and retrieves the box, which he bangs down hard on the ground.

"--Is that people rarely are whom they appear to be, or what they say they are." he attempts to push Gabranth sharply a step or so. "Except a few. /SOME/ people are exactly what it says on the side. Bottled /Moron/. Do not shake or puncture!" His voice raises in volume as he continues.

"You told me once that you wanted to remember. To take the time to know someone, not from files or records. Not from the sense of a job. So I'm going to demand the same thing right now. You /owe/ me a story, and I'm here to collect." he opens the box and rips out-- a sandwich? One that he shoves in the direction of Gabranth.

"So eat your sandwich. Who needs a bloody balcony anyways?"
Gabranth gets moved forward and he watches Riku. He did get his answer and he quirks a brow as Riku goes through his spill. Then suddenly...


We mean Sandwich. Really.

The Judge of Ambition then takes it in his hands before he sighs softly as Riku told him he owned him /that/ story. He knew what the story was and yes, he remembered telling Riku that he wanted to be reminded what it was like before the paper pushing and the work. Yet-- it was that work that also allowed him to /not/ remember. It was a cruel cycle Gabranth placed himself in-- No-- That Noah placed himself in.. because of..

He stares at the sandwich and then goes to sit down, a slight sad look on his face and in his eyes. A slight break of all that hidden emotion. "Aye. Who needs a balcony when you can enjoy the open space away from all." He then examines what's in the sandwich before he then gives a nod. "..and I do owe you one."

He makes himself comfort, mostly sitting in an Indian style of sitting, while closing his eyes. "I suppose where to begin is-- the beginning." His blue eyes opened and went to focus where the charm was on Riku's neck. That ivory charm that only one other has that is its pair. That man.. lost in the darkness. At least far as Gabranth knew -- perhaps now even dead.

"Right. The beginning.." His voice trails before he runs his free hand through his blond short hair. He wasn't ready for this. Was he ever? He wanted to tell Riku the truth. The truth-- that he never shared. Locked away tight. Not even the Emperor knew the /full/ truth. Everyone though he had killed...

"It starts..." He voice falls slightly, those blue eyes almost seeming dim. Unsteady, before he inhales deeply once more and pulls himself together. "It starts in a small town. With open fields and near a mountain. Most of the town proper was built into the mountain but the rest was in the open fields of farm land. It was a rich land, even though the town itself was not rich. People were happy with their simple lives. Out in one of the farm lands, only touched by the shadow of the mountain. Two twins were born to a woman who loved them dearly. To a man that they would never come to know as his life was taken due to a war.. or perhaps even during a hunt. The boys never knew and their mother never spoke much on it."

"They loved their mother, but at their young age, she grew very ill. Deathly ill at times. So the twins worked together, as they had done since birth. They worked together to see to her needs, to the homes needs, and do what they could. Responsibility placed early upon them. Yet one brother was happy with this while the other slowly dreamed of adventure and traveling, but the brother promised to remain with his twin. As they had always been-- as they always thought they would be. Together. As brothers. As twins..."

"A promise that one day would be challenged. A promise-- that would be broken by flames and swords."
Riku Riku, mollified by the ritual taking of sanvich, sits down hard on the warmed roof tiles and hisses in pain as his leg and hip sharply complains. He snorts, resting his hands back on the warm stone as he listens.

He takes another sandwich out of the box, unwrapping it slowly and carefully, eyes unfocused as he takes in the story. Almost seeing the pictures in front of him.
Gabranth pauses for a moment to eat some of the sandwhich. Though it is a few very slow bites. Really as he started to tell this story, his stomach was turning. He knew where this was going and how much pain was in it. To remember. To remember still like it happened not so long ago, yet it was. It was so long ago.

"One day, oh, probably around the age of.. nineteen or so.. things went bad for the twins. There love for one another and there love for their mother broken. Broken because war found their small town. War came and the bells rang. There was a choice the twins had to make. The choice to fight or to move. One twin thought it be best to move. Forget the war. Take their mother and leave. Leave and not to look back, yet the other. The other wanted to fight. He wanted to fight because everything was about to be taken by the fires of war. All that they knew. Loved. Worked for. All of it would be stripped from them."

Gabranth's eyes narrowed sharply, the corner of his eyes almost taking on a gold hue. "He wanted to fight for their pride as a people. For the land that had been there home for all those years. The two twins--- argued that night, the mother unaware as she slept with her high fever. Unaware that her two sons who had been so close stepped outside and fought. Argued. Yet the one twin took his things and started to walk away. He walked away and never looked back, even as the other yelled for him. Reminded him that he promised."

His free hand on his leg, tightening. The very fabric of the jeans being bunched up under the hand as his blue eyes, with their gold tinge stared out into the distance, threatening to become amber. "A promise meant nothing it seems. Words spoken in innocence. Words shattered... and not even blood was strong enough to hold that promise.. and it was broken like glass falling from great heights."

"The brother never returned. He never came back, for the land was indeed taken by the military force. The people either killed who fought or the people ran. Yet the other brother did not run. He did not fight. Instead he took their mother to spend her last years in her old home nation. In that nation she once called home before she met the love of her life to settle down to have children. Before the disease started to sap away her health."

His eyes then start to soften, the blue starting to take hold once more instead of the amber. "She lived with only the knowledge of her one son remaining. That he worked to the bone, fought for his position, so she could have the best in her final days-- and she died.. she died with only one of her sons by her side." He then closes his eyes tightly, before quickly standing up as if to hide his emotions away from Riku. To hide the single tear and then slow build of rage within.

"..The man's name.. the twin who stayed by his mother side was named Noah fon Ronsenburg." He then drifts his gaze to the sky. "The other? Basch fon Ronsenburg."
Gabranth There is sort of a dread fascination with the well told story, even if it ends poorly for everyone concerned. It is a train wreck that you can't tear your eyes away from until the last smouldering embers have gone out and the squealing metal lay quiet.

Riku stares at Gabranth's back, the gears turning as he puts the last pieces together. Finally he looks away out towards the horizon, leaning up to put his hands in his lap with a faint grunt of discomfort as he shifts positions.

The teenager emanates just an accepting silence that continues on as he eats his sandwich. Not needing words. Not needing questions. Just a completely accommodating quiet in which he pretends to be not paying attention.

He reaches up to touch the talisman at his neck with bruised fingers for a moment, eyes thoughtful as the hand drops back into his lap.
Gabranth remains quiet during this moment of silence. He just stares out in the distance, then down to his sandwich which, really should be finished. He forces himself to take a few more bites from it. His eyes focusing on nothing but the blue horizon and watching a few birds that decide to fly in close to the city that defies gravity.

The silence remains a bit longer. Enough for Gabranth to slowly pull himself together. Pull back in his emotions. His pain. His memories. The crystal shard around his neck almost pulsing for just a moment. Its energies fight off the far more powerful energies within the man.

"The talisman was given to the boys as the last memento of their father. Given to them by their mother." He looks at Riku. "It was given to Noah and is one of the few items that remain of that strong woman. Of a once strong family."

His eyes then drift back to the horizon. "It meant a great deal to a promise made on it, is a promise to never be broken. For it runs far deeper then words could ever touch."

He then shakes his head before he walks back over to Riku. His bare feet easily moving across the stone roof as he just sits right back down, resting his arms on his knees, holding the half eaten sandwich still.

"And to see you wear it. To keep it. Means a great deal to me and I see you as a brother. Perhaps not by blood, but by fate itself. That is why I am willing to share you this story.. bloody hell. Even Zargabaath doesn't know the story, but it means little to anyone truth be told." He then takes another bite of the sandwich. "Just a tale to be forgotten in the winds one day."
Gabranth Riku closes his eyes very tightly towards the end of that, as if trying to will the words to be lost to the wind immediately and all at once instead of having to hear them. 'I'm going to need much better shoes if I'm going to keep running all the time' is what he tells himself as he considers bolting.

A strange self deprecating smile is on his face as he opens blank yellow eyes, face turning towards Gabranth as his hands shake violently for a moment before going still. He turns his face away, shaking his head slightly and muttering something inaudible with a long and weary sigh. When he looks back they are normal again, but very tired and a little sad.

"Did I tell you? I ran away from his honors ship. Hence." he raises a hand slightly before letting it fall back into his lap. His voice is almost cheerful, but the strain is so obvious in his voice that he might shatter like thin crystal. He chuckles. "6 on 1 odds were not good enough against him, apparently. So I joined in and nearly got hammered at 7 to 1." he clicks his tongue. "Long odds, there."

He laughs and it's a sound sharp enough to cut glass. To send sparks flashing off of metal and stone. "I'm not completely stupid and so I twigged onto the game pretty early. But then I don't /understand/ this.. WHY?" The question bursts out of him like an explosive. It cracks and Riku feels like voicing it has lodged a meat axe in his chest and he just has this sudden impulse to draw up his knees and put his hands over his head as if waiting for the inevitable consequence. Instead he draws one knee up, hand almost ground into one temple as he balances with an elbow on that leg.

"I don't understand. What do you /WANT/? Because this city, these people.. the way people look or don't look at me in the street. The way his honor seems PROUD of me for managing to not be a complete embarrassment. Both of you /accepting/ everything I throw at you, up to and including try to EAT either of you.." There is a long silence. " calling me that.." he adds very softly. "..why?" he just looks so lost and confused. "..I called this place home." he snorts very faintly, looking out into the distance.

"When we were taking you to Draklor to be cured. I called this place home and I betrayed the one I destroyed. The one that fades a little more every day. The one.." he trails off, burying his face in his hands and letting out a frustrated growl of anguish. "..everybody wants something." he murmurs brokenly through his fingers. "..wants to use them for something. I don't.. understand.. why."
The Judge of Ambition listens to what Riku has to say. He doesn't move or even attempt to get up. Instead he stays where he lets and lets Riku say it all. He lets the young lad yell his whys and trying to solve these things in his own mind. Gabranth can sympathize for such a thing, yet he knew sympathy right now is not what Riku needed.

So he waits a bit before he inhales gently and then glances down at the roof they sit on, before he looks over at Riku. He stares at the boy a bit longer before he then motions to the remaining sandwich. "Why did you give me the sandwich?" He then lowers his hand. "Friendship. Comradery. Trust. That is something we all seek in some way."

Gabranth frowns, he really was not sure what to say, but he would try. He would try to not mess this up. "Though being in my position and doing the wrongs I have done, I still seek that which is hard to obtain. Even within myself. I still seek an ally I can trust and those whom I know have my back in the worse of times."

"Though not all can be trusted within the Archadian Empire, there are those who can be and it is those who make it worth the troubling times. We stand together. We fight together. We work together. We accept one another's failures and one another's faults. We cry together when things are bad and we laugh together when things are good. That-- is a family. We, though not connected by blood, are a family."

Gabranth looks off to the distance. "Many of us have sinned. Many of us done wrong. Many mistakes we hold on our shoulders, yet, if we did not accept another who had mistakes, faults, blood on their hands, then who are we to accept ourselves."

Gabranth then looks to Riku. "I know words mean little to you. Actions speak louder. Actions speak loudly to many of us here. So we show you by our actions, by including you, by looking for you, by embracing you, that you are with us. That we trust you. That we see you as family."

Gabranth at last goes to stand up. " for home.. there is nothing wrong with calling a new place home. We all seek one. We all wish for one. Some of us have multiple homes we hail from. I myself.. two.. one long gone.. and the one I stand on now." He then walks over to Riku. Carefully however for if the boy looks to run, he will stop approaching. "I.. do not have all the answers though.. for I am only a man. A man who.. is.. not very good at this. Yet, you have been accepted and unless you choose to not accept us.. then you will forever be accepted among us." He smirks. "..actually I think for some, even if you were to try not too. We would /still/ accept you."
Gabranth A long, low noise punctuates the silence that comes in the minutes after the last words have died away. A trickling, teeth grit snarl as Riku digs his fingers deeper and deeper until he almost draws blood. The noise is broken up, a staccato noise that tapers up into snorting, cruel and bitter chuckling.

Riku takes his hands away from his face and wipes his eyes with the heel of one hand as his shoulders continue to shake and he just laughs. As the bitterness begins to burn away he abruptly snarls and slams a fist into the rooftop, the flickering moment of dark aura probably all that keeps his entire fist from shattering instead of the tile.

Darkness roils along the surface of his aura, streamers of it pouring away like smoke as he vacillates between that furious lashing anger, that complete rejection and suspicion and a painful hope and relief tinged with hysterical laughter as if the concepts were at war inside him.

He shakes violently when finally the laughter subsides and he just hangs his head on his chest for a while with no clear indication of a victor. It seems like a long, long time before he just completely goes still. Eventually the darkness ebbs. Riku takes in a few very shaky breaths and slowly pulls himself to his feet.

The gold has left his eyes entirely, the former sapphire slowly clearing away the last traces. Riku tiredly grins at Gabranth, putting a hand behind his head. "..All that running didn't do a damn thing, did it? Someone, somewhere had to eventually chase me down." he snorts, turning away from Gabranth to look out at the city, taking a few steps to peer down in dizzying fascination with the ground very far down.

He takes another steadying breath. "You know.." he says, rocking back on his heels. "..I'm going to nag you until you eventually teach me that rune jump. In a contest of me falling and or jumping off very tall things, I think I am going to need all the help I can get." He gives the most sardonic smile possible as he turns his head towards Gabranth. "What's family for if I can't shake down my elder brother, who has, might I add, I think about the /most/ creative version of running away from paperwork I've ever seen."
Gabranth watches the display of darkness. It stops him dead in his tracks really. He waits for it pass or to get worse. He wasn't sure what would happen. Yet when Riku stood up and then blue started to appear in his eyes, Gabranth relaxed a little inside.

So far, it seems he was indeed keeping his own promise to himself. He would make things right.

"Running never does much outside of make you very tired and stumble around like a fool in the end." Gabranth stated with a half hearted smirk then watches as Riku moves to the edge of the building. He really hopes Riku doesn't decide to pull another jump off the edge in a faith leap.

To do such things from this height really was exhausting and he wasn't sure if he used his own dark magic to perform it if--- if it could all start up again.

"Perhaps I will teach you when I am sure that my own magic doesn't cause me to become a ten foot monster." He goes to rest his hand on Riku's shoulder. "...and soon I will have to get some things packed up so when Zargabaath comes back around with the Alexander.. I have my things together."

Gabranth then looks out to the horizon once more. Giving Riku's shoulder a gentle pat. "And yes.. though I rather not attempt to try such again. It was an exhausting vacation." He muses, before a smile. A true smile creeps over Gabranth's face. He then quickly wraps his arm around, mostly to move Riku not only away from the edge but to gently give him an actual noogie on the head. Gabranth was also actually laughing for once. "So don't you get any bright ideas either!"
Gabranth "Maybe 9 feet." Riku says easily, making a 'short' gesture. "It's very short for a behemoth, really. I looked it---aaaack!" And surprise round goes to Gabranth. He starts laughing despite himself and only giving a token struggle as they back towards the middle of the rooftop.

"Hey. Let go, you low adventurer rank chocobo chaser." but it's hard to get the words out all at once because he's laughing so hard.

This scene contained 19 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Gabranth