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No title.
(2013-03-18 - 2013-04-05)
No description.
Percival March 15th.

The Wind Ceremony was finished, and Percival had told Zia that he'd soon have to part ways as it was his turn to guard Avira, but first he needed to tell her something.

The air currents from the desert were frigid after midnight, but that didn't concern him. The two were already aloft, and soaring towards Fluorgis. Instead of heading straight towards the Shard Seeker headquarters, however, he gestured with a talon to beckon her in the direction of a rooftop near the Airship hangars, before banking in that direction.

Gradually he'd begin his descent, before coming to a smooth landing upon the rooftop. He'd wait for her there with his wings still open at their full span. His tail would move at an anxious rhythm, as it lashed the stonework under his feet. At this rate he'd probably end up with naught but a bruised tail. Crossing his arms, he'd breathe out a sigh. The playful attitude he'd had while addressing her as of late was gone, as he began to address her, while staring in the direction of a crew of Stevedores unloading cargo from a laden airship. "You've been a good friend to me, Lady Zia, and I haven't reciprocated. I've been an awful craven, as I've held back so much that I ought to have told you sooner. I thought.. Well I don't know what I was thinking really."

He'd look at her then, trying to gauge her reaction.
Zia Throughout the Wind Ceremony, Zia had been nothing but respectful and quiet for the most part, allowing him to give his respects, and paying them in turn both to his lost one and to her own. It is the sort of 'old magic' her father would have told her about, the way that people can come together and share a moment of mourning. As strange as it is, Percival had that effect on Zia. He reminded her of family, of clan, and that's something she hasn't really had for a long time.

The white gargress swoops easily through the night sky, and even Percival might feel it, the way that she seems to guide the winds as much as they guide her. It happens seemingly without her thinking about it, which probably explains why she's such a graceful natural flyer.

Zia comes to land behind him, her wings flaring out once, and then relaxing as her talons click foward along the roof. These are familiar sights, now. She had spent many months here in Fluorgis, and the most recent weeks had been spent as a guardian during the nighttime. Some of the local guards knew her, although many had little clue about gargoyles or their history as 'angels of the night'.

She's quiet again as he speaks, and after what seems like an interminable pause for him, and likely only a matter of a few seconds, she steps forward to his side. "Part of bein a good friend, is knowin when to ask, and knowing when it isnae yer place te ask." She wouldn't know much about friendship, since those few she's had have been recent additions, but these sound like words she learned somewhere else. Perhaps in another time long before her trip here. Her hand reaches out, laying on his shoulder as she looks at him, head cocked, "Wha's troubling ye?"
Percival Angels of the Night? He felt half a demon. He'd said as much to her before. Though he certainly considered her the /Princess/ of the Angels of the Night.

He'd cross his arms, rapping a single talon upon the arm it was wrapped upon. "Eight years is a long time. Far too long a time to delay the ceremony. She deserved better..."

He'd look towards her, with a sort of wistful smile, though his eyes showed the true depths of his sorrow. "I once had a rookery sister and fellow squire named Gwyndolyn, she was extraordinarily beautiful, in my eyes at least. But even that fails to describe how special she truly was. And as craven as I am now, I was moreso then, as I couldn't tell her my feelings."

Breathing out a sigh, he'd continue. "Eight years ago, a group of terrorists planted a bomb at a ceremony held in remembrance of British soldiers. The explosion killed a dozen people, and injured many others. To this day, the public believes that the perpetrators were never caught, but that's because it was covered up. The reality is that some of their fellows turned on them and gave the chaps in British intelligence their location. We were ordered to wipe them out to a man, to kill everyone of them."

He chuckled darkly as he thought back to his younger days, his arms dropping to his side, before he folded his hands behind his back. "We were younger then, bright eyed, and barely older than hatchlings. It was our first mission, and we thought we were going to change the world. A score of us went, including Gwyndolyn, myself and our masters in Chivalry against a dozen armed men."

His ears drooped at this point, and he began to frown, Zia would swear that she heard the thrumming of a very faint heartbeat. "When we burst in, imagine my suprise when the first terrorist I faced was naught but a boy. He was armed but he dropped the rifle the moment he looked at what he must have thought was a demon. He just stared at me, shivering in fear. And I couldn't do it. Orders were orders, but I wouldn't murder a boy who'd surrendered. Or so I thought. My hesitation cost me more than I would know."

His hands, at parade rest were squeezing each other so hard that Zia would swear that he must have drawn blood by now. The thrumming of the heartbeat quickened, and she'd swear that the night would grow almost imperceptibly darker. "It looked like it was happening in slow motion. A man aimed a gun at Gwyndolyn behind the boy. I tried to push the boy out of the way, and stumbled over him. She was shot, and died instantly. I couldn't even avenge her, as someone had already finished him in my place. The last thing I remember is looking at the boy who'd denied me the chance to save her..."

He'd pause for a while. Zia would notice him breathing in deeply. As he calmed himself the heartbeat would grow more irregular, and fade away. "...and then I was looking at his savaged corpse. I don't know what happened to me on that day. And ever since, there are times when I just, black out. The same thing happens, but noone else has died as a result of it. Even if I don't remember it, I'm still responsible for my actions."

He'd stare at her, his eyes misting now once again. Apparently he was just a big crybaby on the inside. "I tried to turn myself in for murder. I was laughed at. Just following orders after all. They tried to Knight me for /valor/ but I wouldn't accept it. It took them a while to figure out that I was damaged goods, and then they finally stopped the offers. The worst part is that I couldn't even mourn her. I couldn't bring myself to attend the wind ceremony in her honor. Everything good about her in my memories has become tainted and twisted by a sin that cannot be forgiven."

He was staring right at her still, though she could see him almost cringing in anticipation of her response. "And that's why I asked you to come with me tonight. After our trip through the Underworld, I realized it was long past time for me to pay my respects..."
Zia As he speaks, Zia lets her hand come down off of his shoulder, her eyes roving out over the city. She doesn't speak up, or interrupt, letting him play out the story to the sad end. Her tail twitches, but other than shifting to sit on the edge of the rooftop, the white gargoyle doesn't say a word. Perhaps it is his story that plays out in her mind's eye, and she listens like a child.

Even when he finishes, she takes what seems like a long time to mull it over, perhaps picking and choosing her words before finally bringing them into the quiet of the night. "The difference between life 'n death is sometimes smaller than we think." She doesn't meet his eyes, but her own look out over the city. There is a part of her that still feels responsible for the death of the sorcerer Valen at her hands, but at least she doesn't carry the guilt of it any more.

"Ye 'n yer clan were trained as soldiers, as guardians. When ye go inte a fight, ye know very well wha the risks are each 'n every time. Yet, he choose te do it anyways." Now, she shifts a little, letting her blue eyes look towards him through the fringe of her white hair. "Ah may nae know the lass, but Ah dinnae think ye can tell me tha she didnae know wha dangers ye faced. She died doin wha she believed in, and there's honor in tha." Her tail curls, resting close along her legs. "Blamin yerself fer her death does ye nae good. Her death is nae on yer hands, even if it is easy enough te feel the weight of it on yer shoulders."

She hesitates then, ears sliding back to hide within her hair. "When it comes te the boy, tha's another matter. The boy wasnae te blame, 'n wha'ever part of ye thought te take her vengence out upon him, Ah cannae in good conscience tell ye tha it was okay." Now, she raises a finger to hold off any comments, since she can fully expect where his mind would go. The gargoyle is the sort to look for just punishment for his actions, and she halts that for now with the motion.

"Tha said, ye were nae in control of yer actions tha day, lad. Te lose a friend hurts, te lose a beloved... is unimaginable. The fact tha ye regret it te this day shows yer a good person. Someone wi' a dark heart wouldnae even be bothered." Certainly, the others of his clan saw things differently. To them, he had struck down an enemy, but that doesn't lighten the weight of a heart.

"Ah believe tha a person cannae be judged by one single action in their lives. We've made mistakes, the both of us. But Ah can tell ye tha ye've saved my life, 'n the lives of countless others. Ye fought for Fluorgis, for Avira, for Manhattan. Ye have done everythin ye can te try te redeem your own actions, but the only one who can ever forgive yerself for it is ye." She sits back then, looking up at him with a serious expression on her features and a somber look in her eyes.

"But Ah can tell ye this. There isnae anythin ye can tell me tha will make me see ye as a monster. 'N Ah dinnae think tha ye were a coward for nae tellin her how ye felt. Ye were young. Ye probably thought ye had a lifetime ahead of ye." She hesitates, then offers him the softest of smiles, "Besides, if yer anythin like the gargoyle Ah know today, then she probably knew."
Percival As Zia began to offer her counsel and insight into his situation, he'd relax somewhat, mulling over her statements. After a time, he'd rove over to the edge of the rooftop, sitting alongside her. His tail would curl around and droop off the rooftop as she granted her perspective on mortality.

When she speaks upon his clan, he'd be rapt with attention, but once she finished, he'd finally answer, his voice steeped in regret. "She knew, better than most of us, the dangers we faced. She died gallantly, and with honor."

He'd rub the back of his hand against his face briefly. "I know. I don't blame myself for her death any longer. I think... I think if not for my sin, that I would have worked through my grief long before now. I don't know."

When she'd speak of the boy, he'd begin to speak immediately. "I don't.." But then she held up a talon, and he lapsed into silence while he looked down at his hands.

Once she finished speaking of the boy in full, he'd speak again with a wan smile, though his eyes were still misting. He really was a huge crybaby. "I may not have had my wits about me, but I take responsibility nevertheless. I think back to that day, and wonder, had it happened differently, what might have happened? Another in my clan might have still executed the boy, or our masters in intelligence would have done the job for us. It bothers me to think the others could justify it so casually. It bothers me to think that I might not have spoken up if others had killed the lad in my place. Perhaps if I'd had the courage of my convictions, I would have worked towards change. Perhaps not. Other than Manhatten, the rest of our world is still consumed by darkness. All I know, is that I do not wish to be the sort of Knight they expected me to be."

A pause, and a grin once she finished listing his accomplishment. "All right, all right, you're going to overinflate my head, and its already big enough. Can't say I recall ever saving your life though, Zia. Its usually you that's pulling my arse out of the fire, not the other way around."

He'd shake his head at her final line, though the smile was still present. "Well that makes one of us at least. Maybe one day I'll see something different when I peer into a looking glass."

His grin would become slightly more impish, as he placed a hand upon her shoulder. "Oh, if I were as I am today, she'd /certainly/ know. I'm even more of a flustered, terrible craven now when it comes to speaking with any Lady. Just ask Priel. I'd like to think I wasn't /that/ bad when I was that age. But I can't say whether I would have told her. Maybe I wouldn't have. Maybe I was just afraid that she'd stop seeing me as her rookery brother, and instead see me as some fool suitor."
Zia The white gargoyle looks at him then with calm eyes. "There's a point in every person's life where they need te decide wha's right 'n wrong for themselves. A time when a gargoyle has te take a step out of the rookery and choose their own path." Her soft smile is genuine enough, and while she knows so little in regards to the world he came from, even if it is her own, she can offer at least her own thoughts. "Ah think ye'll be a fine knight, nae matter wha banner ye choose to set her sword te. But let it be yer own heart tha guides ye, nae some ideals tha dinnae serve ye otherwise."

Reaching out, Zia gives him a poke to the chest with one talon, then smirks slightly, chuckling to herself. "Now dinnae ye go discountin anythin. Wi'out ye at my side, Ah'm sure a good number of those fights woulda been worse. So ye'll be takin m'thanks 'n gratitude as a knight would for his princess." Her finger waggles at him, followed by an exaggerated roll of the eyes.

"Ye speak te me just fine. So Ah cannae imagine yer tha much of a coward. Then again, so far as Ah can tell, yer nae lookin te win m'affections either. Ah suppose Ah'm safe enough, at tha." The mention of Priel only draws a puzzled tilt of her head, "Ye mean the dragon-girl? Hrmph, tha one's trouble, 'n Ah'd suggest nae settin yer compass on tha one if ye've the mind for it. She'd eat ye alive, 'n nae in the good way."

She leans her head over against his shoulder, tail flicking idlely. "Ah well. Better te live in the now, so far as Ah see it, either way. Ye cannae change the past, only work for a different future."
Percival The russet Gargoyle would actually smile cheerfully, as he leans backwards, palms downward and behind him on the rooftop. "I don't know what type of Knight I should be. The Network thinks that I ought to be just a detective. Myself? I want to keep trying to reach for an ideal, even if its not something I can attain. Maybe I'll be a detective too. A detective-knight. Bloody hell, that sounds like it'd be the subject of some terrible daytime soap."

Percival would laugh-lightheartedly, swatting her lightly with his tail. "Is that so? So you /admit/ that you're a Princess then." He'd grin in a self-depreciating manner. "Oh wait, I'm not a Knight either, so you've foiled my devious plot once again."

As she responds in regards to his awkwardness with women, he'd give her a bewildered look, before it would turn to outright embarassment. "Oh, uh. Well let me try to explain, Zia. When I met you, I thought of you as a Princess, and was just in awe of you. You're certainly beautiful, special, kind, and well everything."

Now he seemed truly flustered. "W-What I mean to say is that I think of you more like a rookery sister, or a friend. And even if I had feelings for you like that, I wouldn't be ready to try again or...." He'd was stammering now. "Oh bloody hell I'm terrible at this.. I love you like a rookery sister. I'm not ready to love anyone romantically. And even if I were, I wouldn't want to ruin our friendship by bringing /that/ into it. But I'm not so.."

He'd close his eyes, wincing. "Oh just smack me upside the head and get it over with. I think I deserve it for a speech that disastrous."
Zia "Maybe it isnae the title tha's important, but wha ye do wi' it." Zia shrugs her shoulders then, "Nae like Ah've got some grand title, lad. Sometimes ye just are wha ye are." Adding titles to everything is like adding names, and the white gargoyle still isn't entirely used to that sort of behavior. She cocks her head quizzically.

She isn't about to go making too much comment on the whole 'princess' thing at the moment. "Ye know, Ah wonder if ye'd think me so noble if ye saw m'old apartment. Or the places Ah usedte find m'dinner." It's more of an idle musing than an actual question. That seems like a lifetime ago. Could she even go back to that world and still manage to be the person she is now?

Seeing him get flustered, though, that draws a smile to her features. Zia leans back then and just laughs. It's a joyous sound, filled with light and music and all the things that seem to be missing sometimes in the world. "Oh, Ah wouldnae dream of smackin ye for tha. It was worth it for the laugh." Leaning back, the white gargoyle just lays across the rooftop, looking up at the sky.

"Dinnae fluster yerself too badly, lad. Ah've been hidin from love for so long Ah probably wouldn't know it 'till it bit me on the arse anyways." She chuckles to herself, still smiling. "But rest yer worries. Yer a friend, and a good one at tha'. Te be honest, ye remind me of m'brother at times." She swats her tail at him lightly, "A little troublesome at times, but sometime Ah care aboot." She rolls her eyes then, laying her head back on her arms. "So long as ye find a way te be happy. Tha brooding doesnae suit ye."
Percival A horned protrusion just over his brow would arch just a hair, as she related her thoughts on titles and her past lifestyle. After a time, as she rested her head on his shoulder, he'd slowly curl an arm and a wing around her. He didn't seem flustered any longer, but the gesture definitely wasn't flirtatious. He'd tap a talon against his chin briefly with his opposite hand. "Easy enough for you to say that, Zia. You didn't live a lifestyle where you'd be banished to the kitchen to scour pots if you addressed anyone improperly. But you're right, it doesn't matter what title one has, as they're defined by their actions."

He'd touch the inside tip of his finger, not the talon lightly against her nose, as a teasing gesture. "Oh, so you're trying to tell me that being a squatter in a rundown flat and eating what other the humans leave behind makes you less a Princess? Well I'm sorry, your highness, because your actions are so noble that I've seen past your humble facade."

As she laughs, and draws away, he'd actually blush in embarassment again, before he'd begin to laugh in turn. "I suppose it was at that. God blind me, if I didn't know any better I'd think you were especially wicked for teasing me like that."

He'd point a talon her way, waving it around. "Now that, I doubt. Me? I'm /oblivious/ and even I know of one chap who'd have probably bitten you on the arse if he thought that'd get you to notice him. I'm thinking you're not quite as terrible as I, you just know what you want, and don't want to break their hearts by letting them court you until you're sure they're the one. If I'm not on the mark, then /now/ you're welcome to smack me."

He'd actually smile at her final comment. "You've got me there, I don't think brooding like I'm some angsty protagonist in a trashy two quid romance novel about /Scimitars/ serves anyone all that well. Mayhaps I can be a happy monster, if I just let the happiness of others define me. So I'll tell you what, I'll try to be happy, for your sake. I'll let my life belong to those who call me friend. How does that sound?"
Zia While there might be some who would read into a girl leaning against a boy's shoulder like this as something more than what it is, but Zia has never been particularly shy about physical affections. Her nose twitches when his talon touches it, and she looks up at him with a smirk. "The worst we had back home, was da sendin us te clean up after our beast's crap if we mouthed off too much. We didnae have too much contact wi' other clans, and there wasnae much point in worryin over ranks and the like."

She seems unphased by his continued insistance on her title as 'princess'. "Nae teasin ye lad. It's actually nice te have a good friend wi'out the worry of them secretly thinkin about somethin more." Looking over at him, she offers a genuine enough smile. "If tha makes me wicked, then so be it."

The girl doesn't actually see his waggling finger, since her eyes have closed. "Ye mean the good templar, Ah'm sure." She sighs to herself, still carrying the guilt of that particular thing around with her. "He's made his feelings known well enough, 'n Ah hate m'self for hurtin him, but it isnae for the reasons ye think." Pausing, she takes a few moments to gather her thoughts. "Ah honestly havenae a single clue wha it is tha Ah'd be lookin for in a mate. Ah've been tryin te run from it all m'life. Ah saw the way it killed m'mum after da was killed. Ah never wanted te fall in love like tha."

When her eyes open again, they seem distant and a little sad. "Ah wouldnae have been a good match for our dear mouse. He took wha he saw 'n put me up on a pedastil wi'out seein who Ah really am. Ah suppose... if Ah want anythin, it's just for someone Ah can just be m'self around." Maybe that's what everyone wishes in some ways, but she shrugs her shoulders none the less. Even Percival had no real idea about the inner workings of her mind and heart, that much is clear enough.

Yet, his agreement to try not to be the angsty protagonist brings her smile back. "Sounds like a plan te me."
Percival Percival didn't really seem that shy about small amounts of physical affection, presuming there were no romantic undertones to the gesture that is. In fact he seemed quite comfortable. He'd actually breathe a sigh of relief when she finally stated that it was good to have just a friend. He'd continue to grin like a fool afterwards though. "Aha, guess you're a touch more mischievous than I thought. You've got a beautiful smile though, you should show it to the world more often."

And a moment later he'd be backpeddling in his speech. "Uh, and I don't mean that in..." He'd look up and away. "Just take it as a compliment from a friend."

She was right, he didn't know her mind and her heart yet, certainly not. His grin becomes something more akin to a smile though, as he does manage to throw in a small amount of teasing into the conversation. "I don't recall ever mentioning the good Ser Senra. Mayhaps I'm speaking of someone else, and you've got a harem lining up to court you like your dear friend Ser Seatlan."

But that grin turns into something more akin to a smile after a short time. "I think you'll be extraordinarily happy if you find someone you can just be yourself around. But does that mean that few see your true self? I'm thinking that I'd like to see her a touch more often, if that's the case."
Zia "Och aye, lad. Ah'm just a bundle of mischief. Ask anyone, they'll tell ye Ah'm a downright trouble magnet." It's been said before, and will probably be said again. In fact, it's part of the reason that the whole theory about her being a Princess of Heart came up in the first place. Lately, though, the trouble seems to happen to those around her rather than herself: Percival and that cursed sword, Skoll and his collar, Avira and her change into a mutate and back again.

Zia chuckles again as he starts to backpeddle, then shakes her head. "Ah know wha ye meant, lad. Dinnae fluster yerself over it." She waves off his concern with one hand, but there is a hint of color on her cheeks. It's not that she's taking his words as meaning more than they are, but the girl isn't very used to being complimented.

"Oh? Since when did ye become the keeper of m'love life? Are ye the bouncer now? Dismissin unsuitable suitors who come te call." She smirks at the mental image of it, then shakes her head, "Nae lad, Ah dinnae think Ah've got quite the fan club of the Shard Seeker's estemed leader." With a roll of her eyes, Zia flicks her tail and seems more bemused than anything else.

"Ye see more of who Ah am then most." She admits with a shrug, "It's harder around humans, or in huge crowds. Better than it used te be, though. It's easier nae te be afraid when ye know ye are'nae alone." And that thought is what brings her back around. With a small tired groan, Zia sits up, stretching her arms over her head, "Speaking of tha... Ah should probably go check in wi the Shard Seeekers. There's been so much goin on, 'n Ah've been away more than home these days."
Percival The Gargoyle would actually laugh as she described him being the bouncer of her love life. "Maybe, just maybe I take my duties as your guardian so seriously that I literally have to head some overeager boys off at the pass. The Agency is annoyed with me right now because I'm playing matchmaker for them. They want me to stay out of their relationships, but I just can't help it sometimes. Don't want any of them to end up alone, with regrets..." The unspoken words were almost certainly ' me.' but that went without saying. He still seemed cheerful at least.

When she states that he sees more of her than most, he'd actually poke a talon lightly against her shoulder. "Oh, just /more/ of you than most? Where's the rest of you hiding? I'm thinking that I'll make it my personal quest to see what you're like when you're being yourself entirely."

The teasing tone would leave his voice after a moment. "You know, I feel the same way, that its nice to have someone that I can just talk to and be myself around. The Agency? I just don't know how to fit in. If I try to act like I was expected to in my clan, I'm seen as too stuffy and they want me to act the fool. If I act like the fool, I'm told I'm too immature and childish. If I try to act like myself I'm ignored. It just puzzles me. They're like my clan now, they're all I've got other than you and Ser Senra, and yet I feel like the outcast at times."

The Gargoyle would wave her away, he was still smiling. "Listen to me waffle on, and just a few moments ago I was promising I wouldn't act like some sort of angsty fool out of the novels. Go check in, I need to get to where Lady Avira is hiding before the Heartless catch up to her."
Zia "Well, so far yer doin a terrible job at it. Where were ye when a certain mouse was writin' me love letters?" Zia glances over at Percival and then just laughs, shaking her head. "Please. Ah dinnae need a matchmaker in m'life. If it happens, it happens. If nae, then Ah'll become some old spinster wi' cats." She's clearly joking, but at the same time, she doesn't seem to be really that interested in searching for that sort of thing. It's far more likely that she'd wait for some guy to make the first move, and then decide where her heart lies, as she had with Faruja.

"The rest'a me followed one of Reize's maps and is lost forever." The statement is made off-handedly, not ready to let him read too much into her statement as pushes herself to her feet, wings extending in a long stretch. "Right now, Ah've got bigger things te worry about then boys." Funny, because other than Avira that seems to be /all/ she worries about, mostly because the males in her life tend to get themselves into trouble, present company included.

With a smile set towards him, she reaches out and lays a hand on his shoulder. "Wi'out a clan, we make our own, 'n choose our own family. Ye'll figure it out. Yer young yet." She sometimes speaks as if she wasn't, although she can't be more than a handful of years older than him, right? "Until then, yer always welcome to come share a rooftop wi' me. Nae questions asked."

Crouching at the edge of the roof, Zia nods, "Ah'm sure the lass can take care of a few heartless, but Ah need te speak te her m'self. But nae tonight." She inclines her head, "Fair skies, brother." And with that, Zia launches herself skyward, catching a current of wind that wasn't there a moment ago, and soaring off into the night sky.

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Zia, Percival