04.30.3014: Black Skies Over Honor's Keep
Summary: As promised, Nitrim visits Cyrielle. It… does not go as planned. [Trigger Warning]
Date: December 30th
Related: We All Come Undone, Intermediary
Cyrielle Nitrim 

Hut, Honor's Keep, The Vale
See log.
April 30th, 3014

Warning: This log contains some dark and difficult subjects.

A day and a half has passed since Nitrim last spoke with Cyrielle from the depths of the Bath Houses of Khournas. A day and a half has passed since Lyrienne mediated their decision to meet and mend the communication difficulties that Nitrim and his unofficial lover, Cyrielle have been having. With months of the strangling feelings of failure and loss wrapping their way around Nitrim finding a break through the stormclouds, Nitrim has done exactly what he has agreed: He will come to Honor’s Keep to find Cyrielle in her hut.

Slipping through the WayGate in his nondescript black hooded coat, cowl hung low to conceal his identity from the multitudes of cameras that have lined every junction of their society, Nitrim slips past the pedestrian traffic in the direction of the sand-lined bungalows. The dark skies above have clouded over slightly, leaving the oft-relied upon starlight negated for the evening, and leaving Nitrim to rely on the recessed lighting of the numbered bungalows.

Cyrielle warned him once to always, always announce his presence before arriving, but the Khourni lordling is feeling stealthy this evening, relying upon the element of surprise to present himself to his lover. Quietly slipping up the stairs to the door, he reaches out with his many-ringed fingers and knocks three times.

What the call revealed led to the worst Cyrielle has felt since the storm that caused her Awakening. She had let her own fears and assumptions get away from her. She had let herself believe the dark voices inside her head; the ones that she’s been fighting since she quit AMP. The ones that make her sometimes think about starting back, even if she no longer needs it for the pain.

She begged out of her therapy sessions the past few days. Locked herself within the hut. She’s barely eaten or slept. Instead, after the call with the Khournas and Orelle at the baths, she spent an evening alternating between losing all the remaining contents in her stomach and sobbing. She’s made a mistake and has been counting the hours. The Hollolas doesn’t know exactly when he’ll arrive, but she knows it will be soon.

After the knocks, there’s a click as the latch is opened. Cyrielle’s aura fades from her and leaves the hut once again swathed in darkness. The drapes are all closed and the woman lies in a tanktop and shorts upon the bed, facing away from the door. She’s curled in on herself; the sheets rumpled as if the result of many a night of tossing and turning.

At first, the young drake has to smile. Darkness, at times for the two of them, has been an exciting place for the two to meet, and Nitrim has grown rather fond of his beloved shadows over the years. Leaning his head in first, his cowl low to hide his face, he slips through the threshold and greets the room proper with the dull crush of his heavy boots.

The door closes behind him, latching shut, and Nitrim brushes back the cowl to reveal a face burdened with a light smirk that quickly fades into something ruined with concern. Blinking, he glances around the room; there are no broken windows and no signs of a struggle, so clearly she must be under the weather. It’s the simplest, most immediate explanation.

“Hey…” Nitrim whispers, crossing the room to her. Reaching out, he brushes a hand over her hip. “…Six, are you sick? You looked like you were feeling horrible on the call.”

There’s a shiver from Cyrielle at the touch. Her hair is a mess and when she slowly turns to face him… Her features are a bit sunken. She’s pale. And her eyes look red and raw. Seeing the concern writ upon the Khourni lordling’s features is another undoing and she rolls away.

Knees are brought up towards chest and she wraps her arms about them; flesh and cybernetic alike. A dry sob — she’s dehydrated by now — shakes her shoulders. She doesn’t have a properly vocal reply for the man yet.

Tears are a bad sign. As Cyrielle rolls away from him, hiding her tear-streaked face from him, Nitrim’s garden-variety concern is replaced by a sudden, hardened concern. His lips part with a soft smack, an audible sign that he’s noticed her state, but it is likely the way his hand leaves her hip that is the greater pain. Fingertips flexing, he blinks and leans his head to one side.

Step One: Denial.

“Cyrielle, what’s wrong?” Nitrim asks, a vein of demand behind his question as his eyes roll back in his skull, leaving the Awakened-white behind to outline the wall he can feel himself putting up. There’s one place she can’t hide from him - her emotions - and as can be expected a few seconds pass before the all-familiar touch of his telepathy trying to connect with hers is another knock on her door.

Briefly, very briefly, Cyrielle considers keeping him out. She’s so nervous and scared; so that pours out to him initially. Something else is being kept away, however. Her new meditations are making her better at this. It’s not an attempt to lie or misdirect; not wholly. The young woman knows this needs to get out.

The quicker she tells him…

If only it were that easy. Greater sobs take her and she ends up clutching a pillow, wrapping herself around it.

I… I thought you were pushing me away.

“What the FUCK does that mean?” Nitrim growls, her nervousness a drop of blood in the water. Like all predatory creatures, there are times when the scent of the hunt - the scent of something that draws the senses into a primal state - rule all. Nitrim Khournas is a drake, and the blood of drakes wells long in his family heritage. He doesn’t bother keeping his voice down.

Taking a step back, the fire-wreathed serpent of his aura begins as a lick of flame at his chest. A creature spilling forth from the cave, his emotional state wraps around the effigy, bringing a hiss to the creatures slithering tongue and pincered teeth.

You thought I was doing WHAT so -what- happened?! Nitrim demands inside of her mind, the putrid stink of despair and loss welling up inside of him like an unstoppable tide being held back by a shred of hope. You look at me, Cyrielle.

A part of her still wants to get defensive. The part that felt hurt. That felt abandoned. That felt like a trust had been broken. Her guilt, however, is too great for that. The emotions boil and roll over one another within her and the woman moves, stiffly.

Cyrielle manages, finally, to maneuver herself upright to sit against the headboard. Her own aura surrounds her as her eyes become white; the vines form around her. Almost binding, the way they writhe. The green leaves blackening more at the edges. As if literally licked by the flames of Nitrim’s drake. She still holds the pillow, like a lifeline.

There’s a glance, finally, to the Khournas, but she can’t look fully at him. Even the glance, bringing tears welling up in her eyes… she breaks and it slips out. The guilt. The guilt is strong and the only thing that even compares to it is an utter self-loathing that she’s feeling.

Down at the sides of the long, black coat that Nitrim wears, the light from the outside glints off of his finger-gauntlet rings as they curl into fists. Soft, cream-colored skin is replaced by alabaster white at the knuckles. Shoulders tighten and his breathing tightens, and deep within his emotional center the guilt he senses from her strikes like a knife. Confusion lines his eyes as his lips part, forced open as the levy of hope is overcome by the wave and everything comes crashing down.

Ruin. It’s the last feeling that slips free before the emotional connection is severed like the blade of a guillotine.

“Who was it?” Nitrim says far too calmly to be sincere. He takes a step forward, ignoring the biting pain of the dulled tips of his rings in his palms. “WHO…WAS…IT?!?”

The severing of the connection is like a severing of the soul. Of the heart. Cyrielle’s head drops to the arms wrapped about her knees. She goes limp, held up only by the headboard behind her. She knew it would be bad. She’s spent the past couple of days dreading this all while building herself up to it. Every ounce of strength she feared she didn’t have and…

… she doesn’t.

When her voice comes, it’s broken. Cracked. Barely there; she’s ruined it in her grief. “Does it even matter?”

Does it matter? The curling lip that forms over Nitrim’s teeth seems to think so. Head tilting to one side, his all-white eyes flicker with the growing fire from his Awakened aura as she rebuffs his question. Forced to release the grip on his closed fists as a pressure valve, his fingers flex with a ratcheting of metal over metal before they zip closed again.

“I…offered…to give my FUCKING name away, Cyrielle!” Nitrim’s voice booms, teeth flashing like fangs in the firelight of his aura. Like a knife’s edge, a suddenly serious thing, his voice drops to a soothing tone, if not still outright demanding. “I’ve dedicated myself to one thing. Ever. Don’t you dare hide from me.” He pauses, brows lowering as a thought suddenly comes to mind.

“Was this before or after the call last night?” Nitrim asks calmly, clearly. “The one where my cousin told me to have faith and you told me you don’t care who wants you. The one where I admitted to you that I was afraid.”

Each statement draws a flinch from the woman. Even when Nitrim’s voice calms. Even when he’s no longer yelling, she flinches. Each is like a physical blow and the vines darken more. The ambient temperature in the room drops a few degrees as she tries to keep herself reigned in. Her aura is the only cloak she has right now.

“Before,” she manages, voice breaking after the first syllable. “I’ve… been here since the call.” Implying the room. In darkness. Her clothing does look hastily put on; rumpled in more places than just lying on the bed. The bikini she had been wearing on the call is discarded near the hut’s bathroom.

Lips part and she starts to lift her head, but nothing makes it past her lips other than a shuddering breath that precedes another sob.

“Befor-” Nitrim can barely finish the word as it ends with an incredulous, pained laugh. Forced to take his eyes off of her he turns his side to her, lifting his closed fists to rest atop his head. Resisting the blinding urge to pace, he lets a seething breath of near-steam from his lungs and tugs at the hair atop his head. “You knew, on the call. Fucking Six…you knew…” Nitrim starts to murmur, speaking to the invisible creatures in the room that live in the shadows. “You went away for a month. I went away for less than two weeks…”

Eyes lowering to the floor, the door to the bathroom catches his eye and the bikini that lays sprawled across the hardwood like a discarded victim fills his vision. It is his undoing.

With a sudden turn and a wave of his hand, the coffee table in the room flings with breakneck force towards the wall. Glass light fixtures and the carefully designed decoration of the room erupts in a shower of splintered wood and shattered glass. Nitrim doesn’t hit things. He destroys them, and as the coffee table bounces off of the floor, he lashes out with his fingertips, sending it ricocheting into the bathroom door where it comes to a loud stop, propped at an angle in the ruined frame.

“There is no fucking LIGHT for me!” Nitrim snarls, his words spat in furious waves as he turns to face her, reaching his fingers out to her. “I DEBASED myself before your FATHER, Cyrielle!” A smeared second of outright pain crosses his features before the rage takes over. “How could you do this?!? I…everything.”

Step Two: Anger.

The wood of the coffee table groans as it flies again, crossing in front of the Hollolas girl on its way to SLAM with force into the desk. This time it falls apart. With rattling, rolling table-legs.

“I knew,” Cyrielle whispers, the words barely audible. Fingertips dig into opposite arms, nails biting further and further into the tanned flesh. Defensiveness begins to rear up- to remind him that she wasn’t gone. That she came here for a reason. That she invited him to visit her and he didn’t. That he left and went out of contact. These all rise and fall; dying before ever being given voice.

He has a right to the anger and by the way her grasp on the pillow slackens… the woman is expecting some of the fury to be directed to her. The air around her crackles faintly; drying, sparks appearing on the bed’s cover by her. She doesn’t even turn when the table flies past her; had it hit her, she would have allowed it. Cyrielle can barely move. Barely think.

It’s all happening so fast. One single mistake. One single loss of control. One lost moment of faith. Jaw tightens and more tears spill over. There’s a faint welling of blood beneath one of her nails as she finally breaks the flesh. “I’m so sorry,” she whispers, finally daring a glance up to him. “Six… I understand if you hate me. I… I hate me. I couldn’t tell you on the call… not like that. Not in front of her.”

She swallows, trying to find moisture. Her Awakened abilities are spiraling away from her and the burnt atmosphere scent just intensifies. There’s nothing but dry, arid air around her now. “I… I owed it at least to tell you in person.”

Like a slash of lightning through the sky, her apology affects Nitrim. He feels it. It is made manifest in a half-smiled, half pained look on his face and a brief moment of grief. His brows tilt near the center, and as if hitting an invisible bumper, they immediately shoot back into furious arches. His hands lift to his face, covering his eyes as the claw rings trail streaks of white skin that quickly flush over to blushing skin left behind by the pressure in which he applies.

He laughs. It’s a desperate sound where pain comes from as he brushes his hand over the front of his nose, biting away pain that he doesn’t want to surface. It’s either that or fall apart.

His lips part with a thin line of saliva running from canine to front, lower tooth as his eyes search her face…and then something unexpected comes over him. His fingers suddenly rush forward, his aura flaring in a display of somatics as the blood-filled orb on her necklace jerks suddenly. Metal rings snap free painfully against her neck, scattering the chain-link of the jewelry as the orb rockets past Nitrim’s cheek. The pendant connects with the wall in a shower of metal that cracks the orb, but doesn’t break it. Like a marble…it falls in a bounce and rolls back towards her bed.

“Were you wearing THAT while you were fucking him?!?” Nitrim clenches his fists again, bringing them to his temples as he turns away from her. “I love you. I hate you. Six damn it, Cyrielle. I don’t…I …I don’t know what…” His aura begins to roil as it does on the battlefield, nearing a violent swell of swimming serpent and the haze of wavering heat.

She flinches when the chain breaks. An angry, red line forms where one of the links dragged against the skin of her neck. Cyrielle just tightens her nails upon her arms and more red wells up. Deeper and deeper she digs. The physical pain helps override the emotional. The emotional… she’s not handling that too well right now.

The pendant hitting the wall just tears her apart inside even more. A sound comes up from her; of pain made manifest. It’s a part of her as much as he and the crack is all too real. The woman finally moves, unwinding herself to rise from the bed and scoop up the orb. She folds her hands around it as if cradling something intensely fragile.

It is. They are.

“No,” she whispers, pulling it close. “I… I take it off during therapy.” She can’t look at him. If she looks at him, she’ll try to go to him. Pockmarks of blood seep and ruin the tattoos marking her arms. More vines appear within her aura and nearly form armor around her; all save her cybernetic leg.

Ice and electricity in comparison to his flame. The former fades and the latter is a prickly thing. The Hollolas draws her hands in close, still holding the orb. She clutches it to her chest, finally daring a look up at him.

“All I deserve is your hatred.”

Feeling her eyes on his face, Nitrim’s nostrils flare and the phantom serpent dives in through his stomach, appearing out of the small of his back to trace up his spine. His eyes close, lips peeling back to show his teeth to the wall where the impact crater from the coffee table has kissed the architecture. His head sags and his eyes flash open. No. He must stay angry, it’s the only way. Like throwing a rock, his shoulders turn and one of the drawers from the desk rips free and sails over the bent, destroyed coffee table into the bathroom.

The mirror shatters. Nitrim’s shoulders huff at the irony. Seven more years…

“It’s a little fucking late for that.” Nitrim barks to the wall, turning his eyes to hers for the first moment of extended eye contact for their horrible moment. He doesn’t need to share his emotions through their Awakened senses to show her what he’s feeling; it’s worn all over his face. “It’s way too fucking late for that.” His lips part, hovering over his teeth as he very carefully chooses his words, delivering them in a slow, clear cadence. “I…am…very…very…sorry that you felt the need to lose faith in me like the rest of them. I love you. I hate you. If you tell me who he is or I find out, you’ll see exactly what a drake does to claim what’s his.”

Nitrim’s chin tilts towards her hands clenched around the orb.

“Keep it.”

He turns to leave.

Tears trace a path that is becoming worn in features made an unhealthy hue by grief and a lack of food or sleep. Skin that had become tanned and warm just looks like a death mask in the darkness of the hut. Cyrielle clutches the orb tighter. As if doing so would mend it… and mend them.

“I… I thought you had lost faith in me,” she whispers into the silence. She can’t even be sure if it’s heard or not; her voice scratches at her throat. Each word must be dragged forth from within. “I thought you were trying to make me leave… You’ve… you’ve never before told me not to contact you.”

Shoulders slacken and she shivers faintly. “Why do you want to know who? Why does it matter? I fucked up, Nitrim. I’m the one at fault. I thought you didn’t trust me and all I did was give you reason not to.”

When he turns to leave, her legs give out and she falls to sit on the edge of the bed. Too close, she slides to the floor and lands heavily. Greater, heaving sobs wrack her body and in the spaces between, she’s begging him not to go.

“I didn’t want you to see me losing faith in myself!” Nitrim barks, reaching for the door handle. A gout of flame scorches the wood, leaving a small puff of fire in its place. Cursing under his breath, Nitrim’s palm strikes out to slam against the beginnings of a fire, immediately snuffing the life from it. The threat of fire being extinguished still leaves Cyrielle the furious drake to contend with. His fingers lower quickly towards the knob and flex, hesitating and damning himself for it.

“Gods damn it, Cyri, STOP.” Nitrim looks back to her, pelting her with the Khourni-drake intensity she once loved so much. His lips fall into a tight-lipped frown before another sick, desperate laugh hisses out between clenched teeth. “Everyone was right. I should have made things clear. I should have explained what I was doing. Fucking Tiberian was right. When I say nothing, people know no better. Damn me…just…stop.”

Step Three: Bargaining

Slowly, his head turns to her feet, head shifting to dart between the two of them as the drake fights to find something neutral to place his gaze on. He doesn’t want the hut, her feet, the destroyed furniture, nor the broken glass. Nothing is making this better for him.

Fingers snapping, rings-over-rings, he snaches the doorknob and yanks it open.

“Enjoy Honor’s Keep. I’m going for a walk.” Nitrim murmurs to her before slipping out the door. “…ironic fucking name.”

When Nitrim finds a way to blame himself, Cyrielle just can’t handle it any longer. His words cut deep; from the reminder that despite everything, he still hadn’t fully trusted her, to that self-hatred. The self-hatred she would still do anything to reverse. To soothe. To fix.

The woman, however, has little else to give. She’s a broken thing right now. The vines that make up her aura take the brunt of it instead. They crackle and burn; sparks and singed leaves rapidly flowing throughout the tendrils that envelop her. All steadily turning to ash as the tears continue.

She can’t stop him this time when he tries to leave. The words won’t come and even if they could… what would she say? Instead, she’ll slump in the wreckage of the hut, clutching the orb to her chest as the grief overwhelms her.

Step Four … Depression.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License