10.01.3013: Gargoyles
Summary: As Cyrielle visits Volkan, Nitrim shows her around town.
Date: 15 September 2013
Related: None — please, don't leave blank!
Cyrielle Nitrim 

Commercial District - Volkan, The Crescent
High above the stories of industry and industrial marketplace is a more commercial marketplace. This secondary tower is directly connected to the Blackspyre more than a mile away by an elevated roadway running high above the factories below. From this vantage point, shops and eateries overlook the city below, the spiderweb of glowing lava in its transparent tubes standing out starkly against the dark gray stone of the factories and towers. Above the multi-tier mall, another fifty stories of residential units rise into the haze-darkened skies.
October 01, 3013

The late evening is slow going. With the steam of factories filtering its way back into the air up above after a day of rain, the pavement of the streets of Volkan has that darkened, water-saturated look to it and the smell of rain remains in the air. The time for dinner has passed and the last of the early-close shops are turning their doors closed, the eateries are winding down, and the many shops and boutiques of Volkan's Commercial District are still running strong until their closing time. The streets are a clutch of people, walking in packs like animals from one location to the next as they step over spent plastic cups and garbage in the gutters yet to be cleaned by the late night sweeps.

Grateful as ever for the darkness, Nitrim walks quietly down the street beside Cyrielle Hollolas. Though she's noticeable to some, Nitrim has opted for the low hanging cowl of his coat, his eyes concentrating on the next fifteen feet forward as he knows the city through and through. Cigarette smoke trailing from a half-finished cancer stick between his fingers, he draws it to his lips and the cherry at the end flares. "…the difference is that only after the rain does anything within five miles of Volkan really smell clean…" He comments, mid-conversation with Cyrielle.

The manufacturing culture around Volkan has been difficult for Cyrielle to adapt to. Walking in the streets is when she finds it most cloying. The heavy scent on the air. She steps gingerly over a discarded box, leaning into Nitram somewhat. She has her hand tucked into the crook of his arm. She wears a pair of gray leggings beneath a short, dark blue dress. Her boots are tall, but the usual sturdy affair she tends towards. Her hair lies against her back in a simple braid. "It's so… strange to me still," she says quietly, brow furrowing slightly. "It's so different from The Spine."

Nitrim lifts his head just enough to swing the open hem of the cowl her way to catch the sight of her face in the dull, orange glow of a large overhead sign signalling a chain of stores. As people come rushing out, his elbow tightens and he slowly halts, letting the crowd of people pass before them. He smiles flatly. People are annoying and don't look where they are going. "I used to feel uncomfortable out in nature, like not being able to hear the sounds of factories or speeding vehicles was too quiet and it made it hard to sleep. I think you're going through the opposite. Too loud." He nods, the scruff of his blonde goatee rising and falling. "Try to think of it as another kind of jungle." He turns back to the road ahead, motioning with his cigarette to a series of buildings. "Oak. Pine. Hyenas. Monkeys."

As they wait for the crowd to pass, Cyrielle leans to rest her cheek against Nitrim's shoulder. She gives a small nod at his explanation. "Too loud. Too bright." She shivers slightly, "It's all… unnatural sound. I couldn't even hear the rain most of the time." Once they begin moving again, her lips curve into a smile at the buildings he gestures at. There's a slight tug at his arm, "Show me your favorite view in the city."

Nitrim keeps his shoulder still, careful to not bounce it around and rattle Cyrielle's cheek as they start to walk again. "Since you're going to be around for a little bit, the next time it rains, open your window and listen. A speeding cab isn't much different than a bird's cawing when it flies by. You just have to close your eyes, because all of this is like blood flowing through a vein when you listen just right." Nitrim replies, flicking his cigarette to the side of a garbage can where the sparks shatter. He slows and looks around, taking the buildings one-by-one as the season skuler of Volkan doesn't so much try to think of a place to show her, but choose one of his many. "Come on, I hope you're good with ladders."

He turns, leading her down an alleyway and with a flash of his aura, he dislodges the security ladder from a fire escape, which comes rattling down to the streetside. "You first, I'll keep an eye out for the security patrols."

"I'll be sure to give that a try." Though she's uncertain that it will work, she trusts him. He hasn't led her astray yet. Cyrielle straightens as they angle down an alley, glancing around in the process. She looks up the ladder and bites her lip somewhat. There's a shift of stance, testing how her foot feels. "Gimme a sec," she finally says, digging in pockets hidden in the skirt of her dress. She surfaces with a hypo and checks the dosages left. A twist to dial it in and she presses the device to the inside of her arm. A soft draw of breath and she triggers it to release. There's the low *hisss* and when she tucks it away, there's a faint redness to her skin.

Eyes closed, Cyrielle takes a deep breath as she lets the AMP set in. "Alright," she says finally, eyes opening as she steps for the ladder. "Let's do this."

Taking his time and letting her set the pace for the crawl up to the fire escape's first landing, the climb is only a little more than fifteen feet. Waiting until she's up most of the way, Nitrim looks up to her above and reaches for the first rungs. He's done this a hundred times, and he easily scales his way up the ladder until he climbs out beside her. He reaches for her wrist and leads her up the winding, iron stairs for ten floors until they come to the top of an apartment building. Old couches and lawn chairs have been set aside, and as they approach he lets her hand free to grab two of the chairs as he nears the brick-covered lip of the building. Setting them down, he motions for her to follow him as he plants a boot against the bricks and rests an elbow on a knee, looking down over the people walking below.

The pace for her, going up, is slow. The AMP has helped, giving her that unnatural level of energy that is common to the drug. She is stumbling slightly once they're on the roof, drawing in a breath as she slips into her Awakened state. There's a few seconds of concentration to dull the pain as he collects the chairs. Once she recovers, Cyrielle moves towards the edge as well. No fear of heights in this nature-inclined soul, she shifts into a slightly widened stance: letting her lean over without risking becoming unbalanced. Dark eyes shift this way and that- the AMP also giving her a greater rate of intake, attention splindling out to take in the city below.

"I think that these chairs belong to some old couple a few floors down that come out here to feed pigeons or something." Nitrim says to her, offering her his shoulder once more as he pulls his cowl back, freeing his hair to the nighttime wind. "It's a little less perspective than from my room, too close, too much to my liking but I took a couple of pictures you saw on the camera of the graffiti back there." He breathes softly, eyes sharpening as he tracks what looks to be a double date from above, at least with one man trailing behind not having a very good time. "They never see me up here, but I stay close."

"Pigeons…" Cyrielle makes a slight face, nose wrinkling. "Feeding them is a terrible idea. Gross things." She slides against him, fingers trailing down his arm to find his hand. Her head does settle in towards his shoulder. "Does it help remind you about who you are and why you're here?"

"Sky rats." Nitrim laughs, splaying his fingers out so that theirs can lace together in a soft grip, palm against palm. He turns to step one leg behind hers, offering a more stable platform for her to lean against while the people-watching takes over. "I don't know. I don't really know how it started, Cyri, but it's like a fish bowl. Sometimes they're better off with me not sticking my hand into the tank and wrecking their evening. Still, it's nice to be closer. I sometimes recognize their faces. That's what a lord should do, I guess."

The stability is appreciated… and clearly so, as there's a soft sigh as Cyrielle leans into the Khournas. She shifts her weight faintly to take some pressure off her bad foot. Turning her head, she nuzzles against his shoulder with her cheek as she looks further up the crowded street. "There's no need to always meddle, but it's good to know the… aura of the community."

"Close your eyes." Nitrim says quietly to her, the side of his jaw brushing against her forehead as he wraps his arm around her shoulder to track some more movement from below. "You want to understand so I'll show you." He breathes softly against her bangs, his mind centering into a quiet headspace where he can describe the way he feels it. "In every passing vehicle are people, and for each person in that vehicle is a family somewhere here at Volkan. Too far, too hard to walk they need that vehicle to get them home, the streets take them there. All of these buildings are connected veins of pipes and utilities, walled in private spaces where anything can happen. They don't have the comfort of tree houses or farms, they have their walls and machines they can touch, repair, get their hands into and many of those things aid the war, keep the water running through the pipes." He pauses as a public transport whines past, the sound of it cutting through the air. "Souls living on top of souls, organized chaos, but the stories and needs and families are just the same. They don't need the woods. They have each other, because outside of Volkan is ash. Here there is society, bright or not."

And close her eyes she does. Cyrielle turns her head against his shoulder, listening to him as he describes it. Thumb brushes over his hand as she settles comfortably against the solidity of his form. The relative safety and comfort he represents for her. She turns slightly as he trails off, her eyes opening to study him. Her free hand rises up, grasping lightly at his collar to pull him in closer. To bring his face to hers as her lips seek his out.

Tugged by the collar, Nitrim's eyes slowly turn from the street below to close, blindly turning his head to brush his lips over hers softly. The kiss is gentle, non-demanding to share the moment, a view from one of his perches like the ones she provided to him at the Spine. Eyes closed, the sounds of night become all the more apparent as his arm squeezes around her shoulders, holding her to him more tightly.

In the moment, it was the only way Cyrielle could properly express herself. Tied up in that connection of their lips is appreciation and understanding. She tangles her fingers lightly in his cowl, holding him to her much as he does. After a moment, she pulls back for a soft breath. "Thank you for explaining."

After the kiss is broken, Nitrim leans in to steal one more and allows his lips to hover near hers. "I just had a thought," He replies with a nod, the edge of his nose brushing against hers. "Maybe all of this, Dahlia, the way I do things, the way I see things is because of places like this and all this watching I do. Maybe I'm just more comfortable coming and going with people like I do because I've spent too much time up here." He pauses. "My cousin, Lyrienne, says she wants to help me clear my image, be seen, be seen as something better. Do you think I'd be happier like that? Loved by them?"

Lifting her head slightly, Cyrielle affects a slight nuzzle. Bumping her nose to his again. She considers the question, turning her head away from his to look down to the streets again. The Hollolas is quiet for a time. "I think you'd be happier if you're not hounded by the paparazzi and Soleil's shade can rest…" Dark eyes, catching pinpricks of light, return to study him. "But I don't think you'd be happy at all were the people to sing your praises."

"So no pictures of me kissing puppies." Nitrim laughs softly against her cheek, a muted, sarcastic thing. His chest deflates with a sigh, nodding thrice as he turns his attention back to the streets below. "I think you hit it right on the head. I don't think I'll ever want to be seen. It's like you said, we appreciate being left alone, it's not a problem, it's not seclusion, it's just going someplace where I can give a fuck in peace. Soleil…" He shakes his head. "…sooner or later I'll want to go pay my respects, but it won't be at the funeral. I'm not welcome there."

There's a laugh from Cyrielle- a brief thing. Likely at the image of Nitrim kissing puppies. She nods slightly at his words, hand squeezing his. "There's nothing wrong with being more… restrained. Perhaps they just need to know that you operate with their interests in mind. That you're not distant because you're too busy being selfish, but by choice." She shifts up onto her toes a bit to place a kiss at his temple, near his eye. "Let's pick up dessert and take it back to my rooms…" She steps back from the edge, tugging at him softly to begin their way back up the streets…

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