Arianna looked up slowly, and watched as he placed a hand over the twin of her necklace, a small smile lighting up his face as he shifted on his feet. How did I not find him before now? Was I just not looking in the right places, or maybe I just did know what exactly I was looking for....
She smiled warily when Hayato jumped from Shou's shoulder and headed in her direction, unsure of what he intended to do. Her expression fell a bit when he began to speak, sure that the bird had intended to insult her in some way. "Yes, I suppose I am the one he has been searching for. Is there something wrong with me?" She frowned, and took a step back as Shou clamped the bird's mouth shut, apologizing on his behalf.
She froze when Shou began to mention that day all those many years ago. Her eyes widened, distant as more pearls of her memory rolled into her conscious mind. But instead of dissolving slowly like the more pleasant memories, these ones exploded against her mind, throwing the images at her. Her eyes swam as she shook her head. "I am sorry." She replied quietly, her gaze averted to the ground once again. "I am still not able to explain it to anyone." She looked up and smiled sadly. "The only one that has gotten the truth out of me is Lillian, and that was long ago."
She stepped forward, and held her hand out to him. "Shall I show you the way to her home?" She asked, her voice bright and her expression following moments after. The only thing that stayed haunted with the memories was her eyes.
He smiled a little, keeping his hand clamped over the birds beak. "It's fine, I was just hopping to find out. That day was such a bad day for us you know....." Ne nodded and smiled a little. "Yeah, you can show the way I guess. I'm just glad that we are finally back together."
Ten years, ten full years of being apart form her. It seems longer than that.... Hayato pulled away and hopped back over to Arianna. Before Shou could jump forward and grab the bird again he opened up his beak and spoke his mind.
"You aren't as pretty as I thought you'd be."
That's it, you've caused me enough trouble without that little statement there bird! Shou leaped forward and grabbed the little falcon, "Why would you say that to her!?! She is prettier than anything I have ever seen!" He looked up at Arianna and blushed, squeezing his eyes in embarrassment.
Stupid, why did you have to say that out loud? He looked down at the ground, dropping falcon who flew off, laughing up a storm. Oh that bird is so gonna get it one of these days.
"It is alright." She smiled easily, and dropped her hand slowly back at her side. "It is natural that you would want to hear from me what had happened all those years ago." She turned on her heel slightly, but stopped when Hayato jumped out from Shou's grasp and headed in her direction once more.
Her eyes widened as she flushed slightly, and flinched as she pulled a braid over her face. "I-I'm sorry if I did not live up to your expectations, you silly bird." she tried to sound stern, but did not accomplish it. Her voice was too soft to do so. She backed up again when Shou grabbed for the falcon and held it in his grasp. He does not have to go at the bird like that.....does he normally do that?
She staggered a bit at his statement, her cheeks flushed deeper now with embarrassment. "It's a-alright!" She stammered, and watched as Shou dropped the bird, who immediately flew off in a storm of laughter. "Does your companion always speak his mind like that?" she asked, lowering her gaze back down onto Shou.
Why did he say that? Did he really mean it, or was he just saying that to be nice?
"Unfortunately, yes. You have no idea how much trouble that bird has gotten me in before." Shou sighed and looked up and smiled a little. "It's fine though, I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it."And if he did he has a lot to answer to when he comes back.
He stepped forward and smiled as he recognized their heights for the first time. It's kinda cool that we ended up being the same height. He smiled a little more at her and touched his necklace, flipping it around. "I added a little touch to the back of the necklace. I could do the same to yours if you want...."
He held it out just enough to where she would be able to see the word "SKY" carved into the back of it in flowing manuscript. He let the rock fall back to his chest and looked up at her. "I could inscribe the name ARI into the back of yours......Anyway, should we get going? I don't want to keep Lilian waiting too long, she was nice enough to leave me the flower that gave me a clue as to how close I was to you." He smiled a little as he held up the brilliant white flower to show her.
"I can only imagine what he has done to you in the past." she smiled faintly in return. "Why would he not speak his mind? Why say something if he truly did not mean it?" she replied, still a little ruffled because of Hayato's opinion of her appearance.
She looked at him nervously as he stepped forward toward her, but giggled at the same realization that Shou had. Her best friend and her were almost the exact same height. He was just about an inch taller than her, so he barely claimed the right of being the taller of the two.
She watched him with a wondering expression, her eyes alight with curiosity of what he intended to do with his necklace. "What is it that you...?" She began to ask, but her voice trailed off as he flipped his necklace around, and revealed his name etched beautifully into the back of the stone that hung from the necklace. "That is truly very nice," she murmured quietly, and gazed at him with a sad smile. "I like the idea of having my named etched into the stone, truly I do. But I could not do that to something my....father had not intended having an etching engraved into."
She looked down for a moment as sudden inspiration struck her. "I have a bracelet at Lillian's home with a stone attached to it! You could engrave my name onto that?" Arianna suggested, excitement in her expression as she smiled eagerly. After a minute this faded, and she nodded, her expression now calmed down somewhat.
"That sounds like a good idea." she looked over her shoulder and up the path that led to Lillian's home. "She is probably starting to get a little worried about why we have not returned yet." She smiled happily as Shou held up the pure white flower. "That is very much like Lillian to do, especially when she has not brought money to offer." she commented, and turned on her heel, running up the path a little before she glanced over her shoulder, and waited for Shou to catch up to her.
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2011 14:22:48 GMT -5 by Julianna
Shou smiled a little and nodded, "It's fine, I understand. I just didn't want to lose my identity..." His voice trailed off as a few memories flash through his mind. He shook his head quickly, as if shaking off a few bad memories. He smiled a little at her, trying to hide the memories through an always smiling mask.
"Yeah, this is true. Lets get-" He watched her dash ahead quickly; he hadn't expected this sudden burst of energy from her. Shou smiled and hefted his instrument case a little higher on his back before sprinting after her, catching up quickly, the few coins he missed in the case rattling around inside of it. He stopped beside her and looked over at her and winked, "If I knew the way I would race ya."
He started forward, following the path, not really sure if this was the right direction or not. The forest elf glanced back to see if Arianna was following him or not. "This is the way you go right, or do we have to get off the path a little to get to Lilian's place?"
"Lose your identity?How would you have lost who you are?" She murmured, her tone as confused as the expression across her face. She looked at him, and frowned. "Even after all this time, you can't hide what your expression tells me is on your mind...."
She smiled at him a little as he ran quickly up the path to catch up to her, glad that whatever had plagued his mind at that moment had gratefully disappeared for the time being. She would not ask about it for now, but later when the time was right. She could feel her blood as it rushed to color her cheeks faintly when he winked at her, and a light blush glowed after a moment, and watched as he walked ahead her, traveling along the path with no idea where Lillian's house was located.
She rocked back on her heels, a glorious smile spread across her face as she sprinted at her friend and grabbed his hand with her own as she flew past his side, pulling him behind her. She looked behind her to make sure she had not scared him to much with what she did.
"Her home is a little ways off the path." She replied softly as she stepped gracefully into the trees, listening to her footsteps as they echoed from the trees. They had not walked far before Arianna pushed back a lush tree branch, and revealed a small but beautiful wooden cottage hidden in the trees. Lillian stood a little ways off from her home, an easel in front of her and a paintbrush held securely in her right hand. She looked over her shoulder, and smiled at the pair. "Welcome home Arianna, and a welcome to you as well." She greeted the two happily before she turned her back to them once more, her attention back to her painting held up on the easel.
"Lillian is truly a marvelous painter." She told Shou, almost like a parent who has heard their child play a masterpiece on the violin for the first time. "Would you like to see what she is working on right now?"
Shou stumbled a few times before planting his feet well enough to regain his balance and run lightly behind her, his instrument case settling on his back after a few steps. He ran lightly next to Arianna, slightly behind her letting her hand hold his own. Just as lively as I remember her being. He smiled as they entered the trees, a familiar feeling of solitude he always felt among the trees returning.
The forest elf's eyes widened at the small cottage before him. He barely resisted the urge to run forward and inside. "It's just like my home was....." He put his hands to his forehead, trying to keep the memories from flooding back unsuccessfully. His mom's singing. His dad's sturdiness. The training with herbs. His time with Arianna. The fire at Arianna's house. The last words of her dying brother. The fire at his house. The searing pain as he felt his face cut into. Nothingness.
Shou didn't even hear Arianna's suggestion before he let out a scream and collapsed to his knees, clamping his hands over his ears. His eyes blanked of all emotions but pain, both emotional and physical. "Why...Why does it hurt so much...." He curled into a ball, his hands squeezing against the sides of his head.
Every time....why do so many memories bring so much pain???
Arianna felt a change in Shou's aura once they had entered the clearing, but she had assumed it was because of all the things that surrounded Lillian's house in the quiet little clearing. It usually took people a bit to get used to her home, and how beautiful, in Arianna's opinion, she had created it to be.
I had the same reaction so long ago....just pausing...but then I was trying to hold back everything from so long ago....I just hope he is stronger than I was....
She stepped forward a bit, her sight and mind already set on showing her old friend around the clearing before letting him see the paintings that Lillian had done over the years.
Then he screamed.
Arianna froze, as that pained scream ripped through her entire frame. It sounded like he was being killed slowly from the inside out, or as though he was slowly being tortured, and burned while he was very much alive. Her instinct deep down inside was to turn to her friend, to help him and comfort him, tell him it was alright. But she just couldn't move. It was like icy shards had been released in her veins, and shredded her heart and everything they came into contact with, and left her immobile, her limbs locked in place as he questioned the memories that caused him so much pain.
She just watched as the scream had pierced through Lillian, physically shaking her as it caused the paintbrush to fall from her delicate fingers. Lillian then turned quickly on her heel, picture incomplete and forgotten as she rushed to where Shou had collapsed, now curled on his side. As she rushed past Arianna, she took a firm grip of her wrist, and pulled her down beside her as he knelt on the ground in front of Shou.
"Oh you poor thing..." Lillian murmured quietly and sadly as she placed a delicate hand against his hair, and stroked it like a Mother would a child after they had awoken from a terrible nightmare. She gazed at his expression for a moment, and almost wanted to cry at the sight of so much pain in his eyes. "What's hurting you? Let me help you...It's alright....it's alright." She cooed quietly, trying to somehow make it all go away.
Arianna's knees plowed roughly into the dark earth as Lillian had pulled her down beside her in front of Shou. She as well, gazed at the pained expression in Shou's eyes. But unlike Lillian, tears began to fall down her cheeks silently, but she couldn't pull her eyes away. "I am sorry..." she spoke quietly, and rested a dark hand over one of the ones that gripped tightly to the sides of his head, her fingers curled against his hand slowly. "I know i-it hurts....but please....come back....I am here now....and Lillian....she can help you...."
I have to stay here...I have to control this....at least until he is better....
OOC;; Mehhh crappy response....but I tried ^-^ ((Oh how I hate being sick!))
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2011 17:12:18 GMT -5 by Julianna
The pain blocked out everything that Lilian said. Shou continued to feel the pain of the memories until Arianna spoke. Something about her voice calmed him more than anything else could have. he looked up at her, suddenly overcome with thoughts about not being with her again. He sat up quickly and buried his face in the fellow elf's shoulder.
"Don't ever leave me alone again. I don''t want to lose myself again. I want to stay away from the darkness...." The tears begin to spill from Shou's eyes uncontrollably. He keeps his face hidden in Arianna's shoulder, not wanting her to see the panic that he was feeling. He didn't want to lose anyone else, not until he himself was lost.
He had already lost so many people in his life. Too many to count, including Arianna's cousin who had disappeared about a year before the attacks. He gripped Arianna's shirt tighter, trying to block out all the painful memories but found he was fighting a losing battle. What was he going to do? There was nothing he could do, nothing to change the past. Nothing that could bring back everyone he had lost.
Is this what it feels like when you're going crazy? (OOC: Sorry for crappy response...)
Arianna watched Shou with pained, pleading chocolate brown eyes. She sat still as a carved stone statue, her expression blank. But her eyes showed the sadness that she didn't allow herself to show. It is not helping...nothing is reaching him...just please, make this stop! She felt helpless, and she hated that feeling to her very core. She hated when she could do nothing to help another who was clearly in so much need of it. She hated just sitting and watching as someone suffered, and not being able to do one single thing about it.
"Please just..." she began to speak, but her voice trailed off as Shou looked up at her, her dark irises meeting his silently. She barely registered what emotion seemed to play in his eyes before he suddenly had sat up, and buried his face into her thin shoulder. She turned her head slightly, her eyes wide as he spoke. She looked over his head at Lillian, her expression slightly panicked.
Lillian just returned Arianna's gaze with a soft, almost motherly one, her expression clearly saying Arianna had to try and comfort him herself. As she was the only one who had reached him and gotten him out of the memories that had made him collapse.
Arianna nodded slightly, and wrapped her arms tightly around her old best friend when she began to feel the tears from his eyes splash against her skin, and trail slowly down her shoulder. "I will not leave....how could I after how long we have been apart?" She spoke softly, and rested her chin on the elf's head. "I am not going to let you become lost, nor let this darkness you speak of have you!" Her voice became more determined as she finished speaking, her mind set on what she spoke to her friend. She was not going to let those things happen to him, as long as she had a say in it!
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2011 20:31:34 GMT -5 by Julianna
Shou wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back tightly. He slowly released his tight embrace and looked at Arianna. "I-I'm sorry I broke down like that, it's just....this place reminds me too much of home....." He looked down and whiped his face with the sleeve of his shirt.
He looked back up at Arianna and smiled a little, his eyes still showing the sadness and hurt he had felt. I must win against these feelings, I must not let my feelings get out like that again. Arianna doesn't understand what I mean by the darkness and I'm not sure if Lillian does. He smiled a little, though it was a forced one.
"Can I still see Lillian's drawings?" He turned to Lilian, still forcing out his smile. "That is if it's okay with you." He slowly picked up his instrument case, and inspected it for any damage. He was satisfied to see that there was no damage to the outside before slinging it across his back. He slowly stood up and breathed slowly. His feet felt weak, almost like they would collapse under hima t any moment.
"It is alright, I understand..." Arianna replied, her eyes soft as she looked at him when he pulled back form the embrace. Her hands fell into her lap, and gripped the hem of her leaf-like skirt like a child would a blanket when they are scared. "I had somewhat the same reaction the first time I saw this place as well." she smiled reassuring at him, hoping he got that he was not alone with the memories of that day.
Her smiled faded somewhat when Shou smiled, something in her subconsciousness whispering that it was not genuine. Her expression fell a little as worry set it, her dark eyes glancing at him with a million questions swimming in their dark depths. Something is truly bothering him....I don't understand what...but there is something very wrong.... She continued to watch him with a deeply worried expression even after he had pulled himself to his feet.
"I would love to show you my work, " Lillian smiled, her expression warm as she pushed off from the ground, and slowly rose, brushing dust from her snow white skirt. "Just give me a moment to pull them all out." She spoke as she walked over to where Arianna sat, and held out a hand, pulling Arianna up from the ground as soon as she had placed her hand into Lillian's. Once Arianna was on her feet, Lillian pulled her into a quick and tight hug, and smiled at Ari's confused expression as she moved away and headed inside.
Arianna just shook her head and smiled a little. "She always knows what I need, right when I need it." She murmured quietly, then turned to Shou, her expression losing some of it's worry. "Want to help me bring her new painting inside?" She asked, her voice brighter as she held out her hand to him. She was determined to do almost anything to distract him from the dark emotions and feelings that seemed to plague him, even if it was with only small things.
Shou blinked a few times and smiled, this time it was less forced and more believable even to himself. For some odd reason he felt unusually comfortable around Lillian. Maybe it was because she was treating Arianna with such kindness. At least she had some kindness that she could go back to all these years, maybe if he had that then he wouldn't have fallen into the darkness multiple times in the past.
He nodded and reached over to gently pick up the panting before Hayato lighted on a tree nearby observing patiently. Shou glanced in the direction of the bird and noticed he hadn't broken down like that without the bird around before. Well...actually Hayato was always around, just not chiding him all the time. He gave the bird a 'you better behave or else look' and turned back to Arianna.
"I can't wait to see Lillian's work. Maybe it will...umm...make me feel a little better than I have been recently. Maybe it will inspire me to write a new song or something of the kind."