endless rain
Mar 29, 76
45 Replies
Cygnus Essair @ May 28, 2018, 07:37 AM
18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
Seriously, don't follow this thread if you're squicky or easily triggered. Some bad stuff happens. Like the kind of bad we wish was just made up. Hello, rapecest. The fact it's not violent makes it even worse somehow. I dunno. You've been warned. Proceed with caution.

For the record, he did not drink too much. Really. It was just that, he might've had one extra glass of wine more than he intended to. Just one! Yes, he had one extra glass of wine -- about six or seven times, but, that was into the semantics territory, and sober, Cygnus didn't deal with semantics. Drunk, he most certainly did not. What was a semantics? Cygnus did not know.

He was probably rather the sight, honestly, maybe looked like he'd spent the evening at a wild party, and, admittedly, basically. Dalmascan bachelors, you know, sometimes they got pretty rowdy by themselves, but Cygnus always had fun, so it didn't really matter much. There was a small bit of a migraine, beginning in the back of his head, but it'd go away. Most likely, Kassi would insist he go to sleep, and he'd wake up with a bloody crazy headache in the morning, and probably feel horrible, until Merenwen took pity on him, and gave him one of her hangover tonics. That'd be that.

Trying to be quiet about it, he sort of wobbled into the entryway, from there, into the foyer. While he was rather impressively quiet, for a drunk guy, at least, he was giggling to himself, about something. Actually, Cygnus couldn't remember, what was so funny, but somebody had said something, and it had amused him into reverting a few years in maturity. The wine did that by itself, of course. Funny enough, when so thoroughly inebriated, he was oddly quiet, not being even vaguely mentally present enough to run his mouth a mile a minute, and mostly, he just giggled.

Which way were the stairs? He paused, in the foyer, still kind of giggling, but looking rather perplexed. Hmm. The lighting in the foyer was pretty crap, come to think of it. His vision was probably just shot, but of course, this didn't cross his mind. Well, eventually, Kassi would come get him. Cygnus, thusly, sat right there on the floor, to wait. Screw figuring out where the stairs were, Kassi always knew where the stairs were, and he could do the nagivatining thingie. Yeah, that.


light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Cygnus had been behaving, for the most part. He actually listened to the various space invasion warnings the slaves gave him, and everyone was doing what they could to mitigate what damage he could do. He didn't mean to be dangerous; he just was. Kass didn't blame him, not really, because he didn't understand, maybe couldn't, because Kass couldn't teach him. Kass wasn't sure if that was his own fault, or if it was Cygnus', or maybe their parents had the blame for that. Either way, it was what it was. Here they were, trying as best they could to deal with it. They had been doing so well. Yeah. So well.

Kassandros sat on the last stair, on the ground floor, the right side staircase. There were two, on either side of the foyer, of marble and wood, intricate metal detailing. What the estate lacked in square footage, it made up for in the design and details. It found other ways to make an impression, just as House Essair itself did. These kinds of impressions, though, wouldn't last forever, and really, Kass should be sleeping, right now, not waiting for his drunk dumb ass of a brother to come home. He had other things to worry about than babysitting Cygnus. But, Icarus was asleep, as were most of everyone else, and Kass would rather they stayed that way.

And, you know, Cygnus didn't crawl in bed with someone he didn't need to be crawling in bed with.

Ah. There he was. It was well past nightfall, and Kass had begun to worry. Did Cygnus remember that he looked just like him? You know, Kassandros Essair, the guy everyone seemed to want dead, suddenly? There was no point in saying it. Cygnus didn't listen to him, anyway. He started into the foyer, and then sat down. Kass heaved a quiet sigh, stood, and went over to Cygnus.

He didn't say anything, just, reached out, taking his hands and pulling him back up off the floor, and led the way to the stairs. It was definitely time for Cygnus to go to sleep.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
See, and right on time, there was Kassi. Kassi not drunky, Kassi could do nagivate-y. If he bothered to get up, and think about it, being fair, Cygnus could probably do the navigating, too. It wasn't like they'd ever moved, or majorly renovated the interior of the estate, so it looked the same, for the most part. Maybe the specific aesthetics had changed, over the years, morphing to be less of the dreary, dark-colored imposing aesthetic their father seemed to prefer, and more of the kind of impressive that didn't try too hard to be intimidating. The kind of impressive that Kassi was.

Yeah, they never got along, Cygnus knew that. Probably, it was his own fault, somehow, but Kassi didn't make it any better, either. Right? He couldn't think straight on the best of days; drunk, he lost even more of that ability. But he didn't miss it, how different from everyone else Cygnus knew, that Kassandros actually was. And he wasn't sure what he felt about it, really. Was it a good different? Was it bad? How'd he know the difference, anyway? Kassi was so bright. The kind of bright that almost hurt to look at, but it was never a searing bright, not to him. Cygnus had seen it get that way, sometimes, had seen the warm sunlight Kassi was always drowned in turn into sharp edges, but never at him. Not really, anyway.

Did Kassi hate him? Cygnus didn't hate Kassi. He just... he got mad, that was all. He still felt like Icarus knew him better. How could somebody be so close and yet so far away? "Where we goin?" Cygnus asked, not really giggling anymore. "You're not gonna go away are you?" Of course he would. Kassi didn't like him, anyway, why wouldn't he? It'd be just like he figured, Kassandros would get him to bed, and go away, like always he did, and every time he did, Kassi felt further and further away. Scramble as he might, to keep some shred of him, the wisps of light and fallen stars he left behind, those were just as ethereal as he was.

Fuck the gods, that didn't even make any sense.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
At least he didn't fight him, when he was so drunk he had no idea where the stairs were, anymore. In some sense, it was upsetting, because Cygnus wasn't good at thinking on the best of days, but he was even worse when he was drunk. What was the attraction to it, anyway? Kassandros had never figured that out. Admittedly, he knew a good wine or two, certainly knew a good one from a bad one, but it was never really all that interesting to him, in the long run. He drank, sometimes. But it was usually a sweet white, only one glass, and generally only because he was at a public function, and it was expected of him.

Kassandros had spent so long operating beneath expectations, you know, he wondered if he'd have any idea what to do, if those expectations were gone. If he wasn't the head of house Essair, if he wasn't the oldest, if he wasn't aiming for Imperator, then who the fuck even was he? Yeah, he had no idea. Well, whoever it was, probably not much better than who he was now, anyway. No sense worrying over it too much.

"The same place we always go," Kassandros answered, tone hushed, "when you're this drunk. You're drunker than usual. You should just go to sleep." He wouldn't feel better in the morning, probably, he'd have a massive migraine, but Merenwen had a fix for that, anyway. It seemed like a long time, since Cygnus had come home so inebriated, but he'd been in Jihon for a month, at least. Strange he didn't come back drunk as heck all his first night back; Cygnus was always up for some crazy party or another.

Sooner or later, he was gonna get himself hurt, and Kassandros wouldn't be there to stop it.

What was the damned point, anyway? Kassandros always wondered that eventually. What was the point, of being so powerful and knowing so much shit, of saving so many lives and reuniting so many families, when he couldn't save the ones that meant the most to him, when he couldn't put the damned pieces back together and save his family. What. Was. The fucking. Point.

Not that there was much of a family to save, anymore. It didn't matter, right now. He'd think about this... probably never, really. He knew there were things he'd never be able to shield them from, because he was one person, and his reach extended only so far, and some of their demons were in their own head. He knew it. It didn't make it easier to handle. "Well, yes," Kassandros answered. "But just down the hall, Cygnus, you know that." They reached the top of the stairs, and Kassandros turned slightly, backing down the hallway toward Cygnus' room. It wasn't far from his own, just a few doors, and Icarus was across the hall. Almost there. And then Kassandros could go the fuck to sleep, too.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
Right. Same place as always, he knew that. They were going to his room so he could sleep. Cygnus didn't want to sleep. Since when did he ever want to do anything that was a good idea, though? The answer, basically, was never, and he wanted to even less when Kassi said it was a good idea. Maybe he just didn't like being bossed around, in general, because it wasn't like anyone had really done it before. Cygnus had been left mostly to his own devices, and then father was gone, and suddenly Kassi got a stick up somewhere unpleasant.

Kassi was seventeen, too, what'd he know about anything? More than Cygnus, that wasn't hard to figure out, if the younger Essair thought about it, but Cygnus never thought about anything. It was like he went through life floating down a river; wherever it went, that was where he went, too, because it wasn't like he could stop the current, and he'd never learned to navigate it, the way Kassi and Icarus had. Or at least, seemed to. It was possible they didn't know any better than he did, and were just better at pretending.

He used to want to be Kassi. With all his fine-tuned control, and his ability to figure out the right things to say, how he knew how to act and which looks to use when to cause the most devastating effects. Kassi was bright. So bright, he drowned everything around him out, and Cygnus wasn't sure if what he felt was want to be him, or want to have him, or just want to have what he had. How'd he do it? What were his secrets? Cygnus didn't know that. Cygnus never would, because Kassi hated him, and, on bad days, Cygnus hated him right back.

But he didn't want him to go.

"No," Cygnus decided. With Kassi leading the way, it never took them long to get to his door. Kassi's was fancy and pretty, and shimmered with so many colors, hidden in the wood grain. Cygnus' door had metal inlay, like their parents', but not vines, little patterns they used on books, the fancy borders on covers, with fleur-de-lis corners. It looked less enchanting than Kassi's. Impressive, but more in the way their father had been.

Cygnus shook his head, reaching over and clinging to Kassandros in a hug. One of the few times he ever hugged his brother. "Stay. I don'wantchu go nowhere." Hey, maybe he'd fall asleep faster, if he had a breathing teddy bear. Not that Cygnus really knew; he'd never tried that.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
He couldn't stop the freezing.

He hated himself for it, but, Cygnus hugged him, and Kassandros froze. It was just a hug. As long as it stayed just a hug, that was fine, there was nothing wrong with this, calm down. No? Kassandros breathed, thinking, mind whirring a million miles a second. Cygnus was chaotic and unpredictable. He may just hug him, and fall asleep, or... Kassandros knew that risk, already. It was a quick way of wearing him down enough, he went to sleep with no fussing, and if Kassandros didn't distract him, it could bleed over to someone else. Icarus didn't even know. He didn't need to find out the hard way.

Why did he remember things like this. Why did he have to be so logical, why couldn't he just be selfish for once. No Cygnus, he'd say. Just go to sleep, you're not five anymore. And he thought he could save Dalmasca. He thought he could save her people. He thought he could make a difference, for the love of the gods, he couldn't even fight his own brother off.

But Cygnus didn't understand. He didn't know what he was doing, he had no idea, it wasn't like he had any particularly great examples, it was Kassandros' fault, it was Vopiscus', it was Ksenia's, it didn't matter whose fault it was, it just was, it was and Kassandros didn't know what to do with it. Except what he'd always done. Except think about anything else and hope it worked itself out.

It wasn't enough.

How was he supposed to save his brother?

"Okay," Kassandros answered, quiet, reaching up and patting Cygnus' hair. He kept doing things that were normal, for siblings, hoping Cygnus would catch on, but for some reason, despite knowing he should show him with Icarus, too, Kassandros had trouble getting too close to him, either literally or figuratively. Icarus and Cygnus were nothing alike. It didn't make sense. "But you really ought to go to sleep, okay? I'll stay until you fall asleep." Maybe, maybe, that'd be what he did. Just hugged him, and fell asleep. Hopefully. He reached over, turning the door handle, and pushing it open, gently nudging Cygnus that way. Hard to fall asleep standing up, after all.

Admittedly, he'd seen people do it, before.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
As always he did, Cygnus completely missed the freezing. He wasn't terribly observant on the best of days; it was no wonder he was less so, now. He was just happy to be so close to Kassandros, he didn't think about much else. If he wasn't standing, maybe he might've fallen asleep right here. Besides, he didn't have to support his own weight, or anything.

Jeez, anyway, how'd Kassi manage to stay so pretty? Cygnus wondered that a lot, really, wondered how he did it, wondered if maybe he just came by it honestly, like he seemed to come by most of everything. How was it fair, anyway, that everything seemed to come so easy to him? Nothing ever came easily to Cygnus, but there was never really any telling how hard Kassandros actually had to work at it all. Kassandros never showed any weakness. Certainly, not around Cygnus.

"Yay," Cygnus squeaked. He let go, happily, but drunkenly, bouncing into his room, after Kassandros got the door open. "I don'really wanna sleep, but I guess." He wasn't sure what he actually wanted to do, maybe just sit and talk. It was rare, after all, that he and Kassandros got along for longer than ten minutes, and Cygnus was starting to hate it. He hated a lot of things, no one was surprised.

Cygnus fell onto his bed, bounced slightly, as the mattress reflected the force, smiled brightly. "How come you never talk to me, anyway?" he asked, tilting his head. "I don'actually hate you, yanno. Most'a the time." At least he was honest. That was one good thing about Cygnus Essair, he was incapable of lying. But what he said, well, it was never really what he meant, in the longer run. Maybe at the moment, in the midst of whatever emotion had gripped him that time, but it was never permanent. The issue, of course, with emotions, was that most of them were fleeting, temporary, and when you were ruled by them, who even knew who you were?

It was no wonder everyone walked on eggshells, with him. Cygnus didn't even know what to expect from himself, most of the time.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Ah... well, at least he wasn't upset. Kassandros did have to wonder, how completely unaware of things around you, you had to be, to be able to completely miss things like that. Maybe it didn't matter. It was for the best, Cygnus hadn't noticed him freeze, even for that few seconds, didn't notice Kassandros' heart was still pounding a thousand beats a second - he had guards now.

He had guards and empaths, now.

Kassandros instantly clamped down on it, smothering it as fiercely as he could. Stop it, he snarled at it, in his head. You have no place here. Nobody invited you. If his emotions ran too errant, if he panicked, if one of the empaths could sense it and told one of the Macenians... even if Cygnus was just talking, the fact he'd clearly upset Kassandros, and had made it very obvious he wasn't above vicious rhetoric, even if they were just sitting here, it could make things more complicated than they needed to be.

Cygnus was oddly calm. Kassandros would like that he stayed that way.

"I know," Kassandros answered, shuffling across the floor, and settling down beside him. "I know you don't." He said that, but he didn't really mean it. Logically, Cygnus just couldn't control his emotions well enough not to say things he didn't really mean. In the moment, though, he meant it. Even if it was only for that five minutes, his brother did hate him. Kassandros knew, he blamed him for a lot of things, and he couldn't really fault him for it. Cygnus had no one else to blame, and maybe in some sense, it made his brother feel a little better, gave him a little bit of peace. But it was the sort of peace that was fleeting and useless, because it didn't hold up to scrutiny.

It only lasted so long, for Cygnus, because Cygnus didn't scrutinise anything.

"I do talk to you, though," he said, looking down at his hands. Kassandros thought he meant about important things, rather than just in general, but Cygnus wasn't capable of thinking that deeply, to know it himself. "I just get busy, Cygnus. And I don't want to bore you." Lord, Cygnus would die if he had to do such mundane shit as paperwork.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
Good. That was a good thing, for Kassi to know, that Cygnus didn't really hate him, even if he said he did. But Cygnus often said things he didn't mean, and he supposed, if anyone would know he didn't mean it, it'd be one of his brothers. They'd be used to him being impulsive, and speaking without thinking, because that was his entire life, now wasn't it? There was a dim... odd sensation somewhere in the back of his heart, like, maybe that was a problem, but he couldn't think of how. Certainly, not right now.

"Liar," Cygnus whispered, tapping his forehead against Kassandros' temple. "You're head of house and all, you can tell all that to screw off for ten minutes, right? We only ever fight anymore. I kinda miss when we were kids, you know? You're not much like you were back then." Cygnus didn't understand how, just that his brother wasn't the same. He used to smile, more. He used to talk, more, used to be easier to read, used to... used to be around.

The differences, between Kassandros five years ago, and the one sitting here now, were so stark, were like night and day, were like who are you, and where is my brother? And maybe that was why, why Cygnus kept clinging to him, even as they pushed and shoved at each other, even as they fought like bitter enemies, even as Kassi slipped away no matter how tightly he held on. And someday he'd be gone forever; Cygnus knew it. All of them did, that was what seers did, they died early, very, very early. Icarus would be head of house after him, probably. It wasn't like he liked Cygnus enough to hand it to him, instead.

Besides, Cygnus really didn't want it. But sometimes he did, just a little. Confusing.

In knowing, someday, Kassi would go where he couldn't follow him, he clung harder. But it didn't help. If anything, it made them hate each other more. Maybe Kassi was something he wasn't supposed to have. "How do you keep your hair so blond, anyway?" Cygnus asked, reaching up and brushing Kassandros' hair back behind his ear, but that wasn't what he wanted to say... well he'd forgotten it. He smiled a little, deciding not to bother with it, turning a bit and pulling Kass into his lap, and caught his lips with his own. This was as close as Cygnus could get, but, it'd have to do, he guessed. It still wasn't close enough, but, Cygnus wasn't really sure what that meant, anyway.

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Yes, theoretically, Kassandros could tell 'all that' to 'screw off,' but it wasn't necessarily a good idea. He always had time for his brothers, of course, of course, but he couldn't just stop running the house. For one thing, he'd never get to imperator that way, there was too much to do on that front, too much to work toward, and for another, the house itself may still be standing if he stopped doing his part, but Marcus was a serious threat. He hadn't told Cygnus, that. He hadn't really brought it up with Icarus, either, but he might've figured it out, from rumour and hearsay. It was pretty much an open secret, that Cassimer and Essair were at one another's throats, and maybe nobody entirely knew why, but they knew.

He wasn't sure how to explain this to Cygnus. How to explain that he couldn't just... stop doing his job. Apparently Cygnus thought he'd changed, too; maybe Kassandros really had. But that was a part of growing up, Kass always figured. There was so much that he needed to understand, that Cygnus just didn't, maybe even couldn't, in many ways, and it was frustrating. How did he make him understand? Kassandros never had an answer for that. Cygnus might be alive, but he couldn't live, not really, and if there was anything that might make Kassandros upset at having to leave his brothers so soon, it'd be this. Icarus couldn't do it alone, thinking for Cygnus. And Cygnus didn't understand.

Oh sh -

No, no, don't panic, he hissed in his head, not fighting Cygnus as he pulled him over to him and kissed him. Where'd he get the idea this was a good one, anyway? Kassandros had no idea. Admittedly, he hadn't been watching his youngest twin closely enough, to know where this had come from, but even in knowing it, it wouldn't help deal with it. This wasn't right, but Cygnus didn't understand. It was always Cygnus didn't understand, and Kassandros didn't know how to make him. It wasn't as if Cygnus ever listened to him. Telling him wouldn't do anything, except maybe make him angry, and Cygnus really didn't think straight, when he was angry. Nobody really did.

Kass didn't say no, but he also never really responded, either. Cygnus would do whatever he wanted, and then he'd fall asleep, no big deal. He could do this. It'd be just like any other time somebody decided to just take whatever they wanted, welcome to Dalmasca, right? After a moment, though, he did nudge Cygnus back a bit, separating them. "Cygnus, you're really, really drunk, you should just go to sleep." Sometimes, that worked. Sometimes. Maybe it would this time? It wasn't a no, sort of a diversion, instead, maybe it'd work and not upset him.

He didn't want this in the open, didn't want Icarus to find out, and the more Cygnus insisted on it, not knowing any better, the more likely it became that it'd spill onto the proverbial floor.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.

Cygnus made an annoyed noise, when Kass pushed them apart, and went back to that sleep thing. Cygnus didn't want to. Well, Cygnus never really wanted to, uh, do anything anyone told him to, being frank. Besides, Kassi had said to go to sleep earlier, but, now he had other things in mind. Yes, he was drunk, distantly he registered that, but it wasn't like that was odd or anything. Cygnus often was drunk, anymore, because... because he wanted to be, he guessed. Probably, he should think about that more than he was, but he really didn't care.

It was tiring, getting into fights with Kassandros all the time. But he was right, they did get along, when they were like this, even if only because Kassi shut up for once. It seemed weird, that they got along when neither of them said anything, but, words were stupid anyway. Cygnus didn't care for them, much, because sometimes they kind of made sense, and other times, they really didn't make any at all. Words were stupid.

"But I don'wanna sleep," Cygnus argued, almost whined. "Kassi, I want you." At least, he was pretty sure he did. In truth, he was misunderstanding that particular want, but he hadn't thought about it hard enough to figure that out. Cygnus was an overly emotional creature, but, he didn't really understand what he felt, just that he felt it, and it led to occasional serious misconceptions. Like this; yes, he did want his brother, but not like that.

He just made a noise, almost frustrated-sounding, but not really, maybe more confused-sounding, pulled them back together. Kassi wasn't much of a kisser, but Cygnus had decided he liked them, anyway. He shifted around, taking hold of Kassandros' hips, and pushed him over, but he was careful not to make him bend anything painfully. He didn't want to hurt Kassi. As he moved his legs up, though, one of them kicked the side table on accident, knocking the aura lamp on it off. It hit the wood floor with a loud shattering sound, making Cygnus jump and look behind him.

"... fuck," he huffed. Oh well. It wasn't like they couldn't get a new one. Anyway, kisses, trailing those down Kassi's neck. How was he always in the sun, and never got much darker, anyway?

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
Oh good fucking Iuna's good earth - this couldn't be good for him, either, Kassandros figured. Even if Cygnus didn't understand it, it still likely had some kind of subconscious effect on him. Kassandros was fine; Cygnus, though, he was delicate, fragile in ways Kassandros and Icarus never were, because even his own head was against him, because he felt so strongly, he couldn't control his emotions the same way Kass and Icarus could. How much subconscious damage was he doing to himself? Did - did he mean that, or did he mean something else? As emotional as he was, Kassandros wouldn't be surprised if he actually understood very little of what he felt, either. He couldn't make the logical jumps, think about it, figure out where these came from and what they really meant.

Don't, don't freak out... think... Kass, one of you should think. Actually, he'd never come up with anything useful, when thinking about this, maybe he should think about something else. Yeah, like a distraction. He didn't fight, following the push just fine, and when Cygnus jumped at the crashing sound, so did Kass. ... just the aura lamp. They had more, it wasn't a big deal - he was kissing him again, okay, think about something else, anything else, it wasn't like Kassandros didn't have plenty of other things to think about. Pick something. Something, something, ripping down the back section of wall soon, that was a good idea, good, okay, and, he couldn't remember right now when the next bit of land was going to be bought, didn't either he or Livia think up buying farmland in the Free Cities, he should go to the Free Cities to figure that out, right, good idea...

Smother it until it doesn't make noise anymore, that was always his plan. Outwardly, it was kind of working. He'd gone mostly expressionless, out there, but internally... internally, he was trying so hard not to panic, trying so hard to disconnect, trying not to think about it, but he could still feel it. That was his damned brother up against him, and his head was screaming no, no, no, damn it Cygnus, and his heart was wondering how they'd even gotten here. Kass didn't want to hurt him, didn't want to confuse him worse, didn't want the box he'd shoved this into to break open and spill it everywhere. He had guards, now. He wasn't sure if they'd actually hurt Cygnus, but, maybe. The possibility was there, and he needed to not invite that. He just had to hold it together a little longer, like he always did, he could do it.

Shutting down was one of the few things Kassandros did right.

All the times he'd pulled people that would've done this to him, off his brother. All the times he'd redirected their interest, even though he had none himself, all the shit he'd gone through, making sure the worst of Dalmasca never got anywhere near Cygnus, and then Cygnus turned on him, too. Would Cygnus even understand that he wasn't interested in it, if someone did come onto him? Would he just impulsively go along with it? Was he capable of not being interested? Maybe it was for nothing. Maybe he'd put himself through all that for someone that wouldn't do the same for him, and wouldn't have cared if Kass hadn't done it at all. Like always, the memories started up, there on the edge of his subconscious. He'd shoved this all down before, this remembering all the times someone else had pinned him down like this, this circular thinking pattern, this why why why did this even start, why wasn't it shutting up? Just shut up, just for a few minutes, better him than someone else, right?

He almost wished it was someone else, this time. He immediately hated that he thought that.

He'd decided to stare at the ceiling, visually following the patterns of the stone up there. It usually didn't take him long, so it'd only be maybe a few minutes. Yeah... the hurt was muffled, but his heart was still constricted, and he could still feel things, just distantly. His vision blurred, obscuring the patterns in the ceiling, the tears spilled over, but, he didn't make a sound.

He'd gotten good at not making noise, over the years.

80 Posts 24 Years male Macenia Commoner House Essair Played by Lenara
Dreams of the Arena were the worst. Dreams of the blood he'd spilled, of the lives he'd ruined on the sands. Not by choice of course, but it had still happened. And sometimes, of course, sometimes it was probably a blessing to those who had died, that they would not suffer any longer at the hands of their Dalmascan owners. Still... it didn't stop the dreams and it didn't make the sands stained in blood any more pleasant to remember.

Sometimes, he lay awake, silent in the darkness. He had his own room now, so he didn't have to lay totally still he could move around, pace if he needed to burn off the feeling of the nightmare, but Sandalio never did, for fear of disturbing the rest of someone in the rooms nearby.  So sometimes, he lay awake, like he was at the moment. Breathing and trying to shake off the disquiet those dreams left him with.

At least he never screamed, anymore. That was some sort of a blessing, because Sandalio really didn't want to explain that he was having nightmares like some sort of a child.

Eventually Sandalio would probably have fallen back asleep, but just as he reached the edge of rest, there was a crashing sound from one of the other rooms. It set him sitting bolt upright and before he really thought about it, Sandalio scrambled out of the room, obviously seeking the source of the noise. Clumsy assassin? Kass' brother coming home drunk? Sandalio intended to find out, just in case it wasn't something innocent. If an assassin got in at this time of night there was an admittedly small chance that they may catch Kassandros off guard enough to do damage.

It didn't take long to find the room where the disturbance occurred but what he saw was not what he expected. It only barely registered - Cygnus on top of Kassandros, and the broken lamp that was probably the cause of his awareness of something being wrong in the first place. Sandalio did the first thing that came to mind, which was grabbing Cygnus by the back of his shirt and attempting to pull him up, off of his brother.

"Give me one good reason I shouldn't snap your neck." Sandalio's voice was low enough that it shouldn't carry that far beyond the three of them, ah, but his tone made it clear that he fully meant the threat there.

18 Posts 17 Years Male Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by aphelion
It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.
Kassi never did much, when they were like this, just, letting Cygnus have the reins. He always figured, you know, Kassi wasn't good at expressing his feelings, it made sense he wouldn't be very good at it here, either. Cygnus didn't mind. He would eventually have to move him around, but Kass never minded that, either, just going along with whatever. He wasn't sure if he was good at this, and hadn't gotten particularly brave with experiments (he still didn't want to hurt him, even on accident); Kass never said anything about it.

He'd started working on that extricating Kassandros from his clothes thing, when suddenly he went backwards. Cygnus loosed a surprised squeak, and then... that was a threat. Did he mean that? Did Cygnus want to find out if he meant that? Wait, when'd he get here... must have left the door open. Oh, yeah the lamp had broken, too, that was -- he'd have to make sure not to cut himself on the shards or whatever. At least it was still glowing; the lamp breaking didn't mean it suddenly stopped working, it was just a bit inconvenient.

Eventually, his brain went in enough circles, getting distracted, that it finally registered Kass was crying. Kassandros was crying, Cygnus had never seen him cry, ever. What...? "Kassi, you're crying, what's wrong?" Nothing had happened to warrant that, he didn't think; did the Macenian say something he missed? He didn't think so. Cygnus wanted to hug him, but -- a glance up at the blood fighter that had a rather good grip on his shirt -- yeah, he didn't think he'd let him go.

Wait, what'd he do, anyway? Nothing that he could think of... Cygnus frowned, looking back at Kassandros, confusion very evident. What'd he miss?

light from the shadows
102 Posts 17 Years Nonbinary Dalmasca Warlord House Essair Played by Esmera
Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give? I will not stand in reflection of someone else's dream.
He'd never had the reason to stare at the ceiling very long. The stone was actually a mismatched colour, he thought, darker stones and lighter, and there was that one stone, up there, somewhere, he'd lost it by now, that looked a bit brownish, instead of the slate grey the rest were. Now that he'd found it, that'd bother him, but it seemed silly to tear down Cygnus' bedroom ceiling just to replace that one stone. Well, if Cygnus didn't notice it, maybe he'd pretend he hadn't, either.

There... there went his control, his shutting down; it wasn't entirely a shut down, given one couldn't fully do that, anyway, but he was almost to the point where he couldn't feel Cygnus anymore, couldn't hear anything, and, his blurry vision was making it hard to see, too. Good, that was good, gods he needed a better plan than this, but he didn't know what to do, preferred not to think about it. He couldn't explain this to Cygnus, because, Cygnus didn't listen to him, anyway, and Kassandros didn't want to think about it, let alone talk about it.

His heart still hurt. He wished he had someone to blame, for all this, for how hard he'd failed his brother in attempting not to, but... it wouldn't fix it, either. Blame was one of the singlemost useless things in the world, because it didn't make you feel better, and it didn't fix anything.

Cygnus got off of him, and for a moment, he didn't register that, but he did register someone else talking. Wait, that sounded like - Sandalio - no! "No! No, no," the words just spilled out of him, as he shot upright, standing and almost hitting the floor. Oh shit, irritating side-effect of shutting everything out to the point he couldn't feel anything, "he doesn't understand! Please, don't hurt him, he doesn't know what he's doing!" That sounded so stupid, that sounded so stupid, Cygnus was old enough now, he should, logically, "his mind doesn't think right, he doesn't understand!"

Kassi, you're crying. What? For a moment, the frantic panic stilled, blurry blue gaze falling on Cygnus, stunned more than confused, he'd... was he? Was - one hand reached up, brushed his own cheek, and came back wet. Tears. He was crying. Cygnus noticed, he didn't know why, but, for a moment, he couldn't breathe, and then a strangled, pained sob escaped, and the tears rushed out with no holds at all. Why... fuck, he couldn't breathe, a gasp and another choking sob - "It's fine," somehow, he managed. "It'll... it'll be okay, Cygnus." He had no idea how, he had no idea how, but somehow.

Oh crap... oh crap, of course, this was going to be the first time his head completely blanked on him, gods damn it, he still couldn't breathe. "Go to sleep, like I said," Kass whined, and then moved around the two and ran down the hall. At least his door was distinct.