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Rhea rolled her eyes, [+lightcoral “You are ever so welcome.”] For the majority of this trip, her sass had taken a backseat, but it was reemerging now that Dante was giving her a hard time. Still, she smiled when he took her hand. It had not been that long, but she was missing him and his touch. [+lightcoral “Oh, I am not taking control, just proffering some friendly advice while we are here. After Pyrenians I know the most about the Shelvi.”] Well, that might have been untrue… things were actually documented in a language she could fluently read here, so when it came to history and customs, Rhea just might have known more about Shelvit. It was a minor technicality, so she didn’t bother with it.
After standing there for what felt like an eternity, Kashia was granted access to the ship. Without a second thought she stepped aboard and passed the giant of a man who had presumably opened the door. [+orange “I am coming aboard.”] There was no asking in her voice. It was one hundred percent a demand. The tone made Jax nervous, so he faltered back a bit. The woman continued forward, not paying much mind to him.
She did not ask for directions. Not because she knew where she was going, but because she had a feeling she needed to walk a certain way. That was what brought her here in the first place. The overwhelming drive that she needed to be someplace. It brought her down to the port and as soon as she laid eyes on this ship she knew that was where she needed to go. Whatever was going on aboard this craft was exciting, and she wanted to be a part of it! That being said, the tentative goal in her mind was to find the captain, whoever they were, and join the crew.
The whole time she walked about, the large man fidgeted behind her. At some point, he must have figured out where she was going, because he rushed forward to knock on the door. It slid open after that and inside she could barely believe her eyes. [+orange “… Auntie?”] This was not what she expected to happen upon here, not at all.
Catching a familiar sight, Rhea blinked. For a second she thought she saw a ghost, but it did not take long for the illusion to fade. [+lightcoral “Where did you get that outfit?”] It was one she recognized and it did not belong to the young woman who was wearing it. The clothes were outdated, but even in their time they had never been fashionable by any means. Though the oranges and browns did flatter her skin.
Tangerine colored hands came folded up in front of her defensively. [+orange “I took them when we went to your house. We went to look for you after you missed my birthday.”]
Even though she had plenty of reasons and very good excuses to not be there, Rhea still felt bad. [+lightcoral “I am sorry, something came up I-“] There was not time to continue.
[+orange “We were supposed to go on a trip! You promised that we would.”] Her pouting gaze was piercing on the shorter woman across the way. [+orange “Durahn got to go on his.”] She motioned toward the exit as if that was some sort of indication to where her brother actually was.
Rhea was weak to Kashia’s sulking, so she was having a very hard time with this. [+lightcoral “I know, I know, but it is going to have to wait a little longer.”]
[+orange “You are drifting about the universe as an intergalactic criminal, right? That is like the coolest thing ever, so why can’t I just come with you now?”] Her eyes were big and begging, but even that would not be enough to get her way this time.
[+lightcoral “Most definitely not.”]
Kashia blinked in confusion, her aunt seldom told her no.
[+lightcoral “It is way too dangerous. In fact, us being here at all is endangering you. I just came to borrow that recording equipment I gave you a few years back and then we are leaving.”]
The younger woman was not pleased with this, not at all. [+orange “No, you can’t have it. Not unless I get to come with you.”]
Rhea rolled all four of her eyes. [+lightcoral “I know where your house is, Kashia. I can get it myself. And I will tell your parents how you are behaving while I am at it. You are eighteen, you cannot keep acting this way.”]
[+orange “I will act however I want since no around her seems to treat me like an adult anyway.”] She sat on the ground, cross-legged and determined that she would not move of her own volition.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Dante was called to the bridge when they had landed, having spent a lot of his time resting in his room. His migraines had been worse and his eyes rather sensitive to the light, up to the point he wore his glasses almost all the time now. Under the guise that he was just following Rhea's orders to relax and take it easy to heal better, the others respected his privacy and only on occasion would they interrupt him.
They had their orders, they knew their errands, they would work hard for him – hopefully. With Rhea and Tera as acting Captains in his stead, they would keep the others in check and working to an appropriate level. And so Tera was away with the girls not long having landed, whilst Jax was sent into the hold to keep him busy more than for any real purpose. He sat down in the bridge, leaning up against one of the consoles and folding his arms over his chest.
Dante had thought perhaps this would be a very simple trip, but the fact she had to sit him down and discuss the intricacies of the people of this moon-world was not a great start. Yet he was pleasant and pliant enough, nodding along to her talk and learned rather a lot about a species of people he had never encountered. And it was rather nice to have some alone time with her, even if it was in a much more formal setting than the villa. She looked healthier and well rested, though the playful nature they had both had was shelved in favour of their more serious personalities. It was refreshing really. To still hold a way of being professional was good, it would help them going forward.
Unfortunately during her description they were disturbed by the call of Jax. Looking at the board and making a few quick taps with his nimble fingers, he brought up the communications tab and was a touch annoyed to see whom it was, ready to ignore it and instruct her to continue. But it seemed his absence had caused her to feel more in control and she offered for him to answer the call. He obliged, and Jax's voice carried through.
Something about a woman knocking on the door? Likely a sales person trying to offer a cleaning service or to sell them trinkets from the planet. They got them almost everywhere they landed where they were clearly not from the area. He sighed and went to inform the large man to have her sent away, but again Rhea interjected and they began a conversation. Again, here he was being over shone for his own ship and he looked at her with a raised brow, finding it rather humourous, especially when she leaned back and advised he should let her niece onto the ship.
[+royalblue “Oh, I can let someone onto my ship now? Well thank you very much for your go ahead dear.”] He half grinned at her, turned to the comms and signalled for Jax to let her in and bring her to the bridge himself. With confirmation on the big man's end he ended the link to the hold and looked to Rhea, reaching out a hand to her, taking hers in his and stroking it lightly.[+royalblue “I think you are starting to get a little big headed, taking control of my ship.”] He spoke in a flirty and teasing manner, wanting to embrace her and lay kisses at her neck, though he made himself content to hold her hand.
Just a few minutes later, with a tap at the door to show they were there, Dante released her hand lightly and looked to the entrance. In stepped a rather strikingly unique woman and he found himself interested from the offset. Not romantically or any such thing. But she just looked positively unique. If the whole planet was like this then it would wear off quickly, but as he set his golden eyes - behind the glasses still - on her, he found himself intrigued.
[+lightcoral “An order? And here I thought I was off the clock and on holiday.”] Rhea returned the kiss in kind and smiled. [+lightcoral “Alright, I will let you know, but I am almost certain I am going to be fine.”] She did not particularly feel like falling down the stairs either, so this time she would happily concede to his demands.
Her day after that consisted of both the girls and Dante being overly conscious of her. She found odd, especially since the girls had gone through the exact same thing that she had. But they were being kind and she was not about to dissuade that. When she needed time away from it she returned to her room. The pyrenian knew that it would be best to stay indoors after what had happened with that doctor. She couldn’t say for sure that he was looking for her, but on the off chance she ran into him or someone that knew him Rhea opted to stay inside for the rest of their trip. Somewhere along the way she told Dante in a little more detail what had happened when she left. He was not entirely happy about it, but at this point it could not be helped. He also encouraged her to keep out of sight after that.
When their week of fun was finally coming to a close, Rhea was worried about a few things. The first how her and Dante’s relationship would translate to the situation of being back on the ship. It was going to be a lot more difficult to have time alone without the others distracted by the novelty of being grounded. But with how desperately they had been rutting about, she was sure they would find a way.
The other thing that had her nerves all frayed was their next destination. Dante had given her free reign to pick their next terminus. Choosing was not a problem, as she already knew they needed to head to Shelvit. It was whom she would see there. Her family was bound to be angry that she had not gotten into contact with them through all this. And while that task was unmanageable, it was unlikely they would see that, at least not the youngest of them. She was not looking forward to the initial contact. But she did have a few days to mentally prepare herself.
That time passed quickly, though that was due in part to the crew settling back into their home aboard the ship. As exciting as it was to be out and about, there was something novel about coming back home after a long trip. And while Rhea was still in the transition of thinking of this place that way, it was still good to be back to the relative norm.
Shelvit being a moon was not a very large body, but it was heavily terra-formed. Aside from places that were heavily populated, those being the handful of main cities, everything was covered in the dense green of forest and chlorophyll filled vegetation. The port they landed in was in one of the cities. Though that term only loosely described the place. There were many buildings, constructed in all different styles and out of many different materials, but nothing so tall as to touch the sky. The moon was not so populated as to need to build up instead of out.
Upon touching down, most of the crew was on the bridge. The only one who was not was Jax who was off in the engine room as per his job description. But now that that was through he made his way to the hold. He didn’t really know whether or not he was needed there, but since that is what they usually did when they came places, he preemptively wandered that way. When he made it he was greeted with something unusual, knocking. Not on the main cargo hatch, but on the door meant for people to come and go through. The large man was confused at this, and it was ever so tempting to open the door and see who it was. Jax knew better than that, but there were other ways to see who was there. He gave and hit the button to activate the screen on the wall. With some quick navigation through the GUI, he was able to see through the external camera just who was on the other side of the hull. It was a woman and one he did not recognize.
Back in the bridge, Rhea was trying to find a way to explain what to expect in this place without raising too much alarm in Dante. [+lightcoral “So how much do you know about the Shelvi?”] Judging by the fact that they were here, she felt she could safely assume he was unacquainted with the race. The red-eyed woman did not think these were a people that the captain was going to get along with. His face confirmed what she expected and she went on. [+lightcoral “Alright, first and foremost as a whole the Shelvi do not have the greatest grasp on consequences. They tend to be [I very] impulsive. So, I need you to just take a nice deep breath and remember that we are not here to take any advice or anything of that nature from them. We probably won’t even be here that lo-”] she was cut off by a blip that meant someone was trying to get through with a call. The flashing light on the board indicated it was from the hold.
Rhea gestured for Dante to take it; it could have been important.
[+gold “Cappy, A lady’s knockin’ on the door.]
Before Dante could get a word in, the roseate woman jumped in. [+lightcoral “What does she look like?”] Rhea had a sneaking suspicious she knew exactly who it was.
Jax’s voice came through with some uncertainty. [+gold “Uh… Orange and yellow, lots of horns…”]
He was basically describing a quarter of the population on this rock. [+lightcoral “Is she wearing a necklace with a gold pendent?”]
[+gold “Uh-huh… Looks like a triangle.”] He seemed excited to answer her question positively.
Taking a step back away from the receiver, Rhea sighed. [+lightcoral “She is ridiculous.”] Turning to Dante, she spoke to him directly. [+lightcoral “It is my niece. She is the one I came to talk to... It will probably just be easier if we let her onboard.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Dante found himself gently stroking along her smooth leg as she ate. He did not want her to feel trapped by him or to disturb her whilst she ate. It was good to see her appetite was strong and that she wolfed down the meal with only a few pauses to take a breath or to chew and swallow and he stopped himself from admonishing her or telling her to pace herself. He was happy enough to see her more energetic than ever, the lethargic Rhea of the morning past now completely lost.
Once the food was gone it was like having drunken Rhea back however, as she looked at him with a smirk to her lips and teased him like he would her. Her comment was not expected and his skin had flushed automatically as he felt what she must when he flattered her appearance. Thankful that she did not seek to return to sleep or to pull him to her – and the inevitability of what would follow the latter if she had – he remained close at hand in case weak legs failed her. Perhaps she felt this too, not wanting to stray away from him as she pressed against his seated form and kissed his cheek.
The smell of her meal on her breath mingled with the natural heat of her body and his hands grasped at curving hips a little hungrily. Dante could not deny looking at her stirred arousal within him. It was like she had a pheromone she could use on demand to get what she wanted from him and even just two light kisses to his cheek and neck had his hands grasping her figure a touch more tightly than before. Her words were quite lost to him as he ran a hand up her side, grazing by her chest and taking a hold of her chin to direct her lips upwards and to his own for a very brief second.[b “I think you should rest more. We can always continue our bath; minus any talking of course.”] He did not want a repeat of their conversation that had led to her leaving. Exploring one another’s minds would have to wait for a more calming day.
But for now she would not have any of it and pulled away from his hold to retrieve her glasses and the tray. He rolled his eyes at her in defeat but with a heavy sigh he stood up and nodded.[b “Fine, fine, I suppose making a short appearance will put the girls concerns to rest. But do try and do me one favour,”] he stopped before her and again stole a light kiss from her,[b “if you feel tired tell me. I would rather you fell asleep leaning against me and they find out about us than you fall down the stairs.”] He brushed a cool hand over her cheek and smiled.[b “And yes, that is an order.”] A wink of his golden eye and he turned toward her door, sliding open for the pair.
Making it downstairs took a little longer as she regained her footing and her strength. But once downstairs the girls were quickly over to her, asking if she was okay and taking away the tray from her hands without listening to any objections. Rhea had instilled in the pair a sense of responsibility and to help even without being asked. Dante allowed her to decide herself what to do, instead heading off to find Tera and to try and cut her off before she could have any words with the Pyrenian women of their group.
At the click of the door, Rhea sat up. She watched as the lithe blue figure she’d come to know intimately walked in; he bore gifts of food. Going off smell alone, she knew it would be yummy. It was a scent that made her want for food all the more unbearable. And that was after it had already overwritten her need for sleep. Though to be honest those were two sides of the same coin that was her body crying out for energy. No matter what shape it came in.
True to form, Dante’s first words to her were coy. She lifted her red gaze from the tray in his hand to his smug grin and scrunched her face in protest. “Tis the curse of insomnia.” She shrugged, knowing that was only part of the problem in this case.
He went on to tease her more after that. “Oh hush, you.” Dante had her thinking about her appearance. She was sure it was a mess despite what he said. White hair falling in her face attested to that. Bringing up a small hand, she felt around for her hair clips. One was missing. Her hair liked to flip about when not held down, so even without a mirror she knew at least half her head was in disarray. Though, her hair was getting longer now, so that weight would help considerably to tame the natural wave.
Doing a quick look about, Rhea did not immediately see the missing pin anywhere in the bed. And since she did not like the idea of being uneven, she removed the other fastener and set it on the nightstand. Now her hair really was a mess, but she chose instead to concentrate on the food before her. Taking up the offered bowl, she nodded to the tall Tiefling who seemed all the more towering with her sitting in bed.
“Thank you, love.” She said nothing else as she began to eat. The Pyrenian tried to pace herself, but now that she had food in hand that was easier said than done. It wasn’t long until it was gone and she was reaching for the other saccharine snacks that Dante had brought. She washed them away with juice that was left more tart after eating what was akin to pure sucrose. In the end her tummy was full, but she felt as though she needed to continue to eat. It was a very strange sensation.
At some point during her binging, Dante had taken a seat at on the bed. And now that she was not distracted with eating, it was taking all of her restraint not to drag him back into the covers to lay down with her again. That, or crawl into his lap. “You are awful enticing, do you know that?” But somehow, with that comment, she managed to control herself, for the most part. Instead she stretched, loosening up all the tightness she’d accumulated throughout her day of sleeping. There were a few snaps and pops, but once it was through, Rhea felt a little better. At the very least well enough to shimmy out of bed and to her feet. From there she had the freedom to walk over to a certain golden-eyed gentleman and place a kiss on his cheek, her hand rested on his shoulder as she lingered close. “Thanks again, I am feeling much better after having something to eat.” A warm smiled formed on her lips as she gazed lovingly at his features. “And while I would love nothing more than to prove it to you,” She kissed his neck lightly. “I should probably make an appearance downstairs, before anyone thinks I’ve died all over again.” There was a flippant tone to her words, though the joke was probably made a little too soon.
Pulling back, so that she was not too tempted to tease him anymore, she retrieved the tray he had brought up along with her glasses. He made her breakfast and brought it to her in bed, the least she could do was clean up the mess.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her sweet protests were weak and like that from a child who is fighting slumber. Manipulating the situation to his advantage to garner some kind of answer out of the woman he was left with little more than 'fast food, hurry up'. The demure smile she had as she looked up to him was quite irresistible but he did well not to simply lay her down and roll atop her, kissing at those pouting lips.
Instead he lay her back down, kissing at her cheek and brushing back her hair as he was waved goodbye. It took a little time for him to make his way down the stairs, wanting a moment to himself to take deep breaths and think through the last day. From the high of making love with an amazing woman to a heated argument with the same figure, to have his two young girls effectively die without reason and the aforementioned woman returning with news it had affected her as well. His mind was frayed and the many hours just holding onto Rhea had been spent trying to analyse the situation.
Finally Dante was done with thinking. No reasonable explanation came to mind aside a wild belief the Termani were testing some despicable device or weapon to wipe out the Pyrenian's should they either not be able to control them any more, or as a means of cleansing Pyreen for their own nefarious desires. There was little point in bringing it up with Rhea however, she would be formulating her own ideas and he would leave this in her hands lest he worry her needlessly.
Downstairs he spent a few minutes with the girls, talking with them to see how they felt. Though they commented feeling a little tired and sluggish, they looked healthy and seemed happy to continue their playing with Jax. He would not force them to rest or to slow down. If they were smiling and happy then that was good enough for Dante. He was content to watch them a little longer, though no doubt the larger child up in her bed would be getting restless and wanting her food. Or blaming him for taking so long.
As he prepared the food, a light food but it would warm her and provide her with some energy, he spoke with Jax.[b “Say nothing of last night to Tera. Until we know more about this or until Rhea has some idea as to what happened, I do not want her getting needlessly upset. Remember when you broke her cup?”] The large man's eyes went wide in remembrance of the incident and how angry and wild the anthro had been. It had taken several days and much bribery from Dante to calm her. And that was over a plain metal cup. Jax nodded quickly.[b “Good. And thank you for caring for them Jax. Carry on.”]
Taking the food upstairs on a tray, along with a fruit juice and some assorted sweets that were quite simply pure energy, he returned to Rhea and placed it all down onto the table on her side of the bed, seating himself on the edge as he brushed a cool hand across her forehead. Looking down on her, his own golden eyes feeling a touch tender near the wounds, he brushed back her hair gently.[b “I am surprised you did not fall back to sleep.”] He teased as he took a bowl from the tray and filled it will some of the food he had quickly made.
[b “This is what, the second time now I have seen you just after waking? I'm starting to think there is no time when you do not look beautiful.”] He offered the bowl up to her, only after placing a spoonful of sauce atop it. It would simply not do if it was bland and not spicy.
A peep of discontent came from her as he rousted her from rest. The Pyrenian woman was not having it. She rolled over, placing her torso on top of Dante’s and snuggled in. “No food… just sleep.” The four syllables were mumbled into his chest as she laid face down there, eyes closed. For as tired as she was, Rhea had been expected to wake up disoriented, but she remembered everything vividly. She really hadn’t been expecting Dante to actually stay with her all that time, much less wake up in his arms, but it was a pleasant surprise.
In retaliation to her denial, the Tiefling took a simple but effective course of action. He sat up. The swift movement gave no time for her to retreat to her pillows. Though, he caught her before she could fall fully to his lap. He asked her again what she wanted to eat; it seemed he wouldn’t take no for an answer. And so she had to put some serious thought into it. A more difficult task than it should have been, given she was still frightfully tired. “I don’t know.”
After that less than satisfactory answer, she opened her eyes for the first time since waking. Looking up to see his beautiful golden eyes, she could help but smile, though it was subtle in her weariness. “Mm…” she hummed in thought. “I will eat anything you bring. Whatever is quick and easy so that you can get back to me soon.” Somehow, putting that spin on it helped. She waved him goodbye, though she was not enthused with the fact that he was leaving. He’d been comfortable.
In the time that Dante was gone, Rhea attempted to go back to sleep. It sure didn’t work, but it was definitely relaxing. And as she was lying there, sunken back into the position she’d been in before, only now sans lover, her stomach actually began to wake up. And she was starving. Probably not literally, but it was the hungriest she thought she had ever been. The woman debated whether or not she would meet him downstairs in the kitchen or not. It would have gotten her fed a little sooner, but laziness won out and she stayed firmly seated in the bed waiting for the slender man’s return.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Dante could never deny she was not beautiful especially when she was attempting to be sweet and captivating as she was now. Her figure curled and twisted on the bed, the last remnants of her energy used to turn herself over and slip beneath the covers seeking further warmth that he could not imagine she needed given the heat of her skin already. Even as she whispered a weary goodnight he found his resistance faltering.
With the inevitability of Jax eating a cookie were it presented to him, Dante too slipped beneath the covers. His hands slipped about the slender woman and her curving hips, bringing her toward him where he rolled her a little to rest alongside him. That familiar heat was there and he let out a content sigh as his cool lips pressed to her forehead, removing her glasses to put to one side and stroking her side slowly to help her aching muscles hopefully relax further. He was no masseur but even he could soothe a body that was knotted as much as hers.
He brought her arm about his waist to situate her better before he resumed his gentle caresses of her figure and a hand gliding through her winter hair. Dante enjoyed the look on her peaceful face as she fell to slumber rather fast. He could only hope she remained as such for most of that day.
The Tiefling did not leave her as she slept. There was no need for him to do so, having the tracker device beside him on the nightstand. He could see everyone was still in the house, Tera having returned a few hours after Rhea had fallen asleep and was up in her own room. Jax came in to see them once or twice, primarily to ask if it was okay if he made the girls some food though he could tell the large behemoth was concerned for the older Pyrenian. He found it touching and sweet but left him to care for the girls and help them to giggle and laugh and enjoy themselves. It was best for them.
Holding Rhea to him tightly he soaked in her warmth and her softness, wanting nothing more than to just remain there and see her regain her strength. But alas it was into the afternoon when he gently shook her to wake her up.[b “Rhea? Come on, you need to eat something.”] He whispered to her as he pushed her hair back.[b “I will bring it to you here, but you need to tell me what you want.”] He continued in a hushed tone and pressed his lips to her cheek upon lifting her head by her chin.
Rhea nodded. “You are right.” She very much doubted it would happen again so soon, even with the growing sense of paranoia inside of her. It was just very hard to ignore. She wanted to do something about it right then and there, but that was unconventional no matter how she tried to look at it.
On the way to her room, she again accepted his help. Their previous argument really wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, but she was a little surprised when he ventured farther into her quarters. Rhea kind of expected to see him off at the door, but that was not the case. Dante waltzed right in with a lot more grace than he’s shown when they were actually dancing. Going so far as to pick her up and see that she made it safely into her bed. A task she probably could have managed on her own, but the Pyrenian was glad she didn’t have to.
There was one more surprise as the Tiefling rounded the bed and climbed in as well. Blinking at him, she listened to what he had to say. Once again, he was correct. Rhea would do the same. At least she would try. There was a good chance she would have to beat Tera back with a stick, but a conscious effort would be made.
His cool touch was a pleasant reminder of his presence. Even with the short waking while she had been gone, she missed him. It was a little stupid, but it was what it was. “I’m not going to hit you…” She sighed, staring up at the flat textured ceiling. “We cannot avoid [I that] forever; we’ll have to talk about it one day… But I don’t want it to be the end of us when we do. I care about you so much; I can hardly stand it… That’s probably why it hurts so much that we can’t see eye to eye.” Even in her tired state, she knew she was beginning to drone on, not to mention wander into dangerous waters. She swiftly moved on. “Either way now is not the time.”
Completing that thought, it was difficult to resist the urge to close the distance between them. To demand that he hold her so that she could sleep snuggled to his chest. But somehow she managed. Rhea settled with rolling over to see his face while she maneuvered her way under the blanket. This also meant forsaking his hand on hers, so that was a compromise. However, with a deep breath, she was able to endure.
Once fully cocooned within the quilt, she smiled drowsily. “Goodnight,” the word was lightly spoken. Her eyes closed quickly after that and sleep set in just about as fast. Exhaustion meant minimal tossing and turning. In fact, now that she was back someplace she considered safe, Rhea slept with little to no interruption or aid. She did so for many hours.
The girls were out longer than usual as well, but they rose before their teacher and were ready to eat Dante out of house and home. After an uncommonly large meal, they were feeling closer to normal, but reported still feeling strange. There was a lack of energy that faded, but never completely disappeared. A symptom that presented as the twins lacking the hyperactive flair they often had. But that didn't mean they didn't have enough energy to run about with Jax and enjoy the remainder of their vacation that was quickly coming to a close.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat He was a touch incredulous to hear that it had occurred to her too. Again at a loss for words to comfort or offer support, he merely nodded his thanks when she stated she would try for the girls even if she did not have the answers. He could understand her desire to be truthful and honest, not wanting to lie after her entire race was lied to by the Termani to keep them in servitude.
Serving as her counter-weight and physical support on the trip up the stairwell, he slipped an arm about her waist to ease some of the pressure from her feet though he would have preferred to carry her up and save her energy. She was headstrong however. A woman who was proud of her independence and the ability to take care of herself. It was an attractive trait that he shared, though he was much more comfortable now, since her arrival and care through his numerous injuries, to accept help when needed.
She left his side as they walked in, releasing her to the room as a delicate hand pressed at his chest for him to remain at the doorway. He had requested her help and the tone she took was soothing and gentle. Whilst he would have perhaps liked her to skip the part of this happening before, this was a woman of truth and so he could not fault her. When she had finished tucking the girls in he was ushered out with Jax, a final look in to the resting girls before the lights were turned down low and the door closed over.
[b “Jax, go back to your room and rest. Thank you.”] Dante's order was obliged by the larger man who nodded his head before slowly walking away, occasionally glancing back to the door they stood at.
Looking across to the linguist come guardian, the Tiefling nodded lightly to her words as if he understood anything about what she was saying. In truth it was foreign to him. It was a terrifying prospect that this could happen again but her reassuring voice as she looked up at him was very soothing. He nodded in agreement.[b “We will be. But I am doubting this will happen again today, so you need to rest. We will save all the talking for much later.”] Taking her hand again he squeezed it ever so slightly to try and offer his own comfort to her.
Walking slowly with her, something he had become accustomed to during his blindness when she had been his guide, he said nothing more. What else could he say? She had died and resurrected all for seemingly no reason. He had no knowledge or expertise in this field, it was not his forte and he would not pretend to tell her about an illness or event unique to her own race. Instead he offered her as much help as he could, returning his arm around her petite waist as they walked across the walkway between the separate floors.
Guiding her to her room, the recent memory of their argument quite fresh in his mind as he walked in, he led her over to the bed and swept her feet up in a moment. Walking around he lay her down on the bed, hands slipping back from under her. For a second or two he was unsure where next to proceed and where he should go. In the past he would leave her to her own devices and instruct her to call for him if need be. Yet given their increased familiarity and the discomfort she had gone through, he knew it was the wrong option. Instead he moved around to the other side of the bed, climbing on and moving over to lay at her side.
[b “I frankly do not care if you are still mad at me and if you want to hit me then go ahead. I am going to be right here whilst you sleep, because I know for a fact you would do the same to me.”] Laying down beside her he placed a hand atop hers, the heat of her skin as refreshing and inviting as ever. Again he restrained himself from kissing her, keen to show he was not trying to sweep things aside and wanting her to understand he was here as her friend if she would accept nothing else.
Halting in her stride as soon as she caught sight of Dante, the woman cursed internally. Rhea didn’t have the energy to deal with his temper, but it didn’t matter because the outburst never came. Instead he stared back at her in much the same way she was at him.
Eventually the Tiefling moved. As he stepped closer to her, she debated whether or not she should try and avoid him and run back to her room. Though, in all actuality, that was not an option. She was confident she could not run in this state, no matter how much she wanted to. But when he made it to her there was no shouting, not even a raised voice. Dante just pulled her into him gently. Once she was in the comfort of his embrace, he chided her lightly. But the oration did not last long. The man moved on quickly, taking her hand to lead her farther into the house.
[b “There was an incident.”]
That alone confirmed her suspicions. “Yes, I know…” Knowing Dante, he was going to want answers. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any. Not that would be satisfactory. “I was caught up in it too.” Rhea did not give much pause for a response. “This has happened once before. It was a very long time ago, but I am certain it was the same… just longer.” Still that didn’t tell them what was going on.
She stopped, hand slipping from his cerulean fingertips. “Dante, I wouldn’t know what to tell them even if I did go up there. I don’t want to lie to them.” Sure, Rhea had omitted some truths from the girls, but she had avoided being outright dishonest. Even about the genocide of their people. It was a topic she avoided even as she tried to teach them all about their culture.
Her mind went to the fear and confusion she experienced as a child. Guilt at leaving them in a similar situation tugged at her stomach. The red-eyed woman didn’t know any more than they did, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t give words of assurance. “But I will try.” Taking another step, she placed her hand back in his.
Rhea’s steps were slow, even more so as they came to the stairs, but the thin man kept pace with her patiently. Given his long stride, she was sure it was especially taxing. But with some time they made it to the twin’s room. She saw Jax sitting on the bed, he had a hopeful smile as the older adults walked in.
All of a sudden the simple décor began to remind her of the clinic she’d been in. It was like they were in a hospital, a dreary thought, especially for children so young. It made Rhea even more uncomfortable, but like the cyber kinetic man she put on a cheerful expression.
“Hello.” Little red eyed came to her at the sound of her weary voice.. “How are you feeling?” A stupid question really. They felt the same way she did, tired and scared. Probably more the latter than the former, but that was to be expected. Using the time they took to answer, the Pyrenian closed the distance between them. Jax stood, clearing up a space on the bed for her. She took a seat, the bed only shifting marginally below her weight.
Oni was the one to speak. “Tired.” It was simple and direct, but truthful.
Rhea nodded at the youngling. “Me too… unfortunately what happened is a problem for all Pyrenians… But, we are going to be alright.” The last clause was spoken with more confidence. “So, go ahead and get some sleep, and you should be feeling better soon.” She was smiling still, but it was a tad more earnest.
“How do you know?” The more forward of the two girls croaked out at her, skeptical.
“I know because it has happened before. We all survived then and we will this time too.” They looked as though they had more questions, but their lips stayed sealed. The pair must have been too exhausted to fight it for now. Rhea was glad. This would give her more time to put together a response to their inquiries, even if it wasn’t perfect.
Leaning forward, she patted their heads and helped them lie down fully in the bed they shared. Like that she was able to tuck them in. “Goodnight.” A somewhat humorous sendoff as it was officially morning now. Though that wouldn’t matter in a day or two when they returned to the ship.
Satisfied that the little ones would be able to get some rest, Rhea moved to stand. Upon her first try, she immediately fell back down to her seated position. It took another go before she could rise to her feet properly. “You hear that, Jax, everything is going to be okay, so we need to let them rest.” Her words were to shoo him out with the rest of them. And while the large man looked dejected at the prospect of leaving, he listened to the linguist, shuffling from the room. She wasn’t far behind him, Dante with her.
Out of the room, an old proverb came to mind and she rattled it off knowing it to be relevant to the current circumstances. “What happens once will never happen again, but what happens twice will surely happen a third time.” She didn’t know when, but Rhea was sure this would not be the last of their problem. She could only hope that it might be another hundred years before it occurred again. But with her luck, it wouldn’t be. Looking up into Dante's golden eyes, she continued. “We have to be ready for this to happen again.” How they would manage that she was unsure, but anything was better than being caught completely off guard.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat For several hours both Jax and Dante fretted and served to every need of the twins to ensure they began to improve in health. At first he had been forced to sit with them, sitting upright in the bed between them and drawing gentle circles across their arms or brushing lithe fingers over their soft cheeks. Now and again he would take their small delicate hands in his and in a subtle manner take a reading of their pulses and the strength behind it. Even when they had reached a level he found acceptable to his minimal medical knowledge, he remained cautious and wary.
They were hurting and sluggish and the look on Jax's face at times was deep concern. Whenever Dante would catch his eye a brow would raise on the teal man's face in question to the giants look. It would not do the girls well if the adults were worried too, they had to put on an air of confidence and joviality at this all.
[b “Sit with Jax for a little while girls. I will get you fresh drinks.”] There was a worry the bed would not withstand the weight of the behemoth but it seemed they were built quite sturdily and with only a deep groan did the bed complain. Satisfied they were resting and at ease with the large man, he slowly left the room, feeling a need to still be there and watch them like a parent would.
Leaving them for the first time since this whole incident had began he went down to the kitchen quickly. His nerves were shot and his mind frayed at the edges. Not a whole lot was making sense and for a man so assured in his own cognitive and problem solving abilities he was displaced. Thankfully a calming effect returned as he heard the main entrance closing and turned to see Rhea by the door to the kitchen looking at him cautiously.
For what seemed an age they just stared at one another, neither aware of what had occurred away from the other. When the girls had come back from death he had been in a fury with the rose skinned woman. He had wanted to shout and bellow at her until he was hoarse and chastise her for abandoning them – not him or Jax but the girls. To leave her bracelet behind was madness given her bounty alone. She was the one to blame for all this strife and the girls pain.
And yet after several hesitant seconds he walked across to her and drew her directly against his chest, one arm around her back holding her tight as his free hand grasped the back of her head, fingers sinking into the snowy hair.
[b “You stupid.. stupid girl..”] He whispered as his body rippled with the released tension of hours. It was not spoken in a harsh or mean spirited tone. It was the kind of tone taken with someone who had tripped over their own feet or accidentally dropped a glass. Holding her tight against him and running a hand slowly up and down her back, Dante was allowed time to just enjoy her scent and warmth. When he had pulled away, brushing her cheek lightly, it was to look down into her fiery eyes and wanted nothing more than to press a kiss to her lips. But it was not the right time. Not with the girls as they were nor the manner they had separated earlier.
[b “I am sorry. We will discuss it more later but I need you to see to the twins. There was an incident.”] His hands fell to her own, grasping them gently as he pulled her along with him, wanting her to inspect the girls before anything else was discussed.
Life came back to Rhea suddenly, and with it came disorientation. Her unused systems were starving for oxygen, but drawing breath was painful and difficult. The struggle came from the stifling stark white drapery over her. Hands shooting up, she pushed the sheet away from her face, allowing her to breath properly. It also revealed her surroundings, though everything was still a blur as she began to stabilize. She didn’t even notice the man, horrified at the other side of the room.
When she finally was beginning to feel herself again, the Pyrenian woman tried to figure out where she was. It was not any place she recognized, which immediately put her on alarm. Smooth walls, painted a faint, but soothing yellow, Rhea saw a number of pristinely kept beds. Both the blankets and sheets were fitted perfectly to them and pulled so tight that not a single crease appeared on their surfaces.
She moved to sit up, but found it impossible. Her red eyes looked down to see if there was anything hindering her; there was nothing. Trying again, with more effort, it worked, but the process was grueling. It felt like she had been drained of energy. Rhea was not used to this level of fatigue, even in times where she got little to no sleep. This was on a whole other level.
By that time the gentleman in the corner had rushed over to her. A look of terror still danced behind his eyes, but still he hopped to work. “Miss, you should lie down.” It took little to no effort on his part to get her back down, and then he was able to check her vitals. Everything seemed to be back on line, though he couldn’t say how or why that was the case.
After he took his time to make sure she was completely stabilized, he introduced himself. “Hello, my name is Liam, I am a medical intern working for the clinic you are currently in. You collapsed in the street.” After that brief description, the questioning began. “Are you able to speak?”
Rhea was not entirely sure of that herself. There was no better way to know than to try. “Yes.” The word was dull, lacking any energy behind it at all, but it worked.
Liam nodded. “I need to get your information so that I can admit you, let’s start with your name.”
Her mind was working clearly enough to know that that was a terrible idea. If he looked her up for a medical history, he’d probably also see it’d been flagged to contact authorities if located. “I can’t tell you that.”
Confusion on his features, the man was concerned. “Do you not remember?” He didn’t think she’d hit her head.
“No, I just do not want to be admitted.” She needed to leave.
“Miss, you were legally considered dead for over twenty minutes. You need to be admitted so we can find the underlying cause… Are you in some kind of trouble?” His voice was even as he spoke, but he was clearly worried.
Rhea shook her head. “No, I just want to go home.”
Panicking ever so slightly, this situation was different from anything he’d ever dealt with or read about. Weren’t sick people supposed to want to get better? “But… can you even walk?” She’d been struggling to even sit up moments ago.
Blinking at the man, he had a valid point. But seeing as she was still pumped full of liquor and not in the best of moods after everything that had happened, she stuck to being stubborn. “Then I will take a nap.”
He just seemed content that she wasn’t going to try and get up and hurt herself. Hands coming up, he gave in. “Alright, but I really do think you should let me pull your file…”
Shaking her head, Rhea used what little energy she had to roll over and promptly fall asleep. It was uncommonly easy for her. When she woke again, she was in the same room, same bed, but now, she was feeling a little less exhausted. Sitting up, there was no clock in sight to gage just how long she’d slept, but the lack of light filtering through the cloth curtains told her it was still night. So at most it had been a few hours. The next thing she noticed was Liam at the corner of the room, dosed off in a chair.
This was the best possible scenario, so she did not hesitate to make her escape. Slowly, and quietly as she could manage, the woman slid from the bed. Her limbs still felt heavy, but she was confident that she could make it back to the house. And so she sneaked passed the human fellow. Rhea did feel a bit bad knowing she would never have the chance to thank him, especially after she had been a terrible patient, but she was not about to stick around just for that.
The layout of the clinic was simple, walking out of the room she’d been sleeping in; there was a short hall that led to a waiting room. It was pretty standard. Scenic pictures hung on the walls. Most of them looked local. An excess of chairs were laid out, all of which matched. She very much doubted they got that much foot traffic here, but it was good to be prepared.
Rhea let herself out, but jumped at the charm-like sound that rung out as she opened the door. It was a sweet melody, one meant to alert staff when someone entered. Worried that it might have woken the medic, she hurried off.
It took a bit of wandering to figure out where she was on the hillside, but eventually the Pyrenian found a main street she recognized. Walking up the incline was even more draining that she remembered, but she pressed on at whatever pace she could manage until she was back at the vacation home. By then, the sky was just barely starting to lighten. Rays of solar light christening the hilltop and jetting off in the direction of the ocean. She hesitated at the door; things were probably a mess inside. Holding onto some hope that she wouldn’t be yelled at again, Rhea pushed forward and entered the courtyard.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Heading down to the kitchen area Dante took a glass of iced tea from the dispenser to help calm himself. Moving over to the table where they had eaten not long ago he took his seat, looking across the empty plates and table to where she had sat opposite him. His foul mood would not dissipate and if he were more prone to anger he would be quite content to release his stress by breaking plates and generally going on a rampage. Thankfully he had the mental resolve not to resort to that.
He was left be to simmer for fifteen or so minutes, drinking and picking at the leftover food and in a generally bad mood. He simply sat alone. When Jax came stomping up he raised a hand though did not look to the giant.[b “Jax, slow down or-”]
[+gold [b “Cappy, girls fall down!”]] The lumbering creature moved from one large foot to the other, wringing his hands together as he stared down at the Tiefling in panic.
[b “Jax, I understand you like to play but I do not wish to join in your games.”] Dante clearly read the man wrong and kept his focus on the glass before him. Seeing as he did not garner the reaction he wanted, the larger individual grasped Dante around his wrist and near dislocated his shoulder in tugging him toward the building at the back.[b “Dammit Jax, I told you..”] He could struggle and fight but the pain would only increase, so instead he followed with a scowl.
Upon entering the room the bumbling Jax and pointed to the two girls, still and unmoving.[+gold [b “See! Not move!”]] Looking in, shielding his eyes from the glare on the screen to the side, Dante looked at the two girls for a few seconds as if he were being made a mockery of and they would spring up in a fit of laughter. However when nothing happened, not even their small chests rose and fell to give their game away, he moved forward and knelt between them.
[b “Ino… Oni...”] His voice crackled as he looked between them. He didn't know which to attend to first, his hands hovering over one before he turned to the other.[b “Jax what happened?”]
[+gold [b “I dunno Cappy... they was running around… then they fell down...”]] The large man's voice was child like and he remained by the doorway, knowing this was something far outside of his own mental capacity.
[b “They run around all the time Jax, what were you doing? Just tell me so I can help them!”] His eyes turned back on the other man but they were wide and filled of fear.
[+gold [b “I-I din' do nothin' Cappy… I swears, I-I-I cross my heart! See? See?”]] He imitated the words, drawing a stubby finger over his chest in two lines. Dante turned away, lost in his thoughts and disbelief as he returned to the two children.
[b “Come on girls, this is not the time to be playing...”] A trembling hand reached out to Ino first, pressing to her neck and then to her wrist and then quickly turning to Oni as his fingers sought out a pulse, weak would do, any life sign would do.[b “Jax go get Rhea.”] He said in a quiet voice as he leant down, brushing back each girls hair as desperate eyes sought out something to tell him this was some cruel joke. When he heard no movement he turned back on him with fury,[b “I said go get Rhea! Go to her room now!”] The barked order brought movement to the innocent giant who nodded and as quick as his cumbersome body could move he made for the house and the stairwell.
For a few minutes, perhaps less perhaps longer it was of little note to Dante, he sat looking from one calm and idyllic face to the other, his hands feeling the cold on them which sent shock through him. They were Pyrenian. They were warm and they were bubbly and inviting and yet here they lay, rapidly cooling and still. Unable to just sit in the silence doing nothing but look at them he eased each up to him, unwilling to wait for Rhea and Jax any longer, lifting each girl into his arms and carrying them as he would when they were younger. It was a touch more difficult now given how they had grown but weight and comfort meant nothing at that given time.
Getting them back to the house he saw Jax leaping down the stairwell, two or three steps at a time. For a moment Dante felt some hope that perhaps Rhea knew what to do, perhaps it was a Pyrenian illness and something easily cured. But when the man came back alone he felt a lead weight in his chest.
[+gold [b “Cappy she not there. Just this.”]] The locator was in his hand, fully intact and working still, judging by the dial around the perimeter. It had been removed, not snatched off or broken off. Standing stationary, a girl in each arm, he shook his head slowly. His face dropped visibly and he felt his body sink.
[b “Jax, just… under the stairs, there is a red box. Bring it with you up to their room. Please.”] He didn't shout at Jax this time, not did he speak with any malice. Instead he carefully carried the girls up the opposite stairs to the other wing, toward their room where he place both onto the one bed side by side.
Jax followed him in not far behind, placing the red box down before Dante who turned to him and nodded his thanks. Opening it and reaching inside he took out two cables and a small silver case. In a minute or so he had connected everything up and each cable was connected via a small clip onto the fingertips of each girl. With the machine turned on it registered as nil. Not just checking for a pulse it read for neural sparks and to sense whether the very cells of the body were still functioning. And it showed nil. It had been twenty minutes since Jax had fetched him at first and whilst perhaps it was just not compatible to Pyrenian physiology, Dante took it as read that there was nothing to be done.
Looking up from his position beside the bed to the larger man he shook his head lightly, the animated face of the part-cyborg man crumpled as he gazed down to the still girls.
[b “It will be okay Jax. I promise. How about you sit here with them for a little bit. Keep them company whilst I… I just need to step outside for a moment.”] He changed places with the other man and stepped away, looking back from the doorway to see him grasping each girls hand in his own much larger maw, always gentle though.
Dante could only imagine how the being was taking it mentally. How Tera would take it. She would blame Dante he believed. She would ask why he didn't seek help, why he hadn't sought out someone, why he hadn't ran through the streets begging for help. And the short answer would be; there was no point. They needed a doctor to be there at the precise moment it happened. Someone who understood such a complex physical system that Pyrenians had. Perhaps someone who knew the body like it was their own. Someone like Rhea. And she was gone.
He couldn't understand where she had gone or why. He had left her to her peace in her room and given her the space she had wanted when she had waved him out. Even if he found some understanding in her desire to be free of the house, why leave behind her tracker? When Jax had shown him the device the only hope to save the girls and discover what was wrong went with her. He couldn't blame her though. He had forced her into fleeing, so Tera would be right.
[+gold [b “C-Cappy! Cappy! Cappy!”]] The words were mumbled at first before shouted louder than he had heard the man shout before. Leaving the corridor and his thoughts behind he re-entered the room to see both girls moving, coughing, groaning with discomfort but that would go with time; they were alive! In several long strides he was down at the other side of the bed, repeating his actions from before, unsure of which one to inspect and moving between both as he brushed his fingers over their foreheads, grasped their arms to find strong pulses, looked on the screen to see the recordings had gone from nothing to fully living in a moment. It was too incredulous to try and comprehend and he didn't care to.
[b “It is okay, just lay down, just relax.”] He cooed to them, keeping them as relaxed as he could.
[+gold [b “I will get juice!”]] Though he had not received any request or order, no doubt Jax knew what their favourite would be and he left like a man on a mission, leaving Dante to take a hold of each of their hands. There was no sense in stopping him, he was as delighted as Dante and yet their nerves were as frayed as the girls no doubt.
[b “There we go, just relax, Jax will get you something to drink and everything is going to be fine.”] He could see the confusion and fear in their eyes and he thought quickly of a plausible excuse.[b “That is the last time you get so much sugar in your system. You ate so much so quickly the pair of you just had an energy overload and your bodies shut down. It will be okay though, I know it's scary but you'll both be okay.”]
He kept saying that but in truth, he didn't know whether they would be okay. He was trying to calm himself aswell as the girls.
Rhea was still as he exited her temporary room. She listened as his footsteps faded down the hall. No sooner than she couldn’t hear him anymore, she looked down at the tracker on her wrist. The pink hued woman ripped it from her person and threw it on her bed. She needed time to herself, completely and utterly, where no one knew where she was. It had been so long since she’d had that that it seemed like a luxury. Quickly, she left her room and made way to exit the house. There was no way to tell how long Dante would be in his room, and just because they were fighting didn’t mean he would be okay with her striking out on her own. She managed to slip out before the Captain returned.
The woman stuck to some of the less commonly traveled roads as she made her way down to the beach. Sure, it would take longer, but she had nothing but time at the moment. She would use this excursion to think over what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. There was a lot to mull over, and seeing as her brain was hazy, it would take longer than normal.
What couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes passed, though it was hard to tell as she went, and Rhea began to feel odd. She felt sluggish and tired. Had their argument taken that much out of her? It wasn’t much longer than her extremities began to lose feeling. What had been a fairly brisk night felt like nothing at all. Slow to the uptake, it took much longer than it should have for her to realize what was happening. When she finally did, it was too late. All she could do was carefully sit on the brick laid street before losing consciousness.
Although the woman was not on the main roads, that didn’t mean where she was walking was deserted. In fact, a couple was passing by when she fell over completely. The woman called out to her.
“Miss? Are you okay?” An urgent concern stained her voice as she kneeled down to check on the other woman. Not seeing her chest moving, the human woman began to panic. “I don’t think she is breathing!”
The man standing at her side then took her place. Grabbing up Rhea’s wrist he searched for a pulse and found nothing. His face went ghostly white. “We need to get her to the clinic. There might still be time to do something… She was standing just a moment ago.” With some help from the woman, he was able to situate and pick up the limp Pyrenian. Then they were off.
Back up the hill, in the casita that housed Jax, something similar was happening. The trio finished the first movie they’d been watching and decided to take a break from him. The twins were running amuck, getting their energy out when they stopped. Their red eyes caught one another’s.
Ino was the first to speak “I don’t feel good…”
“Neither do I.” The sentiment reflected in her voice.
A little baffled by the sudden change, the cyborg cocked his head, but let the pair take a seat. He watched, a touch nervous that their sleepover might get canceled. But that thought did not last when they collapsed almost in sync. He was frantic. Rushing to their side, Jax shook at them, but nothing came of it. “Hey!” He spoke loudly as he tried to wake them. Keeping at it for a minute or so, he knew he needed to get help. Standing, he ran clumsily back to the main house in search of Dante.
When he found the thin blue man he shouted. “Cappy, girls fall down!” Unable to stand still, his worry seemed to overflow with every twitch and fidget. He didn’t even wait for Dante to take action, opting to grab ahold of him and drag him back to the other room. Oni and Ino were just where he left them, he pointed. “See! Not move.”
No matter what efforts were made, the pair remained lifeless for the better part of thirty minutes. At that mark, they miraculously came back to. Gasping for air, each of them was shaking. The two small girls were confused and scared witless. And while this was just the sort of thing that would normally drive Ino to tears, she couldn’t cry. They are completely drained.
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