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[center The voice had faded by then, echoing - distorted as though through a thick wall of water. Or the sort of truncated acoustics you got from pressing a glass to a door. And all the while, as Silveus ventured further into the depths of the reliquary, the apparition ever beckoned him, encouraging him to come just a bit further.
"[i I miss you...]" It whispered. "[i Don't you want to see me?]"
Beyond the apparition, there existed a special altar - the sort you reserved for some seriously powerful shit - but unlike the altar of the grimoire, this grimmie was far different. The leather was black, and it was decorated not just with jewels but bone as well. At its centre, a beautifully in tact scull graced the centre, blooded jewels cut perfectly for the eyes, the spiralling ram's horns catching the moonlight that bled from the panes above. It was the first light for what must've surely felt like ages to anyone who ventured that far.
"[i Come.]" beckoned the apparition, stroking at the magnificent tome. Every second was bound with thread spun from the hairs of Hades himself, and it would have been apparent now that this was where the draft originated. This was the source of the frigid cold. It rolled from the altar in waves, from the carefully rune-carved black leather and gold-trimmed pages.
However, unlike the other grimoire, this one was chained down, in addition to a lock that was clearly part of the book itself. [i Sealed.]
[i Finally.] That had been quite a ride. Faustus brushed the ash from his trousers and picked up the cage containing their owl friend. In his satchel, he had already managed to gather the other items. How many hours had passed? Was Silveus alright?
Just the question itself drove him to pull out his phone. He called the main line.
"Marvelous house of Witchkroft."
"Very cute, Bastion. Is Silveus around?"
"Him? Still up in the reliquary, I believe. Haven't heard much from him. Maybe you should have gone a bit easier on him with that list."
"I don't have time for this. Do you know if he's gotten everything?"
"I don't, but I can check - just a mo'!"
Faustus rolled his eyes so hard he could feel the ache in his sockets.
A soft mewl suddenly sounded, the stray Faustus had brought along on the trip moving hurriedly through the darkness. He had practically materialised from nowhere, mewling insistently as he caught up with the blond - putting himself distinctly betwixt he and the altar.
His eyes flashed, bushed tail flicking to and fro with warning.
He hurried around the corner. More shelves. Always more shelves. They twisted and turned as if trying to confound him. "Logan!" he called again.
It was colder back here. He ran his hands over his arms and hugged himself. [i They really crank the AC in here.] Was one of the relics temperature-sensitive?
Again. Logan sounded hurt. Silveus flinched and pushed on, deeper. "Where are you? Tell me."
He knew there was no way this could be Logan. But then, a few days ago, he'd known there could be no such thing as magic. [i There's magic. If there's magic, then maybe there's a spell to bring back the dead.] He was preparing a spell to commune with the dead. Why not bring someone back? It was just one more step. One teeny, tiny step.
His breath clouded in the air. Silveus shivered uncontrollably, unable to stop himself. It was frigid. He felt like he'd stepped into a freezer. "Logan, please." It took effort to move. Every breath ached in his lungs. He could hear him, so close, but so far. Just around the turn, but then there was another turn, another turn, always another.
Silveus sagged against the wall. He was exhausted. He wanted to sleep. Take a break and rest. He sucked in a ragged breath and let it out in a thick cloud. He couldn't feel his fingertips or his toes. Everything was so cold.
Logan called out again. "I'm coming," Silveus muttered. He forced himself upright. Logan was just around this corner. Another few feet, and he could see him again. It felt like he was pushing against a wall of ice. Still, he soldiered on. [i A little further.] Logan's voice was so close. So clear. He hadn't heard it in so long. It felt like home. He forced himself to lift his foot, pushed forward, stepped again. Silveus gasped a breath. It hurt. It hurt so bad. But just ahead. Just another step, and he'd... he'd see Logan...
Faustus naturally suspected no wrong was afoot. He was knee deep in ash trying to fetch a damned Phoenix’s feather. The things you did for family... Silveus was definitely getting the premium treatment here. Anyone else with this much trouble on their back would’ve been written off to their coven. Except, they had no clue to whom he really belonged, did they?
“Hence this fuckery.” He needed a good lay. This shit was really working him over on the stress spectrum. He made a mental note to take care of that later when he could go out on the prowl unobstructed by obligation.
* * *
The voice that called to him beckoned once more—pained, desperate to be acknowledged. The very tail end of an apparition so shockingly weighted in its appearance rounding the far corner into the next corridor of magickal items.
The air here was heavier, thick with magick and a chill that could set deep in the bones—as if any warmth had ended at some invisible border. Here, it would have been far more difficult just to breathe, let alone move. After all, such was the case when everything here sought to feed from you. Consuming your mana—sapping your life force in small licks as they managed.
One of the terrible downsides to being left unattended? There was no one to warn you away. True, Faustus had said nothing was inherently evil, but intent abounded in this particularly dark corner of the reliquary, and many a fool that had tread there had paid the consequence in previous years.
The apparition spoke more firmly, as if hurt somehow that it had not yet been reached.]
He wandered through the shelves, glancing from his list to the shelves and back. [i Dragon talon... unicorn fur... eel blood, check.] This couldn't all be real, could it? Dragons... if they were real, surely someone would have noticed. Magic was a thing, clearly, obviously--he couldn't deny that anymore. But these magical creatures... there was simply no way. The amount of space it would take to house a dragon, not to mention feed it or maintain a breeding population... no, it simply wasn't possible. [i This is probably just some prank for the newbie,] he thought, shaking his head. Still, he collected the items and set them in a neat pile by the book.
Further and further he wandered, back into the shelves. He felt almost drawn into the back. It was darker, further from the door. [i Could use a light,] he thought, frowning at the ceiling. The shelves, too, were chaotic. They towered above him, crammed with items to the point of bursting. He was afraid to touch them, for fear one brush would send the whole thing toppling over. Back here, the labels got more mysterious, when there were any at all. Most were in foreign languages, or completely unreadable. He squinted. [i Is that one in Egyptian heiroglyphs?] Insanity. This was all insanity.
A faint voice caught his ear. Silveus wandered deeper, curious. "Is someone else here?" he called.
The voice didn't respond.
Silveus furrowed his brows and turned the corner. He glanced over his shoulder. As far as the eye could see, a maze of shelves stretched away from him. [i How far did I go?]
The voice called out, louder, and this time he recognized it. [i No.] "Logan?" he called. It was impossible. But he'd recognize that voice anywhere. He ran after the voice, deeper into the shelves.
[center “Some. Depends on sort of spirit you are summoning. Nothing is really inherently evil—it all falls to intent.” As Silveus crossed into the bounds of the sigil, it came to life, glowing with the warmth a fire would before dying back down to leave the air cool once more.
At least this man had saved him the trouble of drawing the sigil for him, and once they were finished, the sigil cleaned itself up, fading from the floorboards the moment Silveus was no longer within its borders. “Best of luck. I’ll likely be a few hours. On my end, besides the faerie boots, I have to find time-sensitive items. Some spells that demanded things like feathers or freshly picked items truthfully required some of the energy from the being It came from, still lingering in the item itself. Guess he was going to acquire an owl, then.
“I think we should still have some dragon’s talon somewhere in here, if not, let me know.” He wrote down his number on a small slip and held it out. “In fact, if there’s anything you can’t find, let me know. Likely means I’ll have to consult another mage for it.” Which could get dicey, depending upon who you were dealing with.
Worse, he already had to be getting shit like graveyard dirt of appropriate age, and from at least one of Silveus’ family members. Finding a grave wouldn’t be too difficult. For much more difficult spells like resurrection or banishment you needed bones. For this, the dirt would do.
Faustus shrugged on an invisible jacket, which materialised into leather and accents of velvet. “See you later. Try not to drop anything or blow yourself up. And I’d recommend taking care to find everything we might need in here before you go out. You won’t be able to re-enter until I return or someone deigns to let you back in.”
And just like that, he was gone, striding through the door, the clicking of his boots echoing into the corridor with every footfall until suddenly disappearing altogether. Magick could be very convenient sometimes.
But then there were times such as these when more time-consuming processes were required along with proper care to avoid unleashing unholy hell on themselves or anybody else.
They had angels feathers sealed in a jar, hairs of Hermes, thunderbolts... don’t ask where they’d gotten those—the eyes of a basilisk, leviathan blood. One had to wonder what the ever-loving hell they got up to on a daily. The reliquary was an endless trove of magickal artefact, the darker elements tucked farther back or out of reach so as not to tempt the weak-willed. There were even the wands or tools of old mages—like the pocket watch they would need to set their constraints.
At least this would give Silveus a chance to familiarise himself with a portion of it. Especially since some suggested uses were very handily written below the items.]
Oh, it was fancy. Silveus leaned in, admiring the gorgeous book. It didn't look any newer than two centuries old, and likely older than that. Silveus watched as Faustus held his hand over the book, and the book moved according to his will, opening to a page. [i Now that's magic,] he thought to himself. None of this salt stuff, just honest magic.
He tried to read the page over Faustus' shoulder, but it was in a language he'd never seen before. Still, the pages were lovely, capitals done in big block letters with pretty engravings all around them. Pictures adorned the pages here and there, depictions, he had to assume, of whatever spells were on the page. This one had a transparent man hovering over a corpse with its throat slit. [i A ghost? ] Silveus wondered, and a second later, Faustus'confirmed it.
"Aren't ghosts evil?" Bell asked. Why summon one? It seemed counterproductive.
He took the list. There was no eye of frog or leg of newt on it, but there were plenty of words he simply didn't recognize. At the end, there were more reasonable things, things he could buy at the corner market: kosher salt, rosemary, sage, chalk. No bones, though, luckily. [i At least I don't have to go gravedigging,] he supposed, given they were summoning a ghost and all.
He looked up at Faustus' offer. "Aww, you care," he joked, stepping into the circle. The sigil was pretty easy, a kind of swirl in a hexagon. He did his best to memorize it, then pulled out a scrap of paper and scribbled it down. Always nice to have some paper on hand for a random sketch. "I can use it?" Wasn't his magic sealed? Maybe this spell was so simple even someone like him could make it work. He shrugged and waited a few seconds, then stepped out of the circle.
"Alright, I'll go find... Whatever this stuff is," he said, holding up the list. Hopefully some of the stuff was labeled.
[center Of course he did, because it was Faustus, but saying anymore than that for the time being wouldn’t have served either of them well. He was all for a little soul-crushing, but this was still technically his brother’s widow. He had to be gentle. Sort of. Well, as gentle as it got with him, anyway.
“It [i is] sealed.” [i Jackass.] “If you try entering without someone else who is privy, it’ll knock you back into your next life and take a good pound of flesh, too. Hence why I left my arm in the doorway—as entertaining as that may have been.” No need to pretend he particularly enjoyed his company. It was all for mother’s benefit anyway.
“Come this way.” He waved Silveus toward a grand grimoire, mounted on an alter. It was a huge, magnificent tome—all thick carved leather, embellished metal corners and a reinforced spine—gemstones tucked here and there to add not only to its beauty, but to guard it from those not privileged or of ill intent.
“If you claim to have mortal parentage, it could well have been an ancestor’s doing. Or perhaps something in your lineage that causes it to skip. Typically there is a reason behind that, but it’s fairly odd for it to have skipped your mother if it was her line. If it was your father’s, it’s a little more believable. Magick moving along male bloodlines can get messy. Honestly, anything patrilineal is messy.” He sighed.
The pages of the grimoire came to life, turning and turning until they came to the desired page. “Hm, that’s not a terrible idea... summoning the last to posses the magick before you to sever the bonds that hold it. If our grimmie is suggesting that, then it likely means it’d be rather dangerous or just ineffective to try to unbind it a different manner before this. So I guess we need a ghost.”
Faustus took up a small pad and quill pen. “Here, see if you can find these items. They’re pretty simple to acquire, if you’re careful about it. Consider this your very first task. It’ll feel more rewarding I’m sure, to contribute to what unbinds your magick. I will take care of the less easily acquired components, like faerie boots. Some of these things on your list,” He began, handing it over. “You’ll be able to find in here, it just may take a bit of searching.
“And before we get started on that, I’ll cast on you a protection spell.” Faustus steppes from behind the alter and took up a piece of chalk, drawing out the precise lines for a circle, then for a sigil in the centre. “Take a good look at this sigil... they’re easier for younger warlocks to memorise because older mages are the ones who have to actually forge them. This one will keep you safe,” he explained, taking a small pin and flicking a few drops of blood over the circle. “Please, step in. I’ll write it down for you to take with you for future use, since it’s not one that demands much draw to be effective.”
Wow, he actually gave a shit about what happened to him. Not the sentiments he was expecting to have.
He glanced at the other man. Logan's death... didn't count? Why not? His eyebrows furrowed. Did Faustus know something about Logan's death that he didn't?
Every other word out of this man's mouth was offering to take his powers away. He snorted to himself. Faustus's true desires were coming out, whether he wanted them to or not. At least one person wasn't going to happily welcome him to this family, huh? Not that he wanted to be happily welcomed in. He still couldn't get over how creepy it felt. How cult-like.
"The reliquary," he repeated. He looked all around as he walked. No matter how long he spent in this house, it felt like he never learned any of the layout at all. Last night, he'd gone to the bathroom at midnight, and on the way back, it'd felt like there was an extra turn in the route. Was that magic? [i Maybe that's just me getting lost,] he allowed. The house was cavernous.
"What--I thought you said it was sealed," he said. Was Faustus just throwing up random words? He distinctly remembered Faustus saying it was sealed. Or... wait, was Faustus actually dumb? Just pulling it all out of his ass as he went? He snickered at that thought. And here he'd thought Faustus was a genius. Guess he shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
"Alright, alright. What are we going to do? Do I touch something fancy?" He stepped through the door, glancing back at Faustus. Holding the door? It was a little late to be a gentleman.
He looked around the area. It was a huge room. A library, almost, except that strange objects were held on the shelves instead of books. Nestled each into their own respective slots, the objects ranged from the mundane to the uncomprehendable. Next to an ordinary walking stick was a carved golden eagle that seemed to move on its own. Beyond that was a glowing orb that swirled with colors he'd never seen before, and opposite it all was a globe, an ordinary mounted globe except that the whole thing was carved from shiny obsidian. Silveus raised his eyebrows and smiled. Well! Now [i this] was some magic.
[center Faustus sighed, as though he were suddenly very tired. “Logan’s death, actually, does not count.” He did mean prior to that, though for a moment of contemplation, he appeared to be considering his brother’s death quite carefully. He had expected no less. They’d both known the day would come, but when the signs had begun to show, the stress had really picked up. They’d been ill-prepared for that sort of departure, but what did you expect? You couldn’t outwit fate.
Balancing the equation, the ever pressing necessity of it.
“It can be, if misused. I think the key thing to take from that is that if we didn’t have a disproportionate amount of entities that misused it, it would be used for it’s true purpose and not warrant so much struggle. But this isn’t exactly an ideal world, so it is what it is. Mind you, you’re free to strip your powers and live as a full mortal. No one is stopping you. Then, at least, you’d be free of the consequence of having what others want.”
Shifting back a couple of steps, Faustus gestured vaguely for Silveus to follow. “Let’s go to the reliquary. It’s a more appropriate setting for this kind of discussion, anyway.”
He wondered suddenly if the truth of Logan’s death was meant to always remain a secret? Knowledge was something that could not always be contained. And more importantly, the only motivation for keeping it mum was to spare Silveus’ feelings, which judging by his disposition—he would likely fail to appreciate.
Drawing in a long breath, the blond led the way through a door, through a second parlour on the upper floor, down a set of curved stairs, and into a second parlour, through which they would have to walk to reach the french doors that housed the reliquary. It was like the house itself had endless rooms... endless secret places. One wouldn’t necessarily suspect as much from the outside, but if you lived there long enough you began to realise it contained all sorts of secrets.
“I’m going to see if there’s anything currently binding your magick or if it’s just a lack of know-how that makes you unable to wield it. In which case, I’ll reach you something simple and we see if it works—sound good?”
One of the doors opened to grant them access, but Faustus paused to allow Silveus to take the lead. “It’ll close after me otherwise.” He explained, one forearm cast through the threshold to indicate their path. Partially so he didn’t get knocked on his ass, though. As funny as it might’ve been to see, he wasn’t feeling particularly cruel that day. ]
[i If there's danger either way, what's the point of asking me about it?] he thought, then shook his head at himself. No point nitpicking everything Faustus did. He'd only frustrate himself. Maybe Faustus really was trying to patch things up. He ought to give the man a chance, anyways.
He glanced at Faustus. Bad luck? "My husband died in a freak train crash, does that count?" he asked dryly. If that didn't count as bad luck, he didn't know what did. After a few beats, he nodded. He'd had his fair share of bad luck. Cars breaking down, apartments that sprung mystery leaks, sudden falls and mysterious accidents. Was that magic?
"So far, magic sounds like a shitshow," he commented dryly. It had ruined his house, given him bad luck his whole life, maybe even killed Logan. What did magic do right? So far, all he'd heard was everything it did wrong. All the things that it broke and destroyed.
He looked at Faustus, meeting his eyes. "Is magic worth all this?" he asked. "What does it do in return for everything it ruins?" Levitating a few dishes at dinner wasn't worth his husband's life or the house they'd built together. Making a little ball of fire wasn't worth a lifetime of bad luck.
It was possible that his parents had never manifested their powers. He pursed his lips. That seemed... unlikely. They were so bland. So close-minded. They had never had particularly bad luck. Never seen anything flickering in the shadows. Never... done anything. Disowning him was the most unusual thing they'd ever done, and even that was done so they could stay normal.
"So what's up first for learning magic?" he asked. There had to be a lesson of some sort at the end of this, right? Though, then again, it'd be spot-on with what he'd seen of Faustus so far if the man had come only to complain to him and then leave him on his own.
[center “Well, of course. We’re not savages.” Silveus hadn’t been born into it like the rest of them. It was a lot to expect of someone—for them to just trade up for a new life of magick and danger. Faustus had no such expectations if it wasn’t what this man actually wanted.
“I’m just forewarning you that there is a dangerous aspect to all of this. Unfortunately, when you’re a solitary, you’re more vulnerable. And that’s regardless of whether or not you follow the path of magick. Just possessing magick and not being part of some sort of system is risky. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and that it’s impossible to live your life, but it also means mischief will follow you around a lot. Did you have a lot of misfortune or bad luck in the past?”
He was seriously asking, trying to gauge how Silveus must have been doing before he met Logan. The house situation wasn’t a good measure because grief played a role. Couldn’t exactly expect anything less.
“Also, is definitely say it’s possible your parents had magick that never manifested. Or... potentially had bound beyond their knowledge. In which case, they’d be in the same boat as you—living their lives entirely in the mortal vein.” Not that there was anything wrong with that.
They would just have to figure things out. He had a lot of digging to do, but today at least he could show him some of the texts, teach him some of the history and give Silveus an idea of what they really got up to.
Truthfully, their lifestyle remained invisible for a reason. Didn’t need anyone nosing about in their affairs, for one, but beyond that, magickal beings considering with mortals could get very messy very quickly.
Especially when they failed to comprehend the whole ‘magick comes with a price’ part. You had to give something to get something. Wasn’t that what it was all about? Keeping the universal equation balanced?]
He shook his head. No, no intention on joining the family. It didn't feel right. These people came out of nowhere with intentions for him that he didn't know or understand, and immediately demanded he join them? No matter how nice they were, he couldn't accept that. It felt like a cult. Like a lie.
He glanced at Faustus. He didn't know. How was he supposed to know how much magic he wanted to use when he'd never used any in his whole life? Even around this family, he barely got a feel for the purpose of magic, of what it could do.
Logan hadn't let on. It stung a little, that he'd felt the need to keep his family a secret. At the same time, he couldn't help but wonder if he should respect Logan's wishes. Logan clearly had a reason for keeping him separate from all of this. He trusted Logan. Should he trust in him and retreat? Go back to normalcy?
[i Sure, you don't want to see me fail,] he thought sarcastically. [i Say it again, maybe I'll believe you next time.] Faustus was a sadist, he swore.
"Don't we encounter the magical every day?" he said. A lovely sunset, a tree in the breeze, a sudden gust of warm wind on a chilly day. It was what had inspired him to become an artist. But that wasn't what Faustus meant. "No. I would see... [i things] from the corners of my eyes, sometimes. But that was the extent of it."
"If it wasn't for that circle, I still wouldn't be convinced," he said. "It's inherited, right, magic? My parents... they couldn't get more mundane if they tried. It must have skipped a generation."
[i Or someone lied about her fidelity, or I was adopted, or...] he shook his head. It was unlikely. There was nothing to suggest any of those possibilities.
"I don't know enough about magic to know if I want to make it my whole life," he said. "I don't want to make the decision rashly. Could we do a trial period or something? A test drive? I'll leave afterwards if I decide I don't like it, or continue if I do." He glanced at Faustus. He wouldn't put it past the man to reject his decision and force him to decide on the spot. It seemed like him.
[center “You know, you have a penchant for making a lot of assumptions without actually stating them, but thank you for answering my question. Relax, no one is kicking you out. You’ve just made it abundantly clear you have very little interest in the prospect of being a part of our family—which, based upon what you just said, is confirmed. I just wanted to get the answer from you directly.”
Weight shifting, Faustus cleared his throat. “Regardless, I also wanted to ask you about your interest in magick. Logan had pretty explicit wishes when it came to you, because he clearly knew what the deal was, despite your ignorance. Ignorance, that is, as in never knowing. That wasn’t meant as an offence. I just want to make it clear that this can only really go a couple of ways.”
“If you’re looking to actually learn more about magick, sincerely incorporate it into your life, then you definitely belong her. But if you’re interest is only superficial, then I can show you some basics to keep you out of trouble if something should happen and you’d be welcome to stay until you decided to leave with no obligation to this family.”
Admittedly, it would have been a serious fucking shame. “And this is something I’ve been meaning to say since dinner a few nights ago, but... it’s very apparent Logan never let on to you that we, as in he and all of us, kept contact regularly. He offered me some very basic reasons for keeping you away from all of this— something about wanting you to be able to live your mortal life as you had been. Which makes complete sense. For the record, I agreed to a point, but it was my opinion that you should be given the choice in the event of his absence. Especially considering what would’ve happened afterward—which I knew only from experience. I don’t want you to be mistaken about my intentions here. I don’t hate you, and I don’t wish to see you fail.”
Okay, so watching him fail had been a little entertaining. But he was clearly hard-headed so making a point was necessary.
“I’ve been meaning to look into your heritage and figure out where this line of magick might lead. Especially because, no offence, my younger brother typically didn’t do anything for such simple reasons. I get him wanting you to continue to live your life as usual, but something about it strikes me odd. Before you met him, you really had no encounters with magick? No... inkling you were different at all?”
Faustus narrowed his eyes, clearly finding it hard to believe. “I mean, you can put a cap on it, tie it up and mask it however you like, but you can’t control it entirely. Not infallibly.”
He looked up at Faustus. Why didn't he just spit it out? He'd asked three times if he could ask a question, but hadn't asked anything yet.
In any case, it seemed he wanted a longer conversation. He couldn't fathom what had prompted the man to come here to him, since Faustus clearly didn't want to have anything to do with him. [i Someone else's influence?] he wondered. Who could possibly intimidate Faustus into doing something he didn't want? [i Must be a truly horrifying person,] he decided.
Silveus shut the door and stepped into the hallway. "So what do you want to talk about?" he asked, hoping the man would get it over with. Was it offensive? He hadn't hesitated to offend Silveus up til now, so it seemed unlikely he'd suddenly grow hesitant.
Oh. He bit his lip to prevent himself from snapping at the man. His husband died, he was yanked out of his house and hours away from everything he'd ever known, and this pretentious fool who'd been born with a silver spoon in his mouth wanted to know why he wasn't out on his own already? If Faustus didn't already know, he'd never be able to convince him.
No, he should try. At least give Faustus a realistic look at his life. "I'm going to be honest with you, so please try to understand," he started. "I know you're very well off, but--I'm not. I'm an artist. I work--until recently, I had two jobs to try and get by. Throughout our marriage, Logan and I kept separate bank accounts. It was my idea. I knew he made much more than me and didn't want our relationship to be based on his money, or lopsided because of it. So I supported myself, and he supported himself, with the exception of a few mutual purchases."
He glanced around the hallway. He hadn't known just [i how] different their finances were. Had Logan even worked? He clearly wouldn't have had to if he hadn't wanted to.
Silveus shook his head and continued. "In his will, he explicitly left all his money to his family--to you and your parents and siblings. We were only married a few years, so I guess he forgot to get it changed." It was a very Logan thing, forgetting the essentials until the last second. How many times had he had to remind the man to buy groceries when they had an empty fridge or put gas in the car when it was running on empty? [i Maybe it's because he was used to using magic for everything,] he realized. He'd always thought it was just a quirk of Logan's, but now that he knew about magic, it certainly made more sense.
"So I only have what I had saved, which isn't much. On top of that, my house isn't fit to live in, you said so yourself. And I don't know if you've noticed, but we're a several hour drive from where I lived. By the time I made the commute back to my jobs, I'd be losing money on the day with the price of gas like it is."
He gestured, an ironic smirk on his face. Left him between a rock and a hard place. "Jobless, homeless, hours from my friends and connections. What do you propose I do? I've been searching for a job, but the market's not great. If I got an apartment, assuming I'd get approved with no job, I'd run out of my savings in a matter of months. I'm trying to sell my art, but that's not going any faster than it ever has." With a shrug, he glanced up at Faustus. "But if I'm a burden, I'll go. I can figure something else out. Find someone else's couch to crash on. I never intended to stay here forever, just until I got back on my feet."
Silveus pushed his hair back. Which was probably all Faustus was asking about from the start, but it'd felt good to rant to him about it. He was tired of Faustus expecting him to be able to just--do whatever he wanted. The real world didn't work like that. Or at least, it never had for him.
[center He was ever the ray of sunshine, wasn’t he? Faustus had to find the will to actually smile at this man. “Well, I’m actually here to clarify a few things. Now that there have been a few days to cool off, I thought we might actually have a civil conversation.” Without all of the micro expressions.
Then again, perhaps he had been a bit harsh with him. It wasn’t fair to put all of this on someone who didn’t even know the role he had played. Logan held full responsibility for that one.
“I also had some questions for you, that I hope you’ll answer honestly.” Especially considering it meant Logan had really never let on that he was still in regular contact with them. And what could possibly have been his goal in doing that?
“I was wondering if you would be able to come with me for a bit? I want to get a better idea of how you really feel about all of this and hopefully fill in the blanks in attempts to at least—well, I’ll save that for later, I suppose.”
Faustus peered down at Silveus with a rather neutral expression. If there was any trace of hostility here beyond some reluctance to be there, it was absent now. Perhaps this had been his mother’s intention. She was hoping they would hug and make up.
Clearly she couldn’t tell how stubborn this one could be, but what could be done. She had a tendency to see things in a more positive light, and in her mind, she couldn’t imagine why Silveus might hate them.
Well, so he could guess, anyway. Faustus hoped he was wrong about that, but even hope couldn’t shake his suspicions about why he might’ve actually chosen to stay here.
“Plus... I am wondering what prompted you to stick around. You seemed awfully adamant about leaving a few days ago.” There was no hostility in his question, just pure curiosity.
Maybe there was another way to approach this... without unnecessary exposure. ]
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