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Silveus looked at Bastion. It wasn't his fault, not really. He wanted to break out of this funk. He just didn't know how. It had never been his intention to make Bastion apologize. Faustus, maybe, but not Bastion. "It's fine."
He leaned in so Faustus wouldn't hear. "Maybe we could..." he stopped. Even if they went to an art shop, it didn't change that he had no motivation. No inspiration. Silveus shook his head. "Never mind."
"You know what? For his materials, I'll make it easy, Faustie," Rossa said quietly, whispering into the other man's ear. "A smile. Not yours. Get him to smile, that'll be your payment."
The wand, on the other hand. That was going to be a [i lot] more expensive. He cocked an eyebrow and smiled thoughtfully. If Faustus thought he was going to get off that easy for his whole order, he had another thing coming.
The sunshine made Silveus feel a little better. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Maybe that was it. Maybe that was the key.
He felt stifled. That was the answer. It struck him like the sunlight as he stepped out of the dingy, dark shop. It was stifling, having everything decided for him. He couldn't take it.
"I'd like to stay in town," he said. He looked at the brothers. "I'll find a job and see you guys in the evenings. I want to support myself. Let me support myself."
Silveus looked at the two of them. "Tonight, we'll go back, but tomorrow, I want to find my own place." .
[center Pretty? Faustus genuinely chuckled at that. Okay, so he wasn’t entirely in trouble anymore, it seemed. That was good to know. Besides, Rossa was still his person. Whatever that meant, really. He guessed mostly it had to do with trust. He trusted him with everything. This would just take more time to explain.
Definitely would have to take place not in the company of grumpy gills, here. Faustus took one look at him and slowly inhaled. “I’m not sure about anything, but yes, this will do quite nicely, thank you. What do I owe you?” It was a simple question to most, but with Rossa, who knew. “Keep it clean,” he warned.
Bastion sucked his lips in to fight off a smile, hyper aware that Silveus was in no mood “We’ll be back home before you know it. I feel pretty guilty dragging you out now. I guess I thought it would help. I hope you won’t hold it against me?” At least someone knew how to show remorse.
Faustus, on the other hand, was waiting for his ridiculous price. He suspected it was going to be something horrendous, but maybe Rossa would take pity on him.
“[i Keep it clean]? What is [i that] supposed to mean?” He feigned offense, eyes widening as he laid a delicate hand to his chest. Rossa’s nails caught the light in a particularly telling fashion, but it wasn’t the only glint Faustus saw.
“Better still, you’d better get back to me on it.”
“You’re no fun, Faustus. No wonder he’s miserable.”
Rolling his eyes, Faustus packaged up their wares and slid them into a satchel over his shoulder. He didn’t expect Silveus to carry it, after all. Besides, they really had to talk about this bullshit vibe. Specifically the poor communication. It was frustrating, and he hated to be the angry, domineering asshole who called all of the shots.
Silveus crossed his arms. No one had asked him if he wanted to learn magic. The only spell he wanted to know was one to teleport him back to his room, and maybe one to lock the door so no one could bother him. Maybe one to shut up Faustus when he was being particularly pricky.
[i Was it difficult to repair.] Rossa gave Faustus a massive eyeroll and just stared at him. A wand. Which was hard enough on its own. With bone, which was just awful to fix, and a custom crystal setting, and not that he wanted to tell Faustus his business, but he should've really used proper jewel settings and not just magic the first time around... what did he think?
"You're lucky you're so pretty," he said at last, patting Faustus on the cheek.
He went back to rummaging for supplies. Most of it was pretty easy. The herbs he had in spades, and then, of course, most of the potion stuff would be in the reliquary. He added a beginner's wand to the pile--heart of a silverwood branch with embedded quartz, nothing special. It wouldn't do much good in a mortal's hands, but it was better than nothing. A few other sundries as well, a vial of imp blood, an impure philosopher's stone, two pieces of cinnabar. Each object he piled in Faustus' hands, just to be obnoxious about it. "There, that should be enough."
Silveus sighed and stared out the window. [i Is it time to go?]
Rossa frowned. There were some bad vibes coming off of that kid. "You sure about teaching him magic?" he asked. That kind of mindset would only lead him to ruin.
[center Ever the stubborn one, Rossa. Faustus could sense the confusion, and he promised a later explanation when they had some privacy. “I was wondering if you had any books on hand for Silveus. Particularly ones that might teach him about less complicated, more practical magick?”
What sort of question was that? Of course he did! Then again, maybe he was pointing this out for Silveus’ benefit. Bastion had clearly thought this a good idea - getting him out of the house. He just looked miserable, though, as he rightfully should have.
Finger tapping gently to his plump lower lip, Rossa contemplated the options. “How old?”
“Nothing too old.” Faustus warned, worried for the double-edged outcomes older magick tended to produce.
“Something he can study without me on his free time if he likes. And maybe some basic supplies... please.” The blond had caught that brow quirk, and he wasn’t about to be fucking with Rossa’s bad side if he further pissed him off.
There were few men he feared, but he definitely knew better with him. Well, mostly. He was in trouble right now, but he was still grateful he’d fixed his wand. Opening the box, he inspected it. Beautiful. Blackened vinery twisting about smooth, stark white bone. It was pointed at the end, perfectly sculpted for his hand to fit comfortably about it.
A larger crystal was set within a crest of lesser crystals, Rubens reflecting in its gleaming facets. “Was it difficult to repair?” He had forged it, true, but he had to wonder.
Rossa was already off rummaging about for some material for Silveus, though. How he expected him to focus on any in depth conversation and pick out something safe for... a mortal, was beyond him. Why have a mortal study magick anyway? He wouldn’t be able to do very much.]
Ex? Oh. That did explain a lot. [i I'm surprised Faustus managed to get with anyone at all, really.] The man seemed like the type to be forever alone because of his pride. He was too full of himself to love anyone else.
He contemplated the herbs hanging from the ceiling. It was hard to keep paying attention to the conversation when it had nothing to do with him. Honestly, the shoppe was pretty neat. He felt as if he'd stepped into the 1700s or something, like there should be candles on the walls instead of muted electric lights and everyone should be wearing silly neck frills, not frilly pink jackets.
Wands were a thing? That got his attention for a second. He peered over, but all there was to see was a box. He breathed out and sighed. One hand toyed with a sprig of lavender. Some pretty flowers hung just beside the lavender, little balls of delicate white flowers. He couldn't recognize them. Silveus reached out and tilted them back and forth.
"Lime blossoms," Rossa called, distracted from Faustus and his absolute incompetence at keeping a wand together for ten whole seconds. "In the flower language, they mean 'fornication.'"
Silveus yanked his hand away as if he'd been stung.
"Good for colds, cough, and flu too," Rossa added. His eyes flicked to Faustus. He knew better than to expect an explanation from the man--gods knew he couldn't even send a simple 'hey, out of town for a week' message--but what was Logan's widow doing here? It didn't make any sense. Sure, the situation wasn't exactly typical, he knew that. Warlocks rarely died, let alone died and left behind mortal widows. Still, bringing a mortal into the family? [i There has to be another story here.]
"Are you going to be coming back soon?" he asked, hinting at Silveus.
"Only time will tell," Bastion said with a glance at Silveus. It was his decision. No one could force him to stay if he didn't want to.
"Oh?" Rossa's eyebrows raised. "Come back anytime."
Silveus nodded, once. [i Is it over now? Can I go home?] Why had they brought him along on this field trip? It hadn't done him any good.
[center The familiar swirl of herbal scents was actually rather comforting to Faustus. You know, for the first ten seconds before he was given the cold shoulder. Bastion, in the meantime, wasn’t shy about reaching out for a hug. He was the sort of guy that tended to be on great terms with everyone, it seemed.
Faustus lingered by the door for a moment, internally screaming. What was it now? What could he possibly have been salty about? Was this about him not calling?
Bastion immediately perked up once more, a smile spreading across his features. “Truth he told, this is Faust’s trip. I just like coming here.” He offered smoothly.
Faustus wanted to clobber him. He wouldn’t, but he wanted to. Clearing his throat, he nodded toward Silveus “This is Logan’s husband.” Widow, but still. “The one I mentioned to you, except in the flesh.”
“Yes, I can see that.” Rossa quipped, smiling kindly at Silveus once more. “Still doesn’t tell me much about what brings you to my shoppe?”
“Ah, right.” Rossa turned on his heel, waving the three of them along. “As always, only turning up when you need something from me, is it?” This remark was directed specifically at Faustus, and given the way his gaze shifted, it was obvious the man felt guilty.
“I did mean to call before I left... and when I returned.”
“I’m sure,” The pink-haired man drew out a skeleton key and let himself into a door at the far back of the shoppe, disappearing into complete darkness. There was silence, then a loud creak and faint glow before his reappearance, the door shut and locked tightly behind him.
In his arms was a long lacquered coffin box. “You’d think for as much effort as it takes to forge one of these, you would care for it better.” He shot Faustus an annoyed glance. Just because he acknowledged his wrong didn’t mean it stood in place of an apology. Sure, he loved the guy, but he was seriously shit about keeping in touch.
Bastion nudged Silveus and very quietly said “ex”. At least to clarify things a little. Long time friends but still exes. And on the outs a bit it seemed.
At least he was somewhat of a gentleman. Silveus acknowledged Faustus with a nod as he climbed into the seat. It was shiny, black, and all leather on the inside. Slightly uncomfortable with taking up too much space in such a fancy automobile, Silveus hunkered by the door and looked out the window.
The countryside rolled on by. He sighed and scratched his hair, adjusted it back into place. Why'd he been drawn into this, anyways? What had Faustus wanted with him? Or no, it was Bastion, wasn't it? They'd all blurred together into one man.
They pulled up to a set of quaint wooden-fronted shops. Flowers hung from the street lamps, sprung up from behind hedges. It felt like the kind of place that would have a tailor, an art store, an old-fashioned soda pop shop, maybe a few men in straw hats and stiff suits. He followed Bastion to the door and stepped inside.
The warm scent of herbs assaulted him, cinnamon and cloves and thyme and lavender and a dozen other things he couldn't put a name to. They filled barrels along the wall, hung in dried bunches from the ceiling, grew from pots by the window. A large cockatiel watched them from the back of the shop, perched atop an oak branch that had been mounted on the wall. It was dark, in a warm way that reminded him of his grandparents'house. The only light came from the front window and a single lamp on the desk in the back.
Bells clattered as the door shut. "Oh! Coming, coming," someone called from the back room. Unseen things thudded and fell, and then, heels clacking, the man hurried out. A feather-trimmed pink coat flapped around his shoulders, offsetting his tight leather pants and the pinstriped frilly apron he wore over the ensemble. "Hello hello, Rossa's Finest Herbs, how can I help you to..."
He trailed off at the sight of them. One eyebrow cocked. "Bastion, how good to see you," he greeted the first brother. He ran his pink hair back and smiled at Silveus. "And I haven't seen you before, have I?"
"No, um. Silveus," he stuttered, thrusting out his hand to shake. Rossa's hands were soft and cold. Sharp pink nails bit into his skin, barely not enough to draw blood.
Rossa turned to Faustus, then looked back at Bastion. "So what brings you here?" he asked, totally ignoring Faustus.
[center Because he wasn’t a total savage, Faustus opened the door for Silveus. He had a shiny black Vanquish. At least, for now. His usual baby was being worked on, but this one had done right by him in its stead.
Bastion rounded and hopped into the back, wrinkling his nose the moment he was settled. “Bro, when is the corvette coming back?”
“Friday.” He answered casually, letting himself into the vehicle only after Silveus was safely shut in. Faustus was calm behind the wheel. Any emotions he had previously seemed to disappear.
The engine turned over and a moment later they were heading for town. Neither of them wore seatbelts, though. Not very wise of them, and a bad example to set, but immortals were not so concerned with mortality, after all.
The shop they were going to was owned by... an old friend, so to speak. As he took them to the centre of town, the architecture loomed, ancient and beautiful. The church, especially. Greatly detailed masonry, Tudor style housing, little shoppes here and there, and so much greenery. There were lanterns, ornate benches, squares for entertainment and parks. And tonnes of gardens.
Faustus took them through downtown and rolled up to their destination to whip smoothly into a spot out front. Bastion hopped out first and got the door for Silveus, his brother already having made his way to the door.
He drew open the door, waiting patiently at attention for his two stragglers.]
He shot Faustus a glare. Would it kill him to be a little nice? [i Probably.] He'd probably melt away, like the Wicked Witch of the West. A smirk spread over his lips at that. Had anyone seen Faustus around water, ever? It was still a distinct possibility.
"I'll, I'll take the front," he decided after a moment. He didn't want to be around Faustus, but he wanted to see where he was. See the sights, so to speak. He'd been cooped up in the house since he'd gotten here--partially of his own will--but still, it'd be good to see the town. See where the police were, too, if things got too crazy and he had to make a run for it.
He peered around for the car. Whatever car they were riding, it'd surely be super expensive, right? That was the way this family's tastes seemed to run so far. To be fair, they were rich as hell, but still. [i What is it, a Benz? Aston-Martin? Ferarri? Or maybe a stretch hummer?]
Faustus' car, too. It'd probably be big, dark and scary. Just like the man himself. [i Well, not the dark part.] Faustus was pretty fair. Like Logan had been. He'd burned so quickly in the sun. Like a delicate lily.
[i I should have protected him better.]
[center Tsh. Of course the cat got affection. Faustus supposed be was saving up all his good cheer for anybody who wasn’t him. Mighty impatient still, though. Bastion was pacing down below in the foyer, leather jacket catching the light as he moved to and fro. It was so early to be wearing leather, but whatever. It suited him.
“Yes, let’s. The meanie will drive.” He quipped, taking the stairs quickly. “I told you twice now, we need moonlight for the spell to work. Which means waiting for nightfall. Let’s just do this bit of research and then you’re free to mope all you like.”
After all, he did a fair share of that around him. At the very least, he wouldn’t be doing it in his presence.
Bastion waved Silveus along with a kind expression, punching Faustus in the arm as he passed with a sharp “Be nice! He’s hurt...”
Didn’t give him an excuse to be a pain in the ass. He understood pain. They all did in some way. He guessed he was just a little unused to dealing with someone who showed their feelings so openly. That and being the object of someone’s frustration. Too much excitement for him personally.
Faustus ventured out the door, then, jacket slung over one shoulder as he headed for his car.
“Wait, can we take-“
“No, I drive.”
“W-...okay? Silveus, would you prefer the front or the back?” Bastion called, turning to walk backwards so he could at least have a look at him.
He stared at the bubbling liquid. It had to boil? [i Why can't we just get this over with?]
Silveus followed Faustus out of the room. He felt the man's eyes on him until he left the room. [i I'm not going to run off. I'm not an idiot.]
Basil was waiting for him. He bent down and invited the cat over. The small creature jumped into his arms. Silveus kissed the top of his head and started to pet the cat. "Don't be mean," he told Faustus. Basil was just being a good boy. It wasn't the cat's fault he loved Silveus. It was definitely Faustus' fault he was mean to the cat, though.
"Shh, Faustus is just a meanie, you don't have to be angry," he told the cat, nuzzling it. Basil was so fluffy. When he grew up, he'd be a pretty longhair for sure.
He looked at Faustus. "What are you waiting for? Let's go." The sooner they left, the sooner they could be back and figure out what his ancestry was. It was all stupid. [i I just want to mourn in peace, alone and unbothered.] Was it too much to ask?
Basil squirmed. Silveus set him gently on the ground and watched him run off. That cat did whatever he wanted, didn't he? He snorted. Kind of like a certain Faustus, but not as mean. No, Basil was a sweet fluffball, even if he'd been stolen away by a jerk like Faustus.
[center So prickly, he was. Faustus straightened, casually, as though he'd taken no offense, and simply gathered what supplies he had acquired. There was a large cauldron that walked itself over a simple incantation circle and settled. Faustus produced the owl Krista had been kind enough to feed earlier in the morning, and laid out each item carefully.
There was little discussion at this point. He tossed in what items he had been able to acquire and wandered the reliquary to fetch what Silveus had been unable to. In careful measure, every ingredient went into the mix. None of it looked like it belonged together, but over time it would come together.
"We leave this to broil." He explained, summoning flame beneath their vessel.
"For now, we join Bastion in town. Your luggage should be in the wardrobe tucked away." He explained, striding for the doors. Patiently, he awaited Silveus before exiting. Not that he didn't trust him, but the last time he took his eye off him in here, it hadn't ended well. Better to be safe than sorry.
Basil lingered nearby, keeping watch over the corridor. For what reason, Faustus couldn't discern, but the moment he caught wind of where Silveus was, he padded to the doorway and mewled pitifully for his return. How dare he leave him for so long? He loved him?
Brows lowering, Faustus hushed him. "There's no need for crying."
Who did he think he was? He had every right to cry! He'd been left in the corridor not knowing what all had happened to his person. He unsuccessfully scowled at the unnecessarily tall warlock and mewled again, worried by the sorry look of Silveus. What had this jerk done to him? His tail bristled with suspicion.
Would he have to kill him?
Silveus glanced over at Faustus. He followed the man's gestures silently, dropping his shirt off his shoulders to reveal the stupid little wings. He crouched in the center and watched.
[i This] was magic. Faustus doubled, then tripled. Flames coiled. Mysterious words were said. Faustus held his hand out, and suddenly flames consumed his body.
Silveus jumped, startled. They crackled and bit, real, real, real. He batted at them. They wouldn't die. Wouldn't let go. He popped to his feet and smacked his body all over. [i Hot, hot, hot--] Silveus paused. It wasn't hot. It didn't hurt at all.
He peered over his shoulder. The wings were vanishing. The black marks grew smaller, eaten up by the flame until they were gone.
A finger appeared on his back. Silveus jumped again. He barely resisted a shiver. It'd been so long since anyone else had touched him, skin on skin. He felt oddly vulnerable, sensitive anywhere the fire had burned away.
"How will I know if I have any residual energy?" Silveus asked, annoyed. It wasn't like he could use any magic with whatever seal it was on him. Faustus should know better than to ask.
He pulled away from Faustus and pulled his shirt back up. "What next? Let's get it all over with. Let's summon my ancestors or whatever." He didn't make eye contact with Faustus. He felt weird. Everything about him felt weird. He didn't feel unattached like he had earlier, but now he felt... he didn't know. He didn't like it, though.
[center The mood certainly had darkened, hadn’t it? Faustus eyed Silveus discreetly, waving him over to a an open expanse of floor. He slid away a fur rug to make more room and began to work counter clockwise, drawing tunes within the body of a large reverses spiral. Then he closed it off at the tail.
Gently, he reached forward to expose the wings and stepped back out of range, resuming his place. Faustus summoned a small bowl and removed a pinch or two of black salt, holding it palm up. At first nothing happened, but then slowly, he shifted about the circle, leaving a doppelgänger behind at all three pints that he visited.
“West to East, South to North, four winds heed this call henceforth. Move and shift the sands of time, to revert and sever these present binds. By the power of three times three, as I will, so mote it be.” The black salt caught afire, a black flame growing until it practically consumed the whole of his forearm.
Faustus didn’t even so much as flinch as it jumped, leaping directly to Silveus. It swallowed him entirely, engulfing every inch of him, but it was not hot - or it wasn’t meant to be anyway. The sensation would’ve been similar to being surrounded by water. It licked away any wounds or small injuries that might’ve been and receded until it reached the wings, burning and bubbling away their form until smooth flesh remained.
Faustus leant forward to inspect, finger brushing gently over the area. Not a single thing. Good.
“How do you feel? It should have burned away any of that residual rubbish from that ghoul, but if you still feel lingering energy from it, a deeper cleanse may be necessary.”
Over to the reliquary. There was nothing for him to do but wait. He stood awkwardly by the door and twiddled his thumbs. The dark halls seemed to close in on him. He was all alone in the world. All alone in this giant house, no one to notice if he wandered away forever.
He was a second away from taking a step when Faustus appeared. Silveus glanced up at him and nodded. Faustus was less smiley now. It pleased him, somehow, in a perverse way. No one should be happy. He wasn't happy, so no one should be.
The reliquary's doors swung open once Faustus arrived, as if they knew. Silveus followed Faustus inside, demure and quiet. He'd learned his lesson. This time, he'd stick close behind Faustus and not wander off.
"What do I have to do?" he asked. That was easy. If someone would just tell him what to do, he wouldn't have to think. He could just be, for a little while. Forget about the world. Maybe he'd find a knife later on. If cleansing couldn't get rid of them, then he'd do it. What magic couldn't do, he could do if he put his mind to it.
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