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[center Were Faustus in the mood to be difficult, he might've dismissed the younger man. Instead, he gestured vaguely. "I'll meet you in front of the reliquary. I'd like to at least ready for the day."
Bastion sighed, already finished with the muffin he had been consuming. "Let me know when the two of you are ready to head into town - I can drive."
"But of course." You could hear Faustus rolling his eyes, but his expression remained unchanged as he left the table to glide past Silveus and back from when he'd come.
Getting dressed was an easy task, and as soon as his teeth were brushed again and face washed, he dealt with his hair. T'wasn't long before he appeared near the sealed doors, somehow less expressive now that he'd eaten and his guard must have gone back up.
Silveus seemed to have returned to his sad, withdrawn state, and the man had to admit he preferred angry Silveus to the sad one. The sad one was a bit difficult to accept. How did you go about comforting someone when there was absolutely nothing to be done for that sort of suffering?
That besides, it wasn't like he was the cuddly type. That was more Angeleau's area of expertise. He likely would've done better in this circumstance.
Regardless, at the very least, he could do this much. Maybe once they got him feeling better about the wings being gone, he could convince him to have a wash and change into some fresh clothes.]
The siblings chattered. Silveus pushed eggs around his plate silently, already full. Once, he'd have been the one chattering with Logan. Hearing it now, it made him feel second-rate. A hollow replacement for this noisy family.
Everything had been a shitshow since Logan died. [i Wasn't it supposed to be forever?] And then it'd all gone to hell.
He glanced up when his name was called, a little lost. He hadn't been listening for the context. He nodded silently rather than risk a guess at what he might have missed.
Going to town. He'd barely been out since the death. Work and home, work and home. Sometimes he stopped to get groceries. Sometimes that was too much effort.
"Later," he agreed, a little too sharply. He didn't want to go out while he still had the wings. He didn't want to go out at all, really. [i If I could just go home and be alone...] But his home was gone. There was nothing left.
Just remembering that made him want to curl up and cry. Instead, he poked the eggs some more. [i It'll be good to get out. Buy some paints or something. A few canvases. New brushes.] And then what? He didn't have any inspiration. What was there to paint, when there was no light in his life?
He traced his finger down a knife. It glittered once as it tipped and caught the sun. Flickered back into place. He felt sideways to the world. An observer. A fake. He made the responses he was required to and retreated, glad no one was able to catch him out for the dead man he was. Life was a thing that happened to everything around him. He was a burned-out coal, discarded and empty without his love.
Abruptly, he stood. "Shall we go?" he asked. He wanted to get it all over with so he could be left alone once more.
[center It was interesting to watch - the progression of Silveus’ thoughts in micro expressions. He was really hung up about these wings, wasn’t he? Maybe just really hung up in general about everything. He could imagine losing someone you loved would make one anxious, but he had to wonder if he had secretly always been this way before? If so, Logan had never made mention.
“Relax,” Faustus encouraged, sipping gratefully at a cup of rose petal tea. “It will be taken care of.”
“Already causing him trouble?” Juno interjected, settling in. Odd for her to be so chipper in the morning. Probably got laid.
“Mind your business. There’s plenty for you to be using your mouth for on the table already.”
“I thought your shortcomings were always on the table?” She quipped innocently.
Faustus suddenly grinned, laughter rumbling up from somewhere deep down. Probably a well he didn’t often tap into. “You’re always so difficult.”
“I love you, too.”
Faustus hummed in agreement, offering Silveus some juice. “Or would you prefer tea?”
They would fix his problem, but for right now, he needed to relax. It was just breakfast. They weren’t taking on some grand evil over eggs and toast. Besides, it wouldn’t be as hard as he might’ve been thinking it was.
“You know,” Bastion chimed in, head tilting. “I think we should take you out later, Silveus. Nothing ridiculous. Just to show you the town, you know? Lots of pretty architecture. I’m sure Faustus has a few things he needs there?”
Yeah, he got it. The subtle-not-so-subtle ogling definitely made it clear Faustus was to play along with his little plan. Whatever it was. “Well, let him think about it. Besides, we have things to do here before you whisk him off into town for fates knows what...”
“Just a little tour.”
The blond scoffed, chewing a sliver of plantain. “It wouldn’t be a bad idea, though. I would like to look into one of the archives there. Perhaps our friend in town knows a bit more about the research I’m currently doing.”
Silveus cut Fausus a nasty look. It was a natural human reaction. He'd been lonely since Logan's death. What was he supposed to do? It wasn't like [i he'd] wanted to pitch a tent. It'd just... happened. Like he was some freaking teenager. "Thanks," he muttered, and took the sausage anyways. It was embarrassing, and he hated that anyone knew, but he wasn't going to let Faustus shame him. The man would never let it go if he did.
"They never go away?" Silveus balked. His face went pale. Tiny, stupid-looking mini-wings for the rest of his life? He'd rather chop them off and make them into fried chicken wings than live with the humiliation. "There has to be something..." A sharp enough knife. Fire. Something.
The cat came back. Silveus shot him a look, too. [i Traitor.] Couldn't be trusted, that one. His love for clawing laps left much to be desired.
"He's... been doing his best," Silveus said. When it came to convincing him that they were all terrible, Faustus couldn't do much better. He was starting to wonder who'd had the genius idea to send Faustus to pick him up. Literally anyone else would have been better. Sucking the fun out of everything? He nodded. "I see you know him well."
Silveus started to eat. It was delicious, but he couldn't bring himself to eat much. The stupid little wings made him too self-conscious. [i Someone might notice at any moment.] And then they'd ask where he'd gotten them, and he'd have to admit that he'd been stupid enough to fall for that damn apparition, and then they'd all make fun of him like Faustus did. He felt his skin heat up just thinking about it. They had to get him cleansed, as soon as possible.
[center Oh, so he was awake after all. And in the clothes from the night before. “Morning.” Lowering himself into a seat, he scooped eggs, sweet plantains, cocoa bread, and spinach onto his plate. The last item he grabbed was meat, already betraying his preferences. “Sausage?” It was veggie based, an alternative to the meat option near the centre of the table. Not to mention, he couldn’t help but tease him.
“We’ll take care of those. Just know they’ll never actually go away.” They didn’t ever, actually. It just depended upon whether you were keen on showing them off or not. “Truthfully, if it wasn’t so convenient around mortals or for sitting in chairs, it wouldn’t be so uncommon to see them.” Explained Faustus quietly.
“That aside, we still have that other order of business to attend to once you’ve been cleansed.” He added, uncrossing his legs. It was funny, in a way. Silk robe, one leg bared through the split, chest casually exposed to display part of the artwork that graced his flesh. Well, they were functional. They had a purpose. Still beautiful, though.
“We also need to fully discuss what you saw yesterday, I think.” Basil has reappeared, slinking about Silveus’ ankles. He brushed up against him affectionately, hopping up onto his legs to raise himself paws first up onto the edge of the tableau.
Angeleau set down a bowl nearby, crystal of course. “That’s for you.” All family members were clearly welcome at the table.
“Has my brother convinced you of how horrid we all are yet?” Asked Bastion suddenly. “Any horror stories we should hear about?”
“Hush,” Faustus sighed. “If anything, you look like a saint compared to me. Despite your real world reputation.”
Bastion smiled wryly. “I see he’s probably sucking the fun out of absolutelt everything for you.”
The door was open when he woke up. Silveus frowned, then patted around the bed. [i Basil?]
The cat was gone. Silveus blinked and rubbed his forehead. The cat could open locked doors? [i Clever little thing.] It was smarter than he'd given it credit for.
He adjusted his shirt and buttoned it back up. After being slept on all night, it was wrinkled. Silveus tried to flatten it down, then sighed. There were probably clothes somewhere. Logan's family had been nothing if not generous. Still, he didn't know where they were. Besides, it felt presumptuous to just go pull on a shirt that didn't belong to him. Even if it was Faustus's fault he didn't have any clothes.
Silveus checked in the mirror real quick to make sure the little wings weren't showing through his shirt. It looked fine enough to him. No real hint of wings poking up through the white fabric.
Compared to all the others, he felt formally dressed. He glanced around as he joined the line. [i Overdressed and ugly,] he thought. Everyone was so gorgeous. He felt like an ugly little pug amidst a flock of showdogs. The little wings fluttered on his back as if to agree. He pulled the shirt tighter, trying to still them.
He glanced at Faustus as the man entered, gorgeous as could be. He even gazed into the middle distance like a model, serene and unflappable, a mirror still lake. Silveus frowned and rubbed his brows. Hopefully that unflappable model hadn't forgotten the stupid little wings on his back. He needed to get that fixed. He wasn't going to sit here and have little fluttery things all day.
[i Is he wearing anything under that robe?] Silveus wrenched his eyes away. Today was not the day he wanted to find out.
He grabbed some food from the many plates and found a seat. [i He's probably forgotten already. Or 'forgotten.'] He wouldn't put it past Faustus. The guy didn't like him, and he'd made no secret of that.
Silveus glanced at Faustus. He scooted closer. "Are we gonna... fix that?" he asked, gesturing at his back.
[center Basil purred quietly, close to sleep. He was perfectly comfortable where he was, dozing atop the softness of the duvet. The house quieted considerably, Faustus’ footsteps receding down the hall. No more disturbances for the remainder of the night, hopefully. Even Angeleau and Bastion had quieted down and we’re likely knocked out somewhere.
Faustus entered his chambers, stepping out of his loafers and throwing himself dramatically into bed. He had to bathe, but he was too tired for all of that. The stress of the day had worn on him. At least Silveus wouldn’t get attacked in his sleep. He took a little comfort in that.
Peeling himself back up out of bed, he stripped down to bare skin and tossed them into a hamper, letting the top drop back closed before ambling on in for a wash. Oddly, wandering around nude like this reminded him of that awkward moment they’d shared not too long ago. Not that he was one to judge, but the man had been surprisingly cool about it.
Faustus started up his waterfall shower and stepped in once a proper steam had cropped up, letting the tension of the day melt out of him. He felt heavier in its absence, and once he was sufficiently clean, he’d wrapped his head up in a towel and thrown himself into bed. No patience for blow drying tonight.
The last thought to cross his mind as he faded was the prospect of Silveus scarring poor Basil. He wasn’t... with the cat in the room? Right? He wouldn’t.
...would he, though?
He wouldn’t dwell on it. Instead, he rolled over into his front, buried his face into his pillow. The morning. He would leave all of that contemplation for the morning.
Which honestly arrived way too quickly. It felt like barely any time had passed between when his eyes had shut and the sun had coaxed him back into consciousness. Or maybe it was the scent of breakfast. That was totally possible.
It could also have been the incessant scratching at his bedroom door. Basil, no doubt. How had he escaped Silveus’ bedroom, even?
Breakfast was only just being laid out, the sleepy members of the household all making their way down to have a bite. Faustus drew on a long silk robe and joined the march with his tousled mess of a head and dreamy gaze. He almost looked serene in a way when he was just barely conscious.
“Morning, all. Mother.” He acknowledged politely.
Angeleau was breathing in his coffee and Bastion was already eyeing the various dishes as if deciding what to decimate first. Juno must have still been asleep, or gone by then, and Krista has already eaten, quietly reading in the salon. Apparently she had only felt for fruit.]
Silveus scratched at his back. He shrugged. No way to tell if it'd changed. Couldn't see his back, after all. "Dunno," he yawned. "It doesn't feel any different." Honestly, he was ready to go back to sleep. After a little... well. Arm exercise.
"Little brat," he muttered at the cat. Basil purred in response, absolutely unworried.
"Thanks, I--" he adjusted the blanket awkwardly. He really hadn't wanted Faustus to see that. Of all people! Faustus seemed like the kind to bring it up at awkward moments forever. "Just... just a natural reaction."
As Faustus walked away, Silveus glanced up. "Thanks! For the sigil, I..." He seemed to be getting into a lot of trouble with magic. Even the stupid wings were kind of his fault. He shifted uncomfortably. His back hurt from sleeping on his side. "I can't wait to get back to normal."
He waited until Faustus had retreated, then sighed out and fell onto his side. Silveus shifted. He lifted his legs up and shifted. [i Should probably take care of this.] It'd been too long. And there was no way he'd be getting back to sleep with it at attention.
Silveus paused, then got up and locked the door. No more unwanted entrants! [i I'd die if anyone saw.] This was already too much.
Well, this had gotten weird. Faustus squinted at Silveus, at his blanket, at the misplaced tea stain. Little really fazed him, he guess. He wasn’t so much offended by the sight as he was momentarily concerned it had something to do with the cat. The explanation was definitely appreciated, though.
“I was about two seconds from forbidding you from spending time with him, but that’s reassuring.” After all, he’d seen much worse.
“How are your—“ he gestured behind himself. “Any change?” Of they had shown any change, then it wasn’t a good sign. It meant he had been more deeply affected than they initially thought. Jus the prospect worried him. He didn’t want to wake tomorrow to some hell creature tearing down the house.
Their furry friend was circling to settle into a proper loaf. “I’m going to call him Basil for now. Calling him ‘cat’ feels foolish, and at least if he has some sort of moniker he might be easier to discipline going forward.” If the cat objected to this name, he didn’t show it. In fact, for someone who had just clawed poor Silveus’ pride, he was looking fairly relaxed.
Faustus pushed his hair back out of his visage, eyes haunted in the low light. “I placed a sigil on your room. You should at the very least be safe from anything coming in. My room is at the far end of the house - the french doors. I’ll see you in the morning proper and leave you to your... whatever it is you’ll be getting up to.” Not that he was judging.
Truthfully, he’d probably also subjected others to worse. Especially given he wasn’t particularly shy about wandering the grounds naked.]
"Oh, yes, absolutely." He kept one hand clenched low on the blanket and reached out with the other. [i It's okay. No one's going to notice.]
A little ball of fur and claws dropped into his lap from nowhere. Silveus's eyes went wide at the jolt of the cat's landing. He rolled his hips back in hopes of moving things out of reach. The motion was a mistake. The blanket swirled, drawing the cat's attention. It pounced. Razor sharp claws closed in on the target. Silveus shifted awkwardly at the very last second, only just preserving his manhood. The tea sloshed over his hand.
Krista didn't notice. She leaned in to pet the cat, and the stupid thing rolled backward. [i Stupid little thing is heavy!] It hurt. He hissed in a breath and sighed it out between clenched teeth, a forced smile on his face.
Faustus appeared to save him. Silveus heaved a sigh of relief when Krista retreated. He picked up the cat and set it on the floor. "You are a little bastard, you know that, right?" he asked the cat. It felt like it'd done that on purpose.
He relaxed and leaned back to sip on his tea. After a second, he realized the blanket had pulled up a little too far. Silveus sat up straight and tugged it back into place. "I, um. Crazy dream," he excused himself. And no human touch for too long. He'd rather Faustus know the truth than think he got excited by cats leaping around in his lap.
[center Krista inched her way in to crosses the room, heels clicking softly against the dark wood. She must not have noticed, but Faustus was lurking in the hall, peering in on the man to see how he was doing. In the meantime, their kitty friend had awakened as well. He posed about the bed as Krista set down the tea tray. “I’m sorry to have awakened you. Please drink this before you fall back asleep?”
As she said this, the kitty had seen fit to hop up onto the bed’s headboard, tail swishing to and fro as he examined their guest. Before long, he hitched up his little bum and leapt back down into Silveus’s lap, missing when he turned his body and reaching, claws out and all to catch himself on the material of the blanket.
Nothing like needle sharp cat claws to put your priorities back into perspective. Not exactly the kind of attention you wanted between the hips, though.
Krista eyed the cat with amusement, stroking betwixt it’s ears and along its back. The feline turned over and twisted, mewling affectionately. Because why not have a full cat crushing your dick. It was one way to solve your problem.
Faustus, none the wiser, watched on from the hall, aware of Krista’s curiosity. “Let him rest, yes?”
“Of course, brother. Apologies, Silveus.” She bowed her head in apology and retreated, door left ajar in her absence. Faustus’ frame seemed to fill it entirely and then some.]
He peered over his shoulder. Were those... were those wings? They fluttered pathetically when he looked at them, like they were afraid of his gaze. Silveus pulled a face. How ugly. "How...are they permanent? Is this forever?" The black marks obscured his tattoos. He'd paid good money for them. His heart stopped--and one was Logan's design. One of the black marks tore right down the middle. Silveus reached up to touch it. [i They have to be able to fix this.]
He frowned when Faustus touched one. It felt weird. Like it was somewhere that shouldn't be touched. Not painful, but not good either. The little wings flinched against his body in response. He couldn't consciously control them, but they seemed to move on their own.
Reversion. He relaxed a hair. It could be fixed. Silveus sagged down onto the bed. One hand pulled the shirt back over his shoulders to hide the stupid-looking wings. Tonight, he was too tired to think about Logan or worry about his future. His eyes shut.
The cat cuddled up next to him. He raised a heavy hand to pet the small creature. [i So soft.] It felt like a cotton ball, but warm.
He was asleep by the time Faustus offered to come at a word. It had been too much. All he wanted was to sleep.
In his dreams, Logan was there. The man extended a hand to him, and Silveus took it. "Just up ahead, Silvie," Logan promised. His hand was cold. As cold as ice.
"Where are we going?" Silveus asked. He followed Logan through a field of tall grass. Stalks of wheat tickled his legs.
They toppled in the grass. Logan drew Silveus down on top of him, still cold. Fingers pushed at his shirt. Lips nipped at his body. "Silvie," Logan said, looking him in the eye, and smiled. He slid his hands down Silveus's back, just the way he always had.
Silveus arced into his body. He wanted it. Wanted it too bad. Logan was there, already reaching further down. "Love you, Silvie."
The thump of fist against wood startled him awake. Silveus's eyes snapped open. A dream like that... he glanced down. [i Oh dear.]
The door creaked open. Silveus drew the covers up and rolled over to face the door, sitting up a bit so he wouldn't press the little wings into the bed. "Thanks," he said. He sat up slowly, careful to pull the covers with him and preserve Krista's eyes from his dream's mishap.
[center Patiently, Faustus allowed him to divest himself of the garment without assistance, his tone even when he spoke again. "That's to be expected of a brush with such darkness." He lacked the restitution to take on such creatures yet. Sighing, Faustus regarded the wings. "It's not bad," He admitted. "It's definitely a clue - unlike what we already knew, you are in fact a warlock." He explained, reaching out to brush a finger pad over one.
They were... for lack of a better word? Cute. Nothing compared to his own, but he was... ancient. Truth be told, he wasn't sure what Silveus would make of him in his darkest form, but who knew. Perhaps nothing would faze him with enough time spent with their family.
"For now, just rest." all of this was a lot for one to take in. "And don't sleep on your back. You'll find it most uncomfortable. Forcing reversion is uncomfortable, and I'd prefer to not in your weakened state." He explained, rising from the edge of the bed. "I'll have tea brought for you. We'll discuss your adventure here tonight when its light."
After all, despite how little time might have seemed to pass in the presence of so many magickal relics, in the world beyond time had sprinted on. Magick could get so messy.
Just as Faustus was preparing to take his leave, the kitty had made a reappearance, leaping onto the bed beside Silveus and affectionately nuzzling his ears up agains the man. Interesting. Perhaps their little friend was meant to come along all the while.
"I'm sure he will look after you well in my absence." In the meantime, he would be busy working on a better means of strengthening his shield from such beings. Seemed his to do list was steadily growing, but it had to be so.
Oddly, despite how deeply it had irritated to take on the task of looking after Silveus and assuring he didn't somehow manage to get himself killed in his brother's absence, he didn't absolutely hate it. He wasn't heartless, just... reserved. One had to be to live a life as long as they did sometimes. At least, that's what his own had demanded of him.
Too much loss, misplaced hope, and regrets that weighed heavily upon his heart and mind all of these centuries later.
"Call if you should need me, I won't be far." Especially now that he was certain they would have trouble on their hands.
A little warlock... it all made sense. Logan must have known long ago this was the case, but why he chose not to fully divulge was a very good question.
Regardless, it wasn't his place to doubt his brother's intentions now. Surely it had been in the best interest of his husband. Who was he to speak on that?
Soon, he was within the reliquary once more. All seemed to have gone relatively back to normal with the exception of the tome he steadily approached. Keeping anger out of the equation was difficult as even the slightest annoyance would taint them, but he drew up borders for the altar. They were invisible, and not unlike with the salt circle, not to be trifled with.
They would keep what wasn't to be wandering contained for the time being, but it also meant the dark grimoire would be off limits for the time being. A small price to pay for safety in his opinion. The following days would already be so difficult. To have that book tempt yet another innocent soul was simply out of the question. He didn't even have the heart to tell Silveus that bringing Logan back from the dead was possible - if only because it was [i forbidden]. He would return as a hellish creature, in his darkest form but without the parts of his soul that would make him the Logan Silveus had loved.
Pure darkness in his brother's likeness and nothing more. No need for that mess when they already had lineage and all of that to sort out.
A soft rap was laid to the door, followed by the softest "Silveus? It's me, Krista. I've brought you some tea to help soothe your body."]
Before he knew what was happening, Silveus found himself lifted into the air. He tensed, surprised, but he only had so much strength. They hadn't even left the reliquiem before he relaxed in Faustus' arms.
Something about them was familiar. The strength. The... warmth. [i He's not Logan.] He wasn't. He wasn't Logan, and yet it felt similar. Not the same. Just... similar.
His eyes had nearly drifted shut when Faustus set him down. Silveus managed to engage his legs seconds before he toppled like the unstrung puppet he felt like. There was no energy left in his body to keep standing. He twisted his body and plopped down to sit beside Faustus on the bed.
An apologetic Faustus. [i Someone call the news, the sky is falling,] Silveus thought sarcastically. Too tired to say anything out loud, he just nodded.
How did he feel? "Tired, I... I'm tired." He let Faustus turn his head this way and that, then gestured at his shirt. Clumsily, he started to undo the buttons. "It scratched my back, I think. It's... it's blurry." His back didn't hurt, but he could feel the lingering hint of cold where the creature's claws had been.
He pulled his shirt down and turned his back to Faustus. "Is it bad?" he asked.
Two long black claw marks were scraped into his back, dark as frostbite. Where they ran over his shoulderblades, little black wings had sprouted, smaller than the palm of his hand--proof of his daemonic bloodline. Proof that he was, in fact, a Warlock--though one already on his way to corrupting, if the apparition had its way.
[center Tension melted from Faustus’ form, his brow smoothing out just a bit. He could feel the harshness in his features. “You’re not an idiot.” He was desperate. Heartbroken. But he wasn’t an idiot. Reaching forward, Faustus gathered Silveus carefully, arms sliding beneath the crooks of his knees and gently around his back.
He moved effortlessly to his feet, as if the man weighed no more than an ounce of flour, turning to venture back to the less frigid parts of the reliquary. At least they would be away from that damned tome. Its reach had extended. It was strong enough to render apparitions now - even with the seal? Inwardly, he scowled at the prospect of what might’ve happened had he not returned in time.
“We’ll continue this tomorrow.” His tone left no room for dispute as he toted him back to his room. He’d gingerly set Silveus down, glancing to his feet. “On or off?”
He had perched himself on the edge of the bed, lighting one of the nearby herbal candles. “That apparition was the keeper of the tome you saw. Almost an embodiment of the book itself. Ugly thing.” He almost sounded...apologetic?
“How do you feel?” It was likely an odd side of Faustus to see - so concerned, despite his gruff nature. He reached to take Silveus’ chin in hand, tilting his face this way, then that. He could see nothing evident as yet as to whether he had been physically injured.
He would most definitely have to cleanse him the next day, though. Tonight, he would likely be too weak for that.
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