RP Hoarfrost

illirica

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The room was not quite what she expected it to be.

The strangeness of it wasn't that he hadn't met her expectations so much as that she'd had them at all. She was not sure what she had expected, precisely, only that there had been an expectation and this was not it.

She did not think it mattered. Things could change. Many things changed. Death, betrayal...

A smile touched her lips, but briefly. A pair of crewmen had accompanied them there, carrying a large basin which they'd set on the floor before departing. Now it was the two of them, alone, herself and her...

hm.

Well. That part was yet to be determined. She moved to his nightstand as if it she owned the place, picking up a silver pitcher and carrying it over to the tub, pouring the water slowly into the basin at her feet. It seemed impossible that such a small pitcher should have held enough water to fill the tub, and improbably that there should have been water in it at all after he had been gone so long, but water there was, and water enough - from her hands, it simply kept pouring, until the basin was full.

It was not warm water. Tiny threads of ice were already creeping across the surface, trying to form a thin crust atop it. If she noticed them, she did not comment on it, moving back slightly and walking over to set the pitcher... not where it had been. But where it should have been. She glanced back over her shoulder, the motion stirring a sprinkling of ice to clatter to the floor, unheeded.

What the man made of her, she did not know - nor did she know, yet, what she would make of him.

The smile was there once more, soft and subtle and sharp. This time, it lingered.

"Wash."
 
Naveen didn’t know what she wanted him for, but he knew he should be at least grateful she wanted him at all. Dragging his feet, he followed the Nox's former captain back to his room, which he hadn’t visited in days. It looked exactly how he had left it except a bit cleaner, but he had a feeling it wouldn’t stay like that for too long.

It was the second largest bedroom on the ship, only beaten by the Good Captain’s. It was dark in there, with thick marine blue curtains covering the round windows. The bed, screwed to the floor so it wouldn’t budge, had snow white sheets over it, covered by a thicker blanket that matched the curtains. The walls felt empty from the mirrors he’d taken out after the incident with his face. It only made the room darker and colder, though that had nothing to do with the walls.

At first he just stood there, waiting. Naveen didn’t know who the bath was for, but after Sinead’s command he didn’t hesitate to undress. He didn’t mind the cold and neither did she, and he wondered if she’d join the bath with him.

There was no sound but the splashing water as he stepped into the basin. He closed his eyes and sank, the ice cold water piercing him like needles giving him the most comfort he’d felt in a long time. He resurfaced, with his shoulders and knees above water, with droplets of water dripping down his hairy chin.

The water was muddy already. His beautiful platinum hair had grown long enough that it cascaded over his shoulders. He ran his finger over the water’s surface, forming snowflakes beneath his touch.
 
Her gaze on him was not dispassionate - yet, there was more of the artist in it than anything else. She looked at him as if he were an unfinished sculpture, as if chiseling away a few parts here and there would help him be the way was in her mind, and she was merely deciding which parts to remove. It wasn't a look that lingered, except in a few moments where it did - but most of her attention was elsewhere, opening a drawer to look for soap that was not there.

Vexing. She closed the drawer with some force, prying open another and another until she found what she was looking for, returning to his side and nudging the pile of filthy clothing aside with her foot. He wouldn't be wearing it again - she'd find him something else. Something more becoming.

She had declined to change clothes, of course. The Truth Teller had a wealth of them, and she could have dressed in riches or rags, in any style from any time or empire she might have desired. She spurned them all, though, like a discarded lover, uninteresting. She still wore the same clothing she had drowned in, ever-sodden, the shirt torn in front at the belly and crimson-splashed with little frozen crystals that plastered it to her skin.

She knelt and dipped the bar of soap into the frigid water, the ripples disturbing his snowflakes, then turning it between her hands until it lathered and handing it to him before twisting her hand through his hair, tarnished silver locks brightening once more under her touch. They were all wrong, of course, but at the very least they would be cleaner. The rest, she could change.
 
He didn’t remember the last time someone had washed his hair, probably over five hundred years ago. Without looking up, Naveen began rubbing the soap on his upper body, while using his special skills to maintain the water’s temperature. There wasn’t any body heat to the point where it would ever get warm, but he prefered it that way.

“Aren’t you gonna ask me about them?” He asked, breaking the silence, and then remembered she was dead by the time Solomon gave him the order. “I was aboard the Hard Nox. They grieved for you, all of them.”
 
Her hands paused for a moment, as if hesitant to reach for something. The question was strange - he expected an answer, but she had none. Only questions.

All of them.

"Who?"

Idle curiosity only - she might have been asking about characters in a book. The words meant nothing to her, it was only a conversation, something to pass the time. Whether or not he answered, she didn't seem to care.
 
The question answered many of Naveen’s, starting with why on earth Sinead was on that ship, considering her refusal the first time Solomon had invited her.

“You don’t remember, do you?” He asked, even though he already knew the answer and then he looked at her, really looked at her.

She was dead. Her skin was too pale, the frost adorning her like jewels, and despite the rags, he could see what Solomon saw in her. The jealousy that grew in him threatened to disrupt the cold, but he forced it back down. He was hers now, not his. He didn’t want him anymore.

His slippery hand grabbed Sinead’s wrist firmly, enough to stop her blood from flowing to her palm. Did she still have blood in her? There was no pulse, but that didn’t mean she was completely dry. There was blood staining her clothes, and Naveen took a moment to smell it. Rotten. Just how he liked it.

“What kind of monster do you want me to be?” He asked, referring to what she’d said the moment she claimed him. Meanwhile, his mouth began watering.
 
"What is there that I would want to remember?" It could have been a pointed question, or it could have been an innocent one. It was hard to tell. Betrayal... vengeance. She knew enough. She knew the important things. His hand was suddenly on her wrist, and she watched him squeeze it with a sort of indulgence that seemed to imply she was letting him do so. Perhaps she was. Or perhaps he had more power than he thought she did, and she either didn't realize it, or didn't care to let him know that she did.

He stared at her, with a vicious sort of intensity, his breath sharp and entirely unnecessary. There was hunger in that gaze - hunger, and madness. She watched him, with some sort of amused approval. What kind of monster do you want me to be? Her hand moved, taking his with it, tracing a fingertip across his lips and leaving a film of ice.

"That." A whisper. "That's good."
 
Naveen acted like he hadn’t heard the follow up question; if Captain King hadn’t told her anything he probably wouldn’t like it if he did. Instead the vampire stared back at her silently, feeling her teasing touch at what was left of his lower lip. His pupil dilated when he looked down at the fair skin of her forearm, and he pulled it closer so his pointy teeth and tongue could brush over it, high enough above his hand that he wouldn’t taste the soap.

It was only after meeting her gaze again that he took a bite, his other hand reaching for her elbow to hold her in place. She’d allowed it, otherwise he wouldn’t have indulged in it for as long as he did, drinking her thick and cold blood until he found the strength to stop. She’d likely function without blood just fine, but he wouldn’t want her to run out of it so quickly.

"What do you want me to call you?" He asked, releasing his grip.
 
He was staring at her for a long moment, that intensity in his eyes. The pupil was dilated, gone beyond reason. She met his eyes with intrigue, wondering what it was he saw, or what it was she saw. He bowed his head, after a moment, as he should - but she could feel the brush of his mouth on her arm, followed by the piercing of fangs. It surprised her, in the moment, but she didn't stop him when he pulled her closer, didn't stop him when the sluggish blood moved through her veins for a moment. Her other hand twisted, twining fingers through his hair, leaning in close. For a moment - only a moment - there was a name on her lips.

It wasn't his.

She didn't draw the breath to speak it, though, and it was only the vaguest shape of something before it faded, once more, into obscurity. He let her go, and the moment was past, and now there were questions, always more questions.

"Shh~hh." It wasn't an answer. She didn't have one. Her fingers moved again, combing the knots from his hair. Too long, she thought. "You have scissors - where are they?"
 
Shh~hh wasn’t an answer, but Naveen didn’t insist. He laced his fingers on hers, a thin coat of hoarfrost keeping them apart. Within a second it hardened and took the shape of a long scissor, sharp and thin. He let go of it and brought his hands back down to the water, splashing the soap away.
 
Ice. It was not what she had been looking for, but she smiled nonetheless, pleased, her hand closing around the frosted blade. It would have been sharp enough to draw blood - but he'd already done that, and she had no need to. She settled back once more, teasing out a lock of hair from the rest and bringing the blade down to sever it. It fell to the floor beside her, among little shards of scattered ice - she was already reaching for another bit of hair, cutting it short as well.

Her motions weren't hurried - they were thoughtful, almost studious. There was no need to rush, and every need for this to be perfect, the recreation of a masterpiece. In her grasp, the scissor he'd given her was hardly likely to melt, after all. Ice, always ice - and he was an ice sculpture, there to be carved. One bit of hair followed another, and eventually she rose once more, moving around the side of the bath to face him, her fingers reaching out to his chin, tilting his face.

The blade caressed his throat, either a kiss or a threat or both - but no, she was only taking away the excess facial hair, trimming everything down to a tidy little beard. Still, her eyes sparkled as they were on his, and the lingering of a smile on her lips let him know she was fully aware she held a knife to his throat - and that she expected him to hold still while she did it.

"Good..." Praise; a hallmark of favor. Perhaps it would mean something to him.
 
Naveen didn’t like how short his hair was being cut, but he had no say in it. There wasn’t much she could do to worsen his looks, he told himself, while the locks fell and floated on the water.

When the blade touched his neck, the blonde didn’t fear and didn’t move. She was having too much fun playing with her doll to end it like that, and he had to admit he too was curious of where that playtime was going to lead to. At times she seemed sure of what she wanted, but the next it was as if it slipped away from her mind.

“Are you done?” He asked when the chopping stopped. He was starting to hate that filthy bath water.
 
"Are you?" A return of that soft laughter from before, when they'd been in front of King. Her hand opened and the scissors dropped into the water, point-first. Perhaps he'd flinch. She wondered if that would make her think less of him.

She stood once more, stretching slowly, pausing to examine her arm before she rolled her sleeve down. The puncture had been small; it was already frosted over. "Hmm." The sound was almost pleased, though even she wasn't entirely sure what it was she was pleased about. She drifted to his wardrobe, opening the doors and standing before an assortment of clothing, searching.

Most of it was white, or blue, or pale gray. Perhaps that had suited someone, but it didn't suit her monster. Black... black would do nicely. There must be something here that would work, or at least come close.

Come close... come closer.

Ah, but he was behind her, wasn't he? Her finger tilted a silver button, seeking a reflection.
 
As the point of the scissors touched the water’s surface it dissolved into it. Was she testing him to see what he’d do? Naveen wouldn’t let Sinead maim him by accident, if she did, it’d have to be intentional. And he would let her, like she’d let him, and he had let Solomon, many many times in the past.

He stood up, brushing the fallen hair off his shoulder. They fell like needles to the ground, as freezing them was the only way to prevent it getting glued to his wet chest. He walked over to Sinead’s left side, where he knew he’d find a towel. He dried his face first, then dabbed it over his body and put it over his head to dry his much shorter hair.
 
He had brushed past her, reaching for a towel, and she paused in her search for a moment - but there wasn't any warmth in him, and there wasn't any warmth in her, either. She wondered what he had been like, before the ice - if he had been cold then, too. She wondered if he had been pretty, like the Truth Teller had alluded to, and if that had made him cold. That seemed to be the way of things, didn't it? Beautiful things, beautiful scars, beautiful as ice. Her hand reached up, cupping the side of his face beside the towel, her thumb tracing the edge of the monstrous scar, outlining it in little fractals of frost that crept up towards his eyes, as if wondering if there could possibly be any warmth there.

Her head shook, ever so slightly, negating something far away, and she drew her attention back to the selection of clothing, pulling a black shirt from a hangar, the cloth already damp where here fingers touched it.

"Here." Her words caught, for a moment. "You'd better put this on."
 
At her touch a painful memory resurged, the memory of that scar. Those beastly eyes and the hungry smile of a man who hadn’t been a man in a long time.

“I want you to be a monster.”

Before she even handed out the black shirt he had cracked it, and it all made sense. Why she cut his hair so short, why she kept some of his beard. Why she wanted him.

“You want me to be him.” He said out loud, though it was more of a self realization. There was fire within him, not of jealousy but of envy. His hand reached for Sinead’s neck like it has done to her wrist, this time pinning her up against the closet door. Sharp like the scissors, his nails grew and touched the side of her face, threatening to do the same he’d done to him.

“Lucien Kilta”. He whispered, searching her eyes for any acknowledgement of the name. Perhaps he shouldn’t have said it. Perhaps it wouldn’t change a damn thing.
 
"Lucien..." She echoed the name, breathless as she always was now. It lingered between them, the tone caught somewhere between a moment of passion and a plea for help. It was only a word, though, and if it lingered on her lips, she turned her head away from it, her eyes half closed as she brought her cheek closer into his palm, her neck exposed, taunting rather than offering.

She'd pinned him just as much as he'd pinned her, after all. He might have her backed against the door, but she had him backed against the world, the only one who wanted him for anything, even if it was for someone else. Her lips parted, exhaling vapor, a wisp against his fingers, twisting through the sharp claws. Briefly, she licked her lips, watching his eyes for a reaction just as heavily as he was watching hers.

"Is he the one who killed my baby?"
 
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Naveen didn’t know of any baby, and he was almost sure she didn’t either. If Lucien had killed a baby or not it didn’t matter, what mattered was Naveen’s ego, and it was crushed.

A spirit could be broken only a few times before it perpetually turned to dust. Dust was what was left of Naveen’s pride, and it had all started and ended with Lucien Kilta.

“Forget about all of it.” He whispered, lowering his hand and leaving nothing but a small cut on Sinead’s cheek. Naveen didn’t know much about her relationship with Lucien, but he’d heard her voice, he’d watched her lips. He’d show her he could be a better version of her Lucien and he'd take her, like he'd taken everything from him.

His lips touched hers, expecting a reciprocated kiss or a stab on his back; he was prepared for either. He was prepared for both.
 
"Yes..." Agreement, or consent - it didn't matter. She took his kiss, and made it her own. The tiny cut on her cheek frosted red - blood and ice. Only a little thing, but it glittered between them. Perhaps it would remind him of the way he'd looked at her, before. The hunger. The madness.

I want him to be a monster.

Some things were too strong to be forgotten. Betrayal. Vengeance.

"I want..." So many things. This. You. Him. I want a monster. I want...

Vengeance.

"...to..." Her half-gaze shifted, into the distance behind his shoulder. Nothing there. Of course there was nothing there. If there had been, things would have been very different. She'd been fascinated by wings. They took it from you.

A shiver - she wasn't cold, or she was cold through and it didn't matter.

"...kill them. All of them."

For that, she needed a monster. Her finger moved into the space where the kiss had been, slipping between his lips to graze a single fang, just barely - the lightest touch. She didn't need to be heavy-handed, not here. Not now.

"Say 'yes.'"
 
For the first time in a long time Naveen felt appreciated, and it felt good. His pupil was once again dilated, but it had little to do with the frozen blood on her face.

“Yes.” He said, slowly letting his hand fall from her neck. “I’ll slice their skin and wait for it to heal to do it again. I'll drink their blood until there’s only enough for them to breathe.” Naveen lowered his head, his damp hair leaving water marks over the fabric covering her shoulder. “I’ll do that over and over again until you’re satisfied. And then you'll kill them."
 
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