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Tartarus

40 posts · 6 characters present · last post 2021-01-20 07:42:00 »

         

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3 Luciferus
Nishants' House - Noon - Clear
Soleil Nishant


New year, same shit.

It was a refrain that Soleil had been able to count on for most of her life. The thing was… she couldn't say how true it really was this time. There was… actually kind of a lot different this time, and she was still trying to decide what she thought all of it meant.

Pulling the ancient pot off the stove, she stirred around the soup a bit, serving her sister a bowl and setting it at her usual spot, then repeating the process for herself. She needed to talk to Luna about something, but she wasn't exactly sure how to approach the topic. She hated when that happened.

Easing into her chair, Soleil lifted her soup bowl, drinking down some of the broth to start with. It was the absolute dead of winter right now, and their ancient HVAC just didn't stand a chance against the chill. She'd take any warmth she could get.

Luna merely stared at her bowl, occasionally pushing some of the ingredients inside with her spoon. She seemed to rub at her collar bone where it had broken a few days ago. It was healed, now, but she still rubbed at it on occasion. Taking a deep breath, she glanced up at Sol.

“So, I'd say last year has been... fun." She didn't elaborate on what she meant, but she'd said it in a bit of a sarcastic tone.

Soleil dipped her spoon in her soup. Her own injuries had amounted to a dislocation where the droid had grabbed her and thrown her over its shoulder, and some cuts and bruises. She'd popped the arm back into its socket on the spot, and the rest had healed over within a day. She didn't want to think about the condition she'd have been in if not for the help.

Honestly… she was kind of annoyed still that Luna got involved at all. What if one of them had been so injured they couldn't work? Money was… not as much of an issue now as it used to be, but she didn't want to count on their circumstances remaining the same. This was once in a lifetime luck, or better, and luck was exactly what it was, too.

"Yeah I guess." Honestly she couldn't say it'd been all bad. The Alastor stuff was shit, obviously, but—she didn't view it with the same scorn as her sister's sarcasm implied. Weird feeling, to be the one who felt better about something, overall.

"Mick's not human." She didn't know how to approach the topic, so she just said it, straight out. "I know he's not."

Luna just stared at Solelil for a moment. It wasn't incredulous or anything like that, but simply as if she was regarding Soleil. “It's because of what happened with the droid, right?" she stated, almost as if she already knew.

“I mean, I had something of an inkling that he wasn't human, but..." she pursed her lips and shook her head. “It just seemed like he was. He didn't seem like a cambion, either, and we would have known if he was a demon. It's... kind of hard not to know, after all," she smiled wrly.

“He's not a bad person, though, Sol," she seemed almost defensive, now. “If he was, he wouldn't have helped us out the way he has."

"I don't think he's like us either though." Soleil frowns slightly. "I'm not saying he's a bad person. I'm saying I don't know what he is. It feels… different. Sometimes a little more like Sam than anyone, but I don't think he's a fallen angel either."

Her tone darkens slightly. "He broke the android, Luna. Not on purpose I don't think; it was trying to kill him, after all. But he just broke its back over his knee and threw it out the front window, like it was nothing. Whatever he is… he's stronger than you or me. By a lot."

“What the fuck?" Luna seemed surprised by the statement. “Like... just broke it?" It was more of a statement than a question, and Luna's eyes remained wide. She mouthed a wow before sliding back into her seat.

“It'd be nice if we were that strong," she muttered. “Wouldn't have to put up with Zinoviev or his shit."

Soleil hadn't exactly been thinking about it in those terms, but now that her sister mentioned it. "And twenty bucks says he's not tied up in demon politics." She tapped her spoon gently against the side of her bowl. It was only common sense. The guy was genuine-article homeless. Demons barely paid attention to the existence of such people, and she figured Mick had to be pretty good at staying under the radar before, or else that kind of strength would have been noticed.

Why had he chosen to give himself away now, then? He could have just left, and been completely fine. But he'd helped her instead, then shut the droid down in the most efficient series of moves Soleil had ever seen. He wasn't just strong, he was trained to use that strength. Maybe some kind of government project? She wouldn't be surprised if the demons had experimented with people.

"You think he'd stick his neck out far enough to help with the Zinoviev problem?"

Luna had been in the middle of taking a bite when Soleil asked the question. She swallowed a little too quickly and tapped her chest a couple of times before glancing in Soleil's direction. “Honest answer?" she asked, furrowing her brows lightly.

“I don't know. I could ask him the next time I see him, but... I don't think he'd say no, exactly," her lips were pursed slightly as a light tinge of pink ran across the bridge of her nose. “He did say he was useful in a pinch, and that I could ask him for help if I needed it." She sighed softly and pushed the food around in her bowl.

Soleil hummed. "Sounds like he would, then. I'm not suggesting you make him do it for free. We could easily pay the guy, even if it was just with what fucking Alastor would bleed out of us this month, you know?"

Help if she needed it, huh? Soleil narrowed her eyes slightly. An interesting offer, and more interesting still was the look on Luna's face when she mentioned it.

“So... like pay him as a bodyguard?" Luna stated, arching her brow slightly. “I mean, he probably would do it for free," she murmured before shoving the spoon into her mouth. She chewed thoughtfully before she glanced back at Soleil.

“I guess I can go find him after this," she pointed to her bowl. “He's usually around the park by now," she added, taking another bite of her food. “Unless there's something else that needs to be done today?"

Soleil shook her head. "No, I'm mostly just working on that Carino that came in yesterday. Might head up to Sam's around three, but all the chores are in order. Go see him, if you want to."

“Alright," she stated, pursing her lips slightly before pointing the spoon in Soleil's direction. “Just make sure you take some pajamas just in case you stay the night."

"Oh my god Luna shut up." Sol grumbled it. As if she'd ever do something like—like stay over at his house. Even if she did, she'd just sleep in the workshop or whatever. It wasn't like that.

The back of her neck was burning.

“I'm being serious," Luna stated, furrowing her brows. “If you stay the night, you need pajamas. I'm sure Sam would be more than happy to provide you with some, but we both know how comfy your pajamas are. I stole your pants last week." She stated it matter-of-fact.

"Yeah, yeah, okay mom," she grumped in reply, rolling her eyes and taking another bite of soup. "I can take care of myself, thanks. You just worry about finding your super tall lumberjack not-a-demon."

“He's not that hard to find, and you're not wrong. He is super tall," she grinned at Soleil. “He'd be pretty useful for reaching the stuff on the tall shelves that neither you nor myself can reach. Can't say the same about Sam, though."

Soleil shrugged. "I just climb on his counters, it's fine." She frowned a little across at her sister. The comparison was a little odd, but then she supposed as far as 'weird but surprisingly nice people' in their lives those were the two that stuck out. So maybe it was only natural.

“And I'm sure he'd like that," she stated, her grin growing wider, “you climbing on him."

"That is not what I said, Luna." She grimaced, narrowing her eyes. "What is it with you and not letting this go? It's not—it's not like that."

“Because he makes you happy," she replied almost immediately, a sort of seriousness on her face. “When was the last time you were ever really happy, Sol? Like... actually happy to have someone you could count on? We're family so all we have is each other, but..." she paused, almost as if she were uncertain of her next words.

“Maybe it wouldn't hurt to just see if it could be like that? I'm just saying that... maybe for once, things really are looking up for us." She sounded almost hopeful.

And now they were back to the usual way of things, with Luna being the optimist and Soleil the realist. "Nothing lasts," she murmured, shaking her head and taking a bite of her soup. "I can't risk that much when nothing lasts." Her sister, she could count on. They were family. They'd grown up together, always been there. She could believe that bond was unseverable.

But everything else, no matter how good it had ever seemed, went away. The hungry kids exhausted goodwill, the apprentice became too much more skilled, the interest in the strange girl with the sharp tongue dwindled into annoyance. Sam, too, would reach a point where she was no longer novel or interesting. It was just the way of the world.

She didn't hold it against him, but she knew it to be true nonetheless. And Soleil? Her stupid heart couldn't accept the reality her head knew for fact. It needed something that would last, and she couldn't open it up to hope for that. That was the surest route to destruction.

Luna sighed heavily and shook her head. “So what?" she stated, narrowing her eyes slightly. “So what if nothing lasts? Why can't we just enjoy it while it does? I know it's how we've lived for so long, but..." she paused and shook her head.

“I'm tired of living like that, Sol. I know you are, too. This life... maybe we should just try and enjoy it for once? At least if we do, we already know it won't last and can just... soften the blow when it does end."

"If you can do that, then you should," Soleil said quietly, and she meant it. "But I'm not… I'm not built that way, Luna. Sometimes I already feel like I… depend on it too much. This assumption of 'it'll still be there for me tomorrow.' And on the day it isn't, I—" She shook her head, and fell silent.

Luna smiled ruefully. “How can I if my sister can't?" she stated, reaching over to grab Soleil's hand. “We promised to always be there for each other. Your life is my life, and my life is yours, remember? We'll always have each other until the end, but..." she sighed heavily and shook her head.

“I'll let you know what Mick says," seemingly dropping the topic.

Soleil accepted it. She didn't really want to talk about this, to be honest, so the dropping of the topic was a relief.

"Sure."

Tartarus Owner: Aethyia

Last major bastion of civilization on the material plane