All's Hell that Ends Well [Escape] Dec 28, 2014 0:25:37 GMT -6
Post by Japan on Dec 28, 2014 0:25:37 GMT -6
if i only could
make a deal with God
It felt like a dream. Kiku stared at the two before him, his precious allies, as though he was certain they would melt into the sticky darkness of the night. If he had been any other nation he would have hugged them both, taking in the feel of them and reassuring himself that they were real, solid… alive… But he was Honda Kiku, and even when the rest of his world seemed to be falling apart around him, he would behave appropriately. And so, rather than embracing his friends, rather than admitting how relieved he was to see them both, he drew comfort from their surroundings instead.
He closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath as he felt the humid air cling to his lungs, making his chest ache under the weight of it. And yet, even the sulfurous smell of the swamp was still preferable to the musty scent of the library, tinged with the metallic smell of blood. Kiku knew all too well that the outdoors was no sanctuary, that the Manor’s clutches were just as strong out in the open, that those insidious whispers never quite left him, regardless of his physical location. But as the midnight breeze swept over him, he had to admit that it was a welcome change of scenery.
But it wasn’t just the sight of his dear friends, nor was it the ability to walk beyond the prison of bookshelves that had sparked a change in the island nation’s mood. His minded turned once again to the letter they had found. And for the first time, there was hope. It might have been a fragile web of a thing—they had all paid dearly for underestimating the manor’s trickery—but it was still more than Kiku had felt in… well, in what had felt like a lifetime. There was no guarantee that they would be successful in retrieving the flower, that the others would be able to bring their items… that these items would even provide the key for leaving this accursed property. But it was a goal, something concrete and tangible and Kiku desperately needed something to work towards. And judging from his teammates, they did too.
It was clear that the mansion had affected them both as well. Feliciano especially had changed drastically from the carefree boy who clung to Ludwig and begged for stories from Kiku until he fell asleep. Seeing his friend now pained him and Kiku found himself mourning the loss of that innocence. He never realized how much he’d grown to rely on Feliciano’s unending optimism until he was abruptly deprived of it.
The change in Ludwig was far less obvious and he doubted many of the others could even see it. But Kiku, who had always felt that he had a lot in common with the blonde, could see the cracks in his psyche—though Lud did his best to hide them. He was struggling, just as the rest of them were struggling, and trying desperately to hold on to the being that he had been once. But could they (any of them) manage to escape while there was anything left of themselves worth salvaging?
Kiku tightened his grip on his katana, using its weight to ground his thoughts, lest they take a dark turn. He had to keep them safe. Neither of them had a real weapon and so it was his job to attack, to slash and tear through any obstacle to see them through this journey. The idea didn’t terrify him as much as he thought it should, but he refused to worry about what that meant for his soul. For now his only goal was to see the three of them through this unending night. He would pick up whatever pieces he had to afterwards.
He looked to the others, brown eyes meeting their gazes before sweeping around their surroundings. “We should move quickly,” he murmured softly, feeling a bit like a gazelle, alone and exposed as lions stalked, unseen in the periphery. Standing still was a death wish. “I am afraid that I am not as familiar with the manor as you both, so I leave the directions to you.” He just prayed his ignorance of the manor and his own fracturing mind wouldn’t be a fatal hindrance to them all…
by worldie on iof