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26 May 2006 @ 09:50 am
Kadaj and Vincent - 2 Days Later  

Kadaj: The following morning he had awoken to bright sunlight shining in through the cave entrance, the air around him warmer than the night previous. A quick look around had proven that his companion had not vanished overnight, but was still asleep in his seclusion near a wall. Pushing himself up, Kadaj rubbed the heels of his hands against his eyes, and then raised his arms over his head to stretch, joints popping slightly as he worked out some of the stiffness. The next order of business was to stir the ashes of the fire to make sure the flame had not gone out, and once satisfied, he dropped a few more pieces of wood onto it.

Then, he’d gone out and down to the water’s edge, stripping from his clothing and then diving in, swimming amongst the waves as his hands sifted through the sandy bottom, digging up shelled creatures of various description which he then chucked up to the beach. A few crabs, some insect looking things, and even a large clam- which, he found, would be useless and he could not pry it open, and then he threw back toward the ocean in a minor fit of frustration. Trudging back to the shore, he slipped once again into his jeans and then took his small catch up to the cave. It was easy enough to smoke the sea creatures and then break through the shell using Souba's hilt, but he was quickly growing tired of eating the same thing day after day.

As the day wore on, and Vincent had not woken from his slumber, Kadaj had begun to watch him more closely, the first thought that flitted through his mind that perhaps the elder had died. A silly notion, to be sure, but the oddity of his slumber and lack of movement was leading to more... concern? Eventually, he had even stood and then stalked carefully closer, ready to dart away if the older man moved, but as he remained motionless, Kadaj had slunk nearer until he could reach out and trail his fingertips across the other’s face. The skin was cool to the touch, much too cool, and he frowned, chancing another shuffling step forward so that he could feel for a pulse at Vincent’s throat. He was certain for several long moments that there was none, and that his suspicions had been confirmed, but then, faintly, he found it. Slow, but steady, almost impossible to detect. Such an odd sleep, and he was certain that neither his brothers nor Cloud had ever slept so deeply for so long with so little evidence of life.

After that, he had left the cave once more to explore along the beach, once finding an apple tree with a few green fruits still intact. Those, he took, and after inspecting them for damage of signs of insects, he’d begun to eat one. It wasn’t as sweet as what he had had while in Midgar, but it was something besides meat, and made a nice change as he walked farther from the shelter. Dusk was falling as he made his way back to the cave, once more passing that three and pilfering more fruit, and he had come across nothing else he could take. No vegetables and no other trees. A disappointment, but he would survive well enough.

Entering the cave once more, he set his apples aside and again checked on Vincent. The man still slept, seemingly completely unmoved from where he had fallen asleep the night before. The cave had warmed with the weather and the still burning fire, and he no longer felt the deep chill to his skin. After a moment’s thought, he pulled his sleeping bag up and unzipped it so it lay fully open, and threw it over Vincent’s body. It was a mild gesture, for lack of anything else to do, and he used instead his clothing to make a sort of bed near the fire. It was odd, thinking on it, how he didn’t feel alone even when the other male still slept and offered no real company. But, it seemed, they had proven an ability to communicate without the need for words, and the silence didn’t bother him, not truly.

Getting comfortable and stoking the fire with fresh wood, he curled his arm around his book and lay down, closing his eyes. Another day had passed, and soon a night, and he would sleep, well, not comfortably, but comfortably enough.

Vincent: It was difficult to say whether or not his time spent sleeping was filled with pleasant dreams or if it was wholly encompassed by nightmares that ravaged his subconscious. Chaos and his league of demon minions quiet for the most part as they rested as well, and then the hissing taking up its usual din until the volume grew as such that he shifted within his sleep. Vincent’s left hand tightened around his right arm within his slumber, the razored tips digging into his flesh through the leather covering his form as various images took up the darkness of his subconscious. Nightmares were his beloved companions favorite methods of waking him after a long rest, and the more horrific the better.

Vaguely, within the dreamscape of torture unimaginable, Vincent took a faint note regarding a warmth that seemed to cover him. Unlike anything he was used to feeling in the midst of waking, it only aided in the process. At some point he concluded that he wasn’t within his coffin, his surroundings too rough and movement too easy but things were still too distant in his mind to piece together at that moment. Idly he could feel his hand reaching up to wrap around the item that covered him, too plush to be his cloak and from what he recalled he had left that to dry from the rain. Was it still raining?

Fluttering his eyelids open, Vincent let it register in the back of his mind that he was covered up with a blanket and on more careful inspection he found that it was a sleeping bag. Kadaj’s? It slipped off of him easily as he sat up and bent his leg towards his chest, a levelled gaze scanning the cave for the younger male. He found him curled up on the stone flooring of the cave, a dwindling fire burning near him as he lay on his stomach and his eyes closed in a semblance of sleep. The ex-Turk took note of the same clothing from the night he had fallen asleep, pondering that perhaps he hadn’t rested for that long after all but then let his gaze drift to the caves entrance. The remnants from the storm all but dried up and no evidence of the weathers fury in the fading light of the day. Perhaps he had rested longer than he thought.

Standing, the elder male brought with him the sleeping bag, stretching it over the younger males sleeping form before moving silently to gather up his cloak and refasten it around his shoulders. His right hand drifting up to adjust his headband before checking his weapons and stepping out of the cave by only a few feet. A low ledge of rock jutted out from it’s walls just around the corner of the opening, and without much effort Vincent clambered atop of it and sat down to watch the sun setting in the distance. No point in waking the other, he was fairly certain he needed to sleep regardless as running had a habit of draining a person.

Bending a leg up to his chest and resting his left arm over it, Vincent lowered his face slightly to let the collar of his cloak hide his features. The sky turning a blood red before him, the sun sinking below the weight of darkness as it began to smother the planet in shadow.

Kadaj: He didn’t know how long his nap had been for, having drifted off to sleep in the middle of the day after a short excursion into the ocean to bathe and then having another of the apples he had found. He could only remember laying down with his book clutched to him, and then darkness had prevailed. Some time later as he began to stir, he was dimly aware of having something on top of him, and after an initial minor bout of panic which entailed rolling onto his back and almost violently throwing off whatever had been covering him, he realised it was only the sleeping bag, seemingly returned by the elder he’d covered the day before.

Waiting a moment for his heart to slow down, Kadaj finally stood up and zipped up the sleeping bag before laying it down next to the fire and setting his book carefully atop it. That done, he took one of the last two apples, and looked around the cave. His companion was no where to be seen, seemingly vanished. He stretched a little then strode, apple in hand, out of the cave and into the dying sunlight. It was no different than any he had seen before, the intense colours of the sky pretty to look at but not particularly mesmerising, and he made his way slowly away from the shelter.

He scanned the beach, finding no sign of Vincent. Looking toward the horizon in either direction showed nothing, as well, and he finally turned back toward the cave to go inside and sit near the fire. It was then, finally, he spotted the elder sitting on a ledge. It appeared he had been watching the sky, and after a moment, Kadaj turned again and sat down on the beach sand, pulling his legs up to his chest, and began to eat his apple in silence. He could think of no words to say, and he was certain the other would ask any questions on his mind, so it made no real difference. They would speak, or they would not, and ultimately, all that mattered was the fact of having company nearby.

Vincent: His gaze never shifted from the horizon, the wind taking liberties with his hair and cloak as it whipped both of them around his form. Hues of red and orange danced slowly together the further the sun sank, a painting that ever changed before his eyes but yet remained wholly the same. It was the same; in the brink before day and darkness the transition…it was always identical to the one before. Granted, the colors would change, varying with whatever scientific anomaly that caused it in the first place, but when it was finished there would always be darkness to encompass the planet. Vincent liked the sunset.

This evening, his vigil of the sky was broken by the shifting of silver in the corner of his eye and his gaze being drawn away from the horizon by Kadaj’s presence six feet below him on the sandy ground and several paces in front of him. The younger male seemed to be looking for him; suspicions confirmed once their gazes clicked together briefly and Kadaj turned to sit and watched the only form of visual entertainment they could share. His television was much too heavy to lug around every time he decided to travel.

Time continued to pass around them as it always had before, and it wasn’t until Vincent’s attention was drawn away again by a subtle movement in the corner of his gaze did he look away from the ever darkening sky. A creature shuffled about in a thick of small trees; decent sized and obviously well fed on the various crustaceans that could be found within the waters. Perhaps tonight would be a good time to eat as well, since it seemed to nearly always follow sleep.

Brandishing Death Penalty, Vincent gave little more than a glance to the creature before firing off a loud shot towards the creature’s skull. Which was, in his opinion, much better than aiming for its body as gunshot had a habit of making the meat particularly unappetizing. Kadaj seemed un-phased, and the elder male expected nothing else. Why would the younger flinch in fear at a single gunshot when Vincent had been firing them –at- him the day…days? Prior.

Stepping from the ledge, Vincent strode over to the animal he had harvested for their meal and nodded to himself slightly at the decent size being confirmed. It would be perfect for two, and silently he thanked the small beast for being within firing range at that particular moment. How silly, to thank a creature he had just murdered while it had no doubt been simply foraging for food itself.

Survival of the fittest, little one.

Keeping his back to Kadaj, Vincent began to prepare the creature by way of his left hand’s razor like claws. The bloodshed only increasing as the thick crimson covered the metallic of his hand and dripped down to the tips of his boots; unrelenting. When the animal was ready, Vincent turned to walk back within the cave and gave little more than a slight glance to the younger male before settling himself down beside the fire to cook what he had gathered for the both of them. Kadaj was thinner than he remembered, looked far more tired and generally much like a kicked pup that had been out in the rain for weeks without food or shelter. For a brief moment, Vincent wondered if his current status was due to running or if perhaps Cloud had done something or not done something to assist in its progress. The blond didn’t seem like the type to neglect those he said to care for, but not only was he busy with his work as he claimed, Cloud didn’t seem to take care of himself…so it was easy to presume that perhaps he hadn’t been giving the care necessary to sustain Kadaj and his brothers.

Glancing up, Vincent shifted the raw meat around on a relatively clean stone as the rock heated up from the flames and began slowly cooking the dinner he was preparing. Perhaps he should go find some fruit to go with it, or even some of the above ground vegetables that the animal had been eating before the ex-Turk shifted the balance of power between man and creature with a pull of his trigger.

Kadaj: Sitting as he was on the beach, Kadaj paid little attention to whatever else was going on around him, his effort of eating his apple slow and deliberate. There was still some of the fruit left, albeit not much, when he heard the gunshot report echoing around the stretch of beach they resided on, and he looked up and over toward Vincent, who appeared to have taken aim on something he couldn’t see. A moment’s glance, and then he just shrugged and looked back toward the dark beach again. Night had fallen, and seeing the waves was nearly impossible, only the occasional flash of light against the surface giving them away, though the sounds of the waves crashing up on the beach was unmistakeable. Soothing, too.

A short time after, he heard the elder moving around behind him again, and a quick look up showed Vincent entering the cave again. Kadaj stood, brushing sand off his jeans, and tossed the apple core as far as he could toward the ocean, then went into the cave as well. It seemed food was being cooked, and he could feel a slight pain in his stomach indicating that he would need to eat soon, but he was patient enough to wait. The prospect of eating raw meat wasn’t appealing, and it wouldn’t take long anyway.

He went to his sleeping bag near the fire, giving Vincent a little nod of his head, then picked up Souba. He’d sharpened the blades earlier before his nap for lack of anything better to do, and drawing the sword from her sheath, he gave a quick, approving look over the weapon before heading from the cave once again. Pacing ten feet out, his bare feet sinking into the sand, he wielded it and began to swing. It was something to do, something to occupy himself while he waited for the dinner to be ready, and it kept his thoughts from drifting too badly.

Holding his right hand up almost defensively, Kadaj swung his blade, shifting his feet as he moved, toes digging into the sand. Parry, dodge, jab, attack, it was all the same, always the same, but it kept him in shape, kept his skills sharp. Though, after a moment, he paused and looked down at his weapon. When had he practiced with his materia? He had barely used it, preferring to rely almost solely on his own physical skill, but.... Raising Souba, he activated one of his materia, the orb glowing bright green, illuminating the world around him briefly, and farther down the beach, halfway between himself and the ocean, began a great roar. Sand shifted as the ground shook, and he stumbled back, watching the darkness as several sharp, jagged peaks of rock burst from the ground, almost shooting upward several dozen feet. It was almost like a crack of thunder, but much closer, and he had to wonder what would have happened to anyone who had stood beneath the spot that the small mountain now occupied. He could only imagine the jagged peaks slicing through flesh or possibly even breaking bones.

Unpleasant, really.

It had taken several seconds for him to then realise then he had moved backward, nearly against the outer cave wall. In fear? No, not that. Most likely startlement. Tentatively, he took a step forward, weapon lowered, and watched as the ground began to swallow up the maintain again, the rock sinking back into the sand. When he had taken his materia from the lab, he had never stopped to fully test what he possessed. Perhaps he should have?

Vincent: Vincent found the act of shoving the pointed tips of his fingers into the raw meat to be relatively unpleasant, the oozing blood not being particularly appetizing despite Chaos’ suggestions otherwise and the over all idea that he was stabbing into a piece of a corpse just left him with a lingering sense of disgust. However, it was food that was being prepared, and not simply for himself, so he would suffer through the gruesomeness that came with tenderising the hunk of flesh as it slowly simmered and began to brown beside the fire.

A dull rumble and tremor that vibrated the smaller stones before him drew his gaze up from the dancing flames to the entrance to the cave. Kadaj wasn’t in direct sight but he knew he was near, and after a moments contemplation and a shift of his fingers, Vincent was on his feet and stepping out into the fading light to see what it was that roared so loudly. Catching the last glimpse of pieces of the planet being swallowed back up within itself, a brow cocked up and the elder male let his gaze rest on the silver haired youth with a glimmer of intrigue shifting through the red of his eyes. New materia?

Watching him for a bit longer, Vincent took the time to look over his form for any visible injuries and upon finding none simply chalked up the way he had been nearly backed into the wall to some form of fear. Except it wasn’t fear because Chaos’ wasn’t purring and Galian wasn’t making lewd comments on just what it smelt like. Startled perhaps? Afraid or caught off guard; neither mattered. Kadaj was still alive and in one piece so what he did besides causing either of the two wasn’t really Vincent’s prerogative to say otherwise.

Turning on his heel, Vincent strode off to the side outside of their shelter and made his way to where a few sweet fruits grew and some rather bland but nutritious vegetables as well. Relatively hidden within high weeds and brush, they were often hard to find by those who didn’t know what they were looking for but Vincent had a book on them somewhere in his home and recalled vague mentioning of them within its pages. After a moment of searching he came across that which he sought, carrying back a decent amount of both that he deposited next to the fire and grasped a hold of the cooking meat to turn it on its other side. There were some things his gauntlet truly came in handy for.

Slicing open one of the tangier of the fruits, Vincent let its juices drip onto the meat he had been preparing for flavoring. Watching it soak into one side before repeating the process on the other and after flipping it on the uncooked side to finish, he carved slices out of the delectable fruit to lie across the top to simmer along with it. The sweet aroma beginning to fill the cave they picked as their temporary residence until one or the other decided it was time to depart.

Kadaj: Watching as the last of the spell faded. the dying rumbles reverberating across the beach, he noticed from the corner of his eye the elder coming outside, presumably to inspect whatever had caused the noise and made the ground shake. It was gone now, faded, the sands shifting slightly as they resettled, and then it looked as if nothing had happened. Dismissing Vincent, Kadaj walked forward, slowly at first, and then with more confidence to look over where the jagged rock had erupted from the ground. No evidence remained. It could have been a mere hallucination if it weren’t for the fact that it had had more than one witness.

The smell of food cooking drifted to his nose, and he returned to the cave to see that Vincent had found some more things to eat, adding to the meal. At the moment, though, he wasn’t certain that he would have cared what food was presented to him, and his stomach growling softly just reinforced his notion of not being picky on what to have for dinner. Anything would be good, and he would eat without complaint.

He resheathed Souba and then sat on his sleeping bag, near the fire, and watched the flames, his hands resting in his lap. His brothers would probably like to hear from him, probably wanted to know where he was or what he was doing, and he would call and leave them a message soon. For now, though, he got comfortable on his makeshift bed and waited patiently for the food to finish cooking. Fruit was what he missed most right now, though. The variety of fruit that had been available to him before. How long had it been since he’d had strawberries? Or grapes? Peaches? A banana? He couldn’t recall now, but promised himself that at the next available opportunity, he could get a selection of each- and more- to gorge himself on.

"I have been searching, but I do not yet know what it is I seek." He didn’t look toward Vincent as he spoke, and his words were soft, it was possible the elder did not even hear him. There was a lingering feeling of uncertainty within him, the desire to recede and stay silent still strong. But he had been silent for how long? Wasn’t it now time to stop trying to hide?

Vincent: A shift of a breeze made its way through the cave and died out some feet past where their camp had been set, and though Vincent paid no real attention to such things any longer; he noted for once the manner in which it shifted his hair away from his face and gave him a clear view of the younger male that came to sit across the fire from him. Vincent hadn’t really paid much mind to the others features, silver hair and vivid green eyes, all things associated by the planet to the man who tried to destroy it, but the ex-Turk …saw something else perhaps. The curve of the young mans lips, for one, they were…different and yet wholly familiar; something about them nagging at the back of Vincent’s mind until he realized he had been staring and dropped away his gaze back down to the meal he was just breaching on the completion of cooking.

Taking what he knew he would eat within his hand, the elder of the two shifted away from the fire to lean back against the chilly wall as he began to eat. Granted it was a bit barbaric, but with the lack of plates or utensils there was no clear way to eat in a civilized manner. Half way between biting off a piece of the tenderly cooked meat and chewing it, Vincent looked up from behind his collar to regard Kadaj with little more than a glance at his words. It was the first thing either had said to each other since their spar on the beach and even then there was hardly a word between the two. It didn’t seem necessary.

“How will you know if you find it, this thing that you are seeking, if you don’t know what it is.” Returning his gaze to the bit of food he claimed for his own, leaving the majority of it sitting beside the fire for Kadaj to eat himself, Vincent took another small bite of the cooked meat and savored its nearly not so bland flavor.

Kadaj: Looking up, Kadaj caught just the edge of the elder’s gaze as it was turned away, and he watched from the corner of his own eyed for a moment before looking down again at the fire before him. The fire flickered, casting ragged shadows around the cave, and it was almost ominous with the darkness sitting just outside the entrance. Almost like everything but this cold hollow within the rock had ceased to exist for the time being. The sound of the ocean far in the distance was just barely audible above the crackling of the flames. Watching the licking fire, Kadaj reached out, as he had done when it was first lit, and passed his palm just above the base of the flame, the edges lapping around his fingers. There was heat, warmth, but no pain, the movement of his hand too quick to burn his skin.

He sat back again, and when Vincent took a piece of the meat and moved back, Kadaj leaned forward to take up a strip of it as well and took a quick taste. It wasn’t unpleasant, and while not highly flavourful, it was better than what he had been eating for the last several days. With a nod of thanks toward Vincent, he quickly ate the first piece he had picked up and reached for the second. It was then that the elder spoke, and Kadaj sat back, food in hand, and listened to the odd words, a riddle of sorts perhaps, though possibly a legitimate question as well.

“I will have to trust in my instincts, then, to help me identify what it is I seek if I come across it, if I have no other means to identify it.” Tilting his head slightly to the side, he gave another look to the elder, almost studying him in the relative darkness of the cave, before returning to his dinner.

Vincent: Finishing his portion of food, Vincent pulled up a corner of his cloak and began to trail it across the metallic surface of his claw to cleanse the gauntlet of the drying blood. His gaze settling half way between the armor and the younger male that sat mere feet away from him; his question being answered but only slightly.

“How do you know you haven’t already found it?”

Kadaj: “Because confidence has become uncertainty, and I now know nothing.” Having said that, he took a larger bite of the meat, juices run across his hand and down his chin. He wiped the back of one hand over his mouth, then wrinkled his nose at the small mess, snorting softly through his nose with annoyance. Another quick dip into the ocean would be necessary before sleep this night.

He wasn’t sure why he felt compelled to reveal any of his inner insecurities to Vincent, whom he knew next to nothing of, but there was a comfortableness between them, the same which had been established at their first meeting months before.

Vincent: Vincent watched him in silence for a long moment, his clawed arm tucked away beneath his cloak and his gloved hand wrapped lightly on his bicep. Tucking his chin down, the elder brunette gazed across the distance left between them in quiet reflection of the situation and the one that he seemed to be entwined to within the silent darkness.

"Doesn't that leave your existence open to learn everything?"

Kadaj: “My wish has always been to learn.”

It was a simple statement, and truth. To learn and experience, to understand this world and find some place within it. It was proving more difficult than he had first thought, the constant confusion bogging him down with uncertainty and misunderstanding. What he had thought he understood and what he truly did had diverged some time prior, and left him mired within insecurity.

“Sephiroth stays within Midgar, you know. He moves freely.”

Vincent: "I can teach you."

Wasn't that where he found his greatest purpose? Guiding the members of Avalanche with his knowledge of Shin-Ra and the world in general? When they had a question, he was there to answer it and when he couldn't answer it then Nanaki's grandfather took over. Those occasions were rare and happened only once or twice.

It was the words the drifted to his ears and he found him snapping his gaze up from his constant vigil of the floor, the flames having nothing on the fire that suddenly burned within the crimson of his eyes.

"Cloud knows of this?"

Kadaj: “I would learn.”

The last of his food was finished, and he was sated for now. Leaning forward, he took up the last apple he had brought with him from his excursion, and bit deeply into it. It crunched pleasantly between his teeth, more juice running down his chin which he then had to wipe away. When Vincent asked him if Cloud knew, he tilted his head dead, averting his eyes as he thought over the possible answer to give. Several moments of pondering later, he finally raised his head again to look over at the elder sitting against the wall in the distance.

“Cloud called a truce with him, and brought him into our midst. Once that truce was broken, Sephiroth was removed, but we were denied our revenge. Cloud now claims an ongoing truce, still. ‘There is still a truce in effect,’ he said, but that truce was broken. Another must have been formed.”

He wasn’t sure what the sudden odd feeling within him was, some doubt perhaps, or some latent shame for admitting information so blatantly, but the moment was passed, and he could not take it back. Besides, to lie was dishonourable, and to avoid was cowardly. He could be neither.

Vincent: Perhaps he had misheard, or was misunderstanding the words that had fallen from the younger males lips, but he had always considered it rude to second guess and question information presented when it was said clearly enough aloud. That didn’t help that within an instant he was overcome with a wave of varying emotions and each one was latched onto and amplified by his demons.

Confusion. He had known Cloud to be selfless, to give himself to those he cared for without any regard to how it would affect himself whether positive or negative. This information though, that Sephiroth…Sephiroth was not only in a truce with the blond but welcomed within his home as well. The enemy of the planet, a plague of mankind and he was welcomed within the home that Vincent himself wasn’t even allowed to know the location to. Did Cloud realize what danger he was putting everyone in? What danger he was putting himself in?

Worry. The thought that perhaps Sephiroth had gained control of Cloud again some how like he had when they were in the battle against meteor and the young blond was made to give the Black Materia to the one who wished to destroy all life. Was Cloud just his puppet again, dancing along on the strings that the silver haired beast tugged at for his own amusement?

Hurt and Betrayal. Was this what Cloud had been hiding from him this entire time? The reason behind his blatant avoidance, was it Sephiroth that he was…protecting? Was he really protecting he man that tried to kill off the populous of the plant, and the man in essence responsible for all the bad that had happened after meteor and beyond. Keeping guarded the man that had stabbed him upon arriving back on the planet for the third time as he attempted to kill the ex-Turk. The man that Vincent watched get some sort of sick glee out of massacring a village when Chaos was in control?

"I did not come here for bloodshed, Sephiroth."

"So what will you intend to do now hmm? talk things out and try to make me see the error of my ways?"

He had seen something within Sephiroth, himself, a brief moment as they stood together on the drifts of snow within the freezing air. Some mindless hope that as Lucretia’s son, perhaps he would get it right the third time around. Vincent was made a fool of, and now this…Cloud…his own damned son, the brunette didn’t think it was possible to reach a level this low.

"I would think your failure and death would have been proof enough of your error."

“I suppose there is only one way to find out?"

Vincent had never attacked him. Cerberus remained silent that encounter until Sephiroth’s pursuit of his blood had gotten to a dangerous level. He shouldn’t have hesitated.

"You are given a second chance at life and immediately you waste it with bloodshed. I had hoped for more from you.”

There was so much blood, Vincent’s eyes closing to the memory of it as it played out in his mind and the warmth of the fire before him growing more distant by the second. Hope had misled him again, only a fool would believe there to be good within Sephiroth.

“A slow death would be only so fitting for one which was a great disappointment"

Standing up from the chilled rock wall that Vincent had been leaning against and letting his thoughts shift from one point to another, he did little more than give Kadaj a momentary glance before turning towards the entrance to walk out into the shadows of the evening.

Rage. Unadulterated and pure it coursed through him unbridled to the point that he was sure his eyes were flickering with the fire within as he could feel the shift in his fingertips as they grew and sharpened into monstrous claws. Control apparently had its limits.

“Stay here.” Directing his words over his shoulder, Vincent walked steadily and clenched his changing hands at his sides beneath his cloak. Kadaj didn’t need to see, he didn’t need to know. Being subjected to one monster was enough for the younger male to deal with at the moment; Vincent didn’t feel it proper to subject him to his own demons as well. “I will return.”

Kadaj: Kadaj looked at Vincent from his position near the center of the cave, looking for some indication of how the elder would take the news he presented. It seemed Vincent remained calm and collected, the news being received without a word in reply, but he couldn’t help but think it was taking some time for the information to be digested, and perhaps Vincent was slowly considering a response, or further questioning. Nothing came, though, and after a moment, he picked up his book and began to slowly flip through it. He had finished the tale some days before, but he begun to read it once more from the beginning.

Catching movement from the corner of his eye, Kadaj saw Vincent stand and had begun to move to stand himself when the other ordered him to stay within the confines of the cave. He still stood, book in hand, but did not move from his position near the fire, watching curiously as the older male made his way from the cave. He did not understand the sudden departure, and he furrowed his brows, green cat like eyes watching Vincent’s retreating form until he was beyond the light of the fire and out of his sight range. A curiosity welled up inside him, a desire to pursue- but wasn’t that what had gotten him into a bind in the first place?- but he didn’t move. Vincent said he would return, and Kadaj was certain those words would be fulfilled.

He had, thus far, found no reason to distrust the elder’s words despite knowing so little of him. He waited several moments before finally sitting beside the fire again. With night, there was a mild chill, and Kadaj pulled on one of his shirts. It wasn’t as clean as he would have liked, but there was nothing that could be done for that except perhaps try to wash it within the ocean in the morning. In the meantime, he opened his book across his knees and tilted his head down, using the firelight to read by. He would wait, be patient, for the elder to return.

((Summary: Two days after Vincent meets Kadaj, Vincent wakes again, have something to eat, and a brief chat.))