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The Morning After [Closed] [Possibly 18+ Children beware]

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He awoke in an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar room. A dull pain ebbed through his head and it appeared he had been stripped of his shirt. What had likely been clean sheets had been subjected to sweat, dirt and blood. Is that my blood? why am I here? Pulling off the top sheet and cover, Franz sat himself up and stepped out of the bed. It only made his headache worse. What was left of his trousers and sollerets were caked with blood and dirt, grinding as they moved with his steps.


As he pushed through the door, he realized he was in a house. The size and layout didn’t fit an inn room. Neither did the little bedroom, for that matter. Quietly, he made his way down the stairs before stopping in what looked like a familiar place. “What am I doing at -her- place?” He barely muttered the words, trying to make sure that if Ave was around, he would not be the one to wake her. He would need to ask why he was there at a later time.


Franz considered simply leaving the house right then and there. He could have easily walked out the door and returned into Ul’dah proper, returned to his own inn room, and cleaned up. But he needed an explanation. The last few suns were hazy. He could remember talking with Ave, going to the Grindstone. Losing. And...something setting him off, causing him to walk out and leave. There were...drinks...at the small bar by the airships. An argument. He couldn’t remember much else after that. He’d clearly done something to end up where he was now, and leaving would have meant leaving the answers.


Instead, Franz went down the next set of stairs. He might as well explore the house Ave was so proud of. Hopefully it was better than the kitchen. In the basement, he saw something akin to a Doman dojo. A padded floor and a little sitting area with some cups and a teapot likely having long since gone cold and empty. He uncovered another partition with a bath and took it upon himself  to at least clean up. He was certain Ave wouldn’t mind too much.


Franz untied the back of his hair and untwined his braids.He carefully unclasped the sollerets and unbuttoned his trousers, slipping into the tub to soak from of the grime off his skin. It was not reassuring to see the water tint to a brownish-red. He closed his eyes and sunk below the water, letting the braids finish unravelling and to wipe his face. He searched for something he could use to scrub with and some soap, opting to drain the bathtub and let it refill with cleaner water.


Finding what he needed, he lathered up, scrubbed, and rinsed off before returning to the tub to soak for a little longer. It hadn’t occurred to him that a clean change of clothes was not an option, and he was not going to return to what he had been wearing. Bugger me. I’ll have to call for a retainer to deliver something later…. A towel would suffice for now. He dried himself and finding a small mirror, rebraided his hair and reapplied the glamour that ensured he at least didn’t -look- like a Garlean. It was the last thing he needed at the moment.


“At least Ave has a decent choice in towels.” As he finished drying off, he fastened the towel around his waist as best he could, leaving the trousers, smallclothes and sollerets in a heap by the corner. He debated simply having them burned instead of leaving evidence. He went back up the stairs and into the kitchen. Ave had said he was welcome to cook in it. He may as well make some breakfast.


There was a defeated sigh as he realized again that her house was not equipped with particularly good tools and utensils for cooking, so he opted for something simple enough with the supplies on hand. He diced some popotoes, onions and garlic, frying them in a lightly buttered and salted frying pan until the popotoes were cooked throughout and crispy on the edges. He would have added some freshly ground pepper, if she had any, and a little thyme, if, again, she had any. At least there was a serving dish to move the fried popotoes to. Scraping the pan clean, he added in another onze of butter and cracked a few apkallu eggs he’d found in one of the pantries to scramble until golden and fluffy. He’d need to go over how to properly stock a kitchen with her later.


Scooping some of the popotoes and eggs onto a plate, he found a clean-looking form and made his way to a table. He nearly prayed that the towel would hold as he took a seat and began eating. It was oddly quieter in the house than he had expected.

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It had been one Hell of a night. Whereas the troubles with Franz had started a sun ago, her evening started off relatively well with Riven's unplanned visit, and Leoric announcing he'd moved in. It was all so pleasant until it became a completely mess when she decided to go fetch her letters outside and found a note written by Franz.


“I'll be at the Sultantree. Come find me.”


- Franz


She knew meeting up at the Sultan tree meant trouble. It always was. Every time they've met there they were bound to argue, and given from how odd he had been behaving himself since the Grindstone, she knew nothing good was about to happen if she decided to show up. For a moment she nearly opted to stay away from him, for she didn't know what to do with his odd behaviour. But against better judgement she'd made her way there anyhow.


Recalling the events of last night, she groaned loudly as if thinking about it alone had hurt her head in that very moment, and reached her arm out for Leoric. When she'd hit nothing but a pile of blankets, she remembered him going early to bed, and told her to fuck off when she came to announce the news later that night that a knocked out Franz was staying in their guest room. He'd probably had left to train already. Or meditate somewhere. Or was simply downstairs, she didn't know.


Opening her eyes,she pushed herself up to sit on her bed instead. Rubbing at her eyes, she'd then suddenly smelled a whiff of food coming from downstairs. Could it be Leoric? He was more likely to eat things raw then properly cook it. Groaning once more, she rolled out of bed and moved to open her closest. She snatched the first shirt she could find. It turned out to be a few sizes to big, and it probably belonged to Leoric, but Avelyn didn't seem to bother with decency as she was in her own house after all.


Throwing the door open of her bedroom, she quickly paced towards the guest room, and swung it wide open. No Franz. At least she'd knew who was downstairs cooking. Or so she thought, given Leoric didn't seem to be the type to do it. Her eyes then caught a glimpse of the filthy sheets, and groaned once again. That would need cleaning, and cleaning wasn't something she'd liked to spend her day on. Arguably she could had tried to throw Franz somewhat more cleaner into the bed after she'd stripped him of his Garlean attire, or what was left of it, before she made her way into the garden to burn the evidence of last night. But in the end, she'd simply was too drained to bother, and after setting his clothing aflame and ensure it was turned into ashes, she had made her way back upstairs, and crashed next to Leoric in her bed.


She didn't expect Franz to be up before her though, or rather herself to be up so late. Turning around, and shutting the door of the guest room behind her, she gave the clock next to the harpsichord a look. Another grunt of annoyance emitted from her lips when she'd realised she had slept a lot longer then she'd liked. Now Franz was awake, and presumably cooking her kitchen, she figured she may as well gone downstairs, and confront him about last night.


Doing just that, Avelyn made her way to the stairs, stamping loudly on the staircases to ensure Franz was hearing her coming downstairs. Or Leoric. But probably Franz.


As soon she managed to make her way down the steps, and saw it was indeed Franz standing there and not the other Monk, she'd rapidly made her way into the kitchen, halting besides the wine barrel standing besides the counter, and folded her arms over her chest. At first she'd wanted to speak up, before she'd realised what Franz was wearing, or what little rather, and felt silent for a moment. It didn't take long before she realised she wasn't exactly looking all that presentable herself as she stood there in Leoric's way oversized shirt, her hair down in a frizzy mess, and eyeshadow stuck on her face to match an Othardian red panda.


Standing there very awkwardly for a mere moment, she shook her head as if she had caught herself at something something she shouldn't, she snapped her attention back to what was of importance, and not ogling over Garleans standing in but a towel in her kitchen; To see if Franz had any clue what in the Seven Hells he had put her trough last night. And perhaps to snatch some food, but that would come later.


Do ye have any swivin' idea of wha' th' fuck ye put me trough last night?” she asked him, and tilted her head to gauge his reaction. Ye better have a good explanation fer this, ye thrice-damned Garlean.” and tried her utter most best to keep her eyes focused onto his, and not trail off elsewhere. Again.

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Franz gripped one hand on the part of the towel he’d tucked in to make sure it would stay fastened out of reflex. Even seated, just the idea of gazing eyes turned his face nearly as red as his hair.


He nearly froze in place when she called out to him. Was she always this loud? Hells, even in the morning? “Ex...planation? Of what? Or rather, why did I wake up here?” He looked her right in the eyes, trying not to focus on any of the running makeup. How she took care of herself wasn’t his concern. From his seat, it wasn’t too difficult to tell the shirt she was wearing was obviously too large. And like made for a man.


Taking a heavy, deep breath, he tried to calm himself down. “I’ve no idea what the hells is going on. Found myself in an unknown bed, in an unknown room, and then it happens that I’m in your house!” His eyes wandered for a moment, first at Ave, then back to himself, down to the towel. “I er…,” he took enough deep breath, “I made use of what was available at the time. Wasn’t going to track blood, mud or sand throughout the entire place, and this’s all there was. Already sent for a retainer to pick up...anything...to wear.” He flashed a linkpearl for just a moment. “They’ll be bringing a proper set of groceries and some better cooking supplies too, for the trouble.”


Despite the various attacks from the sun before, he looked to be fine. No cuts, bruises, swelling, or anything else. Just a very bare Highlander-looking man who was becoming more self-conscious by the minute. He still kept a hand tightly gripped on the towel as he stood from his seat, jerking his head over to the kitchen. “There’re some fried popotoes and eggs. You didn’t seem to have anything else that was edible or appetizing.” He realized he shouldn’t have been rude to someone who’d clearly been nice enough to dump him in a bed, whose room he’d stayed in, whose bath he’d used, whose kitchen and groceries he had cooked with, and whose towel he happened to be wearing to cover himself. It probably wasn’t a very good idea to make her upset. What if she tried to steal her towel back?!


“Let’s...er,” he seemed to be at a loss for words. “Can’t we just…,” another pause, “I stayed for answers myself.” He slumped back down into the seat hoping that maybe the offering of a cooked meal would give him enough time until the retainer arrived with a clean outfit and he could at least look presentable.


“Don’t want any trouble…”


He seemed to be panicking a bit. Just what had he done to have ended up in her house?!

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As Franz gripped at his towel, Ave let a deep, deep sigh escape her lips, rolling her eyes over dramatically. Lifting her arm up, and with that her shirt came up as well, not that it showed much more often, but probably the few ilms of more skin her legs showed would probably only turn Franz more red.


Not that she cared as she pointed towards him and said "Fer th' love of th' Twelve Franz, how could ye possibly have been married? Ye act like a swivin' ten year old boy seein' tits fer th' first time. I got myself covered up. Stop it ye fool." And with a grumble she added " 'nd nay I ain't wearin' ye shirt ye bloody Garlean shite. Fuckin' Hells, th' last thing I want ta do is ta fuck ye Franz when yer unconscious. 'm not even sure if tha' would work, 'nd I don't wanna find out either."

At the very least she could assure him that didn't happen as he appeared to have lost what happened last night. He seemed to be good at that, not remembering things.


As Franz started to rant away about how he had no clue what happened, how he found himself this morning in her guest room, and how he had used her bath and used her kitchen, she wandered over to her cupboard and threw it open. She needed alcohol to deal with this nonsense after waking up just yet. Not that she minded him using her bath, Hells, she'd preferred him clean then the mess he ended up turning into last night, and she had already told him he could use her kitchen anyhow. No, she was already feeling annoyed over the fact she probably had to explain the past two suns now. Fucking Garleans and their Twelve-damned problems.


"Oh why thank ye Franz, ye might do somethin' useful fer a change instead of makin' me drag yer arse trough Thanalan up ta th' Goblet." she replied as she rummaged trough the cupboard in her quest to find whiskey.


Finding a bottle of cheap whiskey, she pulled it from the cupboard, and a clean plate and cutlery after. Tucking her precious underneath her arm, she moved over to the part he had left the remaining popotoes and eggs, and scooped them onto the plate.


"Well at least ye cooked me somethin' aye?" she sighed, and made her way to sit at the table Franz was seated at.


Tossing her filled plate and cutlery down onto the table, and planting her bottle of booze next to it, she grabbed onto lower parts of her shirt. At first she wanted to use it to rub off her eyeshadow of the sun before, but halted herself rather quickly as she'd figured Franz probably wouldn't had appreciate her pulling her shirt up to do such. She really couldn't deal with screams in her ears right now. Instead she let go of her shirt before she even managed to pull it up, and pulled the chair from underneath the table to seat herself onto with crossed legs. In the end nothing noteworthy happened, although she knew it probably would have the prude sitting besides her throw a tantrum, or at least give her odd looks for it. How did that man even survive a marriage, and end up with a child?


Continuing as if she didn't just almost do that, she pulled the cork from the bottle of whiskey, tossed it onto the table, and took a swig from it. She then pushed the bottle over the table towards Franz, and picked her fork up to pin a piece of popoto onto it.


Before she started to eat, she waved her fork at him and asked "Ye really don't remember a swivin' thing Franz? Nothin'? Really?"


Quickly she stuffed her mouth full with it, and continued to pick pieces of egg and popoto in turn as she simply sat there looking at Franz with furrowed brows. She could hardly believe he didn't remember a single thing of his behaviour the past few suns. Surely he wasn't exactly himself, Hells, she barely recognized the man from the way he had been acting, but he surely should have remembered something?

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“Praise to your gods, nothing happened. Would you rather I stare like a lech? Yes, you have a woman’s curves, Ave. But I’ve found it’s normally considered rude to ogle. How else is a man supposed to act?!” He wouldn’t deny that looking at Ave in what she was dressing in was alluring. Even in her current state, there was a sort of beauty. And it was down-right arousing, much to his dismay. Had he been another man, he was sure he likely would have made a move.


But he had a family. A wife. And hopefully, some dignity. Where’s the bloody retainer when one actually needs them? More-so for the towel’s sake. He couldn’t stay all sub in just a towel. He’d likely die of embarrassment on his part before anything else.


When the bottle of whiskey was pushed towards him, he instinctively grabbed it and a few gulps went down before he released the bottle, making a face. “This is cheap shite. How could you have even kept it?” He picked at the couple morsels of food left on his plate, not that there was even much to work with there. He hadn’t realized how hungry he’d been until he’d taken his first bite and felt how empty he was. “Hells, had I not even eaten since…,” he fell silent. When was the last time he’d eaten? “What’s the date? Or rather, what the hells have I been doing since the Grindstone? You were acting like an arse, so I left for a drink, and that’s about it.” Lovely.


“Could that arse of a retainer take any longer? Said he knew a shortcut into the city and all.” He was not comfortable in such a state of undress. “Nothing against the towel, but er, there’s a draft. Suppose that’s my fault too.”


He just shrugged and stayed in the seat, glancing around the room to avoid looking at Ave. “So why the hells did you drag me here a second time? Judging from the bed, I could tell it wasn’t to play out any conquest fantasies.” What was he even saying at this point? Then again, how could things get particularly worse?

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Avelyn rolled her eyes once again at Franz, and picked up another bit of egg onto her fork. Wafting her fork almost frantically at him, she said "Just shut up would ye?" and stuffed her mouth full with food.


Chewing away at it, she swallowed before she answered his statement about her cheap whiskey. "So ye make me swivin' suffer yer shite for two suns on end, 'nd now yer insultin' me givin' ye booze as well? Yer a terrible guest Franz. Where I in a better mood, I'd steal tha' towel away from ye, but seemin' this is goin' ta require some serious talk, I'd sooner not."


Leaning back, and tossing the fork onto the plate, she shoved it with one hand towards Franz, and took the bottle of whiskey with the other from the table. He seemed to be hungry, and she could deal with waiting for food for a bit longer. She never ate that much in the morning, not before she had doing her daily training and meditation anyhow.


"Ye best eat this yerself. I can wait. Rhalgr knows ye might have not eaten since th' Grindstone." she said.


Exhaling another sharp breath at first, and giving Franz a rather dull look, she then stretched herself lazily out with a yawn. Perhaps not the best of ideas, given even in Leoric's way too oversized shirt for Ave's doing, the curves she did have did managed to show off rather well. However, Ave didn't care, or perhaps even didn't realise it, and took another healthy gulp of the bottle.


"I wasn't actin' like an arse. I just told ye ta fuck off with yer healin' as I can do tha' myself ye fool. Us Monks can heal ourselves just fine yer know? Tis easier in combat, I admit tha', but nothin' I couldn't take care of myself." and wafted her bottle at him as the continued "Tha' seemed ta piss ye off. Ye left in a hurry when I told ye ta fuck off if ye ended up sulkin'. Then I missed out onta pryin' myself onta not one, but two, people's pants ta go lookin' fer ye." and sighed before she confirmed " 'nd aye, ye got tha' part right as well, I found ye drinkin' at th' airship landin'. But I wasn't actin' like a swivin' arse tho! Ye were!" she huffed.


Ignoring his statement about his towel, as Ave had seen much worse in her years, and well, it didn't make for an uncomely sight, she was hardly going to complain about it. In fact, she probably liked it a great deal more then she was willing to admit, but he didn't need to know that.


Perking a brow, and looking at him as if he mad when he asked why he dragged him here for the second time, she replied "Dragged ye here? I swivin' carried ye here in me bra ye shit. Had ta undo me coat ta toss it over ye. Good tha' 'm an Ala Mhigan, 'nd people just shrug it off as me bein' some savage cunt with not shame, so they didn't give me too odd looks when I made me way trough th' Goblet."


Not that she wasn't a savage Ala Mhigan, but she was far from the lot living in Little Ala Mhigo. A Fist of Rhalgr she might have been, but she had some more pride then living with those stubborn swine and rise above their nonsense.


Groaning loudly at Franz when he started to blurt something out about conquest fantasies, she threw her head back, and poured down a large amount of booze down her throat before she replied again.


"Franz, 'm not tha' type of woman. If I wanted ta fuck ye, I would had done such when ye weren't knocked out. I got some standards." and gave him a look as if he had just insulted her massively.


"Nay Franz, I took ye here because I could hardly let ye lay around in Thanalan, dressed as a Garlean? Don't ye agree? 'm sure ta Brass Blades would had been delighted ta find a swivin' Garlean on their grounds, knocked out. Ye would had found yerself killed, or thrown inta their dungeons 'nd Twelve knows wha' would happen ta ye. Nay, I took ye here fer yer own damned safety ye shit."


Leaning forwards, placing the bottle onto the table, and shoving it next to the plate she'd pushed towards Franz earlier, she leaned onto her elbows, and propped her hands underneath her chin.


Flattened brows, and an unimpressed look remained onto her face as she continued. "I wouldn't swivin' know wha' ye would do next when ye woke up again, but it seems ta tha' lalafell whore 'nd Lho's attacks got yer satisfied in th' end. Or th' kick against yer head I had ta give ye ta make the voices shut up. Ta use yer own words. Sooner had ye go mad in me house again, then possibly havin' ye do stupid shit in th' middle of Ul'dah." and grumbled " 'nd why do ye always think I want ta fuck ye? Gods Franz, yer sittin' here in a towel, 'm naked underneath this shirt, if I wanted it, I would had taken it. Ye know tis kinda insultin' aye? Unless it's some depraved fantasy of ye, seemin' ye bang on about it."

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He glared at her a little for the first two remarks. “I didn’t want to be your ‘guest’ in the first place. Should have just left me wherever I was or dumped me in the city. Hells, I’m sure the damned innkeep would have probably unlocked my door if you’d smiled a bit.”


He frowned even more when she pushed the plate back at him. He assumed it must not have been to her taste. Probably couldn’t eat it because ‘a Garlean made it,’ or something. It bothered him a little more every time she had to put her god’s name in every phrase.


He continued to sit quietly and listen as she went on. “I got that upset over some stupid healing?” The look on his face seemed to be confused enough. He couldn’t really recall all of the details. Just getting angry and the next thing, he was walking towards the city. “I still don’t see why you’d have brought it upon yourself to look for me. Especially if I was so mad.” He merely rolled his eyes when she shot the same words back at him.


At least she further confirmed he had nothing worry about once passed out. But he still had no idea how or why.


While he hated to admit it, she had been rather hospitable. And hearing that he was dressed as a Garlean, he could figure out where at least some of the blood had come from. He even kept his mouth shut about the later comments, figuring it wasn’t worth the battle. Merely pouting, he had to swallow his pride for a moment, with a serious look on his face. “Anyroad, er,” he took another deep breath, “thank you. Honestly can’t remember what I’d been doing, but it felt like the time I’d been wandering around the desert. Back when I was treated like a discarded weapon.”


He just shook his head a little, stuffing Ave’s leftovers into his mouth. “Part of myself I never want to feel like again….” It was then when he paused for a moment. “Voices?”

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"I didn't want ya over here in th' first place either, but ye forced me ta. Just be happy I had a swivin' spare bed, because ye would had freaked out if ye had woken up in me bed. Even if I would had shoved ye at th' other side of it." Ave huffed in response.


When Franz frowned deeper at her, she just pulled a face at him in return. Had she done something wrong? He clearly was hungry, so why in the Seven Hells would he be mad now? It wasn't that she didn't like his food, he simply seemed to crave it more then she did. Wasn't it the right thing to do it? She really didn't understand Franz at times. "Damn Garleans." she muttered underneath her breath, making it very unlikely for Franz to catch on what she said.


As she asked his question about the healing, the very thing what ticked him off, she grunted and replied "Aye. Fuckin' healin' of all things Franz. I told ye ta fuck off with yer swivin' shite healin'. I'm a damnable Fist of Rhalgr 'nd an Ala Mhigan, I don't need yer healin' unless 'm half dyin'. 's nothin' personal, just th' way we are."


Letting a long drawn out breath slip past her lips once more, she let her hands flop onto the table with a thud. "Because yer me swivin' friend alright? Yer were mad, I didn't want ta see ye upset. I figured I had said somethin' wrong on accident. Maybe ye didn't like it when I told ye ta fuck off when ye got grumpy. Didn't mean it tha' way. Well I did but... didn't mean fer ye tha' upset ye tha' badly, normally ye don't give a fuck."


When he thanked her, she looked rather surprised. She didn't expect that. However she was quick enough to wave a hand in a dismissive gesture, as if the notion was nothing to her. " 's fine. Ye might as well have done tha'. Don't know wha' ye did. Ye ended up drinkin' like a madman, then ye begged me ta hit ye. Hells, ye even gone as far ta punch me. Or try ta at least."


And then gave Franz an odd look. It didn't sit right with her since that evening. Normally she would kick people to the other side of the building if she dared to throw open a few chakras. Franz however took it as if he were a trained Monk or Warrior, and as far as she knew, he was neither. It confused her. It frustrated her. It even made her feel weak to a degree. She didn't like it in the slightest, but alas, there was nothing to be done about it now.


At the mention of the dreaded voice, Ave's odd look disappeared of her face, and instead she rolled her shoulders into a lazy shrug, and confirmed "Voices aye."


Deciding she needed more alcohol for this part of the conversation, she pulled the bottle from the table once more, and took a swig before she decided to explain it as well as she possibly could.


"Ye were yappin' one about voices. Hells, yer were on th' verge of breakin' down completely back in Ul'dah. Ye were beggin' me ta hit ye. Ta hurt ye ta silence th' voices in yer head. Tha' th' pain would make em go away." and took another sip from the whiskey before she continued. "I wouldn't hit ye Franz. Not fer real. Eventually I did kick ye properly, ta th' point I'd send most people flyin' but..." and pursed her lips to the side, and tensed visibly while looking particularly annoyed for a moment. "Ye just stood there 'nd took it. I didn't want ta do more at tha' point. Ye didn't even budge. Eventually I did manage ta convince ye ta go ta yer tavern room. Wha' I think ye did as ye stumbled yer way back."


Pushing the bottle back over to Franz, she shrugged once more. "I thought ye had drunk too much aye? Tha' was until I found a swivin' note written by ye ta meet up at the Sultantree th' next eve. 'nd tha'... well, tha' is how ye ultimately ended up here. Wasn't pretty ta see, 'nd 'm just glad I didn't hurt ye properly, or tha' lafafell whore or Lho fer tha' matter." and clenched her fists partly, her nails scraping slightly against the wooden table beneath her hands. "Gods, if I ever see tha' whore again, or Lho fer tha' matter, I will send them ta th' Seven Hells themselves fer wha' they did ta ye. They shouldn't had hurt ye."


It was safe to say Ave at this point was getting angered at the memory alone, perhaps an odd way to show off any sort of protection or affection, but she'd really didn't agree onto beating Franz down, despite him taking drastic measure to get them to do such, or specifically Ave. The thought of it made her revolt inside. It wasn't the right thing to do in her eyes, even as a Fist of Rhalgr she knew beating people senseless wasn't always the option, especially when they were walking the line close to insanity like Franz appeared to do last sun. She despised the lalafel and Lho for it. They should had known better then to harm Franz.


"Fuck those two. Fuck em ta Hell. I swear th' next time I see em, I will send them down ta th' Seven Hells as a gift to Him. Only cowards pray onta targets like ye were at tha' point. Mentally unstable 'nd not yerself, it be swivin' disgustin' ta fight ye in tha' state. Dishonourable."

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Franz smirked just slightly at the mention of her finally kicking him. "You should have just put me out then. Seems I caused quite a lot more trouble after." He couldn't understand why Ave found it so strange to attack someone who honestly wanted it. "Suppose I'll find out if I ever made it back to my room, though." In the back of his mind, something was telling him the answer was no. That after the scene in the bar, he must have wandered out of the city. He thought back to the dirty clothes he'd be left in. They were not his.


"So then, I sent some letter and dressed up?" If it had ben a more lighthearted conversation, he might've laughed. But the look on Ave's face said otherwise. He'd gone to a castrum, murdered people for a Garlean get-up, and then sent a letter to ambush her? It was a lot to take in. "Remind me to get myself goaled if you ever see such behavior again. Or just swivvin' beat me down." He looked serious for a moment. "I think... I may have killed people. In whatever state of mind I was in." It seemed to sink in. "It honestly sounds too much like old behavior. The person I was when I was nobody. When I didn't have a name to go by. Or anything to remember of Garlemald. Of when I may have well have been a broken weapon." He just continued to look at her. "Please. Don't let me end up like that again. For anyone's sake."


Another thought lingered. "You mentioned Lho'a. I haven't seen him since that one sighting by the airship landing pub. Did he...look...well? Or say anything strange? I may have my fair share of problems, but I'd sacrified a lot to save him once. Would be a pity if his second chance were wasted." He continued to watch as she seethed with anger. "The hells did he do to deserve such words?" Franz knew he wasn't quite himself, or rather, that whatever had been in control was a part of him he could not control. A monster that lurked within. One that fed his vices.


"You say I wasn't myself. But...," he paused for a moment, looking deathly serious, "what if I had been? Wouldn't be lying if I said the thought had crossed before. For all I know, my past could all have been a fabricated lie, meant to keep me going." He expression darkened, became almost sad. "What if I am just some kind of trash left over from Garlean experiments?" He nearly sniffled. "What if all of it's a lie? Lydia? The desire to return to Garlemald? The intentional holes in what I think my past is?" He looked to shake a little in his seat. His eyes turning red because he wouldn't blink for fear of tearing up.


"There's no honor in a lie. No stability. For all you know, all of this could be an act. Just some clever ruse to drop your guard. Kill another 'Mhigan monk to benefit the Empire?" There was an odd smile on his face. "What if I had to accept that? I know at least...one of them could manipulate memory. Hells, that person scares the shite out of me even now. Treats me like a beast. Suppose it's why I've tried to cling so hard to who I am. Or was. It's...complicated. I don't doubt that I'd start hearing voices if I finally lost myself. Probably made for more efficient slaughter that way...."


Franz slumped in the chair, continuing to talk himself down, sometimes repeating the same phrases, as if mulling them over would mean they were true. "I just, I'm sure Lho'a had his reasons too. Maybe it was for my own good that he did whatever he did. Maybe I needed it...".

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"I should next time aye. Gods, t'was only tha' Leoric suggested it I ended up kickin' ye against yer head in th' end." Ave groaned, and admitted. "I thought ye did as well. Leoric already said it was stupid of me ta not follow ye 'nd make sure ye ended up in yer room tho. Seems he was right in th' end."


"Aye ye just did tha'. Ye dressed up as a swivin' Garlean. Well not tha' ye aren't a Garlean, but tha's beside th' point..." and sighed heavily, and without realising it, her eyes wandered to where his third eye should be. Snapping her gaze back to his two other eyes, she confessed "I don't want ta fuckin' beat ye down when yer in a state like tha' Franz." Rolling her shoulders into a weak shrug she said "Tha' be very likely. Yer outfit had blood stuck ta it, 'nd it wasn't yers fer certain. But some Garleans less, I couldn't care if ye did it or not. I just pray ye didn't kill any Eorzeans aye?"


Pressing her lips to the side, and trailing her gaze off for a moment when he asked her not let him end up like that again, she eventually drew her gaze back to him and asked. "Wish ta I could. Don't even know wha' set ye off. We argue all th' time. Wha' am I supposed ta do if I don't even know wha' caused it?"


The moment Franz dropped the miqote's name, she only tensed up further. "Like I swivin' cared. He was staggerin' at one point, seemed ta be utterly defensive of tha' fuckin' lalafell whore who showed up outa nowhere. Almost as if he was enchanted by her whims. I swear if he fucks lalafells, tha' man lost th' bit of respect I have left fer him." Ave grumbled and continued "Bloody bastard attacked us both after I made tha' cunt stop attackin' ye. He didn't even seem tha' care about ye any more. Tha' woman took him by th' balls, 'nd he seemed ta enjoy every moment of it, like some sad lost pup howlin' fer attention."


When Franz his eyes started to redden, the only thing crossing her mind was praying he wouldn't start to weep. She hated it when men wept. Tears of women couldn't make her feel anything. Women cried about everything. She had seen plenty of people weep in the past. But there was something about men doing such. The strong Ala Mhigan men who she had seen weeping in the streets, crying for their lost ones, for the loss of their homelands, that made her feel uncomfortable. She never saw men cry back in Ala Mhigo. It was... unnatural to her, and it just didn't make her feel at ease. Even when it was a damnable Garlean seeming to about to tear up at any given moment, it still made her feel awkward, not knowing what to do. She just couldn't stand men crying, it broke her heart every time she had to endure it. Gods, Franz, please don't start crying.


And that his words sadly enough could had been true? That even made Avelyn felt sorry for him. He always ranted on how he had a wife. On how he had a life back in Garlemald, but she never thought it was true. A lie fabricated by himself, or someone else, to have him cling onto something so desperately for him to continue. People did odd things when they had no goals in life, a thing Ave wasn't a stranger to herself as she'd long given up on her Order or retaking Ala Mhigo for that matter.


For a moment she couldn't help herself but grimace for the briefest of moments. A fortnight ago or so, she had said she felt terribly alone, being the only light sect Monk left of her age she'd knew. Well there was Leoric. They were meant to kill one another, but instead she sought some odd comfort by the shadow sect Monk. He was something of her past. Someone of her age. Someone who understood, even if their two sects weren't on the best of terms ever since the light sect had clashed with the shadow, and won. Heh, it was sort of hilarious in a cruel, twisted way how the shadow sect had the right of it by not wanting to get involved with the royal house...


Franz and here weren't that different in some aspects. She belonged in the Ala Mhigan army, together with her brothers and sister in a temple back in Gyr Abania. He belonged back in Garlemald with his family. They were people who were forced to live in a place they both didn't want to be, didn't belong, and didn't feel comfortable at.


After a moment of silence, muling her words over she asked quietly "Dunno. Already have some pureblood bitch after Leo 'nd I. Doubt they would suddenly send ye after me. Ye wouldn't harm me out of yer free will, would ye Franz?"

A long drawn out sigh emitted from her lips before she added "Like I told ye before, ye might as well livin' a lie. I would tell it all ta go fuck itself, and start over fer yerself here. Not tha' I am th' one ta talk about these things, as I failed ta do it fer th' past twenty-seven cycles, but ye can try. As fer tha' damnable miqo'te..."


Ave clenched her jaw for a moment. She couldn't grasp how Lho'a first so concerned for Franz safety seemed to be so eager to farm him. It must have been that lalafell bitch who had gotten into his mind. He didn't attack Franz at first, Hells, he seemed to be quite defensive until that harlot showed up.


"Lho... found it fittin' tha' aid the whore who enthralled him. Tossed a swivin' rock at ye with magic. Ye oddly enough seemed ta like it as well. Thank th' Twelve they pissed off eventually, 'nd I managed ta kick ye against yer head, 'nd well, tha' is how ye ended up here 'nd th' rest is history. Ye did end up askin' fer more. So I doubt it did much in th' end."


Straightening her back, she gave Franz a questioning look, and jabbed a finger towards him, almost in an accusing matter as she asked him "How in th' Hells did ye survive a swivin' punch with all me chakras open? I should had punched trough ye Franz. Ye shouldn't be alive. How th' fuck did ye do tha'?"


It had frustrated her ever since it happened. That wasn't normal. She wasn't weak. She was a great deal more powerful then most. She could tore to very earth apart beneath her, hit trough heavy objects, snap bones with the lightest of touches, feats impossible for anyone but a Fist of Rhalgr, yet Franz didn't seemed to get wounded at by her attacks. It frustrated her. Too much. That night she'd laid besides Leoric, she had crawled up against him, thinking how easy it was to unlock yet another shadow sect chakra while he was asleep. The kill would had been so easy. So swift. So little effort to be made for such a great achievement. It wouldn't been honourable no, and that was the very thing what stopped her. Spitting on her Order's ways was the last shred of personal honour Ave managed to cling onto. Yet it continued nagging thought in the back of her head ever she had failed to killed Franz. Or rather the nameless Garlean she thought he was that evening.


She hated feeling weak, and Franz had made her feel such.

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Franz took a few moments to collect himself as he continued to listen. He had a suspicion that Ave was likely as uncomfortable with the idea of him sobbing as he was. He shut his eyes for a minute, giving himself a chance to wipe away any tears quickly, and hopefully unnoticed, breathing in a slow and deep breath. Can’t think like that. The moment I doubt if my past is true, it will be lost. It can’t be. I won’t let it. He didn’t remember being so emotional in the past. Whether he was in Garlemald or if it was just something leftover from past problems could be determined later.


Opening his eyes after calming down some, he asked another question. “You know another Garlean? And you never thought to let me do some of the talking?” He realized that such a thought would have made no sense, but still, there was a certain amount of pride. Mayhaps I can at least throw her off for a while. Divert her attention. What’s a lost Ala Mhigan compared to someone on an actual kill-list?”


Hi smiled just a little. Something calm. “But who’s to say I wouldn’t willingly harm you? It could be quite an issue if I were ever promised reentry into Garlemald if I turned you in at a Castrum.” It was maybe a mean joke, but it was one he couldn’t answer. “I’d have to mull it over, I think. Eorzeans are pretty stubborn. Maybe they’ll be the ones to end the war. Or just make it worse. But at the end of the sun, I’m still Garlean. I’ve some pride left, even if it’s just my looks and the idea that I’ve a family left there.”


“But please, don’t let me stop you from complaining about Lho’a.” He slouched in the seat, just a little. A sign of comfort, however unnoticed. “He clearly didn’t kill me.” He looked a little confused for a moment. “But I can’t imagine Lho’a knows anyone who could be classified as a whore. If you’d met him just a few moons prior, you’d have assumed he ran from everything with his tail between his legs.” He briefly wondered what it must have been life to have been hit with a conjured rock. “So he tossed a stone, or rock at me. Must have been fairly small if there’s nothing to account for it.” He almost seemed to play with the idea. “And this ‘whore’ of his. Or am I supposed to say ‘the whore who owned him,’ how’d she get on your bad side? Maybe I need to get some tips.”


At least he could say he felt like himself for the moment.


When he didn’t get an answer immediately, he listened on. “Ave. There are -many- things that should have killed me. That should kill any single person. The little castrum shootings. Being impaled in the torso.” His eyes flashed with a painful memory. “Some insane person…,” although insane was clearly subjective at this point to him, “tried to stab me to death. That one had been...nearly successful? I’d woken up feeling like death after that one. Felt like needles on every ilm of my body. Could feel every piece of me sear with pain at even the simplest touch. Or the smallest movement would feel like a painful stretch. Collapsed in the Shroud once from it.”


He let it sink in for a moment.


“I’m much more resilient than I look. What’s a little punch or kick compared to a series of gunblade bullets? Or being stabbed repeatedly? What should a charged-up punch have been any worse?” A more sinister grin settled in. “Garlemald branded me a mistake. I sacrificed my life for a failed experiment. Naturally, surviving meant getting some benefits from it.” He almost scoffed at the accusatory tone. “If I’m not supposed to be alive from a hit, then why am I fine?” How moody. He almost wanted to goad her into another attack, only decided it may not have been the wisest idea with just a towel on.


“It doesn’t make you feel weak, does it?” Hells, where’s that retainer…. Before I actually outstay my welcome?

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Please don't cry, please don't cry, please don't cry. She thought over and over again. Gods, she hated it when men did this. Even if Franz was trying to hide it, she couldn't help but grimace. It was the only thing she could do without commenting onto it, seeming that would only make it so much worse. So instead she pretended she didn't see it, and awkwardly cast gaze to the side.


As if the Twelve had send her a gift from the heavens above, Franz started to talk again, and gave her an opportunity to speak again "Know? Know? Bitch came at me at random. Managed ta escape as well after Leoric 'nd I killed her lackeys. Was a pureblood like yerself as well." and pointed towards Franz third eye, or where it was supposed to be and pulled a face of disgust. Gods, she hated that thing. It was hideous, disgusting, vile, everything wrong with a hyur. Every time he had showed it off to her, she wasn't sure whether to punch him, or just retch.


Grimacing one more, she recalled their shenanigans back in the tavern in the Shroud after that one celebration they both attended. Drawing her eyes away from him, she tossed her gaze towards the fireplace, and wondered how fucking stupid she had been that night when that happened. Or the times after. Urgh. In the meanwhile she partly missed out on Franz ranting about his Garlean pride nonsense, as it simply didn't interest her. If she were in a better mood, she would had joked about it for certain, but she really didn't feel putting effort into it. At least he seemed to be turning into his cocky Garlean self, so that was a good thing no? It did beat his behaviour of the sun before.


At the mention of Lho'a, she perked up and snapped her attention back towards Franz instead of pondering of past mistakes. Not that she didn't enjoy them to a certain degree, but Franz didn't need to know that.


"A tiny rock Franz?" and then lifted her arms up, and spread her arms wide open before him. "It was bloody big ye shit. Ye think I would had been tha' mad if he scooped up a swivin' tiny rock." and then brought her hands together to the point there were hovering mere ilms from one another. "Ye really think I would had gotten tha' mad about a swivin' tiny stone? Are ye stupid?" and let her hands crash onto the table with a sigh. Fucking stupid Garleans. Why do I even bother with this?


"Aye his lalafell whore. Or rather his madam. Bitch was eager enough ta start throwin' magic at ye. I even swivin' kicked her away fer ye. Ye on th' other hand whined 'nd complained about it, Lho tried ta knock us over with a spell, 'nd then ye decided ta tackle me. Tha' was th' point I gave up onta protectin' ye. I just stood there 'nd let them hurl magic 'nd massive rocks at ye. Until they finally decided it wasn't fun any more, as ye kept beggin' fer more." Ave said, clearly agitated by having to speak about it.


"Normally I would had said ye were spewin' a bunch of shite. But I've never seen a swivin' Garlean survive me chakras. Never." Ave admitted with a groan.


It didn't sit well with her he wasn't meant to resist this. Not at all. He should had been dead. Oh so dead. Or of the rock and magic Lho and the lalafell threw at him later. It didn't make any sense.


She pulled another face at him as she saw that grin on his face. Gods, she hated that grin. It was the self-assured cocky grin he had the habit of putting on when he was being all smug again. It was sort of attractive. But once more, Franz didn't need to know that. There was a part of her who wanted to punch him, another to crawl on top of him. Instead she decided to sit back, grab the bottle of whiskey, and took another sip from it, and do nothing about it.


As soon as he mentioned her feeling weak, she tensed in her chair, her hand wrapping tightly around the bottle as she held it just lifted up in the air to take another swig of it. Instead she placed the bottle back onto the table, without taking another sip of it, and flattened her brows, pressing her lips together in a tight line. Did he notice? Or was he just talking nonsense?


"No. Just confused." she lied.

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He continued to sit and listen to Ave’s answers, comparing tone and her expressions as she answered them. It was something Franz had grown accustomed to in order to survive. It was important to know how to exploit a person’s mannerisms, after all.


She’d been fairly consistent the entire morning for the most part, from what he could observe. Likely gave most of the truth, as one's’ own memory of how something happened could always be jaded by opinion.


He knew that calling her weak as not only an Ala Mhigan, but as one of their monks would normally have been enough to set her off if he were a stranger. It was amusing. And as much as she tried to say otherwise, he could see from her body language that it wasn’t the case. Tensing up. The movements of her hands. The expression on her face.


Franz kept the smug expression for another moment. “Only confused? Are you sure about that?” In a worst-case scenario, he could always put the blood-soaked, dirt-covered trousers and sollerets back on, if he really needed to leave. But he also figured that Ave likely spoke more because he appeared vulnerable. Easily attacked. And certain, not as a Garlean or a threat at the moment.


“It sounds more like you were scared, Ave. Scared I might do something. Scared Lho’a and whoever might actually hurt me.” He inspected himself again, just for dramatic effect. “But that wasn’t quite how it went, was it?”

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Ave couldn't believe what she was hearing. Why do I continue to bother with this thrice-damned Garlean? Fuck me. Could he ever act not smug? Well evidently he could, judging from the mess he had put her trough the suns past. She did like this Franz over the insane one, however this one was annoying to deal with. Infuriating even. If she had been in better spirits, she would had done something about it, but at this point, she wasn't certain if she could bother with his nonsense.


For a split second she figured it might be worth hurling the bottle of alcohol at him. It was near empty anyhow, but when she figured there were still some drops left she decided against the notion. Looking back at Franz, she rolled her eyes at him, as she did so frequently. Damned Garlean.


Wiggling the bottle towards Franz in an accusing manner, she grumbled "Ye know wha' Franz? 'm tryin' ta help ye, yet all ye can do is make foolish comments 'nd smug smiles. Surely yer feelin' a great deal better then ye did the suns before, but if ye continue like this, I will swivin' make ye feel uncomfortable, seemin' punchin' ain't doin' anything. 'nd ye know I will it. I did it in th' past, 'nd it would be a swivin' easy task with us both dressed like this. So ye can either stop fuckin' about 'nd start actin' normal, or I will start takin' it as serious as ye seem ta do it now." and gave him a moment to let it sink in, remaining quiet as she placed her near empty bottle on the table.


Not that she was in any mood to do such things, but knowing Franz, he'd probably force her hand to it anyhow. She pushed herself back onto her feet, what gone a lot less smooth then she had expected. Drinking on an empty stomach was never a good idea after all. And despite her sluggish walk back into the kitchen, leaving Franz at the table, she managed to reach the bowl of fruit without much of a hassle. Scooping the damned thing up in her arms, wordlessly she wandered back to the table with it, and let it fall down onto the wooden table, causing the bottle, plates and cutlery to shake. If Franz his damned retainer was taking so long, she may as well stuff herself with what little food there was left in the house. Was plenty of booze left though, but she wasn't so sure if she wanted to start drinking heavily now. Not on an empty stomach at least. She already started to feel more light-headed then she would had wanted to be. Although she may had to continue pouring booze down her throat if Franz continued to be as irritating as he was.


Standing besides the table, she scooped an apple from it, and before she sunk her teeth into it, she placed a hand down onto her hip in an arrogant manner, and took about the most sassy, feminine pose she could manage so early in the morning.


"So yer goin' ta stop actin' like an arse, or wha'?" she inquired and bit down on her apple. Damn you, you three-eyed mongrol.

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As the two continued back and forth, fate seemed intent to intervene. Fate in the form of heavy boot steps, and shrimp like eyes that honed in on the building. A large framed Highlander, with features that only a grandmother could love, was well on his was to continue his quest to "keep an eye" on the red haired man. Though even he had to admit, this was a locale he didn't expect to track Franz to. Showing up shirtless in Mor Dohna was one thing, but this appeared to be the woman's house....

Gerelt groaned softly, his work was never done. A pat went to the outfit he had hoisted over one shoulder, a grin stretching across his lips. Yellow dress slacks, and a pink shirt. Franz might have needed new clothing, but the retainer who'd have fetched them was strongly advised to take the day off....so it afforded him another small chance to get under the other man's skin. This would be good, these chances were only so rare...and utterly worth it. A deep chuckle left his throat as he strode right to that home.

As they went back and forth within, their chat would be shattered when one boot impacted into the door, with enough force to send it swinging open. And there he was....Gerelt Redvalley, towering in the door frame with the gaudy colored clothes draped in full display. In the least THIS time he was wearing a top himself, clad in the usual armored gauntlets and bottoms, with a open white dress shirt atop the rest of his chiseled frame. Though all look of amusement and mirth left his visage when he got a look at the pairing.

"Someone...has got some explainin to do...." He bellowed as he stepped fully within. Was he angry? Was he trying to be a guardian to the bonds of marriage? Could his virtue and values really be THAT strong?

"All this delicious food smells, and I don' see a third plate settin fer me? You wound me Fatso...you know I'm always just around the corner..." He added as that goofy grin was displayed once more.

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“Hells Ave, I’m terrified of what you could do.” The smug expression cracked through on his face. “If you’re so interested in getting that close to a Garlean, I’d be happy to remove my glamour.” To him, her threats didn’t really mean much anymore. Done only to be a bother to him, he would simply have to put up with it.


When the door burst open to only reveal Gerelt standing in it with such a look on his face, Franz dropped everything else, gawking a little. “Ave, the rest of whatever type of conversation we were having can wait. That oaf seems to have just broken your door.”


The gaudy colors of whatever it was Gerelt was holding onto singed the back of his eyes. “And it looks as if he’s attacked a rainbow as well. The hells are you doing here, Gerelt?” Some of the color seemed to drain from Franz’s face. Standing in the door was probably the reason why his retainer never showed up with a change of clothes. He could not acknowledge whatever it was Gerelt had brought. To allow the colors to exist as clothing would have mean acknowledging they existed, which he refused to do.


Under his breath, he spoke just barely audibly to Ave. “I’ll let you handle him."

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Avelyn visibly winced at the mention of Franz his third eye. She hated that thing. However... he was trying to provoke her. If he was going to flash that damned thing, she may as well make him suffer for it. As she took a step closer towards Franz, and her hand reached out for his face. But she found herself interrupted halfway as soon Geralt came into the house.




Crossing her arms under her chest, she twitched an eyebrow towards the highlander in the doorway. At least he brought the most ridicilious clothing he could find, so that made her snicker for a moment. Soon after Franz told her to deal with it, she addressed Geralt.


"Since when th' fuck are ye his retainer?" Gods be damned Geralt why did you have to come in now?


Normally she enjoyed having the man around, at least he was better at getting onto Franz his nerves then she was. But now? She wasn't so sure of that, but she knew he was hardly going to leave without Franz.

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:cactuar: ( post incoming ) :cactuar:


Having received a rousing round of greetings from his dear friends, the Highlander merely grinned in reply as he scooped the garments from his shoulder and balled them up casually.

“Punched a rainbow is it? More like wrangled the damned thing into a headlock and chocked it into submission with these ‘ere muscles. Not that you’d be familiar with such a feat Fatty, unless we are talkin about being on the receiving end of it.” He commented, with a boisterous amount of chuckling, before his eyes shifted to Ave.

As he looked to the woman, he’d step further into her home. The door swinging closed, potentially from one remaining hinge if he had impacted it hard enough. Though before he spoke, that now ball of clothing, would be launched across the room at Franz’ face. Hopefully once he’d absorbed the man in a bright colored nightmare, he would speak.

“Well, someone’s gotta take care of em. I come here and I find a scurryin’ retainer rushin off to find the man some bloomers! What’s goin on here anyway ya she’devil? You two finally in here smashin ugglies? “ Came another burst of that booming voice.

Though even as he spoke, he remained in motion as he patrolled the room in search for more breakfast foods. His stomach demanded it, and he considered the pair friends he could casually take advantage of.

“Seriously though, where’s me breakfast? I’m hungry as a damned behemoth and you two are busy given me some Gorgon eye bullshit. Feed me darn it! Muscles require sustenance!” He laughed as one arm came up and he flexed to the woman with the same cheshire grin.

While he was being his usual loud self, those small eyes were taking in every detail he could of that house, along with their current conditions. Something was certainly off, but he had that vibe before he had even gotten here.

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Franz would catch the brightly-colored balled up nightmare, nearly groaning in disgust. Even putting on his dirty bloodied armor would have been better than trying to walk around with something so bright. Not to mention the sizes were completely wrong, as if intentionally bought for someone twice his size. Or a chubby Roegadyn, he supposed. The two pieces could never have been together, however. That much was clear.


And to then hear the man demand food was ridiculous. Franz had barely found anything even slightly usable for cooking when he’d checked Ave’s storage. And had promptly judged her for it. He’d have to show the woman how to properly stock a kitchen with food, tools and cutlery another time.


Franz’s left eye only seemed to twitch a little every time the man bellowed for attention. Finally, he at least responded to the situation. “I’m not wearing any of this. These pants would fall right off and the shirt is atrocious.” He rose from his seat to head back downstairs. There was some armor at least deserving of attention, even if it should have been destroyed. Franz would simply need to clean himself again.


edit: Commissioned earlier post in the scene, found here: http://dornisaurio.com/image/135388866948





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