Solo Anything for You

Chiona is haunted. Luckily Madeira is there to help

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Anything for You

Postby Madeira Craven on March 13th, 2020, 8:06 pm

    20th of Spring, 520
"Madeira? Can I talk to you for a moment?"

Chiona stood in the open door of notorious Professor Craven's classroom high atop the Dusk Tower. Class was just finishing up, and the room was a flurry of muted farewells and shuffling papers as its handful of students were packing up to go. Madeira smiled for the Dusk heir and held two fingers in the air, silently telling her she'd be there in just a moment before addressing her alumni students.

"Next week will be discussing spiritual fortitude and endurance. There will be a test! Meditation is key, and don't discount physical endurance as well. I suggest counting how long you can hold your breath, because that will be exactly how long you have to pass the exam before you lose consciousness."

All six students cringed, imagining what fresh hai they were in for, but no one bothered to question their teacher anymore. Last instructions were given, and Aldgare briefly spoke to Madeira at her desk before following his classmates out. He kissed his daughter, still standing patiently by the door, sweetly on her cheek as he passed. Finally, as the march of feet thundered down the winding stairs, Chiona stepped inside and closed the door behind her.

"Don't worry, I won't drill you with that test", Madeira looked up and winked cheekily as she tapped her notes into a neat pile, "perks of being my favorite student."

"I'm fine with being the teachers pet if it means less maiming", the heir laughed, and under the sweet sound there was something off about her voice. Squinting at her, Madeira could see the shadow of purple bags beneath her tawny eyes. Chiona noticed the not so subtle staring and waved away her attention. "Its nothing. I haven't been sleeping much recently. Actually, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. I think you can help."

"Anything you need", Madeira nodded swiftly, her blue eyes tight with concern. "Do you want to sit?" She offered her own seat from behind her desk and pulled up a student seat for herself.

"It's a bit embarrassing, and very baffling, but I think I might be... haunted." Chiona sat in the offered chair, looking rather sheepish as she brushed back her thick brown hair with her fingers. "Some spiritist I am, right? But I honestly don't know what to do."

"Gods, it's just me, don't be embarrassed", Madeira leaned forward to touch her leg, as if trying to physically pass on the reassurance of her words. "And it's not weird. Spiritists are just more susceptible to hauntings. Professional hazard", she shrugged. "Tell me about it."

"It started a few days ago", Chiona sighed, crossing her legs beneath her fancy robe. "Always at night, always in my room. I know its a ghost, but it doesn't show itself. All I see is unformed soulmist. It just... makes noise, and throws things. Honestly, it's bizarre. I have no idea what it wants, and it wont go away. I haven't gotten any sleep."

Madeira's pale brows travelled further down her forehead, making one unbroken line of confusion. "That is weird. And you haven't crossed any angry spirits recently, right? Is there anyone deceased who might have held a... grudge against you?"

"No! No, except..."

Both women looked at each other, and a spark of understanding shot between them. Madeira's smile softened. "It's not that. You know it's not. This must be just some confused, transient spirit. I'll should have a look. Can I stay over tonight?"

Eager to shake off the loaded look they had exchanged, Chiona latched onto the offer with a bright laugh. "Sure. I haven't had a sleepover since I was a little girl!"

The word sleepover shot like a barbed arrow from the oblivious Dusk's mouth and lanced straight through Madeira's chest. Right, a sleepover. Like little girls do. Her hand on Chiona's thigh twitched with annoyance.

"Alright, it's settled", Madeira withdrew her hand before it could give her away, pulling it above her head in a stretch. "Don't worry, we'll get to the bottom of this and you'll be sleeping like a babe in no time."

"Thank you, Mads. Honestly, what would I do without you."

"Don't mention it. This is just another late night practical study session with my favorite student, right?" she winked cheekily.


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Anything for You

Postby Madeira Craven on March 13th, 2020, 8:49 pm

    timestamp
Madeira had met the Dusk's many times in the private wing where they lived. Alexander the receptionist didn't even look up as he waved her down the corridor. The midnight rest had just started and the Tower was quiet. Madeira had a small bag slung over her shoulder and her hand in the pocket of her dress, humming audibly as she tapped her way to Chiona's room.

She wasn't sure whether she wanted to bump into Aldgare and explain why she was here. 'I'm sleeping in your daughters room tonight' was not the best opening there was, especially since she had told the patriarch she had feelings for the woman. But at the same time, this would be a golden opportunity to showcase what she was doing for his family beyond her classroom duties. Unable to decide, she made no effort to hide her presence or amplify it. She would leave the decision up to Lhex.

Madeira knocked smartly with her gloved fist, and a moment later the door swung open. Chiona stood there, still in her dress robe, but with her hair unbound and blinking sleepily. "Hmm? Oh, Mads, come in", she waved her inside with a yawn.

There was a pot of coffee on the table and every lamp was lit. The small collection of rooms had the air of tidiness gone astray, with books having obviously been removed and shoved back into place, cupboards of the kitchenette hanging on their hinges, and dirt stains on the walls where some unfortunate house plants had met their untimely end. Madeira whistled under her breath.

"Your nightly visitor is a rough one, huh?"

Chiona smacked her playfully on the arm and dragged the laughing Madeira the rest of the way inside. "Coffee? I just made a fresh pot. Do you have some nails with you?" The Dusk woman relieved Madeira of her bag and looked inside, only for her brow to wrinkle in confusion. "Where's the rest of your tools?" she asked, ruffling through a silk nightdress, change of clothes and hygiene supplies. Only at the very bottom was there a lonely string of spiritist beads.

"They're too heavy to be lugging all this way. Besides, I don't need tools", Madeira took the bag back and jerked her chin towards the coffee pot. "Shouldn't you be taking it easy with that? You'll be up all night."

Now Chiona really did look dumbfounded as she looked the smaller woman up and down. "We're going to sleep?"

"Of course. I have classes tomorrow."

"Are you even listening to me?"

Madeira reached for Chiona's chin, cupping it in her hand and pinching her lips as if to shut her up. "Relax. I promise you I know what I'm doing. I won't let anything happen to you."

The spiritist took it as a heartening sign of complete trust when the older woman simply sighed, letting herself be manhandled. "I know."

"Good. Is that your bedroom?" Madeira was already walking away, heading for a cracked door with her hands at her throat as she threaded the buttons of her dress one at a time. Indeed it was. Inside was a canopied bed much like her own, along with a hearth, large closet and vanity. Madeira ducked behind a privacy screen as Chiona followed her inside.

"You don't like to waste time, huh." Madeira could hear the smile in Chiona's voice.

Behind the screen the Spiritist was peeling off her dress and gloves with her lips between her teeth. It wasn't that she was rushing, it was that she didn't want to prolong this part any more than necessary. Madame Belladonna laughed at her roaring insecurity every time she displayed it, and now that was all she could hear as she pulled her little slip of a nightdress over her head. The thing had thin straps and the hem barely reached her knees, leaving what she saw as miles and miles of skin Chiona had never seen on full display.

"Aren't you going to change for bed?" Madeira called over the screen.

"I wasn't expecting to get into bed, but now I suppose so. I'll change in the bathroom, make yourself comfortable", she heard Chiona's voice move to the next room, and a click as a door was shut behind her.

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Anything for You

Postby Madeira Craven on March 13th, 2020, 9:35 pm

Madeira peeked around the screen like a little kid to check if she was really gone before coming out from behind it. Skinny, pale, covered in tattoo's and scars, she looked like a completely different person without her elaborate dresses and heavy jewels. She ran her ruined, knotted hands anxiously over her hips. Belladonna had said before that sexual attraction was what got a lover into bed, but intimacy was what makes them stay. And what was more intimate than vulnerability?

She shook her head as if she could get rid of her racing thoughts like a dog got rid of water. She just had to trust the Madame knew what she was talking about, that was all.

From her bag Madeira pulled out her spiritism beads. These were an easier to use, less destructive and more portable version of ghostnails. The one downside was their size. The one she carried could easily fit one person inside, but two...

She threw the beads over the top of the bed, crawling atop to push the long loop into shape. A satisfied noise hummed from her chest. Lets see if Chiona dared call this a sleepover when they're forced to inhabit the same space like this.

There was a creak as the door to the bedroom was pushed open. Madeira's heart gave a vicious bang as she looked over to see Chiona, in her own nightdress, surrounded by a halo of light from the living room. She was perfection personified, healthy and glowing if not a little tired. Under her gaze Madeira felt like some kind of claw handed wraith. She swallowed hard, suddenly very aware of her position on her hands and knees on this woman's bed.

"I may have made a small miscalculation", she cleared her throat when the woman didn't speak. "The beads..." she waved vaguely at the efforts beneath her, but her words dried up as Chiona came around to the side of the bed. She was not looking at the beads.

"Oh my gods, what happened to you?" Chiona's off-beat humour was nowhere to be seen as the woman took Madeira's left hand in both her own. Electricity shot down Madeira's spine as her thumbs grazed over the puncture scar.

"St- stabbed", the cool and collected Spiritist squeaked like a mouse and pulled away without thinking. "I mean, it was a long time ago. And this was that Desolate One attack..." she waved off the other hand and cleared her throat. To her horror she could feel her face and chest change colour, a red hot burn running wild under her skin. "Anyway, the beads..."

"I'm so sorry, I never knew", Chiona whispered, and Madeira felt her soul leave her body for a moment as the woman bent over her ruined hand and kissed her fingers. A rush of white noise blanketed the Spiritist as every fiber of her being screamed with panicked delight. Belladonna was right! She was so lost in the epiphany that she completely missed what Chiona said next.

"Sorry, what was that?" Madeira took her hand back under the guise of straightening the beads.

"I said those are beautiful tattoos. I remember you showing me the ones on your legs, but-" she motioned to her chest and shoulders. "I mean really, they're lovely. I never would have pegged you for the type to have so many."

Madeira, wrong footed and recovering from the shock of it all, didn't know how to respond. There was a kind of delicate air around the both of them, a kind of bubble of intimacy Madeira had no idea how to maintain. She croaked out a "thank you" as Chiona finally regarded the beads spread out on her bed. The woman looked back up at her with a kind but exasperated twist in her lips.

"I told you you should have brought the nails."

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Anything for You

Postby Madeira Craven on May 22nd, 2020, 12:00 am

Leth was high in the sky before Madeira was woken from her slumber. For a dizzy tick she blinked groggily at the canopied ceiling, wondering where she was. But it only took the sleepy murmur of the woman crushed against her side for the last few bells to come thundering back.

Her and Chiona had gotten into bed together and laughed like little girls as they tried to find a comfortable position within the safe zone's limited space. They had talked for a while afterwards, about home and family and magic, before Madeira coaxed the exhausted Chiona to close her eyes and try to get some sleep. I'm right here, everything will be okay, she had reassured the older woman, boldly running her fingers through her hair in long, relaxing strokes. It was a testament to just how at the end of her rope the Dusk heir had been that she didn't argue or insist she be woken at the first sign of trouble. Instead she sunk down into the touch almost in relief, and ticks later was fast asleep.

Madeira didn't bother to wait up for the unwanted guest, falling asleep herself soon after. And it seemed sometime in the night her body had done what her mind had been to scared to do awake. She looked down at herself, finding her ankles entwined with Chiona's, and her arm trapped beneath her waist. Chiona herself was tucked up in the crook of her neck, breathing softly in her ear, her arms curled up like a child. It was such a pretty image, such a victorious one, that Madeira took the time to stare, quite forgetting what woke her in the first place.

A creeping cold was inching into the dark corners of the room, though the curtains over the open window weren't fluttering. The feeling of being watched crawled across her skin, raising goose bumps across her exposed flesh. It was a familiar feeling, a presence in an empty room. Her honed Spiritist senses and her gifted gnosis were all bending towards the realization that they were not alone.

Madeira stretched languidly, careful not to disturb the heavily sleeping Chiona as she arched her back and yawned. She glanced at the far side of the room, where she could feel the eyes of Chiona's relentless haunt watching just out of sight. She smiled in greeting.

"Hello Jomi."

You can't be a hero without someone to save, you can't be a problem-solver without a problem to solve. If the universe is bereft of opportunities, you had to make your own. She had sent her servant out days ago to make this nightly trouble, and now she was here to 'banish' him, just like they had planned.

But not right now. Madeira held up a finger, asking for one more chime to enjoy the moment before his incoming rampage sent both women scrambling out of bed. Turning back to Chiona, she savoured the warmth of her body as she kissed her tenderly on the top of her fragrant hair.

She would always be there to save her.

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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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