"Um..Mira. If you did finish your research. What would you do afterwards?"
Mirabelle blinked for a moment, trying to fully comprehend the question. Unfortunantly, she felt like her and Will's definitions of finishing her research were inherently different, though she believed that she could still give an answer that would satisfy him. Of course, it helped that she had answered a question like this before...actually, now that she thought about it, there were a lot of things that were similar to her first day at Gato. Still, her answer hadn't changed from then, so why not use it again?
"...Well...i haven't talked about this for a while, not since I first started coming to Gato, but I guess it's as good of a time as any to say it...again. Part of the reason I'm at Gato is that I'm trying to learn about...certain things. Certain metals that I was created with, certain solutions that I was coated with, certain pieces of myself that my father never got the chance to complete and that he, unfortunantly, never wrote down...or at least didn't label of explain correctly. See, for the first few years of my life...I was just the prototype, the test, the method to prove his theory. The finished product would be my...brother, I guess you could say, with all of the things that worked for me and none of the...problems, I guess you could say. You know, like being able to smell, feel...take a punch without worrying if it would dislodge something. Fortunately, I proved to be much more of a success than he would have thought...but this had the adverse side effect of my brother, being left incomplete, unmade, unborn I guess you could say. He spent so much time trying to complete me and work on my budding mind that...neither of us completed him. We would work on him, off and on, but a lot of him is still left incomplete. That's what I'm going to do when I'm done here, once I've learned of everything that makes me physically and alchemically, I'm going to return home and complete him. After all, I would not have wanted something like that to happen to me, so me and my father figured, why let it happen to him? Why leave him in a state like that for eternity? So yeah, after my research is complete, I'm going to go home and complete him using it."
"After that though...I don't know. I haven't thought that far ahead. I doubt that I'll become a shut in again...heck, I doubt you all would let me, assuming that we all stay in contact with each other. Maybe I'll travel around Spain for a while, see the things that i've only seen in books and things like that. Regardless, I'm sure i'll find something else, besides it's not like I'll stop experimenting by then so I'll at least have that."
After that she stopped for a moment, seemingly like she was giving them time to take in what she said...but really just trying to remember who had gone yet. After that moment, she said, "So...Sol, truth or dare?"
Sol listened to Mira tell them about her plans after Gato, about wanting to finish creating her incomplete brother.
"It seems it's only you and Vik who has to pour their hearts out," he remarked after listening to Mira, having noticed that thus far, they were the ones who'd talked about their past to such a detail. "Though it's a good goal of yours. Both noble and interesting." He smiled, encouragingly.
I suppose she's gotten more time to figure stuff out, with not sleeping and all that.
Or perhaps Mira was just the most mature person there. Thinking about it, she probably was.
"So...Sol, truth or dare?"
He glanced briefly over at Juliet, on one hand, he had dared her to do something, so him doing a dare would be somewhat fair... however, there still wasn't a lot he could do, and he was sort of busy eating. Stuffing a fried... some sort of vegetable into his mouth, he drank a sip to wash it down.
Truth it is, I suppose.
"I'll be boring and choose the same thing again. Truth."
Daniel sat back and relaxed, quietly sipping on his freshly arrived Green Tea whilst everyone else swapped stories of times gone past, goals that they wish to aspire to, and any other juicy nuggets of information. Viktor's embarrassing story of a wardrobe malfunction made Daniel crack a smile; one that almost made him spit out some of the tea. The tale of Mirabelle's origin piqued his interest more so, especially when she said that her father tried to create something called The Great Work; of course, Daniel knew it by several other names.
The Philosopher's Stone, The Elixir of Life, The Grand Panacea, Alkahest's Remedy, Yggdrasil's Fruit the search for immortality goes on. I admire the spirit and determination of the alchemical world, but the gift of immortality, at least as far as mankind can understand it, was only achieved once. Perhaps if I still had It with me.
Daniel nearly chuckled in amusement when William gave Sierra a kiss on the cheek, but had to give proper respect to the young lad for actually going through with the dare. He watched with interest as Sol suggested to Juliet for her to try and seduce him, though he could tell this may be something that took most, if not the rest of the evening to play out. Regarding how Viktor ended up a vampire was a courageous tale, despite the odds being stacked against him, he held on long enough; he either had a lot of adrenaline that day or that he was dead lucky not to pass from bleed out.
Maybe I'll ask him more on that story later.
It was after that story this his food arrived, so Daniel began getting into that whilst the others carried on with their little game.
"It seems it's only you and Vik who has to pour their hearts out, Though it's a good goal of yours. Both noble and interesting."
Mirabelle was confused as to if 'pouring out their hearts' was a complement or not. Still, it was nice to hear that her goal was a good one.
"I'll be boring and choose the same thing again. Truth."
...Of course, it probably would have been nicer if she had thought of a question before asking Sol. Still, it could have been worse, she could have had to think of a dare, something that she was worried about going overboard or underboard with. It still didn't alleviate her current problems but at least she had that to be thankful for.
Thinking for a moment, she finally came up with something and asked, "So...do you learn a lot about the places you go to as a Hunter? Culturally, I mean."
"Not unless you're hiding an extra surprise down there," he said, amused, putting his hand on hers and then slowly leading it away from his body, before letting go. "I have to be a little proper about this, given the boyfriend."
Juliet slid her arm back into position, smiling playfully "if you wanted to be proper about this you wouldn't have asked me to do this in the first place," she whispered "or are you saying I've won?"
"Oh," she added "and just so you get some ideas I can be anything you want me to be, I could even be exactly like Luke if you so desired."
"So...do you learn a lot about the places you go to as a Hunter? Culturally, I mean."
Really? She could have come up with something better than that, I thought the point of this was to ask questions we wouldn't normally want to answer. Vik's story for example, she doubted he'd normally want to share such memories.
"if you wanted to be proper about this you wouldn't have asked me to do this in the first place, or are you saying I've won? Oh, and just so you get some ideas I can be anything you want me to be, I could even be exactly like Luke if you so desired."
"That'd be super uncomfortable," he whispered back, and stuck his tongue out at him as he waited for Mira to think of a question. "I mean, I'd know it wasn't him, yet you'd look and sound like him... that's seriously a mood killer. And no, you've not won, far from it."
"So...do you learn a lot about the places you go to as a Hunter? Culturally, I mean."
"You know you could've asked me that any time without using a question here, right?" Sol asked, a bit amused, though he just shrugged.
"It's too late now, though. It's an easy question so I'm not going to trade it in for a hard one. So... let's see... well. It kind of depends on where I go and how long I stay there. I do have a lot of my jobs in North America, but I've been everywhere from South America and Egypt to Europe and now Japan. I've been in Australia once, but they seem to deal with their own supernatural issues. I always try to learn at least some words, like, hello and good bye and thanks, though I don't actually speak any other language fluently. Some languages I know better than others, I've gotten pretty good at Portuguese, I've always spoken at least some Spanish, and I know a fair bit of Egyptian Arabic. Then there's the Latin stuff, but that's not really related to travelling.
I don't really have a lot of time to sightsee when I'm somewhere, I'm not a tourist-attraction type of person either way. Not if I'm alone, anyhow. Of course, if there's a lot of mountains I'll usually try to climb at least one during the downtime, so I've gotten to see quite the sights. Not to mention, the stuff I hunt don't tend to live in the middle of the big cities, so you know, I get to see a lot of nature. Forests, deserts, dales, rivers..." He took a bit of a sip.
"Apart from that, I tend to eat on the more native restaurants if I can, get a taste of the cuisine. Sometimes I talk to some of the locals, but when I do I tend to go looking for whatever hunters and folklorists in the area. Now, that's a topic all on their own, I've met people who's given me all the information I need, and a place to stay, and then more. They can be very friendly and willing to help out, they're just glad there's another hunter with different skills. I met a woman in Egypt, we ended up working together to take out some sort of... Serpopard. Yes, it was half serpent and leopard, and I was not at all prepared for it. But she taught me a lot, and I ended up giving her a fair bit of the reward. Or did she give me a fair bit of her reward? I can't seem to remember who had the original job. Anyhow, doesn't matter.
Now, some places, and I don't want to be rude, but I've mostly found this in Europe, are not so easy. Could be because I'm American, could be because Europe has a more varied community of hunters, like the US does, but they can be rather... unfriendly if you get into their territory." He sighed.
"I dunno what it is, they are nice once they get that you're just there to do one job and then leave, but even then they're not too fond of the "highest bidder" kind of hunters, even if some of us takes the jobs they're not equipped to deal with. I once met a guy... somewhere in the UK. Think it was along the Scottish coast. Very nice, until I mentioned that I was going to hunt in the area. Apparently, we had the same target, and... Well, I'm not a coward, but let's just say I backed off and let him deal with it, at least after he brought out the shotgun and started glowing. Thing is, he wasn't unfriendly, and he let me collect my reward, though, apparently he worked for some organisation in the area, and would get his pay there. He just... really wanted to take this one on his own. British people are weird," he added, glancing over at Daniel, smirking innocently.
"Anyhow, I could go on forever, but it's my turn to ask, and I'm going to ask... Will. Truth or Dare?"
William listen to Mira and enjoyed that she wanted to complete her brother. "Thats nice. Kindof always wanted a sibling." He chuckle a little, though after he thought about it. He was glad he didn't. 'I'm already a mess..probably wouldn't be that great to have someone else like me...'
Next was Mira question to Sol, which Will was interested in. Since Sol was a hunter, he always wonder how much he traveled around. Happy to hear the answer. Listening closely as he ate his food and sip on his soda. "Sounds nice Sol..at least..the traveling part.." Will said, but as he was taking another sip of his soda, he heard Sol picking him Almost choaking on his drink as he stared at Sol ."B-b-b-b-b-but I just went..." he said, hoping he wouldn't have to go so soon but sigh. "I..I guess.I'll.. Pick..Truth."
"B-b-b-b-b-but I just went... I..I guess.I'll.. Pick..Truth."
Sol shrugged, giving the other an apologetic smile. "Well, I'm sorry, but that's how this goes. And truth... Oh, I know." Sol hadn't missed the looks Will had given him and Juliet after that little challenge had started, and he didn't doubt part of it was because Juliet used to have her arms slung around Will. He looked towards Juliet and gave her a wink, then leaned closer to Will. Not uncomfortably closer, but so that he wouldn't have to yell the question. He said it so that most of the others shouldn't be able to hear it, but he didn't doubt Will's reaction would demand some sort of explanation. Besides, he knew that at very least Vik would be able to hear it.
"So, Will, here's a question that might be a bit... awkward. How do you feel about Juliet? like, really? Do you like her? Like, like like her." He leaned back onto Juliet's arm, sitting like that was straining his leg a little. Besides, he doubted Will was going to actually answer the question, or at least answer it in a fashion that suggested he did like her. That would be too easy.
"So? How about it? You don't have to answer it if you don't want to."
"So, Will, here's a question that might be a bit... awkward. How do you feel about Juliet? like, really? Do you like her? Like, like like her. So? How about it?"
Will face went bright red as he heard the question. 'What kind of question is that! How do I answer!?!?' he thought to himself as he panicking a bit on the inside. He looked over at Juliet wondering how to answer as he really didn't know himself about Juliet. "I um. Well.." he started but couldn't form the right words. He also stutter a bit as he hide his face behind a menu.
Gluping a bit as he tried to get his words together. Putting the menu back down as he said, "I Um...I do like Juliet but I"m not sure on the extent of those..feelings yet..." he said as he added. "But she is, from what I learn from her so far...is she is a good friend to have around. Since she listens to me..and..I enjoy having her around to hang out with..." Will smiled a but and went back to hiding behind his menu.
"Viktor..truth or dare?" Will whisper as he was to embarrassed to show his face at the moment.
It was good to hear that Solomon took the time to learn at least something about the culture of the places he had visited when going out on hunting missions; knowledge is power after all, and any morsel of information about an area was useful no matter how big or small. He did agree with Sol about the protective nature of the Families, Organisations and Orders that made up the European Hunter groups, Daniel felt that this was due to the long existence that many shared, with some, the Order of Caliburn included, having been around for centuries; and so they were deeply entrenched, and were unlikely to let a relative newcomer into their territory without good reason.
Regarding the comment Sol made about how the European Hunters weren't too fond of the "highest bidder" type, Daniel could chalk it up to that hunting demi-human species was the principal duty of the relevant groups, that they weren't doing it because of a pay-check at the end, although local governments did provide a degree of funding to help with operating costs for things like equipment and personnel.
Then it got to Solomon talking about the UK, more specifically Scotland. He had heard stories/reports from one of the branches up there a while back about some strange goings on up there involving a band of non-affiliated Hunters operating in the region. Daniel could never remember their name, but he recalled that the Order was keeping tabs on them in case they did something rash.
"He just... really wanted to take this one on his own. British people are weird." Sol remarked at the end, ever so slightly smirking in Daniel's direction. Daniel had to finish a particularly long noodle before he could respond though.
"The same could be said of all nations, in their own unique way." Daniel took a sip of tea. He then cracked a smile as Will set his thoughts out regarding his relationship towards Juliet.
"Bravo Will. I can't imagine making a statement like that was easy."
He wasn't overly surprised Will didn't really have a plan for once he 'graduated', very few people did.
"But..if I had to picked..I would like to stay with this group and keep helping people."
That made him grimace a bit, mentally. This 'Gungir' thing was a reaction to what had happened to the school and it's students; and once the administration perceived there was no further threat, it was likely to be disbanded. Hell, I'm bound to get re-called home sooner rather than later. He thought. With Lord Tepes' sword recovered, he was sure there probably a half-dozen other little 'spot fires' they wanted him to deal with.
Listening to Mira talk about wanting to finish work on her incomplete 'brother', made Viktor raise his eyebrow. Well damn. If I can't get Mirabelle to at least visit , Oksana is going to be unbearable... He thought with a chuckle. Focusing back on the conversation, Solomon was talking a bit about the life of a Hunter...and the 'issues' some of the traditional types had with for-hire ones, like himself. Not to mention, people like him are generally more willing to even work with or for non-human groups...certainly has made my life easier at times.
"So, Will, here's a question that might be a bit... awkward. How do you feel about Juliet? Like, really? Do you like her? Like, like like her."
He'd picked the wrong moment to take a sip, and so, nearly inhaled his vodka. "Oh Mr. Thorn, that's just mean." He chuckled to the wounded Hunter; he nearly burst into a full blown laugh at William's stammered reply, but he managed to keep himself in check...barely. "Somebody pass that boy over here!" He joked. "I'm pretty sure I could light a cig by just touching it to his forehead." Amused by his own joke, it was fortunate for his 'enhanced' hearing, or he may have never heard Will hiding behind the menu.
"Viktor..truth or dare?"
"Hmm...I know what I said earlier, but 'Truth' gets a bit dull after a while. Dare."
"Bravo Will. I can't imagine making a statement like that was easy."
"Somebody pass that boy over here! I'm pretty sure I could light a cig by just touching it to his forehead."
'Just kill me now...' Will thought as he heard both of them talk. He really didn't want to even see Juliet or Sierra amuse faces right now as he kept hidden.
"Hmm...I know what I said earlier, but 'Truth' gets a bit dull after a while. Dare."
"A-alright..I dare you to..um..h-hit Sol head..but..but not to hard..like..up along side the head..." He said, peeking out from the top of menu. Wanting a bit of payback against Sol for that mean Truth.
"A-alright..I dare you to..um..h-hit Sol head..but..but not to hard..like..up along side the head..."
"All right then." He answered with a smile. Shifting in his seat, he half stood and reached across the table. "Excuse me Miss." He said, grinning to Juliet. His thick fingered hand reached out and cuffed Sol lightly in the side of the head, and for good measure he ruffled the rest of the hunter's hair while he was at it.
Sitting back down, he took a drink and nodded to William. "Okay...Sierra, you're up."
As Viktor got into his story of how is he turned she sat there listening. It was a more harrowing tale then she'd been expecting, but in the end she couldn't really blame him for taking the Vampire up on the offer to be turned. She didn't agree with it, but she could hardly condemn some one for accepting such an offer in such a situation.
From there William told of his plans for the future, which involved learning, and staying in Gungnir it seemed. Sierra wondered if that was the best idea for some one like him, but least his motivations for wanting to stick around where pure, unlike her own.
Mira was up next and this time spoke of an 'incomplete younger brother'. Sierra had little doubt some one as brilliant as Mirabelle would be able to figure out the missing pieces of the puzzle she was trying to complete. Though Sierra didn't think Mira calling him a 'little brother' would be correct, but she missed her chance to jump in and comment.
Next was Sol and the question of how much of the local culture he took in while he was abroad on jobs. The answer was largely unsurprising but still interesting. The surprising bit was how Hunter in Europe treat 'Hunters for Hire' like Sol though to be fair, she didn't really know much about Hunters in general.
The it went back to Will, and Sol asked a rather tactless question, her opinion anyway. Will fielded it about as well as he could have but it was still kinda classless in her mind. Will got back at him though, by daring Viktor to smack him, that made her snicker a bit.
After that, Viktor turned that spot light back to her.
"Oh? I haven't bored you all enough yet?" She said glibly. "We'll start with truth again I think."
"Oh? I haven't bored you all enough yet? We'll start with truth again I think."
"Well you could always pick 'Dare'..." He grinned, topping his glass up. Sipping his vodka, he thought for a couple minutes, then twigged on a question. "Okay." He said, grinning from ear to ear. "Since I've already been asked this, it's only fair I ask it of others. Ms. Talon, what is your single most embarrassing moment of your life?"
Sierra thought for a moment, or so. Then her expression changed drastically. "There's only one event that comes to mind, and it's really not the kind of tale for a gathering like this. I mean I assume you wanna here something to the effect of 'the greatest blow to my pride', and it's hard to beat 'my arrogance got my best friend killed'." Sierra said, her tone and general body language hinting that she hadn't totally 'moved on' yet.
"But if you really want to hear it I guess I could share it"
"There's only one event that comes to mind, and it's really not the kind of tale for a gathering like this. I mean I assume you wanna here something to the effect of 'the greatest blow to my pride', and it's hard to beat 'my arrogance got my best friend killed', but if you really want to hear it I guess I could share it."
Viktor set his drink down with a soft sigh. "No, this isn't the place for something like that." He said. Shifting forward in his seat, he held eye contact with Sierra. "That said, you should talk to someone; even if it's just one of the 'councillors' from Gato. Leaving that kind of shit to fester isn't healthy. You may not like me." He added with a bit of a smirk. "But trust me on this one."
"Mom said the same thing last time I talked to her, It's just ... Never mind ... This isn't the place for that kind of talk." Sierra said.
It took her a moment, but she finally spoke up again. "The how about this one then. Raechel, the 'best friend' I mentioned was one of the few people out side my intermediate family, which is really just 'mom', case your wondering, that knew what I really was. She was, very kind, but also very sarcastic and not afraid of pulling a prank or two." Sierra started as she came back around to her more normal state. "And I mean the 'You do know we could get arrested for this right?' tier of pranks, not the 'ha ha we TP'd your car' type ones." Sierra pausing to take a sip from her drink.
"She was also big on me being more social, from simple things like just getting me to hang out with her friends, attending social school functions. Which all have varying degrees of discomfort. None more uncomfortable then the time she got me to try out for the cheer leading squad." Sierra sighed. "I forget what lead to her getting me there to try out but it was bad. I couldn't get in sync with the rest of the girls, at all, cause I was trying to hard to keep in step, not to mention how self conscious I was about how much I was 'bouncing', cause I was pretty stacked back then to and there's only so much 'proper support' can do when you need to jump up and down and dance a little, plus, she talked me into wearing a tight pair of sweat pants." pausing again to take another sip off her drink.
"And if my terrible performance wasn't bad enough, the boys that came to watch the try outs cause 'hot girls in tight outfits', where not helping me feel any less humiliated, worse, I felt like a slab of meat. So you can imagine how relived I was to finally be told we where done." Sierra said, finishing her tale, then instantly locked on to Juliet.
"Your up now Juliet, choose you fate!" She said with a smile that seemed kinda forced and had this general look in her eyes that 'she needed a minute' that she was trying to hide.
"The same could be said of all nations, in their own unique way."
"That much is true," Sol agreed, he wondered if Daniel had gotten offended, or if he was simply playing along.
"A-alright..I dare you to..um..h-hit Sol head..but..but not to hard..like..up along side the head..."
"I'm crippled," Sol said, nonchalantly. "Besides, I did tell you didn't have to answer."
Is everyone missing the point?
So far, Vik and Juliet had been the more adept at it, but honestly, it felt like they could be just answering questions from a box, many of them safe questions that people did want to answer.
I don't know if this was the right game to play.
He had to give it a thought.
"All right then."
Sol braced himself, not because he was a coward, but because he didn't like being hit. Especially not by a vampire. That was why it was a surprise that the only thing Vik's hit did was to startle him a bit -it was difficult to just take it even if he knew it was coming- and mess up his already messy hair, then the vampire further ruffled his hair.
"Hey, I don't remember telling anyone but Juliet to seduce me," he joked. He watched as Vik asked Sierra about her biggest embarassment, only for her to change the mood around the table considerably. Sure, he felt bad for her, but this really wasn't the time to air your baggage. He looked over at Juliet, who had been the last one to be asked.
She might get it.
"Hey," he told Juliet, whispering. "I'm kinda thinking of saying we should play something... less awkward, would you mind? Since it's your turn and all."
"Hey, I don't remember telling anyone but Juliet to seduce me."
"You're not that handsome." He replied with a smile. Topping up his drink, he listened to Sierra's story; and without warning or even meaning to, he began to laugh. "S-s-sorry..." He said, after taking a moment or two to collect himself. "I've only ever encountered 'cheer-leading' in t.v. or movies...and imagining 'you' as a part of all that just seems so wrong." He added, gesturing to Sierra. "Don't get me wrong, you are an pretty young woman...but I thought for something like that one kind of needed to be a 'people person'." By this point he was back giggling. "Dear God...that'd be like someone trying to get me to be a fashion model."
Sierra giggled. "Yeah, well, the 'people person' wasn't the issue. I've never really liked the attention I get for being 'pretty', most cause I keep attracting morons. So you can imagine how I felt about the short skirts and small tops." Sierra said, then took a bite of her burger. "Though its not as bad as TV or Movies would have you think. Most the girls where actually really nice, and given my school had a GPA requirement to stay on the squad, not really dumb ether."
"But really, it was just Raechel trying to get me to be more social again. One of many such plans."
"Your up now Juliet, choose you fate!"
How tiresome, don't any of them know how to have fun? Embarrassing means that, not some sob story. Still she feigned an expression of sympathy for Sierra's tale and then perked up when asked what to choose. I'm already in a rather involved dare, another one would likely interrupt that. I suppose that leaves 'truth' then, though whether they actually get that or not will depend on what they ask.
"I'm kinda thinking of saying we should play something... less awkward, would you mind? Since it's your turn and all."
"I think that would be a good idea," she said "something more uplifting would be a good idea, though its probably only fair that I finish my turn first."
She turned to Sierra "Truth I suppose," she giggled and leaned into Sol so that one of her breasts was pressing on his arm "I'm a little too attached to do much of a dare."
"My question is simple then." Sierra said, clearly having perked back up a bit. "What was the absolute worst, sexual experience you've had?" she asked, then took another bite for her burger and a sip off her beer.
She had a few other questions she could have asked, but she figured after the 'downer answer' she just dropped, and the attempted recovery it would be best to ge the game back on track.
"What was the absolute worst, sexual experience you've had?"
Well aren't you just full of the most delightful questions. Juliet frowned, not sure if Sierra was trying to be cruel or if she really didn't know how the game was supposed to be played. After all generally lighthearted or embarrassing questions or dares were preferred over asking people to dredge up bad memories and experiences. How tiresome, we're definitely playing something else after this. Well at least I can gather some sympathy with my answer.
She had no real reason to lie on this one, though she didn't think she'd go into any particular detail either.
"Well if you insist," she said "Its not much of a story though, and its part of my life I left behind long ago."
She breathed in deeply, appearing to steady herself "Succubi are considered useful for a few things in hell, most of all for our bodies. More powerful demons will collect harems of succubi for their amusement, younger ones usually who require sustenance but have yet to come into their true power, too weak to be useful for anything else."
She made a sort of forced looking smile "I doubt you're interested in the details, but I will say that its not something I even really remember as sex, it was more like feeding a sort of mindless hunger, all you know at that stage is that you need to feed, its desperate almost. Pleasure doesn't factor into it, neither does your 'partner', though they certainly take pleasure in it. I think its a power thing to them, you're little more than a possession, a trophy to be displayed, used, or even traded to another for favors."
She shook her head "I don't want any pity, its not the same thing for my kind as it might be for a human," she said "but its not a fond memory."
She sighed, and her expression gradually shifted back into a smile "Now then, I think this game has gotten a bit tiresome," she said almost cheerily, turning towards Sol "don't you think we should play something else?"
"You're not that handsome."
"That's so hurtful," Sol said, but shrugged. "And I'd advice you not to ruffle my hair then, because that's like, super sensual to me," he said, halfway kidding. He decided to do as Juliet had wanted and stayed quiet as Sierra voiced her question, though he immediately regretted not having done so.
"My question is simple then. What was the absolute worst, sexual experience you've had?"
Sol looked at Sierra in disbelief, eyebrow raised. Was she really that upset about Vik's question? So upset that she'd ask someone, a succubus no less, about their 'worst sexual experience'? Perhaps she just didn't have a clue. Could you be that clueless, though?
Apparently. But then again, I don't think she's had a lot of friends. I mean, she does seem bad at that part, as cynical and rude as she can be.
He bit the inside of his cheek, he really was being too harsh on Sierra, and it made him feel slightly bad. Slightly. Juliet seemed to take the question well enough, even if he could see the frown on her face and the look of annoyance in her eyes. Still, remarkably better than most would.
"Well if you insist, Its not much of a story though, and its part of my life I left behind long ago."
And thus started what Sol felt was the longest answer you could've gotten in truth or dare. Not because it was, god no, he'd heard some long stories, but it felt longer. Perhaps it was the whole: 'Demon sex slave' thing. Or perhaps it was the fact that he could sort of relate to it, even if his situation had been different, and grounded in a choice, even as hopeless as it had felt, and as disconnected from it all as he had been. Honestly, it was probably both, but regardless of which it was, it made him slowly inch further and further away, that dare of his suddenly feeling a bit dirty.
"Now then, I think this game has gotten a bit tiresome, don't you think we should play something else?"
Sol didn't answer at first, just looked at her. His slowly moving away from her had resulted in him sitting a bit distanced from her, not wanting to keep up the dare as she spoke about her experiences. And then he quickly closed the distance, giving her a warm, but also very clearly friendly -and only friendly- hug. "I'm not going to pity you," he said, whispering. "I just thought I should say, I dunno, I suppose it's just that I somewhat understand those feelings. Even the ones about it being less of a deal than it would be for most others. And that's exactly why I'm not going to pity you, I'm simply empathising here." With that, he sat up, stretching, then rubbing his ankle. It was throbbing angrily, having gotten a bit too much weight thrown at it too quickly.
"Ouch. Oh well, I think that hug was more for my own sake than yours," he chuckled, aloud this time. He wasn't upset, but a hug always made everything better. For him anyhow. "But yeah, let's do something else. This suddenly went from fun and interesting to not very fun, and I don't like that. And I dunno what to do about that dare now, think I'll skip it, we could do another dare or you can just have the favor, but I'd feel bad if I kept it up. No offence, it's me, not you, darling," he said, winking, before looking at the others.
"This time you guys come up with something. I still have food to eat," he said, offering some to Juliet. She would probably not realise it, but that was a pretty big gesture on his part.
Viktor laughed at Sol's reply...and then let out a groan at Sierra's question. I would've thought a half-breed would know better than to ask a question like that to a succubus. He remembered asking Melina a very similar question just after they first started dating. Closing his eye he tried to shake off the memories.
"Succubi are considered useful for a few things in hell, most of all for our bodies... I don't want any pity, it's not the same thing for my kind as it might be for a human, but it's not a fond memory."
He, for one, was glad Juliet had left out the details...Melina hadn't and he'd felt 'unclean' for about a week after that. Now that the mood was sufficiently, he reached for his drink again, only to find he'd managed to empty the bottle without realizing it. <"Damn...">
"Now then, I think this game has gotten a bit tiresome, don't you think we should play something else?"
"Agreed." He responded. "Or there's the casino and the fight ring." Looking over at Sierra, he gave her a slight smile. "I know I said they don't usually do 'armed' bouts, but if you tell them who you're with...and promise to stick to sparring weapons; they may be willing to set something up. 'Oddball' bouts are usually good money makers at the betting booths so there's a good chance the fight-boss would say 'yes' to you."
Sierra, upon hearing Juliet's story bashed her head into the table and sighed. "That ... is not what I meant ..." She said, clearly not expecting or wanting an answer like that. After that, she just focused on her drink and food.
The group seemed keen to move on to a different game, which seemed fine, she'd pretty much taken the mood out back and exacted it so moving to something else would probably best. It was about then Viktor brought the Cage back up. "Sure, why not." Sierra replied. She didn't care about the money, or the 'fun' she could have, at this point she just wanted to get away from the group before she complete ruined the evening.
Will slight embarrassment soon pass when Juliet told about her 'worst sexual experienced.' Now he was getting sad and depress. Slightly teary as he he really couldn't imaged what that life would be like. He would get up and walk over after she finish the story. Hugging her lightly. "I-I know you said don't pity you.." He said, hoping he wasn't offending her with this hug.
Not sure what else to say as he just stay there for a bit, either letting go when she asked him too, or when he thought it was enough. Walking back quietly to his seat as he sat back down. Drinking his soda, and keeping to himself for a bit. Not sure what to say after that.
Juliet endured Sol's hug but frowned at Will's remark and pushed him away.
"It was a long time ago, and it's not something that defines me," she said, "if you can't avoid pity then forget about it, I won't accept it."
"I will accept that favor though," she said, smiling again and turning towards Sol.
"I will accept that favor though,"
Sol shrugged, "You'll have it." He sort of smiled apologetically towards Will, the kid couldn't have helped it, but he sort of understood the reaction. Sort of. It was a bit uncalled for too though, Juliet didn't want pity, but with how she had acted towards Will, suddenly being cold likely was a jarring difference. Even so, he decided to not make any remark about it, it felt like the good atmosphere from the beginning had been stifled somewhat, and he didn't want to risk making it worse.
If it keeps going like this, I might have to leave early.
He certainly hoped not.
The rest of the party, he spent talking with those who didn't go do other stuff, drinking soda and even getting some more to eat, though this time he made sure only to get one portion. He'd chosen sushi, and though his stomach was, to explain it mildly, very rather stuffed, he didn't regret it. Some more interesting conversations did occur, though eventually it was time to leave, and by then he was eager to, both because he'd promised to see Elizabeth off, and because he wanted someone to cuddle up next to, Luke being the natural choice.
His master was happy to have him there as she prepared for the taxi to come pick her up, and promised she'd be back as soon as possible with some preparations for him. University or not, she wanted to prepare him for the family skill, and that meant she had to do the teaching carefully, give him something to read as opposed to being there in person and going through all the steps. All the practical things would have to wait, though. She'd given him a hug, willingly, before she'd told him to take care of himself and of Luke, and to give her salutations to Vik and Daniel, for different reasons. Sol promised to do so.
Back at the college, it took about 3 seconds before Luke asked him why he smelled so strongly of sex demon, and the other stared at him with a disbelieving expression as Sol spoke about his bet, making it clear that nothing had happened, and that he'd not even touched alcohol. The blonde had then given him a bit of a talking to, including asking why the hell Sol had thought that would ever be okay, but had eventually settled down once he had realised that Sol honest to god had not expected it to be much of an issue. He'd called Sol a "very very strange individual", though, and Sol wasn't sure if it was meant as a compliment or not.
The rest of the evening had been spent Sol doing small favors for Luke -which never resulted in anything but cuddles, sadly enough-, and the two of them watching some weird show Sol had never heard about. It was like a cartoon, but with a lot more blood. Anime as it was called, apparently was some sort of Japanese thing. Very popular with the youth, from children to adults. This one especially was aimed at adults, and Luke happened to be very fond of it. Sol however, thought it was dull. It didn't interest him terribly much -he'd never been fond of cartoons as a kid either- and eventually he'd fallen asleep from it, a few episodes into it. He had made sure to wrap his wiry limbs around his boyfriend before falling asleep, of course he had, didn't want to risk waking up alone.
She thought she knew when the mood was soured with Sierra's story. She did not truely know what souring the moment meant until now. Fortunatly, they all seemed to call the game off after that. It seemed to be getting too personal so it was best that they stopped now, after they had only dug up some of their friends old wounds instead of all of them. Still, even if Juliet didn't want pity, Sol and Will were providing it. Of course, she didn't like but then again, she should have expected it either way, especially from Will.
After Will took his seat again, Mira nudged him and quietly said, "Even if she won't accept pity, i think it was good for you to give it anyways. It shows that you empathize, that you care...", before returning to the conversation. Of course, she also knew that just because he cared didn't mean he should show it in such a way...but then again, this was Will. He did what he thought he should do to help, pride be damned, and she thought that was very noble thing. She just realized that he needed guidance on when such things were needed. She thought for a moment about her helping him out with such situations...until she remembered her own failed attempts and tossed away that idea. After all, she needed to learn too, so how could she help him in such endevors? Better to leave it to someone else.
...Still, it couldn't hurt. And besides, it's not like she couldn't learn with him. Heck, she had already been in a wide arangement of situations like this. Maybe she could help him succeed where she failed herself...
She found herself remembering her father suddenly, back in her home, when they were building her brother. She remembered him saying that as the older one, she may sometimes be asked important questions by her brother or see him have to make an important decision. She remembered him telling her that at those moment, she would have to be a guide then, to try and lead him to saftey, to a good outcome, to use her wisdom to aid him however she could, even if she didn't know the right answer herself. It was a lot of responsibility, but according to him, it was the responsibility that came from being the older, more experienced sibling. Will had said he wished he had a sibling right? Well...maybe she could help fill that role.
Since she knew she had nothing to do there so she stayed and continued talking with the others who stayed, at one point going to check out Sierra's fight but returning soon afterwards. She kept an eye on Will to, sometimes trying to steer the conversation to topics that he would want to discuss. In the end though, they eventually called it a night and headed back to Gato. After checking up on Tomas about his wounds, she ended up going to her room again, looking over the plans she had made for her own weapon and beginning to work upon it. Eventually though, she retired permanently to her room foe the night, ready to rest her mind, her last real thoughts for the night being on the ingredients that she had collected from Joachim and how she should really do something with them soon.
With the mood pretty soured by Juliet's 'story', he led Sierra across the club and through a plain looking fire door. The door led to what at one point had probably been a loading bay, but was now a brightly lit fighting ring. Crowds of people clustered about the chain link covered ring, shouting encouragement or insults at the two fighters inside. Wending his way through the crowd, he made his way over to the betting booths, and after a moment of difficulty with his Japanese, he got someone to fetch the 'Fight-boss'. It took a little bit more convincing than he thought he'd have to do, and a minor bit of financial enticement, before they got the go ahead.
After waiting for a few minutes, staff member handed them each a gi roughly their size and showed them to a communal locker room. While Viktor wasn't overly surprised by this, and not really bothered by it, the look on Sierra's face told him she was less than thrilled. "You get changed, I'll wait outside." He said, taking a quick look around to make sure there was no-one hiding in a corner; he was less concerned for her safety, than he was about the potential 'complications' that might arise if she found someone creeping on her, even if the poor soul survived.
Once they were both changed, though he'd been forced to abandon his top as it was not meant for someone with shoulders like his, they headed into the ring. They were each handed a bokken, then the gate was closed behind them and an unseen announcer did a little spiel in rapid-fire Japanese that couldn't understand. With that the fight was on...and it went about as poorly for Viktor as he'd thought it would.
Due to their audience, he had to restrict his speed and strength to something that would be believable for a human his size and build. That said, he had the advantage in strength, reach and probably raw speed, but Sierra was much more agile and had actual experience fighting with a sword; Viktor's 'edged' fighting experience only extended as far as fighting knives and hatchets. He did catch her early on with a surprise lunge that caught her in the upper thigh, but she replied with a rising slash that would've opened him from belt line to shoulder; and unlike him, she could hit him as hard as she liked. A few moves later, she faked him out and struck from his blind-side, catching him in the left temple so hard his vision went blurry for a moment. I hope she doesn't spar like this against humans, or she's going to kill someone. He thought as his sight cleared up. This went on for about ten minutes, back and forth, but in the end obviously heavily in Sierra's favour; for every one light touch Viktor seemed to land, she could reply with one or two heavy hits.
As they left the ring, the Fight-boss came over to them, grinning from ear to ear; apparently their match had caused a rush on the betting booths...and most of the bets had been on Viktor to clean up. By the time they'd both gotten changed again, they were met by another staff member, who handed Sierra 500 000 Yen as her 'cut' of the winnings, and Viktor 10 000 Yen as a thank you. Returning to the others, they eventually wrapped up the night, and Viktor drove everyone back to Gato.
Back in his room, he fired up his computer and watched some more of the continuing adventures of Captain Slow, Hamster and the Orangutan.
After a while the game of 'Truth or Dare?' began to get a bit tiring and so it was slowly wound down as everyone else went about doing other things. When Daniel had finished his meal and the waitress came by to retrieve the dishware, he left the table to go find something else to do, which lead him to the Fight Club style arena out back. Daniel could see that a bout was already part way through when he entered, but there was already a crowd of people gathering around the betting booth getting geared up for the next match. It looked as though Viktor and Sierra went through with the idea after all.
Judging from how the betting odds were constantly shifting, a majority of the people had set their money on Viktor; which wasn't surprising, Viktor cut an intimidating figure, plus the fact that he was known by a few people here, so they knew what kind of match they'd get out of him. Still, he shouldn't get to have all the luck, and Daniel did have a few thousand Yen on hand, so why not put it on the underdog Sierra.
Suffice to say, both put on a good show and the crowd was certainly amped up as their bokken clashed against one another. Daniel took out his investigator's notebook and began jotting a few notes down about the fight and experience levels of both Viktor and Sierra; he imagined what would happen if the both of them were allowed to let loose, it would probably be very messy. Based on his findings, Viktor appeared to definitely have reach and raw power, whilst Sierra showed more flexibility in her swings, signs of a skilled swords-person. This duel went on for a good ten or so minutes before Sierra dealt a felling blow and forced Viktor to yield.
Whilst this victory caused Daniel to smile greatly, the same couldn't be said of the myriad of people who put their money on Viktor who quietly grumbled to themselves as they began to file out. Daniel waited for the crowd to die down before collecting his winnings. Despite only putting down a couple of thousand, because of the odds being stacked against Sierra, the total that he got back was significantly greater.
After having a celebratory drink, he reconvened with the others as they set off back to Gato, en-route he called a cab to come pick him up to take him back to the safe-house from the College. Upon his arrival he catched up on the news that occurred back home.
William was a bit hurt by the way Juliet pushed him aside, though he knew full well what he did was probably the wrong thing. Sighing he return to his seat, a bit defeated and worrying that this might effect the team in someway. Though that thought was slightly pushed aside when he felt a tapped from his side. Looking over to see Mira as she whisper to him.
"Even if she won't accept pity, i think it was good for you to give it anyways. It shows that you empathize, that you care..."
Will smiled a bit, and whisper back his thanks. While he never got to know Mira that much, he was glad to hear her approval. After a few moments, both Sierra and Viktor went off to do their fight, while the others did their own thing. Will just continue to eat in peace, not wanting to do something else stupid to upset someone, like Juliet.
Though when Mira came back, she try to keep Will talking, which helped his mood bit by bit. Enjoying his conversations when he was part of it. While he was still upset from how the game ended, that upset feeling was push back as he and Mira chatted. Soon the small party came to a end and they were all sent back to the school. Will lightly sleeping on the way back as he was tired from today. Only to be woken up by the Van stopping and dropping everyone off. Will said his good nights and went to bed.
Though his sleep was anything but pleasant. As he had nightmares about a number of things. From the fights with the demons, to losing his friends, to even about his dad, scolded him about how all of this is his fault for betraying him. Will would mumble under the covers as he toss and turn throughout the night.
Tomas night was mostly quiet and a bit boring compare to the others. Though Tomas prefer it this way at the moment. Way to many things have happen these pass few days and all he wanted was some relaxation. Sighing as he just enjoy his time alone after meeting up with a few of the others students.
He heard the sound of everyone coming back from their little party. Saying his hellos and goodnights as everyone did their own thing. Talking to Mira a bit, before she also went to her room. With it getting late, Tomas decided to get some sleep as well.
After the game soured, and Viktor lead her to the fight cage, where it seemed to take a bit more convincing then he made it sound, they where shown to a changing room, that was communal.
Sierra was less then impressed, but Viktor excused him self after taking a look around, probably looking for some one who might peek on her while changing. After they changed, where given a bokken and shown to the ring, and where introduced, the battle started.
Sierra wasn't sure what to expect from Viktor, she knew he had a lot of combat experience, but wasn't sure about what he knew of sword focused combat, ether way, she knew she couldn't hold back against him, and he proved right away that she couldn't hold back against him with a good shot to the thigh early on.
As they're fight went on, it became very clear that Viktor was no where near her level in terms of skill with a sword, he was hanging in there but she was sure that was mostly due to him being a vampire. Soon enough though, the fight was called and Sierra put the bokken back into her off hand and held it as though it was sheathed and gave Viktor a bow before exiting the stage to change.
By the time the both of then where changed at where leaving the fight cage area they where stopped by a staff member who handed handed them both a sum of money, with Sierra's being quite a bit larger then Viktor's. Their fight had cause a rush to the both where bets where placed, and apparently the majority thought Viktor was gonna clean house, likely based on the size difference between the two of them. That was all well and good, she knew people would be betting on or against her from the start. She was however, not expecting a cut of the money, and it kinda showed for her initial look of surprised at being handed the 500K Yen wad.
After exiting the fight cage section of the establishment, she and Viktor parted ways till it was time to go. Sierra mostly floated around, bought a few drinks watched a couple strippers and played a few, rather sad hands of Black Jack resulting in her losing some of her winnings, about 10K Yen in total, so when she left she was still leaving with more then she came in with.
After they got back to the school though, she headed straight for the freezer on top of the fridge and made a few impromptu ice packs. Viktor might have been holding back, and he might not have landed every blow, but the ones he did land where now making them selves know, even through her buzzed haze. She stayed up a bit, tending to her ice packs but soon enough she drifted off to sleep.
--- A month later ---
A few days after their outing, all the teams that where involved in what is now being called 'Operation Gate Crasher' where called to a lecture hall, the group had to wait a few minutes, but soon the door opened and Karis, now looking completely human and wearing a Gungnir uniform, on re-severed for staff heads, walked in. From there he introduced him self as the new head of training and explained the new course the training regiment would be taking. From here on training would be divided between 'field exercises' and 'class room exercises' to sharpen both the mind and body for future missions. Among other changes he listed where; a change in the responsibility of team leaders, and sortie eligibility. If he found one member of a given team lacking, the whole team would be side lined until such time as as the whole team was ready, and it was now the responsibility of each teams leader to ensure that their teams where up to code. Form there he explained a bit on what they could expect from both the field and class exercises, and what he expected of them.
All in all, after the introduction and explanation ended, and every one was let go to attend other classes, what ever feelings of doubt they'd held prior about Gungnir's training should have been lessened, or wiped away. This first, real mission, seemed to have illuminated a lot of 'holes' and a noticeable shift with in Gungnir was taking place to fill or fix what ever problems that came to light.
Sierra how ever, was called away no more then a day after all this really began. She kept in touch when she could, via a 'memory crystal' but she was busy, ether opening up ruins in some corner of the Demon Realm, or a locked Relic back at the capital of Rozalin and Riviera's empire. They didn't seem to let her do to much else for the time being due to the back log they'd apparently had, and most of her time was spent at the capital, but when she had the time she studied that language she'd came to study to begin with, sometimes while she was tending to her duties as a 'key'.
She also studied her other reason for going to the Demon Realm when she could. Aetheric Evolution. Part of her was actually very pissed off her powers had been taken from her, but that anger was directed less at Riviera, whom is the one it turns out who took them, and instead directed it at understanding how she could get new powers, or at the very least, ones she could use freely.