[Plot] [Oc/Be] Week 255 : Her Bodyguard

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May 26, 2009
WC : 2413
Threads as Dante
Moon as Aeria

The news had been plastered all over the place, so it had been extremely difficult to not know what was going on, at least on a general level. So the athlete had contacted Aeria and had invited her over to his place to have a chat.

The athlete’s apartment was bleak and bare bones in terms of furniture, most of the furniture had some visible wear and tear to them. Two chairs around a table near the kitchen, a sofa with armrests in a corner and a small low table near it. Nothing in it was an indication that the person living in was wealthy at all.

“So, are you going to go along with what the news are saying?” Dante asked of the spurii as they sat around the table in his apartment.

Aeria looked around, eyebrows only slightly raised, taking in the threadbare surroundings of the apartment. The contrast to the fine clothing that Dante had been wearing when they’d last been out on the town was marked, but she still kept any commentary to herself.

She paced in a circle around the room and then slowly sank down on the sofa, sticking her legs out in front of her as she looked up at Dante and knit her fingers together, resting them comfortably on her stomach. “Considering the fact that Terminus nearly got destroyed by a horde of demons, I’m not going to disbelieve it. I’ve seen things that made my skin crawl that I wouldn’t have believed in had I not seen them.”

The lean spurii raised an eyebrow at him. “Why do you ask? Planning on going to take them on?”

There was a tone of playfulness in her voice, but it was underlaid by something entirely more serious and considered.

”Well,” the athlete started with a heavy sigh, ”Only if you were, but if I were to go to enlist on my own, I would definitely not end up close to you, ” he finished with a disappointed smile as he looked towards Aeria.

The spurii flashed him a look that was both encouraging and gentle. “Well then I guess we’ll have to go enlist together right?”


She patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll stand beside you whatever happens, Dante. Don’t worry about it. I stick to the ones I care about and I do care about you.”

Brightening, she added, “I guess we can go any time that you’re ready.”

”Thanks, that's good to hear and likewise,” the athlete nodded to the spurii. Her words had made him more easy about going to enlist for the war effort, but at the back of his mind there was doubt. Doubt that would his luck pull him through yet another potentially life threatening situation.

”Well, let's get this over with, shall we?” Dante asked rhetorically from Aeria and led her out of the apartment as the duo headed towards the enlistment office.

The line was surprisingly long, but Aeria’s status as someone who’d served as part of the campaign at the Black Portal allowed them to move ahead to the priority group. Dante got looks since everyone recognized him from the kinchaa games, but no one said anything.

Eventually they found themselves in front of a stern-looking, ramrod straight backed velen recruiting sergeant with silver scales riven by scars. His eyes widened as he recognized Aeria. “Miss Luxus! It is a pleasure and an honour to see you here! I take it you wish to join the war effort?”

She nodded tersely and the man turned his glance on Dante. “Who might you be? What are you doing with Miss Luxus?”

He shrugged his shoulders at the inquiry. Regardless he should at least give this little brown nose a half truth.
”The name's Dante, and I am here as Miss Luxus' bodyguard and unless stationed with her, she will not be joining the war effort,” he stated as dryly as he could while staring right at the velen.

“Bodyguard? Is this correct, Miss Luxus?”

Aeria nodded. “In the time following the Black Portal incident, I’ve found it useful to have someone around watching my back. People get weird about celebrity.”

Clearly this guard wasn’t a kinchaa fan because he appeared not to recognize Dante. The man seemed flummoxed by Aeria’s confidence and decided it was better to move things to the next level. “V-very well. I will refer you to the recruiting sergeant major. Step this way please.”

He stood and ushered them towards an office that he stepped into and spoke in hushed tones with someone inside. A moment later a commanding voice rang out demanding that they enter. Inside, a massive bronze coloured demvir faced them. In strong tones, he said, “My name is Sergeant Major Varius. I understand that you…Dante…are calling yourself Miss Luxus’ bodyguard. Would you care to explain to me why it is that you should continue to operate alongside her in a military capacity?”

His gaze was stern but not judgemental and he appeared to be calmly awaiting his response.

The athlete asked himself why did it have to be a demvir that they had been brought upon, in the past he had had trouble dealing with some, their machine faces hard to read. Regardless, there wasn't much else he could try, might as well tell the truth of his abilities.

”How do I put this,” he began, quickly glancing at Aeria before continuing, ”I am versed in hand to hand combat and magic, if you would prefer a demonstration I'd be happy to,” he calmly explained with a confident expression.

Varius sat calmly, gazing in that impassive way that only someone without facial expressions can gaze, his eyeplate flashing as it scanned over the athlete. “I believe I have seen you playing kinchaa. I do not believe your agility is in doubt. I am also aware that you have had combat experience. There is a file here on you, as it seems you were expected as a companion to Miss Luxus.”

He paused for a moment. “I am unsure as to whether or not my superiors will accept you as a companion to Miss Luxus. If you’ll wait here, I will consult with them and get you an answer. Please, have a seat.”

The demvir gestured towards two chairs in front of his desk, stood and moved with martial precision from the room. Aeria looked across at Dante. “I guess we’re waiting. What do you think about this file he mentioned? Do you think they’ve been monitoring us?”

”Well, its not too unexpected. Given that you are somewhat prolific celebrity after Black Portal it'd be wise for them to keep track of who you are acquainted with. And we have spent quite a bit of time together since the incident,” he paused for a bit holding a content smile, ”but it is a bit concerning,” the athlete finished.

He wondered what reasons there could be to deny him and while he figured out a few, there was hope that they'd admit him in.
”If they deny me, I got no further ideas, you got any?” he asked Aeria after he had been silent for a bit.

After ten minutes had passed, Varius returned. He sat down at his desk and regarded the pair with his emotionless demvir face. “It has been decided that Dante here is cleared to accompany Miss Luxus. However, I would caution you, Dante. Miss Luxus is considered a hero to the people of Terminus and you must be mindful of how she is treated. We will be watching. That is all. Please proceed to the recruitment center and collect the necessary paperwork and supplies.”

He stood and saluted as Aeria and Dante stood. The spurii returned the salute snappily and the two walked out of the room.

Back in the corridor, Aeria shook her head. “I feel like they’re playing some kind of game, but I guess we’ll find out. The main thing is that you and I will be working together right?”

He nodded, ”I doubt that will be an issue,” the athlete sighed, ”this is already way too militaristic for me, wanna grab a drink somewhere to relax?”

“A drink? Sure! I could do with a drink.” She smiled at her companion and added, “If you think this was too militaristic, wait until we actually get into the mission. You’re going to have to get used to having orders barked at you.”

Dante led Aeria to one of his favourite quiet bars to grab a drink and just hang out, nobody there usually bothered others. The place featured nicely leathered chairs, sofas around variously sized tables. A wide bar counter that covered the entire back wall looking from the door. They sat at one of the smaller tables and the athlete ordered a drink for himself while gesturing to the spurii to grab anything she wanted, on him of course.

Remembering one of Cicely Akvavit’s wonderful cocktails, the spurii described to the bartender what was in it. The man looked perplexed at first but as he began to mix, a smile spread across his face and he handed Aeria the drink with a nod. “Whoever taught you that recipe’s a hell of a mixologist.”

Taking the drink, the slender young woman made her way to sit next to Dante. “So...you’re really willing to put your ass on the line for me as a bodyguard?”

It was a direct question and Aeria sat back, her expression somewhat uncertain, after she asked it.

”Yeah, well mostly...” the athlete paused to took a sip of his drink, he seemed unsure of himself for the first time with her.

”It is just that I...want to be close to what I wish to protect,” he added, his voice more silent with each word finishing at barely louder than a whisper. Dante seemed to have slight blush as he spoke.

”Is that too much to ask?”

“No!” Aeria’s voice was full of mixed emotions, huskier and more intense than usual. She shook her head gently. “No. It isn’t too much to ask. Just...it just surprises me is all. I’ve never really had anyone want to protect me like that….”

She looked off into the middle distance, not quite making eye contact with Dante. She sighed deeply and spoke, almost as though she was speaking to someone not in the room. “I don't ...really know that I deserve it, Dante. That’s all.”

Again she lapsed into silence, staring off into space.

Placing his hand gently on her shoulder, ”Do not ever tell yourself that you do not deserve something good in your life,” the athlete assured his companion.

Aeria rested her hand over top of his and gave it a pat. “You’re sweet to me, Dante.”

Pausing, she gave him an intense look. “I just realized something. Your apartment...was so plain. Is that your way of doing the same thing? That came out wrong. What I meant to ask is if you do the same thing to yourself and that’s why you know about how I feel?”

This was fast becoming a much deeper, more intense conversation than Aeria had intended, but she didn’t seem inclined to stop.

”Nah, I just never bother to replace my stuff as long as they work or I have a special occasion, plus I don't really tend to spend a lot of time in my apartment. It's a place I only sleep in, that's why it is how it is. Besides it's not like I have many friends outside the team and we hang out at bars and clubs instead,” he answered while looking at her.

Dante did not seem to mind their topics either.

“I guess like the old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. I can understand why you might not spend so much time there. If I was a kinner, I probably wouldn’t either.”

The spurii smiled a crooked, somewhat wistful smile. “I don’t spend much time in my apartment either because someone’s trying to capture or maybe even kill me. It isn’t safe lately.”

She sighed and pondered, “Do you think that this coming war is going to change our lives, Dante? I wonder what it’ll mean for you and I.”

Aeria quickly added, “I only ask because of what I just said. TorBru can’t really try to kill me when I’m on a mission that’s this prominent.”

The athlete pondered her words for a minute, before answering

”I guess the biggest thing is to make it back alive first of all. We can talk about our experiences after that as long as that happens, besides I will make sure that it will. You can trust me on that, Aeria,” as the pale kinner said that he felt warmth and confidence.

The spurii fidgeted a little as she looked across the table at Dante. “You’re right! Let’s just get through this first part before we worry about anything else.”

Aeria sighed, shutting her eyes and inhaling deeply before letting the breath trickle out from her nose and mouth. She looked right into Dante’s eyes as she spoke. “Sorry for the way I was rambling on. It’s what I do when I get nervous.”

Nodding to her, ”Don't worry about it, besides I find you cute when you are flustered,” the athlete smirked. Taking a moment to enjoy the ambience in the room and his drink, Dante pondered what was to come, uncertainty and dangerous situations most definitely. He was confident that he had grown stronger since the daemon invasion but he still felt anxious.

Aeria turned bright red and fidgeted in her seat for a moment before regaining her composure and listening to what Dante had to say.

”Why were you nervous, was it the things we talked about or something else?” the laicar inquired of his companion.

“Oh...in part I think it was that and also the fact that we’re about to go back to war again. I had enough negative experiences at the Black Portal that I’m a bit worried about what might come next.”

She took another sip of her drink and continued, “At least this time, we’ll be together and that has to count for something!”

The spurii’s face grew more confident and she raised her glass to her companion. “Here’s a toast to our success and victory in the battle to come. Let’s make the best of it, Dante!”


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