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 And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]

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PostSubject: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:53 am

The gossip had been confined, controlled, and it was only because Evgenii admired Atoro. He paced his rooms like a pent up animal, to the trunk at the end of his bed to the door and back. Walked a swaying circle, half dressed, casting hateful looks at his bed partner. Last night was terrible. Finding a man that knew how to fuck was like finding a needle in a gods-be-damned haystack. A particularly large and expansive haystack. Keeping a man quiet about it was easier. No man wanted to be accused of sleeping with men, no man but Evgenii, and he'd never had to deny an accusation because it'd never come up. But what was terrible about last night was not his lay (which was terrible nonetheless) but what he'd heard.

He'd silenced a few mouths with particularly well-placed threats, the other mouths with money, but with so many tongues wagging (granted it was a precious few) it could not be a simple rumor. It could not be mistaken as anything but the truth.

A Laruhkan woman with a Surahnian flag cut into her face. Atoro's... woman.

He shouted, wordlessly and kicked his trunk. A heavy, oak thing, it merely shuddered, but the sound was loud enough to wake his bed-partner.

"Ev-"

"Shut up and get out."

"But-"

"If I have to feather you, then by the Lion Father I will."

It didn't take his partner much time to dress himself and scurry out of his door. Shame was the best glue to keep a mouth shut. That man would say nothing of their night together, though he'd probably try and bug Evgenii for another time, which the archer was not keen on. He'd been through at least three men trying to find a good one, and not many men knew how to screw anything, let alone another man.

Internal problems. The external problem was Atoro's Laruhkan. Dammit he did not know why he was sick over it. It shouldn't have mattered. It was Atoro's problem. Surely he'd have her killed.

"But he won't, because a small part of him cares... else she'd have been drowned." He rested his head against the door both fists rested above his head. "Why, Atoro? After all they've done to us... she's not a woman, she's a demon." He uncurled his fists and rested them flat against the door. "You probably feel something for everything you stick your dick into-- no. No. You are my friend. I will talk to you. If I cannot understand I must know your reasons." So like a man to be soft on a woman he slept with. Women with their easy vulnerability. Their shield was their tears, the crack in their voice, the way their eyes widened and their hands shook. For Evgenii, there was no such shield.

He opened his eyes and pushed away from the door, didn't like feeling jealous of a Laruhkan and pushed it out of his mind. tucked his blouse in, left in unbuttoned, showing the white shirt beneath. Pulled on his trousers and pushed his feet into his boots. Went to his mirror and pushed his hair back into some semblance of a do. Grabbed a mint-leaf and chewed it before he fastened his braids around his right arm, then rolled his sleeves up to the elbows. Put his belt on with the short-sword meant for the male archers. The very few male archers.

Evgenii left his room, smiled a hello to a pair of native servants, his dimples showing. He received shy looks and heard giggling as they passed.

"Inbred mutts," he murmured.

He found the kitchen before long, asked what was for dinner, then what was for dessert. Asked for some tarts, a few eggs, a rasher of bacon, a jug of cider and two pair of silverware. When asked what for, he simply smiled and said: Why the tactician's breakfast of course. He must be hungry, he's a busy man.

Took the tray and contemplated throwing it all over Atoro's table. Maybe smash the purple ink-- no. He would receive little mercy. He was a man, after all. This tantrum was the kind only a woman could get away with. He knocked on Atoro's door, waiting with the tray.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:39 pm

As usual, Atoro had been up early- late to bed, awake after an obnoxiously short time asleep. It made him grumpy, but he was so used to that, anything else felt wrong to him- and it wasn’t as though he had ever been conditioned to anything but little sleep. Skipping breakfast, he went straight to working, as he did every day- get up, change into clothes, force himself awake and over to his map table, to check his list of duties for the day, and get started on the first things. Today, the list was just as long as ever, despite the fact he had been working constantly for the past week, at least; things were not going to get any less hectic either. He had given himself even more work, too, making Yuzan work on research for him. He didn’t want to see her, didn’t even want to think of her, but every day there on his desk, delivered by a servant, was her work. Just as he had instructed. It needed checking, and he needed the knowledge.
So far, she had been keeping up to the par he had expected of her. He had not needed to exact further punishment on her.

Sighing, he set aside the rest of what he had not been able to finish the night before, and unrolled a map of Racksom. Today, it seemed he was to look at the new capital and devise a better layout of buildings for those areas that had been destroyed. They could not have the capital falling to attack, if it came- but it would not, these natives were not a warmongering race, and taking Racksom in the first place had been a ridiculously simple task- and so he had to make the place as strongly built as possible, to prevent invaders from entering the city with as much ease as the Surahnian Rebels had.
It was not boring work, but it did not match up to devising battle tactics, or investigating maps.

He did not expect the knock on his door when it came; he had specifically instructed the servants of the palace, after only a few days of becoming the Tactician, that he did not want to be disturbed in the morning. Including for breakfast. Either this was a messenger, with some important message for him from the king (or the Swordsmaster, probably not the Bowmaster), or a very new servant (who should not have even been given the job of reporting to Atoro). Or, there was the final person who ever paid Atoro visits; Evgenii. Whoever it was, he didn’t want to ignore the first possibility, and regretfully got up to answer the door.

When he found it was Evgenii, he almost, almost shut the door again. However, he had brought tarts, on that tray of his.
“I thought I instructed you not to bring me breakfast,” he said, holding the door open for him to enter anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:46 pm

Evgenii beamed at him. "I have tarts, the pastry kind, calm yourself." He brushed past him and set the tray down on the bed, for there was no empty table space. He walked around the table and his smile softened as he saw traces of colored ink and gold foil. "I see you've put to use the things I found for you." All for him, Evgenii only bothered with Atoro this much because he adored him. The man was dense, and perhaps blessedly so. He did not know how Atoro would receive him were he to figure out his feelings. He'd probably react with fear. It was what most Surahnian men feared, really. Having the affections of another man, to be thought of, desired as one might desire a woman. Shameful.

He snickered and looked up. "Private joke, nothing you'd find funny..." Waved it away and gestured at the tray. "Take two minutes to shovel food down your throat, I will not eat until you are done. Perhaps that will ease your mind some."

What would ease Atoro's mind is if he walked out right then. Something ugly coiled in his stomach and his appetite faded. He rested a hand on the table, and closed his eyes swallowing down the bile.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:43 pm

Rolling his eyes, Atoro pushed the door shut behind Evgenii and went back to his desk, shuffling around some more papers again. The man really could not be put off, when he decided he had an important task- like bringing breakfast. Better to just let him get on with it.

“If you must bring me breakfast, at least you brought me what I like,” he said, giving in to the smell and abandoning his table for a short while. The bed was a much better place to eat, and he sat cross legged on it, picking through what he felt like eating. Mixing food with work was never a good idea, that was the way things got ruined. He had learnt that a long time ago. Even tarts were a hazard, sticky as they were. It had to be admitted, however, they were good. He kept a eye on Evgenii as he ate, to make sure that the man didn’t touch his things. As careful he was with them.
“Yes, those inks are of great use,” he said, pausing between deciding to eat more than just the one sweet breakfast morsel, or not. Well, Evgenii had brought him a selection, and he did not want to waste them all on the archer. Taking another, he stood again, leaving plenty enough for Evgenii to eat, as he always did. He must have been out of sorts this morning, he was actually giving him a chance to take his pick before deciding to steal eggs.
“Your mood this morning does not ease my mind,” he said, cleaning his fingers on a bit of cloth that had come with the breakfast tray, before going to dig around in another drawer for more useful scrolls of information. Might as well take the time he was not at table to collect the things he might need, then he would not be later distracted. “Normally your jokes are at my expense. What is different about today?”

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:56 pm

"I had a terrible evening, not that it matters." He smiled, but ignored the food. He definitely was not hungry now. He looked around the room, briefly, and noted how it seemed to be cluttered with maps and papers, inks and quills, and other myriad instruments of a rather busy tactician. There was no trace of the Laruhkan woman. It was like she did not exist, like she was a nasty rumor. He worried at his fingers, eyeing the bed sidelong and hissed when he accidentally cracked a knuckle. "You seem to be busy. Who am I to bother you?" He looked to the breakfast, felt another wave of nausea and knew if he drank a single drop of that cider, he'd throw it up. Shook his head.

"I should have left you to your work. It was a mistake bringing you breakfast, however welcome tarts may be. I will take my leave now. Sorry to bother you Atoro, I really do overstep my bounds."

He headed to the door. He couldn't handle it at the moment. He felt silly, being jealous of some Laruhkan woman. She had a flag cut into her face, for the Mother's sake. Yet she was alive. Secreted somewhere.

She should have been dead.

Atoro was an idiot.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:12 pm

Digging in a drawer for a sheet of paper he was sure was hidden at the bottom somewhere, he did not notice the cursory look Evgenii gave the room, too busy. Finally retrieving it with the use of both hands (and tart stuck in his mouth, probably the oddest fashion, but he did not have to keep up such strict appearances with Evgenii), he turned back to him, putting his retrieved handful on the table.
“You are very out of sorts today. Normally you have no qualms about how busy I am, nor how much you bother me.” And after working for an hour or so already, a break was probably quite needed, on Atoro’s front. Not that he ever liked to admit such things.

As much as he did not normally care about others, Evgenii behaving so strangely was something he did sit up and take notice of. It was never the case that he did not try and steal a little of his breakfast, not to mention he was now apologising!

He stepped over to the door as the other man made to exit, very deliberately leaning one hand against the wood and holding it shut. It was not just a terrible evening that made him this unresponsive. There was obviously something more, it did not take smarts to work that out.
“What is the matter with you today, Evgenii?” He frowned slightly; it could have been all matter of things that had upset him, and Atoro was not good at reading other peoples’ upset. “You always overstep your bounds, yet you have not paid any attention to them before now.”

Perhaps the Bowmaster had finally dressed him down with a complaint, but he did not think that it would have affected Evgenii so.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:23 pm

It wouldn't have because Evgenii thought the Bowmaster was a complete joke. He knew he could out-shoot him and his half-elf second. Nothing so trivial as that could put a damper on his spirits. Being attacked by a reinforced Laruhkan patrol couldn't dampen his spirits much the less a dressing down by some addle-brained addict or his native female.

He stood by the door, staring at the grain of the wood, then at Atoro's hand. Pale, long fingers, ink-stained, strong. Evgenii sighed and he looked up at Atoro. Wondered if he could lie and get away with it, but the longer he stared, the more he knew that Atoro wouldn't go for a lie. Not with this much silence between them. He was acting odd, he knew, and the longer the silence, the longer he didn't come up with some joke at Atoro's expense, the more the bells and whistles went off in the Tactician's head.

"It's not my place. I should learn my place. Let me go, please?"
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:37 pm

Atoro scowled as Evgenii didn’t reply, the silence stretching out between them. He was almost about to repeat his question, forcing some sort of response, when he finally got something out of the man- but it was not what he wanted. Nor expected. Whatever it was that had upset him, it was worse than anything else Atoro had seen affect the man. Normally he was so frustratingly cheerful, no matter what he came up against. It was like talking to a completely different man, this morning.

“Evgenii, you will never learn your place, we both know that you will never consent to that. This mood does not suit you. I will not let you leave, until you have told me what puts you so out of sorts. That is an order.” Evgenii had never listened to orders in the past, but then again, he had never been in such a foul mood in the past before either. Normally it was Atoro who was coerced into holding a conversation, not the other way around. Perhaps such a demand would sway him into responding, however. It was worth a try.

Atoro was not the sort of man who was indifferent when information was kept from him.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:45 pm

"An order," he repeated. He walked away from the door and further into Atoro's room. Had both hands behind his back as he approached the bed. Evgenii slid a hand down the post, fine wood, made for royalty. He looked up, tilted his head and laughed. "An order." He felt sick. Felt like he might throw up. He was filled with irrational hate, rage. He wanted to hurt something, someone, but never Atoro. Back turned to him it was easier to think, but no easier to act and the words wouldn't come. Stuck in his throat, he didn't think the words would ever come.

"I wish I'd brought my bow. Perhaps I could have threatened you to let me out."

Not that Atoro would have. Not that he would have threatened him.

He sat down on the bed and pushed his face into his hands and felt the bile rise. He'd had nothing though, besides a mouthful of seed, and he'd spit that.

"You're a neat man, Atoro. It's almost like she was never here."
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:02 pm

Keeping his hand on the door, he turned to look at Evgenii as he walked away, frowning more out of confusion at this point, than annoyance- as normal. Perhaps he should have realised before now that he was upset; after all, he had knocked, rather than barge straight in. There were all sorts of tell-tale signs that the man was not at all right today.

His eyes widened at Evgenii’s hint of a threat. Oh, so it was something he himself had done to upset him. Quickly, he skimmed through a list of things that could possibly have put him in such a mood. There was one that stuck out on his mind, one that made him angry too, but that did not mean that Evgenii should have been so upset. It did not affect him. Perhaps he should have sent Yuzan away, somewhere where she could not be discovered by anyone in the palace. The Surselea.

No, it was still too harsh a punishment.

Returning to his post at the table, he put his half-eaten tart aside. It had been a poor idea, anyway, to have more than one. Especially when Evgenii brought up exactly what his now-sneaking suspicion on why he was upset. Immediately he felt a flicker of trepidation at how much he knew, but quickly crushed it down. What did it matter who knew? She had been dealt with, she would not cause any more problems.
At least, not to anyone other than Atoro.
“How do you know of… her?” he asked, brows dipping to his familiar scowl. Dammit, the whole castle probably knew what had happened..

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:13 pm

"THE WHOLE DAMN CASTLE WOULD HAVE KNOWN!" He surged to his feet, his hands balled into fists at his sides. His shoulders were tense and it looked as though he was holding back on a very unintelligent idea to get physical. Swallowed back stupid words and took a breath, exhaled it and slowly uncurled his hands. "The whole damn castle would have known, were it not for a few loyal soldiers and myself, making bribes, making threats and making uncooperative people disappear." He smiled despite his mood, cheeks hurting. "You are a very smart man... and very very foolish at the same time. Any woman can just walk herself into your bed. Any woman. There doesn't need to be any distinguishing thing about her. She just has to say the right things. Be slutty enough. Perhaps bat her lashes or push her breasts against your chest."

Shut himself up, brows furrowing.

This should have meant little to him. He was overreacting and he knew they both knew.

Evgenii laughed.

"And who am I to judge you?"
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:40 pm

Unused to Evgenii’s anger, he would have recoiled against it, but Atoro had had to stand up to all sorts of things on a daily basis, and he would not be cowed by just a bowman- even if said bowman was his friend. He scowled deeper, folding his arms and tightening his hand around his arm, restraining himself from lashing out at him, if Evgenii got any more angry.
Hell. That woman was always going to get him into deeper and deeper trouble, even when she was locked away. Now he was indebted to Evgenii, too, because of her. The whole thing was a mess.

“I am no fool,” he said through gritted teeth, not put any at his ease by the man’s customary smile. In this, it meant nothing. “What sort of man do you take me for? One who grabs the last woman walking past at the end of the night? I am not one of those men.” That was something he had not done; Yuzan had been an exception, but he had not had such advances made on him in what seemed like a very long time. She had seemed to have some intelligence about her, unlike the others who had chosen to bat their eyes at him. How wrong he had been to see that as a good thing. How was Evgenii supposed to understand that, though? It seemed as though he attracted a new lover to his bed every week, from what Atoro had heard. And he had no incredible position that needed protecting from every lie, every rumour.

“I would have liked to see you distinguish her from any other Surahnian; she was using magic.” He spat the last word, disgusted at it. That was still a raw nerve. Not to mention that she had been Lahrukan, once that had worn off. Why would this matter to Evgenii is much, anyway? Yes, he had had to clear up the rumours, but that should not have provoked him so badly. “You can bed any woman you like, provided you are not found by a senior officer; even I turn a blind eye to it! So quick to judge me, yet it seems you do similar, even if you have not accidentally found yourself with someone who was not what they seemed the night before.”

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:49 pm

Evgenii had never been prompted to childishness. Never. Ever. Yet he found himself slamming his fists against Atoro's desk to punctuate his words. "I do not like women!" He had said it many times to Atoro, but he didn't think it ever got through to the man, that he didn't like women in the way men were supposed to. And that was what was wrong with him. He didn't know people and yes, he was jealous and yes... he was afraid. Atoro could get himself a death sentence, just by being with the wrong person. Either someone would find out and tell the King or someone would assassinate him. "You are cow-stupid." There was a lump forming in his throat. "Women only want you for your position. That is how it works. The one time you could have refused an advance. The one time you could have thought more with your brain than with your cock and you choose to make a gods-damned fool of yourself." He could feel the heat in his hands, feel his pulse beating around his knuckles. "And you don't kill her. Instead you keep her. Why, because she widened her eyes and said in that tiny baby voice women can do: Take my life it means nothing to me. You're so easy." And he was sick. Sick with jealousy and hate and it was making him mean. He stopped speaking because his throat was closing up on him and his eyes were stinging.

"I am done here."
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Evgenii’s words started to just turn to a blur as Atoro got angry too, but that did not mean he would not remember them. He was just too livid to respond properly to them, heat going to his face and an angry throb starting behind his eyes.
Wait. Shit. Something slowly clicked into place in his mind and his eyes widened, shoulders losing a little of their tenseness for a second.
Evgenii had told him time and again that he was not interested in women, but…
No, he had not thought…

“Get out,” he said quietly, sure that Evgenii would hear. He was done with this, he was done with the man completely. For one, he needed to think, sort out the sudden whirl of thoughts in his head. Dammit, and the things that Evgenii was saying were true, as well. Atoro was just too proud to admit that he had been a fool, even to this man who had covered his back so many times without even asking for it.
“You do not know my reasons for keeping her here. You would probably have feathered her, and been done with it. I am no fool.” He took a breath, trying to keep his words level, but it barely worked, he was shaking in rage, at the whole situation. This was not working.
“GET OUT!” he suddenly roared, pointing towards the door. “Get out of my quarters. I do not want to see you.”

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:28 pm

He would never smash the inks he worked so hard to find for Atoro, but his rage could not be effectively coiled. He withdrew his short sword and stabbed it in the middle of the table as hard as he could. Left it there quivering as he stalked out. Slammed the door behind him and walked quickly to his quarters. He shoulder-checked several servants in his way and barely made it to his room before he broke down. Tears overwhelmed his vision and he found the handle from memory and pushed the door open, sidled into his room and closed it. Back to the door, he slid to the floor and covered his face, choking sounds in his throat, hot tears and a runny nose making a mess of him.

He ripped of his white braid and threw it across the room.

"Stupid." A gasped word. He had been stupid.

And it cost him a friend.

It took him a couple minutes to compose himself, and when he did there was a heaviness in his limbs that hadn't been there before. Slowly, he rose, crossed the room and found the braid. Took care as he fastened it and adjusted his uniform so that he was wearing it formally. Picked up his bow, then his quiver and slung both over his back. He would have ditched practice today, excused himself cheekily the next, but he supposed now was a good a time as any to remain relevant. He supposed he'd be spending a lot of time 'in his place'.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:37 pm

Atoro hissed as Evgenii stabbed his sword into the table, flinching towards it to protect his things. The man had had the sense, the mercy, to avoid his maps and inks though. He stared daggers at him as he left, too furious to say anything, his mind just awash with red. Damn it. Damn him. But this was all just as much Atoro’s fault as it was Evgenii’s. No, it was all Atoro’s fault, he just didn’t want to admit it, didn’t want to admit that yes, he had been a fool. A complete and utter idiot.

And for all the tellings, and signals that Evgenii had always given off, Atoro had never thought that the reason he wasn’t interested in women was because he was interested in men. This was a whole extra thing that just spent his head spinning, even more than anger had. It was a noxious mixture, the two together.

He stalked across the room, hands over his face, rubbing at the bridge of his nose, looking wearily through his fingers when he reached the wall. Then he suddenly lashed out with one fist, punching the wall as hard as he could before turning and stalking back the other way to his bed, his eyes settling on the tray that still sat there, only half empty. He picked up the cider jug and threw it at the door, uncaring for how it shattered and liquid exploded everywhere. Leave it for one of the servants to clean. Stalked back to the other wall again, punched it, even though he had skinned his knuckles the first time.

He was such a fool.

Suddenly all his anger and upset washed over him and he felt dizzy. He sunk into one of his chairs, resting his head in one hand. The knuckles of his other hand slowly welled blood, but he ignored it. He wanted to go and take this out on Yuzan, but she had done nothing to deserve his sudden rage, and if he started that habit, then he could see it getting out of hand- and he did not need a flaw like that. No, the best thing was probably… he did not know. Probably get out the castle.

His actions were numb as he grabbed his weapons, locked his door, completely ignoring his list of work for the day- to hell with it! Evgenii's sword, he left where it was. Even his scraped hand, he just ignored that too. marching off down the corridor, thinking to take a horse from the stables and just ride out… somewhere. To think.

He didn’t want to think.


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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:28 pm

Evgenii remained on the practice field late, as he was wont to, shooting arrows until there was no light to see by. He took his time prying his arrows from the dummies and looked back to the castle, dreading the walk back. He didn't want to lie down. He didn't want to think about today, but he was already thinking about today and how badly it'd gone. How he'd steamrolled over his friend's feelings because he was jealous, and hurt and Atoro wasn't even interested in him that way. Hell, Atoro hadn't even known until he finally said it in a way that the man understood.

The walk to his room was a long one, and with every step that brought him closer, that heaviness settled in his limbs. His whole body prickled with an uncomfortable heat that made him aware of the moisture in his eyes. He made it to his room before long, and slipped inside. He was never noisy, as he didn't want any nosy servants knowing his comings and goings. He set his bow down, and his quiver beside it. Unbuckled his empty sword-belt and draped it on the bedpost. Undid both braids and put it on his bedside table. Untucked his shirt, unbuttoned it and laid it over his trunk. He'd removed both boots when he heard a knock at his door.

He rose, smoothing down his undershirt and sighed. "Who's at my door at this ungodly hour?" he grumbled under his breath before he opened the door.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:20 pm

Riding out into Racksom and the close forest nearby had calmed Atoro’s ire a little, but even after a whole day away from the city, he still was not happy. Well, he was rarely happy, but he was not at his normal state of calm. Returning to the palace had only reminded him that he would eventually have to face Evgenii, willingly or not. He was also very conscious of the fact that because he had spent the day out riding, trying to make his thoughts go away, he had not gotten any of his work for the day done. It would be a very long night.

When he finally got back to his room, the night drawn firmly in- he had been out that long, had barely eaten since breakfast, but was not hungry- Evgenii’s stark reminder of their fight still remained. His sword sticking out of the table, right where both of them had left it, Atoro not even pulling it free before leaving. A servant had come in and cleaned away the mess of cider that he had made, and taken away his tray of breakfast too. Sighing, he deposited his bow and sword back in their respective places, pushing a few papers around on his desk aimlessly before tugging Evgenii’s sword free.

Well, now had to be as bad a time as any to return it. It was not as though things would get any better, the longer he left it. Wrapping the blade in a thin bit of cloth, he ignored his list of tasks for the day again, picking up the sword and shutting his door quietly behind him.

Evgenii wouldn’t be asleep, would he?

It was only one of a myriad of questions and doubts that tried to persuade Atoro to turn around before reaching the man’s door. However, he got there, all too soon, knocking before he could change his mind again and turn back. He could get a servant to return the sword instead…
Staring at the floor, he looked up when Evgenii answered the door. He felt surprisingly reluctant to talk at the sight of him. But, turning around now wasn’t an option.
“Don’t shut the door.”


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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:27 pm

Evgenii wouldn't have shut it on him. He opened his door wider, to let Atoro come in if he wanted. If he didn't, well, it just looked much more polite to stand in his doorway with the door open. His eyes fell to the blade within Atoro's hands, wrapped in cloth. He was slightly embarrassed to remember he'd left it embedded within Atoro's desk. He flushed and retrieved his sword from Atoro's hands, standing idly once he'd taken it from the other man.

"Thank you," he murmured, eyes on the floor, on Atoro's boots. He'd shined them the other day, because sometimes the Tactician couldn't be bothered with appearance.

The floor was cold under his bare feet but he didn't shift or move in discomfort. He supposed Atoro came by only to deliver his sword and he wondered why he couldn't have gotten a servant to do it. He took a breath, and sighed softly.

"Well if that's all..."
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:36 pm

Evgenii’s obvious discomfort- and lack of smile- just made Atoro feel worse, and now he really did wish that he had sent a servant to return his sword. He gestured with it, lifting it as he saw the man’s eyes fall to it before giving it to him, putting his hands behind his back once they were empty. This should not have been so awkward. This man was- or at least, had been- his friend, for the Willow Mother!

“Yes…” he looked away, then his brows dipped slightly and he looked back again. “No. Evgenii…” He looked down the corridor, aware of the fact that any servant or native could come wandering along and just overhear anything that passed between the pair of them. He let out a breath, then looked up properly and gestured past the bowman.
“Do you mind if I come in? I think we have some things we need to… discuss.” As much as it was obvious neither of them wanted to talk about any of what had happened, Atoro did not want to leave his only friend like he was. After all, the man had done so much for him, asked to or not. Atoro was not worth the friendship he had.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:46 pm

Evgenii stood aside and gestured for Atoro to step in. Once he did, the bowman shut the door and went about sheathing the sword in the belt draped over his bedpost. For lack of seats, he sat on the edge of his bed, leaving the only chair open for Atoro to occupy if he so wished. "I understand if you wish to distance yourself from me. I'll just participate in my rounds like I'm supposed to, take less days off. Maybe move to the barracks." Having a room in the palace was nice and preferred housing for those soldiers with bands of any sort. Evgenii took the opportunity not for the superior bedding but for the privacy and the nearness to Atoro.

He supposed that made him pathetic.

"I won't bother you any more."
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:13 pm

Atoro had not been to Evgenii’s room very often; the bowman always seemed to come to his room to see him, not the other way round. And the two rooms were as different as they could get, Atoro’s cluttered with maps and papers and all sorts of other pieces of useful equipment; Evgenii’s had nothing of the sort. It practically made Atoro’s room look messy, and he was not a messy man. He glanced at the chair, then opted to stand, leaning his back against one wall and putting his hands behind him, not across his chest, like he normally would.
Evgenii’s defeated tone made him fiery with anger, again. But he had to control it, exploding a second time would not do one ounce of good.

“I didn’t come to hear you make excuses, of things you should not do, because I have been a fool,” he said, the bitter tone in his voice purely because of himself. Too, it was difficult to admit that his actions had been stupid, but it was so easy to see, they could not be denied. “You are my friend, Evgenii.” He did not have many; his nickname was the Snake, after all. “I do not want some woman destroying that.”
He did not want to touch on his other earlier revelation about the man. One thing at a time, and Atoro was adjusting himself to the idea.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:10 am

Evgenii sighed in relief and composed himself. He smiled, dimples showing, teeth white. Immaculate. "I've been a slightly smaller fool than you." He laced his fingers and crossed one leg over the other, rested his joined hands on his knee. "I was not the kind of friend I should have been yesterday. Yes I was concerned... I still am concerned, but I let my own personal feelings mold my concern into anger. The conversation about this woman should not have erupted like it did. I'm the one that escalated things. Forgive me." His smile turned sheepish. "And uh... sorry about the table. I will pay to have that fixed."

But he was just glad he got his friend back. Even if it had been a whole day since they were out of sorts, knowing that he and Atoro weren't friends anymore had bled the joy and life out of him.
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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:44 pm

It was good to see Evgenii smile again, lifting the worry that Atoro had subconsciously had for the man; it was unnatural for him to be anything but grinning. Although Atoro himself was not the smiling type, that did not mean that he thought everyone else should also be stiff and stoic. Evgenii at least, should be smiling. He should not have had the worry that he himself did.
“I will sort out what remains to be dealt with. You have been a good friend, I appreciate what you have done for me. But, you are too concerned on my own affairs.” It had to be said, Evgenii had reacted explosively to something that he should have no more care over than the fact that Yuzan was a Lahrukan. “I think, perhaps, you should re-think your priorities.”

Evgenii thought too highly of Atoro. He could see that, but it had to be said, having someone around that at least enjoyed his company definitely put a slightly brighter spin on the day. It did not do for every day to be a chore, and by the end, more depressing than some days back in Surahnia.

He relaxed a little at the mention of his table. “Do not bother, it will remind me not to be so impulsive.” The gash was not so large, it had taken a chunk out of the wood, but it wasn’t as though it had broken it; thankfully it had been made quite strongly.

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PostSubject: Re: And Who Am I To Judge You? [Atoro]   Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:05 pm

"It is not my priorities that are in disorder..." It was his feelings and he didn't feel like making Atoro feel any more uncomfortable than he did already. "But I know what it is and I will take care of it, Atoro, rest assured. There's no such thing as caring too much for one's friends..." But caring for a friend as something more... as something he was not, that was too much. He tucked his legs underneath himself. "I am sorry to have been yet another problem, Atoro, I only ever want you to relax." The man seemed so against taking breaks and he knew it was because he had a lot on his shoulders, but if he worked himself to the bone, he'd collapse, surely.

"I don't want to keep you. However little you sleep, surely you sleep, and I am keeping you from it."
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