Slipping passed the guards weren’t very hard. Everyone was so busy with their own problems, their own lives. Problems that were partly Erythreus´ fault. Some of his decisions had lead to the fall of Skye and many of the guards death. It was years ago but since then things had only gone south. The aliward and their guards found a home in Evermore where the supernaturals activity seemed to thrive and the peace hanging on a loose thread. The moody aspect isolated himself more and more feeling that his presence only burdened. The people he called his family suddenly felt like acquaintances and his duties that hadn’t been very joyful to begin with felt undoable.

The faint ghost with its empty judge eyes stared at the aspect of death, as it had done the last few days. Ery couldn’t seem to keep up the barriers to keep him from seeing the souls of the dead still seeking redemption. ”Go away” the giant harshly muttered trying to wave it away but without success. From a by stander the beardy male must look like he had one to many mumbling and gesturing to himself like a crazy person. None dared to say anything tho and he still had ladies throwing themselves at him if he was in that mood. One night stands had lost its charm but relations were even worse. Memories of his last still hurt to thing of threatening to tear a big hole in his heart if he gave it too much thought.

The blonde drowned the last of his booze, which didn’t exactly help with keeping the ghosts away rather the opposite, before throwing some money on the table and leaving the bar before any of the guards released he wasn’t in his room mopping  or whatever they believed he did in there. However he wasn’t ready to go home just yet. The only thing awaiting him was his messy room and more booze. So he found himself wandering around aimlessly around with the ghosts as his only company buzzing around his head making it hard for him to concentrate. ”Hey leave me alone I can’t help you” The aspect had come to an alleyway and heard footsteps approaching causing a sigh to slipp out, but it was a familiar face that had caught up to him. ”So you found me Dom, Points to you I guess. Sorry for going out unannounced … again” he chuckled a stiff joyless sound. 

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Dominic looked at the Aspect as if he had three heads. "It's never too early for diner food, what's wrong with you?" He put the key into the ignition and started the engine, the noise loudly breaking the silence of the surrounding woods. "I'm ordering delivery when we get to the manor then. You can thank me later. As godly as you were made to be, I haven't forgotten the many hangovers we've shared. Also haven't forgotten how cranky you can get either." His smirk towards the other hinted at the many nights they had enjoyed as close friends, even though it also felt like it was so long ago since they had been able to find that comradery again. He wondered sometimes if he could find that person within himself again. If only for a lifeline to help Erythreus.

Driving out onto the main road, he headed even further from the city and civilization once hitting the open highway. The journey had been quiet between the two, the radio playing lowly in the background to cut through the otherwise silence. Dom knew they were both deep within their own thoughts and overthinking. If he couldn't figure his own shit out, at least he could maybe help Ery in some way straighten out his. Being his personal guard was an honor and a lot of that responsibility went beyond just making sure the Aspect wasn't physically hurt or worse. 

Turning off, Dominic headed down the path that led to the once popular lodging meant for tourists. It had made a perfect place for the Aurazin to stay when they'd first fallen. He'd been here attempting to help some of them move in as well as clear out the rundown place, though it was mostly restored through the use of Malva's magic to become inhabitable again for a permanent residency. He hadn't been back since then, but could see the new tenants had begun making it their own from the gardens planted and furniture on the large wrap around porch.

He noted Lucien sitting on a bench with a mug and a book in hand, his face turning to curiosity at their arrival. Dom had no doubt he was wondering what they were doing there. The therian angled his head slightly towards Ery. "Think you can play nice?" Lucien's face turned to recognition when his eyes landed on Dominic and then the Aspect, though the unexpected visit likely brought about some concern. 

Dom stepped out and shook the awaiting hand of Lucien who smiled. "Hey, Luke. Sorry to drop in like this. Could maybe use some insight if you don't mind."

"I thought I recognized that truck. Of course. You're always welcome here." The Aurazin then turned to shake Ery's hand. "It's good to see you again, Erythreus. Please," he opened his arm towards the lodge then in welcome. "Come inside. There's coffee and some breakfast pastries."

"Speaking my language, Luke." Dominic cut his eye over to Ery in a silent warning to be amicable before leading the way towards the lodge and hopefully some much needed guidance.

The aspect of death had never been the most cheerful person. Just like everyone else he had his fair share of despair. Maybe even more than most. However he’d always had people to fall back on, his friend and loyal guard Dominic being one of them. He’d always gotten back on the horse after a failed relationship. Guiding the souls and ruling the death realm had never easy but he had enjoyed it. It had felt meaningful to help the spirits pass over. He had been close with his aspect family and more often than not hung out with Dom, getting in to all kinds of trouble.

The blonde didn´t know when all that had changed. When the isolation had started and the hole had gotten too deep to get out of. Everything had just escalated. An entire species hated him, he couldn’t control his powers, the girl he had seen forever with had left him. There was nothing left but the self blame and the angry ghosts. The booze was his only ally the only thing that helped slightly. To everyone else it was just another proof that he’d lost it and was useless.

The road flew by as they made their way to aurazin territory. They exited the car and Erythreus eyes darted around. He hadn’t visited or spoken to Lucien in a long time”Ehm excuse me haven’t anyone told you to always be yourself?” Ery mumbled back rolling his eyes at Doms implies that he couldn’t behave. ”Thank you. Much appreciated. Not everyone is as welcoming to us aspects these days” Erythreus chuckled giving Lucien’s hand a firm shake, ignoring Doms warning glances. ”Ah yes pastries, way make the world better don’t you feel all of our troubles fading already Dom?” The sardonic male said following the other men. He wasn’t much for social codes and warm welcomes over a hot beverage. He was more of a straight forward kind of guy.

Dom glared and rolled his eyes at the aspect's sarcasm, unseen by Lucien since he was standing behind him. The aurazin looked between the two for a fleeting moment as it was obvious he was missing whatever unsaid thing was happening between his new guests. Dominic gave a tight grin towards Lucien who nodded towards the lodge again to usher them in. Hiding emotions from an aurazin was fairly pointless. Dom wondered what Luke might've been picking up from them. Anger? Frustration? Loss? Likely all of the above. Still, he wasn't here for a therapy session. At least for now, he wanted the focus to be on Erythreus and what could be done to help.

"Please, come in." Lucien held the large wooden doors open for them to step through into the receiving area. What was once a lobby for a popular resort, now felt more like a home. The crumbling desk he remembered being there and breaking apart to remove which had been for reception was gone. In its place was a pile of shoes from different occupants and coats on hooks, a bench, large planted fern, and mirror. He hadn't been here since this place was being renovated for them by Malva and some of the diviner guards with the use of magic to give the aurazin a place to live after their fall. 

"So, how've you been, Dominic?" The question by Lucien made him whirl around from his inspection to find the aurazin standing very near. His blue eyes were calculating and far too penetrating, making the guard antsy.

Dom's brow lifted slightly before speaking with hesitancy. "Fiiine." However, he knew the pointed question was loaded with more than just friendly etiquette. The last time he and Lucien had seen one another, there was a lot more violence and chaos and emotions. Emotions Lucien decided he needed to pry about at the time to which Dominic pointedly told him to back off. Possibly with harsher words. His tongue rolled out between his lips and he motioned over his shoulder with a thumb. "Kitchen that way?" He was not about to be the subject of this visit. Retreating, he let his nose lead the way, his booted steps heavy on the wood floors.

The kitchen was huge. He supposed it made sense given this was a resort at some point. A few of the aurazin living there were milling about the large table, drinking coffees and eating their pastries. Dominic scanned the faces, but none were any that he knew. Not that he really knew many of them anyway. Luke and the one in the woods, Astraea, were about it.  

"Would you all excuse us please?" Lucien's voice came from behind him and he watched as the others left, curiosity clearly on their faces. "Help yourselves to whatever you want. Or what's left now, anyway."

Being calm, collected and show a respectable facade was something Erythreus had given up on a very long time ago. He had always been an emotional roller coaster with his heart on his sleeve. His feelings were always in turmoil and on display for the rest of the world to see.  Aurazins could sense feelings but not the intentions and reasons behind them. With Ery you rarely needed an interpreter to reveal his true emotions. However he’d never been good at reading other peoples feelings. Sometimes he wondered how much easier the world would be if he knew what people actually felt.

He gave Dom another death glare trying to convey that. He wasn’t very happy to be dragged into Aurazin territory and be dissected by their leader. Even tho it was for his and all dead ghosts best. ” Thank you” Ery said trying to sound and feel genuinely grateful. He followed Lucien through the aurazins residence. He hadn’t been there before. Too caught up  in his  own misery and self pity to come along to the various representations and meetings that he otherwise was expected to attend. He knew his sister Malva had spent endless hours to help the aurazin build a home.

The broody male had expected a more formal meeting with the aurazins leader and not around all the other faction members standing around. He saw that Dom wasn’t too comfortable either. His guard was way more private than the aspect of death himself so being in a room full of people who registered your every emotion must be a nightmare. Ery could feel a tension between the two men and frowned. What had he missed?

”Hey” Erythreus greeted the rest of the breakfast eating members of the faction awkwardly. Smells of coffee and buttery desserts filled the room. The aspect was usually not a morning person not a breakfast person either for that matter but he didn’t want to offend Lucien more than necessary and a croissant was always tasty. ”So what miracle do you think can be done to me” Ery asked sarcastically taking a bite from his pastry. 

Dominic had already moved towards the stacked pastries before being formally invited. He snatched up a pastry with some type of jam pooled in the middle and shoved it in his mouth as more of a way to free his hands up, walking over to the still hot pot of coffee. Pulling open the wood cabinets above him, he found some mugs on the second try and poured he and Ery some of the coffee, biting down into the unknown flaky baked good and deciding he liked whatever it was and happily destroyed it within a few bites. The therian then dropped the first mug in front of Erythreus with a bit of force as it echoed through the quiet before turning back to gather what they would need for the drinks.

Lucien's calculating eyes moved between them before a cautious smirk pulled at his lips once the cup was thrusted at the aspect. Clearly something was up with them. "Miracles I can't perform. At least not yet," he joked, looking to Erythreus. He could see how very worn down the aspect was. Shadows, and not just of the ghosts he knew were always lingering around him, were under his eyes. Dominic sat across from Erythreus, having brought over the cream, sugar, and pastries with another hanging from his mouth. The guard's eyes seemed to be angrily pleading with the aspect. Their emotions were tangible, Luke could see their auras pulsing and he had to put up his own shield as not to let them affect him. 

Dom began pouring an obscene amount of cream and sugar into his coffee before drowning the new pastry into the liquid. "Miracles we don't need. Information and educated guesses will work just fine." He put the soggy baked good into his mouth and practically groaned at how good it was. "As you know," he began between bites and a full mouth, "after The Fall and you all showing up," he motioned towards Luke at the head of the table adjacent to them, "things in Evermore have been... off. Especially when it comes to the aspects." His gaze turned towards their host. "I know you all are learning new tricks of your trade too with being on Earth more permanently." His large hand gripped the mug and lifted it. "I'm sure you know the aspects' abilities seem limited or halted." His eyes stayed pointedly on Ery.

"Yes," Lucien replied with a simple nod. "I've heard as much. I've been meeting with Venetus and Aureus as you know throughout the weeks. Reading up on what I can from older texts for any clue as to what's caused our expulsion." The aurazin glanced over to Erythreus as he spoke to him, still using quite the effort to shield from his emotions. "Why don't you tell me in your own words what's going on? Your brother, Aureus, has spoken to me a bit about his own troubles with his."

When Dominic served him a cup of coffee with a little more force than necessary Ery just shook his head not knowing what had upset the guard this time. Not that he was very relaxed himself with Lucians sly prying eyes on him. Away from his usual scene, his room in the maner or a bar in town. At least it had been for the last year before that he had liked exploring new places and people and had traveled the world to help the lost souls. How times had changed. He wondered what his previous love interests would think if they saw him now. What did they do now? He took a sip of the smoking hot coffee as his mind to a certain blonde and his heart ached.

”Too bad, I guess we are doomed then” The negative aspect joked rolling his eyes at the expected answer still he had had a slight hope that whatever had fucked up his magic wasn’t him that there was a quick fix. That him and Doms relation would go back to normal as if the hadn’t drifted appart and that this was the first time in months that the two had actually talk. Or they hadn’t really talked yet. ”Well no need to disturb you anymore then Luc” Ery stated and started raise from the chair. ”Let’s go then Dom” Ery urged Dominic. As Lucian studied them.

”Education you think education will solve this?” Erythreus said laughing with disbelief at the therians suggestion. Had he really lost it? Wouldn’t be the first time if so was the case. However that was what heartbreak did with you so he couldn’t blame his friend. He had been there himself many times. The aspect gave Dom a furious glare as he continued talking to Dom.

”Fine, but only if Dominic is telling you about his troubles too we are not here only for my deficients as an aspect” Erythreus bargained turning back the attention to the terraian. Something he knew wouldn’t be appreciated. Even tho Siobhan meant the world to Dom and he would do anything for her whatever their current marital status was, he didn’t like asking for help. Showing himself vulnerable as he asked Erythreus to just now showing Lucian just how much he had failed as an aspect. 

Dominic nearly spit his coffee out when Ery tried to put the spotlight on him instead. His jaw locked and he shook his head, swallowing the hot drink and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He placed the mug down on the wooden table top and took a few steadying breaths before speaking so he wouldn't yell. Or maybe flip the table. Probably both at this point. 

"This isn't about me," he started, the tone of his voice not hiding his annoyance so easily as he ground the words out between clenched teeth. "Lucien isn't a fucking therapist, Ery. He's connected like all the aurazin are to the fall. Like you and your siblings are. Whatever magic happened that caused all this shit," he waved his hands around to encompass the serious problem plaguing Evermore, "it's all linked." Dominic nodded towards Lucien who remained completely still as a statue, obviously not wanting to step in the line of fire. "He deals in death. He's adjacent to you. Lucien has been studying and researching his ass off since he landed here with the rest of them. You know this. If there's anyone that can maybe help you, it's this nerd." Dom turned towards the aurazin and put a placating hand up. "No offense."

The sentry cleared his throat and smiled tight lipped in response. "None taken."

Dominic swung his gaze back to the aspect of death. "Can you please, please, just talk to him?" He paused a moment as something else his charge said came back to the forefront of his mind then. "Wait, deficients? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Dominic's eyes squinted across the space to the other like he was trying to study the real meaning Ery would be saying that. "I've been traveling across the country on missions, namely ones that have to do with the fall and another for your sister, who might I add, needed me to be her goddamn gardener in order to find a plant that only grew in Washington. What the hell are my deficiencies, hmm? I bust my balls for the Ailwards. It ruined my fucking relationship! The one good thing I had going in my life!" So much for not yelling. 

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