It had been a while now since Argent had moved out of the Ailward manor and into the dorms at the university, at first she had been uncertain about being away from her family but she had soothed herself in the knowledge that she could always come back and visit whenever she wanted. She honestly liked the independence and the sense of achievement she had from choosing something that was hers and exploring it. Studying fashion was interesting to her and it had allowed her to explore and create in a way she never thought was possible before, she felt like she was finally getting the resource to build a life of her own. 

Tonight however, she was back here at her room in the manor, laying on her back and staring up at the ceiling, she swore her mind liked to give up on her after the sun went down and she would just be lost in thoughts. The university had set them a big first semester project which needed to mix their elective with something ego friendly and beneficial to the community, it was part of the university programme to make the world a better place while also teaching their students to be savvy and resourceful but honestly, she was drawing a blank. For someone who tried to save the world she realized she knew very little about that side of it all. She had been doing research on her laptop for the past few hours but that seemed to only go so far when it came to inspiration.

At that moment though it came to mind that there was someone here in this manor who was far more experienced in caring for the world physically than she was. Her sister Aurantia was tasked with the balance of the elements in the world, all of which relied back on an eco-friendly world. She knew how badly she could be affected by pollution or deforestation because it hurt the elements which were core to the earth. With that, Argent checked the time, it was late but she hoped she wouldn't wake Tia up. She got to her feet, shuffling through the halls before she reached her sister's room and then knocked lightly on the door, it wasn't fully closed so her knock pushed it open and she peered inside "Aura...are you awake?" she spoke softly. 

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"I haven't seen that one in a while," Aurantia nodded and pulled a fuzzy blanket over them. She liked Christmas movies because they had happy endings. Life always needed more happy endings. The beginning of the film rolled onto the screen and she yawned. It was late and hanging out with her sister was relaxing. She peeked down at the paper, scrolling down to the name that had Argent had pointed out. "Caleb Segal." She tilted her head. "I think I met him at his gallery opening last year. He's nice. A little shy sometimes, but pretty cool." 

Aura didn't make and keep as many friends Argent did, but she did know a lot of people. There were a lot of benefits to keeping a wide range of acquaintances. It helped her projects happen. "Of course, you're the favorite. We have matching hair and you always spot me a bit of advice when I need it. Not to mention all the times you've rescued me from dates gone wrong," Tia giggled. "Remember that time we both got catfished by two dukes? I'm so glad powdered wigs are out of fashion. " 

She had a lot of fond memories from the past, but there were plenty of things that she liked about the present that hadn't been possible then; one of them was snuggling up in a heated house with a relaxing movie and her sister. Stories hadn't been watchable until the last hundred years. "Who's your favorite character in this one?"

She laughed and scrunched her nose slightly “It’s a classic, I make sure to dig it out every year and watch it” she had a wry smile on her lips and shrugged, sure it was cheesy but most movies were around the holidays but at least it left you with a smile. Argent nodded when Tia spoke Caleb’s name “Yeah I met him when he first came to Evermore, he’d gotten himself lost” it had become quite the memorable adventure and they’d been friends since then.

She couldn’t help but beam when Aura confirmed she was indeed the favorite “Do you remember that time we were trying to convince people we were twins, wearing the same makeup and everything” they weren’t related but out of the whole of the Ailward Aspects they definitely looked the most alike. She couldn’t help but giggled when she mentioned the dukes “You’d think dating would have gotten easier with all the...freedom now in the world but instead everything just gets crazier” catfishing was even easier online.

Argent snuggled up into Tia’s shoulder as the movie began, honestly this beat sitting alone in her room and struggling her way through ideas, especially because there was little she could actually do to make progress right now. In the morning she could get to work but right now she was going to focus on being happy “Oh I love the little kid who learns to play the drums so he can confess to his crush” she responded and giggled slightly “Everyone loves a musician right?” she smiled softly.

"If you ever have a blind date or need to break up with someone, I reckon we could still rustle up enough magic that I could step into your shoes for a few hours." Aurantia laughed. "I don't reckon that Malva would approve of our shenanigans, but isn't that what siblings are for? To drive you a bit insane and make you laugh?" 

Aurantia shivered, even as she cuddled up to her sister under the blankets. Of all of them, winter was her least favorite season. Despite the many wonderful holidays it brought with it, the cold was not her favorite thing. While it was nice to see the trees strewn with Christmas lights, Aurantia missed the bright leaves and tiny buds that normally kept her wooden friends company. Winter was a part of life, though, and she couldn't blame the trees for shedding and following the natural course of the earth. "I would be quite impressed if someone played music for me in an effort of courtship," She tilted her head as the little boy came on screen. "Especially if they'd never done it before, you know. Sometimes I think it's more impressive to but a lot of effort into learning something new than a little into something you've always been good at doing." 

"I suppose by that theory, I should join into our family sports games more often, but I'm not sure our brothers would be especially game for that." She giggled. "I didn't become known as the 'ginger wrecking ball' in competition for nothing." Her personal clumsiness had a long history of holding up baseball games and scoring for the other team. She didn't have much of a competitive side and that often lead to her being turned umpire or cheerleader. Those were not roles she minded playing, but perhaps after a few hundred years there was the odd chance that she could reverse her bad luck. "What's something you'd like to try that's never gone well before?"

Aurantia reached into the nightstand and pulled out her secret stash of chocolate, unwrapping one of the pieces and offering another one to her sister. 

She laughed under her breath and shook her head slightly “I think I’m swearing off boys for a while, they’re nothing but trouble” she commented pouting her lips slightly, you’d think living as long as she had, she’d be able to find a date eventually but she swore everyone she let herself fall for ended up either leaving or doing something else to hurt her. She sighed slightly “Mal doesn’t approve of anything, you can’t pay too much mind to what she says” she teased as she nudged against her.

Argent didn’t have a major preference for seasons but winter was definitely lower on the list if she had to make one, the days were shorter and cold, the sun barely made an appearance in the sky and when it did, it was usually clouded over and dull. She couldn’t even watch the sunset in the evenings. “Me too, nowadays you’re lucky if you get a text” she commented and chuckled, she could remember how much effort courting had been in the past, current society seemed lazy nowadays “No wonder she ends up falling for him” she commented and scrunched her nose “Plus I like him cause he’s a fellow redhead” she teased with a smile.

Argent pulled a face when Tia mentioned family sports and shook her head slightly “I swear I have never been so muddy in my life than when I agreed to play football with Deus” she swore her brother only made the games with the intention of annoying everyone. “Remember that time you actually managed to hit the ball but it got stuck on the top of the building and no one wanted to get it” she laughed shaking her head. She pressed her lips together when Tia asked her something she tried that didn’t go well “Ice skating...I swear people make it look so graceful and then there’s me scooting around on my butt half the time” she shook her head in amusement.

Her eyes widened when Aura pulled out some chocolate and she took it with a grin “I knew there was a reason I came to bother you” she commented and chuckled before popping it into her mouth. She was watching the movie, enjoying the cheesy charm it had “Do you have a movie you can watch over and over without ever getting tired of it?”

In all of her years on the planet, Tia could only say for sure that she’d fallen in love once. Sure, there had been other boys, but it had never felt the same as that first time. Despite the many years that had followed, she hadn’t felt that spark or connection apart from friendship. Maybe it was easier to swear of romance. It left a lot more time to focus on other things, for sure; but Aurantia couldn’t deny that deep down, someday, she’d love to wear a big fluffy white gown and make her brothers fight for the honor to walk her down the aisle. She was traditional. In her years of growing up, fallin’ in love and gettin’ married had been some of the biggest goals that ladies of fine society were allowed. Despite that much of 21st century romance seemed shallow, she was thankful for the way society had progressed. She would no longer be shunned for the person or people that she chose to care for and if earth had grown in any way, that was big.  “Well,” she said sweetly. “How about we make a pact? If you’re swearing of romance, I will too. I don’t have my eye on anyone fancy. I prefer spending most of my nights in with the family anyway.” 

Her nose schrunched as she was reminded of the sore throw. “Oof. I spent the better part of that week trying to summon enough wind to bring it back down, didn’t I?” She laughed. “I think I broke a few windows, too. It was after that that Malva put a spell on them to keep them accident-free.” Their sister was generally no-nonsense and Aurantia could not deny that with all of the craziness that went on in their home, they had always needed someone with a level head. 

“Any movie? That didn’t narrow it down very much.” Tia bit into another piece of chocolate, surprised by the coconut inside. “Probably 27 Dresses. It’s completely over drawn, but that’s part of what I like. I think sometimes things like stigma just show the honesty of being alive, in both the good and the bad.” 

She shrugged. “What about you?” 

Argent raised her brow playfully when Tia offered for them to make a pact not to get involved in any romance which made her giggled “You realize this is basically like a bet of who is going to give in first right?” she laughed but nodded before raising her hands and with a playful look offered out her pinky towards her “It’s a deal” after everything with Donovan and things happening in Evermore it wasn’t exactly like she was putting finding a date on the top of her life.

She laughed and tilted her head slightly when Aura mentioned how she had kept trying to get the ball down from roof “That thing was really wedged in there” she laughed shaking her head because it was utterly hilarious that a bunch of dragons had been thwarted by a ball that wanted to defy them. “We used to have a lot of fun on those days though” she mused nodding her head slightly, she missed it sometimes, everything felt so much heavier lately.

She laughed when her sister expressed distaste for having to choose between every movie she had seen but smiled proudly when she choice a rom com as her pick “I love lighthearted movies like that” she responded and grinned slightly “It’s technically not a movie but I swear I have watched the Hamilton performance online like...30 times” she confessed with a guilty smile, she was a musical fan, sue her.

“Doesn’t feel as Christmassy this year” she commented in a soft voice as the story slowly unfolded, establishing relationships and conflicts between the characters.

"Well, I'd take that bet, but I do honestly think you'll lose. I'm not planning on falling in love," Aurantia laughed. Granted, falling in love was not necessarily a choice. It tended to just happen when people met others they liked, but if she had managed to avoid it for a few hundred years, surely there wasn't any kind of action coming around soon. Tia took the pinky promise and smiled at her sister. "I miss all being together, especially over the holidays. I think spending time with people you love is the best way to cope with stress." 

She knew that Evermore would never be perfect -- it wasn't the Isle of Sky, for sure, but she'd grown fond of it over time. Despite the many things that divided them, people did seem to come together, whether it was in battle or over a beer. Aurantia was picky about whom she let into her life. She'd had to learn that after several inevitable heartbreaks, both of the friend and family variety, but family wasn't meant to be perfect or always understand. They were just people, especially for her, who always had her back. "I love a good musical, honestly. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to sing in public, but I certainly admire those who do, don't you? The way that we can present history now is so different than it use to be and I like that." She smiled. "I think it helps people be interested in the past again. Be curious."

"These movies may have a bit of a cheesy view on love, but they sure do boost the spirit, don't they?" Aura laughed. "I'm thankful that I've never been a bridesmaid once, let alone twenty-seven times! It seems odd to me to put so much work and money into one day. I may be a fairly girly girl, but doesn't it seem ridiculous to you to spend so much money for one experience?"

If she ever did find love, perhaps, she'd elope. Or just have her siblings by her side. Events like weddings and funerals were personal and she'd much rather have a few close people around than five hundred acquaintances.

"I think the world experienced a setback this year. Everyone felt it. It may not go away entirely for a while."

Aurantia was thankful that she never had to worry excessively about physical illness. For some, it truly was a dangerous thing. She couldn't underestimate that. "We live on such a divided planet. It seems like you can't say one thing without someone being angry."

She frowned. Of all the things she disliked, conflict was in the top three. 

"I wish people would try to understand that almost all opinions are formed through pain. A little empathy goes a long way." 

Argent laughed raising her brows slightly, she didn’t plan on falling in love either but they both knew the aspect of light was the most likely to find someone, she had this natural draw that tended to make people flock to her and she found it hard to say no to opportunities “Well you know what I’m like” she teased with a laugh, running her hand through her curls and giving a shy smile. “You’re right, I feel like we got so caught up in everything that we forget how important the little things are, you know?” she nodded, she missed the times when it was just the eight of them and things were simpler sometimes.

She giggled at the thought of Tia singing in public, she’d heard her sing and she had a nice voice but neither of them were musical theatre potential “It’s gotta be a really hard job...to be able to belt out all those notes on the stage time after time...people are gonna hear if you mess it up” a recorded performance or a film were different because you could redo it but the live performances, they really amazed her “I like that the methods of storytelling have lived on...with all the new technological advances in the world...I’m glad something real is still here, you know” she remembered a time when theatre was only for men and performances were outdoors.

She laughed and pressed her lips together “You’d think for a bunch of people so old there would have been more weddings” but she supposed their immortality made them cynical “There was Aureus but his wedding was pretty understated” much like their brother was she supposed “But you’re right...it seems pretty expensive for what it is but I imagine it’s easy to get yourself wrapped up in it all...for humans it’s usually a one-time special experience” she nodded thoughtfully thinking of her own wedding back in the past “And then there’s me, made to marry a man I didn’t even love” she commented biting softly on her lip.

Argent pursed her lips at the thought of the world being divided “At least the world seems to have cleared a way for people to fight for what they believe in, that’s important” she commented thoughtfully, yes the world was sensitive right now but she also remembered a time where a woman couldn’t even decide who she wanted to marry.

They had something in common, with tragic love of the past. Aurantia often tried to not think too much about the man that she'd lost. After all, time had moved on. His age had come for him slowly, as she watched from a distance. However, she'd been frozen to the very day that she'd died. In some ways, it seemed almost impossible to forget. Sometimes, the right kind of love could change a person. It made her nervous. Right now, she was happy. Adding more people to her happiness was a risk that Aurantia wasn't sure she'd be ready for. 

There were days when she'd been stuck watching the news about the hurricanes and wildfires and become deeply saddened by her role in the world. It was necessary, perhaps, in order to keep balance, but it was not an easy staff to carry. Her siblings had always been the ones who lifted her up when things became too hard, but it was Argent's determination to see the good in the world that Tia relied on. She'd always admired her sister's light. "You are a catch." She teased, reaching over to gently work on braiding Argent's hair. It had been a ritual for many years. 

"Sometimes, I think my sense of duty keeps me away from the world, you know? I don't get to choose who dies when disaster strikes, but sometimes I am haunted by what remains. By humans. By their inability to ever stop. To build in the same place that they fell. It would be more remarkable if it were not so sad."

She weaved her fingers through her sister's long hair, tying a ribbon at the bottom. "There. You couldn't be prettier."

"Sometimes, I think being immortal is more of a burden than a blessing." She sighed. "Do you think that our roles make us immune to love?" Tia wondered out loud. "It seems like so many I've cared for have died, simply because their time ran out."

The other Ailwards were the only ones who understood. Some of them dealt with the burden of death better than others; Aurantia was often concerned for how much Erythreus carried. "If you could go back and do one thing over...what would it be? I would tell my parents that I forgave them."

Argent had many sad love stories in her past, it was a wonder that she managed to find room in her heart to love again but somehow she always managed it. People were her catalyst and she honestly enjoyed being around them. Whenever she was stuck with something or stressed she wasn’t the type to run off and be alone, she was the type to seek out someone she knew could help her, much like tonight. She giggled slightly when Tia said she was a catch “Why thank you” she responded and leaned in a little closer so her sister wouldn’t tug her hair as she braided “You are too...how does the world not see how smart you are” she pouted her lips slightly because it seemed unfair.

She nodded in agreement that their sense of duty often seemed to separate them from the world and make things complicated “It’s not our job to decide how fate plays out, only if anything to ensure it unfolds out they see fit” she nodded sadly, it could feel futile at times for those reasons “There’s a sense of beauty in that though, like hope, it never really dies out” there would always be people hoping for better future, much like they did when they first came to be.

She giggled when Aura finished the braid, bringing her hand to run over it slowly and twirl it around her fingers “I don’t think we’re immune but...maybe it’s just not in the cards for us...maybe we’re not supposed to get distracted from the task at hand” though that seemed sad to her because honestly, Argent wanted to find happiness.

Her expression softened when Tia said she would forgive her parents for what they did if she had one chance to change things “I would have gone with Raven on that last mission...I know I probably couldn’t have done anything to change her fate but...at least she wouldn’t have been alone” she teared up a little and reached up to wipe a tear “We have too many sad stories” she commented with a soft sigh.

Tia reached up as her sister's eyes brimmed with tears and gently caught the one that fell. "We cannot save everyone, as much as either of us would wish that, can we?" She bit her lip and carefully made sure that the extra blankets were securely wrapped around Argent's shoulders, keeping her warm, cozy. Even if Aurantia had very little control of fate, she did know that she could help when others were hurting. It mattered quite deeply to her that others knew that. She pulled another blanket from a basket at the side of the bed and pulled it around her own shoulders and head, until only her face and her toes were exposed. She needed to be able to see and she was well-known for disliking her feet being covered, even in the middle of winter. She always kept her toes out of the blankets at night and wore as few shoes or stockings as the weather did permit. "I dare say that not every story we ever have to tell will always be sad, though." 

She smiled softly, weaving her fingers through the ends of her own hair and beginning to braid. It was more of a relaxation reflex than anything else. It kept her hands busy and when her hands were busy, she could rest. She remembered many years ago, her mother saying, idle hands are the devil's play thing. Perhaps, she'd taken that into her subconscious and her nature to fiddle with things had developed. 

She blushed at Argent's comment about her intelligence, momentarily losing her train of thought. "I...I don't think they don't. The world just functions a bit differently now. Discourse and difference of opinion aren't quite as tolerated."

She tilted her head, thinking back to the way she'd grown up. How people had been separated by the simple color of their skin or the lands they possessed. "But, perhaps, it never was, you know? Perhaps, we are just less quiet about it now. Our disagreements take place less over tea or in the society column, but more so at the point of dueling. Constantly. Loudly."

She would be more than happy to live in a world without certain technological advancements. Yet, she could not say that everything which had happened in the past few hundred years was entirely bad. It was just different. People didn't ever exactly change. They just thought they did -- some for the better and some for the worse.

Aurantia pulled the bed covers down and crawled underneath the yellow and white bedspread. "I'd like to sleep on that. A good," She yawned. "long sleep."

She looked up as her head hit the pillow. "Stay if you'd like. There is more than enough room for both of us." 

Argent smiled softly back at Aura when she reached to wipe her tears “Doesn’t stop us wishing we could though” she gave a slightly sad look and nodded slightly, Tia was right, they couldn’t save everyone and trying to only ended up making them feel hopeless.She nodded slightly when her sister said not every story was going to be sad “True...it’s my birthday soon and we can’t possibly be sad for that” she grinned slightly, despite having so many birthdays she still enjoyed celebrating hers.

She nodded slightly “Everyone thinks they’re right even when they’re not” she commented in a soft voice “Even this far along the line we still have to fight to have our voices hear huh?” she pressed her lips together in thought. “Maybe” she spoke in a soft voice, the elder aspect had always seen strange things happening in the world, it had been the reason she had left to seek out people like herself, those who sought a better, more equal future. “The duelling was kinda fun though” she commented with a pout before snuggling down into the covers and leaning against the pillow.

“I’ll probably be up by sunrise” she commented and yawned slightly “I like to watch the light as it rises over the horizon” which meant a long sleep wasn’t exactly in the cards for her but that was okay, Tia had given her plenty to think about when it came to the project and what they could do to help this city, she liked the prospect of having a project to work on.

Before long she had made herself comfortable next to her, her eyes closing as she shallowed her breathing “Don’t go anywhere okay” she spoke softly as she leaned against her and smiled, she was lucky to have such good people in her life.

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