It had been a few days since the hall of doors, tricks, mirrors and memories that he had walked down with Malva, granted it was really just doors and memories. He had no idea if she had mentally recovered or not yet but he had dreamed about her execution the previous night. Except instead of watching from the sidelines like when he was linked with Malva, he was seeing it all in first person and it had been terrifying. It had caused a terrible night of unrest and when he’d awoken this morning he felt like he hadn’t slept at all. Thankfully his usual aid was back in the office and there was good coffee which was about the only thing which kept him going throughout the work day.

Around noon the usual deli worker dropped off his usually turkey and cheddar club which gave him a bit more energy but not much. It did keep him from falling asleep at his desk during his calls which was good since they were usually a snooze fest and required a pot and a half of coffee just to get through them. He did drift off into his own mind at least once or twice during the calls but that was pretty normal. Thankfully his day went by pretty fast and soon his aid was asking to leave a few minutes early and Benjamin told him that was fine since he wanted to leave as well.

As soon as the clock read 5:30 Benjamin was grabbing his brief case and heading out the door towards home. He hadn’t talked to Malva since he climbed down the stair case by her balcony, though he was sure she had enough to worry at the moment with recovering from her memories and trying to find a different way to find the memory they were looking for. Heading to his car he stepped inside and drove to his place on base. Pushing the button on his garage door opener he waited for it to open before driving it into the garage and parking before pressing the button again to close the garage.

Getting out of his car he opened the door leading into his house and an icy chill went down his spine. Something wasn’t right, he could feel it even if nothing seemed to be out of place so far. Reaching down he pulled his sidearm from his ankle holster along with the diamond dagger from the other. Another human might have broken in but that seemed unlikely as he quietly moved through his living room. Feeling a presence behind him he turned quickly a hand wrapping around his wrist and twisting hard the pistol going off before it fell from his grasp. Headbutting his attacker he slashed out with the diamond dagger but he wasn’t sure as if he actually cut them as pain erupted in his shoulder from a blade.

The pain was ten times worse than it should have been as it felt like fire was burning his shoulder and moving through his blood stream. He couldn’t focus on the attacker as his body seemed to lock up as he fell forward face first on his own floor. Poison or some sort of paralytic was flowing through his bloodstream and he couldn’t move but he was more than aware of everything going on around him. There was the sound of two different footsteps moving around his home and all he could see were feet. “I’m not finding anything, it’s not here unless it’s on him.” Came the sound of a male voice he didn’t recognize. He tried to lift his head and get a better look but he couldn’t do anything other than shift his eyes different directions. The brief case he had dropped was open, that sound he knew well.

“It’s not in his brief case either. We’re wasting time, even if he’d been seen with the Aspect I don’t think he knows or has anything.” Came a feminine voice before the footsteps moved away from him and he heard the sliding glass door to his backyard open and then close. Without the threat to his life he tried to gather all his will power to crawl across the floor but he barely moved an inch.

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Staring at the books surrounding her like some kind of a fortress, she laid her head on top of the table as she huffed lightly. She wasn't getting anywhere with anything. It's been days since the not-so-pleasant memory blast for her and she's been working on ways to retrieve the nonsensical memory she hid somewhere. But to no avail, it has come to be very futile. That, or she's getting rusty. Usually she's quite good at cracking up information. Whether it was needed from the books in the library or the all famed easy internet. But she can't exactly search ways to supernatural paths in Google now, could she? Seems like it didn't know everything. "This is hopeless.." It was clear that the Aspect of Magic has been trying to get her head in the game again but it has become a bit difficult for her to do so. Especially when she needed to evade her siblings and her guards from her 'ulterior' motive. 

Bear in mind, it is NOT easy evading and keeping things from people who's known you for good millennium. Nor did she find it any easier trying to get out of Tatiana's grasp. However, she was grateful that at the moment, the dhampir guard of hers weren't in good terms with her. At least she could have it easier than most of the times. It's not that she didn't regret lying to her but the trust will have to stand somewhere else for the mean time, until she gets to the bottom of this. Until then, she can't have anyone else interfere. Constance came to her side soon enough and curled on her lap as if it was the safest and most comfortable place for her in the world. Well, at least they can see where the big kitten's personality came from when it started to flare. Like pet, like owner. Running her fingers through her light locks, Malva closed her eyes momentarily when suddenly she felt a burning sensation. It wasn't nearly as anywhere near the word painful but it was very warm. 

Soon, she found the source of it coming from her necklace. Examining it in her hand, she stared at the red color for a while before realizing what it was trying to send. She had forgotten about the charm she gave Benjamin on their recent encounter, so that if anything befell on him, she should be able to be notified as soon as possible. She felt like she owed him that much and she'd like it if no such fate would come after him as it did for his grandfather. Without wasting any time, Malva tracked down the charm and made her way out of the manor. She was still careful not to be so hasty on her pace as it would only cause questions to arise and that is the last thing she needed. As soon as she was outside, her eyes was fused in the indigo color that accompanied her. For a moment, it felt as if it was the first time since forever that she's transformed into her dragon form. When was the last time she had the chance to do that? Definitely before the fall of the Isle which went as far as a year back. It didn't take her long to find his house since the city wasn't that big nor was she a bad navigator. Sensing the soft pulse of the charm within the neighbourhood, she landed near the trees and reverted back into herself as she made her way to his house.

With any form of respect and courtesy she had in her, she knocked on the door a few times before pushing it open and peeking her head inside. The aura of a diviner was very strong in the living room. That made Malva frowned seeing as she didn't know why he would have a diviner in his home. "Hello? Benjamin?" She called out slowly when she saw the brief case not far off from where she stood. Following her steps into the living room, she saw an nearly unconscious Benjamin. The aura of the diviner she felt before was still there, lingering very near, it was probably the perpetrator. She could chase him or her down but to leave him in such state, she couldn't possibly do that. Rushing over to his aid, she knelt down and tried to see where the problem lies. It didn't take her long to notice the cut on his shoulder. Tilting her head to the side, Malva examined the wound from the cut. She could only see so much since the shirt wasn't torn that much.  

So she took it up to herself as she tore the material ranging from his shoulder. It was cut a slight slash that was probably no more than 7-8 cm. It wasn't a foreign sight seeing as the Aspect of Magic was a doctor. However, the paralytic status of the male was very concerning. It wasn't a normal cut. The blade probably was laced with something. Now, she can't figure what substance got into his blood since she didn't have the proper tools there and she wasn't exactly given the time. But she will have to do something quick or he'll end up having blood poisoning and that's not something she'd want to have in her hands. Getting up from her position, she rushed to the kitchen to find any alcohol seeing as she didn't bring morphine everywhere with her. She did bring painkillers and milk of poppy in her bag but she needed them for the aftercare. Successfully obtaining a bottle of alcohol alongside a silver tray and bowl filled with clean water, she tried to find where he would place the first aid kit. He's got to have one right? Focusing on finding the kit, she used her abilities to pinpoint the spot. 

Soon enough, she came back with all the things and opened the first aid kit, placing the antiseptic and taking out the small dagger from her bag. Thankfully, her traditional witchy self always remembered to bring some herbs in case she needed them to do remedies and sorts. She literally placed a rag she found from the kitchen so he could bite on it since he wasn't in the position where he could drink the alcohol to numb it down instead. Besides, she was in a hurry. Pouring the alcoholic liquid down on the wound, she received no care in the world as she heard his screams muffled down by the cloth. Tearing off the package of the cotton, she placed antiseptic on it before dabbing it onto the wound, whereas her other hand made sure her dagger was sterilized first. "You might want to bite on it harder..this is gonna sting for a little bit." She warned before making a clean cut just below the wound and placed an empty bowl under it. She would have been able to do her work properly if she had the proper tools and since she could only do first aid kit first, she decided that something old couldn't hurt. Taking out another empty bowl, she poured the vials that had milk of poppy and other required herbs needed as she tried to mix it up. Muttering one simple word, the inside of the bowl was lit up by flames momentarily before it disappeared. Deciding it was warm enough, she took the rag off and urged him to drink the liquid instead. It wasn't going to be tasty obviously but since he still wanted to live, he'll have to bear with it. 

Malva then closed the cut on the wound she inflicted and the wound he suffered before by rinsing it off with clean water and wrapped it up with a bandage. After he drank the remedy she made, he was out for a while, and thankfully the couch was nearby. She really had a hard time trying to move him there but after many attempts, she succeeded. After she had closed up his wound and wrapped it up, she took the bowl where she had bled him out so the poisoning wouldn't go straight to damage his internal organs. Luckily she was quick and on the sight when it happened so it should be okay. Staring at the bowl where the contaminated blood resided, she would be sure to analyze it as soon as she gets home. She wondered who would be stupid enough to break into his house and maimed him, with a poisoned blade nonetheless. She sat on the floor where she was cleaning up and staring at the bowl, trying to figure out what the particular poison was. Minutes passed and he should be able to wake up now so she waited, since she had plenty of questions to ask. And he'd probably ask why he was undressed on the top too. Hey, he needed saving so that's what she did. Extra restraints were going to make the blood flow slower and she can't wait or it'll take its actions faster the longer it is infused in his blood.

Benjamin tried to hold onto his consciousness since he knew if he passed out he might not wake up since it wasn’t just a normal cut or knife wound it was something more. The sound of knocking at his door seemed to be far away, like it was happening at the other end of a tunnel as he tried to focus. The sound of Malva’s voice could be heard but when he tried to call out, to yell it was nothing more than a weak whisper. There was no way she could have possibly heard him but he wished that she could because he needed her to hear him, he needed her to help him. The weight of the charm he had fastened onto the necklace seemed to be heavier at the moment but his whole body was heavy, she had to know he was in trouble, she just had to since she was the only hope that he had.

Ben could feel her presence beside him as she realized the position he was in as he struggled to keep his eyes open and try to move his body. Though the effort was draining what little bit of energy he had left. She rolled him onto his back so she could try and see the wound and he knew it didn’t looked like much but it felt like his whole body was going to burst into flames as the sweat seemed to pour from his pores. As she ripped his shirt she was able to see the wound more clearly and he wanted to speak but he didn’t have the energy to do so, every time he opened his mouth his tongue felt like it was made of sandpaper and his mouth was the Sahara desert. His eyes began to drift closed again without realizing it.

In the distance he could hear Malva rummaging around his house, for what he didn’t know but the next thing he was fully aware of was her making him open his mouth and bite down on a rag. It was with good reason too as vodka was poured over his wound and he couldn’t contain his own scream of pain as it only added to the burning sensation. Despite his military training he had never been good with tolerating pain, in front of people he could at least put on a façade but with Malva he could feel the tears stinging his eyes. As she told him to bit down harder he did since it had already stung, he had the feeling her idea of what stung and his differed. Another blade cut across his skin just below the original wound and an animal like scream left him even though it was muffled. His teeth were grinding so hard he was biting through part of the rag as she pressed on the wound to make it drain more the tears leaking from his hazy blue eyes.

Ben was unaware of whatever she was doing until she pressed another bowl to his lips, this one holding a warm liquid that he did his best to drink even though he nearly choked on it due to the taste. Swallowing all the liquid he could feel his eyes growing heavy again and he allowed them to close. The human had no idea how long he was out before his eyes began to slowly flutter open and he fought to focus them. A small groan left his lips as he realized he was still at his house, “Ma…” His tongue seemed too big for his mouth and her name seemed to stick. Cleaning his throat he looked over and saw she really was there with him. “Why do I feel like a tank hit me and then decided to back over me again?” He mumbled out, “There were two people looking for something. One was talking about you.” He tried trying to focus on the memory which was already dim in his mind. In slow movements he did his best to sit up as he looked down at the wound.  

While waiting for him to retrieve his consciousness back, Malva created a portal to the Ailward manor, where she got a few syringes of morphine and other equipment to sterilize the wound and so on. It didn't take her long seeing as she knew exactly where the medical kits and equipment were stored at. When you have an organisation operating in your own home, you'll eventually see that other than the rigorous physical training a guard should have, there'll be a medical bay. For once, Malva appreciated the technology around the place. She didn't think he'd prefer traditional remedies and milk of poppies when he could have morphine and painkillers. Millenials. 

By the time she got back, he was stirring in his state. Taking a glass of water from the table, she handed it over to him. "That's probably because your body was burning up. Literally. Felt like you were crushed by a tank. Although I think suffice to say, you should feel a bit better despite the fact that it could leave stinging burns. Congratulations, General. You have a new scar on your shoulder." She pointed at the bandaged wound as she sorted out the stuff she took. When she heard him talking about the people who incapacitated him while they were breaking an entry there earlier, she hummed and nodded. "One was definitely a dark diviner. I could smell it--well not really smell it...sense it. It's fleeting but it's there. Seems like this one is neither an amateur nor a professional at the mix. Whoever the person was, they're reckless. That gives us a pointer. At least they're not really a threat- I mean not directly?" She tried to find the right words as she saw his state. 

"I'll have to analyze the blood when I get back. Doesn't seem like a normal poison. It's not just one substance too, it's a mix of two. One is a paralytic and the other toxin, I'm not so sure." When he gave her look, probably asking secretly how in the world she would know of such thing, she shrugged. "I'm not just keen on magic and witchcraft. I've always been a medic even before..and when you have an organisation who technically goes out every day to prevent the imbalance, you kinda get used to it. Yay for you, since you would have had a blood poisoning if we had waited for medical support that will probably take 10-20 minutes of waiting. You're in luck, buddy." Taking out the small bottle that contained morphine, she used the empty syringe to insert it in. 

"I'd say you're fine but then I'd be lying because..truthfully you're not. At least you've escaped the close proximity of death?" Trying to lighten up the mood was not in Malva Ailward's forte. She was naturally a pessimistic person and it didn't weigh properly with the amount of positivity she was supposed to spread out. She cleaned the needle of the syringe properly before showing it off in front of him. "Sorry about the bitter taste from the liquid earlier. It's either letting you sprawl out in pain or that. I don't think you'll be thankful if I let you suffer in agony. Inserting the needle point into his flesh, she was careful not to give too much. "Your body is cold and you should feel cold right now, but your insides are burning up. A small contrast but if you feel this both, you should be fine. Until we get you to further medical assistance. So, you'll be having a few nights in hospital." She took a blanket from the couch and covered himself with it. 

"I'll make sure to keep a close perimeter around the hospital. I'm not sure if they'll bother you again. You don't seem to have anything, or else you wouldn't be alive. But seeing as you 'are' alive at the moment, it could also mean they're waiting for you to bring the clue out. Why were they in your home anyways, it didn't look like you were the type to leave your stuff in a mess which is exactly the state. They were searching for something and they didn't find it nor were they sure you had it. This is going to be a problem seeing as I'm no where near the solution yet." Pursing her lips slightly, she tried to recount the date of the day. "I'll set you up for an appointment tomorrow. You still need to get your blood cleaned since I'm not sure if there is any chance of toxin in it. Lucky for you, I can be the one in charge to do that. Thank god for my position in the General Hospital of Evermore." 

Ben wasn’t sure if Malva had remained the whole time he was out or not but he was glad to see her here when he came to. Not like glad as if she was the only person he wanted to see since that wasn’t it, he just didn’t want to be left alone in a vulnerable state. It seemed unlikely that his attackers and would be robbers were going to come back. His entire body ached even though he had only suffered a wound on his shoulder. Then again you could have a cold and never be physically wounded and still feel like you were hit by a mac truck so he wasn’t sure why he was so surprised since he had been fevered, Malva reminding him of that little fact.

“Burning up? Oh well that explains why I thought my blood was boiling and steam was going to start rising from my sink before melting into nothingness.” His sarcasm wasn’t anywhere near the level it would usually be but he was tired and still in pain, “Another scar, oh goody! I’ll just add it to the collection.” He muttered knowing he needed to stomp his sarcasm down since Malva was only trying to help and had helped. “Sorry, I’m not very good with thank you’s.” A sigh left him as he listened to her words on what she had felt. “There were two here but as they were rummaging around and trashing the place they were talking to someone else on the phone.” He informed trying not to think of the messed he was going to have to deal with when he had the energy and he could actually stand without falling over. Which he didn’t see happening tonight. Of course, as she said something about them not really being a threat he gave her a dull stare, “They felt like a threat to me.”

Malva was speaking of poisons and medical terms but he did know what a paralytic and a toxin were. “Could it potentially be natural? Like some shellfish have paralytic toxin and most snake venoms are toxic and can slow if not completely stop your heart.” Though it could be any matter of home concoction and that was the terrifying part since most chemists could easily make something like that. “Blood poisoning, potential brain damage, permanent paralysis none of those options seem like necessarily good ones.” He replied in agreement since the time of EMS to get here and get him transported and then run toxicity panels was far too long especially if how he had been feeling towards the end was any indication, there was a change he wouldn’t have made it.

“I could have told you I’m not fine because I definitely don’t feel fine. I feel hurt, tired and pissed off to the max.” His current state of pissed off winning out over the other two since it was Diviner’s like the one who had broken into his place that gave them all a bad name. It was also supernaturals like that which made the council want to take drastic measure to stop them and even sometimes innocent supernaturals seeing them as guilty before that fact was proven. Such as the current case with Valentine. “I’ll take bitterness above pain any day of the week, though I swear I can still taste it.” He licked the roof of his mouth and slide his tongue along his gumline and teeth. At this point Benjamin wasn’t really all that sure what he was feeling as Malva pressed the needle against his skin and pushed it through before slowly squeezing the content of the syringe into his arm. “I don’t like hospitals.” He muttered in a child like away, he had spent too much time with his mom in them when she drank too much of ODed, they just held bad memories for him and the idea of staying in one didn’t sit well with him even if it was necessary.

Ben pulled the blanket tight around himself as Malva spoke once more about the hospital, “I don’t think what they wanted was here. I don’t keep my grandfather’s journal here, I keep it at the office in city hall. Between normal human security, Organisation security and the fact that it’s locked in a desk that’s Hawthorn, stained with wolfsbane and was enchanted it seemed the better place to keep it.” When he found the journal he had given it a lot of thought on what to do with it and how to keep it hidden. After all it might not have made sense to him but he knew it was important somehow. Leaning forward a bit he pulled off his necklace with his dog tags, desk key and the charm Malva had given him. “It’s only a matter of time before they check the office and I have the feeling you’d do better with keeping the full journal safe than I would.” He pulled the key off of the necklace and pressed it into her palm. Once more she began speaking of the hospital and he pretty much blocked it out so he merely nodded in understanding even though he wasn’t really listening.

Malva tried ro refrain herself from rolling her eyes at the male, particularly due to his level of sarcasm that was dripping out like his blood earlier. Though she was not the slighest bothered by it considering that defensive mechanism of hers was basically used to such advancements projected. "No worries, I'm not good with it either. I don't think I'm anywhere near the word 'good' nor 'decent' when it comes to compliments and gratitude. I'm guessing it has something to do with one's exterior." She shrugged, crossing her legs to move into a more comfortable position while she unwrapped the muscle ache relief patches. He might need it seeing as the paralytic toxin paralyzed his entire body and he's been stiff for quite a while. He probably had muscle ache due to the stiffness. 

"Well.. At least you're holding up well.. Better than most. If this happened to me, even the slightest break of entry not counting any injury inflicted upon me, I would have probably hunted down the culprit or perpetrator until I find them. When I do, I don't think my temper allows me to go so much on civil rights." She knew fully well that whilst the Aspect of Magic could not kill nor maim for no incomprehensible reason, with the temper she had, Malva was probably not going to go lenient. Especially, when she didn't like the person in the first place. That would only add up to bonus points of hatred. Narrowing her sapphire hues onto him, she scoffed before putting the syringe away. "No one likes hospitals, sweetheart. Who in their right sane mind would love that place.. Even the staffs will eventually get tedious and annoyed by it when the time comes, much less a patient. Bad food, uncomfortable beds, strict nurses etc. If you're lucky, you might score yourself a kind nurse. Even though there's not much of them these days." 

When he told her the journal wasn't kept there, she was grateful to hear that. She was the last person who would want anyone else to find the journal before she does. Who knows what they'll do once they get their filthy hands on it. Something so powerful should've never be left alone in another's hands when they clearly harbored ill intentions and whatnot. Staring at the keys on her right palm, she noticed the dog tags. Of course he would have them, she thought. He was a military operative, after all. Much like his grandfather. Examining the dog tags, she saw his name and his numbers. "I'll make sure to head over there after I drop by the manor." She told him but felt she wasn't quite done yet despite wanting to get out of there and leave him to rest so she could also get the results back from the laboratory. "I really am sorry about what's befell you, Benjamin. I didn't think they'd strike so fast and that we had eyes watching.. But once I get the journal, I might be able to track the culprit. One by one will be solved. Hopefully, before any antagonist makes an appearance. I don't think I could handle seeing more wickedness." 

"If you would like me to erase our encounters and incidents right after everything is solved, I could do that. I don't exactly have a license to perform a lobotomy but my magic does have its ways arund the mind. It could be burdensome for you to remember, but it is up to you. I wouldn't be want to anything against someone else's will. 

Sarcasm was already second nature to Benjamin and when wounded it was twenty times worse. He wasn’t intentionally being an ass to Malva it was just his defense mechanism. “I swear I have manners is most other situations. Pain tends to make me a little brain dead and I just say words and might even growl.” Shifting on the couch his lips curled into a snarl of pain as he squeezed his eyes closed. Despite years of intense training in the military his body had never felt this bad but he had never been poisoned before. Seems he could mark that off the bucket list of unintentional ways of almost dying. 

“Oh if I could move without pain downing me then I would hunt them down. But between pain and feeling like I’m being weighed down I’m not going anywhere.” His limbs were still heavy and stiff as he slowly bent and straighten his legs trying to regain circulation and movement. Given his relatively short fuse he knew it was a good thing they had downed him since if they had left him in fighting shape they would have the devil on their tail. “Let’s put it this way Malva, the scent of antiseptic and cleaner in a hospital are the equivalent to the spell you used to take us to the hall of memories. I don’t like those memories Malva.” He said dumbing it down as best as he could not wanting to tell her too much. “The food and uncomfortable beds I can handle, you get used to that in the military, the memories of hospitals you never really get used to.” He almost turned over on his wounded left side before thinking better of it. 

It seemed like a weight was off Malva’s shoulders when he explained the journal wasn’t so easily found. “I’m not a completely idiot.” Muttered well aware of the fact that she probably hadn’t expected him to do such a good job hiding and protecting the journal. When he had learned about the supernatural he had done a lot of research and made sure he could half way protect himself. The hardest thing to protect yourself from was magic and apparently poison. “I needed to make sure most supernaturals couldn’t touch it. With enough time they could break the enchantment on it but I can’t imagine it would be too easy.” Not that he would personally know. “Don’t worry on it Malva, I knew the risk I was taking on when I agreed to help you. The way I figure it is if they’re willing to poison me for just coming home then I sure don’t want to know what they would do if they found your spell book.”

Benjamin scoffed at the very idea of her erasing his memories or burying them. “Even the most painful of memories teaches us something Malva, I might not necessary want to dwell on some of them but I don’t want them gone either. Besides how many friends do you have that you can just go erasing their memories?” He responded in a jesting manner. His jaw clenched slightly before he gave the Aspect a sheepish expression, “Not to be that guy but...could you stay a little longer?” He was sure she had other things to do but he didn’t want to be alone when he felt so vulnerable. 

Raising her eyebrow up in contempt, Malva stared at him questioningly, obviously finding his statement to be quite odd. "Growl? How can--oh." She took quite a while to finally realize what he meant held truth to it. She does growl occasionally as well whenever she is annoyed and angered at the point maximum. But obviously, Malva being Malva still retained her old soul persona where she would still need the time to understand the words perfectly without any misconduct. "You're not the first to say that. Even Aureus says so. He said my memories are sometimes a bit too unkept and well-- disturbing in some parts. And he is my brother. Be glad you didn't have to witness a memory of me finding my former lover's carved heart sent in a parcel to me from my beloved parents. If the sight wasn't haunting enough, my scream would definitely take the score." Now, she was truly glad they didn't stumble upon the memory. She was thankful she didn't have the chance to open the door that leads to that particular memory she did not want to reminisce.

" still need to go to the hospital. It's a must, soldier. Preferences are one thing but since you're a soldier, you should know the concept of taking orders and carrying them out. So just take this one as one of them, alright? I'd love to say there is another way that you could heal yourself that does not involve you a stay in the dreadful place you call hospital, but I can't, because there is none- wait." Suddenly, the Aspect of Magic remembered something. They had training area, they had technology rooms and surveillances, they also had medical bay. Which was the place she went to earlier to retrieve some morphine shots for Benjamin. "Oh wait yeah..there might be one. We have a medical bay back in the manor. My usual place whenever I have free time to tend to the guards or my reckless siblings who sometimes gets hurt. It's not as big as the hospital obviously but it's half the size. We have an entire wing specially made for it recently when Ven renovated the place. So everything you might need will be there. I guess you could be there instead of the hospital? We were sure not to let the smell of antiseptic made their home there since the others weren't particularly fond of it either. And we don't exactly have janitors?" Averting her eyes from the table, she positioned it over to the male. 

"I'll handle whatever that needs to be handled, whether it were questions or care. I owe you for the very least." To be truthfully honest, Malva still felt guilty that such situation befell him because of her. And this happened when they've only seen her with him. They didn't specifically knew of their activities. Imagine if they did, he would probably suffer more. She wondered if his grandfather suffered the same fate. And he didn't have her as backup to come to his aid whenever. Shaking off the glum feeling, carefully hiding it so it would not show on her face, she turned to face him instead. "I don't take you for granted, Benjamin. I hope you know that for the very least. You're right, I don't have a lot of friends. I don't think I even have much of one other than my siblings and guards, maybe a few of my acquaintances in the centuries before when we came to their cities. But that's seems to be just that. Acquaintances. I don't have that luxury nor privilege to have those kind of people. And I don't believe I deserve them. It's just me, I guess." She shrugged, not really bothered by the fact that she really didn't have much of those you could call friends unless she's helped them and vice versa.

It seems to be all work in this type of line. But then again, would they really think the Aspect of Magic had time to spare in her life to have those things? Even if she did have the time, she was a pessimist so whilst positivity did not come to her as a new foreign light, she wasn't used to positivity at all. She'll always feel awkward when it comes to it. " a way, I've always viewed having friends meant attachments. And I don't really get used to it. My parents left one legacy to their only daughter. Attachments are not a luxury you can relish in. It's a weakness and you can't be weak. I know it's just them being them. But I can't help but to think that those words they kept chastising me since I was a kid, followed me until I became an adult. Until today. And how long has that been? Almost 1290 years? You're right of ghosts of the past comes back dwelling somewhere in your mind. They will always be there. But it doesn't mean I want them there. Even if I have to suck it up and bear with it by leaving it be, I can't. I can't have any distractions in my line of work. It's not even a work. It's a duty. I can't slack off or others will go on tumbling down while waiting for the maintenance to come a few hours later. Maybe days, or even months. It's a burden. But it's my burden." 

Shaking her head at his sheepish look that he gave her, she snickered lightly before shrugging. "I don't have anything better or important to do at the moment, so I guess keeping you company won't be a problem. Besides, what would you do without me, Mister? You can't even walk past the living room to the kitchen without falling flat on your face with the paralytic toxin still leaving effects in your blood system. And, if the intruders came back, I don't think you'll do well with short fuse and no physical nor mental abilities to knock them off. Not to worry, your temporary knight is here. Seems like I'm not the damsel in distress after all."

“Humans growl too, we’re still a little animalistic.” Though he didn’t like literally growling and snarling since he was human and humans were supposed to use words, though sometimes words weren’t enough when it came to certain emotions. It was after all the easiest way of showing emotions and occasionally happened naturally especially when in pain or pissed off and right now he was in pain and pissed off. It was a double whammy and he hated it since one or the other was often more than he could handle without showing it. “We have no control over our memories and what they hold, we only have control over what we do with them, bury them, revisit them, or hope to never see them again.” He couldn’t help but wince at Malva’s words of her other memory which they hadn’t experiences together thankfully. That was one he was sure glad that he missed.

A small groan left him at Malva’s words knowing she was right and that he was acting like a big baby but he felt like hell. He had only been poisoned once and that was a bite from a snake which had been a neurotoxin and it had been excruciating until the anti-venom had started to work. Of course when it had started to work it hadn’t felt much better for hours. “Just because a soldier takes an order doesn’t mean they like or agree to it. I would love to be able to heal myself but humans don’t have that special ability.” Though she paused as if thinking of something and he had to admit that he was curious to what that might be. “Might be?” He asked curiously before listening to her, “Size doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s not a hospital.” It was clear he liked that idea though he was sure the other Aspects and Guards might not like his presence there, though they were known for taking in the broken and lost. “You don’t have janitors? What about maids? I feel like there’s someone doing the cleaning.” Since he didn’t exactly imagine them all neat and tidy.

“Not sure you owe me since we’re helping each other and we have the same end goal. We both want to make sure your spell book doesn’t end up in the wrong hands, plus I’d like to know what happened to my grandfather.” Malva was as much to blame as Benjamin was in this context since if he hadn’t agreed to help her than he would have likely been home free. Though that might not be true since as soon as they realized who his grandfather was they would have come after him anyway. He had been placed into a dangerous situation the moment he was stationed in Evermore City and even more so when he took the position of Defense General. “I’d hope you don’t take me for granted, I did just take a poisoned knife wound for the cause. Greater good and all that…” Though he didn’t like the way she spoke of friends or the lack there of, “Everyone deserves a few close people in their life Malva and your siblings don’t exactly count if we’re being honest. Being duty bound and stuck together and all that.” Though as he said it he realized the morphine was definitely kicking him since that an asshole thing to say.

“Friends are attachments but unlike your family, they’re attachments you get to pick and if they don’t stack up you get to let them go. Haven’t you ever heard the saying that friends come and go but the good ones stay or something like that. The friends worth having aren’t a weakness, they give you strength but I can understand why you would think that way with your parents.” After all those two were a piece of work, Malva’s first big betrayers and it had just gone down hill from there it seemed. Other than the other Aspects which seemed to be the only constant for her along with some of the Ailward Guard who had survived the fall of the Isle of Skye. The Aspect spoke of ghosts and distractions and he wasn’t sure if he was fully following since the morphine she had given him was pretty much in full effect now.

“I’d probably stop listening to what I’m saying since I’m kinda medicated right now.” His words were almost beginning to slur together, “Without you? Have died and it would have been tragic. Or maybe not since only a couple people would have missed me.” He muttered, “Intruders come back would not be good.” Especially not right now since it was all beginning to hit him and he was not handling the morphine necessarily well, plus his entire body was already exhausted as was his mind. “Is being poisoned like getting a concussion? Do I need to stay awake or is sleep allowed?”  

Staring at him for a little while longer, Malva shook her head at his words. " probably don't. You get maimed once or a few times, suffer an injury fatal enough to send you whirlwind, and you'll end up a few feet under the ground where you'll sleep permanently. But sometimes, I think you should take whatever time you have now to relish it instead. I wasn't a human but I was close to one. I just so happened to be born with extra abilities and could live twice the age an average human could. Being a human means you don't have to deal with all the supernatural crap." She shrugged, obviously preferring the fact that being a human was probably the best for her. Though she could very well understand why he felt a bit disadvantage when surrounded by so many supernatural majority.

Stretching out her arms and leaning against the couch from the table, she clicked her tongue as she twirled the small silver dagger in her hands, that gleamed in the night. "I wish I could be a human. For a At least one day. Just one. That would be a dream come true." It's not usual to find any supernatural who wished their life was broken down by the ups and downs of being an average human being, rather than facing the cons of being something they did not choose to be. Insecurity and resentment often starts from there and the road and path that it led wasn't pretty. "Ouch. You have a way with words there. Wonder how you charmed the ladies, because it's definitely not the charming words. Very doubtful." She gave him a look that clearly stated she was thoroughly amused. Oh well, at least she smiled. She'd give him props for that, seeing as Malva didn't exactly have the chance to smile much these days. Or any other days, on that matter. 

Yes, she is a sad and glum girl. How uncomplicated could she be. There's a hint that said 'never'.

"I'll work something out on how to get you in there..seen or not seen, doesn't matter. You need medical attention and I know if I leave you be on your own, you are never going to set foot anywhere near the hospital. Besides..I don't think you would like the sight of me dragging you there myself. I imagine you pride would be severely tainted." The sarcasm that accentuated her voice made Malva remembered how it felt to be her again. She was that snarky brash girl who would probably fit your average rebellious woman standards with a temper. Of course, adding up the fact that she could also turn you into a lizard as well as other 'scary and uneventful' stuff. "I can't help but to think that in every argument I bring, you would be ready to serve your rebuttal. This isn't a debate, is it? All those stuff you said about attachments and somehow reminded me of someone. Well..she's not really liking me that well now because I've been keeping secrets from her, but I'm hoping one day she'll come around. But hey, congratulations, speaking of which, you've probably made your place on the list of 'friends' I have. Considering, you probably knew more than most by now."

"Sleep, you can sleep, but your head has to be placed properly though. Since the blood flows into different directions and we don't want the blood to clot up up there before I can do my work on you tomorrow." She got up from her seat before positioning his head properly, making sure his position was comfortable enough. She didn't wait for permission, probably because it's become a second nature to her when she performs her doctor duties. "Go ahead and nap..I'll uh-clean the place up. These people made quite a mess." 

“Trust me, I relish the time I have, I don’t just work in City Hall all day and then come home and work too, though I’m sure that’s what most think. I teach basketball at the rec center for the kids and teens, I help out the High School ROTC, a do a lot on my own time and I guess it makes me feel better about coming back to an empty house.” Benjamin had no idea why he was telling Malva that other than the fact that he trusted her. “Being buried six feet under is going to happen eventually but I’d like to keep away from the reality for as long as possible. After all it might be nice to be missed by more than a handful of people as the City pretends to mourn while looking for my replacement.” He was well versed in how reality worked and he knew his actual friends were few and far between, “We still have to deal with supernatural crap, just in a different way and most of us get to live in ignorant bliss.” Which was something he missed somedays but he would rather know the truth than live in the dark.

Ben’s heavy eyes opened slightly wide at Malva’s words since they were rather unexpected to him. “Just one day? Doesn’t seem like you’d get the full experience that way but I guess it’s an easier way of life. Normally less people trying to kill you and stuff.” He muttered truly thinking on it for the first time though his thoughts were pretty hazy if he were being honest. “I can be Prince Charming when I wanna be and I’m normally not talking to them on morphine which makes my tongue all loose and weird words come out.” Which seemed true enough since he couldn’t seem to keep his mouth shut no matter how tired he was and he knew soon enough he really wouldn’t be making sense.

“Aww Malva, it’s like you really care. I feel like we should hug it out or something like one of those day time TV talk shows.” As he started to lean up a wince let his lips and he carefully leaned back. “You know me so well already, I avoid hospitals at all cost, the hospital director can’t even drag me into those doors.” And she had tried many times when he’d been hurt in the past but he was pretty self-sufficient. “Please, my ego can’t bare that right now, it’s already pretty fragile from the events tonight so don’t crush what bit I have left.” He said narrowing his eyes at her in an almost playful manner even though he couldn’t really form the energy to be playful. “I like to debate, how do you think I got my job? Having a rebuttal is just part of my mindset.” Since he seemed to always be in some sort of argument or debate over one thing or another at work so it easily seeped into his personal life as well. “Do I get a metal or a certificate or something? ‘Survived to be Malva Ailward’s friend’ is what it should say.” He mused knowing she was probably getting close to wanting to knock him out but she was taking his drugged up state pretty well.

“I can sleep but what?” He asked trying to figured out what she had just said in layman’s speak even though he knew she was speaking plan English. Head placed properly was about where he stopped listening but thankfully she seemed to realize he had no idea what she meant and did it herself. “I kind of like a take charge kind of woman.” He mumbled before frowning, “Don’t like messes, I’m not messy. Damn intruders.” He grumbled his eyelids sliding closed for longer and longer each time he blinked before they stopped opening altogether his breathing evening out as his body and mind rested.

She couldn't help but chuckle at Benjamin, because frankly, despite his drugged up state, she does find his wit humorous. Though knowing Malva, she would probably knock him out just to get him to stop babbling. But surprisingly, she finds them amusing. "Look at the bright side, maybe I'll mourn your death." She mumbled, distinctly remembering when she knew about his grandfather, she had tried to seek him out only to find out he's no longer living. Logically speaking, of course he might have passed away from his old age but what made her disheartened even more was due to the fact that he didn't live long. Somehow, she was sure he didn't die from natural causes. Word has it he disappeared for a while until he resurfaced back again in the city but she wouldn't know for sure. If his grandson didn't know, she wouldn't know it either. She's been trying to dig up any information she could find but to no avail, her attempts were futile and bore no result whatsoever other than his family history.

It didn't help when the man before him was bearing his name as well. Ironic. She met his grandfather and worked together to the point where he had became her associate, and now she's also finding her way to working together with his grandson. What she hoped was that no such harm would come to him the same way it found its way to his grandfather. Watching him slowly descending down the path of slumber, she narrowed her sapphire optics on him as she gripped his necklace that he gave earlier which held the key to his office. "Unfortunately, the medal or certificate might not work that well..your grandfather didn't survive. Especially when I'm sure he did." She didn't tell him that through the few nights where she had slight sleep, she remembered more about his grandfather and though she did not know yet to what they were working on, she did remember the traits surrounding their friendship.

She figured it was best that he did not know of it. At least not now. He's got a lot on his plate and she did not wish to add more to it. Chuckling to herself when she was reminded that she could hear what he said earlier before he blacked out. She was used to being known to be impulsive and all those traits that came along with the package. She was snarky, brash, possessive, persuasive, tenacious and had the temperamental self of a lava mountain. Hence her name. Probably. She's like those Russian porcelain dolls where you break it only to find more layers inside. She admitted that having her current cold exterior has made it easy for her to go about her life where she didn't have much other than work and work, despite making it hard for her to interact. But she's lived a good portion of her life and she's been to a lot of places, so being professional is not something for the Aspect of Magic. She's also been proven to be a good liar when she wanted to be. That particular trait however, has slowly deteriorated over the time to the people who knows her well. And she was sure, after having him delving into her head, he probably picked up a few of how her personality and character ark was like and it would be quite hard to lie to him just as it was hard to lie to Tatiana and her siblings.

She figured that since she couldn't lie to him, she would just have to make do with what she's had. Keeping something from him doesn't necessarily mean she was lying. Malva stood up from her place and adjusted the blanket to cover himself up properly before making her way to clean the room. Picking up the books and papers that were scattered on the floor, she arranged it neatly as she replaced them on the book shelves. Somewhere, deep down inside of her, she was a sensitive person with a soft heart. That was why every act of care she did held fragility and delicacy to it. Like the Matryoshka dolls, she wasn't hard to break. She just had a few more layers, but if given time and the proper technique, you'd find yourself breaking the so called infamous cold hearted Malva AIlward. 

Soon enough, the room was spotless and clean. She wondered if he'll notice her absence if she went to his office to take the journal. She didn't think she could wait much and whilst patience is a virtue, Malva wasn't known for her patience. She wouldn't even need to walk there, so he probably wouldn't notice if she went there through the portal and came back in a jiff. Closing her eyes as she tried to picture the building, a portal slowly surfaced as her hand started to circle the corner of the room in a oval shape. Stepping inside, she found herself just in front of his office where she had used the key to unlock the doors and went to his desk quickly. Using the key to unlock the drawer below the desk, she rummaged through his stuff to try and pinpoint the location. It took her a while but she finally found it and positioned everything as if it was never touched before locking it back and getting out of there. The journal wasn't even heavy, it was a medium sized journal that looked very ordinary as if it's a dairy book.

Coming back to the living room as she closed the portal, she got out her main spell book from her bag and positioned it next to the one she retrieved from his office. Scanning the journal with a confused expression, Malva knew this one will pose off to be a good distraction where no one will ever notice it's not really a notebook. Being a frequent non-verbal spell user, she found it easier to navigate through the course of magic without having to speak. With a slight purple glow in her once blue hues, the book revealed itself to be a well-cared for book from the intricate and decoration. "Smart boy." She snickered and opened it with ease. Well, it was hers originally so it shouldn't have any trouble for her. However, the content she finds was not what she expected. Malva's own main spell journal was purple, signifying her dominion over the color of her own aspect and the original look of the journal she found earlier wasn't any different. The design showed how guarded the spell book was supposed to be and she's never given it to anyone else except Gabriel and Stephen. 

Then, she noticed the ribbon bookmarked on a certain page. Was anyone else reading it? It's not possible seeing Benjamin didn't know how to actually read it. So Malva was only left to assume that that was the latest page his late grandfather had read. "What the hell.." She skimmed through the pages at a fast pace in concentration before glancing at the sleeping figure of Benjamin. She did that for quite a number of times. What was once an hour became hours where Malva was deeply immersed in the book that she went through every page as if it was the most important thing ever. Considering the level of concentration she held for the book itself, it was no wonder she didn't even realize it's been more than 6 hours and the male was slowly waking up. She took out her phone and dialed a number. "Hi, sorry. Pouvez-vous me trouver monsieur António Cailleau? J'ai trouvé quelque chose et j'ai besoin de votre aide. Je vais mettre en place un lieu de rencontre et je vous le dirai bientôt. Attends juste mon appel. Antonio, ne le dis pas à Tatiana. Gardez-le secret. (Can you find me Mr António Cailleau? I found something and I need your help. I will set up a meeting place and I will tell you soon. Just wait for my call. Antonio, do not tell Tatiana about this. Keep it a secret.)" Once she saw him stirring in his sleep, Malva quickly ended the call. " How's the nap?"

Benjamin hadn’t even noticed that he feel asleep which was rather normal for the human since he usually drifted off in the middle of a thought or while reading files he was meant to sign or approve. It normally had nothing to do with being bored and everything to do with the stresses of his job finally catching up to him at night along with the exhaustion of having to struggle against so many to keep things equal within the city. His breathing was even and the light and soft sound of snoring left his nasal cavities since enough though he did snore it wasn’t loud or like a train.

The only way he knew he was asleep was the simple fact that he was in the house of his birth sitting cross legged on the floor. Anxiety began to fill him as he remembered the last time he was in this house as his mother throw not only harsh words at him but framed pictures of a happier time. The edge of one had left a scar on his chin and he had needed stiches after but he hadn’t flinched when it happened. All he wanted to do was to change and his dream and be anywhere else.

“Why are you all alone?” A voice asked him and as he turned he caught a reflection of himself in the mirror, the reflection of his childhood self. That wasn’t the most surprising thing though, he was staring up at his grandfather, a man he had only ever seen in photographs. Though he shouldn’t be too surprised since he had spent the last few days thinking of his grandfather and been trying to find answers since he received the journal.

“I’m always alone.” He found himself replying as his grandfather offered him his hand. Without question Benjamin took the offered hand and was pulled to his feet. An odd feeling of understanding seemed to pass between the two of them.

“I once felt that way too Benjamin, but feeling that way doesn’t make it so. Let me show you.” Ben merely nodded as he walked beside his grandfather who walked into the kitchen and everything seemed to change. Benjamin’s memory began to play out before his eyes as he watched his father cooking breakfast on the stove, he was home on leave and Ben had been so happy to see his Dad again. His childhood self was sitting at the table swinging his feet out in front of him as his mother cursed for the stairs.

“Benjamin Grant Vaughn! We do not leave our toys on the stairs for people to trip on.” Ben winced at the use of his full name cowering in his chair.

“I didn’t leave anything.” He muttered as his mother came into the kitchen fuming mad. His admission apparently not helping the situation as she threw the truck on the floor the cheap plastic breaking before she turned to leave the room.

Stopping in the door way she turned to him, “It didn’t get there by magic Benjamin and I expect you to be honest next time.” Once she was out of the room a young Ben scampered off his chair and checked on his broken toy feeling useless tears welling in his eyes. The true version of himself watching on with a clench jaw knowing full well how Malva had felt seeing her own memories.

His father moved to lean down beside him, “Hey buddy, it’ll be alright, it’s just a toy.” His father took the pieces and looked at them as he assessed the damage done. “Besides, maybe it was magic and maybe I can use a little magic to fix your truck.” He knew his father was trying to make him feel better the child just sniffled.

“It’s broken and magic isn’t real Dad.” His father just chuckled as he lifted Ben up and placed him back on his chair at the table.

“If you don’t believe in it then it isn’t real to you but that doesn’t make it any less a part of the world.” At the time he had believed his father was just trying to make him feel better but now he knew better. His father moved to a drawer and took a bottle out of it. At the time Ben thought it was just glue but now he had the feeling it wasn’t. “I bet I can use a little liquid magic to fix your truck.” He used a medicine dropper to put something on the plastic before sticking the pieces back together and then handing it back to Ben. “Magic is what you make of it and maybe it’s about time you start to open your e…” Suddenly his mom was yelling again as the memory faded leaving only Ben and his grandfather in the kitchen.

“Your father tried to show you the truth and if you have believed I don’t think you would feel so alone. Distrust is part of our family but loyalty is just as much a part of our DNA Benjamin. Malva is going to need you as much as you’re going to need her.” The older man paused as if listening to something. “I have to go.”

“No! What happened to you?” Benjamin asked trying to hold onto the one man’s hand as he seemed to evaporate before his eyes began to flutter. They fully opened as he pulled a deep breath into his lungs trying to remember where he was, he was at home but it looked almost as if nothing had been touched. As if he had just fallen asleep but the feminine voice disputed that fact.

A small groan left Ben’s lips as he realized getting stabbed wasn’t a dream within a dream but something that actually happened. “It wasn’t very restful.” He muttered wondering if the dream had been due to the morphine or something preternatural. Either way it had been incredibly odd and it made him wonder if it had been a suppressed memory since he couldn’t recall that memory from his youth, though there was a lot he had locked away for the sake of his sanity. “How long was I out?” He inquired in a gravely and sleepy tone of voice.


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