She knew it was wrong. How many times had she told herself that it was utterly and inexplicably wrong? More times than she could count to. Yet there she was, the now slightly flaxen haired Aspect of Magic was standing her ground on venturing off to the city of Argolis. Malva had placed all hands on deck upon deciding that she shall go off to Greece to search for any other possible answers she could be provided with, regarding the fall and destruction of their home, Isle of Skye. How could the Russian born woman forget about it? How could any one of them forget what happened? There was no way she could push it aside without investigating about it. Only, she knew she had to push the matter aside for a while as she got down and resolved other problems on her plate.

It has been at least an hour since she had let her eyes linger on the the red ruby pendant that laid prettily on the table not far off from where she stood. Malva leant against the wall of her room and crossed her arms in contempt. She wasn’t sure what to do with the petty little trinket that she has had in her possession for almost four centuries now. For such a small thing, it held a certain aura to it and it wasn’t at all near pleasantries. It held all the dark energy she harnessed for some particular missions back in the days. Sometimes, in order to best the darkness, was to overtake it using the lesser known method. One it doesn’t expect you to go for. Life did have a tendency at wanting the most twisted for everything.

Shaking her head at her own herself, she grabbed the pendant and tossed it into the drawer before closing it furiously and sat on her bed, her sapphire hues never leaving the mahogany wooden table. It didn't last as long as she thought it would though, seeing as Malva went back to grab it and pushed it inside her purse. It wasn’t as if she could avert her attention so easily without any reason to do so despite giving herself one very solid one. Which was to forget about the past and move ahead in her life. But it’s always easier said than done, per usual. The pendant might look fancy and pretty, but it was gleaming in a very malevolent light. And if there was anything Mal knew from centuries of dwelling around magic, it’s that she doesn’t go well surrounding herself with so much dark energy as it tempts her. But she needed it for this journey.

But after what Octavia told her that day, she couldn't forget about it. This is something she needed to do, she convinced herself to do it. Her touch with magic in general had been cut off, albeit not fully, but it doesn't feel like how it was supposed to feel and if Malva couldn't cope or adapt to those changes, then what's the point? Especially with the chaos incited as of late, things were hectic and it was slowly overwhelming the purple dragon to the brink of insanity. Mal had rummaged through her closet yesterday to find one particular book she kept locked away until she realized she didn't bring it with her. Keeping it in the manor should have been the safest choice but not to Malva, that book was way too important to just be laying around so she had kept it somewhere else in 1698. 

Mal didn't pack much, she literally only put enough clothes to last for a few weeks because the Citadel had their own clothes to be worn and they can venture to Athens if they want. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown and it was slightly longer, the Aspect of Magic stared at her reflection in the mirror before making her way downstairs with her luggage, to wait for Octavia at the living room. This trip wouldn't be anywhere near a luxurious vacation to Greece, yeah people know they'll stay at a hotel in Athens but Mal was going on a pilgrimage to Mycenae Citadel located in Argolis which would take all the attention away. She perched one arm on the couch and allowed her white persian ragdoll cat, Seraphire, nestle in her lap. 

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He could sympathize some with her situation, he’d been in the position where his magic had been impacted in the past too and it was difficult to lift yourself from that kind of spiral because usually, you were your own problem. Self doubt, pressure, fears…they all held you back from the powers inside yourself “Or perhaps it’s the opposite” he pointed out “You’ve always been quite temperamental with your emotions, it has a knock-on effect” he nodded his head slightly, he wasn’t going to sugar coat things for her, he was always direct with these things.

He pressed his lip together, they’d managed to break through together but that was just the first step on this journey, magic was a fickle thing and there was no returning to full strength in an instant, that would be unfair to the world’s balance after all. “I don’t know anything about what happened, I’ve been here for this entire length of time” he answered honestly, shooting her a glare for questioning his involvement and intent about all of this “But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that you are beyond exhausted and that your mind is twisted in knots” which wasn’t the best place to be practicing magic from.

“If you try to push things too soon, you’re going to find yourself back at square one and ever worse than that, you could find yourself dead” he narrowed his eyes on her as though to point out how she was being reckless, he understood there was some sort of urgency going on here but her pushing herself off the deep end wasn’t going to help anyone either. “If it’s magic you need then allow me to lend my services, at least until you manage to unblock the remainder of those…challenges” and there were far more hurdles in front of her. She’d faced her fears, but there was more that came after that, magic didn’t come in a certain channel after all. Or perhaps…he just wanted an excuse to go with her.

She snapped her head fast when he said that, as if almost to say shut up to Sebastian because he was giving her a headache that she didn’t need to begin with. But she knew he was right. She hated that he is right. All his comments regarding her magical ability was pretty on point, which wasn’t at all surprising considering how well the male knows her. “You could at least pretend to care about my feelings…” she muttered under her breath.

But of course the Sebastian Daystar she knew would never take the time out to sugar coat. “I know I used to praise you for your brutal honesty but in all seriousness Daystar, why don’t you read the room first” she sighed, it would be nice to have some reassurance at this time. The glare he sent her way for her daring to imply he could be involved made her roll her eyes in response, she had all the reasons to question him but he also had the right to give it back to her.

“You mean to tell me you’ve been at this citadel for how long again? No offense, but I would’ve known.” Then it came to her like a lightning that just struck a tree. “Unless… you made sure the priestesses do not say a single word to me. You have always liked the whole ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them’ excuse after all.” That would make sense because the Aspect of Magic hasn’t been there in a long while, not ever since what happened. “Thanks for the confirmation, Dr” she scowled and looked down, pursing her lips as if she was trying not to cry, everything was just crazy for Malva.

When did it get this crazy? When she start to lose everything that mattered to her? Starting with him. “Well, death is not exactly foreign to me now is it? I’m practically dead. I was just given the second chance to make use of my abilities for the better of the world.” As dramatic and righteous as that sounded, as centuries went by, Mal just wanted to live her second chance properly.

Before she could tell him she didn’t have a choice but to use her magic no matter how detrimental it is to her, he had offered to help her which made her stare at the diviner with her eyebrows raised, as if to question if he’s being real. “Who are you and what have you done with Sebastian Daystar? It’s so unlike you to be offering gracious help like this. You’ve never been generous.” Just as much as he knows her, she does him. “You do know this is dangerous for you to offer right? I dabble Sebastian… what I do might not be something you approve of. But if you offer now, I will want to bind you to it. So think carefully.”

He heard the way she muttered and shook his head slightly, no point caring about her feelings if she wasn’t even strong enough to get out of bed tomorrow or worse, he would put her safety first before anything else. “I’m reading the room just fine” he snapped back in response “One of us has to be realistic here because we both know you’re going to push yourself too far and be right back here again if you don’t” if she even made it at all, but given her current comments he decided to keep that much to himself.

“You wouldn’t know where I was unless I wanted you to know, or perhaps you were the one who didn’t want to know” he pointed out and gave her a stern look, she hadn’t looked for him in years, which was partly his own choice, even now she wasn’t here looking for him, she was here looking for herself. Which was fine, he was just pointing out her stubbornness here. He sighed softly and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder for a moment “You’re going to be fine Mal” he assured her, there were plenty of people looking out for her, not only him.

“Death might not be foreign to you, but it’s also not something you should be in a rush to do” he commented, shaking his head slightly at her assessment of the situation now “You are far from dead, your magic is returning to you, even if it’s slowly, with the right training and focus, you can turn things around” but not if she just went and overdid things immediately like he could tell she wanted to, that wasn’t going to help anyone.

He met her doubtful gaze with a scowl and shrugged his shoulders “I am fully aware of you and your ways, but don’t pretend like this is the first time I’ve willingly followed you” he commented and bit his lip softly. Perhaps if they were alone he could let his guard down a little more but not in front of the blonde he barely knew. “I am making the offer regardless, do you accept it or not?” he spoke directly, the undertone to his ask only known by the two of them.

“You’d like to say something about being realistic” she muttered her breath, remembering the time when he was the one who always had a bigger imagination out of the two of them. But that was the past, there used to be a duo. Now? There’s nothing but a remnant of the past. “And this is why you can be so unpredictable, Bash” she grumbled, not even realizing she had used his nickname again. “You cannot just go AWOL, even though you’re powerful and pretty high up the list, you still have to make sure we can see you. Actually, all the more reason to make us see you.”

The diviner was very powerful, the Ailwards would be on their toes if he was an enemy. When he placed his hand on her shoulder, she looked up and meet his dark hues, god she missed staring into those eyes once upon a time. Honestly, she probably still does. The Aspect of Magic could feel herself loosening up slightly and her eyes softened when he reassured her.

“What is the right training then?” She sighed exasperatedly, it was so frustrating for the Aspect to just wait and try. She has grown to be so impatient lately. As if something was chasing her to a deadline. “I accept it…” she murmured softly “Octavia… can you leave us be for a while? I have… something to talk about with him. Just the two of us, if you don’t mind.” She gave a pleading look at the blonde nephilim as if to ask this as a favor instead.

Of course, why wouldn’t Octavia oblige? The female also understood Malva better than most, having been her personal guard for quite some time. She waited until there was just the two of them and crossed her arms “I don’t know whether to slap you or kiss you honestly.”

The diviner gave an easygoing shrug in response to her calling him unpredictable “I’d say I’m actually pretty consistent most of the time, I protect myself and my interests” which meant if he felt it better that he was alone, he was going to make damn sure that no one found him until he changed his mind about it. “I don’t owe the world a living you know, if I want to be off the grid doing whatever I want, I will” he didn’t make any oaths to save the world and wouldn’t have taken that deal in any lifetime.

He could respect Mal and the choices she had made but he had always been clear that he wouldn’t choose that life for himself, she sacrificed so many parts of herself to people she doesn’t even know and he would never follow her down that road. But when she was the one asking…when she was the one in need…that’s where he wavered…that’s where he felt for a split second like he should care.

He sucked in a soft breath when her gaze showed him her guard lowers for just a moment. “We can worry about that later, I have some ideas in mind” there had been a time when she was the one training him and now it seemed like he’d have the opportunity to reverse their roles. He lifted his gaze to the blonde guard, who gave both him and Mal a stern stare before agreeing to leave them, he nodded his head slightly.

And then they were alone once more. He stared at her frame for a moment, his eyes meeting her green hues “I’ll take option B” he mumbled softly, crossing the distance between them with one hand reaching to hold each of her arms, loosening the barrier she creased with her arms and causing her to step backward until her back hit a nearby wall. He stared into her eyes for a moment, giving her a few fleeting moments to tell him no before he closed the gap and crushed his lips against hers.

She forgot just how sassy Sebastian Daystar could be. The bane of her existence, that man is. But still, she couldn’t help but admire his sarcasm and sass because god knows it meshes well with the Aspect of Magic herself. But it makes it hard for her to win most of the arguments because he makes it that easy to get the upperhand. “Yes your interests. Speaking of which, I will need to talk to you about another of what seemed to not align with your ‘personal interest’.”

She narrowed her eyes at the male and huffed, because as much as she would like to refute that, nobody is obligated to protect the world’s interests much like the Ailwards. They signed up for it. The rest did not. Yet she noticed that whenever it was her asking him personally for help, he never said no. Honestly, when did the diviner ever said no to her? A few times, perhaps. But it was easily counted with one hand.

After Octavia left them, it felt like the air in the room was sucked because the Ailward Aspect felt stuffy. Her heart pounding rapidly against her chest as she stared into his dark hues “What are you doing…” she murmured softly and shuddered slightly because the wall was cold against her back. The kiss was everything she wanted, she missed this. She missed him.

After what felt like forever, she pulled away for a breather and slapped him as if she was taken aback. “Who said you who could kiss me?” She raised her eyebrow and narrowed her green hues at him “You should ask for permission.” Moments after saying those words, Mal pulled him in for another kiss, one far more passionate and deeper than before.

He gave her a curious quirk of his brow in response to her saying she needed to discuss another thing with him “I’d tell you that you’ve certainly reached your quota of favors for the day, but you know…maybe I’ll hear you out this once” it wasn’t like her to come with so many different problems which told him how seriously she’d been impacted by this block to her magic. He sensed it from her, that it wasn’t entirely self imposed, a spell of suggestion weaved in there.

But that could wait for another day, he wanted to do his own investigation into the signature before saying anything, mostly because that signature reminded him very much of his own and that made him highly suspicious. As he watched her, he could almost imagine the weight of the world as it perched upon her shoulders, weighing her down, clouding her judgement, causing her to struggle to reach her own potential, it was a hard life she lived, he knew that much.

Every move he made after that…it was purely instinct, he missed her, he missed the back and forth they always had, the messiness was just who they were. The push and pull between them spanned so much time that it didn’t matter how long it had been, he always knew that one day they’d be together again. Just like this. The kiss he placed on her lips said all of that and more, it said, it doesn’t matter how long we’re apart, you’ll always be mine.

When she pulled away he naturally braced himself for the sting that came next, because he knew her like the back of his hand and when she was panicked, she became impulsive “Malva Ailward…you really are such a thorn in my side” he whispered softly as he felt her pull her in and he met her in the middle, his kiss speaking the rest for him as it deepened, his arms snaking around her waist so he could pull her closer against him, as though any space between them was unwanted.

She but her lip to hide the blush she had because he was not wrong when he said she has been asking him for plenty of favors today alone. Maybe she needs to step back for a moment and let the moment marinate first. Before she decided to do anything more that is. “Sorry, I mean… things have been hard recently. Everything is just… chaotic.”

The chaos in her magic was making her unstable most of the time and even when regained control of it again, didn’t necessarily mean she was back on the track. “I got my magic back but I haven’t gotten control back, how am I supposed to go about this? I’ll… talk to you about the matter when we get back.” She gave the male a look that says ‘we are going back together aren’t we?’ as if to dare him to say otherwise.

Honestly, Mal was anxious that she wouldn’t be able to control her magic again and he wasn’t there to help her regain her footing. As much as she hates to admit it, the Aspect of Magic needs him. Like a tale as old as time, with all their history mixed together to weave whatever thread of fate they have wrapped around each other’s fingers, Mal gravitated towards him naturally. “You like that thorn… you’ve always liked playing with fire anyway…” So what was new? It almost felt like time stopped for them.

She didn’t know how long the kiss lasted but after she pulled away again, she stared up at him “You’re going back with me, aren’t you? You said you’d help me… at least until everything settles down again. I cannot do this alone, Bash…” And there it is again, that nickname.

He’d known Mal for long enough to know she hated asking for help, the type to walk the distance alone before she’d ask someone to drive her to the store. He’d always done his best to stay out of the way of the path she was blazing because he knew she would chase it down regardless of who got in the way, there was no changing the Aspect of Magic’s mind “Chaotic is kinds your default” he pointed out and shrugged his shoulders slightly.

It honestly set an uneasy feeling in his chest to see how out of touch she was with her magic though, he’d seen her at her prime, where magic came to her as easy as snapping her fingers, so to see her on the opposite end of the scale, was unsettling. “Guess for once you’re going to need to accept help” he chided, knowing she hated doing so, he got it, favors were like currency in their community and most people expected others to pay it up.

He bit softly on his lip when she spoke about how they could discuss further on the way, it was so easy for her to sweep him into her wave once again and while he knew he could hold onto what he had here for dear life, his heart…it had already decided his answer. “You know me…always the type to run headfirst into danger..” he mumbled softly as the two of them crashed together once more.

When they eventually parted, he took a few deep breaths to gather his composure, it was so easy for her to shake him that it almost felt unfair. He looked back at her, seeing the vulnerable expression in his eyes she reserved only for the very few she truly let past her walls “I’ll go where you go, for as long as you need me” he chose his words carefully, as he always did it “Mal” he spoke the name with the same contempt she held in her tone when addressing him.

She couldn’t help but give him the same look, her blue hues narrowed, oh how he loves to test her patience. But then again, she had a distinct memory telling her that she was a fan of that particular trait of his. At least, she used to be. Did that change? “Yes, chaotic is my default, thank you for telling the class.” She’s the Aspect of Magic, chaos was pretty much a part of her life.

“I don’t like the feeling okay. But I am not stupid enough to say no and keep denying that all of this was… nothing.” Surely that’s what Malva actually wanted to do. He was right, she hates the idea of calling for help. Because it made her feel like a failure. “It’s the whole reason why I asked you for help.” When she puts it like that, then it sounded a little bit more weird.

The intimate moment they shared was brief but god knows Mal had it etched in her head, perhaps things weren’t so bad and she could capitalize on that, if she was being smart about it. When he said that he would go wherever she goes as long as she needs him, Mal could feel that outer wall crumbling slowly. Like the Matryoshka doll, she was letting her true self out more and more after the outer layer was picked off.

“We should get some rest… now that this is settled… I should get back to Evermore as soon as possible. Get ready to leave by morning…” Despite having the authoritarian mode on, Mal’s eyes and demeanor said otherwise. She was still asking Sebastian to follow her. “I know you’ve never been that much of a morning person but don’t worry, I’ll make sure you wake up. As usual.” And knowing her? She probbaly would do it with ease. She looked back at him before she exited the room “Rest well, Bash.”

He was glad she had come far enough to be able to accept and admit when she needed help as it had always been a flaw of hers, she tried to do everything alone, no matter how much longer or harder that made things. But maybe she had finally accepted that it was okay, if it was with him… “I know” she could trust him, that’s what she said without directly speaking the words and that was enough for him.

It felt like they had traveled back so many years in a moment, any moving on or healing he thought he might have done was immediately torn back the moment she was in his arms again. Perhaps some might call it a dangerous spiral and it could prove to be so, but when she looked at him like that, he couldn’t bring himself to feel bad for it. Their destinies were always intertwined from the moment they met, they were fools if they thought they could escape it.

And despite being at fate’s mercy, he didn’t regret a thing, because the moment she walked into the room again was the moment he felt alive again. The impact a single person could have on him…it was overwhelming “I’ll have my bags packed” he assured her. It did feel strange to be leaving this place behind so quickly but it felt right too wherever they went next, it was going to be the start of the next chapter in their story. When she looked back, he offered a small knowing smile “Sleep well…” he spoke softly before also retiring to his room.

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