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Erythreus had been staring out of the window for hours now. He'd been sitting in the empty meeting room, reflecting on the past two meetings that had taken place among the rest of the faction and the Guards. Vladimir's disappearance had rocked the entire manor, and left each and every one of them doubting their abiltiies. To step up and lead them at such a time, was nothing less than stressful, and even terrifying. While some of thembelieved in Erythreus from the start, there were others who doubted his every move. All he wanted to do was make the Ailward faction aware that he would do his very best to keep them as safe as he coould with the threats against them currently.
Something Octavia had said to him though, had stuck with him to this very second. There was something out there, much bigger than any of them, bigger than the city for that matter, and Erythreus knew he couldn't simply wave his hand around and take the fear out of their hearts. He hated seeing those that he loved, suffer as much as they were. Octavia wasbroken, but at least she was motivated to figure out what had happened. Ery's next plan was to reach out to Damien personally. The two would have a few things to relate on with them each stepping up to be ambassador at such a chaotic time. The Aspect of Death figured that if anyone knew his pain, maybe Damien would. Octavia had became a source of solace and comfort to Erythreus, and well, a certain blonde Initia Master had been stuck in his every thought lately, but Erythreus needed to take a moment and hear Damien's thoughts, and share his own with someone who had been dealt the same kinda hand that Ery himself had.
After giving it little thought, the Aspect trailed off to his room, and showered, dressing in his usual grunge attire, adorned by all black and leather. While he looked the part, Erythreus was probably one of the most soft hearted people in the world. He knew for sure that he was the biggest hopeless romantic among them all, and he had his fair share of being called the brooding alcoholic. All of that was true, but he also had his decent moments where his clothes didn't wreak of whiskey, and his eyes tainted by the tears he'd shed when he allowed the voices to become to much.
At times, being tasked with the dead, had been an overwhelming job, espeically children. They always tugged at his heart in ways that simply broke him. Now with this whole Vladimir ordeal, he felt like he was losing his mind, and just needed a night out with someone that he could possibly relate to. Departing from his bedroom, Erytrheus wandered the manor in hopes of finding Damien, when he ended up running into him in the loft. "Hey, are you busy?" he asked, hoping he wasn't disturbing him. Damien did his own thing, and wasn't always an easy man to find, so he was counting his blessings that Damien was in the manor today. "I was just wondering if you wanted to head out for a while, I figure we have plenty to talk about. There's a bar not far from here, it doesn't stay too crowded. We could probably discuss matters there if you're feeling up to a drink or two" and lets face it, when Erytrheus said a drink or two, that meant several bottles later, and waking up in a strangers bed, or a stranger waking up next to him.
The Aspect grimaced as he thought about the last time he went out to a bar with someone he cared for. Dominic, his very own guard had taken him to a strip club to show the Aspect how to live a little, which turned into a shoot out, and he and Dom being taken as hostages for some freaky plan for human radicals to force Erythreus to do the impossible. They had caught wind of there being an Aspect of Death in the city, and they assumed that he could bring their loved ones back to life. Thankfully Dom had intervened and had even taken a bullet for Ery that night, but the point was, that they had survived because he had a good Guard, and an amazing friend. He could only hope that this outing with Damien would be a little more chill than that.
A leadership position was something he never thought or seen himself taking. Spending all his human life thinking and believing that he had no purpose but after be became a Valkyr and joined the Ailward Guard. It all changed for him, giving him another perspective on life. Something that he’s sure happened to most people in the guard and Aspects too. A reason why they choose to give their life to the organisation and everything that they stood for with how it gave them all a second chance. Not wanting to loose or give it up. In the past few years he’s found his guard duties becoming more stressful with taking on the commander position instead of his old duties of being Malva’s personal guard. A big step up from what he had been used to doing. Thinking at first he was ready or up for it but the other Aspects thought that he was. Since then Damien spent the last few years making sure to proving that he was up to it all, yet he never thought how stressful the job would be. Finding it difficult trying to rebuild the guard after losing more than half of their people when their old home was destroyed. Many lives lost, good people. Damien been working alongside other Aspects trying to find out what or who caused it all but having no luck yet. Now that wasn’t the biggest mystery to them with how Vladmirmir’s disappearance and mysterious death caused a lot of heartbreak within the manor.
Damien could see how everyone was still struggling to cope with the death of a long serving guard and good friend, more so than others. Noticing how some Aspects choose to deal with the pain with alcohol. Admiriting he himself have turned to alcohol to help death with pain and stress but choose to keep that a secret from everyone one else, even his boyfriend. Damien still kept secrets about the guard from Arwyn worried that if he was too involved in his line of work something bad may happen. A way of protecting the one he loves. Damien had spent the better part of the morning up in the loft manor. It was his own place that he liked to go and spend time in. Like how others have their own place to go to, to unwinded. Like how he knew Malva had her greenhouse, and sure that others had their own place. The loft was his. The room was full of pieces of paper, different theories his own crime board so to say. With pictures tagged along with different type of string. Something he spends his time doing on his own to try to piece together what may have happened going back to before the Isle of Skye was destroyed more so to now with no knowing how Vladmir have died. It frustrated him how he couldn’t figure out any explanation, reason more so why he choose to spend more time up here.
He was too focused on his work not even hearing a person stepping into the room, turning around to Erytherus who was standing there looking for him. “Hey, whats up man?” He grinned greeting the Aspect of death, noticing how he was dressed up more than usual. Soon finding that he was right that Erytherus was here for something instead of another meeting. With how it’s only been a few hours since they had a meeting. “Sure, I was just finishing up here anyways” He started to say looking to the work he’d been working on and back to the Aspect. A grin appeared on his lips hearing at the mention of going out for a few drinks, knowing how the two of them liked their alcohol more than the usual person. “Just not too much fun right” Raising his brows reminding him of what happened the last time they said that they were having a few drinks. Finding themselves waking up beside each other or with others, blaming it more so on the alcohol than any feelings. Finding in the past he used Erythreus as a rebound to keep his thoughts away from Arwyn who broke his heart. Damien was sure that Erytherus used him too but they never minded or brought up what happened on their nights out.
“Come on, let's go, by the looks on your face you need a drink” Putting in a nicer way that Erytherus looked more like death than usual but knew that the meeting had taken it out on him, he was the same too. The Valkyr went and grabbed his jacket he left on the chair not needing to go and change his clothes. “Don’t worry I won’t take you to a strip club” He teased adding how he was able to find out and know what Dominics who plans of helping Erythreus turned out with. He wasn’t that bad of a comandor making sure to know what his guards do even if it wasn’t always the right thing.
It had been quite a while since Erythreus had approached Damien alone. The memories of their last encounter, often crept into his every day thoughts, interrupting whatever he was doing. He had made it a point of dressing up tonight, feeling as if he had something to prove with thinking Damien might agree to go out for drinks. Erythreus knew he had a boyfriend now, as much as Erythreus kept in mind that his interest was in Sofi, but it didn't change the small glances Erythreus stole on occasions when Damien wasn't paying attention. He stared at the board Damien had been working on as he mentioned that he was just finishing up, sighing softly. They still hadn't really gotten any closer to the truth, and if Damien felt as stressed as Ery did about stepping up to lead at such a sensitive time, then he was sure Damien could use the drinks as much as Ery could."Figure anything out yet?' he asked curiously, because he knew how Damien stayed in here with most of his free time, obsessing over that board.
"And too much fun? us? Never" he smirked playfully. He had been living in a time of denial when he and Damien first started hooking up, Serena had been stringing him along for as long as he could remember, and during one of their many 'breaks' the Aspect found his comfort in someone else, quite literally.
Ery snapped out of thought when Damien told him to come and mentioned the look on his face "Man, do I ever. Rough times, and i'm sure even rougher times ahead for us all" he stated, knowing Damien of all people might be able to relate. Life had been so much easier as just the Aspect of Death. But with him being the Aspect of Death, ambassador of all Aspects, Erythreus was suffocating a little, and he didn't dare say that to anyone who may doubt his ability to lead, which had been quite a few people in the manor so far. Aurantia specifically had doubted his ability to be leader, and he'd been spending a lot of extra time lately, doubting himself.
Erythreus eyed him though when he said not to worry, he wouldn't take him to a strip club "Hey that was supposed to be fun. Who knew one would take a bullet for me, just trying to get me a few lap dances?" he asked, shaking his head at how messy that night had turned out. He figured Damien had heard of those events, simply because Dom had gotten shot in the shoulder to save Ery from getting shot. "Crazy human riadicals formed a group and assumed I'd be able to bring back all their loved ones" he added as he walked alongside the Guard's commander, and out of the manor. "But, I might take you up on the offer to try my luck with a strip club again. How about we start small though? We can go to Crave, it's a decent place to drink, and we'll just see where our feet lead us from there. Deal?" he asked, and flagged a cab down, since they'd bot be drinking tonight, he thought it was wiser for neither of them to drive.
After hopping in, Erythreus looked over to Damien, who looked pretty wrecked himself. He was rather thankful that someone got him though, that someone knew the burdens and trials he went through as a leader, specifically at the last meeting they had all had, where he and Damien decided to send the Guards back out. The meeting hadn't technically ended yet though, they would have to decide what guards went out, and who went with who. That would be the fun part he imagined, especially for Damien. "Thanks for tagging along tonight. I thought you could use this as much as I" he started and looked out the window as the street lights blured past them. "We definitely have to hit the pool tables at some point tonight too. I need to brush up on my skills. Its the one thing ive learned how to do without breaking it. I'll never understand how technology works." he admitted, finding himself turning a little red, because most of the others in the manor had evolved, as to where Erythreus still used a feather pen and paper to do everything.
Everyone always hated meetings. Even back to when he was just a normal guard member he hated meetings, now even more how at times he has to lead them. Meetings ended up draining everyone, especially if they end up lasting nearly all day. Today's meeting taken them all out on them, remembering when he left Erythreus in the meeting room the Aspect was stressed out. “Thought you would still be in the meeting room” He chuckled softly turning around to look over to Erythreus for a moment then back to his board. “Not yet, mostly it’s just full of loose ends” Sighing putting away a few of his notes he had been working on trying to piece together. “Just trying to do anything I can to figure it out” Damien knew he wasn’t the only one who in their own way was trying to figure it all out, outside of the meetings. Prefering to take the more theoretical way instead. Damien knew how some of the other Aspects have travelled to the other side of the world. Remembering how stressed he was when Malva had told him when she wanted to go to Egypt with Octavia looking for answers. If she did he wanted to ensure that Octavia never leaves her side.
“Hmmm I sorry to burst your bubble handsome but this time around we won’t be waking up to each other naked” He smirked back teasing him playfully too. Damien could remember when it first happened how freaked Ery was over it but for him it was normal in a way. “Arwyn would kill me if he knew I was going out for drinks as it is” His boyfriend always freaked in general whether it was over a mission, guard duties or other things. Damien found it amazing when Arwyn freaks out. “I know what you get up to remember” He went on reminding the Aspect how he knows what he’s guards and Aspects are up to. Even if a lot were crazy antics a lot of the time.
Damien could see how Ery looked more stressed than he was with all happened to them in the last few months have taken it out on them. “Nothing is ever easy isn’t it?” Sighing as he ran his fingers through his curls. “Both of us were dumped into the deep end soon as we became ambassadors” For him he was made Commander right after the Isle of Skye and the last one died. Somehow he was picked from all the other guards still he was confused to why they picked him. Sure there were many more experienced and better guards than him suited to the position. Then Ery was appointed just before when they sent Vladimir out on the mission than took his life. “People wonder why we looked so stressed all the time” He joked pointing out how they looked like death half the time.
He couldn’t help to roll his eyes at the Aspect as he brought up what happened the last time he was taken to a club and how Ery was defending himself. “Hmm you say that. I sent one of my guards to make sure your safe and not to go out to a strip club then end up getting shot” He marvelled sarcastically not letting him forget it. “Drama tends to always follow you” Stating the truth but he knew people couldn’t change it about them. The two of them started to leave the manor letting Ery take the lead. Damien was starting to regret his words bringing up the mention of a strip club since he knows what the Aspect was like. “You trying to get me killed?” He joked shaking his head, either being killed by his boyfriend or by someone trying to target them. “Fine” Finally giving in with how he agreed to drinks knowing by then he lost his say or choice of where they go.
At least tonight would given them both some downtime to get away from feeling trapped within the manor something he had been feeling more so lately. Knowing he wasn’t the only one. “It's no problem, your right we both need this” To get out before they go out of their head. He was quite good at pool having picked up the skill back in his human life still having the knack now. “I’m always having to have technology because one of you Aspects broke something” He teased smirking knowing how technology wasn’t an immortals best skill. “Loser has to take a shot” Almost being the more of a bad influence on them, reason how they always ended up getting too drink so early on.
Things had been pretty crazy for the Aspects and Guards all the same. Erythreus felt that they were no closer to the truth, and he could see that it was visibly taking a toll on all of them. As some of the Aspects had thinned out to travel for answers, Erytrheus had stayed put, and did his investigating by Dom's side, leaving nothing to chance, especially his safety. He knew he'd have to fight Dom on the matter, but his safety was as important to Erythreus. Dom had made it clear the night he took a bullet for Erythreus, that he put the Aspect of Death's life before his own.
"I couldn't handle another second in there" he finally spoke. Erythreus was worn down mentally from the meetings they'd been having. He imagined everyone else was feeling the same. Damien even had a different look about himself. It saddened Ery that the only time they all gathered, was when a threat posed against them. Never did you see the Guards and Ailwards all in the same room unless something serious was going on, or because they actually wanted each others company. Unfortunately it was always a have-to situation. When Damien sighed and commented on the loose / dead ends his board consisted of, the Aspect gave him a faint smile "Hopefully we can get just a little peace of mind tonight, maybe if we come back with a set of fresh eyes, and some of the stress lifted off of us, we can figure some stuff out. I'm happy to help you, with anything Damien" it was true they shared a past together, but Erytrheus would always be there for Damien, and especially now.
The Aspect's mouth fell ajar when Damien reminded him they wouldn't be waking up naked next to each other this time, and playfully, he held his hand against his own heart "way to break a man's heart Damien. But, don't you worry, that's a visual that won't be leaving my mind for a very long time" he grinned slightly. The two of them had gotten hammered the last time they went out casually like this, and shared a pretty wild night together, which often times, like to replay in Ery's mind. Especially during the occasions they bumped into each other in the halls. Erythreus smirked slightly when he said Arwyn would freak to know he was going out for drinks "I mean can you blame him? Have you seen you?" he quipped, and shot the Guard ambassador a smirk. Erythreus quirked a brow in Damien's direction when he said he knew what the Aspect got into "Is that so?" he asked curiously, wondering just what all Damien had heard about Erythreus. "Ever get any bad reports on the activities of your Guards?" he couldn't help but wonder, and found it slightly amusing to think of what all the Guards actually got into.
The Aspect of Death hung his head low for a moment, grimacing at the floor when Damien said nothing was ever easy. It was the truest thing the Guard had said so far. "We were. At first I kept going on about how unfair life was, while at the same time, I feel like i'm exactly where I should be.. It's just scary ya know? Hoping to be what your people need you to be" and out of all the fears Erythreus had about being ambassador, that had been his biggest one. He feared he would fail the Ailwards, but he didn't let it stop him from doing his best. And, he would continue to do so, until he finally leads them where they all felt they needed to be. Erythreus chuckled, and shrugged slightly, "We look okay for two guys carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders though. I bet no one else can wear it like we do" he smirked, referring to stress obviously, but he admired Damien for stepping up and doing his best. That's all either of them could do really.
Ery glanced over to Damien as they headed out into the night, when he reminded Erythreus of the time Dom had taken a bullet for him. "Unfortunately, even if I would have tried to stop him, he would have still taken that bullet for me. I felt like shit to be honest, and it didn't help that a group of human radicals formed a group of people who thought I culd bring their loved ones back from the dead and kind of forced us to go with them. If I could say one thing though, Dom handled that situation flawlessly.. you should be proud" he gave a nod, not only did it show true loyalty from a Guard, but it also reflected on the skills of their leader.
Ery chuckled when Damien finally mouthed the word 'fine' and did a fist pump to the air as if it was a small victory that he'd even gotten Damien to agree to tonight. "You're right, we do need this. We deserve it. I think if we could relieve a little stress, we'd be able to look at things more clearly back at the manor" he shrugged, because he knew no matter what they did, it wouldn't truly bring them any closer than them all working together and trusting each other would, that was the only way they would get through this. Erythreus was terrible at pool, so Damien's proposal that loser takes a shot each round, made him groan slightly "Fine.. but if I get tipsy, make sure I don't do anything wreckless. I got your back too, promise" he grinned a sinister grin before heading out of the cab, and into the bar. Greeted by the smell of smoke and grilled food, along with booze, the Aspect scrunched his nose up before looking to his side to make sure Damien was with him. "What do you think all of this means? I mean the threat we're facing. It feels like something dark looming around us all, something much bigger than any of us put together"
Erythreus waved the bartender over and ordered himself a whole bottle of whiskey, and requested a few shot glasses. "Whatever you want. My treat" he figured Damien would just opt for splitting the bill, but either way, Ery didn't mind. The music in the background hummed a familiar tune, and Erythreus shrugged his jacket off, leaving him in a solid black tank top. He wanted to get comfortable, as he knew this would be a long night.
Truthfully he was just as stressed as everyone else was. With how it always was both him and Erytherus’s job and say for who to go on what missions. Their decision each of them makes and no one else's, how they were the ones to blame for sending Vladimir and Octavia out. If they didn’t they’re people would have been saved. Just the two ambassadors were too blinded by duties to think what if a mission was to go wrong. Finding it out the hard way. Since then he’s struggled to sleep. Haunted by his thoughts. Damien knew he wasn’t the only one who struggled in the past few months, everyone was just the same.
He was right of how Erythreus was struggling in the meeting more than him. “Those meetings take it out us these days” Adding to the stress there all in how the two of them were only now deciding to send guards back out on missions. Making all the precautions this time around trying to make sure all areas are covered. With how missions all were more time consuming and more difficult than before. “We have to do what needs to be done right?” Looking over to him with a heavy heart only adding to how messed up everything all was now. His mind board was something he tends to work on himself his own project so to say but most people knew about it with how it wasn’t really a secret. How every commander has to plot out their own strategories, this was his way of doing things. He’s no detective but almost good as how he was always good at these things even before he took over the position. “Fresh set of eyes? You do know we’ll both be hungover right?” He joked making a sly comment about how he both knew how they were when they went out drinking but knew where he was coming from.
Damien rolled his eyes at the Aspect seeing his reaction to him turning his down anything happening between them this time. “Hmm cause I remember all the times the horror on your face when you wake up and remember all from the night before” He teased back slyly having always teased him about it whenever he could. “Don’t worry I can always find a replacement to keep you all happy instead” Damien added continuing to tease the Aspect how he was sure he’d find a suitable hook up to keep Ery preoccupied. “We haven’t been out for ages” Both having so much going on neither of them felt like everything was all okay but it was time for him to let problems go away too for the night at least. Damien rolled his eyes to Ery trying to sway him away rubbing it in a way because how Damien was with Arwyn. “It’s the curls, everyone loves the curls” Smirking making a remark at his best feature. How everyone was always amazed at how perfect his hair looked all the time even when most of the time it looked greasy but people thought overwise. “Easy tigger” Shooting him down once again quickly turning the conversation around back to “Hmm a lot of guards go out drinking bit too much with their Aspects. Or we have Crane who keeps losing track of Cora” Damien knew how against Cora was when they assigned her a bodyguard so he wasn't surprised to find out Crane kept loosing her then spends the day tracking her down.
“I never thought I’d see myself as a leader of anything, let alone something big as this” He admitted truthfully knowing how everyone were the same in a way. “But this feels that it’s right like it was meant to be. Everything all falling into place. The good and the bad”
The Aspect of Death hung his head low for a moment, grimacing at the floor when Damien said nothing was ever easy. It was the truest thing the Guard had said so far. "We were. At first I kept going on about how unfair life was, while at the same time, I feel like i'm exactly” Knowing that Ery thought and felt the same thing as him, been in the same position. “Hmm you seem to have a lot of fun of your own too outside of things” He joked, teasing the Aspect once again. Every guard who is assigned to an Aspect knows that their responsibility is much more than it was. “It's his job to protect you even if it means getting shot in the process. Luckily if he was all fine, it could have been a lot worse” Pointing out to what could have happened. “I still don’t understand how you managed to get a group of human radicals after you” Shaking his head finding how trouble seems to follow somehow, luckily the managed to clear up and ease the human’s memories that happened.
Damien was easily persuaded into going out for drinks with how lately he’s been saying now each time but could see that both of them needed tonight. “We’ll have some fun tonight then tomorrow will be down to work” Agreeing how it all wouldn’t be so bad after all. Damein laughed at Ery’s reaction to him suggesting a drinking game for pool with how it’ll end with the Aspect getting too drunk. “Don’t worry I can protect you tispy or not tipsy” He commented whilst smirking having a few skills. “Hmmm i thought you agreed that tonight was about drinking and not about work” Reminding him that rule that was already set for tonight. Soon as they arrived at the bar he headed over to the bar following the Aspect’s lead. Taking a seat beside him, not surprised that a bottle of whiskey had already been ordered for them to start off with. “Already starting off with the hard stuff aren’t we” He mused shaking his head knowing that they both would get drunk tonight. “Waste not want not right” Taking the bottle of whiskey and glasses the bartender put down in front of them, opening the bottle and pouring them two shots. Passing one to Ery. “Here”