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 Where The Good Ones Go, Odile & Poppy || Nic & Kenna
Prince Adrian Charming
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 08:44 PM
Quote
  • Royalty (19)
  • The Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “Oh please, don't ask me how I've been, don't make me play pretend”
Skylark


you don't have to be a ghost here amongst the living

Adrian could hardly think of an eerier set up if he tried. The corridor they were currently making their very slow way down was deadly silent but for their movements, unlit but for the lights they were carrying and some faint light filtering in through gaps in bordered up windows. It was a prison of the worst kind, a mere holding place. No doubt for the people the Queen of Veroma had a knack for ‘making disappear’. The air was stale, unmoving, thick with the stench of rot.

It reminded the prince of somewhere he was too frightened to ever try to remember. Of those cold iron bars which both he and his brother had been caught so helplessly behind. The terror they faced at the hands of a creature who had tortured and killed so many before them-

And the worst of it, it was empty. All but for them. Well, as far as beating hearts inside living bodies were concerned. Nearly every cell in the long line of this seemingly never ending hallway housed a body, or two, or more. Some long dead. And some no longer even recognisable. Another final hoorah for the Queen who could sense her time coming to an end? To wipe out the prisoners she had would have been an understandable move...but it was the bodies of each and every guard which littered the corridor floor that had the Valthan party wondering what the hell her game even was. These were her men, right? Why kill her own men?

They were more recently dead, far more recently. Which worried every person from Valthan to no end, though no one had yet spoken up about it. That clearly whoever had wrought this destruction had been here recently. Very recently.

But no one dared say anything, feeling like it was jinxing this entire campaign more than it was already doomed, so the half of the Valthan party led by Adrian continued down their side of this godforsaken place.

He had to give the witch points for effect, was all Adrian could think. His mind desperately trying to keep things light even in the privacy of his own head. It was sweltering here, despite the cold turning of the seasons beyond these walls. They were sweating under the armour they wore, the armour which felt so unnaturally heavy to the prince who hadn’t needed to wear it in so long. But it was best they didn’t take any chances here, not with another foreign royal arriving on Veroma shores, not when they were already taking such a huge risk being here in the first place.

They’d permitted him a weapon too. A sword which after that time spent with his older brother, no longer felt quite so wrong in his hands anymore. A sword unsheathed and gripped in hand like the guards around him, ready for attack the moment it was needed. His other hand clasping his sleeve over his nose and mouth, trying in vain to hide them from the stench here, from the rancid taste of the air. They advanced cautiously, Adrian in a stance Tristan had helped him to perfect. His guards encircled him, ready to protect their prince at the first sign of danger-

There was a loud thud which sounded behind them.

Every head whipped round in unison, eyes immediately searching for the threat.

A threat which turned out to be no more than one, very lumbering Valthan guard tripping over the dead form of a Veroma guard in the dim light, and crying out at the heart attack he’d just given himself.

The rest of the guard seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief. “Oh Christ, you scared us there!” One exclaimed, his hand clutched over his racing heart. The guard’s prince had already moved on though, pushing on through the halted men. “Oh my goodness, you are literally the worst covert guard in existence.”

“Hey! You better be including yourself in that, Adrian!” Another guard quickly sniped back, which brought a sarcastic laugh from their prince’s lips.

“I swear to god, if-” A hand landed suddenly on his shoulder. Making Adrian’s already thundering heart jump once more. He looked over and up into a pair of eyes which had instantly recognised that quiver of frustration in his tone. It was the last thing they needed right now. To have to deal with him losing it on top of everything else. Adrian consciously took a deep breath, muttering quietly under it; “Alright, alright. Let’s keep moving.”

It was fear really. This emotion he’d always seen as a weakness, one he’d always tried to hide behind jokes and smiles, and later the tempers which he became well known for. A temper he couldn’t allow to wage anymore, and so a fear which had been allowed to rule his heart for well over the past year.

This terror Adrian still felt weak for showing. One which despite his circumstances and just how well aware of how incapable of feeling anger he truly was, still came out as fury before he let it be what it truly was. That terror in his heart now which snapped in frustrated tones. That terror that he’d led them all into a death trap, that none of them were making it out of this alive.

That terror gripping his heart that this was all pointless, that Poppy was indeed here but long dead like every other prisoner in every other cell. That any moment they’d walk past her now. Yet another body behind another set of iron bars.

Adrian forced the thought from his mind as their feet fell back into that patient rhythm. There’d be no use in that sort of thinking now. Not here, not after coming so far. This had to work, she had to be safe. Else the alternatives didn’t dare thinking about.

“Surely, it doesn’t even matter anyway.” A voice piped up almost immediately after they’d began walking again. Voicing one more fear they’d all silently acknowledged and yet silently agreed never to speak on. “I just mean, if this Queen really is as powerful as everyone says she is, she must have heard us coming a mile off already, right?” The young guard continued, a fear wavering in his voice, to the accompaniment of a chorus of slowly shaking heads.

“Yeah, and thanks for reminding us of that.” Another voiced what the rest of them were thinking.

“Maybe she’s waiting for us.”

The second guard, one near the front of the group stopped and looked over his shoulder suddenly at the one with the nerve to show the terror they were all feeling. “Look, with all the good intention in the world, please. Just shut up.” Another halted too, holding his hands up in the half light, trying to be the voice of reason. “Please, could we try to keep our voices down-”

“Just because she might know, that doesn’t mean it’s any more of a good idea to go crashing about the place!” But their prince had already been riled, just as on edge as they all were. His words coming through nearly gritted teeth.

That hand is soon on his shoulder again. “Adrian-” He nodded, hiding his face by looking off to the side. “Right.” The prince forced that one small word out. About as much as he could manage without feeling as if he would be risking his voice raising far beyond what was safe. Adrian fell silent, eyes flickering shut. He began to count in his head.

One. Him losing it now wouldn’t do a scrap of good.

Two. He had to keep it together.

Three. Though the youngest here, he was their duke, their leader.

Four. He was the one who had dragged them all to this hellhole in the first place.

Five-

“Adrian.” A voice snapped him from his thoughts. “Adrian, are you counting again?” He opened one eye to find a lantern being held dangerously close to his face. “You know it doesn’t work if you keep asking that, right?” Comes the prince’s response, teetering precariously between humour and annoyance. "And I don't think our goal here is to blind me, is it?" He reached a hand up to shield his eyes and the guard took the lantern away, muttering hushed apologies. Another looked about to speak up too, whether to throw in yet another retort or to actually say something constructive, the party never found out-

For another of them had begun to move forward, crouched down slightly, waving his arms in a signal they all collectively understood to mean follow. Quietly. “Shhh, there’s someone coming.” It was a needless observation. They could all hear the footsteps now. Not one, but many.

But that tension relaxed in all of them the moment they recognised the Valthan crests embroidered on their uniforms. It was the other half of their party, having swept down the adjacent corridor led by Lady Odile whilst they’d covered the other. Weapons were lowered and stances relaxed. As both halves of the Valthan party watched each other in silence a moment, both agreeing on two things. One, this place truly had been plucked from the depths of hell and two, there had been no sign of the princess yet.

Adrian was quick to head over, the signal taken for the other guards to approach too. Hushed conversations beginning about him as he made his way over to Odile. “How are you doing?” He whispered with a half-smile made despite their situation and despite their surroundings. His arm reached to wrap around the small of her back.

The prince turned his face to the wall which ran alongside their gathered group, gesturing towards it with the hilt of his sword. “Behind the final door it is then!” He spoke quietly, even now still trying to inject some kind of futile mirth into the silence. As gazes turned in unison to what stood as seemingly their one last hope. Not the usual iron bars but two great oaken doors, leading god knows where.

Given all they had already witnessed, it was no surprise that Adrian’s heart was in his mouth. As he looked upon the entrance that might finally relinquish his old friend from this living nightmare.

@Nic @Kenna // Woo, OSP is finally a-go! <33
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Odile von Rothbart
 Posted: Dec 4 2017, 01:59 AM
Quote
  • Magical Beings (20)
  • Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “I am of gold, diamonds, and fire. You will not put me out.”
Nic


Odile did not have much experience in rescuing. She was usually at the other end of such activities. Not that she was the one who needed to be rescued. On the contrary, she was the one who was the reason why someone needed to be rescued in the first place. And she had a good teacher too. They never lost anyone they didn’t want to be found. Right now, Odile had a horrible feeling that that was exactly what was happening here. If Narcissa White truly wanted Poppy Hahnsen for herself as her own little pet, her prison wouldn’t be so barren. Horrible, yes. Twisted and demented, yes. But not barren. Not like this. This was a trap and Odile could sense it deep in her bones. Narcissa wanted Poppy found. Whether it was because she wanted to dispose of her — perhaps having tired of her toy. Or worse yet, Poppy was bait and Adrian Charming was walking right into the ‘Evil Queen’s’ trap. Odile kept her guard up. Not just her senses but her magic too. Before they even began their journey through the east wing, she gave strict instructions to her half of the troop to be quiet as a grave. (Little did she know that they were going through what was practically a mass grave.) She cloaked them in her protection, warding off any prying eyes or ears. Anyone who would even begin to see them would soon feel their attention slip away, not quite sure what they just saw. When at last they reached the eerie end of the line they converged with the other half of their party. Relief washed over her when she spotted Adrian — even if he did look terribly peeved. She reached out to him and the barriers of her magic fell. (There was no one here. She was just wasting her energy.) “Something isn’t right,” she whispered back, ignoring the half-smile that sat on her beloved’s lips. She had to be vigilant for the both of them. She shook her head, her heart beating fast in anticipation of what might be behind the ‘final door’. “Be ready,” she let her hand slide down to the hilt of his sword, tightening her grip before letting go. Odile didn’t carry any weapons of her own. For all her education, Odile never learned traditional means of offense and defense. She always had her mind, her hands, and her magic. Anything else was wasted on her. Just as she was reaching for the door, she feels a hand on her shoulder. (Things like this — having friends, having allies, having people who you could depend on. It needed plenty of getting used to.) She turned to the source and saw Alfred give her a small nod just before he pushed his way to the front, shielding her. A few months earlier, she would have insisted that there was no need for such foolish bravery and machismo. But this time she didn’t. She knew the gesture for what it was now. It was Alfred doing his job as her guard, it was Alfred protecting her as a friend. She relinquished her hold of the iron ring. Took a deep breath. Three. Two. One. The heavy door creaked open.
tag: @Kenna @Skylark notes: so it begins
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Princess Poppy Hähnsen
 Posted: Dec 5 2017, 01:44 AM
Quote
  • Royalty (24)
  • Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Soest
  • “I found peace in you violence, don't tell there's no point in trying. I'm at one, and I've been quiet for too long.”
Kenna


The reflection of my face, some wouldn't even recognize. Or who put me in this place, I wouldn't even recognize. Time has been so cruel. I could have blamed me but I blame you.
Welp, sorry about what you have found, Adrian and Odile.

@Skylark @Nic

The scene was familiar.

Colors flurried before her as lights flashed and music echoed in the air. The Soest ball room was decorated perfectly for the harvest celebration. The smell of pastries and flowers of each daughter’s name wafted through the room. The Hähnsen family always knew how to hold a celebration, and this one seemed to be no different.

Poppy smiled as she watched the magnificent chaos before her. She did not rise to join, stuck in her chair in a way, but content to be so. Instead she observed her youngest sisters running between the well dressed lords and ladies on the dance floor.

In reality the room was dark and had a damp feeling to it, while also having a dryness that would scratch at the back of your throat.. The space was wide and empty, like an open black hole, sucking the life from the air. In the middle of the barren room sat a single chair. Dark, with menacing arms that looked more like walls of a cage than arms to a chair. In the chair sat a figure. Dark hair fell loosely in waves over her shoulders and around her face. Pale skin peaked out from beneath the shadowy curtains, deep pits and lines on her face extenuated by the shadows.

If you looked close enough you can see two eyes, wide open, staring into the empty space before her. They are glazed over, as if she can see something that is truly not there. For she is. The whites of her eyes are dull, but the dark circling her pupil echoes the room around her. Dark. Deep. Empty. The eyes danced around the room slightly, as if watching a movement in the space before her.

Poppy watched the dancers and her hands came up to applaud them all as they bowed and curtseyed to each other and then to where she sat. A man approached her now and set a familiar object before her. It was a harp that she had often played in the private setting of her room or for her sisters when they would act out theatrical productions in small sitting rooms.

Her hands went to it instantly, finding the threads on her fingertips. Without thinking a tune spilled from her hands. Slow, smooth, passionate. The atmosphere of the room changed as people moved to those they loved, or wished to love, and held them close. The dance changed and Poppy’s eyes watched happily at the moment playing out before her. A warmth surrounding her. Fingers moving precisely. A smile on her face. Her soul content.

Limp hands sat in the lap covered by a stark white dress. Draping sleeves fell to her forearms. Fingers twitched, jerky, barely there movements. Her shoulders slumped forward slightly, a painful position for her back. Splitting through the silence of the room was a soft hum. Pale, dried lips sat slightly open on her sunken face. A slow, sinister tune was emitted from the only being in the space. The creak of the door left her unfazed.

The large doors to the ballroom opened. Poppy continued to play, but all of the dancers halted, turning to look at the new arrival. He stood in the doorway, and Poppy’s heart began to beat faster. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered about, and her breathe faltered when his sparkling, honey filled eyes met hers. Her love song continued as he made his way across the space to her.

The distant eyes stayed lost in space. Fingers continued to twitch. The hum rang throughout the room.

©

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Prince Adrian Charming
 Posted: Dec 5 2017, 10:23 PM
Quote
  • Royalty (19)
  • The Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “Oh please, don't ask me how I've been, don't make me play pretend”
Skylark


you don't have to be a ghost here amongst the living

Something isn’t right, his love whispers back into the grave silence of this hell.

No, he thinks, nothing was right with this. With Veroma, with its tyrant. With this mass grave currently masquerading as a prison. With Poppy’s arrest- with the very atmosphere in the godforsaken place. The air rang with a danger one didn’t have to be magically-inclined to recognise. Fear flooded through the heart of every man here. There was a lot to be said for instinct.

Something isn’t right. Adrian searched Odile’s expression a moment, that attempt at a smile fading as he understood the weight of those words. Though they all might be on edge, the imminent danger in the very air here, when Odile warned them that something wasn’t right, then something definitely wasn’t right. Adrian could already feel his guard raising even more at the words.

“Be ready,” and all he can do in response is nod. His gaze following her hand down to the hilt of sword. Knowing just what Odile was trying to prepare him for.

She headed forwards then, his hand falling from her back. After his instruction about revealing what was behind seemingly the one last room they hadn’t yet searched. It would just be so perfect, wouldn’t it? For the Queen to place her in the very last place they’d reach. Leave her until the very last, after they’d been forced to trek these halls filled with corpses and the very scent of death.

Adrian followed closely behind, hand resting on his sword hilt, noting as the members of his guard came to stand in a group before him. Alfred positioning himself right in front of his Lady, ready to protect her from whatever might be waiting for them behind this last door. Just as Odile didn’t argue, Adrian silently let his guard do their duty. To protect his life.

They form a barrier between their prince and what lay behind these doors. But their Duke stood in wait right behind them, hand hovering over his weapon, eyes locked on the scene slowly revealed to them as Odile pushed the doors open with an ominous creaking which reverberated around these desolate corridors.

Adrian spotted it immediately. Past the figures of his guards, over the shoulders stood protectively in front of their prince. He saw her.

He recognised the young woman in an instant.

“Poppy?” Adrian called out. She was here. They’d found her. They’d see her safe again. Too quiet even in the still air. A question without thinking, her name, to himself. Already knowing that he’d never mistake her. His gaze is fixed on that lone figure on that chair, the only presences in the stark room laid out before them. Adrian’s heart seems to equally constrict and flood with relief.

His feet are moving before his mind is, already pushing past the guard who were trying to protect him.

“POPPY!” His voice is louder now. So much louder. Bleeding with the fear, the worry, and the dread coursing through his veins.

Poppy; the girl who had become like a sister to him. A friendship born a lifetime ago on mischievous smiles and midnight pranks. The girl his father had deemed a ‘bad influence’ on his impressionable young son. A stubborn heart like his own, a infinitely playful nature which had only fueled his own.

Those children, who had been wild and reckless and carefree, they were adults now. Ones carrying damaged souls around with them. Ones forced to their knees, forced to the brink.

(Before you ruined it, like you ruin everything, Frog Prince. When this curse revealed the truth of this ugly heart of yours. You forced her away. You forced her to watch you fall. And she never forgave you...)

There are hands on him. Wrapping around both arms and holding him back. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t get to her. Stuck here as he was, feet straddling the threshold to the room which housed her. I promised to be there for her. I vowed to see her safe where I’d failed her before.

“Your Highness, wait.” It is a hiss in his ear. One which finally snapped his transfixation on the hunched figure sat alone before them. His glare landed on the guard who had spoken, his eyes wild as he protested. “Let go of me!” He weakly tried to struggle against them, but to no avail.

Think, for a moment. This could still be a trap.”

“Let me get to her!”

A guard comes to block his view of her now. Stood right before him, his hands reaching out to hold the sides of his prince’s face. Forcing Adrian to look at him.

“Adrian. Breathe.”

And he could see it now, his eyes frantically searching his guard’s. He could see it. See himself through his man’s eyes instead of his own. He had to calm down. They needed to be cautious. And this terrified mind and raging temper needed to be quelled-

His breaths were coming too quickly, his ribcage heaving this stale and rotting air far faster than it needed to.

His heart was pounding and a dread fills the prince.

No, it was fine. He was fine. This wasn’t anger, this wasn’t the change. This was fear. Plain old, ordinary, inescapable fear. It flooded through his veins just like anger did. In the prince who felt everything so very strongly.

Fear; he just needed to breathe.

His gaze drops from his guard’s worried expression, but Adrian knew just what to do. And he let himself, for a rare moment. Taking all of a few precious seconds to collect himself, to steady his breathing and temper what he could of these nerves frayed so long ago.

“Are we good?” Comes the guard’s soft whisper and his prince’s following nod. As good as he’d ever be. They let go then, hands dropping from his face and their hold on him released.

(Right. Let’s think about this for once, Frog Prince.)

Adrian ducked around his guard, weaving through the closely gathered bodies to place himself at Odile’s side. He didn’t know what to say to her now. Not in the face of this, not where his usual defence of humour held no place. There is no more attempts at a smile anymore. Just this grim expression and the fear dancing in his eyes.

He reached out to take her hand in his, lacing his fingers between her own. And perhaps it was ridiculous, but he felt so much braver then. In his place by her side where he felt like he belonged.

The prince took the cautious approach his guard was wanting. Placing one foot in front of the other, slowly covering the ground of this huge room. With its stagnant and foreboding air. Holding his beloved’s hand as they went, their guard surrounding them, moving as a unit in defence of their rulers.

His eyes don’t leave her.

Close enough now that he could recognise that faint sound for what it was; Poppy humming to herself. A few more paces, and it became a tune he vaguely recognised. An old Soestrian love ballad, one which had never quite become popular in the neighbouring Far, Far Away. The prince remembers her playing it for him once. Once upon a quiet afternoon when they hadn’t been causing havoc or taking on the world. Adrian, for all his love of music, had never much had the patience for sitting down and learning how to play it. It had been an almost magical moment. In the golden light, as Poppy became some gentler, quieter self. Lost in the notes of the harp in her arms, in the rolling melodies her fingers could produce-

She was dressed all in white. Too pristine for where she was, too clean for a room like this. It was unnerving. As was her silence, her blank stare. Adrian kept moving. His heart in his stomach. Eyes watching the fingers that were twitching, making small movements to accompany her hum. As if she were playing the notes herself.

What the hell have they done to you?

They reached her, after what felt like an age. And no guard had descended on them yet, no witch had materialised to take their prince too.

Adrian squatted down just before the chair. Just out of reach. So he could better be at eye level, still not relinquishing the hand which was clinging on tightly to Odile’s. He could see it now. The full scope of the Evil Queen’s work.

Poppy was too still, too quiet. Locked in the melody which felt so out of place here. Placed at the very centre of this room, the very last they had reached in this prison. Her ghostly pale skin and hollow eyes visible through the curtain of dark hair which partially obscured her features. Leant forwards at an odd angle in the chair.

Her hands sat in her lap. Fingers still twitching.

Adrian glanced towards Odile for a moment, that dread written all over his expression.

How dare she? What the hell did she do to you? The thought was choking him. His gaze shifted back to his old friend and his mind wrestled to force those thoughts away. He couldn’t afford to be angry for her, not here. Poppy needed better than that from him, she’d always deserved better than that.

Adrian lets a terror for her fill his thoughts instead. And that sickening sense of dread that this was not nearly the worst of it. That they were still yet to learn the full scale of what had happened.

He could feel tears pricking his eyes. He blinked them away. (She deserved better than you.)

It was too still. Too quiet.

“Poppy.” He spoke so very softly. His free hand reaching out...but stopping just short of her. “Poppy, it’s me. It’s Adrian.”

@Nic @Kenna // The spooks continue~ idek how this got so long lol <33
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Odile von Rothbart
 Posted: Dec 9 2017, 11:29 PM
Quote
  • Magical Beings (20)
  • Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “I am of gold, diamonds, and fire. You will not put me out.”
Nic


There is a lone figure in white. She might as well be a ghost. "Poppy! Let me go to her!" Odile feels her heart break as Adrian’s protests fill the empty room. But unlike her beloved, she does not leap into action. (She doesn’t know Poppy. Not really. Only through Adrian’s stories.) This figure could very well not be Poppy at all. Simply an illusion. Simply a trap. She has to keep a level head for Adrian, for Poppy, for all of them. But it’s hard to do when she finds herself falling deeper and deeper into her own memories. Of the time when her eyes were first opened, of the time when the hall where she once laughed and danced and sang was suddenly filled with a dark shadow she couldn’t escape. (The time you got away.) By instinct, by some need for some false sense of security, her hand rests on the pendant that hung about her neck. It feels cold against her skin. The water from her lake still glistened inside it. A reminder of where she’d come from, a reminder of how far she’d come. A reminder. And so much more. “Let him go,” she orders, her voice barely above a whisper. She breaks out of her daze, reminds herself that the dangers of the past were in the past. The dangers of the present were what they had to focus on now. “I said let him go,” she turns to the guard, her voice more authoritative. She reaches them in time for Adrian to calm down. He reaches for her and she doesn’t hesitate in taking his hand in hers. Her heart beats wildly in her chest. She couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong. (What could be more wrong than this? Look at her.) She looks at Poppy – truly looks at her this time. Dressed in white like a doll, her dark hair hung like ashen curtains over her face. Her fingers twitching in perfect sync to a tune she hums to herself. Soft. Romantic. (Don’t. A lullaby rings softly in her head. She freezes in place just as Adrian bends down to look his friend in the eye. Rothbart’s lullaby is there. But it holds no power on her anymore. Not if she doesn’t let it.) So she speaks. Further breaking the spell of silence. Anything to drown out the melody in her head – that calming song that had easily put her mind into a different sort of spell entirely. “What is she singing?” she asks, her voice as soft as Adrian’s. “Poppy,” she hazards, turning to the princess - dressed like a broken porcelain doll. “We’re here to take you back home. Would you like that?”
tag: @Kenna @Skylark notes: blergh this is not so great. will get better.

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Princess Poppy Hähnsen
 Posted: Feb 12 2018, 04:18 PM
Quote
  • Royalty (24)
  • Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Soest
  • “I found peace in you violence, don't tell there's no point in trying. I'm at one, and I've been quiet for too long.”
Kenna


The reflection of my face, some wouldn't even recognize. Or who put me in this place, I wouldn't even recognize. Time has been so cruel. I could have blamed me but I blame you.
Welp.

@Skylark @Nic

He stands before her, and her eyes shift to focus on him. Here he was. Finally. Before her again. This time would end differently than last time, she was sure of it. ”You came.” she said lightly, her voice tasting like honey, and sounding as smooth as silk. A small smile settled on her face. ”You found me.”


Poppy’s eyes finally half focused on the prince in front of her, but there was still something far away in them. Though she looked at him, she wasn’t seeing him. Her humming stopped. ”You came.” The words truly left her mouth, but they came in a cracked, dry voice. ”You found me.”

A golden sheen cascades around the room as all else fades but him and the beautiful sounds of laughter and cheers in the background. He is down in front of her now, at eye level, she does not have to stand. Something in her tells her she cannot stand, but she brushes it off. She has no need to if he kneels before her. A hand reacts out to touch his face, but she cannot reach him. He is just a centimeter too far away. ”I can’t believe you came.” He almost sparkles before her. But the presence of another dulls the shine around them.


Poppy’s hand was out stretched to Adrian, but her small and weak limb couldn’t full extend towards him if she tried. Her eyes were still unfocused on his face as her fingers twitched in the hair before him, as if reaching to caress his cheek. ”I can’t believe you came.” There is suddenly the realization that someone else is beside him. Her head turns slowly, almost ticking like. Unfocused eyes fall on Odile.

There is a great beauty beside him. One she doesn’t quite recognize, but can also recall as if she had known her her entire life. She was every woman she had wronged and every woman she had lost her love to before. ”Why is she here?” Poppy asks, her eyes moving back to him, the smile still on her face but tears prickled her eyes. ”Why did you really come?”

Poppy’s eyes return back to Adrian. ”Why is she here?” Her voice is sharp, harsh, the smile falling. A crazed look takes over her eyes as tears begin to pool in her wide, lost eyes. ”Why did you really come?”

©

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Prince Adrian Charming
 Posted: Feb 14 2018, 09:36 PM
Quote
  • Royalty (19)
  • The Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “Oh please, don't ask me how I've been, don't make me play pretend”
Skylark


you don't have to be a ghost here amongst the living

Poppy. She was here, not yet safe but she would be soon. They’d found her, they could take her home.

The part of him strangled with worry since hearing of her abduction back in Faldor seemed to ease upon recognition of who that figure in white was...but another part of him constricted only more in fear. Something was wrong, something was horribly wrong with this. Adrian couldn’t let go of the thought, echoed as it had been by Odile, and as he got down before her, just a touch out of reach, every part of him seemed on edge.

He can’t stop thinking now that maybe this was it. There was no great trap to be expected, beyond this hellhole of the Evil Queen’s design, but that in Poppy was where the true horrors lay. That the Queen’s true plan did not lay in any of this set up, but in his friend.

So his words come softly, his actions are gentle. It was not the picture most people would paint of Adrian Charming, but this was Poppy on the line now. And he was so very desperate not to make a misstep.

“What is she singing?” His attention snaps straight back to Odile, dragged for a second from this overwhelming sense of dread by a question that sounded like it was designed to do just that. Adrian paused a moment, looking back to Poppy before answering in a voice barely above a whisper. “It’s an old love ballad, from Soest.” He can’t help the ghost of a smile that lifts on his lips. “I remember her playing it for me once.” Back when he had been visiting her home country for some official business or other, back when they couldn’t spend enough time together.

Before all this shit went south. And before he’d got it into his head that alone was better.

Odile spoke up again, speaking to Poppy this time. Telling her what Adrian had been about to, that they were here to take her back home. Adrian shot Odile a grateful smile, more thankful than he could say that they were together in this. And that when he’d told her in Faldor that this was something he had to do, that she’d understood.

His gaze shifts back to the princess, noticing how she seemed to be looking at him now...but her eyes were still slightly out of focus. Like Poppy was looking in his direction but not quite seeing him. In an instant it seemed, that old ballad is gone from her lips, replaced by a voice so dry it sounded like it hadn’t been used in an eternity.

“That’s right, we’re here. We found you.” Adrian spoke softly in return, a smile slowly forming on his lips. One he prayed was a reassuring one. His hand, once partly offered, still half-hovered in the space between them. Caught between his desire to take her up in his arms immediately and the wariness that still screamed at him that something terrible was about to happen.

But then her hand becomes outstretched too. Caught between them as well, her fingers hover in the air just before him. Like she was trying to reach out to him, but for some reason unable to. Did she lack the strength? Was something holding her back? It felt like about the right time now to find out-

Adrian hardly hesitates. He lets go of Odile’s hand, and reaches out properly, closing the gap between him and Poppy. Taking her outreached hand in both of his as he shot a glance in Odile’s direction. Gaze then searching Poppy for a reaction; good or bad. Could she even stand to be near you this time around? That cautious smile of his grows just a little wider at her words. “Of course we came. There’s a great many people who want you back home, Poppy.” His tone holds the faintest hint at his usual state of lighthearted humour. His mind travelling to just those people, the large family who waited for her back in Soest. Who’d put their faith in Valthan’s rulers to see this through without incident.

Adrian sees as her head seems to snap suddenly to look in Odile’s direction, his eyes following her unfocused gaze. “Why is she here?” Adrian feels his heart lurch all of a sudden at the barbed edge now held in Poppy’s voice. He looks to Odile, concern flooding his gaze.

(It was easy to forget in that moment, that there were more than just the three of them there. Valthan’s men watched and listened, ready to move in the moment they had to.)

What was it? Was it that Odile was a stranger to her or something more? The two women had never met. If Adrian hadn’t forced his reclusiveness on the both of them, they would have. They should have. The most Poppy knew, he suddenly realises, was what he had spoken of about the girl who had rescued him. But that was all those many months ago, when he’d first returned from his curse the first time and Poppy had rushed out to see him.

It was worth a go, surely...

His gaze turns back to the seated princess. “This is Odile. You remember me telling you about her?” It was a long shot. Given her frame of mind, to try to get her to remember a conversation from over a year ago...but given how that conversation had ended, given it was the last real conversation they had had without total animosity, maybe it was still stuck in her head like it was his? Scarred in there as the moment he burnt yet another bridge to the ground.

Adrian’s eyes search her face in desperate hope. That hers would flicker into focus, or flash with recognition, or blink away those pooling tears.

“The girl by the fountain I told you about. The one who freed me, who let me come home. Right, Odile?” He dared to let out a little laugh, grinning up at Odile as he spoke next. “She’s here to keep me out of trouble.”

“Why did you really come?” The question held such a paranoid edge. Adrian saw that wilder look to her eyes and grew only more worried. But still, he didn’t let go of her, didn’t let go of that gentle tone of his. “It’s like Odile said Poppy, we’re here to bring you back home. Everyone’s waiting for you in Soest.”

@Nic @Kenna // Poppy knows how to get a man worried... <33
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Odile von Rothbart
 Posted: Apr 15 2018, 02:56 AM
Quote
  • Magical Beings (20)
  • Frog Prince/Swan Lake
  • Valthan
  • “I am of gold, diamonds, and fire. You will not put me out.”
Nic


They watch with bated breath; two friends at last reunited after solitude had almost consumed them both. Odile had witnessed first hand of the destructiveness of Adrian’s curse. She was the only one he didn’t push away; at least, not seriously. Poppy, on the other hand, was not so lucky. She saw now what that ruined friendship had done to Adrian as she watched him kneel at her feet, finally come to her rescue. Unlike Adrian, Odile didn’t know Poppy very well. But she did know without a strand of doubt in her heart that she had endured great suffering at the Evil Queen’s hands. Even if she didn’t bear the physical marks of torture, Odile could see the haze in her eyes. That was where the poison lay. Poppy was seeing the world differently, hearing it differently. Odile knew about that. Though her imprisonment was far more comfortable and far less obvious, in the end, Odile discovered what it truly was. To this day, she still didn’t trust her own memories; couldn’t trust what she knew and didn’t know. Her world had crashed around her the moment she forced what truth she could get from Rothbart. Seeing Poppy now, Odile counts herself lucky that she got out of there alive and well; victorious—whatever that meant. Poppy will too. She will get out of here. She will break free from that haze in her eyes and that poison in her tongue. Swan princesses can be heroines too. The corner of her lips tugs upward at Adrian’s reply and places a supportive (and protective) hand on Adrian’s shoulder. Filled with resolve to get Poppy the help she sorely needed; to supply that help herself if it came to it, she said. “We came to bring you home, Poppy. Both of us. Everything’s going to be alright now. I promise.” Promise. She didn’t like that word. She didn’t like making promises she wasn’t sure she could keep. Yet, she made it anyway. Will you tell her what you’ve been through, Odile? Is that your promise? For her to find a frog prince of her own and live a happily ever after once she leaves this place? You know it isn’t that simple. You know that you are far from cured of what you’ve endured.
tag: @Kenna @Skylark notes: blergh this is not so great. will get better.

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SKIN MADE BY NIC EXCLUSIVELY FOR FIND THE RABBIT HOLE.