(1310-06-16) Wishes are Dust
Summary: Ashton comes to meet with Desarae following a note that was sent.
RL Date: Sat Jun 16, 1310
Related: Request of a Cousin
ashton desarae 

Rooftop Garden - Ducal Palace

Ashton comes at a brisk pace to the entrance of the garden but slows his step as he enters, dipping his head a bit. His man servant, who Des may well know as a rather brutal body guard, stays outside the gardens but near the entryway.

It's the night of the masque at Rose Sauvage. It's also the night of Desarae's sixteenth birthday, and in the event her cousins had decided not to drag her to the Showing. Instead, they and a handful of friends had visited the Wine Cellar and celebrated more quietly instead. Now it's the early hours. The parties in the Night Court are beginning to dissipate as patrons and courtesans slip away to more private locations, and it's the rooftop gardens of the palace that Desarae has taken herself. Florent, her Cassiline, watches her like a hawk as she leans against the railings to stare out across the cityscape, and there's a peace of sorts to be found here. Dressed in black upon black, the only relief to her sombre colouration are the diamonds that sparkle like stars at her throat. Her cousin's arrival will be instantly noted by her grey-garbed bodyguard, though not by Desarae herself since she's lost in a world of her own.

For his part, Ashton is clad in black upon black as well, with a redundant sash of the deepest black upon his right upper arm. The only intrusions to these colors are the flashing blue of his eyes, the deep purples accenting his silk 'kerchief and the inner lining of his jacket, and the silver accomodating the onyx raven pin upon his lapel. He nods to the grey clad warrior, though more so as one does a master butler rather than a life long, blood sworn body guard of family. Ashton moves quietly, though not stealthily, up behind Desarae and rests a hand on her lower back if allowed. He speaks softly, a voice of coiled smoke and sincerity, "My lovely cousin. A rose now kept to a secret garden. I would have threatened to bankrupt our family tonight were things along a different path… just to ensure that your debut had been noble enough to carry your name upon it. If I could give this world one shred of light, it would be moonlight, and it would shine upon you. To see a smile in your eyes on this day, your sixteenth birthday."

Desarae startles from her daydreams. "Ashton?" Despite it being her natality, there's been little cause for her to have celebrated it in any style tonight, and with the turn of her head her cousin's way, it'd be plain to see that there have been tears tonight. Limned by the light from the stars, her usually warm complexion looks pale and silvered, and the remnants of tears glisten at the edges of her eyes. "Oh. Ashton. You came." Fragile, would be the most apt word to describe her tonight, the loveliness of her face amplified by the dressing of her hair. Her locks are caught back with beads of jet and anthracite in tiny braids that twist into a knot at the nape of her neck. "You would have bid on my debut? Surely you have better things to do with your ducats." Tiredness is to be found in her voice, though a smile does ghost her lips as she pulls herself from the railings and turns to face him fully. "My debut. It would have been the most glittering this city had seen."

<FS3> Ashton rolls Composure: Great Success. (5 2 4 1 3 3 8 8 3 8 8 8 2)

"It absolutely would have been. It would have been whispered about in Elua itself." Ashton replies, softer than he perhaps meant to. His jaws clench just faintly and his eyes focus all the more but he seems a bastion of strength unchanging, unflagging loyalty. He reaches a hand up to swipe a tear from beneath the right eye of Desarae if allowed, and would then lean in to kiss away any stain from beneath her left. "What purpose is there for ducats but honesty? Money is a myth we tell one another. Worth a thing given only by the desire of someone else. Perception is reality to the plebians, Desarae… to us? The nobility… the intellectual… the rules of this world… perception is our truest art. Honesty our most pliable paints." He searches her features for more, for understanding and meaning, "It is how we know what we are worth because we do not rely on the perceptions of others to decide our realities. Even so… no matter our power, nor our cunning… we cannot undo some things that have been done. I swear to you upon my honor and love that I will bring to bear such wrath upon those who have wronged you as can never have comparison. It will dim the sun with its severity." His lips shiver a little as he delivers the last line, barely keeping the brimming emotion at bay. His hand tightens on her waist without meaning to.

Desarae lifts her chin, her eyes closing as Ashton kisses away the stains of her tears. Lashes are dark against her cheeks, and there's a perfect stillness to her when he speaks. "The one that wronged me lies incarcerated in the dungeons beneath us, Ashton. You cannot imagine the thousand ways in which I have ended her existence in my head. Night after night have I lain awake, picturing myself face to face with her. She will have her audience with my aunt soon, and then she will die. I just wish…" Her voice breaks off, and a heavy breath is drawn. There's a strength to be found in her still, and her eyes open to dig deep into her cousin's. "I have a dagger, Ashton. I would end her now, if only I could. It would be a fitting present to myself on this, my natality. Help me?"

Ashton studies Desarae's eyes deeply. His face a moonlit mask all its own. He glances over her head at her grey clad and honorable bodyguard and then back to her. His feet move almost imperceptibly and he speaks more quietly. "Are you certain… I… and your Aunt, of course… would both bathe the ocean in a red tide for you but that is not something that you must do. It is not someone that you must become… are you certain?" His hands are like cold steel on her, his body far more rigid while also seeming utterly relaxed. There are few beings who could speak of murder to such a degree with such an outward expression of civility.

Desarae's eyes lid, obscuring the green of her eyes from her cousin. Her chin drops and the smoothness of her brow is pressed to Ashton's chest. "Ashton. What would you yourself do had such happened to you? The Witch killed my brothers and sisters. My mother. She would have killed me, too, had the the curse she had laid on me not been broken by Alexandre. If I feel the wrath of Kushiel himself in my breast, is that so wrong? I am a child of his, am I not?" He'll feel the tremble in her shoulders with the press of her body to his, feel the warmth of her breath where it carries her words to his chest. Feel the curl of her fingers at his side. "There's a blackness that I feel inside of me, Ashton, and it is the Raven of our name. I feel its dark wings beating inside of me, against my breast, and they won't be stilled until she has paid with her life."

It is a long moment. While Desarae can hear Ashton's heart beating in his chest, his arms warmly and firmly around her. His head bent down to rest his cheek on her hair. He shifts finally to whisper, "We do not kill her tonight, my heart. My sweet. She must face your aunt and her judgement." Then quieter still, tighter still, "There are things we must do, you must do, that are far worse than immediate death. Things that will truly turn red the black of Kushiel's wrath. One death for so many is not just… we must give her death after death after death before she meets her doom at your aunt's hand." He, again, glances at the grey clad fellow and then beckons his own darker clad man from the gateway. Once close, Ashton utters one simple word, "Hatch." Seemingly a code word for the man in the dark cloak immediately turns and leaves and four more guards of Morhban colors take his place at the gate. Ashton leans down again, his hand running up Desarae to cup her face for a gentle moment, tilting her head up to face his. His lips are near enough that she can taste the wine and honey on his breath as he asks, "Are you sure you want this? It is a curse and a gift. A boon and a bane. To be so beholden to our bloodline. To accept that some acts, however… dark… are natural."

"Death… after death," Desarae repeats. Her eyes slip past Ashton's shoulder to the guard that leaves, then quickly snap up to her cousin's. "Where does he go?" Intense green meets with blue, and she's held captive with the curling of his hands about her face as he speaks down to her. "I can no more help how I feel, than I can help my blood. cousin. When the Witch is dead, I will live again. Breathe again. I have a different future now, and a destiny ahead of me that was never the one I had hoped or wished for, but is the one I will learn to embrace." It's then that her voice cracks, the raw vulnerability that she works so hard to keep within her showing in that moment. But it's fleeting, gone before it's fully formed. "Boon or bane, what does it matter? Whatever happens will be the will of Elua, regardless of how it's achieved, will it not?"

Ashton's eyes soften. The carefully constructed demeanor of the man softening swiftly when shown even that small crack in Desarae, that brief glimpse of her vulnerability. He does not hesitate, but he does wait another moment. Just to study her in that state. His thumb brushing over her cheek and along her jawline. He leans down, kisses her forehead if able, and then looks to one of the guards a ways away at the entry and with a small, definitive shake of his head, sending some silent further message. He inhales deeply and strokes the small shoulders of the now-woman before him. "In time. Patience is the first lesson Kushiel teaches his scions. For only in time can we plan, can we act, can we achieve… let tonight be about you and not about the Witch. Tonight is your night. Ask anything of me that celebrates only you and it will be done." He searches her eyes and smiles. A sincere smile, which makes it almost a bit colder. Ask and if within my power it will be granted you. For your destiny will unfold as it will, your calling will be fulfilled. You will have your revenge and you will become who you already are. Tonight you bloom. Tonight is yours."

Desarae notes the shake of Ashton's head to his guard, and her lower lip catches between her teeth. Disappointment flares, and her forehead is cold where his lips press. Tension eases from her shoulders, and she turns her face from his. Away in the east there's a fading of the sky to a gentler hue, and it's there where her eyes are now turned. Dawn is arriving. Already the night is fading about its edges, and soon the sky's colours will rotate through the purple, apricot, amber and golden spectrum with the rise of the sun. A slow breath filters between her lips, a sigh of resignation. "Tonight is ended. I spent too long wishing, but my wishes are as dust. I should have spoken with you sooner so there was time to plan, but in truth, what I wished for was never within your power to grant."

Ashton takes this shift in stride. Looking at the beauty of the dawn for a moment before looking back at the beauty of Desarae. He says only one thing and he says it as simply as any truth can be said. "Then we will become more powerful." He keeps his hand upon the small of her back as he watches the sun dawn in her eyes.

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