no_longer_a_king: (Just so tired)
Counter Guardian Arturia @ Tower of Animus ([personal profile] no_longer_a_king) wrote in [community profile] towerofanimus2013-08-13 03:35 pm

ITP: Shadow Children

Who: [AU5] Saber and YOU.
Format: Starts prose, will match replies
Setting: Various places
Summary: Arturia makes flower chains because there needs to be a break from angst, finds Saber's cat and misses those who left the tower, runs into the first of the shadows, is saved from a hoard of them by Veigar, and then dies toward the end of the week.
Warnings: Character death, shadow children, Veigar

[A: Floor Twenty-five; Meadow; Prior to Event; Angst break]
It was boredom that led her to decide to play with flowers like she hadn't done since she was a child. Pure and simple boredom and a desire to simply do something inane for once. Arturia had long ago stopped worrying about what would happen if someone caught her doing something childish.

That was why she currently sat amongst the flowers in the meadow, carefully, very carefully, picking and cutting and knotting flowers together. Slowly but surely the chain of flowers she was working on grew and grew. Now, if only she could figure out what to do with this chain she was crafting. Maybe give it to someone? But who? And what could she possibly fashion it into?

[B: Dorms; Backdated to just after Infiltration]
Arturia was on her way in from doing a round of monster hunting, tired and exhausted, when she felt something rub at her legs. She looked down to find a pair of bright greens eyes looking up at her. It took a moment to register that this was a cat and not just any cat, but Amy: the cat her other self had taken in.

Arturia had been under the impression the little thing had disappeared along with Saber's belongings when she had left the Tower. What was it still doing here? Was it a monster? Or an illusion made of Glamour and film?

It didn't matter, did it? Not when the creature was pawing at her skirts and Arturia remembered spending time in Saber's room, marveling over Avalon and the people who had held it in their stead. She bit her lip, feeling a lump rise in her throat as she knelt down and picked up the cat. So far, it appeared to be nothing more than a cat. So most likely it was nothing more than a film construct.

But, given that Irisviel and Ilyasviel and Mordred had all been homunculi, did that make 'Amy' any less real?

"Maybe I should take you in?" There was a sad note in her voice as she realized she may never see Saber again. Nor Archer. Nor Rin. Nor any of the others she had grown close to. Why had they been sent away? It wasn't fair!

And immediately, she felt bad for that thought, knowing that people being sent away had not been intentional. There was only so much Zo could do, after all. If she wanted to see them again, she'd have to find a way to fix that and lessen the burden on the boy. Except how?

Myao!

"One moment, little one. I'll look after you now. Let's see if we can find you something to eat, all right?"

And, picking up the cat, she went looking for something she could possibly feed it.

[C: Various; Day Two of the event]
It was after she found an ID Card in her mailbox that she began to notice them. The shadows she had seen down below. Given her 'present' and Jason's post on the network, she was wary of them. They did nothing to harm her and generally stayed out of the way of others, but there was something beyond their nature that unnerved her.

Perhaps it was how familiar a few of them seemed? Arturia could quite pinpoint how, something about the way they moved. They would flit about, yes, and seemed to press unnaturally into the corners to allow people by, but there was still something about the way the gaggling of shadows she was sure were following her that was eerily familiar. On occasion she'd tried to find that smile that matched the one on the card she kept with her, but no. No. That shadow was not among them from what she could tell.

It was when they started speaking that she suddenly understood why they seemed so familiar.

Father....

Arturia jumped, turning and seeing nothing but the small gaggling of shadows before her.

"Mordred....?" she called, looking around.

It was the smallest shadow that spoke.

Why did you erase me, Father? Was I not good enough to live?

Arturia had never known Mordred's fate after making her wish. If the boy (?) had lived somehow or been erased with her own existence. It didn't matter now, not when that shadow was talking with Mordred's voice.

It had to be a trick, right? Nothing more than another trick of the Tower.

I see you've taken to replacing me with another, came Lancelot's voice next. Another shadow, this time much taller, it's smile not as wide but the way it seemed to slump giving her a clue as to who it was.

What do you expect? She's heartless. Even we, who she claimed were her friends, were nothing to her. That's why she can replace us so easily. Even that boy she claims to love, see how she fawns over that other boy here as if he's nothing but a common cuckoo for believing she would never hurt him.

No. Gwen. Not Gwen. Anyone but Gwen. But the shadow flitted close to her until all Arturia could see was blackness and that wide white white smile.

Right.... Arturia?

She turned from the shadow and hurried up the steps. A trick. It has to be a trick. It couldn't be anything but a trick. That's all it is. Another illusion of the Tower.

She just had to shut her ears to them. How bad could it be?

[Floor Ten; Aquarium; Day 4 of the event; Closed to [profile] adorablyevilish]
Liar!

You stole him from me! How could you steal him from me? I loved him first!

If you hadn't existed, I could have been happy! Why should you live as you when this is my fate? Why can't I be the one to be happy for once?

You were supposed to protect us! Yet you abandon us! Even now, should we be restored, you think of abandoning us! How could you?

How can you claim to be a knight, much less a king, when you destroy all you love? How?

You're no sister of mine. Why did I even bother to look out for you? I should've insisted Father leave you to the wolves instead of take you in!

Arturia was more or less catatonic now, surrounded by the shadows pressing in on her on all sides, each scrambling for her attention. She'd managed to quiet them briefly by asking the growing crowd to let her get someplace out of the way as not to inconvenience others. Perhaps, knowing they would get what they want from her, they had calmed until she came here. There was no escaping this, none that she could find, and she was so very tired of running from these things. It was getting hard to even keep her eyes open, to concentrate on anything but the litany of voices around her.

People rarely came to the aquarium. Hopefully, the growing crowd would not attract people. And dear whatever deity may be listening, there was a crowd. Millions, perhaps billions of them fluttering about and pressing in on her. Despite how Arturia knew she tended to focus on simply Camelot or Shirou, her responsibilities were farther reaching. A Counter Guardian was meant to protect humanity throughout time and space.

And, somehow, she failed even in that regard.

It didn't matter. This is what Arturia knew she deserved. She was weak, a failure as a king, as a Guardian, as anything she set her mind on now. Perhaps she would fail even this Tower. She had been one of the ones responsible for destroying the power cores. The people here would die soon, too. And soon.... soon she had a feeling the crowd would get their fill of her.

Even now, her energy failing, she searched the crowd of them, looking for that familiar smile and clutching the card in her hands.

[Day 5; Closed]
It was on the fifth day, when she had no choice but to sleep in her bed that he finally came. Arturia could not even delude herself at this point. These things were who they said they were. They had to be.

That was why when the crowd went silent and parted for one particular shadow child, she knew exactly who it was. The smile was just as white white white as the one in the school ID she had been clutching in one hand, but with a bit of a crook to it she would recognize anywhere.

If there was ever a time she thought Shirou most attractive, it was when he was smiling. It was a shock to realize that accounted for him in this form, too.

"Hello, Shirou."

Hello, Saber.

"I'm sorry."

I know. I'm sorry I waited this long. I.... I wasn't sure if you would try to hurt me again or not.

"If I could do it over again, I wouldn't have done it."

I know.

"....stay with me? For a little while?"

All right.

And the shadow laid down beside her. Not touching her, no, the ghost of its hand reaching out to cover hers. She was so weak she couldn't even feel it, but she tried to imagine how warm the hand had been in life, the way it felt to be held by him. Even though she asked for it, his presence alone brought no comfort to her, brought no joy. All it did was remind her she did not deserve this, did not deserve comfort or warmth or love or joy.

She was supposed to save her nation and had wound up destroying it.

She had sworn to protect the boy laying beside her and wound up killing him with her own hand.

She was supposed to protect the world itself and somehow she had messed up even that.

Arturia had been nothing but a failure. That's all that she ever would be. It was time she finally accepted it.

It's a few hours later when her collar finally goes completely clear, that she finally drifts off and lets the darkness take her. The very last thing she feels is the press of something--she isn't sure what--to her forehead and she shudders. Not even a kiss could bring her comfort. The very thought that even like this Shirou is trying to comfort her only drives the point home. If she couldn't protect kindness like this, then who could she protect?
greyerrant: (helmet)

[C: Various; Day Two of the event]

[personal profile] greyerrant 2013-08-14 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
Descending the steps is a relatively familiar hulk of a warrior, and he pauses, taking in Arturia's hurried motion, and asks in a view muffled by his own armor,

"Something wrong?"
greyerrant: (Oathsworn Protector)

[personal profile] greyerrant 2013-08-16 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
He reaches up, removing his helm, and looks upon the little shadows, saying softly.

"That is understandable. But they are.... liars. Untruths and cruelty summoned up by horrific sorcery."

He notices the stutter, and will try to meet her eye with his own stern gaze.

"Fight the guilt and the trickery, if you can. Find the core of your strength, the core of your beliefs, and armor yourself with it."

greyerrant: (Squinty)

[personal profile] greyerrant 2013-08-21 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
"I'll stand with you, until they are gone. I know what it is like to have ghosts of those..."

He shakes his head, "Ghosts of those you cared about." His minds eye taking in the scene at the Lectern once more, brother slaying brother, the mournival broken forever. The Blood. The Blood. It always ends in blood.

isthatashortjoke: (coldsoul)

Floor 10

[personal profile] isthatashortjoke 2013-08-14 02:06 pm (UTC)(link)
It came seemingly out of nowhere and definitely out of place in this particular floor. A flash of black lightning that seemed to only serve as an ominous warning. For a few moments, nothing happened past the initial flash, but the creatures from the aquarium had scattered away just as quickly...

It was then that a massive orb of black and void appeared out of nowhere and smashed with force nearby the woman. Dark matter was the thing of opposites, consuming anything that it touched so long as the weilder desired it. He did not know what these things wanted considering none approached him, but he did know that he'd make them pay dearly if anything happened... They were in the way and he wanted to take a stroll through the aquarium, yes, that was better, ahem...

Once the initial wave was cleared, another burst of dark matter swept hundreds after hundreds until Saber felt a cold, gauntleted hand grip her by her chest plate.

"Get up! Why are YOU of all people letting this pathetic rabble overpower your will!! Get! Up!"

Maybe she didn't have the will to get up anymore, and if that was the case, you can rest assured that Veigar will try to drag her out of there while eliminating anything that tries to stand in his way.

It seems that regardless of what the villain says... he does care, and cared well enough to come to her aid as if drawn to her needs.
adorably_evilish: (Trippin)

<3333!!! :D

[personal profile] adorably_evilish 2013-08-15 10:40 am (UTC)(link)
At first Veigar didn't respond, turning his attention behind them once he had dragged her past the shadows. He sent one more massive wave of dark energies before turning bending space and time to create an Event Horizon behind them to stop anyone or anything from following them through.

With what time they had gained, he moved to the safest place he could find before looking over Saber with what could have been taken as a look of concern.

The latter comment however got him to flail in a bit of a fluster and he looked away.

"It's not a rescue woman! It was... I uh..." Targets... "Targets! Yes, I was looking for targets to destroy and saw all of those gathered! I couldn't contain myself... And uh, you were there. Thought maybe you... just needed a bit of a breather! Yessss." Smooth Veigar....
isthatashortjoke: (sigh...)

[personal profile] isthatashortjoke 2013-08-16 01:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Thinking that his masterful excu-- ahem explanation had worked, Veigar cleared his throat and rearranged his armored robe before nodding.

"Yes, well, I suppose it was beneficial of I to pass by this place. It was odd," he began. "It was as if I was being called."

But he'd leave it at that.

"Hear what? The incessant uncomprehendable whispering? I don't hear or care whatever it is. Why do you ask?" he paused for a moment after realizing something. "And what in the hells were those minions? I've seen shadowy ones in this wretched place before, but those things are new."

He'd know! He remembers everything he obliterates! Err, kind of.
isthatashortjoke: (sigh...)

[personal profile] isthatashortjoke 2013-08-16 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"The souls of what didn't make it?" Veigar said quizzically. "That is what they were reduced to?" There was sort of a bittersweet tone to his voice. To know that the arrogant Demacians, the wretched Noxians and every other being who had belittled and tortured him in his world was now that? It was almost as good as personal revenge...

But, the small part of him that remained untwisted, the part that was still a life loving, kind hearted Yordle like most his race, what little spec of it that was left? It cried for the ones who didn't deserve any of this.

But alas, that part wouldn't be vocalized, no. That part would remain silent...

"I suppose there's none from my world then for I haven't seen such pithiful creatures come to me." He paused for a moment... "BUt if they're from our worlds," he turned to face her in concern. "Why do they hunt you?"

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sunflowerfairy: (Shiny!~)

A

[personal profile] sunflowerfairy 2013-08-14 03:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Yotsuba had heard that the meadow was a safe place to rest and play around, so she came to it often whenever she was a little tired or when she wanted to run around the meadow and talk to the people that visited. However, when she saw a woman making a chain of flowers, she couldn't help but run up to her, smiling and excited. She had never seen anyone make a flower chain, so she was just fascinated.

"Wow! How are you doing that?! That's awesome!"
sunflowerfairy: (Excited)

Something that's needed by pretty much everyone right now! ^^

[personal profile] sunflowerfairy 2013-08-15 11:39 am (UTC)(link)
Contrary to what some might think, Yotsuba was pretty happy right now in the Tower, even though things seemed a little bleak, and even if the Tower was pretty dangerous. After all, the Tower was always fun to explore and there were always a lot of nice people to play with!

"Yeah! Yotsuba wants to know! I'll go get a bunch of flowers!"

And, with that, Yotsuba would run off and start picking flowers, only coming back when she had quite a few white ones.
Edited 2013-08-15 11:40 (UTC)
sunflowerfairy: (Default)

Which I'm pretty happy about. :3

[personal profile] sunflowerfairy 2013-08-16 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
At the question, Yotsuba smiled and nodded. After all, she was wearing a belt with her own crudely-made knife.

"I'm fine with that! I have a knife too, so it's okay!"
sunflowerfairy: (Shiny!~)

Which would be a sugary treat that most of the Tower denizens need at this point. ><;

[personal profile] sunflowerfairy 2013-08-17 12:18 am (UTC)(link)
"Roger!"

At that, Yotsuba would give a small little..salute with her right arm before sitting next to the woman, looking like a kid in a candy store, or like it was Christmas. Even though she didn't know about Christmas yet. Yotsuba carefully took in all the information the woman gave her, and even helped her out with the flower chain they were making when she understood enough to help.

"This is awesome! The flowers look luvley!"

Yup. :3

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chevalier_mal_fet: ('twas you saw/to the last edge)

C: Outside the Mailroom (apologies: out of town/family funeral)

[personal profile] chevalier_mal_fet 2013-08-26 06:06 am (UTC)(link)
[He cannot recall ever having seen Her flee as if pursued.
Calling her Name boots nothing, as she has covered her ears and cannot hear him-- and likely would not heed him, if other Voices, Shadow Voices, have found her.

He follows swiftly, rushing to overtake Her, his own Shadows in tow.
He lays a hand upon her shoulder.]


Arthur--
chevalier_mal_fet: (innocence/burdens me still)

[personal profile] chevalier_mal_fet 2013-08-27 05:26 am (UTC)(link)
[He has no wish to shame her, and so does not comment on her fright. The Shadows, unseen by him but surely present, are enough to unnerve even the strongest.
He ignores his own fairly successfully. They only say Words he heard in Life-- and hears now in his Dreams. Not that their burden is a light one to bear. It is merely familiar.]


I fare as well as may be.
These Shadows are a plague.

How do you fare, then?
chevalier_mal_fet: ('twas you saw/to the last edge)

[personal profile] chevalier_mal_fet 2013-09-04 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
[He would be no Knight, nor hold any Memory of Arthur, if he could not see her distress.]

As well as all that? Are you so Haunted, then?

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