aeneia: (Default)
a e n e i a . ([personal profile] aeneia) wrote in [community profile] nonsuch2015-12-18 01:01 pm

& open gen post iii.

OPEN POST ( III. )
↠ lyrics, images, prompts, take your pick






2leftfeet: (Default)

4 corvo

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-19 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)



There are eight hundred Alliance marines scattered throughout London. It's not actually a big number, not even on paper - not during war and not during a last desperate push against a force that is by and large literally too big to fight from the ground. For those eight hundred marines they have maybe a handful of ground to air ships at their disposal, so a bulk of their force is basically useless as anything by covering fire - cannon fodder. While not exactly pleasant, there's no denying the necessity either. Hell, with the crapshoot of a plan they have rigged up to get to the beam, a few hundred grunts taking fire is as key as the whole damn turian fleet overhead.

Not that it's comforting, but at this point she's not really counting. Right now, the most she can do is get her own shit together and hope for the best. Beyond that, it's a matter of hurry up and wait - the one universal constant in any combat situation. Which is more or less how they come to be at the same last line of defense outpost in the ruins of South London alongside the bulk of what remains of the Alliance's forces and a few hundred members of the Council race's men, women and other. There's a meeting with Anderson in twenty minutes. She has exactly enough time to go hunting for her husband - who, rumor has it, is commanding on the goddamn turret wall - before she makes her way through the gutted buildings to talk strategy.
vindictam: (pic#9835571)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-20 08:31 am (UTC)(link)
It's the way of military camps, that they talk more than gossip magazines do ( or, used to, no wait, still do - he sees those vids coming back from her, half a galaxy away, he's seen every damn one of them in a back log he plays too often to himself in the relative dark and privacy that could be afforded ). Run on those things because it's something to talk about that isn't - isn't everything else that they look at when they open their eyes. No one can really blame them for it, when there's a fallen city to live in, and a ruined planet to watch fall apart.

But also it means that the minute she lands, after advisers, commanders, the council, the higher ups get notice on the long list of people that need the information, he's the first to know. No it's not some call or message passed down, it's by way of grapevine, the same one that found out they were married in the first place ( wore his ring, the same cheap metal from years and years ago, and it's been bent out of shape and rebent back into, like the shape this marriage has always been, and by and large, eventually it got asked about. Some muttered conversation he probably should have thought through but didn't. Some remark of 'sir, is your partner still alive?' a glance down at it, dull shine of metal 'I should hope so, she's supposed to be saving us all.' naturally, it was everywhere the next morning. ). Of one hissed message into the ear of another, and eventually he's the only other person to tell worth noting, apparently. One breathless private that yanks him away from the wall he has stood on - and keeps standing on day in day out now, wave after wave, holds it and holds it and holds it. He still never wanted a command of his own.

But she'd be coming, and she'd need good men on the ground, a port to work from. That's all it came down to, in the end. To buy the time.

A tug, and he's got his only bad habit left ( except her, she is the worst of them ) by way of a cigarette held in the corner of his life. Never smoked much, old habit from something far too long ago now, that he barely bothered with before. Until the collectors, until after she - had to do something with his hands, at the best of times now. Being away from the wall was the only time it was safe to do so.

Pinches it between finger, exhales smoke through his nose from the deep breath in as the man babbles out the words. Tells the private not to bother because, he knows, of course he knows. He knows her, and he knows what she is, and of course she was here - because one day, she always would be.

That and, as he nods over the shoulder of the soldier in front of him, there she is. He steps past the messenger and all too slow, normal -- like they'd done this a hundred times and maybe they have, lived this life over and over again -- makes her way towards her.

"Commander." Tugs the half smoked cigarette free, stubs it out on the ground under his boot heel and his hands go back to resting on the rifle strapped across his chest, same way as the rest of them were. "Took your time."
2leftfeet: (iota ursae majoris)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-20 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
It's been eleven months since she saw him last - nine months of criss crossing the galaxy while Earth (and everywhere else) burned under the Reapers' shadow and two before that sitting in holding since she'd last been allowed to see him. You wouldn't knownt from the way she crosses to him now, equally sedate - more concerned with keeping her footing over the rubble in the courtyard at the base of the gubnery bridge than she is with closing the distance at speed.

"L-T." There's a wry little curve to the corner of her mouth, subtle but definitely there for anyone familiar and looking. Lieutenant Commander Corvo Attano. Hilarious. "I like to make a dramatic entrance."

He looks-- good, mostly. Better than was probably to be expected considering how long he's been on the ground here. By the time she'd figured out he'd still be on planet when the Reapers' invaded, it was to know he was alive and not barely - figures Anderson would've made sure she heard about it if that changed. Still, being cognizant of the fact that Corvo was fine and functioning was one thing; seeing it in person was different. The difference between numbers on paper and the reality of a fleet behind her. The difference between throwing scientists at Hackett and seeing the Crucible actually in one piece above Earth. The difference of-- well, whatever. She finds thst a strange amount of tension in her shoulders eases for it. So there's that.

Shepard nods to the ground out cigarette butt on the uneven pavement. "You know those things'll kill you."
vindictam: (pic#8402501)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-20 11:49 pm (UTC)(link)
She's the same as she ever was - except that she wasn't. The parts were all there. But she'd never be quite the same. She couldn't afford to be than anything less than what was asked for her. But she was alive, and she was whole, and she was here. Right there in front of him. It expels a deep breath he's been holding deep in his chest for the last months as he looks her over.

She never wore anything so well as she wore her uniform.

There should be more to this - he knows. Or rather, it's what the men on the wall are expecting in the brief glances they're inevitably stealing. Everyone has learned at this point, what happens if you don't pay attention to the wall. Something he barked at them constantly, and would again, in a minute - reasons why he's that damn rank now and he grimaces, oh so predictably, for the words.

He looks at the cigarette, back up at her. The hair that he hadn't managed to tie high up on his head, falling in his face with the motion. Smile that is just the same as hers, barely there, no more than either of them have to give. A lifetime comes with some allowances. Shrugs with a lift of his shoulder and a tilt of his head, he knows. They're all dead, soon enough. But - "I'm married to the first human spectre." Dig back, maybe. One title for another. They both got bumped up, somewhere along the line. "That's got to come with pretty good health insurance." Dry as -- well, London never was dry, he'd found out. It rained, got fog so thick it turned things half to nightmares in the early mornings.
2leftfeet: (beta capricorni)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-21 09:45 am (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, but I hear the life insurance's crap." She makes a gesture with her thumb that indicates him, her, their general rubble and Reaper infested surroundings. It's old bullshit, the same brand of shit talk that runs up and down the ranks of the Alliance - familiar like sliding into a pair of old combat boots. She's saying goodbye (just in case) and it's still the easiest thing she's done in months.

"Anyway," --cutting the shit. Simple enough. "I've got fifteen minutes before mission debrief in the north quarter."
vindictam: (pic#8693755)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-21 10:04 am (UTC)(link)
It's familiar, it's practiced, but there's no hiding what this is. So in that way it's just easier to keep it going. Like this is any other day, and any other week. Like she's just come back from some mission off world to his boxed in apartment, and that in the morning he'll find her digging in his fridge, bare foot and nothing else but his shirt on.

"I guess I'll take what I get then." Pulls a smile, quick and sad, like most of them these days and jerks his head for her to follow him. Navigating around the rubble easily, and it's not far it's just - out of the way of prying eyes so much, further up to a sheltered part of the wall that had been his command point the last few months. Room with a view - once upon a time. Now it's just, Husk bodies and pieces of alliance military gear strewn between falling buildings. Graveyards could look like many things. But still, for the moment, all is quiet on the western front.
2leftfeet: (Default)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-21 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
She follows him easily, footing sure across the broken courtyard and into the adjacent building. It isn't far enough to really institute as privacy, but that's not really a luxury she's used to anymore anyway. Not around him. EDI sees all the ship's transmissions, someone with the Alliance had overseen all their visits and read all her mail while she was in holding, Cerberus had probably been picking over all her incoming and outgoing mail-- so whatever. At this poont she'll take just the illusion of not being stared at. Besides, he can't stray too far from his command.

"I'm guessing most of the heat will be North of here centered at the beam. Unless something goes really wrong, the Reapers' will want to defend that approach with everything they have." Now if they got wiped out on the run, this place would be all but razed to the ground in the aftermath. But fingers crossed that doesn't happen for a whole number of reasons outside of Corvo's safety--

--she's being clipped and knows it. Can hear it in the edge of her own voice. Talking shop instead of everything else.
vindictam: (pic#9835594)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-22 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
It's as little as they could afford here, anyway. For the most part, they all lived on top of each other, now. Not just for space restrictions in a military camp. Just that there was something to hearing someone alive respond back in the dark. But here was -- where he ran his command from, and it shows. There's plans tacked up on the wall, tallies of supplies marked out. Maps of where patrols moved through, what points to defend marked out in soldier's short hand and his particularly awful hand writing. Hadn't been much, to start with, but where others had died and he hadn't, he'd taken up the slack. Bit by bit, ended up in charge of too many defenses by virtue of surviving, and never flinching.

He nods as she talks. He'd get his orders, however they came down but one way or the other: "We'll hold, whatever happens, until we can't anymore." Cuts off the rest of it, knows why it's clipped, knows what this is avoiding, and it's the one reassurance he can give her. Because if this has ever worked, it was because he could be the one thing she never had to worry about. Hadn't changed, not even as the scope of this war took shape, where she burned herself up to save them all. Leaving hope in the mouths of those left behind. But that's for a mythical after, for a one day.

And in the small bit of privacy allowed, he didn't have that in mind, didn't have it in him for anything more than right now. He unslung his gun from across his chest, setting it down on the briefing plans, before turning back to her. Didn't care if they all survived in this moment, didn't care if they all died. Turns to lean his hands against the edge of the table, curling underneath the lip of it, resting there and for a minute - he does nothing else but look at her. Changed, and not.

There's a lot to say, a hundred things he ought to - ; "It's always been a hell of a thing, watching you." There's a lifetime to consider, and there's only now to say it.
2leftfeet: (epsilon delphini)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-23 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
The knee jerk reaction to that is to roll her eyes at him, at the sentiment of it. Watch what? Her drive her forehead into the brick wall of the Council until the only thing that had broken for it was her own damn skull? Or maybe he's talking about the part where she'd made an ass of herself over every data stream in the Galaxy. Or maybe he meant schlepping around basic with her, two morons with guns in their hands and a handful of brain cells to rub together between them. The things that were worth seeing - that reaper on Rannoch, the Collector Base - were the kinds of thing that didn't get repeated because no one would believe them. Except him. Except her crew. For a second she thinks of Liara's time capsule, that ridiculous pre-mortem eulogy and how the only good it'll do is if they fail spectacularly (because she's got the Normandy's crew and Corvo Attano to say everything there is to say about her if they don't).

But she bites it back - the sarcasm. Closes her teeth around it and forces herself not to snort. It's probably the wrong time to criticize sentimentality. After all, she could've gone straight to her meeting with Anderson, but instead she'd walked halfway across base camp to find him and say-- what?

"It's been a pretty good run."
vindictam: (pic#9137431)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-23 11:42 pm (UTC)(link)
His eyebrows go up slightly, as she speaks, and it's plain, all his slight reactions that were never very much, that he's aware of the sarcastic bite that there might be there for the idea of sentiment. But that even as she might have something rebuff that he usually got for it, she's dragged herself across camp, in this last ditch effort, and there is no coming back from this, once it happens. This is it, whatever it is.

And that's all she has to say?

Figures. "Don't strain yourself too much, Shepard."

But he's never been bothered by it, obvious now at the rumble of something that might be laughter as he looks at her out from under his hair. Curling in the corner of his mouth just barely in the way that has most people sure that he doesn't ever laugh and doesn't have anything resembling a sense of humor.

Leaves it there then, his turn to cut across, direct this. He jerks his head a little, tilted back motion indicative more than anything. "C'mere."
2leftfeet: (Default)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2015-12-31 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
She wasn't lying - wasn't stretching herself either, really, but she figures if there's anyone in this galaxy who gets what she means when she says something simple and means... more than that, it should be him. Right? It's been a good run. From here to the edge of the galaxy and back again, from basic to first assignments, from taking leave and spending those hours in Attano's apartment on base and watching vids and ding anything but thinking of Akuze. Dying. Not dying. The incandescent rage and affection in his face after. A hundred days in lock up and a hundred after; being loved and being hated; killing a half million Batarians. Holding his hand in one of five rare visitations and not feeling particularly sorry for any of it.

So sure; he can laugh at her if he wants to. He might be the only person allowed to. She does snort then, rolling her eyes at the tip of his head and rolling her eyes at the fact that she gives into that, lets him reel her in with little more than a cant of the temple. She shifts forward across the rubble strewn room, closing distance; she doesn't reach her hand out to him - she doesn't do anything but sidle close.

"Better?"
vindictam: (xcii.)

[personal profile] vindictam 2015-12-31 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
There's too much there to sum up, and whether he's the type to understand or not, whether there is a good way to say it or all, just leave it in the gaps, there's warmth in his face, even now, in being near her just once more. Before it all goes to hell. Just once more, and at had been their rhythm as long as he could remember. Always looked at her like that, sure, as long as it mattered. Open and without remorse for it, either. Made his bed, and regretted nothing about who he'd chosen to lie in it with, when it's been hissed at him, was she worth it?

He snags her then, when she's in reach, lazy arm around her waist to draw her closer again. Even so, it's firm, snapped line of tension he's been holding in his shoulders for years now. Shuffling her that little bit in. Not much more than that, but -- "Much." Sucks in a breath. Once more now, with feeling. "Do you remember our holiday. The casino where you manage to drink almost everything on the cocktail menu by the time we finished?" The planet had been lost a long time ago, now. Collectors or reapers, they'd all blurred together. It doesn't matter right now. The one when she'd asked him the one thing he thought she never would want otherwise he would have asked inside the tent the first time she'd visited his family.
2leftfeet: (Default)

[personal profile] 2leftfeet 2016-01-11 11:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'm going to be honest, I remember about half of it." She squints down at him - she's a half hand taller, slightly more in the plated armor. "But that might have something to do with the cocktail menu thing."

But she's got the important parts nailed down. Figures the rest, like how many credits she blew on quasar or anyone she might have room a swing at or how they'd gotten from the casino bar back to their crappy shared suite, was pretty irrelevant. She remembered the good parts. She remembers the look at his face, mostly; he'd looked like he's been on the receiving end of a gut punch.

The thought of the sentimentality of him bringing it up or maybe just his arm around her again has the line of her mouth going crooked and easy. Small smile, cocked eyebrow - more smug than anything else as she slings her arm easy across his shoulder, cool underside of her reinforced gloved fingers catching at the back of his neck. It's an easy point of contact, all faux nonchalance.
vindictam: (pic#8693756)

[personal profile] vindictam 2016-01-13 11:15 am (UTC)(link)
He leans into it easy. Head turning to drag his cheek against the smooth cool line of her armor. Yes, the reapers have blown it up, yes the collectors probably dragged off the bar tender that stuck umbrellas in the side of their glass. No, no they're not getting off earth ever again.

He lent his weight comfortable against the table, balancing their weight against it's edge. Despite it all, he snorts brief in laughter at her response, puff of breath that fogs on her armor.

So because nothing else matters more than this - "I'm getting us two tickets." Really, this time. Flicks his tongue against the flat line of his mouth, suddenly dry. Ah, hell. "Saved up for it. The one with the better view." His hand settles flat to her back, bracing on the cool armor and - maybe skin would be better. Lowers his eyes, shakes his head, absent thought that pulls up another laugh.

It's a tomorrow. What a terrible, awful, painful thing.