He had so little energy left, but he was still using that precious, scant energy up just to chuckle and put her at ease... No matter how much he laughed or smiled, though, she knew he wasn't all right. She could see through his attempt to act as though everything was normal, just from experience herself in doing the same.
But Cadenza could also see that if he was still keeping the act up despite her stubbornness, he wasn't going to let it drop so easily. He was obviously determined not to be a burden of any kind...
Things aren't going to be okay if you're only smiling on the outside... and I can't ignore that it worries me. But... but the best way to make sure you're okay is to stick around you for now, right?
With that half-true rationalization for wanting to hang around grasped tightly in her mind, she started to follow him this time, looking away towards the rooms they passed so she wouldn't have to see him struggling.
"Italian's good..." she muttered to his question, trying to seem as though she'd been offended when he turned down the amulet a second time. Keeping an angry face on helped keep her heart from getting too soft, she found... and she needed that when she heard Rain nearly trip as he avoided a cleaning lady who'd turned a corner sharply with her cart and had come within inches of colliding into him.
"Watch your step," the gypsy said, wincing when he thudded into the wall a little. "We've got to survive the walk over first before we start thinking of the food."
Rain leaned against the wall, his shivering golden eyes overlooking the cleaning woman who had kept on walking, muttering curses under her breath. Feeling guilty that she almost mowed him over or just cursing his clumsiness, Rain didn’t know…but he felt…bad. Something in his heart tugged at him as he looked down at his feet, putting more of his weight on the wall.
“I’m sorry,” It came softly, but it was loud enough for her to hear, “I’d need blood for me to be at full health again—I’m not asking that of you, don’t worry—I’ll… go off to find some when the boat docks. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s what I am. For now…let’s just have some dinner before we go. I’d like nothing more right now, really.”
A small, genuine smile appeared on his lips as he looked at her just before moving off…and coming to a flight of stairs that led downward. Now…his knowledge of the ship told him that the restaurants were at the bottom of these—SLIP! Face first! Head over heels! The slamming of his body against the metal stairs caused all his bones to vibrate. It felt like forever, but the whole ordeal just lasted a few seconds.
When the world finally came to rest, he was staring up at the ceiling with his legs stretched out over the last few steps.
Rain’s eyes wandered over the ceiling. “Wow…” he muttered, smiling a tiny bit while thinking about how stupid he looked when he fell—how stupid he looks right now. He took a deep breath, realizing Cadenza would have seen him fall and she was possibly worried about him. “I’m o-kay!” he called up, wriggling his body to find that he had no injuries at all.
Cadenza had begun to dart down the stairs the instant she saw him fall--but she'd been too late, and he'd toppled down anyway until he'd hit the ground at the bottom.
“I’m o-kay!” he called up to her, but even so, she continued down to check on him.
"I told you to watch your step," the woman said as she came to stand beside his body on the floor, but the edge she meant her voice to have was dulled by concern and pity. She gazed down at him, her blue eyes losing their steely coldness and becoming gentle and watery until she couldn't stand to keep looking and glanced at her own boots instead. "You're... not okay," she muttered quietly after, before she could stop herself.
Cadenza started to wonder... if she traveled through the shadows, and... went to find him some blood--not letting her mind linger too long on how she'd do that--would she be able to find her way back to the ship? It was a big structure, yes, but... its shadow was just another in an entire world full of them, and it'd look more or less the same as any other boat or building when she glanced up through the "ceiling" of the realm at it...
Then, there was going back to the how. Cadenza couldn't believe she was actually entertaining the idea of helping a vampire feed at all. It conflicted her. She guessed she could find a blood bank and just ask for some, but... how much would he need? And wouldn't that be taking away from humans who needed those donations?
...he needs it just as much, though.
The gypsy helped Rain up, trying not to let her face betray her thoughts. All she projected was a "you're an idiot" look as she eased him onto his feet, and then slowly started off towards the restaurants. She couldn't help glancing back though, only a few steps after, to see if he was doing all right.
He wouldn't accept my help even if I did decide to go fetch him some right away, would he? He'd probably feel bad about putting me to that trouble... I already can tell. But it honestly bothers me more to see him tripping and falling like this.
She was a little surprised at her own thoughts, but the only thing that might have suggested that to anyone they passed was the little, quick blinks she gave as she pondered over what she'd said.
...What's happened to the selfish, cold Cadenza who barely wanted to be bothered catching those people falling off the boat earlier? Now I'm considering helping a vampire? Sometime between then and now... it almost feels like a spell's been cast on me. Not a real, magical one, but...
The woman trudged on slowly towards the restaurants, lost in thought.
He walked slowly behind her, looking down at his feet to make sure he was planting them firmly on the ground. Rain smiled slightly, thinking about that look he had received when she had helped him up. That alone seemed to tell him “You’re an idiot”, but there was something different in her eyes…something he noticed, something he felt like bringing up just to annoy her. Rain’s smile turned into a grin, it might be fun getting her angry, it might even take his mind off of how the world was spinning around him right now.
And boy, was it spinning! The S’s on the restaurant signs looked like M’s in an M & M parade.
He lifted his hand to his head and stopped walking.
“Mmm…” he closed his eyes, “I’ll be glad when we finally get off this boat.”
Cadenza spun around a little more urgently than she meant to, hoping not to see Rain looking faint or even worse than before. The hand held to his head that she saw the moment she'd turned back concerned her--it looked like how someone might check for a fever, or how they would just show they needed to rest their head for a moment. Neither were good signs. She tried desperately to hide her frown.
"Are... are you feeling that badly?" the gypsy asked him, finding that she had to turn around if she didn't want him to catch a hint of how she was feeling. The idea of going to fetch him blood was beginning to sound more and more likely... she wasn't sure how much longer she could take to see him struggle.
“I need…” he began to drift for a moment, his body tilted as if he was going to fall over, but he held himself up. Rain still had his hand to his head, his eyes were closed. He took deep breaths, slightly afraid that if he opened his eyes, the rocking of the boat combined with his giddiness would make him stumble.
He felt the boat rock, and his body moved with it. He stepped forward suddenly to prevent himself from tumbling over. It had been ages since the last time he drank blood, perhaps he had waited too long to drink again….but it always happened at random, he couldn’t really measure the amount of blood he drinks in one go, and as a result, he can’t guess the time when he’ll need another…‘fix’.
Rain moved toward the gypsy slowly; she was still turned away from him. He didn’t think about giving her so much as a warning of what he was going to do. Softly, he put his hands gently on her arms and rested his forehead on her shoulder, closing his eyes.
He whispered, his lips brushing against her hair. It was still wet and loose, and the scent that tickled his nose was of her and the clothes she was wearing—his clothes.
Her whole body felt like it'd gone soft and warm and like she was about to buckle at the knees with the feeling of his breath on her neck and his body leaning on hers... Cadenza had started to turn without thinking, acting on impulse and not realizing the situation she was putting herself into. Rain's body was still slumping forward, with his hands resting gently on her arms, but she'd spun herself around slowly, supporting him while she did, so that now his face was right before hers rather than lying against her back or shoulder. The woman suddenly became very aware of the fact that his lips were only breaths away...
...it'd seemed like a good idea, at first, to be able talk to him more directly and make eye contact--if she even could manage to look at him long enough. But now her cheeks felt hotter than the sun itself, and she couldn't seem to regain her breath. Cadenza seemed to remember he'd said something to her, but she'd be damned if she could remember anything with him right there in front of her... those mesmerizing gold eyes, those soft-looking lips, the charming face... all she remembered of what was said was that whisper he'd used.
Some part of her mind told her she'd better break the silence, or she'd be tempted to do something even more stupid--but all she could manage was a quiet, "...W-what are you doing...?" that came out shakily and flustered.
His eyes were open, but they weren’t able to move around and observe the surroundings anymore. They were locked in a gaze with hers, but he saw all her features stand out, all at once. Her midnight blue eyes glimmered in the light; her warmly-tanned skin looked soft to touch, as a lock of raven-coloured hair flowed past her cheek. Her lips were plush, and gorgeous, and her cheeks had that slight hint of red…and her voice…although it was shaky now, there was still a hint of some sort of Latin melody behind it. He inhaled, her scent filling his nose. She didn’t smell like before, when he first saw her on deck. There was something totally different this time…
Rain unconsciously leaned closer, whispering, “I…wanted to…” his lips brushed hers for a brief moment before he mentally kicked himself and turned away slightly. “I…wanted to…rest my head for a while…on your shoulder…” He was still so close to her, their lips weren’t so close any more, but his legs were locked. He couldn’t move, and it seemed as though she couldn’t, either.
Her heart felt like it had fluttered--it took every ounce of willpower she had not to just grab him and kiss him right then and stretch that wonderful moment out again for as long as she could. Part of her pleaded not to let this chance pass by forgotten as some accident, not to let it be swept under the rug like it’d never happened—to just seize this moment and not let it go. But she restrained herself, repeating over and over that this was just some silly, fleeting illusion of hope…
To think you’d been given another shot at… at something like this when some people don’t even get a single one… don’t be stupid, Cadenza… there’s no way in the world you could honestly believe that with your luck…
Rain turned away, whispering, “I…wanted to…rest my head for a while…on your shoulder…”
Cadenza couldn’t stop the words that were already on her tongue, “I…I don’t think that was my shoulder you just rested for a little on…”
“I…I don’t think that was my shoulder you just rested for a little on…”
“I know...” he responded softly, a small smile spreading on his lips, his eyes half-closed, “I’m sorry.” A hand slowly and hesitantly rose to her cheek, and his palm caressed her skin gently. I…can’t help myself…, the smile turned into a soft chuckle, if I kissed her now, I might not be able to walk for a while…
“I…uhm…need to rest my head for a few seconds…”
Without waiting for her to reply, he rested his forehead once more on her shoulder, his hand still gently on her opposite cheek. He inhaled, the scent of her damp hair filling his nose once more, and exhaled with a soft “Thank you…” escaping with his breath.
Could he feel how warm her cheeks were right now? Could he feel how her heart was pounding, how her breath had escaped her yet again when he'd caressed her cheek, or leaned on her again, whispering that "thank you"?
"You...you didn't have to apologize for before..." she found herself saying, and her arms were wrapping gently around him before she could stop them. Cadenza tried to reason that it was just to help hold him up better... but she knew that wasn't true. She wasn't acting at all like what she'd think was reasonable right now... but that was... sort of... the nice thing about it... Her hands started to stroke his back softly, and she wondered just how long she'd been waiting to do something like that while they'd been on this boat...
"We can... stand here for a little while..." she whispered to him, a small smile crossing her lips as she surprised herself yet again by voicing things she thought she'd only keep to herself.
He opened his eyes, letting a small chuckle escape his lips. Things weren’t swaying so much, now; he kept focusing on her neck. He exhaled softly onto her skin, but soon after wondered if he had meant to do that or not.
“For a while…?” he spoke softly, “we’ll miss dinner, Hard-boiled…are you sure?”
Rain suddenly realized that his both arms were wound around her, hugging her gently. Her hands were on his back…as if she had wanted to hold him for the longest while. Hard-boiled… he thought, she’s…not so hard after all. He closed his eyes again, nuzzling a little more into her shoulder, “…But I don’t mind staying for a little while…”
She felt like she'd never been more sure of anything in her life. The idea of food had completely escaped her mind... if anything, earlier it had just been an excuse to try to get away from feeling flustered around him at the most. She wanted to be nowhere more than standing there holding him right now... she just... didn't know how to say that. If she should say that.
With him breathing softly on her neck, and now... nuzzling into her shoulder, Cadenza didn't think she could find the words.
"Hunger's... hunger's not what I'm feeling right now..." she whispered back.
"Hunger's... hunger's not what I'm feeling right now..."
She spoke it softly, and he wondered if he was making her uncomfortable, but she didn’t seem to be pushing him away. In fact, she seemed to be embracing him more and more as time passed. First, she was startled when he tried to rest his head on her shoulder, but now, she was holding him closer than before.
“Then…” he exhaled on her neck again before lifting his head and looking at her face, “what are you feeling…?”
But before she could answer, he stepped back, quickly bringing his hand to his forehead and closing his eyes. The world spun right after he lifted his eyes too fast. Rain stumbled backward slightly, but her arms were still around him and she held him up.
OoC: Aaaack, Firefox closed and I lost my post. <___<;;
"...I forgot about that too..." the woman replied quietly, helping him stay up and letting him rest more of his unsteady weight on her shoulders. Her eyes watched him with concern as her arms held him tenderly like something fragile and precious.
"Hopefully... hopefully we'll dock soon... I... don't like seeing you struggle like this...but, until then..." her musical voice went a little softer, and she felt the tinge of pink come to her cheeks again as her eyes wandered away from him, "...I'll make sure you don't fall..."
He chuckled softly at her statement, and smiled sincerely, “Thank you,” he spoke, “I’ll try not to fall on you.” He should have found some where to sit down…but she was still holding him like that, and he had to admit…he didn’t want to leave it, or break the small moment in some way.
Rain put his arms gently around the woman and pulled her closer, resting his head on her shoulder once more; It’s okay, now, he thought, smiling a little, I never thought that I would find-- A loud whine cut him off and made him wince, and cling to her tightly. His ears rung and his head wanted to explode from the noise that was coming from the announcement system.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We’ll be docking in a few moments; feel free to have dinner at one of our five-star restaurants before leaving. Thank you for choosing to cruise with us—we…apologize for the…uhm…inconveniences caused during the voyage..er…yeah.”
There was another loud whine as it was cut off, forcing the Grim Angel to shut his eyes tight and cling to the woman again. But it was good news…he would get off the boat, and…finally, quench his thirst.
Cadenza reached up and stroked his hair softly, breathing in the scent of his hair, saving the memory of the warmth of his body leaning on hers, before, very reluctantly, starting to let go...
"We're... almost there," she said, quietly so as to not give him more of a headache, "You'll be okay soon... I'll, erm... help you when we get off the boat, too."
She stood for what felt like a long while, just gazing into his eyes, holding him up a little bit away from her with her hands... at some point, she couldn't help smiling at him tenderly. Then she began to hear the footsteps of other passengers approaching, and guessed that they must have reached port...
That was right... he needed to go... well, drink, didn't he? It was something he'd probably rather do privately... but... what if he fell or got hurt on the way? Could she really leave him...?
He won't... still be here when I return with the things we left back at the store, will he? It's like when I... go off to the bar on my own, and try to make sure no one I'd worry would tag along... he'll leave once he sees me head off to the stores, thinking my mind's supposedly off him...
She knew she'd worry about him the whole way, and yet...
Cadenza turned to head back in the direction of the shops, sighing softly to herself. She didn't want to be a bother... but she guessed she had no other choice at the moment but to part ways with him at least for now. If she followed him, he might waste too much of his energy trying to shake her off his trail, not wanting her to see him when he had to feed...
Still, the gypsy only made it a few steps before she glanced back over her shoulder with an urging question she had to ask, "Are we... going to meet up once you've... finished doing what you need to?" She couldn't mask the uncertainty that showed both in her eyes and her voice then, as much as she wanted to. The words were already out in the air.
He had disappeared in the middle of her question, leaving behind the words, “I promise, I’ll come find you,” hanging in the air with the small hint of a smile with the tone of it all. He had already slipped away from her, albeit, a bit clumsily as he bumped noisily into someone on the way out, but he quickly shut them up by baring his fangs with a grin for a few seconds.
At last, at last; solid ground, no rocking from side to side. It did absolute wonders for his head. The sea breeze was not good, though; it smelt like that beast they had fought earlier. The stench hung thickly in the air, and even though his was a little bit better, his stomach was not.
Quickly, he made his way through the crowd of departing passengers and tourists, gently pushing people to the side and even getting a few protests from them. The city they were at was not huge, but it was not very small, either: there were few skyscrapers and lots smaller buildings with numerous alleyways.
The night wind was cold, but not harsh. And aside from the down at the docks, the city seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Rain just waited on one person, a criminal-to-be, to break the silence. That was all he needed.