Trouble In Paradise - TIP - Week 3 - Sadomasochism

Description: What happens when a stalker is welcomed by the victim with open arms? Nothing, because Testament abandons Ash at the beach before the fun can even begin. Wuss. How dare he leave the lackadaisical Frenchman so blue. Zack Island is clearly not the paradise it claimed to be.

It's true, Testament hadn't signed up for the second week. Or the third. Poor Alice, he'd rather abandoned his teammate without a word of notice; after disappearing from that fight with Ash and Hitomi he'd quite literally disappeared. He's a horrible friend, isn't he? Not that he considered her much of a friend, and it was probably mutual, with all the ewblood and ewslashy and ewWHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! going on during that fight.

But that's all right. Testament has found another thing to interest him. Ash. And being a creeper is kind of something he's good at, so he's been a creeper since the fight weeks ago. Watching Ash whenever he could get the opportunity to (in between dodging killer robots), observing him. Trying to get a read on him. His attitude is incongruous with that something about him that had caught Testament's attention...

Ash should be coming back through here at any moment, Testament knows. He appears in a wash of tainted blood, finally making himself visible. As he appears, a large black bird swoops down to alight upon his shoulder. And he just waits for Ash to arrive. He hasn't called his scythe yet. So there is a chance that he isn't seeking violence. Admittedly a VERY small chance...

Aw, poor Alice. Surely she is heartbroken.

Because he's just so pretty...

I am laughing uncontrollably.

Ash thought nothing of it as Marilyn Manson took his leave, not where he went after the fight, what Testament was doing. The Frenchman promised suffering, but for another time, another place.

That night, a long shower. He had to use a steel emery file to pick bits of dried blood out from under his precious fingernails. It was disgusting. Ash fell into an uneasy sleep, woke feeling out of sorts. It took another evening to pass before he was 'right' again, whatever that means to the fickle, flamboyant pyrokinetic.

Even he's not entirely sure.

Weeks later, there's been a niggling, annoying thought in the back of his mind that he has yet to address outright: He's being followed.

After his match with Ryu Hayabusa and some girl on roller...blades or skates, he hasn't taken much opportunity to rest. The dark bruise on the right side of his face still looks particularly unpleasant, and his chest stings and twitches... But this is the best time to confront a stalker. A short trip has brought him from one end of Zack Island to the other, seeing how long it would persist, to confirm or dismiss paranoia.

The island is larger than expected, but doesn't take more than maybe two hours tops to walk the length of, including frequent breaks so he can check his bandages, rest. That could be an over or underestimation. As the tide is out, Bass Island opens to the public, but Moonlight Reef hasn't attracted any crowds tonight, only him. Ash Crimson. He brandishes a blanket that was ganked from the cottages and spreads it out across a patch of white sand, gingerly lowering himself down against it.

The French flamewielder folds arms at the back of his head, careful of his burned and wrapped fingers, crossing a slender leg over the other. Ash isn't interested in the hotels across the water and their bright, blazing lights -- he's got eyes only for the stars in the sky and an irritating, tuneless tune, "Hmmmmmmm hm hm hm hmmmmm hm hm hmhmmmmmmmmmmmmm!" Terrible.

"If you think I don't know you're there, mon ami, you're wrong~" he chirps, tapping out the rest of the rhythm of the song against his arms. How nonchalant!

Surprisingly, Ash is very attuned (for a lazy sonuvabitch) to the energies around him, shifts that alert him to the presence of others. It gets harder to identify one when there's many or he's about to die from heat stoke at the top of a volcano, but not now. Seems he gets to find out just who his admirer happens to be~

A laugh comes in response to Ash's words. And the voice is instantly recognizable. If not for the actual tone, the metallic quality behind it. It's Marilyn Manson's brother-who-doesn't wear-makeup. So that's where he's got to. Though if Ash is attuned to the energies around him, now that no one else's is interfering with his... he might notice immediately, even before Testament actually shows up, that the gothy one's energies are just ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Regardless, though, not-Manson will eventually show up. And he steps silently towards where Ash has situated himself, where he can be seen better. "Yes, I expected you might," he says quietly as he comes into view. "Not surprising." But he wasn't going for that kind of surprise. Jumpscares aren't actual fear. The actual fear will probably come later...

He doesn't comment on Ash's temporary 'facelift'-- if Ash is walking around, he's fine. Besides that, would Testament even help Ash if he wasn't all right? Maybe, maybe not. Something must have interested him enough to follow Ash for this long, right?

No no, you've got that wrong.

'Doesn't wear makeup and didn't have boobs at any point in his life.'

Seriously, why did Marilyn Manson go with the boobs thing? Like, was he trying to appear androgynous or something? Can't say it worked. He's kind of fugly.

The hair on the back of his neck stands on end -- Ash can feel the brush of it against his folded, scorched arms. A tic seizes the corner of his left eye, the right swollen almost shut. There's something about the laugh that gets under his skin, possibly because the mirthful sound could be compared to his own...

He doesn't move, doesn't shift. This is comfortable. The Frenchman is determined to leave the groove of his svelte, fey frame behind for the beach to remember him until morning. "I thought it'd be you," Crimson says, his tone reeks of blithe indifference, "Care to sit?"

Sometimes, Ash just does things that defy all logic. Extending the offer to share his blanket (it's a big blanket) with Testament is probably one of the more nonsensical, almost as strange as pulling Hitomi to his chest so she could sob all over him!

But did he really know it was Testament, all along?

Difficult to tell.

Ash's gaze has not left the sky. He was never interested in astronomy, but there are a few recognizable constellations. Venus, the morning star. Orion. Draco. Andromeda. Beyond that small number, the rest are just stars; balls of gas, burning billions of miles away. The blonde European bounces his leg, wriggling his toes in his sock. Feels like sand, ain't that wonderful. At least he's not drenched with sweat.

"Ahhhh~hhhhh." His muscles tense, flex in his arms as he stretches in the laziest way, careful not to agitate hidden injuries. The lackadaisical flamewielder's back departs from his blanket for a moment. Settling in again, Ash looks about ready to drift off were it not for his clear eyes strangely alert, pupils dialated. He's coiled like a spring, somehow, despite or in spite of his slothful lounging. Yes, those energies are everywhere, a sick aura of the dying. Testament is in love, obviously~

Will the love wash out from clothes? Hopefully!

No, despite wearing a skirt and a bandeau top with enough straps to support a building, Testament most definitely does not have breasts. It lends an odd kind of not-quite androgyny to him. But the outfit does seem to feel like a tattered, incomplete version of something. Which maybe it is, but who knows?

Perhaps Ash's offer IS nonsensical. After all, who invites a man who basically tried to kill him when they first met to sit calmly next to him on a blanket on the beach? But what might be moreso nonsensical is that... Testament actually takes the offer. He just steps over the the edge of the thing and sits down.

Surprising or not, he doesn't sit with his legs to the side like a proper skirt-wearing girl. He actually sits tailor-style near the edge of the blanket. The crow-- or raven, whichever-- remains on his shoulder. The indifference doesn't seem to bother him. He's even nice enough to keep his booted feet off the blanket so he won't get smudges on it. In fact, he even returns some politeness! "Thank you."

Surprise, the taller man assumes a seat next to the lazy teenager. If he's going to be thanked, Ash replies with a soft French intonation, "Je vous en prie." The politeness of his words supersedes that of his company, but he cannot be bothered to suppress a wry smirk from twisting the corner of thin lips.

He's still a jerk. His reputation as such must be maintained (no matter how kind he had seemed to his teammate.)

At least three cameras have located them and begun airing the footage across the world. Tensions are running high as viewers tune in.

Silence follows. Long, endless, hollow. Were it not for the ocean's ebb and flow, breaking against sand and trickling back, Crimson could be heard blinking. Each breath as it is drawn. The steady beat of his heart...

It goes on and grows into an to awkwardness that Ash is all too happy to perpetuate and encourage. Maybe he is testing Testament, to see who exactly will become unnerved first and speak. Or, he is mulling over his racing thoughts, trying to shuffle them in order of importance, preparing himself for a conversation. A short one. "I was six." He's giving Marilyn Manson a lot of credit here, that someone so equally odd can read his mind and discern the meaning from three words.

What Ash is referring to was his age when his mother drowned.

"I had the feeling you would figure it out," his expression shifts, to pleasantries and unassuming smiles, but it doesn't reach the blue orbs, robbed of their colour in the moonlight. They appear almost as white as his alabaster skin. At least, the one most visible and not swollen appears that way. "The other two aren't very observant." A shrug would belong here, find itself right at home... The movement requires far more effort than it's worth. Ash just exhales a snort, his nostrils flaring gently. "Saa, not like it matters anymore."

Instead of speaking in vague riddles, the Frenchman could try to be more upfront... But that goes against his very nature. He's able to tear his gaze away from the sky, a sidelong glance dedicated to the other man, mostly just noting particulars about him again. It's been some time -- two weeks is forever in his mind! He notices the lack of the blue woman, 'Tset'. A raven seems to have replaced her. It could be her. The flamewielder has seen things. "I don't think I'm wrong to assume it means very little to you, oui?" Ash's light, trilling laugh rends the air, the words in the lilt of his accent, "It's probably difficult to earn your interest. To think, I've captured your attention for so long~ So what is it about me that deserves such an honour?" Smarmy, pyrokinetic asshole.

Testament seems quite willing to let the silence go on. He's getting a read on Ash, taking in that not-quite scent that he can not-quite smell, one that runs so counter to Ash's usual air of not caring. There's something going on here, and Testament is curious. Ash finally speaks up. Six years old? But then the note of having 'figured it out' makes him think. Ash could be talking about that moment of 'AUGH' that surfaced when Zio shoved Ash into the water, breaking the Frenchman's oh-so carefully groomed composure, however briefly. Childhood trauma perhaps?

In return, Testament offers his own bit of vague confession. "I was seven." When what, he started self-identifying as a goth? Well, it's just as informative as whatever Ash said. Though at the very least, it tells Ash that he's not the only one with some childhood trauma going. Which is probably a given-- what else BUT childhood trauma would lead someone to dress and act like Testament? Let alone get him to develop all the weird-ass powers he uses. Of course, he doesn't say what kind. There are cameras watching, and that's more than the viewing audience deserves to know.

It's true, 'Tset' is nowhere to be found. But the idle way he reaches up and pets the raven could very well be a sign that it is indeed his blue-skinned companion, if Ash is prone to flights of fancy without the normal person's weirdness cutoff point. Also the way the bird seems to study Ash from Testament's shoulder, tilting its head and blinking; what about him would a normal bird find interesting?

Testament doesn't speak up again until Ash asks him that question. "I'm curious," he replies after a moment. He leaves that for just long enough that Ash might think he's done. Then the bird flies up into a tree, as if in preparation for a movement of her gothy perch. Almost in the same motion Testament turns a little and leans slowly back onto the blanket, ending with him sort of half on his side and half facing Ash. And then he does something (else?) strange. He leans his head close enough to be uncomfortable and...

...Is he... SNIFFING Ash?

Yeah, the TV audience-- particularly certain statistics among the demographic-- is going to LOVE this...

The read of a person like Ash Crimson must be fascinating, if utterly confusing. What is it that he learns? What shampoo he used? Or can Testament smell the blood that stains the teen's hands, all the way from a distant future of another universe? How is it that the young man is the same person...?

Ask the consciousness, it knows all.

Not that it would deign to respond, insignificant worm.

Seven? "Saa, we sound awfully cryptic, mais non?" He stifles a soft and girlish giggle, splaying slender, bandaged fingers across his lips. The effeminate European almost finds himself wondering what sort of trauma could've created a person like this at that age, but his interest is skin deep. It wanes in lieu of Testament's quietude and in memories of Ash's own experience. Crimson continues to careen through topics at random, voicing what sounds like disconnected thoughts, and the conversation isn't prolonged, ended by two words to his query...

'I'm curious.'

He makes a sound, it rumbles deep in his throat. It's hard to tell whether that was acknowledgement or yet another note of amusement. "Could be worse," the Frenchman decides a beat later. Uncrossing his legs, Ash crosses them back but the other way, resuming bouncing his foot. A pale lid, er, lids halfway. If he didn't exist in a torpid state every second, he would surely die from overexertion of even caring.

The raven being a blue-skinned companion is not stretching his mind so far that he cannot accept it, seeing the pat from the corner of his eye, but he chooses not to assume. Why bother? The bird takes flight to a tree and is gone from his thoughts with its departure, the shift of sand his spy to more important movement. Testament has laid down beside him. Ash's skin crawls as he is stared at in a disconcerting way, even moreso when Marilyn Manson leans in to get a closer... sniff.

S'little weird. Ash isn't entirely sure he appreciates it as much as their rabid fanbase! The other man at an uncomfortable distance, taking a good whiff of him. "Ah, mon ami, it's called 'Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific'." That was a pretty awesome deflection, careless and unperturbed. He allows the, uh, this... to continue, but his smile might come across as rather chilled, even though the night air is warm and somewhat humid. Not as humid as the crater of a volcano, at the very least. He had never smelled so bad in his life. The European wasn't a fan.

Cryptic? Testament chuckles. "I wouldn't be a proper villain if I didn't toss out tiny hints to eventually lead to my inevitable demise at the hands of the heroes, now would I?" Way to go admitting you're evil, right? Not that Ash is in any way hero material. At least he doesn't seem so. Appearances may be deceiving, but it'd have to be a very large deception to be hiding a hero underneath Ash's snarky, can't-be-arsed facade.

Then again, there are also cameras. Still, the events of Zack Island might just be considered a very sophisticated farce. So maybe Testament is playing the 'heel', considering the evil-looking powers he's shown so far. Well, either way, he doesn't seem to be giving those cameras much thought at the moment. Maybe he hasn't noticed them, who knows?

"...The scent of your hair isn't what interests me so much," Testament replies. "There's something else. And it's not bonbons." Yes, that was a joke on Ash's apparent nationality. A slashmurderer usually isn't politically correct, after all. And speaking of 'uncomfortable distances', though, Testament makes that distance even MORE uncomfortable when he leans over, aiming to prop a hand on Ash's other side. It'll have sort of a half-hearted 'cage' effect with Testament leaning over him, where Testament's body is on one side of Ash, leaving him not-quite trapped by his arm on the other. Unless Ash moves, that is.

That's a very intense look Testament is focusing on Ash. Intensely curious, intensely focused. It looks like a cat that's just found something that's caught its attention. But it's not the look a cat would give a particularly interesting bit of juicy prey, though. It's the look a cat would give another cat who may or may not be in its territory.

Girlish squeals!

There's a two-minute delay between what happens here on the beach and what is broadcast around the world in the early hours. It's almost live, almost! Squee! So many women who ship Ash and Testament are glued to their television sets, as though this were the most important day of their lives. Finally! Will they consummate their, ah, animosity? Hostility? I'm not sure what to call it.

In any event, he... starts. If it could even be called starting. There's an awkward jerk as Testament looms over him like a lover, the Frenchman's leg slipping off the other and his heel hitting the blanket. It makes a mush sound, not a muted thud. Looking up through thick, long lashes, his chin tilts upwards so that he may listen better and smile ever so slightly. "Well, if it isn't bonbons..."

His nationality isn't apparent, it actually is. He's French. And despite being French, the pyrokinetic takes no offense to the slight. Slowly, sensuously, his arms unwind from their entanglement behind his head.

RUN AWAY-- too late.

Ash wraps them both behind Testament's neck, dragging him so close with a sudden yank that their lips almost touch. Breath is shared, his sharp gaze bores into the creepy man. The expression widens, batting his eyelids almost demurely -- okay, one eyelid, the other remains obscured by his platinum blonde fringe and that's good, it's really unpleasant. "You could've asked~" he purrs sweetly.

Marilyn Manson's long locks spill over shoulders and around his face, doing much to hide what is actually going on and inciting fits of raging, the shippers perhaps hurling things at the TV as cameras are unable to penetrate the black veil. Ash's tongue passes over his mouth like a predator, "I'm not sure if you're my type, however... Or maybe I'm not yours. Were you looking for a hero, instead?" What was weird just got even WEIIIIIIIIIIRDER!

The flamboyant, freckle-faced fighter isn't going to release unless he's forced to, keeping them locked together intimately, disturbingly close. His gaze taunts the other, knowing full well that Testament's intentions were far from these results. The teen is many things, but not a fool. Ash could understand that he was gazed upon as though he were some sort of... rival. Equal. Invader. Usurper... But he ignores it, deters it, tries to push it so far away by unhinging the absolute shit out of the slashmurderer so that there might be revulsion... And less understanding, or sniffing.

...OK, that was DEFINITELY not the reaction Testament expected. At the last minute, he places enough pressure on his other arm that he doesn't immediately fall on top of Ash. His hair does serve as an effective curtain, yes, blocking out what might be going on. For a minute, he just looks intensely confused, as if he has no idea what's going on.

This close, though, Ash might get some uncomfortable realizations of his own. Testament smells unnatural somehow, in an odd way that's hard to really describe beyond that. Artificial almost. Despite the heat there's not a trace of sweat on him. His skin feels weird-- it's cooler than normal, and there's not as much 'give' as normal human skin. And the pupils of his eyes are red. Not red from eyeshine. They're just naturally red, instead of black like a normal human's eyes.

And then several things happen in quick succession here. First the bird emits a soft awk from the tree. Then Testament's eyes widen a little, and... ahaha, that is a blush! "Gottverdammt," he mutters under his breath; Ash can hear this thanks to his proximity. And at the moment the crow begins quite literally cackling in the tree. Then there is an odd 'pressure' sound...

...Suddenly Ash is holding onto nothing. There is, however, an outline of a human skull where Testament's head was just a moment ago. Which means it's literally right in Ash's face. Teleportation-- like a built in 'Abort Mission' button!

That said, Testament hasn't gone too far. He reappears in similar fashion a few feet away, standing on the ground just off of the blanket. "Be careful," he warns. Apparently he's regained his wits. "Press too close to the sharp edge of a knife and you'll cut yourself." You would leave him so unsatisfied?


There's enough oddities surrounding Ash Crimson to be taken in. Testament isn't the only anomally. The teen is something that transcends time and space, the smell of blood and yet not. He's not quite so artificial as he is... Impossible. The consciousness scoffs in disgust, as if able to see what is coming...

Its descendant holds on, to thoroughly unnerve the man so close in proximity, hovering over him. Ash's blue eyes stare deep into red, a flicker passing through them, a challenge. Something halting, an unspoken promise of hell to come...

Then, he is clutching air. "Ahaha!" His laughter rings out joyously in triumph, even with the image of a skull hovering directly in front of him. He's forced Creepy McNasty to flee, and finds the warning utterly pathetic, "I saw you blush, mon ami," says the young flamewielder, refolding his arms and slipping them back beneath his head. Crimson angles himself almost provocatively against the blanket. "Too scared... that I'll bite?"

No doubt the crow is having a hay-day at this, still cawing her laughter shrilly from the tree.

Ash quells his own amusement, his body trembling with the effort it takes to hold the gales at bay. He tucks his lower lip between white rows of teeth. Freckled cheeks redden of their own accord, but in holding his breath, not embarrassment.

"Perhaps you have learned the hard way that it's not so polite to 'stick your nose' in other people's business. Literally." Shit-eating grin is shit-eating. Relaxing and no longer so seductive, the French flameslinger lays back upon his blanket as though he were sunning himself, lids shuttering closed. His nonsensical singing begins anew.

Wait, I lied. There's more to say, "You're the masochist here, not me." The nail hits right on the head and his breathing slows. Were it not for his nonchalant lounging, obviously faked as Ash is ready to kip up and lunge, the slender kid almost seems asleep. He'd rather not have to commit himself to making Manson suffer right this second, but obviously will, if necessary.

Unfortunately for Testament, there's still a trace of that blush on his face when he reappears. "Tset said something, that had nothing to do with you," he states. And he's only half lying, as his look to the crow points to. The bird just turns its head to preen its feathers innocently, as if nothing was amiss.

However, calling the bird by the same name he called his blue-skinned companion? That's pretty telling. So yes, it looks like that's her. One of her forms, perhaps. Or maybe he just named the bird after her. Who knows?

Ash might change his mind about the desire to not make Testament suffer right then given what he says next. Testament smirks to the mention of him being a masochist, and then notes, "Then perhaps you are the sadist." He doesn't explain exactly why. Testament is not stupid, he knows there are cameras. He just smirks, as if he knows something that he's not quite willing to say yet.

Pfft. Go ahead and tell yourself how it was something Zio said, Testament, whatever helps you sleep at night. But don't lie to Ash. He's gifted at being utterly dishonest with people, so it enables him in turn to almost sense when one is not entirely truthful with him...

Of course, whether or not he cares will determine if the French flamewielder calls them on it.

In this case, he doesn't (care), but his amusement drives him to point out the discrepancy, smiling vaguely like the whimsical asshole he most certainly is, "Oh, I'm sure. Did she mention that you're awfully frigid, as well?" Or a scared virgin? Ash could come up with a lot more, should he continue along this vein, just hammering away at the taller man's buttons and seeing whether Testament will break or bend.

He is the most infuriating sort of individual.

Ash also loses interest, the longer he lounges in place. Referring to the crow as 'Tset' was enough of a confirmation that she is the blue-skinned woman - how, the thin European can't help but wonder, but there's never going to be an answer - so that mystery is solved and leaves him... With nothing new to preoccupy his mind, allowing his thoughts to drift haphazardly, some of them are rather inappropriate.

'Then perhaps you are the sadist.'

Eyes like the clear sky snap open, or at least one of them does. For a moment, Ash forgets about the things that are necessary to promote his longevity. His chest stills, a last breath trickling past slightly parted lips. His gaze soon travels from the sky to Marilyn Manson, standing ye so far away. He's only here out of curiosity and then has the gall... Could Crimson be overreacting, reading between the lines? He feels almost as though this is something related to the past that is gone, yet another individual demanding penance...

No, it must be a misunderstanding.

"What, pray tell, do you mean by that exactly, hmmmmmmm?" Friendly intonations are dropped for something deeper, more pronounced and masculine. The melodic quality is gone. Ash's pupils narrow shrewdly. He's slowly beginning to sit, the teen's arms at his sides to better faciliate his endeavour.

Testament lets that first statement go. Fortunately his blush has faded, so the lack of a response does not seem any odder than it should. Frigid? None of Ash's business, really. Unless he intended to make it his business, and Testament found very thought of that disgusting. Ash is a human, no different than the others.

Or was he? That scent that surrounded Ash was definitely different from the rest. The same scent that had him out here at this moment. A scent like his own. But from a human? That was odd. Unless perhaps Ash had been altered too? It wasn't just his scent that was odd, it was many things.

Finally that question from Ash. And that was the question, wasn't it? The fiery Frenchman might have forgotten about the cameras, but Testament has not. And in response to the question, he... smirks. "...Do you want me to broadcast your sins? We ARE being watched, you know..."

No fun. No fun at all!

He would've loved to have pounced on that -- to make it entirely his business and unhinge the pretty man, just so Ash could laugh the way he did earlier. The lean flamewielder delights in embarrassing others...

But Testament already knows this, and hitting on the man was so three minutes ago. The time for flirting and cajoling is over.

Is he human, or something so close to it, just masquerading as one? Were Manson to question his species, ask whether or not he has been genetically altered, Ash would thoughtfully ponder his reply to be as infuriating as possible. Then he would say, something along the lines of 'Non, I'm a bonafide human being,' with a sly smile. That might lead to the Frenchman wondering about Testament's origins aloud, though. Perhaps it's a good thing the creepy man holds his tongue.

Suddenly, the corner of his good eye tics. "Sins?" he says, and though his mannerisms are cold and uninviting, that doesn't stop a note of curiosity from invading his tone. Does Ash honestly care, for now? He decides he does not. Not since there are cameras trained on the scene; he is made aware of them. For a moment, Crimson had almost forgotten. His carefully constructed facade remains intact, expression schooled into blithe indifference, "Feh."

On the inside, something much different occurs. His heart quickens, mind buzzing. Not a misunderstanding. There must be a relation between Testament and Igniz. He doesn't want to find out.

As casual as his movements are, lazy and lacklustre, the stiffness of his back and the lines in his jaw betray him. Ash isn't scared, but it appears HE is the one who has become unnerved first. He is leaving, the pyrokinetic standing after he has sat up, lightly massaging at his chest. The healing cuts sting sharply. He stoops to scoop up the blanket, rolling it into a sandy ball. "Bonne nuit, may we meet again when I'm not in such a state." It's code, 'I'll whoop your ass when I'm not at a disadvantage'. Ever the opportunist, this one. Keep your eyes forward and back, Testament!

Testament steps to the side as Ash speaks, realizing that the Frenchman will have to walk past him to get out. "I'm sure we will," he says quietly. "But on which side?" He doesn't seem to be too terribly convinced of Ash's being on the 'good guy' side of things. Or has doubts enough to voice them, anyway.

And why's that? Well, Ash will find out when he walks past Ash. Because as he does, Testament leans his head down and whispers something to Ash in passing. Something too low for the cameras to pick up. Whatever it is, he seems pleased by it, as he smirks almost cruelly. But he doesn't stick around for the reaction or response. Once more he disappears, this time in a wash of his poisonous blood. The bird too is gone, and when the wave of blood disappears, Ash is alone.

Yes, he's forced to pass Testament as he takes his leave, and Ash does so. He's not able to move quite so gracefully due to the sand, but the Frenchman doesn't lumber around like an oaf, either. His long, somewhat encumbered strides carry his svelte frame to the creepy man's side, close enough to brush shoulders or arms.

Testament doesn't touch him, but the slight cant of his head, long strands of obsidian almost like a blanket over Ash's vision, the teen feels warm breath in his ear. The words aren't sweet, more cause to pause. "... Que fais-tu?" Crimson softly snarls, the words harsh and his mouth dry.

'It's /wonderful/.'

His breath hitches in his throat.

Blue eyes (well, one in particular, the other is barely able to accomplish this) widen to the limit.

Ash didn't want to know if there was a connection...

Muscles flex, tense. He clutches the blanket so tightly that his knuckles blanche. The flamewielder's arm trembles. "Ce que tu as dit m'a vraiment enerve..."

Not good.

Violence is to follow, seized by both urges to survive and to beat more information out of Testament. That was the straw that broke the camel's back; Ash will not wait. Viridescent flames ignite in the palm of his free hand, which swings up to catch Manson by the throat... But that doesn't happen. Thin fingers claw through poisonous blood and he leaps to the side, stumbling over a branch. Screaming faces, swirling crimson, that horrible smell and cruel smirk that fades last -- he has been eluded. His head crowned with platinum blonde snaps to the trees, finding that 'Tset' is gone, as well.

"Che." Ash clicks his tongue on the backs of his teeth. Something stirs in the back of his mind, it might be a laugh.

When Ash Crimson finally returns to his room in the residences, it is with a bad feeling. Like his next fight will go terribly wrong somehow. What the hell did that bastard mean? Are they connected, Testament and Igniz? How many people... did he kill?

A joke, surely. Nothing more. Something to scare him. Ash drops onto his covers, fully clothed and sand clinging to his pantlegs. From there, he slips into an uneasy sleep; it takes him like a thief and spirits him away.

Log created on 02:51:54 02/12/2015 by Ash, and last modified on 22:23:29 12/04/2017.