The Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son
Summary: Kissy comes to the Chapel at last, and the purification rite takes an unexpected turn.
Date: PHD 119 (Sat Aug 15 21:56:05 2009)
Related Logs: All "Miasma" related logs
Players:
Matto..Roubani..Ariadne..

Chapel - Deck 1 — CEC Kharon
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #119
OOC Time: Sat Aug 15 21:56:05 2009


Tucked into a quiet corner of the ship, the location of the Chapel was chosen to be away from the main hustle and bustle of the military vessel. Thusly the seclusion of its location lends to the sanctity of the small room. Bench seating is provided in tiered formation, three steps on either side of the hatchway to provide access to the top and most shadowed of the places to pray and meditate. The altar itself is just opposite the door, modestly providing the center of worship.
The altar is nothing more than a long wooden table, though someone has draped it in a fine golden cloth. Sitting atop are twelve figurines, each representing the mortal form of the dozen major deities. The metal has been molded and lovingly hammered to show: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, and Hestia. Around them are arranged small offerings or tithes that range from coins to dried flowers, tended to by the Chaplain of the boat.


There's a service letting out. It's small, with few in attendance, but the incense still burns and the candles are still lit — the air is fragrant, the light soft. It's a ceremony of remembrance that closes the day, if one happens to know such things… not the most uplifting of events. But necessary for some, and so the rituals are observed, even for the few.

Ariadne is bidding a quiet farewell to the last, lingering members of her congregation. As they file past, she lowers the hood of her ceremonial robe and turns to the altar, cupping her hand around the candle flames and blowing them out.

Having, in true Raptorbunny fashion, drifted by this way the previous evening (a mission of reconnaisance, you understand, scouting out enemy territory), Kisseus at the very least has some idea where he's going, how to get there, and what to expect in terms of the space itself. When he comes by again, the second evening in a row, it's a good deal earlier, and when suddenly confronted with a stream of people leaving the place he turns aside and looks with entirely too much fascination over the doors of General Distribution. Yup, nothing to see here, folk. After the trickle of the last from the chapel seem to have wandered out, he clears his throat softly with a glance to his ECO for the mission, as if to ask whether the DRADIS is coming up clear.

Roubani is one of those familiar faces in this part of the hall that doesn't get a second glance from those trickling out of the chapel. Still wearing his duty jacket, unbuttoned at the top, he gives a couple nods of recognition here and there until the hall has quieted, then his dark eyes shift to Matto. A little nod, a flickered half-smile of encouragement, and a tip of his head towards the chapel doors.

There's a change in the atmosphere — a tensing of the priestess' shoulders. Her hand freezes in the act of cupping around a candle — fortunately she's just blown it out, or her inertia might result in a blister or two. Turning, she blinks at the two men who've entered, then takes a breath and folds her hands before her. Tightly. "Gentlemen," she says softly. But, more to the point, "Lieutenant Matto."

Matto takes a deep breath and returns the nod. He's taken his uniform jacket off for the standard off-duty look, and his cheeks puff out briefly as he lets the deep breath out through semi-pursed lips and steps to the threshold, briefly bracing himself on both sides of the hatch with one hand each, as though his arms were of their own volition endeavoring to keep him out of the space. He stares down the center toward the priest and the altar— until caught. A faint fiery flush runs up his cheeks, and, shoving both arms against the sides of the door, he hops over the bottom of the hatch, quickly, like ripping off a bandaid. A momentary pause, and then, since nothing explodes and the priestess doesn't start bleeding from her eyes and ears, he takes another step forward. "Uh. Hey."

As the necessary greetings take place in front of him and indeed nothing explodes, Lieutenant Moral Support stays quiet. Hands folded behind him, Roubani follows Matto into the chapel, giving Ariadne a respectful cross between a nod and a bow of his dark head. "Sister," he says quietly, staying near Matto's right side. "Is it alright if I stay?"

Ariadne bows her head in acknowledgement of Kisseus. "Be welcome in the sight of the Lords, Lieutenant Matto." A nod to Nadiv. "Of course. If Lieutenant Matto wishes it." Her gaze returns to Kissy — she seems to pause in choosing her words. "Forgive me, but I don't wish to presume… why you've come."

Matto lets loose a vague half-laugh at the priest's greeting, as if doubting whether that'll ever happen, but he stifles it in a cough aimed at his own shoulder as he turns his head away from the priestess, staring at a lovely piece of wall for a moment before looking back at her, "Um. If you still wanted to… to do the thing…" he lifts a hand to the back of his head, less comfortable by the moment, but playing it off as though it were no big deal, more for his own sake than anyne else's. "I mean, if you have time or whatever." His eyes settle on a piece of floor, next. He'd asked the Poet along especially, so he feels no particular need to re-iterate the fact that he wants him to be there, his weight shifting subtly to the foot nearer Roubani as if actively drawing on that support.

Roubani doesn't move and doesn't stare at Matto when his reasons for being here are asked after. He's not the man's father. All he does is make a very subtle shift on his own feet so his shoulder makes a minute bump against Matto's. Still here, not going anywhere.

Ariadne casts Matto a gentle, compassionate look. She nods. "I do. Want to. And I have time." She draws a breath. "It won't hurt." And then, "Thank you… for being so brave."

That said, the priestess takes one of the still-lit tapers and sets the extinguished candles alight. "We'll entreat Apollo, first and foremost, for the miasma's a disease of the spirit…" She looks over her shoulder at Matto. "He should intervene with… any other Lord, if that's needed." From the pocket of her robe, she draws a small vial of what appears to be a pale, rough-ground herb.

Matto bites his tongue. No, literally bites down on it, lining up top and bottom canine to stop himself from correcting her in no uncertain terms on how much this is going to hurt. The corners of his eyes exhibit a growing tension in his brow and his jaw sets with his tongue so trapped until the pain there gets to where the pain in less tangible parts of himself becomes easier to handle, and he releases the bit of muscle from the toothy grip, drawing his lips together as he restrains himself to a nod. "Whatever you need to do." The words a little harder than before. He stands there planted on the top step of the aisle, for the moment.

Roubani finally looks at Matto, just a small glance at the back of his profile. He can see the tensed jaw, the pursed lips, but for once his own posture stays quite relaxed. At the mention of his patron, his attention flickers to Apollo's statue on the table-altar, then back to the priestess.

The priestess unstoppers the flask and dips just the barest tip of her pinky finger inside. Two flakes. Maybe one and a half. These are placed on her tongue, her eyes lidding with the reverence of one receiving the eucharist. She breathes in. And out. Stoppers the flask and opens her eyes. Her gaze is strangely languid.

She turns and lifts a shallow dish of water from the altar, holding it aloft for a moment, as though for a blessing. Then she kneels at Kissy's feet. Her palms upturned and her head bowed, she whispers, "Apollo Acestor, Apollo Phoebus… Bright One. Healer. Look upon us in mercy. Expunge the miasma, that which is unclean in Your sight. Be thou the intercessor for Kisseus Matto, whose face has been hidden too long. Cleanse him, and let him walk in Your light again…"

Matto stands there at the top of the stairs, looking a little uncertain as the priest does her thing and then comes and kneels in front of him, looking down at her upturned hands and feeling more than mildly awkward. He folds his arms in front of him, shooting a glance in the Poet's direction as she fills out the spiritual application. But it does all seem harmless enough, and for now he just tries to think of something else. Anything other than letting the Bitch have her way. CAP, last shift. Going over flight procedures. That new book the Cookiemonster lent him to tide him over until she's done with the great brick of a tome he'd gotten partway through with the Poet.

In contrast, despite how easily Roubani usually blushes at the drop of a hat he looks completely comfortable with Ariadne on her knees in front of Matto. Maybe he just compartmentalises well. His silence is calm and reverent, eyes closing for a few moments as she begins her prayers to Apollo. They open again just in time to catch Matto looking at him. There they stay for a few moments. If looks could talk this would be quietly saying 'It's okay'.

"Give me your hands," Ariadne says softly, reaching up to Kissy. Her pupils are dilated so wide that her irises are nearly eclipsed. She blinks a few times, as though growing accustomed to some change in the light — which would make sense. But there seems to be… more. She's only half looking at Matto, now. Half at him, and something beyond him.

Matto wets his lower lip a tiny bit with the tip of his tongue, now all throbby as it is from having been so close to pierced. But he gives the Poet a little hint of a nod, then, when directions are given his way, his arms jerk a little, once, before completely unfolding; moist, clammy hands find the priest's upturned ones, palms slightly askew on palms, fingers wrapping around the side of her forefingers and thumbs wrapping around her pinkies, rather as if he were about to lean into her and use her to plow a field or something. He looks down briefly into those creepy eyes, but… the eyes are creepy, and he finds a nice neutral spot over her shoulder to stare at, instead.

Roubani slips his prayer beads from around his wrist, wrapping them in a figure eight around both hands, which he brings to rest against his lips. He's still quiet, watching what's going on with drawn brows of concentration and concern. To say he's blase' about it would be a mistake - this is no joke for him.

Ariadne gasps, sharp and sudden, her hands tightening around Kissy's convulsively before they spring away. She folds her arms tightly about her, her body shaking as she bends double, her forehead against the floor. She rocks there wretchedly, groaning… and then finally speaking in a rasp. "Ah, Kisseus… ah, beloved. What were you thinking?" Her voice is tender and mournful. And utterly unlike her own.

Matto steps back— no, jumps back would be a more apt description, yanking his hands away from the priest at the same moment that she does the same. His eyes widen, his mouth open, a look of terror seizing his youthful features as the woman writhes on the floor in pain. "Ah— u— d— does she need a doctor?" is the first thing he manages to say, to the Poet, presumably. There's a real concern there— did he break the priest somehow, too? "This was a bad idea…"

Roubani is quiet and dead still as Ariadne's body contorts. At the sound of this new voice coming from within her, he draws in a sharp but silent breath, his eyes making two rapid blinks as though he'd just felt them stinging. The sound of Matto's voice jarrs him, and he answers in barely a whisper, "No, no, no…it's alright. She's okay." Sort of. Hushed by the magnitude of the presence in the room, he touches his fingertips to Matto's elbow. "Gold-crowned and beautiful, sweet passion in the flesh." It'd be an endearing nickname, but he's not referring to Matto. His eyes are on the woman as he explains under his breath. "Speak to her, Kisseus." And just in case the reference was missed? "Speak to Lady Aphrodite."

The priestess rises gracefully — practically floats to her feet. Her shoulders are back and her head high, her hips tilted just so. Regal and sensual. A coy look is shot Nadiv's way, an almost girlish flutter of her lashes — pleased to be recognized and praised. Ever the vain creature.

"Tavian made a grave mistake in believing the words of men, my love." She speaks now to Matto, her smile is not without pity. "But so did you."

If Kisseus doesn't feel the presence, himself, it's no wonder, his own faculties for prayer having long withered under the blighting touch of miasma. He calms, though, as the Poet, whose experiences in the world of religion are far more bountiful than his own, seems to think things are going well. But the epithets, all too familiar to the sometime resident of the Twin Cities, cause the hair at the back of his neck to stand up as he tunes in somewhat to the spiritual occurrence in the room. He doesn't need to hear the goddess' name to know whom the Poet meant, and his heart rate and breathing increase in pace as the priest puts on the attributes of the Bitch herself, down to that damned simper. Kisseus is not a creature prone to violence, but for a moment there's a tension in his back and shoulders like he might — just — deck — her. But fingernails dig into the palm of his hand, and his face goes faintly pale again from its agitated flush as the priest again shows knowledge of things she— shouldn't. Breathing still hurried, the hate seething in him, he tries to remember he's there to surrender, not start up the next phase of the war. He does speak, after a moment of composing himself, though it's through gritted teeth. "You and I aren't on terms, dude." Did he just call Aphrodite 'dude?' "And that's whatever, you can, I dunno, hit me, or do what you like to me, okay, but leave the rest of them out of it, alright?"

Roubani's brows twitch when the priestess speaks that name. Fundamentalist as he may be, that still sent a slight chill up his spine. And past the necessary duties of reverence - for isn't it he that told Matto that they owe the gods respect no matter what? - he doesn't smile. It's wonder but not exactly joy that fills him to see this particular deity on visiting hours. His eyes flicker to Matto, watching the tension in the man's body, but he makes no attempt to speak or put himself into this. Aphrodite's a big girl.

And the goddess… the priestess? Whatever she is, she lifts her eyebrows mildly as she's called 'dude'. Because if there were anything LESS male in the whole of creation… an anti-dude? She's it. It amuses her, and that amusement sparkles in her eyes. It dies a moment later, however, and she sighs softly. "My poor, beautiful boy… I didn't do this to you. You did." She gestures lightly. "And it's gone, now. You don't need to repent. The little priestess has done that for you."

She levels her gaze at Kissy — steely but lustrous. "You will know this before I go, however. Men may call themselves priests. They may call themselves prophets. They may claim to have seen Me, to have known Me, to speak with My voice. Yet they may, as men often are, be fools." She flicks a hand to the side, dismissively. "You will believe I betrayed you, Kisseus, because it suits you better to be at war with the Lords than to have lost your lover to the foolishness of men. Because you can be eternally angry at Me, but those who truly caused your grief are now beyond your reach."

Her gaze turns tender again. "I am, in fact, the bitch in all women." Her lips quirk. "Perhaps your only correct assumption. But though you lost your lover, you have yet found love. In abundance. Even at the end of the world. Think on this. And go your way."

Matto's face goes faintly numb under the accusations and the piercing stare of the deity. Something in all of it must have touched something in him, his jaw slackening from its earlier tension, his eyes brimming and a tear and then another spilling out of one before one finally drips from the other, dampening the shagginess of his chin. He looks down, and for a moment it looks as though he might simply take her advice and leave. But after a breath or two he reaches out to take her wrist. Not a gesture of violence, but a forceful one, no less. "We left home to go to your cities, thinking to celebrate what you gave us in one another. Why wouldn't you save that?" he whispers at her, "Wasn't it something beautiful?"

Roubani sinks slowly into a crouch with his back against the side of the bench, quiet as it seems Matto has, in depth and truth, accepted the presence of a goddess before him. He watches now from this periphery, removed but still there, as he had given his word he would remain.

"Yes," the goddess whispers back, her free hand rising to cradle Kisseus' cheek. "Oh, yes, it was. I remember. I will always remember, as I remember all lovers. You were My children, sweet one. And I grieved with you." Her expression is compassionate — a lovely sorrow. "But love is like life — precious because it's an ephemeral flame. Bright and dazzling… yet it can be gone. In an instant. If I hadn't made it so, would it be soaring, transcendant bliss?" She wipes away a tear with the pad of her thumb. "Not all loves are for a lifetime. And some meet tragic ends. But if I had made you with clockwork hearts that I could simply… turn on and off… direct to My will… would love be real at all? Or simply the vain fancy of a cruel and feckless Goddess?"

The tears drip slow and steady, though without more than a faint wrinkle to his brow to otherwise demonstrate the welling emotion. His eyebeams lower themselves, eyes hiding behind lashes as he looks away from the face behind the priest's face, ending up staring at her chest, though without any of the usual connotations that might have. In the faint downward tip of his head can be seen something of the Tauron bull, just now defiant, beginning to break to the yoke. "If I had it to do again— I— wouldn't change a thing," he admits quietly, "I guess love can turn into rage more easily than most things. That much love, lost, I think, deserved… approximately that much hate. But I guess it's time to be done with all of that. I'm sorry," he offers her, simply, in conclusion.

Not a word from Roubani, who's eased off his feet and now sits on his heels in silence, prayer beads wrapped gently around his left hand. His eyes are down and his body's still as a palace guard.

"Silly boy," the priestess/Goddess purrs, kissing Matto's forehead. "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again." She taps the tip of Kissy's nose fondly. "Perhaps next time you'll know better." And finally, she whispers in his ear, the words only audible to her prodigal son.

Matto isn't quite sure whether that adage is supposed to be geared toward making him feel better or worse, but all it ends up doing is inciting some brief touch of a laugh. At the whispered words, he closes his eyes and nods once, down and up in a quick acknowledgement, and, almost as an afterthought, he lets go of her wrist and backs up a slow half-step.

She flashes a blithe, radiant smile. "Well. I think my work is done here. Oh, Nadiv?" She crooks a finger at the Poet.

Roubani's head stays slightly bowed, even as his eyes flicker up a bit. Staying under both's radar was such a noble intent, only to end up tripped in the end. He stiffens slightly, glancing at Matto and then rising to his feet. "My Lady," he murmurs.

Matto moves to the wall by the hatch, not that he had far to go, and his hands move behind him to help him balance there, returning the Poet's glance, red-eyed but looking generally alright with life, if with a little spark of concern showing up. But he waits silently, lip drawing between his teeth as he pays close attention.

Aphro/adne lifts an eyebrow at Roubani, a dimple indenting her cheek. She crooked a finger at you, boy! Front and center!

Touchy broads. Roubani scratches the tip of his nose with his pinky, again flicking a glance to Matto and then stepping up as said fingercrook wants him to do. He's silent.

Matto misses the second glance, only returning it a few moments too late and just watching the side of Roubani's head for a moment as he goes to meet the goddess, a faint case of nerves returning, knotting in his stomach— but he watches, waits.

She studies Roubani intently for a moment. Almost solemnly. She doesn't touch him or move to touch him, but frowns slightly, and sighs. "You're far too beautiful to have known such a sacrilege, my sweet Nadiv. Come to me more often. There's so much I could teach you of joy." She steps back. "Goodbye, my doves."

And she falls to the ground in a heap, suddenly, like a marionette cut at the strings.

Roubani's posture has gone a little rigid, and there's a slight twitch at the corner of his eye. Some muscle moves in his jaw, tensing it, but then the young woman is a pile on the ground and he sucks in a breath through his nose. "Kisseus," he calls out on reflex, as he heads down to one knee.

Matto pushes aside the knotted feeling in his gut when the priest begins to topple, and is there at her side only a half moment after the Poet calls for him, trying to get an arm under her shoulders to keep her neck at some normal angle and help arrange the rest of her limbs from there. He does look up over her, though, meeting Roubani's eyes if he's let, "I'm here," he says, superfluously— or maybe not? Did he mean for the priest or for Nadiv?

Ariadne moves weakly, trying to sit up with the assistance of Kissy's arm. "I have a headache," she complains in a small, petulant voice. One eye peels open slowly and carefully. She winces, but bravely pries open the other. Squinting, she peers around with her face screwed up — a newly whelped puppy. Then, looking up, she startles rather violently. Kissy gets a long, slightly gaping stare. "I can't feel you."

Roubani's attention is only on Ariadne for now - though whether it's consciously avoiding Matto's eyes or just because, well, the woman collapsed - that's hard to say. He lets Matto be the one to actively manhandle her, just a light touch on her shoulder letting her know he's there. "I'm going to get her some water," he tells them both at the same time, and stands again to head off in search of such stuff.

"Okay," Kisseus acknowledges the Poet's intention, and he startles a little bit at the priest's startling, then draws his brows down and together, moving one hand along her back and tracing a finger down along her arm toward her hand, putting his minimal first aid skills to good use in trying to check for evidence of nerve damage, "Do you feel that?" he asks her.

Laughing a breathless laugh, the priestess nods. "Yes!" she beams. "Yes, I can. But I can't /feel/ you." She sits up, placing her hands on Kissy's cheeks, in awe. "You could be around the corner and I'd have NO idea where you were." She hugs him, suddenly and ebulliently. "It worked. OH, it worked!"

Matto returns the laugh, even if only vaguely. Well, she did collapse, after all. "Oh— oh!" he realizes what she means, "Well, that's… that's good," he tells her, returning the hug with a decent amount of energy, warm and soft. "I don't really… feel… any different," he considers for a moment, "Less angry, maybe. Thanks… for the help." He gives her a gentle squeeze. "You going to be okay if I try to get you on your feet? Or I can try to tote you over onto a… pew," he had to rummage around for a word for those things for a moment.

The sound of Roubani's boots returns, up to the side of the collective heap on the floor. He has a cup in hand, which he crouches down to offer over in the wake of Matto's words. "Here, Sister," he says, voice quiet as ever. "Have just a little of this first."

"If you could help me up, I think I'll be fine," she replies to Matto, still beaming. "I'm… I feel a little weak, I suppose. And I have a /splitting/ headache. But /Lords/ I'm far too happy to care." Then Roubani arrives, and the brilliant smile is turned on him. "Nadiv, it worked!" She accepts the water gratefully, talking several long swallows. "Oh, but… you know that. Probably. You were here. I remember that much. You stayed." She lets out a delighted sigh. "And I can't feel you, either. It must have gotten you both. Maybe I can just… herd everyone in here on the pretense that I've got booze."

Matto can't help but smile a little to see the priestess so happy. It infects him a little bit, and he gives a soft laugh as he continues to help prop her up for the drinking of water and plotting over cleansing the rest of the ship. His attention turns to the Poet for a long moment, "Thanks, Nadiv," he tells him in a quiet undertone to the priest's exuberance. Whether he's thanking him for getting the water or for getting him to come here in the first place isn't expressly stated, but it's more likely the latter.

A little relief is allowed to creep onto Roubani's face when she declares that everything worked. He reaches out his hands to cradle the cup back, so she won't have to hang onto sloshiness while trying to stand. "Faith well placed," he remarks to her meaningfully, a kind of private statement that it seems she'll understand without further explanation. Matto's thanks gets a slight shake of his head, deflective. "How do you feel?" He asks the other man, softly.

"How do you BOTH feel?" Ariadne wonders, looking back and forth between the two men. "Did it hurt at all? I promised it wouldn't hurt, I know, but I was really only 95 percent sure… I'd never done this before. Lords, I'm hungry…" Is she giddy? She's giddy. Actually, more like loopy. Tired beyond exhausted, she's got that days-without-sleep inebriation going on. She flops against Matto's shoulder. "I could eat everything on the ship."

"I feel just fine," Kisseus assures the Poet, "I was just saying, I don't really… feel any different," he shrugs, almost helplessly, as if he'd expected some sort of euphoria or… something. "But— I'm glad, I'm glad we came here." He shifts slightly to get a better angle on holding the priest up, laughing a little at her giddiness. "Well, you'll have to settle for what's in the mess, but— I've always suspected they use a little bit of everything, anyhow. No, it— it was okay," he confines himself to saying, for now.

Roubani nods to Matto. He watches the man for a few seconds, as if wanting to say something else, but seems to decide it will hold for now. "Breakfast opens in just a little while," He assures Ariadne instead. "Would you like your bunk? We could take you back to berthings for a little while until it does and then, in my gratitude for everything you've done, I could humbly ask Kisseus to put on a Caprican maid uniform complete with the little bunny ears and a tail and bring back a tray piled with food." Completely deadpan, as is his explanatory addition to Matto: "If you show enough leg they might give out double."

Ariadne giggles helplessly at the descriptive image Nadiv conjures. "How adorable." Or, you know. Disturbing. Whatev. She makes herself comfortable against Matto. Nap time for little priestesses everywhere! Especially when everywhere might be Only Here, considering the general lack of priestesses in the Known Universe, at the moment. "It's probably better for me to sleep a little…"

Matto sucks some air in through the back teeth at both sides of his mouth, tilting his head a little to the side, "I'd do it, too," he replies, both eyebrows rising faintly, "All you need is to ask, though, in my opinion, they're not as desperate for leg down there as they seem." Whatever that means, if it means anything at all. He looks to the priest, then back to the Poet, then to the priest again, "Okay, well, why don't we get you back to your own bed, then? Because I can't fly a viper for the life of me, and I give my arms ten more minutes, tops, before they fall off at the shoulders. Not— that you're fat or anything. I'm just allergic to the gym." Which, though preposterous, of course, is more or less accurate.

"I guess not if you count chicken leg," mutters Roubani to Matto. Poor mess hall staff, no love. He keeps the water glass in hand, starting to stand with a hand out to help the pile rise up. "I'll give a hand. It's not far." Right, only down and up flights of stairs.

With a soft snerk at Matto's disclaimer about her weight, Ariadne takes Roubani's hand and climbs gingerly to her feet. She nods. "If you wouldn't mind."

Matto learned that lesson too well and too early to drop the habit. Despite his claims of weary arms he rises with her and is there to keep her steady, "Just to midship?" he squints up through the hatch, "Alright," he nods, bending at the knees on the next step down and lowering one shoulder to take the priest up underneath the knees and lift her into his arms, unless she squirms off. "Let's get," he smiles. He's used to toting Poppyflower around, at the very least, so he probably won't drop her. Probably.

Carrying women around? Or physically bonding with the priestess post-goddess channeling and emotional moments? Roubani seems just fine with leaving that to Matto, whichever it may be. He half-smiles, keeping water cup in hand as he starts out. A few steps behind Matto through the hatch, the expression fades into something much more pensive once nobody's looking.

Ariadne murmurs something unintelligible, resting her head on Kissy's shoulder… and is asleep almost before the trio's left the chapel.

~Fin

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