Y16/12/30 Toreador Drama with a knife

Cast: Cyrus, Olivia, Karasu, Tinkerbell, Samael
Location: Eastern Botanic Gardens - The Huntington - San Marino
Synopsis: Or how Toreador manage to pull Drama from any subject; Tonight's creativity resolves around a knife.

Eastern Botanic Gardens - The Huntington - San Marino

The grounds present a strange, rolling shadowland, carved by the glow of footlights that mark the varied garden borders; beyond that the halflight fades to a penumbral tracery of foliage. They span nearly 150 acres of sweeping lawns and vistas, interspersed with classical statues, tempiettos and benches; all admittedly a little harder to find at night. The open lawns of the palm garden contrast with the densely shrouded jungle to the south, while to the east, sharp and twisted forms characterize the desert garden.

Karasu approaches from the Huntington Circle.
Karasu has arrived.

Tinkerbell approaches from the Huntington Circle.
Tinkerbell has arrived.

Off in some shadowed grove, rests Cyrus, settled down to the earth with his spine propped up against a tree, and he seems quite comfortable in its company. His hat rests beside him, and the light of a blade flashes in his hand: It's a carving knife, which he's put to work stripping the bark from a severed branch.

Tinkerbell wanders in from other parts of the Huntington. She's carrying, of all things, a violin, which she carries tucked under her arm, the bow in the other hand. She's dressed flashily, as is somewhat usual for the little Brujah - in a red dress and heels, humming absently to herself, perhaps looking for somewhere to park, herself.

Perhaps Karasu is also here to seek comfortable company. The raven-haired girl haunts the garden, walking around several times before she notices that the garden has some guest. But who is her first prey, the carving or the carrying? Well, that is a matter will be revealed by the fate.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Feeling strange, melancholic, almost frightened.»

Cyrus casts a distracted glance towards the sound of footsteps, the blade slowing against the grain. Having lost his focus, he winces as he finds that he bore down too hard and notched the wood he was carving. He rubs it over with his thumb before cursing over the flaw and tossing it aside. Now's a fine time to stretch his weary muscles, and to allow his eyes to wander towards the passerby’s. It's Karasu's familiar little form that he catches firstly, and he smiles, not quite surfaced from his dreams: a little girl lost in the woods, it's like scene from a fairytale.

Tinkerbell blinks a little, and continues along her path, fingers absently petting the strings of the violin. No what on earth would a Brujah be doing with a violin? Anyway, she scowls in general for some reason, eyes wandering over Karasu.

The grove… perhaps there is what she searches. The small Japanese doesn't seem to be aware of the other two, or least she doesn't show any sign of it. Lost in woods? Lost in memory perhaps, her brown eyes are glassy, staring at the outside. However she walks straightly at the direction of Cyrus.

Cyrus settles back against the tree, sly as a forest creature. He smirks as the blade gleans deftly in his hand, it flips and twists before he tosses it forth- Just a flash in the night, before it spears into the earth right before Karasu's next footstep.

Tinkerbell pauses. Seems to think about approaching the Toreadors.

Olivia approaches from the Huntington Circle.
Olivia has arrived.

Karasu crouches down to grab the blade from the ground, staring at the steel as it would be the first time for her to see such a thing. Her almond-shaped eyes round as she studies it by turning over in her hands with one finger on the edge of the blade. "Kyou wa sukoshi samui desu." she comments in her language, but it is hard to tell if she is aware of the others.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Frightened and excited by the presence of the blade. Sinking down to past experiences, shrouding her presence at the present.»

Tinkerbell apparently decides she's going to huff right past Karasu, with a swish of the violin bow that she carries in her off hand, to go greet Cyrus with a rather nonchalant sort of "Hey."

Ah, gardens at night. Olivia ambles onto the grounds to enjoy the solitude, as she does once in a while. Surely the buzz and scramble for society must become tiresome even to her now and then. And even as she enters the vast expanse, the muted cadences of speech reach her ears. She sighs — but ever curious, she picks a careful path toward the voices in her bare feet, shoes slung across one shoulder. Although she takes care not to make a sound, she's a far cry from a professional stalker.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Brief annoyance, resignation, curiosity.»

Karasu might recognize that blade. Cyrus gives her a moment to become re-acquainted with it, before he offers out and empty palm and calls her attention down to it. "Here." Cyrus is settled down to the earth with his back propped up against a tree, looking quite comfortable, as if he's been there for some time. He lifts Tink a nod and casts her instrument and curious look, before returning his attention to Karasu and his knife, if she would dare to throw it back t him.

The raven-haired Japanese remains crouched, staring at her lower arm before she decides to use the blade. She cuts her skin precisely between the two bones, watching her 'own' stolen blood to flow out.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Calming down by the sight of blood and the physical pain.»

Tinkerbell's eyes wander over Karasu. After a moment she says, "Catcha later," To Cyrus, for some reason, taking the opportunity to wander away from Karasu, still apparently in a huff about something regarding the little Japanese woman. Small Brujah with a violin, out!

As Olivia wanders close enough to see what is going on, the scent of blood assails her nose. Her steps get a little quieter until she has a better view though she makes no real effort to hide herself. Tinkerbell's farewell ticks her attention if not her gaze.

Cyrus scowls at Karasu's show, his head tilted appraisingly, but it doesn't seem to surprise him. "You've learned your lesson, haven't you?" There's something mildly scolding in those mysterious words he casts his clan mate, but the concern does not hold him. "Hey," this is cast towards the departing Tinkerbell. His smile is present, but his tone is grim: "I owe you a story, don't I?" He shoves himself into a slightly more attentive posture, groaning as if his old muscles pain him. "Don't think that I've forgotten."

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«A distant guilt, in Tinkerbell's direction.»

"Mondai wa sorehodo kantan dewa nai." Karasu answers to Cyrus with a harshness in her voice, almost like if she is resisting the scolding. Her brown eyes still stare at her own wrist, leaving her wound open. It seems she is slowly starting to be aware of the surrounding, as she glances back once at Tinkerbell direction when Cyrus talks to her.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«A hint of anger appears in her, directed briefly at Cyrus… but the anger comes from very deep.»

"I'd never assume you forgot somethin' like that. And I'm sure you'll be much better at telling it than that little drama queen. But I'll let you deal with family … whatever." Tinkerbell snaps, swishing her violin bow in Karasu's general direction. And off she stomps, leaving nice little stiletto holes in the grass. Who knows? Then again, do Brujah really need reasons to be irritable?

Tinkerbell walks back to the Circle.
Tinkerbell has left.

"Oh, do elevate us with your story, Cyrus," Olivia purrs, sidling into the scene as Tinkerbell makes her exit. She strolls with lazy grace toward his seat by the tree. "I'm sure we'll be hanging on every word that drops from your lips."

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Sarcasm rolls its gravel texture over her, but a deeper hunger wells and pools beneath.»

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Anger has been fueled by Tinkerbell's words, making a rise of some territorial feelings, pairing with self-defense.»

Cyrus grumbles a weary sort of agreement with Tink's words, allowing her to stomp off, while his darkening mood is shifted to Karasu. "Don't cast that gibberish at me, girl." He shifts, and seems compelled to rise, but hesitating for a moment, for laziness's sake. But that's when Olivia's words cut in, like spears, and he winces down before he grits his teeth and makes the effort to stand, dusting himself off. "A death in the family," he smirks, "A mercy killing. Ugly, ugly business. Criminals and lost souls, they all fall under my jurisdiction, lately…" and the gravity of his gaze settles on Karasu as he speaks those words.

Karasu raises, leaving her blood slowly flow down in drops to the ground. "Jiro jiro miruna-yo!" the girl says harshly in her own language. "She didn't listen to my tale at all." she stares at Cyrus. "I was the one who incapacitated him. I was the one who is responsible for his dead. I don't cast anything into you at all!" her voice starts with a cold, distant tone, but in the end she's almost shouting.

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«There's some ghost of guilt there, but it's a cold, stale thing, by now. Just a burden that he's rather forget. Unnerved and riled by Olivia's sudden appearance, but strangely grateful for it. He'd rather feel alive right now.»

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Her anger spreads and soon re-aimed to herself as the primary target.»

Olivia watches Karasu's display of passion. "My, how much I have missed." Then she giggles as though at some private joke. "A death in the family, you say? How tragic." She drifts up close to his chest, places her hand over his heart. "But like always flocks to like, so no surprise you should find yourself thick with thieves and scoundrels. And the dead." The girl glances back at Karasu. "So which is she?"

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Hilarity and curiosity mingle, but something darker coils out toward Cyrus.»

Cyrus stands firm as Olivia nears, sober enough to put her teasing to shame, but that hand at his chest, those words of sympathy, sink their barbs in deep and tug at his mood, and he twists away with a snarl. Losing no momentum, he stalks over to Karasu, snatching the bloody knife away from her, and claiming her wrist with the other hand, hoisting it upwards to demand her attention. "You are too young to be held responsible. -Innocent,- that's what I keep calling you, but you keep trying to throw away your one saving grace." And he wrenches her around to face Olivia, and shoves her forth. "She's trouble, this one." He scowls exhaustedly. "One of ours."

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«And the dead. Ahh, he's feeling it, that old cloud of doom, and poor Karasu's certainly under it's shadow. Jealous nostalgia for Olivia.»

"Nante ittan-dayo?" Karasu stares at Cyrus with some clear disbelief. "Sonna-no uso-dayo!" the raven-haired girl tries to free her wrist from the hold, but she has no luck. The man's hand is locked in hers, leaving almost no space to move. Yamero-yo!" she shouts.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Feeling guilty, ashamed and lost, horribly lost.»

Olivia clucks her tongue. "Oh, you brute," she mocks Cyrus as the other woman tries in vain to free herself. "Holding a lady against her will. How could you." Clearly she is not serious.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Growing boredom.»

Cyrus wrestles with her until she's all tired and tangled up, no doubt getting her blood all over his clothes as he does so. "Shh," he warns, "Easy," he coaxes, his smirk lifting past her to Olivia. "Barbaric, I know… But these Childer wear my manners raw." He wraps his arms around the girl and presses her to his chest, heedless of how she may claw or struggle, the blade of that knife gently rest across her shoulder. "There now," he whispers absently, "Just calm down, it's alright…" He finds himself staring at Olivia once his voice drawls into silence, his mood darkening thoughtfully. "So how's the boy?" There's an edge there that he can't hide.

Samael approaches from the Huntington Circle.
Samael has arrived.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«Calming down by the nearness of the man with some attraction and angst directed to the blade.»

"Oh, you know how children are," Olivia replies absently as though Cyrus weren't manhandling an apparently helpless and bloodied woman with a huge knife in his hand. "They require so much attention. It's exhausting. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. But then I remember, and I suppose that makes it all worth it." She winks. She couldn't possibly be discussing the bald cuckoldry of her husband with that worthy himself. Surely not.

Cyrus grits his teeth, choking back the instinctive response. Karasu would be an innocent victim if his grip were to bare down in anger, so instead it forcibly uncoils, shoving the girl's body towards a safe distance, while he himself steps back. "What -were- you thinking?" he dares to ask, his voice stone cold and sober.

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«Don't. Don’t. Don't play into it. But he can't help it. He's furious. And he must know.»

An approaching figure is announced by a Latin hymn, as Samael meanders over the pathways leading to the Eastern Gardens. The singing stops not too long after appearing, leaving only the soft sound of approaching footsteps, quickening too.

Olivia only laughs in reply to Cyrus. This isn't her cultivated social laugh, so pretty and practiced; no, this is her genuine laugh: a soft warbling hoot, rather irritating and perhaps the more so for its lack of answer. "Darling," she murmurs in an aside to Karasu, "You are operating under a misapprehension there." Turning back to Cyrus, she inquires in a conversational tone, "So, who is dead?" If she notices Sam's approach, she gives no sign.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Oh, so smug. Don't you just want to punch her?»

Karasu doesn't have an explanation or answer of her own act, she just stares back at Cyrus with glassy eyes. "My body is my own yanki!" she mutters, sulking a bit more. But her voice is almost shaking by now.

"Mister Sedoso. Would you please release my assistant?" The high voice belonging to that hymn sounds formal as Sam closes the distance between himself and the Toreador trio. Bows and greetings are not tended to for now. So very unlike Sam, that is.

Cyrus is glowering at his sire, even as he answers Karasu: "Then take your body home," he mutters to her sidelong, casting an obedient nod to Sam as he does so. But her mark is still upon him: He's pawing at his bloodstained shirt, fussing with it as if it itches him. "I'm gonna have to burn this now, or they'll be hell to pay when I get home. I hope you're satisfied." And speaking of satisfied, he looks back to Olivia, but can only endure her smile for an instant. She answered his question with laughter, he answers hers with a snarl of displeasure.

Auspex on Samael notes:
«He was calm.. and peaceful.. and happy. But that quickly dissolves to a state of forced detachment. Okay.. just a bit of worry manages to slip through.»

Karasu seems to awake fully at the sight of Samael. The small Japanese girl clasps her hands in the front of her lap and bows deeply. The act as a whole just tinted her own clothes more. "Sumimasen Cyrus-san, Samael-chan. I had just daymares." she smiles politely before she aims to leave, if her words would be an answer for everything.

Auspex on Karasu notes:
«The spell has broken with the appearance of Samael… a more conscious self has take over of herself, leaving shame and guiltiness.»

"Well, there you have it," Olivia murmurs, though what about is anyone's guess. She allows her shoes to drop from her one-handed grasp; then she casts them a disgusted look as though the sound of their arrival on the dirt were not impactful enough to satisfy her. This appears to be her most pressing concern at the moment.

"Daymares.." Samael repeats in a measured tone; "And that should justify.. what?" The young mans gaze examines those present, lingering on Cyrus' bloodied shirt for a moment. Etiquette kicks in now and he manages a slight nod-bow to the lady; "Miss." That and a more reluctant one to Cyrus; "Warden".

Cyrus holds up a palm in surrender, though the knife still hangs in his other hand, dripping with the assistant's blood. "It's not what it looks like." The smirk that he flashes Sam isn't quite apologetic, nor is it entirely friendly, before it drops, and he's occupied cleaning the blade of the knife across the hem of his shirt. "Daymares. You heard her. The girl got a hold of the blade and wasn't thinking." His stained shirt seems to be his greatest concern at the moment.

Olivia snorts. Somehow she imbues the expression with a touch of class: clearly it was the only possible response. "There's no need to be quite such a gentleman, Cyrus. She was thinking. But only about her own pain…." The tiny woman strolls over to Cyrus, reaches out to delicately grasp the front of his bloodied shirt in her claws, and murmurs to him as though Sam weren't there, "We should get you out of these filthy things. You always were such a dirty fellow." Her nails rasp against the fabric as her grip tightens.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Vague disgust for the situation colors her briefly, but that is drowned in a wave of deep greed and I WANT.»

"It never is what it looks like." Blue eyes settle on Cyrus again, focusing on the shirt, the knife, the blood dripping on the soil. He approaches Cyrus more, ignoring Olivia's proximity in turn, reaching out for the blade that Cyrus holds; "Hand it over for a moment, will you?" It's not really a question.

Auspex on Samael notes:
«disgust and unwillingness, all quashed. Detachment galore.»

Cyrus shifts back and chokes on his reply, covering it with a cough, while his grip sneaks down to keep track of her hands. A wary glance slips aside and hardens when it finds Sam. "You still don't trust my word." He stomps and hangs his head. "Heh. Have it your way." The blade is polished with two last strokes across the thigh of his jeans before he tosses over to Sam, with barely a glance to check his aim. "Catch." Just like old times.

And it never does fail to delight her. Olivia stifles a little gasp with her tongue poked between her teeth, but the pointed corners of her smile cannot be hidden entirely. For now she remains silent, as any proper female in a Western should do when the menfolk are having their discussions about manly things like knives and honor and so on. She chews at her lower lip, but only in well-trained theatricality; it would be a very unsightly habit to cultivate for a regular thing.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Thrills to the toss of the knife. Anticipation. Greed.»

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«It's all rather familiar, almost comfortable, and it stirs up some nostalgia, some of that old fire.»

"Trust any vampire? Funny man." Sam replies bluntly.. then startles as he finds the knife tossed in his direction. He reaches out to catch it before it hits his chest, but not without the blades sharp end digging well into his hand. He winces, flings a glare at Sedoso, but doesn't release the knife.. bloodied by his own cuts now; "Why.. Thank you." He forces out. A bit of fang is visible when he speaks; "For reminding me too."

Auspex on Samael notes:
«eep. a hint of pain! ignored. anger.»

Cyrus would spit in contempt if he could, but instead he just kicks at the grass and turns away, an arm draped thoughtlessly behind the lady at his side, as if he's be content to stroll off with her. "I'm just dancing to your tune, Sam. Can't blame me for that." He shrugs a shoulder and he sneaks a backwards glance in Sam's direction. "Careful, don't get any of your venom on it. I want that back." He's already getting impatient.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, love," Olivia purrs to Cyrus as she melts against him beneath his arm. "A venom would be value added to the blade." She casts a glance back at Sam and then pats Cyrus on the chest. "Poor Cyrus. Did the young boy do something mean to the big scary man? Hmm? Did you hurt you, baby?" If he were to twist away now, he'd risk tearing some fingernails off the hand gripping his shirt at the small of his back.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Mingled cruelty and caress to Cyrus of the sort born of fondness and fury. None of it flares toward Sam, perhaps a momentary nebulous warmth but nothing more.»

Sam casts a smile in Cyrus' direction; "Precious. Iss it?". There's a slight hiss to his voice now but he refocuses to examine that knife in detail. One hand moves to hold the handle, the other is put around the blade; "Unfortunately Madam, I'm draining the venom out. You never can spit out what you didn't receive first."
Bloodied fingers curl around the blade once more, grip tightening as he closes his eyes half. Gaze going inward.

Auspex on Samael notes:
«words hurt.. slightly. Detachment. Loneliness. Finally when he focuses there's wariness. Bracing himself.»

Samael senses from the knife (Auspex: Psychic Read)
The more distant emotion on the blade is calming, ritualistic. Carving strokes, dreaming thoughts. A branch being stripped of bark, a distraction, a notch, a flaw, distracted.
The branch is cast away. The knife flashes through the air and is imbedded in the earth before the feet of a girl. Karasu picks it up: fear and excitement. Karasu draws the knife down her arm; pain and focus.
Cyrus scolds her. He’s too lazy to rise and stop her, but eventually is there to snatch it away. A struggle. Scolding words. Soothing words.
The blade changes hands again. Then the blade is returned to Cyrus's own grip, there is a sense of security and familiarity, as if it is a part of him.

Cyrus's stare makes it clear that Sam's guess hit the mark. With a scowl, he tries to shrug it off, sullen words falling to reply Olivia instead: "Not -this- blade," he snarls, "There's sacred work to be done with this blade, and I won't have him tainting it," it's a cryptic murmur under his breath, before her next comment catches him, and impacts with a grunt of angry amusement, muscles stiffening beneath her claws. "Yeah," he snarls, a smile twisting up beneath it, "The little angel broke my heart." It's hard to tell how much of that is mockery, and how much is truly meant, all bladed mirth and bitter vermin, as he glances back to the Keeper. "Isn't that so, Sam? Though I reckon you'd have a different story to tell…"

Auspex on Samael notes:
«reliving the emotions first: calming, ritualistic, dreaming thoughts and distraction. Then. Fear and excitement, pain and focus. A sense of security and familiarity.»

Olivia sniffs and pulls away from Cyrus suddenly. "How you break mine," she sighs, returning to her discarded shoes, scooping them up. "And we were having such a pleasant time despite the mess. Ah, well." A patter of small steps carries her several normal paces away from the others, where she turns to lay upon them a chilly parting smile. "One supposes I shall see you both around. Perhaps together … or perhaps not. Jealousy is such a dangerous beast, I should hope neither of you runs afoul of it." Is it a threat? Worded as one, perhaps, but the only edge to her voice sounds like disgust.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«All passion for Cyrus evaporates at his comment. Revulsion instead drives her away from him, disgust and disdain its handmaidens.»

Samael tries to focus on that knife for now, shutting out the words spoken to him.. or seeming to, since there is no response for a long moment. The grip around the knife tightens more, cutting himself deeper, but he doesn't seem to notice or care; "Sacred work?" he repeats eventually; "I guess that's what the Malkavians call it. Yes. We are after all, doing Gods work. No?" He doesn't toss the knife. He hands it back. Not cleaning it of his own blood; "Venom of God or Satan. Who knows..".

Auspex on Cyrus notes:
«There's certainly a bitter grudge there, it's heat hasn't entirely died down, but the nature of it is hard to read. His comments are aimed and cruel, intended to jab, intended to offend. A small revenge.»

Cyrus is watching her, jostled slightly as she slips away, and it creeps up slow, like the breeze that rustles the leaves: his laughter, bright and bold, as if this were a joke that she'd fallen prey to. "Ahh, come on. You'd willingly believe that, wouldn't you? Heh. Maybe it's the truth. Maybe I'm just easy. I fell for -you-, after all." A last knavish wink before he backs away, reaching out unseeing to fetch back the blade, readjusting it in his grip with a toss and a twist, a playful flourish that comes a dangerously close to slicing Sam's pretty face. But Cyrus does not even look to see if he winces, he marches away, his work done here, something in Sam's words freshly burdening his mood.

Auspex on Samael notes:
«When he tears himself from it.. or tries to tear himself from the blur of lingering emotions, he mainly needs to focus on detaching himself from the impressions and being in the here and now. Cyrus' words strike alright, but he can't muster to focus or follow up. Not now.»

The cowboy's last words strike something in Olivia, as well, something she didn't expect. Sudden dark tears well in her eyes. She turns and bolts in an unladylike scramble to escape those words, sobbing.

Auspex on Olivia notes:
«Disgust until his last sentence. Agony rips through her, gouting a fresh hell across her aura until nothing is left, palpable pain that remains for a moment even after she's gone.»

Sam seems too tired to care about that knife nearly scratching his face. Still.. there's a glare when Cyrus walks and he stands still to watch the pair leave. He considers, but doesn't bother to bow to departing backs; "Goodnight to you too. Warden, Madam. Until the party perhaps."

Cyrus should be satisfied with that. He should call it a victory, but his laughter has already been extinguished in a sigh, and he draws a hand down from brow to jaw, managing to muffle all but the rough edges of his groan. "Awh. Livy…" he pleads, and his shrug is what shoves him forth, following in her direction.

Olivia walks back to the Circle.
Olivia has left.

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