stop_the_rain: (need a plan)
Murphy Pendleton ([personal profile] stop_the_rain) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-05-06 01:21 pm

Night 63: Main Hallway 1-West

[from here]

...Another empty hallway.

Chair held by both back legs - one in each hand - Murphy sighed and slumped against the wall. These stupid clothes didn't have pockets, and shoving things awkwardly in the waistband of his pants was beginning to become a pain. If this were a normal chair, like he usually found, he'd just break it apart and use one of the legs. Unfortunately, that didn't look like an option.

There was less junk lying around here, too. Practically none, now that he thought about it. Maybe...maybe he didn't need a weapon? The radio had remained silent, and there were no corpses lying around. Not even a blood trail.

He set the chair down and took the radio out, wondering if maybe it was broken. He stuck the end of the flashlight into his mouth to free his hands and allow him to investigate the piece of equipment.

Maybe this was some sort of clue....

[For Nina!]
she_is_ruin: ([ strangers in a blood red light ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-18 07:00 am (UTC)(link)
[from here]

Even the short walk from cell block to main corridor left Yomi short of breath, and she stopped against the wall to rest. The plaster felt cool against her feverish skin, a small solace.

She remembered laying on the morgue floor and thinking much the same thing--it was the last memory she had, aside from the sight of Klavier's worried face. How long ago had that been? She couldn’t tell. Everything felt surreal and slightly blurry at the edges, as if reality had been tilted on its axis. Rationally, she knew her "sacrifice" wouldn’t have affected much, might not even have caused a ripple, but she still seemed to be caught in the haze it’d left her in. Shock, she supposed. She was in shock. It felt an awful lot like heartbreak.

But there were no tears this time--there no longer seemed to be a need for them.

Slowly, Yomi lowered her katana to a resting position by her leg, letting the hilt bump against the wall. Maybe she could stay where she was for a little while… gain her bearings… And if there is any mercy, no one will find me.

But even as she thought as much, Yomi realized something important. The obviousness of it was staggering, and yet it was only when she thought of the people she wanted to avoid--like Albedo, like Klavier, like the others from the Coliseum--that it occurred to her.

No one will…

Every night she had been imprisoned in the Institute, there had been other prisoners around, bumping into each other, talking to each other, filling the dark hallways up with sound and activity. Now, though, she realized how easy her walk to the main hallway had been. There had been no roommate. No female prisoners in the cell block. No one in the hallway after, and only a handful of people in the one she was in.

For one clear, crisp moment Yomi became aware of the solitude pressing in on her from all sides. Where had everyone gone?
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-18 03:09 pm (UTC)(link)
[From here.]

The air currents began buffeting Skulduggery's hand in a way that suggested people ahead. He stopped and pressed himself against the wall, listening. His ability to read the air wasn't always precise, but it could usually give him an idea of how many to expect. This time, all he could tell was that there was something up head, and it might or might not be friendly. With the way his fire and air manipulation had diminished, Skulduggery couldn't really say he was surprised.

After a few moments, he risked a quick glance around the corner. There were three people he could see, two sitting and talking a little further up, one quiet and leaning against the wall a little closer to him. Even in the relative darkness of the corridor, none of them looked like the inhabited damaged vessels of the Faceless Ones. In fact, the woman closer to him had looked like she could barely stand.

Skulduggery considered this, opening and closing his hand in front of him to try and force the air into cooperation. The Faceless Ones, he thought, couldn't bring people back from the dead, like someone had clearly done to him. Or at least, he hoped they couldn't. If they could, they were keeping one hell of a trick up their sleeves.

So had Skulduggery even ended up in their reality? He wasn't home, that much was obvious. Not even the Necromancers had been able to give him back a flesh and blood body. And nobody knew exactly how alternate realities worked; it wasn't like anyone mounted expeditions to explore them.

Besides, what kind of dark god with any sense of professionalism wouldn't have begun properly torturing him by now? Remaining just as cautious as before, Skulduggery stepped into the next hall. These people might be able to help him, or at least give him a better idea of what had happened, and that was worth the risk of potential danger.

The reason for the woman's inability to walk properly became painfully obvious as Skulduggery neared, and any hopes he'd harbored of somehow ending up in a nice reality quickly faded. When he spoke, his tone was friendly, even as he kept his distance. "Hello." He gestured to her wounds. "You look like you might need some help."
she_is_ruin: ([ strangers in a blood red light ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-19 06:05 am (UTC)(link)
Yomi supposed she should have cared about the lack of life, but there was a limit to how many concerns she could focus on without losing her mind. As it was, she felt like an overflowing glass, the tension inside her bubbling over the rim. She couldn’t be expected to deal with this mystery on top of all of the others, could she? God, she was already so…

She blinked then, senses tingling. The fact remained that she wasn’t entirely alone. There were still people in the halls, and she had enough of her wits intact to realize that one of them was watching her.

Her free arm went around her midsection as if to further conceal the evidence of Albedo’s violence that lay underneath her clothes before turning in the direction of the strange presence. What could anyone possibly want with her now? She just wanted to be left alone, didn’t anyone realize that? No, clearly not. All people around her seemed to care about was showing her misplaced kindness.

Such kindness would’ve been nice before she’d sold her soul for power. Now it was just too late.

“I don’t, really.” There, she was still capable of forming words with a little effort. “Unless you have some kind of healing ability to share.”
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-19 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery's head tilted to the right, the only outward indication of the surprise he registered at her response. "No healing abilities, I'm afraid," he answered slowly. "The most I can offer is something to balance on when you walk. This is a hospital, isn't it?" He glanced at the two people talking further up, but neither of them seemed hurt. "Are there people with healing abilities you can go to?"

He didn't ask the obvious questions, not yet. What happened? What did this? Does this sort of thing happen a lot around here? Quite apart from how annoying it was to ask abvious questions, her answer was either going to involve the Faceless Ones - in which case Skulduggery already knew that, and didn't particularly want to hear it out loud - or it would involve some other kind of hell entirely. And honestly, Skulduggery wasn't sure which one he'd prefer.

The garbled static of the intercom announcement startled him, but not nearly as much as the words that followed. He waited until it was over, head cocked at a different angle while he listened, and then he pointed a long finger up towards the ceiling. "Is that normal?"
she_is_ruin: ([ secrets borrowed for less ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-19 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Then he’s useless. The disdain in the thought was both familiar and appalling. A few shows of sacrifice couldn’t countermand something so inherently hateful as the sesshouseki--not for long, at least.

She knew she was slipping back under its guidance, which was why she didn’t move, or scream, or beg the strange man for help. She just looked back at him, expression placid if not a little solemn at the edges, and gave a slight shake of her head. His questions were already growing tiring; answering them the way they needed to be answered involved care and thoughtfulness, things that felt far out of her reach at the moment. He would learn eventually, anyway. Friend or foe, monster or human… they all learned.

Yomi started to turn away but the sound of the intercom startled her into stillness. That voice. Did she need any more proof that this was still Landel’s Institute? There was that voice. The sound of it cut straight through the shell of impassivity she‘d wrapped herself in, making her bite her lip. She had difficulty naming the emotion that welled in her chest as Landel spoke. Fear? Anger? Disappointment? Landel had been there in the Coliseum stands, had watched her stumble headlong into her own “death,” had probably laughed at her stupidity. Knowing all along that she would be brought back, a failed martyr.

Her fingers clenched tight around the katana’s hilt until her hand shook. Shit!

The only thing she’d thought to do before leaving her cell had been to grab her sword, and she was a little grateful now that she’d forgotten to tie her hair up. It acted like a curtain, shielding her face from view until she felt she had her expression under control again. A stupid worry, maybe. Depending on what kind of perception the man had, there was every chance he had already seen what was hiding beneath her veneer of skin and bones.

If that was the case, though, she didn’t think he would still be talking to her so calmly.

After a few moments, Yomi thought she was well enough to answer. "Yes. It is." Her tone was weary. "If you don’t want to suffer, don’t do what he says."
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-19 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
"Well, that's cheerful," Skulduggery said after a brief pause. "Good to see being mortally wounded hasn't gotten you down."

It seemed like someone was running this particular hell, and it wasn't a Faceless One. Or at least, whoever's voice that was over the intercom hadn't sounded like a Faceless One. But he did sound evil. Or slightly deranged, if not downright evil. Was he the same person who was responsible for Skulduggery's new state of being? The former skeleton's hand automatically went to his chest again, just to feel the same impossible heartbeat as before.

No, don't think about it. Just don't.

The 'Entry Room,' wherever that was, had sounded like a good place to try and find some answers. But a quick study of the woman in front of him convinced him to set the idea aside for later. It was the combination of her words, and the battle wounds she looked like she'd sustained. She was a woman to listen to when it came to suffering.

"Who is he?" Skulduggery asked. Trapping and hurting people inside a hospital struck him as an odd way of doing things.
she_is_ruin: ([ a corpse in the sky ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-20 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
“Cheerful?” It was difficult to take his comment seriously. Even in her state, it was easy to see that he was still figuring out the boundaries of his new cage--he didn’t really know what he was talking about, one way or the other. Shifting the arm that sat across her midsection, she said, “When they were fresh, these injuries killed me. But I can’t die, so this is the aftermath. This is hardly anything in comparison.”

There. She could say it out loud and it only squeezed her heart a little.

Since Yomi couldn’t very well conceal the fact that she was nursing injuries, what was the point in trying to hide them? The truth was the truth. She had been dead and now she… wasn’t. Telling a stranger didn’t change anything. In fact, saying the words aloud almost made the entire process seem more normal.

She had played into Landel’s hand and he had resurrected her. End of story.

All the same, Yomi didn’t know how to answer him. On another day, at another time, the words would have come easily to her. Gleefully, even. But with the memory of Landel’s smiling face still pinpoint sharp in her mind, what could she say?

Her eyes wandered to a point somewhere over Skulduggery’s shoulder. At first she simply frowned, but after another pause of her own she started to speak. “He runs this place. It’s full of creatures he’s captured from all kinds of places and times, like me. And now you. Sorry if you were hoping for good news--there is none. You’re his prisoner now, and soon he’ll start tormenting you like he does everyone else. That’s how it is here. I guess consider this your official welcome.”
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-20 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
As far as 'official welcomes' went, Skulduggery had received better. He was silent and still for a long moment, mulling over the new bits and pieces of information. There wasn't enough to form any kind of rational conclusion, but what she was saying so far made a twisted kind of sense. She probably expected it to make perfect sense, but Skulduggery wasn't from around these parts, and hadn't the first clue what any of it meant. Was this a prison, rather than a hospital? Would he be able to find the warden and explain that this was all a big misunderstanding, and he shouldn't be here?

Most likely not. In Skulduggery's experience, things were rarely that straightforward.

He did, however, completely understand what living through death felt like. He could still remember, with painful clarity, his own torturous death and the mysterious resurrection afterwards. The mix of emotions that hit straight afterwards, brutal and overwhelming; the lack of any emotion for even longer after that. So when the woman looked him in the eye and told him that she had died from those wounds, Skulduggery believed her.

Filing away the rest of the information for further study, Skulduggery took a careful step towards her. "You said I couldn't help you unless I had healing abilities, implying that there are people here who do. If you have any idea how to find one of them, I can help you get there. Otherwise, at least let me help you somewhere you can rest. You can barely walk." He hesitated a split second, considered trying a smile - a real, physical smile - but decided that he wanted more practice first. "My name is Skulduggery Pleasant."
she_is_ruin: ([ and she will bleed sweet tears ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-20 06:06 am (UTC)(link)
There was silence as he swallowed her words. She liked that, the silence. It made her feel weighted, like she was important and not a handful of dust in the wind as she was in the greater scheme of Landel’s Institute. She still existed. Her actions still had consequences.

It was a realization full of relief and painful regret.

Although she wasn’t afraid of what Landel or the other prisoners could do to her if the night took a turn for the worst, the way the man moved toward her made her wary, all the same. She thought it was kindness that made him do it, and that was more threatening than if he’d stepped closer with malicious intent.

The skin under her eyes tightened as she looked him over. “Don’t waste your time trying to help me. It’s not…” It’s not good. It’s not necessary. “You don’t need to help me,” she corrected, voice steadier than she expected. “The only way to really help me is to finish what was started, but I don’t think you can do that. So there’s no point. I can figure out the rest myself.” As if to back her words, she stepped away from the wall to face him fully. If she could be brought down by mere flesh wounds, things would be a lot simpler. The sesshouseki, however, had made her stronger and more impervious than she had any right to be.

“Ah, but maybe I’m misreading things,” she added quietly. Despite her best efforts she couldn’t quite keep the corner of her mouth from quirking up in a cynical manner. Unfortunately, Yomi had had plenty of practice at smiling and it came off more genuine than it really was. “Your name might be more honest than your offer. Skulduggery isn’t a very nice thing.”
skeletonenigma: (writtenname)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-20 12:00 pm (UTC)(link)
"No," Skulduggery agreed, "but 'Pleasant' is. Of course, I'm not very pleasant either, not by some accounts." His head tilted. "Ignoring what my name means for the moment, I help people. It's what I do. I'm quite good at it." On a normal day, Skulduggery might have gone further into detail and mentioned that he was a detective. The Skeleton Detective. But it might not mean anything in this reality - which was a depressing enough thought by itself - and it might lead to questions that really would be wasting his time. Besides, explaining that you were a skeleton was difficult enough when you actually were a skeleton.

"What did you start that you want to finish?" he asked instead. She might have been trying to escape somehow, and Skulduggery assumed escaping wasn't straightforward either. That was usually the case with prisons.
she_is_ruin: ([ a forest with thorns and vines ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-20 04:02 pm (UTC)(link)
For so long, she’d believed it was only humans who wanted to live. Who deserved to live. Exorcists had their own unique abilities, but they were still human at their core, and that had always been the dividing line to her. Humanity was exclusive to humans, and therefore they needed to be protected. Everything else was more or less a plague that needed to be defended against.

But then Landel’s Institute had had happened. Here she’d seen more non-humans exhibiting humanlike behavior--like trying to be normal, trying to help people--than she could have ever imagined. She wasn’t certain whether this Skulduggery Pleasant was entirely human, and that immediately cast him under a cloud of suspicion. Without humanity, creatures were wild and savage. Those were the rules.

Without humanity, creatures were tainted like she was.

And yet here was another being offering to help her. The idea was surreal in its own way. Monsters helping monsters… such a thing shouldn’t have been possible.

Yomi looked almost pained by his admission, because clearly he hadn’t understood her. He should, she thought. He should understand. So she wordlessly reached for the hem of her uniform and lifted it to expose the mass of bandages underneath. In the darkness it might have been difficult to see the dried blood dotting some areas of the bandages, but she expected he would start to get her point. “I meant this. The only way to really help me is to finish what the person who gave me this started. You’d have to kill me--but like I said, I don’t think you can do that. Not unless you know how to ward against the supernatural.” Can you? Can you do it? There was always hope that one day a fellow prisoner might have the power and knowledge to contain the sesshouseki, even some poor soul who’d only just found himself trapped in the Institute.

After all, he’d offered to help, hadn’t he? At the very least he would understand why she wasn't concerned over a few temporary injuries.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-20 08:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, the desire to be dead once again. A feeling that had similarly occupied Skulduggery's mind far too often, albeit not very recently. He could tell her about his own experiences becoming a skeleton, just as he told Valkyrie the first time they met, but Skulduggery preferred not to make those experiences widely-known until he had a better idea of what was going on. Right now, he had almost nothing to work with, and it was irritating him more than he would have liked to admit. Skulduggery glanced briefly down at the bandages once they became visible, but otherwise ignored them.

"Well, that depends on what you mean by 'supernatural,'" he said carefully. He wasn't taking any chances in a reality with the power to bring him back to life. "Are you one of those people who thinks they're immortal? I met someone like that once, just a couple of years ago. Didn't work out too well for him. He's dead now."
she_is_ruin: ([ strangers in a blood red light ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-20 08:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Yomi hesitated for only a moment. What did it matter if he knew? What did it matter if everyone knew? It didn’t change anything.

“The sesshouseki,” she uttered, and without intending to she turned the word into a hushed murmur. A part of her knew their line of conversation was pointless, that this was her pain and not something worth foisting on somebody else, but she couldn’t help it. Klavier wouldn’t have understood. He was a human--an altruistic, naïve human. She couldn’t have made him understand her feelings the night she’d woken up, even if she’d been capable of expressing herself.

If someone, somewhere, understood her and what she had done to herself, would that make things easier? She didn’t know.

“But that’s something from my world; I don’t know if you have such a thing in yours. Have you realized it yet? That this probably isn’t the world you came from?” She glanced at his face, oddly hesitant about meeting his eyes. “The sesshouseki is… is immortal. Can you sense it inside me? Can you feel that kind of power, whatever you are?”
skeletonenigma: (pencilskul)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-20 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Sesshouseki... it sounded Japanese. And yet the woman, with her perfect American accent, pronounced it flawlessly. Of course, very little else had made sense so far. Did 'America' and 'Japan' even mean anything here?

Skuldugggery had to admit, it was possible she really was immortal if she came from another reality. So he generously gave her the benefit of the doubt there and moved on. "I might have been entertaining the thought," he admitted. "Of this not being my own reality, I mean. But I don't think it's the reality I should have ended up in, either." Just a few minutes ago, voicing that thought out loud would have made Skulduggery sag with relief, but now...

He cocked his head at her last question, noting in particular her use of the phrase 'whatever you are.' It was an odd choice of words, and a little too coincidental. "I'm what's called an Elemental. The only thing I can sense about you is that you're standing in front of me. Which is fairly useless, as far as useful information goes." Remembering his new real and physical face, Skulduggery looked at her with what he hoped was a proper mixture of suspicion and curiosity, but really could have been anything. He needed to find a mirror at some point.

"What do you sense about me?"
she_is_ruin: ([ hope snuffed like a candle ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-20 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
So he knew about different realities. But not, she thought, about the sesshouseki. That was… almost regrettable. Almost.

“No one is supposed to end up here,” she observed with a world-weary acceptance, “and no one seems to belong here. So don’t feel too bad about it.”

For her part, it was only fair that Yomi failed to recognize the term ‘Elemental’. She knew the word, but when it came to her knowledge of the supernatural, categorizing things as Elementals felt rather outdated. The fact that he hadn’t reacted to her spiritual presence and had claimed couldn’t see her with more than his eyes made her think his spiritual senses were relatively weak, whatever the case.

“Yes, fairly useless,” she agreed distantly, returning his look with a cheerless one of her own. “I sense… no, maybe the sesshouseki senses… you’re more than human. You have power, that I can tell. It’s okay not to explain more than that. I’d probably use it against you one day, though sorry to say our captor already knows. If you find yourself weaker than you should be, you can thank him for that."
skeletonenigma: (fightfire)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-20 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
So it was entirely possible that Skulduggery ending up here was not, as he initially thought, a big misunderstanding. In fact, this might not have anything to do with the Faceless Ones at all. A reality and/or prison where nobody was supposed to end up, nobody belonged, and mortal wounds were treated as nothing more than a slight inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. It was more than he'd known a minute ago, but didn't quite classify as knowledge. Not yet.

More than human. This woman certainly loved to be cryptic, but Skulduggery couldn't blame her this time. Nobody understood what he was, or how he could exist. Still, the skeletal frame his consciousness inhabited had become such a part of his life that now, being alive again, felt wrong. Not just strange, or unfamiliar, but completely out-of-place and unacceptable. He almost felt better knowing that someone, somehow, could still see a fraction of the truth. It meant he hadn't been brought completely back to life, as eerily similar as his current state might seem.

But then what did he call himself? Dead? Partly alive? Not-quite-alive-but-close-enough?

Those thoughts were almost immediately forgotten the moment the woman mentioned powers being weaker than they should be. Skulduggery held up his right hand and snapped the fingers, but there was still no magic, no spark, no heat. "Yes," he said with a nod, "how exactly does this mysterious captor do that?"
she_is_ruin: ([ broken in the back of their head ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-21 03:03 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, indeed. He was learning fast already.

Yomi shook her head slowly, first one way, then the other. “How does he bring people back from the dead? I don’t know. You could try asking the others if--”

Ah, but it had to be Saturday if the others had been stranded on their way back from Doyleton. And if it was Saturday, that meant it’d only been two nights since Albedo’s victory in the Coliseum. Somehow it felt longer.

“--if they were here.”
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-21 12:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery paused. "He brings people back from the dead a lot, then?"

The others - did she mean other prisoners, other people she knew, other people who had died? Or perhaps she meant people who had managed to escape? He didn't ask - it wasn't exactly an important question. But if he wasn't the only person here who should be dead, then maybe he could finally start to figure out how he'd ended up here in the first place.
she_is_ruin: ([ once lost; rarely found ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-22 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
Did he? A dull ache started by Yomi’s temple and she closed her eyes briefly to try and dispel it. If she believed it was Landel’s power and not merely the sesshouseki‘s, then he’d already brought her back from the dead twice. And if there had been others like her, others who had unknowingly wandered into the Coliseum… then he’d probably done the same to many more. Many, many more, some with stories like hers of being snatched out of time and space and made to live on when realistically they should have been dead.

The pain spiked for a moment, making her grimace. “Maybe. Probably. If he can do it to me, there’s no telling how many others there are. So I suppose that means killing yourself to get out of here won’t work if he wants you back bad enough.”
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-22 01:08 pm (UTC)(link)
It didn't sound like the mysterious voice over the intercom had a name, but whoever it was sounded powerful. Someone to genuinely be wary of, then, until Skulduggery managed to find him. It also didn't sound like anyone knew exactly where they were, which meant there was very little this woman would be able to tell him that he couldn't figure out himself.

He glanced around the hallway, his gaze settling on the staircase at the far end. If all those rooms Skulduggery saw back there were prison cells rather than hospital rooms, then it logically followed they were in some kind of basement dungeon, yes? At the very least, rooms people didn't typically want you to see were kept upstairs.

Skulduggery glanced back at the woman, his head tilting slightly to the right. "If you're sure you don't want help, I'll stop bothering you," he said. "If, on the other hand, you wouldn't mind coming with me, a guide would certainly be useful. I'd like to know what's upstairs."
she_is_ruin: ([ a corpse in the sky ])

[personal profile] she_is_ruin 2012-05-23 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
Yomi shook her head, feeling more tired than she’d ever remembered being. Now wasn’t the time to be playing flattery games. She wasn’t some damsel in distress with infinite patience to spend on her would-be hero.

“I think it’s more like this: you’re the one who needs help,” she replied with a soft-spoken flatness in her voice. “You’ve woken up in a strange place with no one to trust, and you found me. I’m not the best choice to help answer your questions, though--one of the others over there might be better at introducing you to the place.” She smiled a little, almost like an involuntary twitch. “Sorry. Sorry I’ve made things harder for you already. Bad luck brought you to me tonight. But I’m heading upstairs for my own reasons, so if you still want to travel with a kook like me, I won’t stop you. If you want to stay close just because you think I’m a hurt woman, though, you don’t have to. I’m not a very pleasant person, either.”

She knew how she sounded--weak, frazzled. Crazy, even. Whether or not he was offering to stay in her company because he wanted to take advantage of her vulnerability or honestly wanted the two of them to help each other, the least she could do was be honest about his options. She wouldn’t make a good guide. If anything, there was every chance she would only make things worse for him.
skeletonenigma: (Default)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2012-05-23 08:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Nonsense," Skulduggery replied, and tried a smile for the first time. Unbeknown to him, the smile worked mechanically, with the corners of his lips twitching up slightly. But, genuine as it was, the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. "I'm sure you're very interesting to talk to, and you've made an excellent guide already. And you're right," he added with a brief shrug, "I could use the help."

Without waiting for a reply, Skulduggery turned and began walking towards the staircase. His steps were slow, but at least he wasn't in danger of falling flat on his face anymore. Falling flat on his face. Wherever they were headed and whatever they might run into, Skulduggery was fairly sure none of it could compare to suddenly having to worry about bruising his face.

Speaking of his face... With one hand trailing along the wall, Skulduggery glanced back over his shoulder. "I don't suppose there are any mirrors on the way to... wherever it is you'd like to go?" A little quick practice with facial expressions could go a long way.

[To here.]