|Williams AU - Seifer meeting
||[Oct. 2nd, 2003|10:01 pm]
Random babbling, and a certain man drops in.|
Williams worked with the seasons. It was silly if you thought about it since he worked in the ruins, but he worked with the seasons. In the spring, he walked through the wet grass and looked to see what appeared as the snow melted. He'd pick an entrance and work inward mapping what shifted with the ice and snow and where the cracks had gotten worse.
By summer, he retreated to the cool inner halls and photographed and translated during the long evenings. He'd work through thunderstorms that roared around his house in the ruins, and sometimes walked out of the ruins into a pounding rain. Summer meant long hours of work taking advantage of the long hours of light to work on the cabin and to work on the ruins.
Fall was his favorite season. The winds would come back again after the long breathless days of summer. He'd sit on the porch with the ravens chasing leaves and eat the very last of the fresh fruit from town. Sometimes, when he dared to, he'd stretch his wings and lie on the dying grass and just listen to the wind curling up over the hills.
Winter meant long hours in the cabin with the birds restless and cranky. The Lab would complain about the roads, and the snow would drift high and deep around the cabin. He usually sat till he was cross eyed looking at maps and photos and wrote pages of notes of places to check on again. Sometimes, when the snow wasn't too bad, he'd bundle up and just go walking. His boots would crunch on the ice and snow and he'd just walk until his muscles ached. And then he'd be shamelessly indulgent and soak for an hour or two in a hot tub of water.
It was fall, and he wasn't outside. He was in the main hall dedicated to Shiva transcribing some of the fainter carvings. They were too fine to be photographed easily so he was carefully copying them. It was really a stunning hall thanks to a mosaic that was surprisingly well preserved.
The first time he found the hall, he was practically scared to death by that mosaic. It was of a woman arching upward, one hand raised, all in different shades of pearly tiles and chips of shell. His light flashed off the shimmery outline of the woman, and for an instant he thought it was someone standing in the darkness. It was only when he got closer that he realized that it was just a mosaic.
He had been twitchy ever since that day that he walked through a doorway and into a cloud of feathers and the sharp mental voices of the ravens. They were like – very awake and curious children. They loved anything shiny, anything new, anything secret, and anything moving. He bought them beads sometimes.
Williams didn't really want to admit it, but – he needed them. He wouldn't mention them to the Mayor just because she'd – she'd take them away. He already knew the argument that she'd use. They weren't safe with a Sorceress. A Guardian Force is too powerful for him. She stopped running experiments with him and Guardian Forces after she walked into his room and found him asleep and curled up with one. Not that Munin and Hunin were dangerous. They were just ravens. Curious little ravens with a photographic memory. Admittedly, Munin and Hunin both wanted to peck out the Mayor's eyes, but – well – they were protective of him.
Either way, he was working in Shiva Hall. Technically, he could just translate and transcribe the carvings, but he wanted to copy the original script. He was slowly making a map of the rooms with notes about what each carving said in the rooms. Looking for a pattern really.
He had been working there for most of the day when he stopped to stretch. The carvings were the usual fare. There was some invocations of Shiva (spelled Siva, which was typical for second script) and some stories and prayers. It looked like there was a temple or worship area to Shiva somewhere up the hall. Williams reminded himself to double check that with his map. There was a hall to – some sort of thunder snake with a temple to what looked like a phoenix a ways off. If that was true, then the Odin / Othin / Woden hall probably lead to another temple. Assuming that there was a logic to the ruins.
He had rephotographed the mosaic to get a good copy of it for his records. He was trying to prove that the Shiva mosaic was actually referring to the Guardian Force called Shiva. The Mayor was quite certain that he was wrong.
Williams reached up to touch a faint word. He . . . really shouldn't cheat and use his wings, but – well, there was no harm in doing it for light, right? He looked over his shoulder automatically, but all around him it was quiet and dark. There was no one here. No one would really know.
Williams unfolded his wings and concentrated a little to summon some light. He picked up his pad of paper and started again. He'd just finish the last few lines of this patch of text and clean up the illegible words as best he could. And then he could head home before that storm hit. Assuming, of course, that the weather was right in the morning.
His neck was aching when he finished the last few words and folded his wings away. He immediately felt like he was blind while his eyes readjusted to meager glow of his flashlight.
And that was when he noticed something. There was another light in the room.
Williams turned to face the other doorway. His first impression was just of a tall man holding an odd sword and a flashlight pointed at him. Williams stepped backwards automatically and felt the carvings on the wall digging into his shoulders.
The man swore and shifted the sword to his other hand and out of sight. "Whoa, whoa. Relax. Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you. Just didn't expect anyone else to be down here." The man wasn't from the Lab since he wasn't in a uniform. He was wearing a sturdy coat sort of cut like a trench coat in something that looked like leather. His voice sounded friendly, and not like he was about to snap and attack Williams or something.
Williams pushed his glasses up his nose and tried to relax. "Um – hi?" It was a man. Not someone from the Lab. Not a Guardian Force. Not some dragon about to eat him. Williams took a step away from the wall. He had nothing to fear, really. It was just a man.
"Hi. Name's Seifer." The man smiled at him one of those warm rich smiles that made Williams feel wavery in his shoes. Seifer turned off his flashlight. "And I hope that you know of another way out of here, because the hole I came down just isn't going to cut it, if you know what I mean."
Williams found himself smiling back at Seifer. "There's an exit near here that I can show you. Are you hurt?"
"I'm nothing more then a little dirty and banged up."
Williams suddenly remembered that he didn't tell Seifer his name. "I'm called Williams, sir. I was translating some of the carvings in here. How did you get down here?"
"Fell ass over teakettle, mostly. A bit of the ground gave way when I was poking around some ruins about a half mile back, and it tumbled me into some sort of old fountain." Seifer moved into the room, and sheathed his odd sword at his hip.
Williams nodded. "I saw that room, but didn't go far into it. It looked pretty unstable." He knelt on the floor and started gathering his paperwork. Hopefully, Seifer didn't see his wings, so – he would be safe. It was – kind of nice to talk to someone who wasn't from the Lab or from the village. Nice to have someone who wasn't constantly watching you because you were a Sorceress.
"It was unstable." Seifer's voice was quiet, and had an interesting rumble when he was talking that softly. When Williams looked up again, he could see Seifer smiling and something shifted uneasily in his stomach. It was nice to have someone to talk to who wasn't watching you, who sounded like a content lion when he spoke softly, and looked rather handsome. Seifer's eyes slid from Williams to Williams' paperwork. "You really understand that stuff on the walls?"
Williams felt his face heating with a blush. "There's – three varients of the language, and I can read two of them –" He pushed his glasses up his nose and gestured vaugely at the room. "It's legends mostly. I could tell you about them . . . if you like? I don't want to bore you –"
Seifer stared up at the Shiva mural. "I doubt it would be boring."
Williams swallowed and had the bravery to go on, "Well – the hall with the blue mosaic over there talks about an – Othin? Odin? That one with the lady is all about Shiva." Williams stepped forward to point at one block of text. "That one means Guardian Force, I think. The section on Shiva is pretty well preserved, but it gets brittle near the end."
Seifer chuckled softly, and mumbled, "Figures."
Williams blinked at him owlishly as he picked up his lamp, and then chuckled as well, "I meant the stone, but – yeah." He started walking up the hall and Seifer followed in long ground eating steps. "Are you travelling through this area? Or were you aiming for the town?"
"I'm scouting the area. The Gardens are wanting to set up a new Garden somewhere in these parts, and I'm looking for a good spot."
Williams suddenly had a clear image of Isla looking up at a horde of Garden officials (not that he was sure what the uniform would look like, really.) Isla would probably call him to the lab if she got nervous that he was a danger. He didn't want to go back. "Did you hear about the Lab up to the north?"
Seifer sounded distracted by the columns they were passing, "The lab? You mean the research station town?"
Williams rubbed his wrist. He didn't want to go back to the Lab. . . . but he wouldn't mind seeing Seifer again. "Yeah. The mayor might - protest any building."
"I was told that they don't own much but the land they're planted on." Seifer quirked an eyebrow. "You ok? You keep rubbing your wrist."
"I'm - fine." Williams bit his lower lip and hoped he didn't look too guilty. Damn. He thought he trained himself out of that habit. It was just when he was worried that he rubbed at his braclets. Or when he was nervous. Or when he was thinking about magic.
"The - mayor's good friends with people in the research business. I'm - just letting you know. She knows Odine."
Seifer 's mouth quirked some more, and took on a hard edge. "I think that Garden can deal with Odine. Besides, they can't want the whole continent."
"The research station are the ones - letting me down here. They want me to see if there's anything interesting here. So - they wouldn't want anyone getting there first." Some part of Williams was warmed by how Seifer didn't seem to like Odine. Williams didn't like Odine. The ravens really didn't like Odine.
And Williams had the feeling that Seifer didn't like Odine, either.