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Dagger No More [Leon]

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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:12 pm

"Do you have any idea why you're standing here right now, Perseus?"

Lucarius was seated behind his desk in his office. Percy never enjoyed being at the Estate, even less so when he was getting the distinct foreboding feeling that everything was about to go horribly wrong. He adjusted his black tie and smoothed his gray dress shirt, trying not to seem as alarmed as he was. The intimidating patriarch of Fiore's most influential family wasn't leaning back in his chair, which was usually an indication of a relaxed state of mind. Last time he was here, the whole tone of the room and Estate had been almost happy. The youngest Dagger son had gotten acknowledged by his father, which was all he'd ever wanted. Instead, this time he was leaning forward with his elbows on his desk, his fingers interlaced and pressed to his lips. His deep red eyes were as sharp as their namesake. Between his elbows was a legal envelope, closed with the twine tightly spun around the button to keep its contents contained. His tone was frigid, barely controlled. The power wafting off of him made the peppermint head nervously standing a few feet away nauseated.

"N-No, sir," Percy responded with timidity and respect, his thumbnail picking anxiously at his index finger. He really had no idea what his father could be so upset about. Was it because he hadn't gone back to work yet? That had to be it. The people who commissioned Project D.E.E.P. must be throwing their weight around. While the scarred young man could see why they'd be upset and even felt a little guilty, he knew full well that he wasn't ready to work on something so delicate and important. One wrong wire or circuit solder and someone would die several thousand feet underwater. With his shaky hands, he wasn't willing to cost lives in the name of reputation and money. How could he convey this to his father in a way that would go in his favor?

Abruptly, so much so that Percy flinched at the sudden motion, his father was on his feet and stalking around the desk with the envelope in hand. He all but threw it at his son as he got within five feet of him. Not expecting the outburst, and plenty confused about what could be inside, Percy fumbled to catch it. His mismatched eyes glanced between the packet and his father, the stress in his features growing.

"Open it," Lucarius barked, and Percy did so immediately.

His heart simultaneously stopped and fell into his stomach at the same time. Inside were pictures. Pictures of him and Leon. Percy swallowed hard. The first seemed to be a lower quality one, maybe from an iLac, of a very skinny Percy pinned to the side of his house by an angry Leon. Had Lila taken this? Or Gabriel...or one of Lila's brothers? Then there were shots from the windows of Percy's house as he broke down, images of the house being destroyed and Leon embracing him. The next few were...well, frankly he was internally dying over the idea that his father saw such a thing regardless of the secret it screamed. They were pictures through the window of Leon's cabin in River Village, more specifically the hours that had followed the last time Percy had stood in this spot. When he'd been full of himself and determined to use the blindfold on his boyfriend. There was just...so much visual evidence of what had gone on in that cabin between the two men these last few weeks, and it was now absolutely clear to Percy why he was standing in his father's presence. His throat constricted in a whole new level of fear and dread. His hands had already been shaking, but they had escalated. The trembling had spread through his whole body.

Slowly lifting his eyes to his father's, they shared a very heavy moment of loaded silence. It was decision time. The secret was out and they both knew what that meant. It was just down to who spoke first.

It ended up being Percy. "Please, don't..." he begged, not wanting to believe his father would do such a thing yet knowing full well it was inevitable. This was the exact reason he'd tried to keep things between himself and Leon at an arm's length, and why he was so careful not to be seen together when they could no longer deny how they felt. He'd gotten too cocky, too comfortable, too in love to be too careful when he thought no one was looking. This was possibly the biggest mistake he'd ever made, and the love of his life was going to pay with his life.

"You were the last I expected to be caught up in a sex scandal, let alone a homosexual one. What if these had made it to the media before they crossed my desk?" the older man burst out, his disappointment and shock evident even through his anger. Taking a second to pinch the bridge of his nose, he sobered and became unwaveringly demanding. "It must be done, Perseus. It's all arranged and awaiting my go-ahead. I'm affording you this single courtesy to come to your senses. Cut it off completely or I'll make the call."

He'd already called an assassin. Percy's brain flipped through the few he knew of, but he knew that barely scratched the surface. He wasn't as ingrained in the darker shadows of the family business as the other men of his family, but just the ones he could think of...

Oh, it was foolish. What he did next was so foolish, but Percy had never felt such a surge of rebellion in his life. His father had threatened the thing most precious to him, more than any fatherly acknowledgments or claps on the shoulder could blot out. The clear, wise choice was to do as his father said and certainly save Leon, even if they both would be miserable. But Leon was the one single thing he'd come to want more than his father's pride, more than magic and power, more than oxygen. Even as terrified as he was, his blood suddenly boiled. His temper flared, wild and passionate as he took a step toward the man capable of swatting him like a fly. It was pure hubris, but he really believed he could defy his Dagger legacy and protect his lover.

"No! I won't leave him. He's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and for once I'm living my life for me instead of you! Get with the times, father. I'm not doing drugs or going on benders, I'm just in love with a man. I love him. I can't help it. You're going to have to accept it," Percy blazed, burning free and bright even under his father's steely glare. "Your outdated ideals will be this whole family's downfall if you don't stop trying to assassinate everyone and everything that could possibly blemish this cursed surname!" he warned, taking another step. "So, no, father, let me extend you the single courtesy of finally turning your back on high-class bigotry and bullying so you can love your children and accept them for who they are and not who you have tried to crush and reform them into!"

Lucarius's eyes flared, betraying the same temper that Percy inherited for just a second. The distance between them was already small thanks to his son's passionate steps. Like lightning, his fist lashed out and slammed into Percy's face, so forcefully that the young Dagger staggered back and held his eye. It was immediately swelling and bruising, but he knew how to take a hit. His father's gaze extinguished into deadly ice as he turned to pick up the phone on his desk. Percy lurched forward.

"Father, stop!"

"You heard me, Perseus! One chance and you wasted that as well."

The ensuing scuffle was painfully short and one-sided. No amount of training could make him a threat to his father. Neither even chanced using their magic. It was just fists, but within a few tense moments, Percy was thrown back a few feet onto the ornate rug protecting those annoyingly shiny floors.

"I'm so very disappointed in you," Lucarius glowered, picking up his phone.

"We finally have something in common," Percy spat in a hateful hiss, pulling himself back to his feet.

"You sealed his fate, then. This will be your doing, Perseus, not mine. Live with that!" Lucarius called after his son as he ran out of his office.

***

There was a level of panic that Percy had never felt before, but he was fully thrown into it now.  His blood was barely more than frozen slush in his veins as he drove from the Estate to Dagger Corp, silently praying to whatever entity might exist in the supposed heavens that his father hadn't turned off his access codes. In the end, it didn't matter too much. Someone would let him in, or he'd hack into the locks he designed himself. There probably wasn't a system in Dagger Corp that Percy hadn't had put his mark on, a fact that Lucarius probably knew full well. It'd cause more damage to lock his son out at this point, so it was just saving time when his keycard blipped happily like it always did.

Normally Percy conducted himself with at least a modicum of professionalism in the halls of his family's company, but today all bets were off and every facade he'd ever crafted was cracked. He ran like a wildman through the halls, shouldering and elbowing through anyone who got in his way. Papers were flying as alarmed coworkers were shoved, and still more watched in enraptured curiosity as the quietest member of the Dagger family skidded noisily into the elevator.

Once he was in his lab, he packed up everything he thought could be useful. Finished exo-suits were shrunk into their backpack forms and thrown into the large container he wheeled behind him. Research notes were crammed in. Weapons and gadgets the fake I.D.s he'd made for himself and his "assistant" were dumped on top. Anything that wasn't exclusively for Dagger Corp was packed into containers and he had Violet fetch the crew to haul them out into one of the vans. The poor girl was confused and worried, but she did as she was told. He tossed her the keys to the lab on the way out the door.

Back down on the ground floor, he rushed out the back door and crawled under the loaded van. After removing the tracking device, he got in the driver's seat and peeled out, heading for where the S.S. Endeavor was anchored. Tracker or no, he knew his father knew they were staying on Meliora Vitae's home base. They had to get out of there, for both their sakes and everyone else's.

***

He busted into his dorm on the ship much like he had at Dagger Corp.

Percy was disheveled, his hair and clothes torn and mussed from the scuffle and all the feverish running. His right eye was blackened and swollen as was the cheekbone below it. His oddly neutral lips sported a bloody split. It was clear he'd been in a fight that he hadn't won, but more alarming were his actions. They were the movements of a man about to unravel but managing to hold on by a tiny, determined thread, yet his face was utterly blank and unemotive. It was this lack of expression that betrayed just how overwhelmed he was. He didn't care that he'd lost everything. All he cared about was keeping the man he loved alive, and to have the best shot at that, they had to get moving. He didn't have time to freak out or even process what was happening.

Going straight for the closet, he pulled out both of their bags and tossed them on the bed. Percy didn't even have the ability to bark orders, instead opting to cram a mix of all their things haphazardly in both without so much as a word. As Cat hopped up into one of the half-filled bags, he paused to remove him when another small detail occurred to him. Holding Cat up with that same blank expression, he then twisted around to lay eyes on Robin nearby. They couldn't take their pets on the run. Somewhere in his chest that hurt, but it was ignored. Placing Cat down out of the way, he hastily pulled out his phone and tapped a message to Dagda to take care of their pets while they were gone.

If Leon had said anything to him since he entered the room they'd been sharing, his lover hadn't heard it. It was almost like he was deaf or lost in his own world of unexplained horror. All he could hear was his own racing heartbeat and panting breaths...and static. Just a roar of static as his mind spastically ran scenario after scenario, trying to genius its way into a foolproof plan to save Leon from the hit his father had placed on him.

[wc: 2200]
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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 am



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Leon was deeply in love with Percy. Anyone could see it. After all, they ate all of their meals together, did their work together, slept together, went out together, and stayed together. They were practically joined at the hip, engrossed in each other and consumed in their own little world.  Leon was pretty content with the way things were right now, but the reality of it was that he was friendless as a result. He got bored and lonely whenever Percy was away, like a puppy with separation anxiety, left to his own thoughts and devices in an unusually empty space. This time, however, Leon was particularly fidgety.

Sitting on the edge of the bed with a cigarette dangling out the corner of his mouth, Leon was pensively toying with the ring box he had bought ages ago. They had spent a lot of time together since Percy's last meltdown, but there was never a good time to bring it up, or that he never had the courage. It was one of those things that he'd forget about as long as he couldn't see it, but he always kept it in places where he'd eventually stumble across it again, and he'd eventually end up back here.

What should he do? They were just promise rings, but he couldn't help but get a little nervous. He didn't know why he got so nervous whenever he considered giving it to him, just that his chest began to feel tight and his head starts to swell with what-ifs.

"Ugh..." Leon grumbled, ruffling his messy black hair and puffing on his cigarette. Thinking about it started to make him feel impatient, and he suddenly didn't want to deal with it anymore. But that's when Cat took a sudden interest in the box and stared at it from across the room. "What're you lookin' at?"

Cat, obviously, didn't respond.

"What do you mean 'man up and give it to him?' It's easier said than done, you know!"

Cat just sneezed.

"Pussy?! Some friend you are, asshole. Besides..." Leon fumbled with the box again, looking away dispassionately, "...these things take time. You wouldn't understand, you're just a cat, Cat—"

Fwoop! Without warning, the dorm room flung open with such intensity that Leon could feel a small gust of wind blow against his face when it did. Of course, it was Percy, but a little part of Leon's soul still left his body after that frightening, abrupt arrival.

"P-Percy! Welcome..." Leon stuttered, anxiously stuffing the ring box into his pocket as his lover approached. He was supposed to meet his family today for reasons Leon was completely unaware of, but he tried not to worry too much about it since the last meeting ended in a somewhat acceptable way. Well, that put it lightly. In reality, Percy left that place happy and both of them ended up having unusually exciting sex. Was he in for a treat? Like last time, his lover looked all worked up and wordlessly entered the room, keeping Leon literally on the edge of his seat in both fear and anticipation. "...back?"

Leon didn't know what to feel at first, but something did feel off about him. He looked notably disheveled, with his hair a mess and his clothes just as disoriented, and he moved around like someone who was in a hurry. The vibe he got from his lover didn't come close to last time, and to bring it all together, everything changed when Leon caught a glimpse of his bruised, swollen face.

"What the hell happened to you?" Leon suddenly shot up from the edge of the bed, plucking the cigarette out of his mouth as his entire face twisted into a nasty scowl, "Who the fuck—hey!"

It was like his words fell onto deaf ears once Percy came in, only interested in hastily filling up their travel bags with their things. Percy didn't say a word as it all unfolded, and with every item, he stuffed into their bags, Leon felt his own anger begin to nudge him closer and closer to the edge. There were so many questions he had that Percy refused to even address, let alone acknowledge, and Leon was close to turning red in the face by the end of it all. So, at the height of his impatience, he snatched both of Percy's wrists away from his rummaging and forcefully held them up above his head.

"Fuckin' hell, dude! Stop! Just calm...!" Leon raised his voice for a moment, but stopped once he saw his face again. Not just those infuriating injuries, but how it was accompanied by an expression that didn't seem to care. He knew that head of his was probably running wild with thoughts, but there was no telling what those thoughts were with such a neutral expression on his face. Leon took a sharp, bracing breath after that, and exhaled deeply before looking at Percy with those angry, swelling eyes. "Just... calm down, alright? What the hell happened? Who put their hands on you?"


|| Word Count: 843 || Thread WC: 3,043 || WC Needed xxx || Job Approval ||
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"" @Percy

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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:42 am

Percy tugged briefly on his wrists that were trapped but stopped once he appeared to finally register who it was that was grabbing them. As his eyes lifted, he wasn't sure what he was supposed to feel while looking at his lover, whom he'd doomed. It was selfish to not regret it. So selfish. Even more so that he was too selfish to do what his father wanted and let him go. He felt guilty. Love. Sadness. Comfort. None of those quite made it to his face, especially since the overwhelming feeling continued to be such deep panic that all he could see was a shadowy assassin inching closer with each tick of the second hand.

There was no calming down. Calming down meant moving slower, and that was a luxury they didn't have. But Leon didn't know that yet. Of course, he didn't. To get this moving faster, he had to bring the man up to speed. Percy wasn't particularly thrilled about speaking at the moment, but it was necessary.

"Lucarius," he answered hoarsely through a tight throat. The man didn't deserve the title of 'father' anymore, no more than Percy would claim the Dagger name. Ties had been severed here. Everything had changed. It'd changed in ways he hadn't even been able to consider yet, but that could come later. "He found out," he said next, his words in terse little bursts. Pulling one wrist free, he reached around for the envelope of pictures rolled in his back pocket and handed it to Leon.

Percy had never explained the full situation. It'd never really come up, and the one time they approached it-- that time at the Valentine's Day amusement park-- he'd been in no mental condition to expound on it. There was a reason he and Leon didn't go out much and when they did, he dressed like a "sexual predator". There was a reason why he had mistakenly felt safe in sleepy River Village, on the S.S. Endeavor, on an undiscovered island, anywhere he thought no one was watching.

The Daggers were old money and old ways, pearl clutches and "what will the neighbors think?!". Reputation was its own sort of power more valuable than any magic, but it was also their prison. It cost them freedom, family, love, everything one way or another. It was a secret of monumental proportions that the Dagger family had their hands in things such as assassins and hits and that that's what awaited those perceived as threats in any way. The Dagger closet was filled with countless skeletons and a gay son.

"He found out about us," Percy repeated, starting to come alive a little. His eyes, what could be seen of them through the swollen flesh, were widening with the terror and urgency he felt. "There's no time. We have to hurry, Leon. We have to go. Now." His voice was coming to life as well. It was growing louder. Tenser. Slightly higher in pitch from panic. He had to choke it down not to have a full-blown attack. He was fighting to remain neutral.

"Lucarius put a hit out on you. I'm sorry. We have to go!"

[wc: 530 || total: 3573]
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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:15 am



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Percy was talking, but only a few of the things he said were landing on Leon's ears in a way that made sense. Everything was fine just a moment ago, and now his boyfriend barged in as he had just seen a ghost. What's more, Lucarius? His dad? A hit? Suddenly the anger that he faced when he saw Percy's injuries were overshadowed by the confusion of it all. Leon was given all this information but never the time or luxury to process it, and even though he trusted that they were in danger, there was one thing missing from all these puzzle pieces given to him that kept him from understanding what was actually going on. Something especially bewildering.

"What do you mean 'found out about us'?" Leon stared at him with a puzzled look on his face, eyes wide with interest and a little anxiety as Percy's panicking was almost contagious. In any case, the dark-haired man seemed reluctant to get moving until the foggy explanation was cleared up.


|| Word Count: 171 || Thread WC: 3,744 || WC Needed xxx || Job Approval ||
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"" @Percy

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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:18 am

Impatience engulfed Percy. "We don't have time!" he exploded, but reeled it back in quickly by sighing heavily and pinching the bridge of his nose. Once a moment or two passed, he had composed himself to try and explain, though he was still speaking a bit quickly. "Look in the envelope, Leon," he insisted, even though he was embarrassed by it. Nudging one of the bags aside, Percy slumped down on the bed and covered his face with his hands.

"I mean Lucarius only cares about the Daggers' image and reputation. His children are expected to walk this outdated straight and narrow and never have any 'problematic' behavior that he or his bigoted friends could raise a brow at. One of those things, in my specific case, is being in love with you," he explained miserably. "That's why I was working so hard to keep him from finding out about you," he continued as if it was common knowledge that Leon had been a secret. Honestly, Percy thought he'd been pretty obvious about all of it. He hadn't. "But...I think Lila took those pictures and outed us, and... well, I guess secrets don't matter now. My family runs a secret crime syndicate, and Lucarius loves to hire assassins to get rid of problems."

He fell quiet for just a second, his hands lowering from his face. The neutral expression had returned with the onslaught of trying to process it all. Overwhelmed seemed too tame of a word to describe the chaos he was bottling. "He called one of his assassins to kill you before anyone finds out about his gay son," he said blankly, fingers idly fussing around the swollen and darkened skin around his eye. He'd never been brave enough to raise a hand against his father before, regardless of spending his whole life trying to earn his praise. Everything in his life was flipped upside down. "I refused to break it off with you. I doomed you by loving you. I'm sorry."

[wc: 334 || total: 4078]
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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:03 pm



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

As Percy kept talking, all of it was quickly coming together. All of the puzzle pieces that he couldn't make sense of before suddenly started fitting into one another, and all the dots were quickly connecting. When Leon opened the envelope, his heart sank into his stomach. Their time at the cabin, their time at the party... it was like he was given a slideshow of their lives over the past few months. All of them so clear, so unforgivingly blatant about what was transpiring between the two of them, and they were none the wiser of the invasion.

Leon's hands trembled a little, fingers clenching and crinkling them between his fingertips. There was no doubt that he was angry—perhaps it was even an understatement—but the rage he felt swelling within him wasn't from the photos. No, it wasn't from this hit placed on him either. Honestly, he didn't put this sort of thing past the Daggers. They were the type of people to scar and bruise their son, after all. In fact, as he raised his gaze from the photos, it seemed that the icon of his anger was none other than Percy himself.

"So, what you're saying is... what you mean to tell is that..." Leon slowly approached Percy, crouching down by the bedside so that he was looking up at his lover. But unlike so many other times, there wasn't any affection in his eyes. He didn't immediately gingerly poke and prod the bruises on his face, or reel him into one of his loving and clingy embraces. The look on his face was nothing short of rage waiting to boil over like he was waiting to see his lover's response before he really lost his temper. "...all this time, I was a secret? We were a secret?"


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"" @Percy

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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:05 pm

"Ah." He hadn't considered this. Not once. It had always been something Percy viewed as entirely personal, something that wouldn't affect Leon unless the secret got out. Now, in hindsight, he could see how this would be hurtful and quite a surprise. It was selfish. Was there anything in this relationship he hadn't messed up?

Yet in the face of Leon's rage, Percy looked nothing but accepting and tired and miserably in love. The lovesick and terrified young man couldn't muster an ounce of anger to confront what he saw in his lover's chilling expression. How many times had he faced down this expression from people in his life for thoughtless things he'd done? Mephistopheles. Lucarius. Artemis. For just a second his chin wobbled like he might give in to the terrified sobs building in his chest, but even that quickly subsided. "Yeah," he said quietly, resigned.

His brain was running off on another tangent now. Wouldn't it be funny if this revelation sent Leon running? Broke them up right at the pinnacle of danger, accomplishing more or less what Lucarius wanted? His stomach churned and his face grew pale and clammy. It was pure agony to think about, yet there was this strange hopeful relief edging his brain. Leon would be safe at that point, and after getting over the hurt and loss of the relationship, he'd move on and find happiness elsewhere. The same couldn't be said for Percy-- he was sure he'd never get over it and he'd torpedoed his life entirely-- but the problem would be solved. He could deliver the death blow to his dignity and call his dad to let him know that the assassination could be called off.

"I was afraid of c-coming out. I was terrified of what the D-Daggers would do to me and to you... I didn't want what's happening right now to ever happen."

Percy squared himself once he stopped speaking, tensing his muscles for the hit he expected to follow. He wouldn't defend or deflect, he'd simply take it any however many more. Unlike the blows from his father, which had been purely physical, this violence would hurt much more emotionally, much like when Artemis had punched him after he'd attempted to contract a demon in spite of what his brother had warned. And like then, he deserved this now.

[wc: 392 || total: 4771]
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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:13 pm



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

"You're fucking kidding me, right? I mean, this is a joke?" Leon cracked a smile, but there wasn't an ounce of happiness or amusement on his features. It remained a cold, icy expression growing hotter and melting away into much more visible disbelief and disgust as Percy poured his out to him. "I mean... wow. Just, wow!"

What was this feeling? This feeling of his heart being squeezed and his chest shrinking? Like a dagger twisting in his stomach? These feelings of, almost, betrayal? Just looking at Percy after he said what he did made him hurt, and while Leon knew why it hurt, it was like he still couldn't explain it. The anger and the shock almost overwhelmed his own understanding of why they were there in the first place, and he soon lost the patience to keep his mouth as shut as his fists were right now.

"Refused to break it off with me? Doomed me by loving me? Terrified what they'd do? I mean...! I...! Just fucking wow!" Leon suddenly stood up in a tiny burst of laughter, the disbelief on his face permeating through the anger. He paced back and forth across the room as if moving his legs would somehow make the gears and cogs in his mind move too, but all he ended up doing was unleash the rage that was swelling within. "Do you even hear yourself right now, Perseus?! You don't get to say that shit to me! Not to me!" he fumed at him, his face almost turning pink with the sudden rise in his voice as he pointed and glared at his lover, "I didn't cut ties with everything and everyone in my life up until now just to be your little secret! The fuck you think this is? A game?! Like, even though I had to choose between my piece-of-shit family and you, you could somehow have it both ways? Oh, oh! And that's not all, Mr. Dagger! You never even stopped to think, 'Hey! Maybe I should bring this up to Leon! You know, the guy I'm dating and this has everything to do with?' Oh, but yeah, thank you for taking your grandstand against your father today! But let's not forget to thank you father as well! Because without him, I would've never known just how much it took for you to even acknowledge I existed. Really! Greaaat job, you fucking asshole."

Leon's face was red after his outburst, still holding the photos in his hand and feeling his chest fill with air as he took labored panting breaths. The room went quiet. There were a few times he had lost his temper with Percy, but never quite like this. He was angry—unbelievably angry—but his chest still clenched with regret as he leaned against and wall and hid his face in his hand. What happened just now was just an ugly release of raw emotion, unrefined and with little thought to smooth out the rough edges of it all, but he didn't immediately follow it up with an apology. Instead, he continued to brood and stew over the anger that was still lingering within him.

It hurt.


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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:24 pm

He wished Leon had just hit him.

Percy flinched at the truth as it was swung at him with the same force as physical blows, each syllable chipping away at the stoic mask he wore. For just a moment he forgot about the urgency of needing to escape the assassin. Mismatched eyes watched Leon pace and rant, his usually strong frame shrinking in on itself and making him look small as he remained perched on the edge of the bed. He deserved this, too. No matter how big and ugly Leon's anger was, he deserved it.

"I didn't mean it like that--" he tried to defend, but ultimately fell into miserable, irritated silence. It wasn't as simple as that! Is this what Leon really thought of him? He hadn't asked Leon to cut those ties. It had been what was best for him whether they were dating or not, and he'd made that decision. It hadn't been like Percy demanded such a thing just so he could be a douchebag and keep his boyfriend isolated and a secret! Percy had gone to war to make sure Leon lived through it, just so he could earn his place with that terrible family! He'd left Leon behind, thinking he'd never see him again! Because even though he hated how they treated him-- he'd launched one of his brothers over a bar in his own home-- Percy related to what Leon was going through and never questioned it. The Daggers sucked and he'd been trying to accomplish basically the exact same thing Leon was. The biggest difference was, as far as he knew, the Hoffman's didn't run an organization like Hidden Blades, chocked full of assassins that no amount of physical training or contracted magic could defend against. There were a lot of Dagger secrets he was forbidden to share.

How dare he call him Perseus, as his father had. And how dare he call him Mr. Dagger! It disgusted him. He'd divorced himself from that last name and all it implied the moment he opposed the patriarch, yet... he was acting every bit like a Dagger when he made all of these ill-conceived decisions, wasn't he? If only he could scrub it from his blood as easily as he could reject his surname.

But he was right. Percy had thought he could have it both ways. He thought he was smart enough to keep both of his worlds separate. He could solve his obsession with earning his family's approval, stand equal with them, and love this clingy dark-haired man. It wasn't like he was going to take Leon home for a family dinner even if they weren't rich old bigots, so the overlap was nonexistent. Now that he'd gotten what he always wanted and subsequently fell from grace, he could see now that he'd always hated his father. He hated what his family had done to him and made him feel. It was like the Dagger spell had been broken and he felt dirty for ever feeling like he had to belong to start with. He was angry with himself for buying into the delusion that he could keep such a big secret forever, or that it was fair to Leon in any way.

Even so, Leon didn't know what it took to stand against his father... or maybe he did, but that didn't make it feel any better that such a big moment for him was tossed aside like it meant nothing. This would have been an impossibility six months ago. The hurt would go both ways on this one, and even though it wasn't enough to hold a candle to the wrong he'd done to his lover, it still brought a flash of anger into his eyes. Percy had been a little late, but in the end, he'd reciprocated the sacrifices Leon had made when it counted. It had counted, right? Trivializing it like Leon just had... He'd sacrificed everything, too, with this grandstand. The idea of thanking his father for forcing this on them made him sick and angry, but he'd hold it in.

The silence that followed the outburst was thick and heavy. The peppermint head's features twisted into a pained scowl from the wavering between anger and sadness, tears from both emotions beginning to squeeze out of the darkened, swollen folds of his 'good' eye. His fists clenched, but he lowered his head and stared at the floor passively instead of shouting back. Then he broke the silence. "It was never a game to me, but you're right. I fooled myself and I was thoughtless. I was selfish and stupid and couldn't let go of my obsession for you. I'm every bit of the f^&#ing a$%hole you say I am. It's a Dagger thing," he said, voice deceptively even.

He wasn't sure if he'd ever felt so overwhelmed in his life. What was he supposed to do with all of this? Who even was he now? What was his purpose? No Dagger Corp, no laboratories, no family (other than Artemis), no home. Did he even still have Leon, assuming the assassin didn't kill him? His entire world was tilted and unfamiliar and crumbling under his feet. The fabric that kept him together was ripping as quickly as he could try and stitch it back together.

"All I c-can say is I'm s-sorry-- Sorry-! I-- I d-don't know--" Percy stumbled over half-thoughts and panicked bursts of emotion, trying to get something meaningful out but starting to succumb to the anxiety attack. The tighter his chest squeezed, the less air he seemed to get from each quick breath. "I-I'll fix it-- I'll try-- I hurt you and-- I didn't want-- I messed up-- Is it t-too late-- Mmgh, I'm s-sorry, I thought--"

Speech was obviously failing him.


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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:16 am



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

It appeared that both of them had become very distracted because after Percy started emotionally fumbling over his words and Leon began to look for an out of this conversation, he suddenly remembered the hit placed on him and the imminent danger they were in. With a disgruntled sigh, Leon stepped over to the bags and continued to pack the essentials, although there wasn't much left to pack.

He zipped up the bag and tossed it over his shoulder as he looked down at Percy, watching him stutter over the edge of the bed. It was different from other times, where after an outburst, all of the anger and sadness he'd feel would suddenly evaporate like steam over a kettle. Every time he looked at Percy, that feeling of betrayal and hurt would pinch him again, and nothing good was about to come out of his mouth. Even so, Leon always softened with regret whenever either of them got to this point, and instead of barking and venting at him like he wanted to right now, he quietly averted his glare.

"Just... stop. It doesn't even matter anymore. It doesn't fucking matter anymore," Leon continued, still clenching onto the photos with a wave of trembling anger. Even though his words had urged the both of them to move on, it was clear that he was still upset. "...So just stop, and let's go."



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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Percy Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:22 am

It mattered. It mattered a lot. Percy peeked at Leon for just a second as his word salad was put to a stop. That was the last time he'd look at Leon directly for a while. Whether he wanted to or not, the young man was shutting down to protect himself. He solemnly nodded, cleared the emotion out of his throat, and wiped all traces of tears from his face. With his overwhelmed blank mask partially returning, he turned to zip up the other bag and stood with it clasped tightly in his fist.

As he paused only long enough to give their pets a final goodbye pat, he tried to shake the intense feeling of dread. Though he was silent, that didn't mean his anxiety attack had stopped. It just buried deep into his chest. Biting his split lip until he tasted the iron helped ground him, and with that, he left Meliora Vitae behind as well.

He wasn't running this time, but his steps were quick as he led Leon off the flying ship and to the black van on the ground packed with stuff. He kept glancing around into the surrounding treeline, looking for any trace of Leon's mystery killer. It was really very unfortunate that his eye was as swollen as it was, since it made it even harder to get a good look, and he'd never needed to be as hawkeyed as he needed to be in this moment.

Once in the vehicle's driver's seat, he reached behind him to place his bag down, then reached into another bag for a burner phone and a couple of what looked like the watch Percy had had in Bellum that altered his appearance. He wordlessly offered Leon one of each without looking at him, then proceeded fuss with the watch for a second or two, then took the chip out of his iLac and snapped it. Punching in directions to the Neutral Grounds, the only place he could think of right now that would at least offer them protection from the magic aspect of the assassination, he put the van in gear and lurched through the grass and back onto the main road.

Percy was a great driver, but he was a fast driver on a normal day. This was a whole new level. He was driving like he did on his brother's racetrack when he'd bet Arty he could win and something super embarrassing was on the line. He kept his eyes in the mirrors and was deadly silent except for his quick breathing for a long time until he felt somewhat safe to speak again. "We're going to the Neutral Grounds. There are weapons and exosuits in the cases back there, along with forged IDs and paperwork to get us where ever we need to go without getting caught. Use the watch to change your appearance if you need to and if it comes to it, I need you to run. I'm sure they aren't supposed to hurt me, so I'll be fine."

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Dagger No More [Leon] Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:51 am



Dagger No More [Leon] 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Neither of them spoke to one another for a while after that. They said their goodbyes to their pets, Robin and Cat, and left for the black van grounded away from the S.S Endeavor for their pending departure. Leon hadn't woken up today expecting to say his final goodbyes to Robin, a puppy he'd had for months now, but he seemed to take it well. She and Cat would be okay as long as that Dagda guy and his guild took care of them, or rehomed them, and he had a lot of other things on his mind anyway.

Once in the van, Leon accepted the things given to him without question and belted himself in for the ride, but for just a moment, he had completely forgotten just how fast of a driver his boyfriend actually was. He dreaded driving with him even when their lives were nothing but sunshine and rainbows, but now they were going so fast that Leon was willing to bet they'd die in some high-speed crash before the assassin even came close to them—and it showed. While Percy was deeply engrossed in watching for the assassin, Leon was pressed against his seat, hand clenching the handle up top, his face tight as his eyes glued to the road ahead of them. They were seriously about to become another statistic...

It wasn't until Percy finally spoke again that Leon could divert his attention away from the road, finally elucidating where exactly these wheels were taking them. Even though he was the one being hunted right now, it seemed like Percy was the one who had any idea what to do. Sure, if Leon were alone in this pursuit, he too would've found his way to Neutral Grounds with a hastily packed travel bag, but fake IDs and documents? No way did have the thought or resources to be so well-prepared, and part of him felt like dead weight because of it, especially after their outbursts from earlier.

"You don't know that..." Leon mumbled with a frown on his face when Percy insisted that he'd be fine. This entire situation was crazy, but nothing Leon could put past his family. If they could be so content with killing off any problem of theirs and beating up their son, who was to say that killing Percy was off the table? The thought filled him with horrible anxiety and frustration, and even now he wanted to beat Lucarius to a pulp, but they no longer had the luxury. "I hear you, but can you pull over? I'm thinkin' I should drive instead..."



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Post by Percy Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:08 am

Leon was right. Percy didn't know for sure that the assassin would leave him alive. It was just an educated guess. Had his grandfather still been in charge, it was more likely that his transgression against the family would land him on the hit list, too, but Lucarius, despite his general awfulness, wasn't as awful as Mephistopheles. Knocking him across the room and ordering a hit on his gay lover was one thing, but telling the assassin to kill his own son was quite another. He was comfortable banking on it for the moment, since it was so ingrained in the strategies his genius brain was quickly serving up on the fly.

Percy's lips initially parted to either respond to Leon's doubt or the suggestion that he drive, but whatever he was going to say never came. Instead, his eyes locked on the driver's side mirror and his face tightened suddenly. Not that he'd been very vocal today anyway, but it was especially hard for him to speak for a few passing minutes. The gas pedal was jammed to the floor and the van went even faster while Percy white-knuckled the steering wheel and swerved around other cars.

Behind them was another black vehicle, but it was a sleek sedan with heavily tinted windows. Percy had noticed it once before in the initial stretch of silent driving, but as a professional killer with many skills, the car had seemingly turned off on a side road to divert attention. But it was back and hanging just far enough back that Percy was sure they were being hunted. Even as he flew down the road, the car stayed in the mirror, meaning he was matching speed. No one would do that unless they were following them on purpose. "Brace yourself. I don't think we're gonna make it to the Neutral Grounds," the peppermint head muttered through a clenched jaw, supremely stressed.

The person in the car knew they'd been spotted and dropped the pretenses. The van was fast, but no match for the motor in the murder sedan. It pulled up beside them. Looking out his window, he locked eyes with the green-glowing tip of an arrow just as it lurched from its bow. Glass shattered all over the side of his face and made him close his eyes as the bolt landed in the windshield, and for a second Percy lost control of the van. He could feel some shards in his skin, but thankfully none were in his eyes. "Hold on, Leon!" he yelled, jerking the vehicle back onto the road. He expected to bash into the sedan, but it was gone, already zooming up on the passenger's side. Through the mirror, Percy could see another arrow, this time aimed at the person sitting in the seat instead of just aiming to break the window. Percy jammed on the breaks just in time to ruin the shot, which broke the window but landed in the roof of the cab. Swerving to ram the sedan, the two black cars swapped paint and dents. It was only Percy's skilled driving that kept them on the road for as long as they were, but there was only so much he could do without wrecking the vehicle. They needed it to still be functional to escape in later. Without any side roads to dart off onto to try and break line of sight, it was time to switch tactics.

"I was serious when I said to run," he said stiffly as he pulled off the road and into a field, heading for some trees for cover. The sedan remained on the road, merely pulling over to optimize a smooth getaway. However, with Percy's plan, their van would be closer to get to and they'd be back on the road before the assassin could run back to the car, giving them, or at least Leon, a headstart. It also gave them a minute or two before the assassin could reach them at the van right now. Slamming it into park, Percy hopped in the back and opened a container to get their exosuits and some weapons.

Then he did something odd. Pushing a button on his watch, his appearance suddenly changed to one nearly identical to Leon's. With the suit on his back, he hopped out of the back of the van without so much as looking at his boyfriend. "Hide. Once I lead him off into the woods, drive away," Percy demanded in barely above a whisper, turning to lock his hijacked golden eyes with the tall, thin man in the black trench coat and wide-brimmed hat at the edge of the road. Once he was sure the assassin had seen his presumed target, Percy activated the pod on his back and his body disappeared from view under the metal suit. For a little extra help, he also pulled the trigger of his injection device, flooding his veins with vitamins and steroids to push his speed beyond normal human limits.

Even as the two took off into the woods, the Leon-Decoy wasn't so dumb that he was certain Leon would actually leave. If the roles were reversed, there was no way he'd leave his lover behind, but he could still hope. They had just had a pretty devastating fight, and the young inventor wasn't very secure in where they stood. The best thing Leon could do would be to take this chance and trust that Percy would be alright and that they were better off separated.

The mechanical leg joints of his exo-suit screamed as his legs pumped faster than they should, much like they had back on those frozen trails of Bellian mountainside. Even so, an arrow whizzed by his head, only a few inches off. He looked back at the assassin, only to notice he wasn't within sight. Panicked, Percy's eyes darted around. Not even the suit's HUD could locate him, meaning he was a good ways out of range. So, that arrow had come from quite a distance as well as been patiently timed to account for trees and expertly aimed to compensate for his super speed.

This was actually very bad. He'd never guessed his father would choose a sniper, given their usual limitations. Surely it wasn't that one, the one who liked to poison his prey just to watch them die agonizingly slow deaths... that seemed especially cruel, and a little bit of overkill.

As another arrow whizzed out of the silence and broke his train of thought, it slammed into the back of his arm with a loud 'PING' and bounced off, but the liquid it deposited quickly corroded the metal and circuits. He ejected the arm material just as it started to burn his flesh, leaving this left his arm vulnerable, but it was just enough time for his HUD to pop up with an explanation of the liquid. It was an extremely concentrated venom. Percy gasped. His father was the worst. This assassin was the aforementioned long-range poison mage and a personal favorite of the Dagger patriarchs for his flawless success rate.

Percy would continue to run around for a few more minutes as fast as he could while dodging a flurry of arrows from the shadows. Parts of his suit were damaged or missing, and his body was already screaming with pain at the joints. It didn't seem to matter how fast he went, there was an arrow waiting for him. His mind whirling with strategies, but it was hard to concentrate. There was really only one he could think of, but it was really dangerous, especially alone. Darting low behind a tree to catch his ragged breath, he paused to work up his nerve. He'd have to go on the offensive, locate the man, lure him into the open field, and take this close range. Close-range would put the sniper out of his comfort zone and Percy into his. As much as Percy would love to turn the long-rage game back on his enemy, the damage to his left eye made sure he was no good at that. There was a reason Percy fought with his body or with swords.

This venom stung. His flesh had yet to be pierced, but just the residue left burn marks and a dizzying effect. It wasn't helping matters at all.

He'd been so busy running in random patterns that he hadn't been keeping track of where he was on the map (directionally challenged as always). He'd actually come back a bit closer to the van, but hopefully, the van and Leon were gone.

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