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Dagger No More [Leon]

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Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:09 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Leon wished he could say that he was relieved when Percy told him that the assassin was finally off their trail, but that didn't magically solve their most immediate problem. Even though there was an arrow jutting out of Percy, there wasn't a hospital or clinic in sight, let alone a road or train tracks to take them there. The assassin was gone, but now they had to wiggle their way out of this one.

They took their break, and from an outsider's perspective, things were going swimmingly. They had both perfected their craft, after all—Percy and the way he gracefully took pain and inconvenience without fuss, and Leon and the way he made himself and others feel that it would all turn out okay. But he knew that Percy was only human, and that arrow must've hurt like hell, and Leon was one minor inconvenience away from blatantly panicking. Still, he told himself that they'd make it into town and that everything would be alright because if it wasn't, there was nothing left in life for him. He knew that.

But how? He could comfort himself with his own thoughts all he wanted, but that didn't change the fact that they were practically in the middle of nowhere. He didn't know which way was which, and it's not like they had the luxury of a GPS to guide them back to town. Percy's mind wandered, and Leon could tell that much as he sat on the ground. Their situation was becoming more desperate as time drew on, but that's when something unexpected happened.

Popping over the hill was a horse-drawn carriage filled with adventurers as they hopped off of it and started their journey and metal and smiles, bidding their farewells to a kind-looking man as he began to tend to his carriage. Or, well, so it seemed. The beast that drew the carriage was like nothing Leon has ever seen before. Earthland had no shortage of fantastical creatures, but it wasn't like he had ever seen a unicorn before. Not only that, the kind-looking man that tended to it all had ears like a bunny. This wouldn't be alarming in some countries, but people like him were... uncommon, to say the least. At least in Fiore, they were.

Regardless of his surprise, the good thing was that they weren't stranded, and the fact that anyone showed up in his desolate place at all was enough to send a ray of hope and relief into Leon's uncertain heart. Leaving Percy, he ran after the parked carriage with his voice booming and eyes wide.

"Heeey!! Help!" shouted Leon, practically sprinting over to the carriage as fast as he could. This certainly caught the man's attention, turning over to find a dark-haired man running after him with a look of panic on his face. By the time Leon caught up to him, he was out of breath despite the unremarkable distance between them, face caked in sweat as he leaned on his knees. "Please, you... haa.... you've got to help us... hmmph...haa..."

"Help what now, son?" the kind-looking man tilted his head, staring at Leon with this puzzled expression. Well, that made sense. Who wouldn't be confused by this?

"Percy, he... haa..." Leon panted, finally catching his breath before pointing back at his lover down the hill, "He's injured! Can you take us back to town? He really needs to see a doctor!"

"Doctor? Oh my..." repeated the man, following Leon's gaze and looking at Percy with sympathetic eyes, "Here, why don't you take'im and put'im in the trunk, son? We'll get'im a healer in no time."

Without another word, Leon ran back to Percy, eager to help him up to the carriage now that their ride was secured. Every time he saw Percy like this, his heart ached. He had almost lost him one too many times, and now faced with that devastating possibility, he was willing to do anything to make sure his lover got the care he needed. It didn't matter if he'd have to hijack the carriage or threaten the bunny-man. He'd do whatever it took to keep Percy safe, even if it meant pushing others over the edge to do so.

"Hey, hey, hey—hey! I got us a ride. You listenin'?" Leon smiled roughly, attempting to help Percy up off of his feet, "Want me to carry you? I totally will, so just give me the signal whenever. Okay?"

Times like these made it clear that good people were capable of bad things when the ones they treasured most depended on them, and it seemed like Leon's head went to all sorts of dark places in the last few hours.


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"" @Percy

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Post by Percy Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:02 pm

Percy was awake, but his brain had gone a little fuzzy. There were some thoughts firing, but they were random, chasing between the glaring issue of an arrow in his gut and the unknown journey ahead, but as Leon ran off suddenly, another slow trickle of thought began. Was that a carriage... and a unicorn? The injured man was starting to doubt what he was seeing, only adding confusion to his daze. Yeah, he was seeing things. That didn't make any sense. Maybe he'd lost more blood than he'd calculated.

However, when Leon returned, he certainly seemed excited about something. Sluggishly looking up at his smiling lover, he smiled back almost out of reflex. His whole world didn't smile very often, but he'd already seen two very beautiful ones in the last hour or two. They were so bright, and he was distracted for a moment before it registered what was being said. He nodded that he was listening now, but then he was being pulled up. "Y-you mean... that's real?" he asked, vaguely gesturing to their ride with an expression of surprise and, for really the first time today, a little hope. Were they really going to be okay?

His mind, no matter how mushy, was on board for getting up to get out of here, but his body wasn't. He'd only walked about a yard before his legs started trembling with fatigue, causing him to stumble. That last break might have been the remnants of his strength leaving him. As much as he hated to set his pride aside, he was far too weakened to walk himself up the hill. At least Leon was more than willing to carry him. He'd already offered that a couple of times, hadn't he? "Leon," he prompted, leaning a little harder on his lover as his steps paused. That was his signal. And as those strong arms would sweep him off of his feet, Percy uttered his first cry of pain.

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Post by Leon Hoffman Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:42 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Percy was a stubborn, prideful man, and while pain hurt him just as much as it did for everyone else, he preferred that others didn't know that. Frequently training together had made lifting Percy's weight a simple task for Leon, but it never felt heavier to sweep his lover off his feet and carry him up the hill, just a small ways from the unicorn-drawn carriage that awaited them at the top. That grunt of pain Percy made when he was swept off his feet made Leon's heart ache, knowing that it was his fault that they were in this situation.

* * *

For the entire ride, Leon sat in the back with Percy, holding him close while staying alert for their new and dangerous situation—like a loyal dog stuck to its wounded owner. He wasn't typically a cynical man, but every time the bunny-eared man tried to spark conversation or investigate their situation, Leon became dismissive and looked at him sharply. Until he knew that Percy would recover from his wound, Leon was on edge and glued to his side.

About thirty minutes had passed since they began their uncertain voyage across the meadow, and watching the hills and valleys appear on the horizon made Leon dread the possibility of treading this by foot. Even so, where even were they? The boonies? It seemed so different from the road they were traveling before, Leon couldn't wait to figure it all out when they had the chance. But this was a conversation to be had after dealing with Percy's injury, the assassin, and... the argument they left unresolved.

"How much longer?" Leon spoke out at the strange-looking man, looking at him with those fierce marigolds of his. All he could think about was Percy and how uncomfortable he probably felt. Why was this taking so long?

"Hold yer' unicorns now, son. We're just 'bout there, y'hear?" he'd respond with an almost-laugh, nearly unconcerned with the two men in his carriage. Of course, Leon took notice of his attitude, and didn't appreciate it.

"There?" his eyes sharpened and his gentle and ginger hold on Percy squeezed just a bit.

"Where y'think? Otenshire's finest clinic! Where'd d'ya think we'd be headin', boy? Sinhaven? Pftha!"

Otenshire? Sinhaven? Leon was so puzzled by these names and his heavy country twang that he wasn't sure whether to ditch the ride altogether or to pry for more information. Surely, he wouldn't have to pry all too hard since this man didn't seem secretive at all, but it was still... odd.

Ten Minutes Later

In the end, Leon decided not to ask anymore questions and to let their destination speak for itself. Surely enough, they did arrive at a clinic, but it was in a place like nothing he had ever seen before. The signs, the animals, the people—how far did they walk away from the road?

His surprise aside, Leon only gave the bunny-eared man a grateful nod before carrying his lover into the clinic with a dreadful look on his face. The clinic seemed to match the ruralness of the area, and wasn't too busy and didn't seem as "modern" as hospital in places like Rose Garden or Neutral Grounds. Still, Leon pushed past what little amount of people were there and made his way to the front of the reception desk.

"Hey! You need to help him! Right now!"


|| Word Count: 566 || Thread WC: 16,967 || WC Needed xxx || Job Approval ||
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"" @Percy

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Post by Percy Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:05 am

The ride was agonizing but much more doable than the walking. He was grateful to get to sit and rest his head on Leon's shoulder with his eyes closed. Perhaps he should have been paying more attention to the surroundings, but he was understandably distracted. He hadn't even registered that the man driving them had rabbit ears yet.

The medic had them, too, and that he ended up noticing when he was jostled out of... his daze or blackout or whatever. Percy blinked a few times at the ethereal bunny woman he was honestly thinking he'd imagined. "Uhh...?" he asked, staring at her pale, delicate features before glancing at Leon as if to ask if he saw her, too. She seemed alarmingly real when her hands touched his forehead and cheeks, then pressed around the wound, which earned her a low groan.

"Oh, you poor dear! How did you get jabbed with this weird thing?" she tutted, though there was a curiously knowing glimmer in her green eyes as she glanced between the two men. "Charlie!" she called, and soon a man appeared. He had curly red hair and freckles, and though he didn't look like he could lift much, he'd grown up throwing sacks of potatoes and carrying sheep on his shoulders. He plucked Percy from Leon's arms like it was nothing and hauled him off to one of three back rooms.

***
An Hour Later


The door the three of them had disappeared into opened and the Lapin and Charlie emerged with a smile on her face. "It wasn't as bad as it looked," she said as she neared Leon, warmth in her motherly face. Up close she was older than she first appeared, her ashy brown hair just starting to gray in the front and at the tips of her ears. There was a rag in her hand smeared with red, but there was no iron odor to her. She smelled like freshly cut herbs and earthy flowers, though none were familiar. In fact, unlike all the Earthland clinics and hospitals, there were no scents of harsh chemicals or cleaners at all. It smelled like garden and cedar, the latter explained by the woodsy construction of the place.

"You can see him now. I'll be in once he's rested up a little, alright?" the doctor said kindly before walking off to meet with another patient.

Inside the room, Percy was resting comfortably on a soft mattress in a simple wooden frame. His middle was tightly dressed to keep some sort of herbal mix on the wound, and there was a curious root in his mouth that he seemed to be sucking on, though, by his expression, it tasted terrible. However, the color was back in his cheeks and the sweaty sheen was gone. Other than the bandage, he looked right as rain again, though he was a little tired in the eyes. It was amazing how much better you could feel without an arrow sticking out of you.

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Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 Empty Re: Dagger No More [Leon]

Post by Leon Hoffman Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:09 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

The entire time he was separated from Percy, Leon was irritably pacing back and forth outside of the room he was being tended to in. It wasn't like he and Percy never found themselves in troubling, dangerous situations like this before, but Leon had never been more on edge than now. A lot had happened today—most of it bad—and he was at a point where nothing would truly be okay until Percy was okay. He continued to pace back and forth that hall for what felt like hours, brooding over their new situation and the old one they were trying to escape until he heard the strange-looking woman come out from the room.

Even though this woman was giving Leon a pretty brisk debriefing of what happened, he was still constantly glancing into the room and away from her eyes with this eagerness. He didn't want to talk unless it was with his boyfriend, who he wouldn't believe was okay until he saw it himself, even from the mouth of the one who treated him.

"'Kay, thanks!" Leon said in a hurry, shuffling past her and into the room with this intense look on his face. He never had a kind-looking face, but he looked even less friendly when he was stressed or upset. Still, it was nothing Percy hadn't seen before.

Resting comfortably on a seemingly soft mattress, Percy laid there with the color back in his flesh and of sound enough mind to wear this expression of disgust due to whatever he was sucking on right now—a root, maybe.

At first, Leon didn't say anything. In fact, he actually started frowning harder as he walked over to Percy. But as he came closer to the edge, it was as if all the strength that kept him going until now escaped him, leaving nothing but a body weary with relief and exhausted by tension and suspense. He descended onto his knees, burying his head by Percy's lap and sighing with this relieving redness on his face, still frowning. For a while, he didn't say anything, until he finally tilted his face just enough to glance at his lover.

"Hi."


|| Word Count: 360 || Thread WC: 17,827 || WC Needed xxx || Job Approval ||
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Post by Percy Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:53 am

Percy was relieved to see Leon when he finally appeared, though he didn't say anything. It was partially from the curiously tangy plant in his mouth to help with the pain, but mostly because he didn't know what to say. He offered as much of a rueful smile as he could, gazing over that frowning, slightly scary expression fondly. At this current moment, everything seemed to be basking in a pleasant light, since he was feeling so much better. The assassin was gone and they were both alive and the arrow wasn't shifting around in painful ways...it was just an overall improvement that had yet to be tarnished by the fear of the assassin returning, the trauma of nearly dying, and where they'd stood emotionally before the confrontation in the forest.

The side-effects of the root probably had a little to do with it too. It was a painkiller but also seemed to have an overall relaxing effect.

The head that landed in his lap was immediately greeted by his caring and fussy fingers, giving Leon the head pats he was so fond of. As his fingers carded through the dark locks, he marveled at how long it was getting and how soft it was. Poor Leon looked so exhausted, yet still so handsome. He couldn't help but mull it over, how someone could make his heart race whether they were smiling or frowning. It was exactly these feelings that had gotten them into this mess, but at this very moment, he didn't feel very guilty.

The 'Hi' got him. After reaching up to pull the root from his mouth, his lips pulled into a grin, making the blackened eye crinkle a little extra from the puffiness. "Hi," he replied back with a hint of humor in his tone. Usually, it was Percy that was being awkward, but this time it seemed to be flip-flopped. It was cute, though. "Would you like to lay down with me? I can scoot over," he offered, wanting the man who had dragged him through so much forest to safety to have a proper rest before they figured everything out.

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Post by Leon Hoffman Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:18 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

In perfect weather, it was usually Leon who seemed so keen on the petting and physical comfort, but sometimes their roles would change or even swap. Now seemed to be one of those times, where the weight of their situation finally made Leon collapse, leaving him awkward and eager for those fussy fingers to card through his growing hair. It felt nice, but the rest of his body longed for him. So, when Percy offered nothing short of cuddling, Leon didn't even hesitate.

"Yeah," he'd say, looking up at Percy before instantly making space for himself next to him. Once he was settled in, the first thing he did was pull his lover into a relieved, tight embrace. It was as if he was holding something precious to him, like a treasure he had almost lost.

Leon was a tough guy, though, unlike Percy, he seemed to be upfront and honest about what he was feeling, when he was feeling it. Unleashing what was bothering him in hopes of getting the message across seemed like a no-brainer to a guy like him, but even after all that happened today, he couldn't say a word about what he was feeling. He could say all the 'I love you's and 'I'm glad you're okay's and still mean every word, but it wouldn't be the full truth. If he were being honest, the argument they were having before all of this happened was still on his mind, and even though the assassin was no longer an immediate danger, the threat loomed over him. He was hurt and upset, but right now, the 'I love you's and 'I'm glad you're okay's meant more to him than the 'Why did you lie to me?'s.

"You okay? What were you sucking on?" Leon nuzzled his head into Percy's neck, unwilling to separate from him and clearly finding comfort in their close proximity, "I can smell it from here..."


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Post by Percy Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:33 am

They both needed a good snuggle after the traumatizing events today, even if it couldn't fix everything. It was like a nice, soothing ointment on a burn. Percy put the root back in his mouth, trusting the doctor for now, and carefully rolled into his lover's embrace. Leaning his cheek against the dark head pressed into his neck, Percy cuddled in close. "Yeah, I'm okay, thanks to you," he mumbled around the primitive medicine, arms coiling around his boyfriend tightly. Despite all, they were precious to each other. Even with the calming effects of the medicine, he could feel his eye starting to prickle with relieved tears. He tried not to think about earlier when he'd been certain he'd reached the end of his road, but it was hard to when he was so grateful he could hold Leon like this and it not be for the last time. At least the root was erasing any hint of blood in his mouth.

Speaking of the root, if offered Percy a distraction so he could keep himself together. "I genuinely have n-no idea," Percy responded, voice initially wobbling around an uneven breath before gaining an unusual but more steady tone. He was so used to being the smart guy that knew more answers than he didn't, yet whatever this was had stumped him. "I mean, it's obviously a root... I just have no idea which plant it's from." He fell silent for a moment, his brain leafing through the nearly endless ridges of knowledge, thinking of every plant he could. He knew them well since he'd worked a lot with herbal vitamins and medicines, enough to know their smell, tastes, and properties. Honestly, none of the scents from the plant materials used seemed familiar. "I can't think of any roots that are painkillers that aren't bitter and have anti-anxiety properties. It could even be anti-bacterial. The color is weird, too. See? It's kinda blue, but the root cap is black and the root hairs are pink," he explained, pulling his face away just enough for Leon to see it. "Wanna taste?" the peppermint-head asked, knowing he was babbling a bit but unsure what else he could do to keep things from getting too heavy for Leon's exhausted shoulders.

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Post by Leon Hoffman Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:22 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

As Percy rambled on about roots, he probably knew how much it comforted Leon. The dark-haired Hoffman could be so simple and easily understood, but what he was feeling right now felt... complex, and bittersweet. His body, his smell, his voice—he wanted to surround himself with it all, but the longer he lied there, lingering on these familiar sensations that he had grown to love, his mind couldn't help but mull over Percy's lingering words.

"I... wish you wouldn't say stuff like that, like I'm the reason things turned out okay in the end," Leon began to confess quietly, closing his eyes tightly as if to avoid his lover's gentle gaze, "I know that you're gonna say it wasn't my fault, or there was nothing I could've done, but it was you who was protecting me at the end of the day. I'm always the one staring at your back, and after you—"

Leon choked up on the words as they began to come out, remembering the color fading from his lover as his life was slipping past his fingertips. There were many bad memories and nightmarish moments that lived in his head, like Alphonse burning him with cigarettes, or the girls in his class forcing themselves on him, and the scar his grandfather gave him. But that? The sight of Percy's weak, fragile body in his arms was enough to make him feel sick.

"I'm... a lot weaker than I thought I was, and I think... part of me got comfortable thinking that you were strong enough carry both of our weights..." Leon continued honestly, though clearly troubled as he admitted to his own emotions. Gently, he grabbed Percy's hand and guided it to his cheek, holding it there as if asking to be caressed, "...I'm sorry."


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Post by Percy Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:30 am

Returning to the more difficult subject surprised Percy. Normally they were both more than willing to let themselves be distracted from the worst things, at least at first. This must've been weighing heavier on his lover than he'd considered. Removing the root from his mouth again, he let it fall harmlessly to the side so he could give the man he held his undivided attention.

Even if Leon closed his eyes to avoid Percy's gaze, his lover would continue to let his eyes wander over the rugged face that struggled to contain its emotion. It was funny how he could see this face every day for months on end, yet never get tired of it. He'd learned to read it like a well-loved book. He wanted to argue the point that the whole scenario wouldn't have happened if not for the two-toned man but he knew it wasn't the time. It wasn't what Leon needed to hear. It wouldn't make him feel any better. Leon needed his support and his ears, not rationality or logic or deciding who was to blame.

"Oh, Leon," he sighed softly and with warmth, gladly giving the man the caresses he asked for. His thumb rhythmically brushed along his cheek, and after a moment or two, he raised his lips to press gently against his boyfriend's forehead. "It's okay," he mumbled against the flesh there, doing his best to comfort Leon. He was getting better at it. "It's okay... I don't blame you, alright?" insisted the young man who was starting to get a little emotional himself. Though his lips were turned up into a small smile, tears were slipping from the one eye capable of it.

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Post by Leon Hoffman Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:06 am



Dagger No More [Leon] - Page 2 18lTu9A

Plump Nut

Percy was so much stronger than he was. Even now, Leon knew that he was to blame for all of this, and yet he was the one practically asking to be comforted. Of course, Percy complied with Leon's quiet helplessness, holding him gently as they both laid there, recovering from nearly losing each other.

"Yeah... okay..." said Leon, somewhat unsatisfied with Percy's response, but taken in by his comfort. He'd open his eyes for just a moment, glancing at the bandages with guilt-ridden, angry eyes. How could he let this happen? Well, actually, how could he have known? Seeing Percy's wound just reminded Leon of the argument they were having, and suddenly he felt tormented with numerous different emotions yet again—most of them unpleasant.

As if to keep himself from saying something in their moment of vulnerability, Leon abruptly took Percy's hand and kissed it. Suddenly, everything else that he had been wondering flooded his mind.

"...So, dunno if you could tell, but we're not in Neutral Grounds," he glanced up at Percy, almost instinctively smudging away his tears with his thumb. Leon's face was so rough and naturally grumpy that it'd be hard to convince others that he was looking at the (former) Dagger with affection in his eyes. "annnd we lost the van. And my suit went to shit. Like, it was in pieces a long time ago."

Honestly, it was all so ridiculous and insane that Leon couldn't help but snigger. Their day was just relentlessly shitty, wasn't it?


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Post by Percy Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:34 am

The lovers were in a precarious peace, filling the painful gaps with corks made of kisses and ignoring the other leaks in the barrel for now. What was important was that they were able to lay here and feel guilty and hurt and grateful, sad and happy all at the same time. Life was complicated that way, especially theirs.

A wry smile crossed Percy's mouth as Leon got him up to speed with their situation and sniggered, both of them having no choice but to find humor in the ridiculousness of the chain of events. His eye continued to water, though, as if to release the more of the negative emotions he was suppressing with his usual stubborn grace. "My suit was toast a long time ago... that corrosive magic was no joke," he chattered lightly as if he was commenting on something mundane like the weather. He hated to lose his inventions, but it was a hazard of use.

The loss of the van did bring more of a frown after further thought. It had back up suits that he knew they'd need, plus forged papers to keep them off the radar for as long as possible until he figured out how to truly evade Hidden Blades' all-seeing eye. The loss of all of his tech he'd taken the time to go gather was quite a blow, but he was still confident in his abilities to make new things on the fly. "We can try to find the van later," he muttered thoughtfully, though he knew it wouldn't be him locating it. Without any devices to help him orient himself, he was hopeless.

"I didn't figure we made it to the Neutral Grounds. We didn't walk that far," Percy said, only aware of the last blip on his map before he ran off the road. They'd had quite a ways to go, and making it would have made things a whole lot easier. "Carriages aren't that fast either..." Suddenly he trailed, as if his mind was finally hammering out the details of the things he'd been too dazed to notice before. "...There was a carriage, right? With a unicorn pulling it? And that guy had bunny ears...come to think of it, so did the doctor, right?" he asked, but even as he asked, his expression turned more incredulous as he heard himself. "Am I high? Is this root an hallucinogenic, too?"

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