Disclaimer: Wholly original work.
Characters/Pairings: Pashalk, Ethan
Summary: Lost, Ethan is found.
It was easy enough to get past Ethan's defenses - the boy had none. For all the mage training and knowledge that the young man had been promoted to an officer during a brief stint in the Western Forces, Ethan was just about as sharp as a wave-tossed rock.
Really, there wasn't even much of a challenge, Pashalk thought as he slipped through the crowd to where Ethan sat, blissfully unaware that his life might well be in some form of danger. Anyone else who had ever passed through the gate between life and death usually took a little something from the experience - a bit of feeling, a spark when another of his kind suddenly showed up. But no, Ethan sat cool and still, watching those around him as though there was nothing more dull in the world.
A fast change in clothing and hair-color had taken away most of Pashalk's telltale features, leaving only his pale skin and firey eyes to give him away if Ethan bothered to look up.
No, this wasn't slipping past Ethan's defenses after all, this wasn't dealing with the sort of flakish, dimwitted priestess that Jameson had hated. This was a boy so totally dead inside that even a vacation to a place like Ruame wouldn't shake the darkness. Strange wonder, really, that Tula had passed along Ethan's location to such a miscreant.
Pashalk was really never proud of himself, and certainly not at all pleased as he slid to one knee in front of Ethan, barely registering a flicker in Ethan's eyes.
Nothing. He wasn't a mage, either, and couldn't just turn his hair back to shimmering silver-white to try to ignite Ethan's mind. Damn kid was probably a week out from eating too, Pashalk thought. Dead inside, dying, only to have that taken from him...
"Ethan, you damned idiot, don't you recognize me? I'll throw you in that slimey fountain when we get back, just like I used to when you screwed up..."
"Pashalk?" Whispered, hoarse...
"Surrounding yourself with such beauty won't make whatever happened go away," Pashalk said, offering a hand. "Jameson bid me to come get you and Daria agreed to let my shackles loose just this once."
"I've done something horrible," Ethan said finally, taking Pashalk's hand and trying to stand. "I don't know how to explain it..."
Pashalk chuckled, pulling Ethan close. No one around them noticed - they were there for the flashy festivity, not strangers in black.
"You're so dense sometimes, boy. Perhaps it's time to tell you a bit about myself..."
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