A/N : I own nothing, as obvious
I have finally made it to chapter 5! Yay! It only took forever! Rawr. Anyway, I'm really trying to write but as many can attest, college isn't conducive to having free time off. Bleck.
Loving3tomorrow: Thank you, Classes are doing good!
Angels-Obsession: Oh, they'll be meeting soon….:3
Itavita: Yeah, Geia is Geisha, but I didn't want to push my luck too much…I don't know all the details so I figured it would be best to just put my own idea into play. I'm trying to do a picture of Squall in makeup but it's fighting me tooth and nail. Seifer is banking around 6'/6'2". I'm also following up with Asian heights. I have a friend who is Vietnamese and I'm basing off that height. I'm only 5'8" and she barely reaches my chest so…Yeah! ^.^; Any other Q's let me know!
Squall stared blankly at the wall across from him, counting the ticking seconds until the earth hopefully opened up and swallowed him. Mistress Adel had to have been under the impression that Squall enjoyed his work; that was the only explanation. There was absolutely no reason to be sending him out into another full scale party right after having returned from one. This one was hosted by the Royal Academy, a party for the graduating candidates.
Glaring at the makeup dresser Squall rubbed his face to enjoy the last little bit before he had to place the white paste all over his skin. Shifting his eyes back to the wall he shut his eyes and hummed a meditative song. Peace washed over his being, illuminating a scene of tranquility. Oceans of gold, sky's blue, everything warm, heat pressing on every side creating a hum of summer…
Loud thumping at the door broke the warmth, forcing Squall to face the blank wall once more. Clenching his fists, he stood and went to the door. Sliding the door open, He glared at the intruder. Faced with doe brown eyes, Squall stood aside and allowed the girl in, sighing at his luck.
"Am I to gather that you are coming with me?" Squall hummed, sliding his mask on to cover his irritation.
"Adel asked me to…but if you don't want me too…" Rinoa muttered seating herself on the floor.
"…" Shaking his head, Squall ignored the girl and sat at the dresser laid heavy with pastes. Shifting through the colors, he settled on a pure white cream.
"You don't want me to come?" Rinoa asked, slumping slightly.
"You will be coming whether I want you to or not." Squall murmured picking out the colors that would match his robe.
Pursing her lips Rinoa held her hands behind her back as Squall worked. Silence spread over the room seeping through every crack until the discomfort reached to high a level to ignore. "How do you know Rieg?" She asked, swaying forward and back.
Stopping Squall turned to the girl and stared. "You like him."
Blinking at the stated question Rinoa sat back on her heels and held her breath. "Not like a lover."
Shaking his head Squall turned away and finished his task of organizing. "You should get ready; we will need to get dressed for tonight."
Watching the Geia rise Rinoa fluttered her hands and darted out of the room, hurrying down to the maids to remind them to help dress the entertainers.
Shaking his head Squall stripped out of his cotton robes down to his silk under robes. Folding his cottons Squall motioned the maids peeking in at the door to enter. One held a robe of dark blue embroidered with winter gods and snow flowers; the other held the silk waist tie and ornamental decorations. Setting the loads down, the women set to work layering the robes of silk over the Geia.
Ignoring the pinching and tugging Squall picked between the ornaments to find the best match for the night's performance. Glancing in the mirror he chose the simple black lace that would tie around his neck.
Once finished the maids backed away and surveyed their work while Squall glowered at the mirror. Turning his face away from his reflection he ignored the soft praise and dismissed the women into the hallway so he could finish the master piece. Uncapping the white paste he began to paint his features until they became nearly unrecognizable. The process only took a few moments, but in that time the surly Squall was replaced by a Geia of high standards. Hearing a sound outside the door, he moved to answer allowing the practicing Kei in.
Rinoa glanced around the room trying to find something to say. "So…Who will be present at the party tonight?"
Ignoring the lack of subtly Squall walked over to the girl and fixed her hair. "It does not matter who is there, but how you will act when you meet them." Setting his eyes on hers he lifted her head lightly. "So, you will be wearing makeup tonight. Go." Motioning toward the door, Squall scowled when the girl didn't move.
Rinoa shifted foot to foot for a moment, gaze drifting across the floor. "I don't know how to do the makeup for this robe."
Sighing deeply, Squall pulled the girl to his dresser. "Then I will teach you." Shifting the contents around he managed to pull out all the jars and boxes and fit them on the dresser top. "First, all this is mine. I will allow you to use it tonight but soon you must use what money you get to build up a collection." Squall ignored the girl's perplexed look and began to put jars up to the girls face, squinting every time he did so.
"What is that for?" Rinoa finally asked staring at the jars uncertainly.
"This is the most basic thing you will wear. Now sit. We want to match your tone and the robes as close as possible. Now watch as I apply." Squall snapped out voice dead of emotion.
Knowing the repercussions would be severe Rinoa sat in silence watching the mirror with a transfixed expression. She saw her face changed before her eyes as her skin became just a bit more delicately white.
"There." Squall sat back and began to clean his brush.
"That…That's all? I look like a ghost…." Rinoa muttered somewhat disappointed at the small transformation.
Staring blankly at the Kei Squall shook his head and pinched the girls are. "No, we are not finished. Do you see my face? Think of what must be done." He snapped. "Next, we must darken your eyebrows. Take this stick and burn it." He motioned to the flame. Shrugging, Rinoa did as she was told and lit the stick on fire. "Now, brush it lightly on the eyebrows."
Feeling foolish Rinoa tried and to her surprise found the paste held the dark ash. "Does this work every time?" She asked, applying the ash thicker until the hair looked normal.
"Yes." Taking the stick from Rinoa, Squall tucked the unneeded supplies away. "Now, your eyes and lips need color. We will do the eyes first." Taking a kohl pencil he instructed her to close her eyes. "This part you cannot watch, but you may watch me when I do it next time."
Rinoa felt the pressure on her eyes, but it wasn't so uncomfortable she couldn't stand it. It took a moment, but soon she heard Squall voices command her to open. Blinking away the blurriness Rinoa looked at herself in the mirror. "I look dead."
"That's because your lips are white. This part can be hard, you have to match the color but not make it too bright. For your robe, a light coral will work, but any other time, consult me until you are versed in the art of concealing. Brush this on while I pick out a rouge."
Frowning, Rinoa took the brush but glanced at Squall. The Geia's face was pure white, only his eyes and lips truly standing out. "But, you don't have any on."
"I do not need any. My robes create enough color."
"But you didn't wear any last time."
Looking over his shoulder Squall glared blankly at the girl and ignored the statement. "We must leave soon. Sit still." Squall lightly brushed the rouge on the white cheeks and then packed his supplies. Of all the things to have to do he did not have time to meditate, a habit he had formed the moment he was pushed into the life he was currently living. Growling about lost time, he ushered Rinoa out of his room and down to the carriage. Sliding his shoes on, Squall gracefully rose into the carriage with help from the driver.
The sun shifted in through the window as Rinoa climbed in behind Squall, falling across the face of the young girl with an elegant style. Smiling morbidly, Squall recalled his days as an apprentice. He did not envy the girl one bit.
Seifer yawned as the room continued to fill. Rieg had dragged his along as a 'personal manservant', thinking that if the blond saw more of the culture he'd have a better chance of escaping unharmed. So far all he'd learned is that the idiots had a weird sense of style and that apparently the funny dressed men were actually paid well and were of high social status. Snorting at the thought Seifer drank deep from his glass and watched the room in case he might actually find something to learn.
"So, doing what I told you to for once?" Rieg asked, smiling fake as her reached for a passing tray.
"Remember, I'm a good dog." Seifer snapped though his teeth.
"Watch yourself. Tonight is a very important night. Many officiate and high ranking family members will be here and you must impress them as best as you can. They have a big say in this escape of yours." Rieg muttered, taking a bit from something Seifer couldn't recognize.
Seifer nodded, but ignored the man at his side. While the man was right, he didn't want to have to rely on him for everything. Glancing about the room, he recognized very few people from the night before. Apparently, the reason was that the other night's party was more of a get together while this was a formal celebration, by invitation only. How Rieg ranked in society was a mystery to him, but he knew the man had to have some power.
At the door another party arrived, another set of the odd entertainers that were so popular. One male, one female and judging by the actions neither looked comfortable. The girl was glancing about acting much the tourist part. The other had replaced his look of discomfort with serenity and superiority. Rolling his eyes Seifer turned his attention back to Rieg only to find the man approaching the new arrivals. Shrugging Seifer decided he'd had enough surveying and left to enjoy the outside climate.
Stepping into the large bright room Rinoa was amazed at the amount of décor and important people. Beside her she felt Squall exude his self confidence as he began mixing at once. No one in the room would expect how he really was, she was sure. In fact, she was very certain few even knew much about him at all judging by the way the people touched him and thought he wasn't bothered.
Hunching up, Rinoa quickly relaxed when she saw Rieg making his way toward her, Rinoa floated away from the popular Geia and to the familiar face.
"How have you been dear?" Rieg smiled, taking the girls hands and pressing it against his chest as he bowed.
Bowing lower Rinoa tried to act as appropriate as possible. "As good as I could hope for." She smiled eyes drawn to the large figure leaving the room.
Frowning she looked at Rieg who just shrugged and pulled her away from the crowd. "Entertain me for the night, it seems Squall has his own problems and my servant has just left." Glancing back she saw that it was so, the Geia nearly invisible because of the people flocking to his presence. "It's the same every time. New cadets very rarely ever manage to pay for a high end entertainer so they take full advantage of the royal coffers."
"But they won't do anything right?" Rinoa asked, hurrying faster from the crowd so as to not get caught up in the mess.
"Not if they want to continue normal life. Many high end socialites enjoy the company of our Geia and any would pay out the ear so long as the Geia is kept happy and doing their job best. "Rieg sighed, then smirked at the look Rinoa was giving him. "Don't worry you are too new and unknown to them to care about. You're safe with me until you have to leave." Sitting at the table he motioned for her to sit across the table from him.
"So, how has your days gone since our last meeting?" Rieg asked as he signaled the serving girl to bring a sample of the menu.
"Not so terrible sir, if I may say so. Today Squall was teaching me more about the specifics of our job. He is a patient teacher."
"Hmmm, that is good to hear. Are you enjoying his presence?"
Unsure of the meaning behind the question Rinoa shrugged and glanced away. Outside the window the scenery was beautiful as per usual for such places. Noticing the discomfort, Rieg quickly changed topic. "So, this is your second appearance at parties, am I correct?" Returning her attention back to the doctor Rinoa nodded. "Well then, let me be your guide in these sort of affairs while you mentor is away."
Glancing around the room Rieg looked for anything unusual. "Ah, you see there?" He pointed to a less attractive Kei. "That proves that people not only want beauty but intelligence. Many times have I heard numerous Geia confide that the ability to slide out of any situation has helped them." Peeking over at Rinoa Rieg was amused to find the young Kei watching with rapt attention. Smirking at the innocent look, Rieg decided he would enjoy the rest of the party.
Squall moved closer to the edge of the room, hoping against hope that he would have a few seconds to himself. All the people crowding around him obviously had no idea that they were crushing him, forcing him to breath in deep to calm his anxiety.
"I believe we have a wonderful new set of cadets this time. Our newest general must be enjoying his job." Mentally groaning at the voice, Squall smiled to the politician in question and attempted to look as interested as possible. "Yes, I bet he'll be great for a while, but burn out like all the rest." Nodding smugly the man continued seeing that he now had the Geia's attention.
Nodding at the right times and interjecting a few words Squall gazed around looking for an escape. Noticing Rieg with Rinoa, he tried to get the man's attention. Glaring hard, the doctor finally noticed and nodded.
"Squall, you haven't even said hello yet, do you really hate me that much?" Rieg roared over the noise of the crowd, giving Rinoa a pointing look.
Biting her lip Rinoa straightened her back and shouted, "Yes, please join us! I fear I lack knowing the finer points of conversation." Turning lightly red, she held her face innocent as she could.
"Well, you see I am being call. Excuse me." Squall hurried away from the man before he could comment further, escaping to the small table Rieg had managed to keep empty.
"You know you should learn to enjoy sucking up to the bastards. You might make more money that way." Rieg grinned, sipping at his drink.
Glaring Squall ignored the comment and began instructing Rinoa on her posture. "You must sit much straighter if you wish to be seen. Slouching sends the message of timidity or inferiority. You must exude confidence from every pore to become great." Sitting taller Rinoa scrunched her face until she found a somewhat regal look. Sighing Squall folded his hands and turned his face away. "I suppose that will do."
"Oh, don't be like that; she's been doing very well this evening. She is a quick learner if you teach her right." Rieg muttered staring past the duo. Turning to see what had the doctor's attention; Squall was surprised to see a tall blond pushing his way through the crowd.
"Is that yours?" He asked raising his brow with a quizzical look.
"M-hm, a new servant of mine, his name is Seifer. You be nice to our friends." Rieg directed toward the blond.
The large blond waved his hand at Rieg before sitting down. "So who's this lovely little lady here?" Seifer asked staring hard at Rinoa.
Frowning at the intense gaze Squall flicked his eyes to Rieg for a moment before answering. "She is my little sister."
"Bullshit, you two look nothing alike." Sitting back Seifer took stock of the intruder. Small and pale the boy sat board straight like a doll. Smirking Seifer realized the boy indeed did look like a doll.
"By blood no, but she is my little sister." Squall glared at Seifer, daring him to contradict him again.
"This really is a weird society you know. Hell you never know when you're talking to a guy or a chick." Seifer felt a small amount of pride at the irritated look Squall sent his direction. "So, what's your name Doll?"
Ignoring the annoyance Squall shifted until the blond was out of his view. "You picked him up why?" He growled eyes narrowed to slits.
Rieg blink before roaring. "He really irritates you huh?"
Standing up from the table, Squall pushed his chair away and sent one last glare at the blond before sweeping away.
"I guess that would be a yes."
Smirking Seifer watched the brunet walk away, the strides graceful if not clipped.
"I should warn you though; while that display was entertaining, you should watch who you irritate. Squall does have power in some high circles." Rieg glanced at Seifer, who continued to ignore the man. Shrugging, Rieg figured if the man wanted to truly escape, he'd learn soon enough that playing games with courtesans would not be the way to go.
"How does one become a Geia?"
Blinking at the question Rieg stared hard at the table, unsure of how to answer.
Uncomfortable with the silence, Rinoa grasped for anything to say. "Well, usually it's when your guardians sell you to a Host Home."
Frowning, Seifer sat back in his chair. "You mean you were sold? Like a slave sold?"
"It's not as terrible as it sounds." Rieg broke in, "See, if a Geia does well he can become wealthy and well taken care of. When A Geia or Kei find a patron they are well supplied for. It is something few poor children ever have a hope for."
"So, selling your child into the entertainment business is the best you all could come up with? What about family?" Green eyes narrowed.
"It's just how it is. Those in Rinoa's position understand that it is a way of life. Servants are much of the same class idea. Some people have to do certain jobs just because it must be done."
Glancing back at the retreated Geia's back, Seifer wondered what had forced the boy's parents into such a deal. It didn't seem fair; at least servants got to be human at times. Watching the small form move through the crowd Seifer tried to see past the blocks. Was this something a person chose to accept, or just survive with. Unsure if he really wanted an answer Seifer looked away, but his mind continued to burn.
Right, this has been in the works for a LONG ASS TIME! I know I've taken forever and this chapter is NOT long enough for all my lovelies out there, but I knew I would take even longer and you all deserved something. Since it's Christmas break I might be able to get more done as I go…(PLEASE!) Thank you all for being (somewhat) patient.