Disclaimer: I don't own the characters (except the main one) or the scenery.

A/N: This just sorta came into my head; and because it refuses to leave me alone, I've decided to go ahead with it. Hopefully, with this small release, I'll be able to adequately focus on my other stories that desperately need updating.

Brownish dirt shifted beneath my black leather boots as I walked, a light breeze moving the miniscule particles across the worn asphalt of the road as I aimlessly moved up and down decadent streets and abandoned alleys. Occasionally I'd peer through dusty old windows of the surrounding buildings, looking into just as lonely rooms without interest; merely looking for the sake of having something to do. These displays were always short-lived, quickly being abandoned after briefly surveying the inner confines and the outer walls of the buildings.

I had been roaming the city of Taitle for hours now, and since I didn't have a watch on me, I didn't have an inkling of how long the time-lapse since my arrival was. It didn't bother me, though. Not really. It's not like I was in any rush or anything, anyway.

Originally I had been drawn to this decayed looking place by an old flyer that had been plastered haphazardly onto a wooden post near my house, the promise of a free wish to whoever won the advertised competition being too much for me to resist at least taking a look. Now, however, I began to question the fidelity of a piece of paper that happened to be within view of my short-sighted self.

When the tip of my left boot grazed against an unusual spot on the road, I paused and looked down. Kneeling down, I realized that it was a worn-out pen cap. It's once black, shiny exterior was now dulled with use, not to mention it was likely stepped on half-a-million times over the course of its life on the ground, but it captivated me nonetheless. It didn't even bother me that it was filthy—I usually prefer clean things; I'm also attracted to almost anything shiny—the fact that it was there, that it deviated from the dull brown-and-gray buildings all around, captured my fascination right away.

Curiously, I kicked at it. Obviously it would move, but even its movement fascinated me; like a kitten captivated by a wiggling string. As you might notice later on, I like to compare myself to cats—or any clever, predatory creature for that matter. But I won't go into detail explaining, as I have an apathetic tendency—which makes my arrival here all the more outlandish. But we're not here to discuss that.

I kicked at the pen lid again, this time with more force. It skittered farther, and I instantly followed. Excitement filling me, I kicked at it again; harder.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't be so willing to occupy my time with something so trivial as kicking at some random object I found on the floor, but when monotonous circumstances arise, improvising to reduce boredom occurs. Even when I'm the least bored, almost anything can appear even remotely amusing or otherwise entertaining. And in this boring, abandoned city, this dirty old lid I found excruciatingly entertaining.

In fact, I was so engrossed with kicking it around and following it everywhere it happened to skitter, I was utterly unaware of two beings approaching my general location.

At last, I had kicked the pen cap against a brick wall. It wasn't until I looked up that I realized that it was a dead-end to an alleyway I blindly wandered into.


I jumped slightly when I heard the soft hum, whirling around just as my senses told me that two strange creatures were behind me.

"I don't mean to pry," the voice started, a mismatched pair of eyes—one of them being onyx, the other slatish-gray—looking from me to the lid and back, "but what are you doing to that poor lid?"

Hunching over slightly, spreading out my arms and legs, I kept my eyes trained on the strange person who had me cornered. Why didn't my senses alert me to his presence?

Because you were too preoccupied with the lid to notice. Well, of course my boredom overruled my initial detection of this…being. But I wasn't going to be too concerned about past mistakes; not when I had to deal with the consequences right here and now.

The person in question, a male by appearance (and a handsome one at that), had dirty-blonde hair, a bronze color in specifics, which, aside from the bangs that hung precariously over his left eye, was tied neatly into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He wore a stiff-collared white shirt, a sailor's suit in propriety, over which was a sleeveless, orange trench coat that was slightly tattered on the bottom left edge. His choice of pants was a pair of brown trousers, which were accompanied by a pair of almost-matching pair of brown sailor boots. He also wore a yellow and black bandana, which covered the top of his head, like a cap almost. Over his left eye were three gray scars, which made his already sailor-like appeal more pirate-y in a way. Judging by his overall looks, he could easily be in his early twenties. At the same time, he could very easily be much, much older than his initial appearance implied. Or younger, either way.

I continued to watch him, feeling his energy and trying to read them before communicating out loud.

Oh, did I mention I can detect certain types of energy? Here, my specialty lies within detecting life-like energy in ordinary, so-called "inanimate" objects. Judging on the frequency or strength of the energy, I can accurately infer how much of a conscience it has—if it has any intelligence to begin with, whether or not it has enough energy to become mobile, and even how long it's been active and alive. And judging by this specimen, I would say that his actual life age would adequately fit with the age he looked to be.

He tilted his head, the small, nonetheless friendly smile he had been wearing from the beginning still intact, he asked, "What are you doing here all alone?"

About here I felt the second energy, younger than the male now in front of me, and I looked up to see a bird-like creature. As I watched, it landed on the first character's head, ruby-red eyes regarding me curiously. The beak told me of the artist's intent of creating a crow—raven's beaks tend to be more curved—but because of the way it was perched on the male's head, I couldn't see the talons or the flight feathers for further verification.

Giving him my eye contact, I shrugged in answer. I'm typically not keen to answering out loud to people I didn't know at all, so that for me was a very habitual answer.

He gave another hum, this time thoughtful, and straightened up so that he was no longer tilting his head. The bird fluttered for a moment before settling back on his head. "What's your name?"

He certainly asks a lot of questions, doesn't he?

"Thïzār." Another characteristic thing for me is, if I'm not in a ranting or otherwise rambling mood, I give short, rather curt answers. Like this one, for example.

The smile broadened somewhat, curiousness in his gaze. "Thïzār? My, such a curious name. You wouldn't happen to be German, would you?"

Without thinking, I raised a brow. This wasn't the first time I was ever asked this; a lot of people seem to pick up on the fact that I'm at least a third German if not more, and for those who don't, they ask if I'm British, which I am as well. I gave him a small nod, though I wasn't sure at first if he saw it or not until he gave a return nod of acknowledgement.

"I thought you might be. You have a bit of an accent, from what I can tell."

Here, I almost had to bite down on my lower lip. It would likely take this fellow awhile, but if he stuck around long enough without trying to kill me or whatever competitors did here (I presume it's more of a fight for the win than a battle to the death), he'd quickly find out I have a tendency to adopt almost any accent at will; my strongest being American (I won't mention any specific dialects here. Just know I'm not particularly good at Brooklyn) and my second-strongest being British (I'm pretty good at Cockney, although I've been told I also do a good Yorkshire). I decided to give a brief demonstration here, just to see his reaction. "Y'know, lad, I'm not always so easily read." A poor excuse of an Irish accent, I know, but I did say I merely wanted to see his reaction, didn't I?

Surprise came onto his features for an instant before he put on what I presumed to be a façade, which looked like an almost sickeningly sweet smile. "Irish, too? My, aren't you quite the mix!" Keen as well, I thought. "So, tell me…what are you doing out here all alone?"

Didn't he already ask that earlier? He must be forgetful. That, or he's faking it to make himself seem less dangerous to me.

I loosened my defensive position, if only slightly. My legs were still splayed, but I had straightened my posture. It's not like I completely forgot what I had stated earlier, I just wanted him to think that I was oblivious to any alternative plot he might be thinking of. "No particular reason." Oh, before I forget, it'd probably be wise to mention my tendency of being vague.

"Is that so?"


"Well, then…" Mismatched eyes turned down to his right hand—which appeared to be made of clay instead of flesh—just as the crow fluttered down to perch on it, he said almost coyly, "I suppose you're not looking for a partner. You wish to remain solitary, am I right?"

I tilted my head, thinking over possible scenarios: On one hand, if I told him no and he left, he'd have the slight advantage of ambushing me whenever he chose; conversely, if I said I was and he stuck around, it'd be easier for me to keep an eye on him so that he can't surprise me with any unforeseen attacks. At the same time, though, he could adequately trick me into trusting him and then striking when least expected. Giving a light shrug, I muttered just as coyly, "I'm indifferent."

That's right; let him choose his own course. Don't make him feel forced into anything.

Sure enough, surprise once again flitted across his expression, this time more readily disguised as inquisitiveness. "Are you, now?" I nodded. "So you wouldn't mind if I hung around?"

"Not really," I replied, giving another shrug.

"So I don't have to worry about you slashing me with those claws of yours?" he then asked, pointing at my hands with his left hand.

Raising them, I flexed my fingers, though it didn't alter the size of my sharpened fingernails; they weren't retractable in any way. Nor were they actually sharp. Just regular fingernails that happen to grow longer than most peoples' and better able to withstand the pressures of an iron filer. "Naw, they're not really sharp. You're safe." He gave a soft, almost warm chuckle at this. I could only guess it was relief that he wasn't going to receive any more scars on his face. "So…would you like to lead the way out of this alley?"

He gave a seemingly indifferent shrug. "Sure." Turning on his heels, he flashed me a charming smile. "Follow me, milady."

A/N2: I think my writing style deteriorated after initially meeting the blonde fellow (those of you familiar with the Law of Talos series already know who the fellow is), but oh well…review if you like it, but otherwise, don't worry about it.