Azar strode through the halls, resisting the urge to find her lover's so-called protégé and feed him, slowly, to the skeletons he had just granted entrance into Kooza. Instead, she was searching for Sarkan. "Trickster my ass," she growled under her breath as she quickly checked the large kitchen and other common areas that the bataclan concealed. "If he tells me that letting one fool boy summon a conglomerate of skeletons and Lord Death was part of his plan I'm going to wring his neck." Sighing, the trapeze artist entered the library and started glancing down the aisles for any glimpse of red and gold stripes. "Books, books, books, table, books-" Azar froze for a moment, her chest tightening as she saw Sarkan before hurrying towards him.
The Trickster was slumped down in a large chair, his skin pale underneath his colorful markings. The red and gold colors of his suit that normally suited him perfectly now looked garishly bright and only served to emphasize his pallor. It hurt to breathe as she felt his forehead, shuddering at the clammy temperature, removing her thin coat and placing it over him in an attempt to keep him warm. She checked him over for any other injuries, wincing at the red burns blistering his hands. Spotting no other obvious problems, Azar pondered what to do now, closing hers eyes against any useless tears. She could probably move him by herself but it wouldn't be easy. One of the Charivari would help her though…Azar moved back towards the library's door, casting one last look back at Sarkan's limp form.
Azar quickly moved back to the common rooms, keeping her eyes open for any glimpse of the colors that the Charivari wore. She walked into the kitchen and stopped, heaving a sigh of relief at seeing the other residents of Kooza gathered there and looking worried. She slipped into the room and snagged the first Charivari she thought could move Sarkan without kicking up a fuss. That last thing they needed was panic. The Charivari looked down at her, and she breathed another sigh of relief as she recognized him. His name was Ilkin and he was one of the steadier Charivari, leading the group in their practices.
"I need you to help me move Trickster," she said. "He's…" she started but stopped to clear the lump from her throat. "He's not in a good state," she finished. "I don't want everyone else panicking."
"What about the boy, Cyrus?" he asked quietly, starting to move out of the kitchen with her.
Azar bared her teeth in a silent snarl. "What about him? He called those things here; he can bloody well deal with them while we help the Trickster. Here," she added, opening the library door. She quickly led Ilkin back to where Sarkan was still slumped.
To his credit, Ilkin didn't show any distress beyond a shuddering sigh and the tightening of jaw muscles. Gently, the pair worked to move Sarkan out of the chair, shifting him to Ilkin's arms. "Where can we take him?" Ilkin asked as they moved towards the library's entrance.
"His private rooms," Azar replied absently.
"But no one knows where they-" Ilkin cut himself off, flushing. Azar was not one to flaunt her relationship with Sarkan in front of the others or boast about privileges the Trickster allowed her.
"I know where they are," she admitted quietly. She led Ilkin up to the second to last private level of the bataclan, stopping at the end of the hallway by the stairs that led to the King's balcony. "Turn away," she ordered Ilkin. She waited to make sure he couldn't see her before sketching a rune on the wall. The air appeared to ripple and part of the wall faded away to reveal a plain looking door. Azar sketched another rune- her name, or so Sarkan said- on the door before opening it. Ilkin glanced over his shoulder and followed her in, trying not to stare.
The first of the rooms was decorated in warm colors, browns and reds, with the occasional gold accenting. The furniture was surprisingly worn though comfortable looking. Azar moved through the tangle of couch and armchairs and small tables cluttered with books to open another door. Ilkin followed gingerly, knowing that he was invading the private space of a very private individual. The bedroom was decorated in the same colors but was dominated by a large bed, made out of solid oak, darkly stained and covered with an inordinate amount of pillows and blankets. "Put him on the bed," Azar said quietly, rummaging through a small dresser.
Ilkin did so gently before straightening up. "Should I leave now?" he asked, still feeling uncomfortable.
Azar nodded, moving back to the bed with bandages and salve. "Yes. Keep an eye out for the idiot child and keep him in the bataclan if you can," she ordered. Ilkin nodded and quickly left, moving back to the kitchens to wait with the others.
Azar turned back to Sarkan and looked at him for a long moment before working to wrestle off the usually immaculate suit Sarkan wore. She managed to get the jacket, tie and shirt with minimal difficulties, hissing in displeasure as she saw that the runes trailing his neck, collarbones and wrists were almost as red and inflamed as the burns on his hands. His back would probably be just as bad. She tugged his shoes off but left his pants on. "Bandages first, sleeping clothes second," she murmured to herself, cracking open a jar of cooling salve. She slathered a thick layer of the stuff everywhere that looked red before wrapping bandages over it all. Rolling him over onto his stomach once his front had been tended, Azar winced, confirming that the runes running along his spine were just as angry. She applied the more of the ointment, leaving it uncovered.
Rifling through his closet perfunctorily, Azar quickly found a pair of plain loose sleeping pants and a top. Turning back to Sarkan, she managed to prop him up with some of the thick pillows he preferred and slip the top on with a minimum of light cloth getting stuck on thick salve along his spine. She stood for a moment, staring at the last obstacle of Sarkan's slacks. She flushed, wondering why she was pausing. She had certainly helped him out of his clothes before…But that was different, with him actively aiding her and not lying limply, looking pale and vulnerable. Shaking her head firmly, the trapeze artist leaned forward to remove the thin belt.
She had just removed the belt when she heard a faint groan, followed by a somewhat wheezy chuckle. "Trying to take advantage of my weakness Azar? Tsk, tsk." Azar's breath hitched as she looked up to see Sarkan watching her, a familiar spark of sardonic amusement visible in his eyes. Normally she would've huffed and made a comment of her own, but this time she simply sat next to him and lowered her forehead to rest on his chest. She closed her eyes for a moment and just felt him breathing steadily. She could also feel his ambient power start to trickle back into the air. Sitting back up, she felt his forehead briefly and nodded at the warmer temperature. Satisfied that he would recover, she stroked his cheek gently for a moment before slapping him. Hard.
Sarkan jerked back, hissing in pain, a bandaged hand rising to hold the abused cheek. Azar glared at him, willing herself to keep from crying. "Don't you ever pull something like this ever again Sarkan Lokisson!" she snarled.
Sarkan opened his mouth to argue but shut it again, frowning as he took stock of his injuries. He winced at the steady stinging of his runes but he managed to heal his hands with a simple gesture. Closing his eyes, he sent out a flicker of power, trying to see if there were any more repercussions from Cyrus's actions. He hummed in satisfaction, feeling most of Kooza gathered in the kitchen. Cyrus's own power, surging erratically with his emotions, indicated he was outside of the bataclan, being chased.
That was well enough, but he'd still have to make an appearance, both to reassure the other inhabitants of Kooza and to send a not-so-subtle warning to Athanasius. He sat up with a grunt, ignoring Azar's snarl of displeasure. "Help me get dressed," he ordered firmly. "If I'm not visible, the others will start worrying and our visitors might start getting comfortable."
"They're already worrying. And you're still hurt," Azar hissed.
"Yes, but they don't need to know that. Deception is part of my being Azar, this will help," Sarkan replied, vaguely wondering why he was bothering to argue.
Azar stared at him for a long moment before sighing and fetching his shirt, jacket and tie. Silently, she helped him dress and stepped back as a small wave of his power rolled over him, making his suit perfectly pressed once more and vanishing the bandages and salve from his hands. He stood still for a moment, inhaling deeply before opening his eyes. Azar flinched away at the sheer arrogance hiding the pain flickering in the back of his eyes.
He smirked cruelly before grabbing her and crushing his mouth to hers. After a moment, Azar kissed back, winding her arms around his neck carefully, mindful of the still-painful runes there. After another long second, they parted, Sarkan leaning down to touch his forehead to Azar's. "Once this is done, I'll make it up to you," he purred in his damnably seductive tone.
Azar nodded, fighting off a dazed feeling. "Damn straight," she growled before following him out to make sure he wouldn't hurt himself further.
AN: Explanations...The runes are covered later on, but they are very important. Lokisson is a second name I gave Sarkan. It gives a really obvious hint at his origins and also serves as a title. The others within Kooza will either call him Trickster or Lokisson; they feel it's disrespectful to call him by his name. Azar is the exception to this, seeing as they are in a relationship and even then, she had to get used to that.
Now for the big explanation that forms the backbone of my Koozaverse. Cyrus has powers. Sarkan brought him into Kooza to ostensibly learn how to control said powers. When Cyrus gets ahold of Sarkan's scepter for the second time, he used that power with a lack of intent. He wanted to be awesome and amazing and Trickster-like in general. Sarkan is all those things but he is also malicious. So, the skeletons and Lord Death [Athanasius is his name] are malevolent. Athanasius is actually the main villain for Sarkan and Cyrus. Sarkan, seeing Athanasius and his lovely minions, used his own powers to twist Athanasius and his crew into the sparkling Las Vegas act seen in the show. This drabble shows the repercussions of Sarkan's actions.