While everyone around seemed fixated on either finding their friends they haven’t seen in the three months since the end of the last semester or figuring out exactly who their new roommates were, Damien was stuck. He was stuck because he knew who his roommate was, or at least he knew who she was by reputation. Her name wasn’t a common one: Persephone, the name that was shared with only one other person and that person currently lived in the Underworld. How vain was Demeter?
Honesty to the Gods, as he stood as far away from the crowd of overexcitable neanderthals, especially the Sons of Sun and Bloodthirst, Damien found himself in deep thought that he had not yet noticed his sister making her way towards him. Even worse on his part, he had not yet realized that she was full of silver tears. To him, seeing her shed those drops from her eyes wasn’t something he could bear. But he knew what those were tears of. He knew to see him after so long was like the wave of joy she couldn’t handle, so the overwhelming feeling came bursting through the surface.
He waited for her to finally get close enough so that he could hug her. His embrace was always the trick he knew to get her to calm down. Once he was confident she was no longer in a place where she was a soaking mess, he let her go. When he saw her pale face again, he had hoped no more droplets were present and she would return him a smile with one of her own.
“Now, stop that mess. It didn’t take you that long to find me, but aren’t you curious about your new roommate?” He asked her. There was both a slightly teasing tone in his voice as well as a trace of genuine curiosity. She couldn’t have gotten the short end of the stick. That right was reserved for Damien.
Her relief was instantaneous; a smattering of glimmering stars bursting with an abundance of silver radiance pinged with glittering dust that feathered soot lashes and dotted pale cheeks lifted upon her grin. Emma's gaze was a ritual of warmth and a night sky in unison, simultaneously aglow in adoration and alight in the loyalty of the moon suspended above her crown, for he was her centre of gravity. And here, with her grasp scooped against his spine, clinging on just a little tighter, for just a little longer, her shadow pooled upon their heels, conjoined to his own to form a singular eclipse of a reflection of the bond these children of night personified shared. Emma's lilting rejoinder was sounded upon the bell crest of her laughter, sharp and appealing, a chime of cheer that lifted those literal shadows suspended upon her like till they fell, twirling absently upon an unseen wind as feathers of the void.
"I've missed you." And it was genuine in her praise, the way she clutched upon his gestures, fingers twined, endearment colouring her delicate voice something bright, honest, and yet fleeting. However his following inquiry bid her pause, and anything else to be shared suddenly dismissed. Slowly, her head canted, dropping loose strands across her brow as it twisted and then fell. Had she even glanced at the sheaf of paper that told her of her place, and then, her eyes lifted wide; alarmed, almost panicked and pinched on the border of her lashes still adorned in silver.
"Would they not room us together?" She breathed, for sheer madness would be told otherwise. With a flourish of leather and black, Emma dropped Damien's hold and panned her gaze low, landing upon her name and another that was not his. "Aiden Weinmann?" The solid pronunciation of his moniker snapped her teeth together beyond pale lips, bone upon flesh in contortion, her posture gone taut and wound with a whimper slipping jaggedly from her throat.
"I don't -- I don't. Why?"
“That’s what I would like to know,” he muttered to what he thought was quietly, but clearly, it wasn’t.
He couldn’t help but notice just how displeased Emma was with the roommate arrangements. Damien felt similarly, though in his case, his roommate, Persephone Neotera, was completely unknown to him. The only thing he knew about her was she was the Daughter of Demeter and she was a pale blonde. Maybe that was for the better. In the case of Aiden, Damien didn’t really have any feelings about him one way or the other. He was an idiot who lived too much like his father. He didn’t like that his sister was going to be forced into a living situation with him. As he let out a heavy sigh, Damien pressed his hand between his temples in an attempt to distract himself from his shared disappointment with his sister.
“I guess they wanted to be unique and creative. This experiment will fail. But hey, at least your roommate isn’t completely unknown. You know what you’re going to get with Aiden. Meanwhile, mine is a blank canvas. I envy you, sister.”
Did she know him? Did she --
Wait. Did he know of her?
There was a chasm of doubt that splintered across her veneer as a supernova, glittering specks of silver that bled ebony shadows within her eyes, fracturing into worry and intensity as paper crinkled and shredded within her grasp, her nails slicing through her own name; impaled upon her epitaph. She didn't even bother to make note of her apartment number.
"I don't want to be an experiment," she spat, her voice seethes, her shadow writhes and blooms far and wide, coiling upon a frenzy as she despairs over their circumstance. Her head shakes, dispelling a boiling void that's threatening to clamour upon her soul, twisted silver charms twinkling upon her distress.
"But - who is yours?" Emma utters, her lips twined into a frown, letting shreds of paper descend upon scuffed leather, her head bowed then.
“Persephone Neotera,” he recited. The name was embedded into his memory. He must have read it a few times just so he could know who she was. It was annoying for him. Anyone else would have been just fine. The lack of knowing anything about her was honestly driving Damien up a wall (so to speak). “It’s clear as day she’s Demeter’s daughter. That name isn’t exactly common.”
"I -" she glanced away, animated eyes of woeful starlight flickering among the students, searching, probing, landing upon each for milliseconds before flashing away on pings of silver. "- see..."
"Should we - can't we change it?" Emma inquired, knowing the answer long before such parted from her lips in hushed murmurs. Instead, she knotted her fingers upon the thin chain draped over her nape, thumb caressing over tarnished heirlooms and refused to meet Damien's eyes should he see the wake of turmoil in her own stare. She sighed, dejected for that moment and said:
"I guess I should go find him -- Aiden," she reminds herself on a whisper, though her body does not move and she makes no effort to glance once more upon the crowd.
Damien had known her to be quite reserved in a lot of instances, but something was up. At first, he thought she just missed him so much and perhaps that's why she has been acting weirdly, but now it seemed like she was downright avoiding any direct eye contact. Had it been out of her control, then maybe he wouldn't have an essential eyebrow arched in suspicion, but Damien knew his sister and something was up.
"Oh, no you don't, not yet." Damien stopped her from leaving as a hand landed on her slender shoulder. "Talk to me. What's going on?" He politely demanded to know.
"Nothing," she immediately distresses, vocals taut and voice strained, eyes finally meeting blue-blue eyes mysteriously aglow. Emma recoils, briefly, shoulder flinching under the press of his palm as if burned. Though she twines her fingers there, looping their gestures and squeezes just so, trying to reassure him. To reassure herself. She doesn't know if it works.
"I just don't like this. Being housed apart. Curious experiments or no." She admits on a soft voice.
"You're not alone there, Emma," Damien found himself admitting.
The exchange of a mutually-displeased gaze met Emma's. Even after it was all said and done, Damien didn't like it. If nothing else, he was worried about his sister. Knowing full and well what could potentially happen if he wasn't around drove gut-wrenching distress through his body. It wasn't so much that he was worried about Aiden whatshisface was going to hurt her, it was more about how he knew his sister well enough to know that being away from him was the worst thing. Maybe it was Damien just feeling protective over her.
"This may suck, but there's a silver lining," he said, smiling assuringly at her. Damien pulled out the paper and looked over the information for a brief moment. "The layouts of the buildings has us directly across from each other. So if Aiden gives you any problems, I won't be far. And if he has any problem with that, I'll just kick his ass." A laugh followed that comment.
Tucking a lock of black behind her pierced ear, Emma too glanced over the paper, forgetting at that moment that she had shredded her own which was drifting around her feet in the catches of her twirling shadow. He was right, these assignments at least had them near one another, yet so very far apart, and though it did little to ease the stress of anxiety fisting around her heart and choking her lungs in a vice, she could at least be assuaged by knowing he'd be there. Close. Exactly where she needed him.
And so, she laughs. Bells matching baritone laughter, merry spurts of happiness that paints her eyes alive in twinkling light. It's a threat he has brandished many times, to countless men who have approached her, and it does something to her spirits now lifted.
"Thank you, Damien." And she means it, with every bit of her glimmering smile.