“My apologizes. Just had a few bad days,” he apologized with a sad smile, but he had no interest in talking about his problems anyway so he said nothing more of it.
Once they came to France he looked around the place, enjoying the change of scenery.
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” he asked confused and looked down at his leather jacket and dark shirt under it. He took the hint though and quickly turned his jacket into his tailored suit then tried to somewhat restrain the messy black hair without much luck.
“You call the shots,” he allowed her an honest smile, seeing no problem in pretending to be her son for now.
“I’m ready, ma’am,” he grinned cheekishly before following her over to the church.
Ziva gave him a curious look, but didn’t press it. She let out a sigh and smoothed out the lacy skirt of the black dress she wore. It was flattering and sollemn. At his question about his attire, she just gave him an exasperated look. Her stare dragging critically from his hair to his toes.
She gave him an appreciative once over once he was done changing his clothes. This made her look like a creepy old lady. “Don’t get cheeky with me, you’ll make yourself look like some kind of pervert.” She teased, looping her arm through his and allowing him to lead her into the church.
The smile that had adorned her old mouth took a slight dip when they walled in. It was a traditional Catholic funeral. The church was very old and had beautiful stained glass, the light scent of incense filled the cathedral. In the corner of the room was a bench to kneel on in front of rows and rows of candles. Most of them were lit in prayer for Olivier. Ziva wobbled over, dragging Zander with her, and lit a candle.
She worshipped no god, but Olivier did. And he would appreciate the gesture. She offered Zander a small smile, “Would you like to light a candle?”
“Well you could have told me that first yeah,” he huffed a humorless laugh and rolled his eyes,
“I mean, you’re standing outside a church after all,” he defended his little misunderstanding. Sure there were no cars around that would indicate a funeral, but they could as well all be inside now. The humans. Not the cars.
“But my answer is still the same. I’ll come with you,” he told her. They skipped off to France and he looked around as he was hit with a bunch of memories, but he ignored them for now.
“Who’s funeral is it?” he asked.
Ziva just gave him an odd stare and gripped his bicep in a firm grip, “What’s wrong, Zander dear?”
She just gave him a stare, her brow pinched in concern, then it smoothed out and she gripped harder. “Well, don’t treat me so dryly if I have done nothing wrong.” Then she let go and patted his arm lightly. “Thank you.”
Once they were in France, Ziva took in a deep breath. Then let it out, “Olivier Adolphe, he’s an old friend.” She gripped his hand and popped over to the correct church, it was just behind the church where no one could see them.
She brushed her fingers over her clothes and they turned into the appropriate attire. Then her gaze shifted to him and eyed him up and down, “So, are you going to get ready? Do you mind if I say you’re my son? I can’t say he’s my son if I look like this.”
With minute changes made her look much older.
“I suppose,” he agreed quietly before walking closer. His face showed no sign of distress at the mention of Bela,
“Nah I’m alone,” he said simply and she could take that however she wanted,
“I don’t know. I just felt like I should come here and here you are,” he smiled a little.
“A funeral? At this church of yours?” he smiled sympathetically, the first sign of kindness in a few days,
“Sure I’ll come with you,” he nodded and held out his elbow for her to take before taking her inside.
She just raised a brow at him when he mentioned that he was alone. Then she let it go. “Really, psychic now are you darling?”
Then Ziva shook her head at him and stopped in her steps before fixing him with an odd stare. “Zander, dear,” She grabbed his arm to pull him to a stop, “Dear, darling, Zander, the funeral is not here. It’s in Fance. I was about to pop off. Perhaps I should have mentioned that first.”
She tossed the auburn ringlets back and behind her ears. Then she crossed her arms.
At first he wasn’t sure what drew him out of the new hotel of his, but once he just wandered the street he got an idea that it was Ziva. He hadn’t experienced that before. Maybe it was simply intuition that he shouldn’t at the hotel at this point.
When he came to the church he first had met Ziva at he pocketed his hands and went closer. It looked like a funeral going on and he recognized Ziva as he came closer.
“Aren’t you worried someone might catch you changing?” he asked quietly, stopping a few meters away when he saw her change her hair. He looked up at the church and noticed that it was back to normal now. The hedges however had been cut down to bits for them to grow new and non-devilish.
Ziva felt a smirk draw up on her lips and she turned to look at Zander, twirling a ringlet of hair around her finger. “Oh, Zander dear, they would sooner claim insanity than say they saw me change.” Her gaze was softer than usual. The memory of her friend being dead. “What brings you over here? I thought you would have been with your girlfriend.”
She was teasing, of course, but was serious in another considerable way. She was human and a thief. That didn’t exactly give her a very long life span. Then she thought for a moment, “I’m going to a funeral, darling, would you care to join me?” She paused, “I could use familiar company.”
The cigarette burned itself out and Pestilence flicked it away. His craving subsided and he could function again. Unfortunately, it meant entertaining this… thing. For a while more.
“I’m at my most powerful during an apocalypse,” he explained dryly and popped the knuckles of his right hand, “Any other time, I need a vessel. To me, I don’t care which one I grab. Any one of these festering corpses will do. My brother tells me there’s some sort of protocol to be followed in snatching a vessel, but I can’t be bothered to abide.”
He straightened the oversized jacket, tugging on the sleeves, before giving her a sharp look, “And I always smoked.”
Ziva saw the disgust he looked at her with, luckily she was used to such looks from other species. Usually they had to be older than she was for her not to address it. Somewhere deep inside of her, she held a deep respect for her elders. It was a strange thing for her to have since she didn’t understand human values.
“So you just wait till it rots around you, dear?” She raised a brow again.
Ziva wasn’t quite sure how this happened.
Actually she was, but she wasn’t sure why this blonde woman was there. This blond woman who she could feel power rippling off of in waves. Oh shit, I am so dead, passed through her mind for a moment. And it had been a very, very, VERY long time since she had felt that kind of fear from anyone.
“Oh, dear, That-that wasn’t meant for you, darling.” She said, stiffling her giggling with her hand. She used her other hand to pop away the gasoline and whipped cream topping from the woman.
“Who in the world would merit that?” the woman snapped.
“A man who is about to be set on fire, then thrown into traffic.” Ziva said with a quick grin.
The woman just stared at her for a moment, “What has he done?”
“Child prostitution ring.” She said mildly, her eyes flashing, “It’s been a pleasure speaking with you…”
“Eve,” the blonde inserted.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Eve,” She said smoothly, “I am Ziva and I have some business to get on to. We should get coffee later, darling. I would hate to leave this conversation hanging.”
Ziva shot Eve a flirty wink and popped off.
Pestilence leaned against the wall nearby, tapping the ash away from his cigarette, and regarded the Trickster with an annoyed look. He hated pet names, but he could see she’d made a habit of this ‘darling’ endearment. He could sense a losing battle when he saw one and said nothing about it.
“If it’s War, he’s messing with me. Death, on the other hand, has made his annoyance clear. He calls it ‘painful irony.’” Another drag from his cigarette, smoke pluming from his nose like a dragon.
Ziva nodded again, then gave him a thoughtful look. “Was the vessel already addicted to them or did you make it addicted?”
She watched the plumes of smoke with a note of distaste. She understood why humans smoked. It was some sort of stress reliever. A depressant of sorts. But a horseman…she would have thought that he would have thought himself above such human relief. A human drug. “Darling, would you care to clarify something for me? I’m just a bit confused on one matter.”
She didn’t wait for his answer, “If you horsemen are so old and powerful, why do you need a vessel? And how could you possibly find one to…ah…fit?”
The wind wavered around her as she stood there with a very blank look on her face. A thick and cream colored letter in her hands, her fingers pinching the edges. She took a deep breath and folded it up, tucking it back into her pocket. She was in the middle of the park. The letter had come yesterday in her old home in Sacramento. It was the only thing that was in the mailbox.
Ziva, personally, suspected that there was a thief stealing her mail the entire time—but she didn’t really care. Now she had this and was restraining from burning it. Watching the thick paper yellow and curl into itself as it turned darker and billowed with flame. It was tempting. She licked her lips and let out a shuddering sigh.
Olivier Adolphe. That name rang in her head and memories swarmed behind her eyelids. So many years ago when she was in France and a seemingly homeless mad woman. She enjoyed scaring the locals and pretending to live in attics so that they would piss themselves with fear. It was always a pleasure to leave them with ruined underthings and trousers.
Then there was Olivier who snapped at her and told her to stop her nonsense. Of course, she turned his bed to jello and sent his mistress home with hair made of sugar icicles. Oh and that dog of theirs. Well, it was a dog. Then it was a finely sliced piece of meat marinated in it’s own juices. Only after he and his wife and mistress had eaten did they discover the collar bound to the underside of the platter.
After a few years of bickering, fear, anger, and ridiculous pranks, they grew to respect each other and become very trusted toward each other. He was the reason she stayed in the country for…well…she couldn’t remember how many years she stayed, that just meant that she stayed far longer than she usually would. It got a bit shifty after about eighty or ninety years when she would never properly age. Then—even when neither had realized it—they had become the closest of friends.
He and his wife and mistress even knew about what she was. In fact, she was the godmother of their first child. If Ziva had completely understood the human sentiment, at the time and now, she would have felt the reverence the title came with. But even now, she didn’t understand. It was one of those human things she didn’t think she wanted to understand.
And now, one of her best of friends, Olivier Adolphe, was turned from ashes to ashes in a porcelain urn. And this letter was an invitation from their first child and son, Charlot Adolphe, to the patriarch’s funeral. Charlot knew what she was and seemed to love her dearly. Another one of those human things she wasn’t entirely sure of: love. These monkeys seemed to have an innate understanding for emotions that seemed so incredibly foreign. They were so ignorantly sure of themselves.
She took in another breath and found herself near that church she had vandalized a good while ago. She pushed her hair back with both of her hands and released a long sigh. Her bushy blonde curls turned to deep auburn ringlets once her hands moved over them. This way to a celebration of death was an honor Olivier deserved. She would go. Even if his death had shaken her worse than she would like to admit.
RED- I love you romantically
SALMON- I love you platonically
PINK- I have a crush on you
OLIVE- I used to love you but now I don’t
MAGENTA- I’m secretly in love with you
ORANGE- I don’t think you realise my feelings for you
BLACK- I want to have sex with you
GREY- I want to cuddle with you
SILVER- I don’t know how I feel about you
YELLOW- I want to be friends with you
NAVY- You’re my best friend
TEAL- You complete me
GREEN- I trust you with my life
EMERALD- I’d do anything for you
PURPLE- I’d spend my life with you
COBALT- I feel sad when you get hurt
AQUAMARINE- I’m terrified of losing you
WHITE- You scare me
TAUPE- I want you to die
BROWN- I want to kill you
AMBER- I like seeing you in pain
VERMILLION- I hope something horrible happens to you
MAROON- I hate you
PLUM- You are my enemy
PUCE- Life would be better without you
“Scrambling is undignified,” Pestilence grunted between drags, “My brothers are either messing with me or trying to make me quit, so they keep stealing my packs.”
He let the smoke drift from his mouth, eyes closed for a moment to enjoy the soothing rush of nicotine through his vessel, “They think I don’t know.”
“Then how would you phrase it, dear?” Ziva raised a curious brow. She pursed her lips in thought, “Would the nicotine kill you or just your vessel? Or are they just being petty?”
She let out a laugh, “They probably know you know, darling, that’s why it is so amusing for them.”
“Darling, Zhaaandah~!” Ziva slurred into her phone with an odd eagerness, even if she was just getting the voicemail that that wonderful girl, Beauty, set up. “Zhaaaaaaaandaaaaah~! I shtole a few lichquor shtoresh and drank all of them!”
She gave an absolutely delighted giggle.
“You should bring you and Bonnie with you and join maeh for a fun night!” She dropped the phone and stumbled again. “Whoops! Sorry, darling dear!”
The voicemail stopped with drunken giggles.
[TEXT] Im walking on she ceiling.
—[ATTATCHMENT] -bad, blurry picture of her smiling on the roof. He can’t see that she’s not wearing a stitch-
He knew of the Tricksters’ summoning powers, obviously, but that was a bit alarming. Those werehis cigarettes after all; he recognized the scratches around the top where he’d picked, hands jittery from needing a fix.
“Charmed…” he muttered, taking his pack and stowing them in his jacket’s inseam pocket, but not before removing a cigarette for himself and lighting up.
“Pleasure.” She replied easily watching him light up with a slightly bored stare. “How long have you been scrambling after a pack of cigarettes?”
Pestilence admitted he didn’t really care either way. He was meeting new creatures all the time, now that he was free of Hell, but they all seemed to blend together for him. This woman didn’t seem any different.
“I might as well ask you, though,” he popped the knuckles of his left hand idly, “I’m missing a half-used pack of Marlboro Reds. Any news of them?”
She shrugged again, “No, I don’t believe a half-used pack of Marlboro would be on that high of alert.” In a bored fashion, she flexed her fingers back—a pack of those exact cigarettes appearing in her hand. “I’m Ziva, by the way, dear.
comeanddestroy started following you
Ziva looked up abruptly from looking at her scrapbook, then made it dissapear with a pop. A cat like grin curled on her mouth, “Why hello there, darling. Might I ask who you are?”
The man clad in a slightly oversized biege suit, with his usual ‘soured milk’ expression, muttered his reply, “Pestilence. Horseman of the Apocalypse. I take it you’re a Trickster.”
“Really? I’ve never met a Horseman before.” She simply nodded to the fact of her being a Trickster. “I hope that isn’t a problem, darling.”