OOC: Oh, man, I'm just jamming with all sorts of people these days. Weird. I'm also posting far more often than usual. Anyways, here's a little fun post courtesy of Gravity and I.
IC: Kughii and Liikyra
“UAAAAAA!” Kughii yelled with a shrill, feminine pitch, his hands thrown up into the air, elbows tucked tightly to his chest as he ran down the beachhead, a thickly coated paintbrush grasped tightly in his left hand. The orange glow of sunrise glittered off the sparkling armor of his bane, her wild and reckless charge putting even the most rabid hypochondriac to shame. “Kughii! I’m going to.... TO... GAAAAAAH!”
I guess it’s a good way to die, Kughii thought as hot pink paint dribbled down his arm. His legs burned like a swarm of biting desert beetles. Kughii glanced to the sea, and saw it turn into an infinite saucer of tea, its beautiful shimmering surface steaming with the sweet scent of tannic earth. Farther up the beach he could see the meat buns, happy families of the pastry delight hopping ungainly across the sand to welcome him into paradise.
Then the screeching sound of a spatula on cast-iron.
Kughii blinked. The bamboo roof of a large stone dwelling swam into focus, the colors mysterious and convoluted. With a yawn he stretched, feeling his shoulders push back towards the hammock. Hammock? Oh karz.
His world revolved from north to south at the offset balance, and with a loud and particularly harsh thud Kughii kissed the floor, the stone surface a cold and dusty lover in the morning. Groaning, he grabbed the support beam from his prone position, heaving his sore frame into a standing position as a palm quickly stamped his brow. Kughii let out a wry chortle at his mistake, then blinked away the remaining lightning flashes hampering his vision.
“As usual, Liikyra, I awake with the pomp necessary for a life of useless derision.” His voice was parched and scratchy from a night of dreamless sleep. The ruckus in the kitchen paused momentarily, then resumed with the feminine intonation of matoran language chattering away over the din.
“You know, I don’t know how you manage to be so annoying. Really... Here. Sit down and just eat it.”
“Oho, you’re cooking for me too now, eh?” Kughii said with a chuckle as he moved past the small brazier his roommate crouched by, then stopped short as his hazel gaze fixed on the plate in his hands. “Um... What is this?”
“It’s my breakfast,” Liikyra pouted, her black kanohi contorting into a wry smile, something Kughii mentally wished she would never do so early in his day. “Or was until you woke up with such pomp and dust and made it sound like the roof caved in -- and threw off my rhythm.”
There was a pause as he looked into her dissatisfied eyes and gulped.
“Well, I guess I’ll have to eat it then.”
“Well, I guess so.”
He trundled somnolently to the small breakfast nook overlooking the bay, water lapping gently within the small pool of ocean ordaining every living room in Ga-Koro. Kughii didn’t mind the salty smell floating from the orifice, but the memories of splashing awkwardly into the sea while rummaging for a pencil to write down a sudden thought during the night gave him an idea. Glancing toward the kitchen, Kughii waited for the right moment. As Liikyra turned back to her cooking, the sizzle of oil joining vegetables in flavor matrimony, Kughii prodded his meal through into the water.
“Be free,” He whispered; “Be free -- no, no! Go back under the house. UNDER the house. Gooood.”
“Did you say something?”
Kughii felt a spark rush up his spine, setting his bones into a jarring dance. “Uh, yeah... Just that it was good. Thanks for the meal!”
Liikyra shook her head and returned to her morning meal, adding a dash of crushed pepper for seasoning, as well as other spices from a rack above the brazier. The Toa cooked over the fire with the same intensity of that while she was fighting a battle for her life, entirely focused on the task at hand and completely, utterly stubborn. Thankfully, her previous attempts at the art, which she had started quite a while before Kughii had woken up, were somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. Something were better left in the depths, never to see the light of day again. Liikyra scowled at what she was cooking, something that could loosely be described as “food”, and even more vaguely be called “breakfast”.
Right, just add a few more spices to mask the flavor... No one ever minded if it was a bit more than crispy, right? Right? Momentarily, Liikyra turned, her own breakfast on a plate in her hands. She was smiling broadly, having vanquished the foe known as “cooking,” even if the monster of “edible” had eluded her still. She took a few bites... And that was pretty much it. Well, they would make some good incendiary projectiles... All those spices had to me flammable, right? The Toa of Earth glanced over at Kughii, who was looking at her with a raised eyebrow.
“Not a word,” Liikyra threatened, brandishing her makeshift combustible burnt rock at the end of her fork.
Kughii just smiled a cheshire grin and relaxed into the brocade pillows littering the floor as his roommate attempted to finish the rest of her mangled attempt at bacon. As he watched, Kughii remembered his life before Liikyra and their flat in the middle of Merchant's Row in Ga-Koro. He chuckled, remembering how bored he was. With Liikyra, there was always someone to pester and tease, someone to rely on and defend. Several minutes passed. Finally, Kughii asked; "Liikyra, why do you bother chewing? Can't you toa just absorb the energy from ducts in your palms? I heard that matoran and toa could do that sorta' thing..."
“Well, yeah,” Liikyra said between bites of something with the consistency of rusted nails, “but then I wouldn't be able to taste it, huh?”
Although, with how her bacon currently looked, taste probably wasn't of that much importance at the moment. Testament to her stubbornness, if nothing else. “Besides, I only do that if I'm in a rush, or I want to secretly suck the life out of someone without them realizing it,” She added, shrugging casually, before placing a hand on Kughii's arm. Her face was completely impassive, to the point where it was hard to actually tell if she was joking or not.
With a yelp, Kughii exploded to the far side of the room, his body perched against the furniture in an odd angle, leg placed on the wall while his hands remained glued to the floor. A small growl rippled from his throat.
“Don’t. You. Dare.”
An impish grin crossed over Liikyra's face, which was shortly replaced with a pout that was far too cute to be genuine.
“Aw... Just a hug?” She asked sweetly, batting her eyes before taking a slow, liquid step towards Kughii.
“I will NOT be sucked to a dry husk. Not by my roommate, no, thank you very much, but I’d prefer to stay alive a little longer in this lifetime,” Kughii said in a rush as he staggered about the room, a couch cushion his only defense against the hands every so often swiping at him.
Liikyra managed to keep the charade up for a few seconds longer, in which she took a few more steps closer to the pillow-protected Vortixx, before breaking out into a light, almost musical, laugh. She smiled broadly, almost collapsing on the floor completely as she held a hand out to steady herself.
“You should have... Seen your... Face...” She said between fits of light, sporadic giggles.
It was Kughii’s turn to pout. “That’s... Cheap,” He muttered. Tossing the pillow aside, Kughii let out another of his trade marked smiles and laid down giggling next to the toa of earth. He knew moments like these were rare and special. Soon enough Liikyra was going to retreat back into her protective shell of impassioned action and hide from the worries of the world while performing her duty as a toa. I wonder what caused her to be like that, Kughii wondered, a frown slowly creeping into his happiness.
Liikyra took a deep, long breath, managing to calm herself enough so that she could form coherent sentence without being interrupted by bouts of hysteria. Her smile remained, a rare expression to be seen for any length of time on the Toa's face, and didn't seem like it would disappear without good reason. Liikyra let the breath out as an even longer sigh, as she stared up at the ceiling above, lounging back on the floor, not quite focusing on anything in her field of vision in particular. After a moment of relative silence, Liikyra spoke up.
“You totally fell for that,” She said, her golden eyes still fixed above.
"I guess I did." Kughii slowly rolled on his side and stared into his roommate's eyes. He was a good two head's taller than her, even if he was short for his species. Kughii felt a tight pang in his chest as he gazed at her black kanohi. "What is it like to be a toa?"