Nico started as Kelsier moved almost faster than Nico could process. His hand was on his sword, looking around for whatever danger he had sensed, until he realized the danger Kelsier had felt was just… being here. Waking up somewhere he didn’t recognize. Nico relaxed almost immediately, sitting back down in his chair. He spun in it, then pushed back against the desk to roll a little closer to Kelsier. “You’re here,” he replied in Scadrial, unable to hide his smile. “I thought it was a dream too, until I opened my eyes to see you half slumped on an infirmary bed.” His brows raised just a little and he leaned forward in his chair. “I have a lot of questions. And a lot I want to show you.” He hesitated for just a moment, expression falling. “First I guess I owe you an apology. I… left my phone here because I didn’t want you to worry. I was planning on going in, I thought… I was being stupid.” He was having trouble stringing the ideas together. Would Kelsier be upset that he wanted to go back to save someone? Would he be upset that Nico hadn’t thought it through all the way? Nico knew he had been making a mistake when he went, but… “I’m sorry I worried you. And I promise I won’t go without a plan. Although… selfishly I’m glad it was bad enough to bring you here.” He gave a nervous, uncertain smile, spinning the chair a bit as he spoke. He knew the pronunciation of some of his words had been wrong, but he had managed to get through it without stuttering. Or mistranslating. “What happened when you got here, anyway?” Nico asked, standing up and pushing the chair back in the general direction of the desk. He was searching through the closet, trying to find something Kelsier could wear, despite the fact that he was several sizes smaller than the Mistborn. “Ha!” he murmured, pulling out an oversized black trench coat. “Try this on,” he added, tossing it at Kelsier. “At least until we can get you some better not-bloodstained clothes.”
Kelsier listened, his expression first excited, then a little more serious as Nico continued. He didn’t interrupt, nor even when Nico mentioned going back, which made him want to. “Apology accepted.” He said, getting a small smile in spite of the seriousness of the situation. “Provided that the next time you face something like this, you contact me. Don’t try to handle it alone, because you aren’t alone and it’s not fair to you to pretend you are. As for worrying, you can’t stop me from doing that. And I’m much more worried when you aren’t letting me help you.” He shook his head a little. He wasn’t nearly as out of it anymore, which was a good thing. “Good.” He continued in a softer voice as Nico promised. He gave a smile, trying to reassure the kid. He wasn’t actually upset with him and he understood why he’d done what he did, but he didn’t want to think about what might have happened if the phone hadn’t gone back in time. He paused, then continued seriously, his eyes not leaving Nico. “I’m here now.” He said slowly, clearly, still speaking Scadrial as his brain still didn’t want to switch back. He’d have to, eventually, but giving it a break for a moment seemed a good idea. “If I can’t convince you not to go back at all, then at least you won’t be alone this time.” He let a pause pass between them, the weight of his words resting on the air. There was no humor to his tone, no light in his eyes that suggested he wasn’t completely serious, because he was completely serious. If Nico went back, Kelsier would follow him. And there wasn’t anything Nico could say to persuade him not to. He caught the coat, letting a smile onto his face again as he took the mistcloak off and set it aside on the infirmary bed. Then he shrugged the trench coat on, effectively covering his ragged, stained shirt. “Warm.” He noted, looking pleased with himself. He spread his arms. “How do I look?”
Nico watched Kelsier carefully, frowning a little at how quickly he accepted the apology. He supposed it was a good thing, but it wasn’t what he had originally expected. Had he expected Kelsier to be upset? It seemed he had. Or maybe none of this was what he expected because he had never actually expected to find Kelsier here. It was going to take some getting used to. He couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face for a few fleeting moments. He was going to be able to show Kelsier so many things… all the things he had mentioned but that he was unable to physically share with Kelsier. The grin disappeared as he forced a more serious expression, nodding at the terms Kelsier laid out. “I’m still used to being alone,” he admitted softly, shaking his head, “But I promise I won’t do it without at least letting you know. Especially since I know you figured out how to drag yourself here.” His smile reappeared for just a moment, though it wasn’t quite as wide as before. “Oh.” Nico’s eyes widened and he shook his head vehemently. “I… I can’t let you do that. Tartarus almost killed me, and you have a whole world to save, I can’t… you can’t go back with me.” He crossed his arms, trying to sound resolute, which was much easier said than done when the person he was trying to convince was Kelsier. Kelsier might have always said that Nico was almost as stubborn as he was, but Nico had a feeling they were fairly evenly matched in the stubbornness department. “You can help me come up with a plan,” he allowed after a moment, “But I can’t let you risk your life here. Too many people need you.” He shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans, pacing just a little. He didn’t want to think about Tartarus. Not now that Kelsier was here. Not that there were so many more important things to think about. He turned, eyes widening just a little. “You almost look… normal,” he mused, frowning. “Normal’s not a good look on you. It’ll do, until we find something else that might fit.”
The truth was, Kelsier wasn’t angry, he was just relieved. Relieved that Nico was alive, that he was safe for the present. And that now, Kelsier could watch his back, for a little while anyway. He knew confiding in people, asking for help…he knew it wasn’t easy for Nico. As he’d said, he was used to being alone. No one had had his back for a long time, and he’d been through more than anyone should ever go through, especially not someone his age. The Pits may have broken something in Kelsier, something he could never replace or fix, but he knew that Tartarus had been worse, and he knew that anyone else wouldn’t be standing here now. Pride bubbled up in Kelsier’s chest and he couldn’t help the slow grin that came over him. “Good.” He said, and dipped his head, acknowledging the promise. He understood what it meant coming from Nico. He raised an eyebrow a moment later as Nico attempted to...what? Tell him what to do? “You surprise me, Nico.” He said lightly. “Can’t is a very strong word to throw around, you know. Who said anything about letting me? If I can’t stop you, how exactly do you plan to stop me?” The words were light and almost joking, but there was an undertone of seriousness to them, too. He wasn’t toying with Nico. He wasn’t pretending. He also knew Nico would try very hard to dissuade him. Good. Every moment he spent trying to make Kelsier stay out was another moment he wasn’t going back. And as easily as Kel had accepted the apology, he hadn’t yet gotten over the terror he had felt back in his room, knowing where Nico was and unable to reach him, unable to stop him, or help him, or even tell him things were going to be alright. He turned his attention back to the coat, and he frowned a little. “I could try and make a mistcloak out of it…” he mused, raising his arms to look at the sleeves. “It’s the wrong material entirely. But I could shred it, and it would look something like the real thing.” He glanced at Nico, a playful smile touching his hawk-like features. He wanted to catch his reaction.
Nico made a face, eyes narrowing a bit at Kelsier. “I’ll just have to stop you by not going until after you leave.” He couldn’t lie to Kelsier. He couldn’t tell him he wasn’t going to go at all, because he knew that, at some point, he was going to need to. He couldn’t leave anyone down there, even if they were a Titan, even if they had done terrible things once. Nico had done terrible things once, too. The only difference was he was still the same person who had done those things, he hadn’t been reset. The Titan who waited for help in Tartarus, who had helped not only Nico, but Percy and Annabeth as well… he might have the same body as the Titan who had hurt people, but the mind in that body had done none of those terrible things. Nico needed to rescue him. He… he deserved to be rescued. “I wasn’t supposed to survive down there,” Nico reminded Kelsier, unable to keep his voice as light as Kelsier had been able to. “You have an entire world to save. I don’t care if you could kill every monster down there, it would be selfish of me to let you try.” Hopefully, he could leave it at that and just… let it go. Because Kelsier being here made a lot of things more important than his next foray into Tartarus. For one, hot chocolate. “Don’t you dare!” Nico replied, eyes widening and smile twitching at the corner of his lips. “That’s a nice coat, and you know my jacket was destroyed by a werewolf!” He was still looking for a replacement. He hadn’t found anything suitable. It seemed to him sometimes that clothes just weren’t made with the same quality they had been when he was growing up. Or perhaps it was just that his father had been able to pay for nice, fancy coats, and when Nico stopped by stores, all of the good ones were expensive. “Besides,” he added, crossing his arms stubbornly, “there aren’t even any mists here for you to be dramatic in, and isn’t that half the point of a mistcloak?”
Maybe I’ll never leave. He almost said it. He almost did, but he didn’t, because that wasn’t something he wanted to joke about because he wanted to stay. Of course he did. To have the chance to stay here, where there were flowers and fresh air and clear skies and everyone could see the stars? Where, most importantly of all, his son called home? It was tempting. It was so tempting he almost said it and he almost meant it. Almost. But he didn’t. Because he knew better. He knew he wouldn’t be able to abandon his world. He might have been thar selfish once, before Hathsin, before Gemmel, before he had found a purpose. But now…. Nico was right about one thing. He had a whole world to save. He had countless lives depending on him, and he wouldn’t abandon them. He wouldn’t abandon the Skaa. But risking his life for Nico...that was different. That was something he did without hesitation in the House, and why should here be any different? “You’re not facing that place alone.” He said simply. He was stubborn, and he wasn’t backing down just because Nico told him to. It would take a lot more than an attempt to change the subject to stop him. He did let the topic go, though. Nico wasn’t going today, and he wasn’t going without a plan, and right now? Kelsier wanted nothing more than to experience this world at Nico’s side. He couldn’t help his mischievous smile as Nico continued, and then his eyes widened in mock offense and he placed a hand over his chest. “Mistcloaks are for more than being dramatic, thank you very much.” He said airily. “There’s also the matter of terrifying your enemies and then there’s feeling dramatic, which is completely different.” He spun, letting the coat fly majestically out behind him. “Besides, we Mistborn don’t need a mistcloak to be dramatic. We’re the best at being dramatic.” Was he showing off? Yes. Yes he was. Should he be spinning when he was still technically hurt and had passed out from blood loss a few hours ago? Absolutely not, and yet here he was. He did stumble a bit, and he had to catch himself, slightly ruining the effect. Not his smile, though. That remained firmly in place.
“Okay,” Nico murmured, watching Kelsier carefully. The truth was, he didn’t want to go alone. He didn’t want to face Tartarus without anyone there to help, he didn’t want to look death in the eye like that again. But he also didn’t want anyone to go with him, because the moment someone followed, they were in danger, too. How could he live with himself if Kelsier followed and got himself killed? He couldn’t stand the idea of walking in together and having to come back out entirely alone. A shudder passed through him and he grit his teeth, trying to push away the thought. They didn’t have to think about Tartarus right now. “How is feeling dramatic any different from being dramatic?” Nico asked, brows raising. He was teasing Kelsier, just a little bit. It came with the territory – Kelsier was the biggest drama queen Nico had ever met, and he wasn’t going to let him get away with it that easy. “And… you do realize you’re proving my point, right? That you’re dramatic as hell?” His eyes widened as Kelsier stumbled and he moved forward without thinking, attempting to be there in case Kelsier actually fell. He took in a deep breath as Kelsier caught himself. So that was how bad the injury had been. The blood on his shirt had been a pretty good indicator, but seeing the effects in person just served to hammer the point home. He would have to ask Will later if there was anything he could do to make Kelsier’s healing process… well… Kelsier-proof. He had a feeling that would be nearly impossible unless Kelsier had pewter. “Are you done being dramatic?” He asked after a moment, grabbing his sword and fastening its sheath to his belt. He wanted to experiment with hiding his sword in the shadows to make it accessible from anywhere, but that would require some practice. Best not to try it right now, when Kelsier was likely to get into at least one fight he might not be able to win on his own. He was liable to get into several other fights he could win, but Nico would still rather be there. “I have something I want to show you,” he added after a moment, a small smirk creeping onto his face.
Okay was enough for Kelsier. For now, anyway. He wouldn’t back down if it came to an argument, but there was no need to let that ruin their time now. After all...he was finally there. There was so much he wanted to do, so much he wanted to try, and he didn’t want or to lose a single moment. “It’s completely different.” He told Nico, his smile widening a little as the kid teased him. He could take it, and he was more than happy to, especially coming from Nico. “Feeling dramatic is more internal. It’s about who you are. And being dramatic is also about who you are but in a more external way.” He laughed a little as Nico continued, and he ignored the slight shakiness of the ground under him, the way he almost lost his balance. It had been obvious, too, from the look in Nico’s eyes and the way he moved forward. That wouldn’t do. He needed to be at his best. He finally made it to his son’s world, only to end up with a wound that stopped him from doing everything? No, he refused to let that happen. This was not getting in his way, he wouldn’t let it. He took a vial of metals out, considered it for a moment, then downed it and pocketed the empty vial. Pewter immediately got to work inside him, giving him better strength and balance and sharpening his mind at the same time. He smiled at Nico, feeling much better already. “Never.” He answered immediately, but was grinning. Oh, he’d wanted this, wanted the for a long time now, and here he was, in Nico’s world, standing in Nico’s cabin. It was almost enough to make him start spinning again, but he didn’t. He felt ready to take on any challenge, do anything, and he wanted to try absolutely everything he could. A moment later he let his arms fell back to his sides and he looked at Nico instead, one eyebrow raising. “Lead the way.” He said, abandoning his dramatic pose on the interest of seeing what Nico had in mind.
Nico rolled his eyes, though he was beginning to understand what Kelsier meant. Sort of. “Sometimes you can think you’re doing something dramatic, but really you just look like an idiot,” he replied, cracking a smile. “And sometimes you don’t feel very dramatic but you look cool as all hell.” That was the difference in Nico’s eyes, at least. He had a feeling Kelsier would protest that he never looked like an idiot, but Nico knew for a fact that was wrong. Even if he couldn’t think of anything right now to prove that he was right. Kelsier had the infuriating habit of looking cool at almost all times, and when he didn’t look cool, he at least looked genuine, and Nico couldn’t fault him for that. Watching Kelsier take the vial of metals out sent a small spark of relief through Nico. At least if something went wrong, Kelsier wouldn’t be defenseless. Although… he would have to Iris message Hazel and see if she could get more metals for Kelsier. Nico didn’t know how many vials he had, and he really didn’t want to risk Kelsier running out. Not when he was in a strange world with monsters that could only be defeated by certain weapons. Speaking of… Nico needed to get Kelsier some Celestial Bronze daggers to go along with his glass ones. “C’mon,” he said, opening the cabin door and squinting at the bright sunlight outside. Well… at least it was day, though he didn’t know if that meant he hadn’t slept very long, or if he had slept all the way through to the next day. He hoped it was the former. He dipped his head at some campers passing near his cabin, then closed the door behind him and Kelsier. “Have you ever had a strawberry?” he asked, forgetting if that was one of the somehow functional plants Kelsier’s world still had. Based on what he had heard, he doubted Kelsier had ever experienced strawberries. At the very least, he hadn’t seen them like they were in the Camp Half-Blood strawberry fields.
“There you go.” Kelsier grinned as Nico got it. “Then there’s me. I’m pretty much always both of them at the same time.” He was mostly joking. But he was also objectively cool and he knew it, as well as the fact that Nico knew it too. Was it annoying? Probably. He was also objectively annoying, and they both knew it. One of his many gifts was irritating people half to death, after all, as his brother would confirm. Having pewter made him feel significantly better almost instantly. He was, at least, a lot less likely to fall over now, which was a distinct improvement over what he’d had. Still...second to last vial, and he wasn’t sure there was any way to get more. Not ideal. He pushed the thought away. He’d worry about that when the time came, for now he was interested only in where he was and what he was doing in this moment. He followed Nico blinking in the bright sunlight, which was all the brighter for not having any layers of ash to crawl through. He wasn’t sure he would ever get used to that, really. Or any of this, for that matter. “A what?” He asked, frowning a little at the unfamiliar word. “Probably not, since I have no idea what that is. I can’t wait to try it though.” Strawberries. One more thing to add to the ever growing list of things his world lacked and desperately needed. He glanced at some of the campers as they passed, and he was very aware that he was sticking out very badly, but he didn’t care. He grinned at them, his mood much too good to be spoiled by anything at the moment.
“So you’re an idiot who manages to be unintentionally cool?” Nico jibed lightly, crossing his arms. “That might actually be the best description of you I’ve ever heard. Shockingly accurate.” Thoughts of Tartarus, limited metals, Kelsier’s injuries, and even the rather painful set of scabs circling his wrist. He’d have to deal with those later, after he’d shown Kelsier everything. They had a lot of sightseeing ahead of them, and for the first time, Nico didn’t mind the idea of being a tourist. Let them clog up the streets as Kelsier gaped at Times Square. Let them be yelled at by New Yorkers who had places to be and didn’t have time for the people who very clearly didn’t know how a city this big was supposed to work. Nico was ready to be a disturbance. Perhaps Kelsier was a bad influence. “You’re gonna love strawberries,” Nico replied, failing to provide any further explanation for what they were. He didn’t care about the people who turned to gawk at Kelsier. Some of them probably thought he was a god. Nico made a mental note not to point that out to Kelsier. He would almost certainly take advantage of that. Others, judging on the way they looked between Nico and Kelsier, had figured out who he was. Some were edging a bit away, but many were edging closer, curious. Nico glared at them. He wasn’t sharing Kelsier quite yet. “Here,” he announced proudly, presenting the near-endless fields of even lines of green plants, all of which had dozens of little red dots visible even from where they were standing. “Grab a basket, we’re getting strawberries.” Before Kelsier could do what he asked, Nico had tossed a basket his direction and grabbed Kelsier’s arm, dragging him towards the gates.
“Hey!” Kelsier protested, though he couldn’t help the snort of laughter that escaped him. “Uncalled for. I can’t believe that after all this time, your true feelings about me are finally brought to the surface. And after I came all this way too.” He was still trying not to burst into laughter. After a moment he couldn’t quite stop the grin, though. It ruined his words instantly. Things weren’t quite what he had expected them to be. But then, where would be the fun in that? They may have a few things they needed to figure out, but he would take that. He would take that if it meant he could be here. He raised an eyebrow at that...very vague description. “Okay then.” He said, shaking his head a little, his hazel eyes catching on the people who either shied away from him or came closer, curiosity clearly getting the best of them. He hadn’t yet put together that they might assume he was a god. He would have been significantly more obnoxious if he had. As it was, he just assumed they were either people Nico had mentioned him to, or people who didn’t know who he was and were trying to figure out what the hell a weird adult was doing here. All that was forgotten a moment later and his eyes widened in shock. It was...it was beautiful. Green, so green so alive, so soft and perfect and he stared, wonder written across his face. His gaze caught on the red a moment later and he blinked, his first thought of flowers. Then he finally looked at Nico, just in time to catch the basket. He allowed himself to be dragged, a real smile curling his lips without him even meaning to as he entered the field. He reached forward, his fingers tracing the soft leaves for a moment before he managed to speak. “These are strawberries?” He asked, glancing at Nico, his eyes still wide.
“Can you honestly say you’re not an idiot with an unfortunate habit of looking cool?” Nico shot back, lips quirking up into a smile. “Because I can think of a lot of things you’ve done that made you look at least a little bit like an idiot. Or… maybe not a lot, but at least a couple of things.” He was teasing, mostly. Even if he did think that it would probably be good for Kelsier to have at least one person who didn’t idolize him. Unfortunately, even after everything they had been to together, that person was never going to be Nico. Kelsier had done more for him than he even had the words to thank him for. Of course he was going to idolize him. Nico drew his attention away from that, instead looking at the rows and rows of strawberries. Some of the Demeter kids moved protectively towards the plants, and for a moment, Nico shrunk back a little. They were right to be afraid. He could experience one negative emotion and kill every plant here. That… was an extraordinarily unpleasant thought, and for a moment, Nico began to question his decision to take Kelsier here first. “The plants are strawberry plants, yeah,” he murmured, trying to pretend like he wasn’t bothered. He still stood a few feet away from the plants, just in case the Demeter kids were right to be afraid. “The little red things hanging from the branches… those are strawberries. They’re ripe if they’re all the way red. You can pick them, if you want. Just leave any of the ones that are still a bit white or green… and don’t eat any of the ones with bad spots on them.” He stood where he was, crossing his arms and letting his basket dangle from his fingers as he looked to Kelsier to pick some. Would he like it? Hopefully. “They’re sweet,” he added, unsure how to brace Kelsier for the flavor. Strawberries were just something he had… grown up on. It was hard to imagine describing the flavor to someone who had never had one. “They taste even better on waffles and doused in syrup.”
“Please. I am very cool, and you know it.” Kelsier announced. Then he raised an eyebrow, giving Nico an appraising look. “Like what?” He asked suspiciously, his eyes still bright with fun. “I bet you can’t name three things I’ve done that make me look like an idiot.” It was perhaps not his wisest challenge, since there were people to overhear Nico’s answer, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to see what Nico would say. He looked back at the strawberries, his expression still open and shocked, because this wasn’t House magic, this was reality. These plants...they were real. They were green and soft and beautiful and perfect and real. He glanced at Nico as the kid shrank back, and he could immediately guess why, based on the way the other kids moved. He frowned at them, his eyes resting them for a long moment before he tuned back to Nico. “They’re beautiful.” He admitted. He wasn’t usually speechless, but the things he was seeing here made him pretty close. Then he moved, closer to Nico than the plants. “Do you want me to Soothe anything that could harm them?” He asked, and he was genuinely asking. He wasn’t sure whether it would work, but he felt it was worth a try, and he didn’t like seeing the way the other kids looked at Nico. The way Nico almost seemed to agree with them. Because they were wrong, and he could see the effects it had on him, the way it got in his head. If Nico had an aura of death, then let him. Kelser saw no reason to treat him any differently because of it. It was am aura, which was pretty damn cool if you asked him. “I don’t even have to do it yet.” He added. “You could just tell me when you want me to.” He smiled, then turned back to the plants, his attention focused on the little red things. He selected one carefully, choosing a completely red one and holding it carefully, considering it. Then he popped it into his mouth and bit down. Juice exploded across his tongue, and he blinked, his eyes widening as he chewed, basking in the sweet, tart flavor. He turned to Nico as he swallowed, a slow grin coming over his face. “That...is incredible.” He told him. “You can eat these whenever you want? And what are waffles?”
“Well,” Nico began, considering, “I don’t know if you count it as looking like an idiot, because I can’t begrudge you experiencing something amazing and not being at all refined or cool about it, but you definitely didn’t look cool in the butterfly room. You looked like a sappy idiot, but in the best way possible.” Hopefully, Kelsier wouldn’t take offense to that. “You also didn’t look incredibly dignified when you were flailing and falling on ice skates. No matter how cool you thought you might’ve looked there.” He considered for another long moment, drawing a blank. He was sure there were other times Kelsier had looked like an idiot – even including times he looked like a sentimental one, but none came to mind. Oh yes, he definitely idolized Kelsier. Nico blinked, eyes widening as he took in the question. He hadn’t expected Kelsier to notice the way he had shrunk back, and he most certainly hadn’t expected Kelsier to offer some sort of solution. “Your metals,” he protested softly, brow creasing. “What if… what if you run out?” He wanted to say yes. He wanted to let Kelsier take away any of the feelings that might cause him to hurt the plants. “Okay,” he murmured after a long moment, lifting his gaze to meet Kelsier’s. “If you don’t think it will make you run out of metals faster than usual… you can Soothe me.” He didn’t say explicitly that he wanted Kelsier to, but the implication was there. “I think… just… just being here is making me nervous,” he admitted after a moment, staring at the ground. “I’d like the feelings gone, at least for now.” Eventually, he knew, he was going to need to learn how to control it. That was something for another day, when he didn’t have Kelsier there to help. He was grateful for the distraction as Kelsier lifted the berry and popped it in his mouth. The expression was everything he could have hoped for and more. “Glad you like it,” he smiled, shoving his hands in his pockets and letting the basket dangle from his wrists. “If you fill a basket, we can carry it around and you can have more,” he commented. “It’s probably too late for breakfast right now, but… if you’re still here tomorrow, I’ll show you what waffles are. I think you might like them.”
Kelsier opened his mouth, but he closed it again quickly, because he found he couldn’t argue with that. He had looked a like a bit of an idiot in the butterfly room. He had cried, if he remembered right. He nodded, giving that one to Nico. And then there was the ice skating room. Which...okay, he had to give that one too. “In my defense, you fell flat on your back and started laughing.” He pointed out in his most dignified voice. Then he grinned. “That’s twice. Admit it, in all the time we’ve known each other, twice isn’t bad.” He was enjoying this. Immensely. He waved a hand a moment later. “My metals do me little good anyway if I don’t use them.” He pointed out lightly. “And Soothing isn’t my forte, anyway. It wouldn’t do me much good in a fight.” That’s what he assumed Nico was worried about, anyway. Which was fair. There were monsters, and some of them were probably particularly annoyed with the strange man with the ouch knives. He didn’t want to worry about that now. He didn’t want to think about being trapped without metals, a thought that made his chest tighten with panic. He hadn’t even had them for overly long, and his Allomancy was still a huge part of who he was. Without it….he refused to think about that. They would find a way to get him metals. He was confident that they would. He nodded once, and began to gently Soothe Nico, blunting the fear mostly, but also anything else he felt might hurt the plants. Then he gestured towards the plants, moving without looking away from Nico. “Strawberries,” he mouthed at him, reaching to take another one. He put it in his basket. Then he immediately took it back out and ate it. “They’re good.” He defended himself without waiting for Nico to speak. “And there’s plenty more. I’ll put some in the basket too, I promise.” True to his word, he began to pick the strawberries, putting about a third in the basket, eating the rest. He glanced back at Nico, eyebrows raised. “What, you think I’m going to come see you and then just leave before a day has even passed?” He asked, smiling. “You’re not getting rid of me that quickly, I’m afraid.”
“I’m not saying I don’t look like an idiot, ever,” Nico retorted, crossing his arms, “I fully admit that I look like an idiot a lot of the time. But you look like an idiot more than you think you do. I just… can’t think of more specific examples right now. But… I bet you that you’ll end up looking like an idiot by the end of the day,” he added, a grin creeping across his face. He wouldn’t even push Kelsier to do something that looked stupid. He was just confident enough that Kelsier would find a way to make at least a little bit of a fool of himself in this unfamiliar world. Nico’s expression grew more somber as he listened, then nodded. He had never seen Kelsier Soothe in the middle of a fight. Well.. he had only seen Kelsier Soothe once in a fight, and it wasn’t something he wanted to think about. He got the feeling Kelsier used his emotional Allomancy for other things. “I have an idea for how to get you more metals, by the way,” he murmured, his voice lowering despite the fact that nobody around them could understand them anyway. Still… he wasn’t sure how much Kelsier wanted a bunch of strangers knowing about how his powers worked. “Depending on how long you’re staying, of course. There’s not a point in getting you more metals if you aren’t gonna be here very long.” How long had Kelsier been intending to stay? They hadn’t exactly planned this visit out… still. Then Nico closed his eyes and felt the emotions pushed down. He had learned how to tell when Kelsier was using emotional Allomancy on him – it was a useful skill to have. Feeling slightly more confident in his ability to not kill the plants, he took a few steps forward, ignoring the quiet muttering that broke out among the Demeter kids. They didn’t like him anyway. It was easiest to just not like them back. He rolled his eyes affectionately as Kelsier began eating his way through the berries. Nico plucked one from the basket himself, gently popping it in his mouth. It was good, he had to admit that. And he probably wasn’t going to eat much else that day. “You’re lucky we have an entire field,” he teased, “Or else you might be kicked out of camp for stealing too many strawberries.” Nico’s eyes widened. “Well… I don’t know what I expected,” he admitted, “but I do have a lot of questions. Did time stop in your world, or did you just disappear? How would you find out? Do you have a time limit here, will the House blink you back to your world before you’re ready, or do you get to choose when you go back? How long can you be gone if time didn’t stop in your world?”
“I think you probably look a lot cooler than you think.” Kelsier commented, shaking his head a little. Then he looked back at him, and he couldn’t help grinning back. “You’re on.” He said, his tone mischievous. “What do I get if I win? And what do you want if you do?” Having stakes would make it more fun. Emotional Allomancy wasn’t something Kelsier used often, if he were being honest. Leave that to the Soothers and Rioters, he was much better at winning fights against near impossible odds, manipulating objects around him to do exactly what he wanted, dancing just out of reach of his enemies as they fell at his feet. All things he used when he sparred with Nico. He never Soothed or Rioted him without express permission. If he ever would have before...he didn’t now. There was a sort of unspoken agreement between them about what he could and could not do. It would take a great deal to push him over that line. He looked back at Nico. “Oh?” He prompted, curious. Then he paused, considering that. “I don’t know how long I’m staying.” He admitted, his voice quiet. He hadn’t planned this out, after all...he had merely reacted. Nico had been in danger. What else could he have done? He wasn’t trying to hide what he was doing. He made no attempt to pretend he wasn’t Soothing, and he was pretty sure Nico could have told if he’d tried anyway. Again, not his forte. He was glad when Nico did step forward, though, and he shot the other kids a look through narrowed hazel eyes, not bothering to hide what he thought of their muttering. He was about 0.7 seconds from calling them out on it, but he settled for indignant glaring for the time being, mostly because he knew Nico wouldn’t actually want him to start anything. Not an hour in and he was on the verge of setting a fight. He almost felt sorry for Nico’s planet. “Let them try.” He returned, and a smile appeared easily on his face as he looked back at Nico. “Strawberries would be worth exile, if only you’d come with me.” He paused. “Ah.” He said after a moment. “About that, I wish I knew, honestly. I left a note in case I just disappeared, but I have no idea how this actually works. I’m not even totally sure how I did it.” He met Nico’s eyes. “I might….not know how to get back.” He admitted after a pause. “But don’t worry. I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, and I’m sure I’ll think of something when the time comes.” He didn’t really want to think about leaving. Not when everything wanted him to stay forever.
“If you win,” Nico considered, eyes narrowing a bit as he thought, “If you win, I take you to Olympus. If I win…” he considered that for a really long moment. “If I win, then you’re coming to Italy with me. Just for a little bit.” He gave a small smile, though he knew that the “stakes” weren’t that high. Because he would enjoy taking Kelsier to Olympus, and he had a feeling Kelsier would enjoy Italy. But they really only had enough time for one extravagant trip while Kelsier was here, and they needed stakes. Hopefully, the terms would be acceptable to Kelsier. He grabbed a few strawberries off the bushes, placing them in the basket as he walked forward a bit with Kelsier (nearer, it might be noted, than he would have walked to anyone else in almost any world). “That seems about right,” Nico mused softly, half joking, half serious. “The Survivor of Hathsin plunging himself into another world with no concrete plan because someone had to be the hero.” He cracked a small smile, glancing over at Kelsier. He was doing his best to ignore the Demeter kids, purposefully not touching the plants for more than a second as he grabbed berries. They could be as upset with him as they wanted, he wasn’t going to kill their plants. Not this time. “We won’t be in camp very long today, anyway,” Nico replied, glancing up. “There’s too much to see for you to spend your entire visit here. You haven’t seen a real city. Luthadel doesn’t count.” New York… well, he supposed there were a lot of ways New York was similar to Luthadel. The air quality, at least, was probably not terrible different. “I don’t even know where to start,” he admitted, swinging his basket a little bit. “Maybe we can get on one of those stupid sightseeing busses. They’re pretty slow, but it’s a good way to see what people think of as the major sights of the city.” Would Kelsier like that? Kelsier had never been on a bus, so that was something to think about… would he be alright with New York traffic? Camp was isolated, far away from the real, bustling world of the city. “Maybe we can get on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You know… I’ve never done the tourist things the way tourists are supposed to do them.”
“Agreed.” The Mistborn accepted the terms almost instantly. He didn’t need to think about it, he wanted to do both of those thing. So maybe they weren’t really stakes, but…still. It was a bet he was willing to take. All he had to do was not look like an idiot. That wouldn’t be hard, he was very good at looking very cool. And he did want to go to Olympus. He really did. Which would he have chosen on his own? He wasn’t sure….Italy had been important enough to Nico to risk his life to see again and anything that mattered that much to Nico automatically was important to to Kelsier, too. But,...Olympus. It was probably a good thing they were leaving this up to a bet. Otherwise, how would they ever decide? No. Just your hero. He didn’t say it. But he did think it. “My plan is working perfectly.” He said instead, rubbing his hands together and looking back at Nico. “I’m here, aren’t I? The rest only matters later.” And they weren’t later yet, so what was the problem? Another quick glare at the Demeter kids. The mutters were not friendly. Had they bothered to even talk to Nico before judging him? He popped a strawberry in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully, then looked at Amico again, eyebrows raising. “Hey!” He protested. “Why doesn’t Luthadel count? It has buildings. And people.” What more did a city need, anyway? He paused in the act of dropping a couple strawberries into his basket, frowning a little at the unfamiliar word. It was in English, he recognized how it sounded, and he guessed there wasn’t an equivalent in Scadrial. “You lost me.” He said, a slightly bemused smile on his face as he looked at Nico. He munched another strawberry. “What are...sight seeing buses?” He managed to make the words understandable, but his pronunciation, though he’d attempted to be slow and careful, was terrible. “Would it be faster to walk?” He added, tone completely serious. He had no idea what the...sight seeing buses….what those were. Or what a tourist was, for that matter. “Am I a tourist?” He tossed a strawberry high above his head, then caught it in his mouth, relishing the explosion of juice across his tongue. Another curious glance at Nico. “I want to see the things you love the most about this world.” He told him, his smile resting easily on his sharp features. “And I don’t even want to think about going back, not for a while yet.”
“Good,” Nico returned, smiling again. The Demeter kids exchanged looks. They clearly hadn’t seen Nico smile that much before, but nothing could chip away at Nico’s good mood, especially not with Kelsier Soothing a lot of the negative emotions away. He hesitantly took another strawberry to eat, though he wasn’t hungry for it. Sooner or later Kelsier was going to reprimand him for not getting enough nutrients, and he’d rather use what good mood he had to at least eat something. Even if that something was only two strawberries. “Living that much in the moment sounds pretty nice right now,” he admitted softly, sticking his hands in his pockets. “I don’t want to have to have a plan right now. I don’t want to think you’re on a deadline, I just… I want days with you. I want to show you my world, and… and all the things you’ve been missing out on and the things the House hasn’t let me show you…” Hot chocolate was a must. It was going to be a touch more difficult to find here than it was in Italy, but Nico was certain there had to be at least one café somewhere that served decent hot chocolate. New York had a little bit of everything. “Listen, you’re going to understand why Luthadel doesn’t count as a city as soon as you finish gathering your strawberries. New York is a city. They call it the city that never sleeps. Unfortunately… it’s not very good for Mistborn stuff. No mists to hide in. And it doesn’t even really get dark.” He gave a small smile, pilin ga few more strawberries into his basket. He was a bit anxious to get going, to start showing Kelsier everything. “Sight seeing buses,” he repeated, a bit more slowly this time so Kelsier could get the pronunciation down. “It’s a vehicle that takes you around the city and it has a narrator thing that tells you the history of everything you’re going past. The history of New York is a bit [oops!]ed in places, though, so you have to promise not to punch the bus.” Was that likely? Nico doubted Kelsier would try to punch it, but it was a possibility, so he figured it would be best to mention it ahead of time. “Also, if you have to ask if you’re a tourist, you’re definitely a tourist. Also, everyone in New York hates tourists. Do you… really not have tourism on Scadrial? Even amongst the noble families?”
The Soothing was as gentle as Kelsier could make it, only targeting the negative emotions. He would never have done it without permission, he reminded himself, even though a part of him didn’t want to do it at all. It was a weapon, he knew, just not his preferred one. But this way, they could walk through the plants together He smiled as Nico ate the strawberry. It was Nico’s world, and he didn’t want to experience any of it without him at his side. The smile deepened as Nico spoke, and he nodded, his eyes sincere as he met Nico’s. “Then that’s what you’ll have.” He said, and he meant it. “I’m not leaving, not for a good while. You don’t really think I would come all this way and then just turn around and go home, do you?” He wasn’t leaving. Not until he was good and ready, and not until he had seen everything Nico wanted to show him. Even if he didn’t know what to expect from this. Describing a world was one thing, actually experiencing it? Very different. He was barely an hour in and he was already in awe. What was the rest going to be like? Kelsier, too,maws eager to see everything, to experience this world with Nico, to see the things he lived with and the things he loved about his home. He picked a few more strawberries, piling them into his basker as he did, then eating another one. “The city that never sleeps.” He repeated, tasting the title. “How does it not get dark? Wait, no...electricity.” He grinned, because he’d gotten it before Nico had had to explain it. “Sight seeing buses.” He repeated, slower. The words were still not quite right, but they were, at least, closer. He frowned a little as Nico continued, and he paused. “How bad?” He asked finally, rather than promising not to punch the bus. He couldn’t go making promises he couldn’t keep, right? And he refused to lie to Nico. “Great, then I’m a tourist.” He said, his tone suggesting he was happy about that fact. Even if he didn’t know what that was, exactly. But hey, everyone hated them. It was a good match already. “Nope.” He confirmed, shaking his head a little. “At least, not by that name. What do tourists do?” He paused. Then he took one more strawberry and tossed it to Nico. “I would love to stay here all day, but what I would love even more is to see everything you want to show me.” He told him. He smiled. “Time to get started?”
Nico looked over, unable to help the smile that really only Kelsier could ever draw out. Did Kelsier know that? Did he see the way Nico looked at him, the difference between how he interacted with Kelsier as opposed to the rest of the world? Nico doubted he saw all of it, but he was grateful that the Mistborn knew him well enough to know how difficult it was to draw a smile out of him at times. “I guess it would be pretty stupid to punch a hole between dimensions and not stay long enough to see the sights,” Nico replied with a small shrug. He was feeling better now, paying less attention to the Demeter kids, who had, in turn, stopped paying attention to them. “You can stop the Soothing now, by the way,” he murmured, meeting Kelsier’s gaze. “Thanks for holding it as long as you did. I don’t think I’m gonna kill the plants anymore, not while you’re here.” And, he added mentally, they were almost done anyway. He picked one or two more strawberries, then stood up straighter, watching Kelsier as he experienced the world for the first time. It was amazing, Nico thought, how new most of this was to Kelsier. He was grateful that he was going to be the one to show him so much of it. “Right, yeah. Electricity. But electricity like you’ve never been able to imagine it, especially around Times Square. You like people more than I do, so… you’ll probably like it more than me,” he admitted with a small smile. He hoped Kelsier wouldn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic in the city. If he did, Nico had the handy ability to melt them into the shadows for a few moments, just to catch their breath and not feel people pressing in on them from every corner. “Buses has the same vowel as ‘trust,’” Nico explained, knowing how hard Kelsier had practiced to get that particular word right. “Other than that, you’re saying it well.” He glanced back, expression growing a little bit solemn. “A lot of the city is owned by some really, really rich people who have done some questionable things. Most of the big landmarks are owned by them, and they sort of just… gloss over the bad things. And I know you don’t care about the most expensive stores in town, but… they will mention those. We’ll drive by them. And all the people who can afford to shop in them. It’s really the history they don’t mention that’s the issue.” He caught the strawberry, surprised, then hesitated before taking it and eating it, too. If only to appease Kelsier. “Tourists stop in the middle of the street and look at things. And take pictures. They look like they’ve never seen a city before in their life, and they’re a pain in the butt to get around. Especially on the metro. Lucky for us, we don’t have to take the metro. Ready?” He held out his hand, a smile ghosting the corners of his lips.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jan 10, 2021 12:31:45 GMT -5
Kelsier loved that smile. The one he had learned how to bring out, the one that he didn’t see Nico give anyone else. He saw Nico, he saw how relaxed he was around him. He didn’t know all of it, but he knew enough, and it was easily one of the things he counted most precious to him. “Exactly.” He agreed, even though the sights were far from the real reason he wanted to stay. He had imagined this moment for so long, imagined making it to Nico’s world, seeing him outside the House. He would have come even if Nico’s world was as ugly as his own, or worse. He would have come even if Nico’s had been nothing at all. “Of course.” He nodded and stopped Soothing, trying to release the emotions slowly so they wouldn’t crash into Nico too hard. Once that was done, he turned back to the plants, still unable to keep the wonder from his eyes. Not that he was trying. Let Nico see how much this meant to him, let Nico see how much it mattered. It wouldn’t be the first time Nico had seen Kel cry because of something beautiful. He looked back at Nico, raising an eyebrow at that. Nico was right, he couldn’t quite imagine what this electricity could be like. He knew only what he’d seen in the Hoise and what Nico had described, but that was nothing compared to seeing it himself. Oh, he was excited for this, he really was. He had no idea what to expect. But he was eager to find out. “Fair enough.” He said, considering that. Apparently New York was busy, then. He wasn’t worried, he could handle busy just fine. Not that he had the faintest idea what it was going to be like, but...no, he was excited, and nothing was going to take that. “Buses.” Kelsier repeated slowly, attempting to use the same vowel he’d leaned for ‘trust’. It wasn’t easy, but he was trying his hardest to get it right. At least he had practiced that word until he could get it right every time. He smiled, pleased with himself. A moment later a more serious expression crossed his features, and he considered Nico for a long moment, chewing on that information. “I’m not surprised,” he said finally, “to hear that.” He wasn’t really. Still, it sounded an awful lot like the nobility to him, which he supposed was why Nico had been worried about him punching something. “I’ll try not to punch anything.” He promised. That was the best he could do, really. Kelsier considered that description for a moment. He didn’t know what taking pictures meant, but it sounded like tourists were obnoxious. Well, so was he. That was nothing new. He also didn’t know what the metro was. Another question for later, he decided. “More than ready.” The Mistborn stepped forward, taking Nico’s hand without hesitation, more than ready to see the rest of Nico’s world, to see the things that Nico lived with every day.
What Nico didn’t realize was that he was the main draw for Kelsier. They still saw each other in the House, even though it was never enough, even though they could never say everything they wanted to say. He didn’t stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the reason Kelsier was staying for longer than it took to save Nico was because he actually wanted to spend that time with him. Of course… he believed that Kelsier probably did want to spend time with him, he just didn’t think that was the main reason he was here. Maybe he should have. The emotions crashed back down and Nico grimaced for a long moment before he looked up at Kelsier and smiled. He had managed to keep the temperature in check, and there was only one wilted leaf on one of the strawberry bushes. As far as anyone knew, it had been there before Nico arrived. He closed his eyes for a moment, accepting the heaviness that came with the feelings. He never stopped being afraid, there was still a lot of anger balled up in him, but he had stopped letting both rule his life. It was a lesson he had learned from Kelsier, really. The expression on Kelsier’s face… Nico wanted to bottle it and hold it forever. He wanted to remember this. Experiencing joy or wonder through someone else didn’t seem like it would be as satisfying as experiencing it for oneself, but Nico found that sentiment to be incorrect. He was more entranced seeing Kelsier react this way than he would have been in Kelsier’s shoes. “There you go,” Nico grinned, giving Kelsier a thumbs up. It wasn’t perfect but it was also not a sound that was prevalent in Scadrial, so Nico let it slide. He was understandable, at the very least. “There’s a lot of good history, too,” Nico informed him, shrugging a little bit. “There were a lot of really crappy things going on, days when the city looked a lot like what I imagine Luthadel to look like. I was too young to experience it, and a lot of it was more or less fixed before I got here, but… there was smoke in the sky so thick it clouded the sun. And people had to go to work for hours, children that were too young to be doing it, and there were a lot of people who died because the factories they worked in didn’t have any safety measures. They tried to form unions, but the rich people who owned the companies wouldn’t let them – but they couldn’t stop all of them. Because of unions, and people banding together and demanding fair treatment, there are safety measures in place, and people that come in to expect every workspace to make sure. They work fewer hours and are paid more, and children don’t have to work anymore. As much as tourists tend to be interested in the stuff built by millionaires, there are a lot of tiny victories hidden throughout the city.” He couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll have to take you on my own tour after we try the sight-seeing bus. At least I know what to direct you towards.” Nico met Kelsier’s gaze for a long moment before the two of them melted into shadows and appeared at the end of a decently long line right by the Brooklyn Bridge. Possibly the least overwhelming part of town. “I’ll go buy us some tickets.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jan 11, 2021 16:42:27 GMT -5
If Kelsier had known what Nico thought, he would have stopped right there and told him in the plainest way possible that he was wrong. That Nico was not only the main reason, he was the main reason by far. That if it came to a choice between spending the next week (at least) with Nico or seeing the sights and experiencing everything this world had to offer...it wasn’t really a choice. He would choose Nico without hesitation every single time. He would choose to spend time with Nico even if it means he never saw another flower or tasted another strawberry. It there had been a way to make the emotions easier on Nico, would Kel have done it? With permission…of course he would. He didn’t like seeing Nico in any sort of discomfort, but he knew they were a part of Nico, and he knew Soothing them didn’t actually make it better. It just made it feel better for a little while. He trusted Nico. He trusted him to say something if he thought he was going to kill the plants, if he needed Soothed again. But he was also glad Nico was in control of his powers enough to be fine without him. Kelsier couldn’t help the wonder in his eyes, even if he’d wanted to, which he didn’t. He didn’t try to hide it, he didn’t try to pretend it didn’t affect him. Let it affect him. He was fine with that, fine with Nico seeing him like this, vulnerable in his joy. Vulnerable and yet strong, at the same time. He grinned back as Nico confirmed he’d done it better that time, even if he could tell it wasn’t perfect. It didn’t need to be, really. He knew his accent was stronger in English than Nico’s was in Scadrial, and he also knew Nico was better at Scadrial than he would probably ever be at English, but that was okay. He was just glad they could understand each other. He listened to the history, nodding a little at it. It sounded very familiar, after all. Nico might as well have been speaking of Luthadel, aside from the part where it got better. Or, maybe that part too, if Kel did his job well enough. The factories were different. His eyes did darken a bit at the description. It was wrong, so wrong, and he shouldn’t have been surprised, but he was because this was Nico’s world and it was supposed to be better. Why did he continue to believe it was actually better? “I do wish things like that didn’t happen in this world, as well.” He said quietly. “If they happen at all, I wish they would be confined to one world. Easier to fix, that way.” He smiled a little. The unions…they mattered. They were people refusing to take it sitting down, people refusing to be frightened into submission. And he was glad. He was glad to hear that at least somewhere, a fight had been won. “I look forward to seeing the victories,” he said, his smile deepening. As excited as he was to go on the sight-seeing bus, he was possibly even more excited to get to see the things Nico specifically chose, because those were things he knew he would love seeing. Then they were in the shadows, and Kelsier stumbled just a little as they came out the other side, almost flaring pewter before he could stop himself. Better not to use it that fast if he could help it, though. And he didn’t fall, just had to catch himself. “Still not used to that.” He said, shaking his head a little, then looking around to see where they were. He glanced at the sky, half expecting it to be clouded with smoke or ash. It wasn’t. He smiled. “Tickets?” He repeated curiously, looking at Nico. He supposed his constant questions were probably getting annoying, but he couldn’t quite help himself, not when there were so many new things to see and experience.
“I think every world has some sort of struggle. People in every world are the same. If they get used to power, they start acting like they’re better than other people. If that only happened in one world…” Nico shrugged. “People wouldn’t really be people, would they?” That wasn’t to say Nico didn’t understand the sentiment. “Besides… the fact that we had to fight for what we have now makes it that much more precious, right? I mean… we can look at it and say “my ancestors fought for this.” If we don’t remember the fight, then we might be inclined to let someone take away what we have, if they make it sound like a fair trade.” Maybe he had a cynical view of humanity. But he wouldn’t trade the victories for anything, even a world where the bad things magically hadn’t happened. Nico glanced up at Kelsier, giving a small smile as he caught himself. “All I’m saying is that people say that history repeats itself if we don’t learn from it. I don’t know if that’s true, but I think people tend to fall into similar habits no matter the world. You can’t strip away the negative parts of humanity without also taking away a lot of the good things.” He brushed himself off, clearing away a few shadows that had chosen to cling to him. Was Kelsier really disappointed that the history of Nico’s world wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows? It seemed possible. Nico supposed they just had different ways of thinking about it. It was just that… the fight mattered. The fight defined who people were, how they reacted to things. Sure, it would be nice if no bad things had happened at all. But how much would be lost if you erased the fights that had occurred to fix them? “Take a moment,” he told Kelsier, glancing around to find someone to buy tickets from. They were usually all over the place, and they were good at spotting tourists. Unfortunately, Nico was good at not looking like a tourist. Finally he spotted one. “You need to pay to get on the bus,” he told Kelsier, pulling out a small black wallet and approaching a man wearing a bright red vest. He crossed his arms, trying to look as menacing as possible. After a moment of back and forth, he grinned broadly and made his way back to Kelsier, holding out a ticket. “When we get on, they’re gonna scan this. Then go for the staircase and get to the top level. I’ll grab the headphones, just save me a seat.” He could already see the bus pulling around the corner, filled with gawking, wide-eyed tourists. Fortunately, half of the second level seemed open.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jan 17, 2021 10:59:57 GMT -5
Kelsier didn’t interrupt. He knew Nico was right, he knew that was how people were, but...well, was it so wrong to wish Nico’s world was better? He would never admit it, but he was tired. Tired of people being the way they were, tired of fighting this war, though he would never give up. “You may be right about that.” He admitted, looking at Nico. “When I win my war, when the Skaa win, I expect they’ll be very protective of their freedom. They’ve more than paid for it, in blood, in lives.” He looked at Nico. His expression was serious, but he wasn’t upset. “You’ve already won your wars.” He pointed out lightly. “It’s a lot easier to say that when you aren’t actually in the fight anymore. But...I do understand what you mean.” He wasn’t sure he was disappointed. How could he be? This wasn’t his world, this was a completely different one, nothing like his own. He knew the fight mattered. He knew that, he just...wished it wasn’t necessary. Hated that Nico had been forced through multiple wars. “That may be true.” He said quietly, still looking at Nico. “And you know I’ll never stop fighting. But if I could erase the nobility? If I could stop the war once and for all? How can I say I wouldn’t do it?” He shook his head a little, a smile coming over his features as Nico walked off. He didn’t follow, but he was ready in case anything happened. Monsters, or anything else’s, he didn’t know what to expect here, but he was armed and no longer at risk of bleeding out. He glanced down as he waited, remembering his still-bloodstained shirt. Hopefully no one would notice that. He pulled the coat over it as best he could, When Nico returned, he grinned, excited in spite of having no idea what was about to happen. “That’s the ticket?” He said curiously, reaching to take it and hold it up to get a better look at it. “It’s so small and...flimsy.” He could have ripped it in half if he’d wanted to. He didn’t, of course, but the fact remained that it was a possibility. “Got it.” He said, nodding as the thing...what the hell...came around the corner. The House had somewhat prepared him for it. Having seen a lot of things before, he wasn’t quite as shocked as he could have been. Still, this was an actual world, not a room...which he was having a hard time remembering at the moment.
Nico nodded. He did understand. If he could undo his wars while he was fighting him… would he have done so? Well… yes, probably. He understood where Kelsier was coming from. “I don’t mean to say that the battle is worth the loss. I just mean that what you get out of it… it’s important. It’s more important than if it had just… been given to you. I guess.” He wasn’t sure if he was making sense, or if he was making himself clear enough. “I think,” he murmured after a long moment, “that I probably know better than most how terrible the fight actually is.” He sighed softly, watching the bus as it drew nearer. “But if you erase the nobility… then others will just step up to take their place. You’d have to completely change the system. Not just leave a void where the nobility was.” He breathed out for a long moment, then forced a smile. “Yep,” he confirmed, watching the ticket for a long moment. He had his own held carefully in his hand. “That’s sort of the point. In the old days they used to tear your ticket in half and keep the ticket stubs so they can count how many tickets they sold. Now they have the computers to do it, but… they still make tickets the same way. I guess a lot of people like to keep them as souvenirs. He gave a small smile, watching the way the bus pulled to a stop, then as all the people disembarked. “Ready?” he asked as the line began to move. He was eyeing the seats on the top. There should be some leftover, even if everyone else took a seat on top, there should be some left. Plus Kelsier was intimidating enough that if there weren’t any seats left, Kelsier would probably be able to scare someone into vacating their seats. Which was maybe not something Nico should have been relying on. Nico held his ticket out to be scanned, making sure Kelsier was doing the right thing before he grabbed two sets of headphones, a map, and sprinted up to the top. Fortunately, it wouldn’t matter that Kelsier couldn’t read in English. Nico could translate, and the pictures would be enough to show him what he should be looking at. Finally, he staked his claim over a seat, waiting so Kelsier could take the seat nearest the edge, where he could look over the city. “Do you want to try to listen to the tour guide, or would you rather I translate?” he asked in Scadrial.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jan 19, 2021 21:47:52 GMT -5
Kelsier understood what Nico was saying. He did. He just wasn’t sure he would give up any opportunity to win his war, not when so many lives could be saved. But then...that wasn’t what Nico was saying, and he knew it. The kid was just pointing out how much victory was worth, and how could he ever disagree with that? He nodded a little, a serious expression crossing his features. “I know.” He agreed quietly. “I know you do. I would never imply otherwise.” He hesitated, then nodded a little. “I know. But erasing them all...I would still do it. If I could.” He meant it, too. He would erase every last one of them if he had the chance. He focused on the ticket, shaking his head a little. “Computers can do that?” He said curiously, remembering the term. He wasn’t totally sure what they looked like, or what they could do, but he understood that they were very important to how this world functioned. “Maybe I’ll keep mine, then.” He added, smiling at it. “As a souvenir. I bet the crew would love to see it.” He nodded, following Nico onto the bus, glancing around at the many people climbing on. They all wore so many bright colors...he almost wished he could, too. Not that he really minded his usually clothes, but...well. Why not have some fun while it wouldn’t hurt anything? He needed a new shirt rather badly anyway, seeing as his current one was ripped and bloodstained. The Mistborn watched Nico closely before holding out his own ticket to be scanned, watching in open fascination as it happened. Then he moved, following Nico to the top of the bus and taking a careful seat near the edge, his hazel eyes moving everywhere, trying to take it all in. “I’ll try and listen first.” He decided in English, smiling at Nico. “I need the practice. I’ll let you know if there’s anything I don’t understand.” He was excited, and it showed on his hawk-like features. Plus, he was still grinning.
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