Orpheus wasn’t sure what to make of this room… what to make of hearing L with their voice. It was… well, jarring was a good word for it, especially since they weren’t hearing their voice spoken out loud. It sounded much higher than they had anticipated when it was out in the open. Was that how it usually sounded, or was that just L’s way of using it? It was impossible to know, but they had a feeling that their voice really was higher than they anticipated. Which meant… “Yes… would… would you prefer if we used sign language for this room?” Orpheus asked, eyes searching L’s. There were a number of reasons they wanted to offer. First and foremost, if they heard their own voice as lower when they were speaking, then surely L also heard his own voice as lower when he spoke. Which meant that hearing his voice higher might be a cause for dysphoria. Additionally, having a much higher voice escaping his lips, whether or not it was a voice he liked, might also be a dysphoria trigger. Orpheus may not have experienced dysphoria in the same way L had (perhaps because they hadn’t grown up in a world that was quite as highly gendered), but they knew more or less how it worked. They knew it wasn’t a pleasant feeling, and they were acutely aware of the ways this room could exacerbate it. That was the last thing they wanted to do. If, however, L was alright with them speaking in this room… Orpheus’ gaze drifted to the guitar. They had heard L sing a few times, but those occasions were few and far between, and when they happened they didn’t last long. Selfishly, they wanted to hear L sing more. They could make that happen now that they had his voice…
Jarring was a good description for it. L wasn’t sure what to make of it, really...he couldn’t quite figure out how he felt about hearing Orpheus’ voice leave his lips. On the one hand, he loved Orpheus’ voice. Much more than he loved his own. So possessing it was an odd sort of thrill. He may now possess magical ability to make himself feel safe, he thought, but it was possible that it was less about the voice and more about Orpheus themself. Still, their voice was a part of them. Oh the other hand...it was very odd to listen to his own voice outside his head. It sounded different. Higher. And it wasn’t coming from him, which was equally jarring. He looked at Orpheus, hesitating as he heard the question. Would he prefer sign language? He thought he knew why Orpheus was asking and he was grateful to them for it...he gave it a little thought, head tilted. “No, that’s alright,” he said at last, speaking carefully since this voice wasn’t his. He looked at Orpheus again. “But thank you...I think we probably have to speak vocally to solve this room, anyway. And I’m curious where it’ll go.” He didn’t think this was going to be a dangerous room, but he was ready if it became one. What might happen? Would more than their voices switch? Did they have to do something here? Besides speak? He noticed Orpheus’ eyes on the guitar. “You don’t have your voice to sing properly,” he replied to the unspoken thought, a little sadly.
Orpheus wasn’t sure how to feel about the room. On one hand, they liked hearing L’s voice, and there was something of a thrill in knowing they could make it say whatever they wanted. On the other, it felt disingenuous to use L’s voice to say their words. L’s voice belonged to L, not them, and the words it uttered were far more special when they were the words that came from L’s head. Orpheus’ words were no replacement. “Do you think there’s something the House wants us to do in this room, or do you think it just… wanted to see what would happen?” It was odd, hearing L’s voice asking the dumb questions rather than giving the smart, well thought out answers and complicated theories. The whole room was odd, but Orpheus still found that they didn’t mind it. The guitar especially was intriguing. Perhaps they could play while L sang? But that would just be Orpheus hearing their own voice… they found they wanted to try L’s with the music, with L’s permission. “Hm?” Orpheus glanced up, eyes wide at L’s response. “I very seldom think you’re wrong, but I believe you are right now,” they murmured, squeezing L’s hand. “Your voice is perfectly suited to music, even if you don’t use it that way very often. I’d very much like to hear more songs in your voice. Besides… ‘properly’ is a matter of opinion.” They moved forward, grabbing the guitar and setting about tuning it quietly. “I think some music is in order regardless.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jun 11, 2021 18:15:36 GMT -5
It was incredibly odd to know that L could say anything he wanted, and it would be Orpheus’ voice he heard it in. He could feel an urge in the back of his head forming, some interesting way he could use this, but he didn’t pay much attention to what it was just yet. He was more interested in listening to Orpheus - himself? - Orpheus’ thoughts in his voice. “For this sort of thing, it’s probably just seeing how we react,” he replied thoughtfully. “There may be a goal of some sort though, it’s too early to count anything out. Oh...I use your voice differently than you do. Do I usually talk like this? It sounds very strange.” This entire room was just odd. He decided he didn’t dislike it, yet. It was just very confusing to hear his own voice saying things he hadn’t told it to. He didn’t know that he liked his voice much, and if Orpheus sang, he’d have to listen to himself sing...it wasn’t like he listened to recordings of himself often. Just when he needed to for a case. And he didn’t actually despise his voice. He just wasn’t so sure he wanted to hear it as much as he was about to. Still, he couldn’t deny he was curious to see how Orpheus used it. Orpheus was better at using words, overall. They knew how to make them so what they wanted. Words were often not L’s friend. He couldn’t make them connect as effortlessly, couldn’t make his thoughts convincing and easy to follow. He followed Orpheus over to the guitar, watching as they slipped into a routine they undoubtedly knew by heart. “It’s not that it’s not suited for music…” he said after a moment. “But it’s not yours. Your voice is without a doubt better at song than mine is, whether I can sing or not.”
“You have a wonderful cadence when you speak,” Orpheus replied, a smile spreading across his face. “I mean… I never expected to hear it in my voice, but it’s… it’s interesting that I’ve kept how I talk and you’ve kept how you talk. It doesn’t quite sound right with either of our voices.” Orpheus could listen to L's voice forever, but it was weird to hear his speaking patterns, his own word choice in the voice that made him feel safer than anything else in the world was capable of. He didn’t even think about the fact that hearing his voice out loud might make L uncomfortable – after L had given him permission to keep speaking out loud, it had completely left his mind. This room felt… well, it didn’t so much feel pointless as it did odd. This room wasn’t what Orpheus had expected. That wasn’t saying much, but still. It was very strange hearing his own voice used to express things that Orpheus himself likely would never have even thought of. “I understand,” he murmured, a hand growing up to his throat as though he could feel some sort of difference. He didn’t. L’s voice was just different in ways Orpheus didn’t have a way to explain. “My voice has had more practice with song,” he allowed after a long moment, searching L’s gaze. “That is, I believe, the only edge it has over yours. And \my body is very good at breath control and support. I guess… this is a good test for if it’s really the voice that makes the music or the quality technique of the performer.” He played a few more notes on the guitar before he looked up at L, a smile blossoming on his lips. “We can… test it out. Would you like to go first?"
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jun 18, 2021 11:40:43 GMT -5
L couldn’t help the small smile on his face as Orpheus spoke, and he gave a small nod, considering. “Yes, I know what you mean,” he agreed, testing his words to see how they sounded. Orpheus was right, it was very strange to hear his tones in their voice. He thought he’d probably get used to it eventually, but he wasn’t completely sure...he didn’t know if his mind was going to adjust, or keep insisting that this was wrong. He couldn’t really blame it, one way or the other. He didn’t think he was really uncomfortable with it. It was weird, and different, but he loved Orpheus’ voice and having it say his thoughts was...well, it was definitely strange. He didn’t know how to describe it. He tilted his head, moving a little closer to Orpheus as they spoke. Music was their realm of expertise, not his, but he was eager to share in anything that made them happy. He was eager to be able to be a part of the things that they loved. It made him happy, too. “Yes, alright,” he agreed, settling in near Orpheus, his eye on the guitar. He wouldn’t be able to play music for them, sadly, but...well, any music he could create would have been less impressive than what they could, anyway. He hesitated, eyes lifted to meet Orpheus. Sometimes, he was still caught off guard by how much he loved them. It wasn’t that he forgot, it was just...times like this when he felt like the feeling was going to consume him entirely. “What should I sing?” He managed, not quite looking away.
Orpheus didn’t’ know how they felt about their voice coming from L’s lips… they thought they didn’t mind it, as it was L’s ideas that mattered more than the voice they were presented with, but it was still odd. L had once told them that the House didn’t only do good rooms and bad rooms, it also had a tendency to try out plenty of more “random” rooms. As far as Orpheus was concerned, this certainly counted. They had a feeling the room could easily be changed into a good room if they put their minds to it, though… there was music, and there was the two of them, and they could do anything they wanted here, so long as the House didn’t decide to stop them. Orpheus glanced at the guitar, experimentally strumming it before making a face and moving to tune some of the chords. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do. “I don’t actually know whether or not you have a favorite song,” Orpheus mused, gaze lifting to search L’s. Orpheus had never asked the question, mainly because they didn’t have an answer themself, if L decided to turn it around on them. There was lots of music they liked, and their “favorite” song probably changed by the minute. It was reliant on mood, and time of day, and what they had been playing lately, and all sorts of other things. “I think you should sing whatever your favorite song happens to be right at this moment.” There… that should work. Orpheus’ favorite song at the moment was one that L hadn’t heard yet. Soon, probably, as soon as they put the finishing touches on it. L had heard a snippet of it in their last room together, but Orpheus hoped it wouldn’t spoil the whole song.
Orpheus was probably right about this counting as a random room. It didn’t really fit into either other category. It wasn’t one of the good rooms, not exactly, but it wasn’t bad yet, either. It felt neatly into the random category, where it was just...weird, usually. He could handle weird. Weird worked. Although, really, any room shared with Orpheus, as long as it wasn’t actively hurting them, was a good room for L. Even if it was strange, he would take it. They could definitely find a way to have some fun with it, too. He glanced at Orpheus as they tuned the guitar, eyes flicking down to look at it. He didn’t know as much about the instrument as Orpheus did, of course, but he had learned a thing or two from them. He did understand what they were doing, and how they were doing it. “A favorite song?” L repeated thoughtfully, frowning a little. “I...don’t know.” He did think he probably had multiplied favorites...and they were usually whichever one Orpheus had played last. Sometimes certain ones stuck out to him, though, ones he wanted to remember and play in his head again and again. Maybe those were his favorites. “Alright,” he agreed, looking down. He felt...not nervous, exactly. Maybe shy. This was, after all, one of Orpheus’ songs. It felt...strange, having Orpheus’ voice, singing Orpheus’ song. Still, that was his current favorite. He began slowly, letting his voice warm up, the lyrics quiet and almost inaudible as he caught the rhythm. It was one of the older songs. One he’d heard enough times to know exactly how it went, and where his voice was supposed to rise and fall, and every other little detail he wanted to get right. It felt wrong to sing badly with Orpheus’ voice, after all.
L had been right that voices sounded different inside your head than they did when you were hearing them from another person. The way L was using Orpheus’ voice sounded higher, though they were fairly certain it was coming out exactly as Orpheus’ voice normally did. Different tones and cadences perhaps, but the same pitch. It was… odd. They had thought their voice much deeper. Did that mean their songs sounded entirely different from how they had thought? They shifted uncomfortably at that – they didn’t like the idea that others didn’t hear their songs exactly as they had practiced them. It was possible that there wasn’t such a drastic disconnect in singing. Orpheus didn’t know if that was fact, but they found they wanted to hope it was. “A favorite for right now,” Orpheus clarified, giving L a reassuring nod. “I don’t think I could ask you to pick a favorite forever. I mean… I can’t pick a favorite forever. There are too many songs, and I find new ones very often. It wouldn’t be fair to pick a favorite song forever without thinking of the millions of songs that are going to be written in the future. How am I to know that one of them isn’t my favorite?” They gave a small shrug, their tiny smile still evident on their face. And then L picked a song and began to sing, and Orpheus fell completely silent. It may not have been L’s voice, but there was something about the way that he was using Orpheus’ that made the poet go completely still. It was as though a spell had been cast on them, a different kind of spell than they were capable of casting with their music. If possible, they were falling even deeper in love with L, though they hadn’t thought that possible. There had to be a bottom to hit eventually. They shook their head of the thought, instead focusing on playing. They wanted to hear how L sang it… which words he emphasized, which notes he had a hard time switching to… Orpheus’ voice or not, this was still L breathing it into being.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jun 27, 2021 20:30:36 GMT -5
This was why L didn’t like recordings of himself. It made his voice sound so...high. He didn’t like the knowledge that that was what everyone else heard all the time. He tried not to think about that too hard. Still, he could see the appeal of this room, strangeness aside. They got to see how they spoke, the way they used their words and mannerisms to communicate in a way that was completely unique to them. By swinging voices, they got to see what was voice and what were actual decisions about communication. It was...actually fascinating, once he got over the shock. He could do a current favorite, though even that was slightly difficult. There were a lot of songs he adored, and choosing between them felt a little like choosing between parts of Orpheus. They were all part of them. He didn’t see how he could pick only one. Still, the one he’d chosen was the one that connected with him the most at the moment. So maybe favorite was the wrong word, but it would work. The point was that he’d picked a song. “Technically, that logic could be applied to anything,” he pointed out, a small smile tugging at his lips. “But I do see your point.” When he closed his eyes and began to sing, he felt more than heard Orpheus go still, soundless. It was like...like somehow, L himself could cast the spell Orpheus weaved so effortlessly when he sang. He knew he couldn’t, not really. If he did so now, it was by virtue of the voice he was borrowing, nothing more. But it was a nice feeling. He let his voice grow as he gained confidence, his eyes slipping closed, his muscles relaxing. He was nothing in comparison to Orpheus, but that was more than okay. In this area, his competitive nature seemed unable to kick in. In this area, he was too in love with Orpheus to even think about wanting to best them.
“I suppose it could,” Orpheus replied softly, a tiny smile appearing on their face. It matched L’s, though they didn’t realize it. “I don’t know what my favorite food is because I haven’t tasted every food in every world, so there might be something I like better than baklava. But I like baklava an awful lot, so it’s difficult to imagine liking anything more than it.” Perhaps, Orpheus thought, they were a little bit biased because they had tasted baklava because of L, and it was L’s favorite. It tasted very similar to some of the sweets that guests had brought Mr. Hermes when they wanted to thank him for delivering messages or blessing them with good travels or good luck thieving. Mr. Hermes had always described them as gifts from friends, but Orpheus had learned a while later that they were actually offerings. It meant they got to taste a vast array of culinary achievements from around Greece, and their favorite had tasted a lot like the baklava L had brought. It was a good flavor, so it wasn’t entirely to do with the fact L liked it. That was, however, a factor. Orpheus shook their head, realizing they had allowed it to go on a tangent. They were supposed to be listening to L… which was still quite odd, hearing their voice issued from L’s lips. They had to stop thinking of it that way. The voice spoke L’s words, therefore it must have been L’s voice. The song was different than Orpheus had expected. They had only ever heard it inside their head, and though they knew it sounded nice (they trusted their music judgment enough to believe that), they didn’t know how it actually sounded. It wasn’t so much the music or their own voice that spellbound Orpheus. It was, first of all, the fact that L knew the song well enough to sing it from memory, and second of all, the emotion in L’s voice as the sung sprung forth from him. It was a completely different song than the one Orpheus had intended when they wrote it. It had the same lyrics and the same notes, but L transformed it. Orpheus was transfixed. Orpheus was in love.
“Yes, exactly,” L agreed, nodding a little at the thought. Neither of them could say they had a favorite that would never change. They didn’t know that. But maybe that wasn’t what favorite meant. Maybe it just meant the one you liked best at the moment. Yes...L decided that definition made a lot more sense. He liked introducing Orpheus to things from his own world. He liked seeing what Orpheus thought of those things, the way they reacted to them in ways L couldn’t have really predicted, having grown up around them. He couldn’t help wondering what common things would shock Orpheus in his own world, what things he hadn’t even considered worth showing them would catch their eye. He wished there was a way to tell that. He knew there wasn’t, though, so he just did his best to think of it himself. He didn’t stop singing, the lyrics escaping him in gentle highs and lows, his attention fixed on the way he wanted it to sound. His eyes closed, a soft expression coming over his features as he got more comfortable with the idea of Orpheus’ voice, with the idea of using it to sing. It still felt like it might have been theft, in a way, but he knew Orpheus didn’t mind, so it was alright. He didn’t open his eyes until the song faded away, the last note trailing off into nothing. When he looked again, Orpheus was watching him, expression...what was that expression? L blinked, searching their eyes, trying to read them. “Was that alright?” He asked softly after a very long moment, breaking the silence. “I know I’m not quite as practiced as you are, but...that’s my favorite song, currently.” He tilted his head a little. That expression...it warmed him to his core, like he’d swallowed flames and they had refused to burn him. Even now, even now that they’d been completely honest about how they felt, it was like being reminded of something you’d managed to forget completely, seeing Orpheus look at him that way. He couldn’t help wondering how he’d been unobservant enough to miss it as long as he had.
Orpheus was inescapably, unapologetically in love with L. Even when it was their own voice issuing from L’s lips, it still felt like his. Everything he was doing – the way he made the sounds, the expression on his face, the soft slope to his shoulders – was undeniably L, and Orpheus was fairly certain they would never be able to get enough of it. It didn’t matter that it was their voice L was using to sing. When it came from L, it was L’s voice… perhaps it was just because Orpheus had only very rarely heard L sing. Usually, it was just when he was forced to by the House. In Orpheus’ humble opinion, the House needed to spend more time making L sing than trying to kill them both or hurt either of them. L singing was far more entertaining anyway, and it made Orpheus’ heart do funny somersaults in their chest. “That was perfect,” Orpheus breathed, though they weren’t referring to the technical quality of the song. There had been a few mistakes here and there, but if there were no mistakes at all, it wouldn’t be human. Orpheus made plenty of mistakes in their own music, and they didn’t mess up the experience for anyone else, it just… made it more real. More human. Orpheus found they relished the thought of being human. They loved that it gave them a chance to be imperfect, but to constantly be improving. “The way you sang it… it was perfect. It sounded perfect coming from you…” Orpheus gave a small smile, reaching for L’s hand to squeeze it once before they glanced around the room once more. They wouldn’t admit it out loud, but they would have loved to hear the song in L’s voice, the one they were currently borrowing. “I don’t say it enough,” Orpheus mused, lightly bumping L with their shoulder, “but I love you. I love… everything about you. I love standing here beside you, and hearing you speak, and listening to the way your tone changes when you’re talking about something you like as opposed to something you’re uncertain about… I love existing in the same space as you. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be able to do that for even a portion of my life.”
For every ounce of love Orpheus felt towards L, it was returned. For every second they looked at him with it in their eyes, he looked back. What sort of sorcery was it that they’d found each other across who knew how many worlds? What magic was it that, in spite of everything that made them different, they felt the same towards each other? And they were different. L, logical, determined, childish. Orpheus, emotional, passionate, quiet. Then again...they were both stubborn. They were both focused on making the world better, even if they did it in very different ways. And, as the House had seen fit to point out, they were too bad at the other’s job. L could sing. Orpheus was much smarter and more intuitive than they seemed to realize. L was aware the music hadn’t actually been perfect. He was sure he’d missed some mistakes, but even he had caught a couple, and he knew Orpheus had as well. So he knew that wasn’t what they meant. They meant...they meant what L meant when he said Orpheus was perfect. Imperfect, flawed, but at the same time, nothing could be improved on. Nothing to be changed. He felt Orpheus take his hand and he squeezed it back, a tiny smile flashing across his face, the sort of genuine, open expression that was rare for him, in circumstances other than this. This sort...where it was just him and them...it still wasn’t exactly common, but it was far less unusual. His eyes softened as they continued, and yet he smile deepened without getting any larger. It was the sort of expression that was somehow using every muscle of his face, quiet, but louder than words. He didn’t let their hand go, and when they bumped him, he leaned into the touch, resting his chin lightly on their shoulder. “I love you, too,” he breathed, the shock of hearing Orpheus’ voice speaking their words wearing off. Just as his voice coming from Orpheus, though still strange, was more or less something he could ignore in favor of hearing their words. “I love holding your hand and being near you, and hearing you when you’re excited about something, and I love being able to share in your life, even a little bit. I don’t really believe in karma, but I think, if it did exist, I would strive to do as much good as I could, just to be paid back in time spent with you.”
Orpheus would never stop being in awe of L. They didn’t know how to calculate odds, but even they knew that the chances of them meeting were slim to none. Somehow, their worlds had collided in just the right way to make it happen. Of course there had been some intervention from the House, but they had still found each other. It may have been the House’s idea, but it wasn’t the House who had made them perfect for each other. It wasn’t really… anyone’s doing, it was just how it was. Sometimes, two hearts were made to fit together just right. Sometimes, someone’s heart could change shape, or… or maybe it was just that it was a puzzle piece with an unfinished edge on both sides. Orpheus was convinced that they fit with L just as perfectly as they had with Eurydice. There was always something different about the way L acted when it was just the two of them from how he acted when they were with others, and Orpheus felt the small thrill of noticing it every time they managed to coax one of those rare, open smiles from L. L may have been a renowned liar and skilled manipulator, but he was also capable of being vulnerable and genuine. He didn’t need that latter part of himself to be good at his job, but Orpheus was relieved it was still there regardless. L was, in Orpheus’ eyes, far more than his job, even if most of the people in his world wouldn’t agree. The room didn’t feel so odd, anymore. It wasn’t L with Orpheus’ voice and Orpheus’ with L’s voice, it was just two humans in love, speaking to each other in hushed tones, as though the honesty in the words might slip away if they spoke too loudly. As though the wrong person might overhear and snatch the words from the air before they could reach their intended recipient. “You do more good than you could ever know,” Orpheus whispered, lightly leaning their head against L’s. “But I know what you mean. You… well, you’re one of the most amazing people on any world. I love you for every part of you that’s celebrated and every part of you that the rest of the universe overlooks.” They gave a soft smile, unable to tear their gaze away from L’s eyes. There were universes hidden in there, thoughts and feelings that Orpheus would only ever know the surface of. Although… the House had done its best to make him see far more than that. “I am the luckiest person in any world to be able to know you as I do.”
Of all the things that could have happened, of all the possibilities...they had met. That memory was still one of L’s fondest. He hadn’t had any idea what Orpheus would become to him. He hadn’t known...he hadn’t known anything at all. But he’d liked Orpheus. And really, he had to wonder whether it had started then. Whether the seeds had been planted the moment they’d met, and it had just taken a while for them to become a tree to be climbed and played under. He didn’t know. But he wondered. Some people were just made to fit. L was convinced that he and Orpheus were that way, if anyone was. Two souls that fit like they’d been built that way, two hearts that linked perfectly. There was always a bit of a mask around everyone else. Even those he liked...well. He didn’t trust easily. He couldn’t help it. It was better, it was safer to guard himself, it was dangerous to let anyone too close. Anyone else. Orpheus, as usual, had managed to be the exception to the rule. Orpheus was trustworthy. L knew he wouldn’t be hurt by them, no matter what, so he wasn’t afraid. It was surprisingly easy to forget that their voices had been switched at all. There were more important things, after all, like speaking softly, enjoying each other’s company, existing in nearly the same space. They always ended up as close as they could get, when they were together. L wouldn’t have changed it for anything. He gave a tiny smile in reply. This was peaceful, for now. He hoped it would stay that way. He really hoped it wouldn’t turn into a bad room, but he always hoped that, didn’t he? The House wasn’t going to change for them. He wouldn’t have expected it to, though...if anyone could have convinced it, it would be Orpheus. “No luckier than I am,” he murmured back, “to be allowed to hold you. To be able to be here, now. The House has done many things, but this...this, I have to be grateful for. You continue to change my life for the better with every breath you take.”
Orpheus wondered sometimes, how they had existed in such close proximity to each other before they had confessed their love. Surely, one of them must have noticed that the level of physical contact they shared wasn’t purely platonic, right? Orpheus didn’t know when they had first started drifting towards L in rooms, when they had begun to seek L out, when they had somehow begun to end every blink holding L’s hand. It had started before they had feelings for the detective, surely. Or, perhaps that had been the sign that they did have feelings. Orpheus’ memories from around that time were rather blurred by the fact that Eurydice had only recently passed. Sometimes they felt bad for moving on so quickly, but they didn’t think they had fully moved on yet. They weren’t entirely certain they were capable of fully moving on. They were just… finding happiness where they could get it, and as far as they were concerned, happiness was synonymous with L. Perhaps they were the only one in any world that thought it, but the thought was true to them just the same. Orpheus shifted just a little bit, sharing a soft smile with L. They always tried to make the most out of every room, always tried to spend as much time as they could and remember every moment. They had taken their time with Eurydice for granted. They were determined not to make the same mistake here. “Perhaps we’re both lucky,” they whispered, a smile etching itself across their features. “I can’t imagine a life without you. A life where I hadn’t grown into adulthood with you, where you weren’t here for me to hold and love, in spite of the odds. Have you ever calculated the odds of us meeting without the House?” Orpheus hadn’t thought of the question before it left their lips, but they didn’t move to pull it back. They were curious. There had to be a non-zero chance, given the way Orpheus’ afterlife was structured. It was unlikely, yes, but… not impossible. The House had only made it a certainty. Orpheus gave a private smile as a calculation formed in their own head. In any world where they met L, the chances of them falling for him were 100%.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 21, 2021 18:22:10 GMT -5
L didn’t know when they had initially caught feelings for each other. He knew when he’d realized he was in love with Orpheus, of course. The canoe ride, when he’d seen Orpheus, and he’d realized how deeply he felt for him. How deep he’d fallen, without even realizing. Of course…it wasn’t as though he had either friends or a sense of personal space to guide him. He didn’t know why platonic friends weren’t allowed to share space. It seemed an odd sort of rule. And he’d never followed the rules very well, anyway, so what did he know? They were together now, at least. L was perfectly content within what their relationship was now. He wanted to be close to Orpheus, as close as he could be. When he saw them, he wanted to hold them close. He was willing to waste days just being next to them, because as far as he was concerned, it wasn’t a waste of time at all. He met Orpheus’ eyes, his expression softening a little. He didn’t want to think of the hard things. He wanted to be allowed to have this moment without worrying. He wanted to be close to them, and he wanted to stay that way. If Orpheus ever came to his home…would he get any work done at all? He blinked at them, his eyes searching as they asked the question. It was an interesting one, undoubtedly. He gave a quiet nod, not moving away from them as he thought about it. “I have,” he admitted, shifting so he could see them better. “It’s extremely unlikely, unless you take the possibility of a multiverse into account. Then it’s nearly 100% that one some universe, we have met without the House. But, that aside…4%, that we met at all. Less than that that would we even happen to speak. In fairness, however, it’s also very unlikely that anyone would happen to meet another specific person, no matter who they are. It’s as improbable as two atoms hitting each other, and yet it happens every day.”
-- It was odd to Orpheus, blinking in alone. They couldn’t remember ever having done it before, but they were here now, and there was nothing they could do other than wait for someone else to blink in. Unless… their eyes widened as the thought hit them. They didn’t have to just wait. They could check the rooms, see… see if they could find Elpis. If their friend might be there, because if they were… then they would at least have confirmation that Elpis hadn’t been completely destroyed. That they hadn’t immediately broken their promise to their friend… they shook that thought away. Orpheus doubted the House could make something cease to exist entirely. Elpis still existed, even if it was just in the House’s memory. If they were in the House’s memory, then they could be revived. Orpheus wasn’t going to give up hope on them. They stood up, glancing around for a few moments before dipping their head and heading into the hallway. They took a deep breath, then opened the door. They had no idea how long and fruitless this search would be, but they knew for sure they weren’t going to give up until they had guaranteed Elpis their freedom. Everyone deserved a chance to lead a normal life, and Elpis was no exception. -- Orpheus appeared again, eyes widening a little bit as he looked around. He was half expecting to be alone again this time. It was the living room, as he had expected, and there was nobody else there yet. It was… unfortunate. He would give it a few more minutes before leaving the room to go looking for Elpis again. It was possible, however, that the House had decided not to let him blink in normally until he found Elpis. That was an unfortunate thought, especially if Elpis was impossible to find. Orpheus couldn’t imagine not seeing L for weeks on end because he was searching for someone who was hidden away by the House. Hopefully, that had just been a fluke.
L didn’t know about Elpis. He didn’t know what had happened. If he’d been less out of it, he probably would have noticed that there had been a checkers board with two sides, but he hadn’t been paying anything but Orpheus any attention at all. He had no idea. He wasn’t thinking about the past as he appeared, though. He was thinking about how he was going to solve of of the current cases, actually. Considering all the ways the victims could have been killed was a good first step, of course. He looked up, the blink distracting him from his thoughts. His eyes, as they often did, found Orpheus first, and he smiled a little, the expression small and secret in his features. He stepped towards him, trying to catch his attention without startling him. Whether or not that was actually necessary was…debatable…with Orpheus, but anyone could be theoretically startled, so L thought it eas probably a good thing to do in general.
Orpheus didn’t notice L at first, but it didn’t take him very long. He gave a small smile, lifting a hand in greeting even as he pushed himself to his feet and moved towards L, easily catching the man in an embrace. “Hi,” he murmured softly into his ear, letting his eyes close as he rested in the embrace for a long second. It hadn’t been very long since he had last seen L, but any time at all was too long in his eyes. He wanted to spend an eternity with L, and he wanted, just once, to be able to blink out of his own accord instead of whenever the House decided he should. He was tired of the House deciding when he had to stop talking to L – most other couples didn’t have that pain, and Orpheus didn’t want it either. He wanted the conversation to fall off naturally. He wanted to rest in L’s arms for as long as he saw fit, not however long the House did. “How’s your case going?” Orpheus breathed, pulling back and giving L a tiny smile.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 22, 2021 11:00:08 GMT -5
L let himself be caught, slipping as easily into Orpheus’ arms as if he’d always been designed to fit there, as if he had been made specifically to be held by him. He knew it wasn’t fair that they had to stop the moment the House got bored of them, and he knew that he would have given very nearly anything to be able to live with Orpheus at his side, but he had to admit there was somerhing a little magical about being able to be caught in an embrace at a moment’s notice, to be able to be home in a second, with no warning. He didn’t pull back for a long moment, his attention focused only on the feeling of closeness, the sense of comfort and peace he always got when they were together. When they finally pulled away from each other, he offered a small smile, staying close to the other person. “It’s going well,” he replied softly, dipping his head. “I think I’m going to catch them soon. They’re getting sloppy, because they can tell I’m close, now. Of course, I wouldn’t be close if they hadn’t assumed I was and gotten sloppy, but that’s the main point of the charade, anyway.”
Orpheus couldn’t imagine anything better than the feeling of L in his arms. It was such a simple gesture, but it was also so much more than that. He didn’t believe the myths that humans had been created with two heads, four arms, four legs, and one heart, and were separated when they entered Earth with the sole goal of finding the other half of their heart, but he did believe that he and L had been made to fit together. If they hadn’t been expressly made that way, they had, at the very least, forged themselves so they were something of a matching set. Perhaps that was what came from knowing the same person for so much of your life. Eventually, you twisted yourself into a shape that wouldn’t make sense without the other there. “I’m not surprised,” Orpheus murmured, letting his hand slip into L’s. In an unspoken question, he tilted his head towards the hallway. They could do a room. They had been doing a lot of rooms together lately, but it was exciting. It was the closest they could get to going on dates and having their own adventures. The House got to choose for them, but it beat just sitting around sometimes. “You’re very impressive, and every criminal has to realize that eventually. I’m glad you’ve almost got this one wrapped up, though. I know it’s a little disappointing sometimes when you catch them because they’re sloppy, though.”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 22, 2021 12:57:10 GMT -5
Maybe it wasn’t that they’d been created to find each other. Maybe it wasn’t that their hearts were split into two and they had to find the other half. Maybe it was like…like those trees that sometimes grew twisted when other trees were there. Like how the branches curled around each other and the roots grew together and the trunks intertwined. They hadn’t begun together and they wouldn’t have died if they’d never met, but their lives were changed irreversibly for the better now, and they could never go back to how they’d been before. They were stronger this way. L didn’t know exactly what he’d have been like without Orpheus in his life, but he knew for a fact that he’d have been worse off. They’d grown together. L wouldn’t have it any other way. He curled his fingers around Orpheus’ hand, entwining them together. He followed the unspoken question with his eyes, then gave a tiny nod, looking back at Orpheus again to catch what he was saying. “Yes, that’s true,” he agreed, stepping towards the hall, hand in hand with the other blinker. “They could have done much better. It was a stupid mistake, but I can respect their attempt. I think they assumed I would assume they didn’t know what I tried to tell them earlier in the case, because I didn’t tell them that I tried to tell them, so they assumed that it was a mistake on my part, since they aren’t aware that I only rarely make mistakes.” He looked at the doors, eyes scanning them all. Then he turned to incline his head at Orpheus, eyebrow raising to ask if he wanted to pick.
Orpheus knew there were thousands of realities where he never met L. He knew there were millions of ways his life could have gone where he never would have met L. He knew the chances of them growing together were slim to none, and yet they had managed to do it. He leaned against L just a little bit, a smile touching his lips as he glanced at him. It was a wonder they ever managed to make it inside any rooms, given how inclined they were to talk to each other and lounge in each other’s company, soaking in every moment. They didn’t’ have to be talking every moment, either. It was just… comfortable to exist in the same room as L, holding onto each other and occupying the same space like they were magnets, forever tied to each other, attracted to and revolving around each other. “They should know from your reputation that you don’t make mistakes,” Orpheus reproached softly, glancing down at L as he did. “Unless, of course, you’re using a different identity for this one. But if you do that, then you’ll be more than the three best detectives in the world, you’ll be at least the four best detectives in the world. Unless you have one of your identities make a mistake so that you don’t draw too much attention…” he trailed off, blushing as he realized how much spending time with L had changed his own thought process. He wasn’t necessarily more suspicious now, but he was more open to the possibility that things might not always turn out as planned. He had started thinking of backup plans, just in case. “This one?” Orpheus asked, pulling away from L just far enough to reach for a door handle, but not far enough away that he had to let go of L’s hand.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 22, 2021 17:22:32 GMT -5
L was more than aware that he had a tendency to abandon all other things the moment there was the possibility of talking to Orpheus, or existing in the same space as him. He knew that would be a problem if they ever did eventually live together, but if that happened, it would probably take a while. He didn’t mind it. He wanted to spend time with Orpheus, as much as he possibly could, and the House, they had all the time to waste that they wanted. He knew he probably shouldn’t be as attached to the idea of Orpheus coming to his world as he was. But…if it were power…even as a ghost…maybe. Maybe he was allowed to hold onto that hope. He believed that if Orpheus was able, if it were possible, he would. That was enough for L. He looked at Orpheus as he spoke, his small smile resting on his features. He loved it when Orpheus spoke like that. Of course, he just liked it when Orpheus spoke in general, so that wasn’t hard. Everything Orpheus did endeared him to L, no matter what it was. “I’m Deneuve for this one,” he explained. “It’s safer that way, because this is more his type of criminal, generally speaking. Plus, I think that it would be best if L Lawliet took a small break, while Eraldo Coil is helping the Japanese government with a serial killer. It’s perfectly alright, though. L made a mistake, and is probably trying to avoid backlash.” He looked at the door, then gave a small nod, moving towards it. It seemed as good as any other, and he liked it when Orpheus chose. He opened the door, then looked at Orpheus, tilting his head. He didn’t let go as he stepped inside.
Orpheus gave a small nod as he looked at L. L was doing a much better job of managing three identities than Orpheus would have been in his shoes. Orpheus likely would have gotten them all mixed up on day one, though he knew he was going to have to get a lot better at being more than one person if he ever found a way to L before he died. Even if he died, he didn’t know how tangible he’d be as a ghost. If he was visible to more than just L, they would probably need a fake identity for him as well. He would need to memorize all of the details and keep them straight (although he had never been very good at keeping anything straight). That was far away from this moment, though. For now, he was content just to be impressed by L. “That makes sense,” he murmured, lightly bumping L with his shoulder. “Although the real L Lawliet very rarely makes any mistakes at all. At least… not the kind of mistake that would make him take a break. Sometimes I think he should take more breaks than he does, for the reason that he needs to take care of his health. I think as soon as a certain ancient legend dies, he’ll have to make sure said detective is taking breaks.” An amused smile touched his lips as he followed L through the door. The comfortable pressure in his hand disappeared and his eyes went wide, taking in every corner of the room. “L?” Orpheus ventured, voice shaking with uncertainty. “Are you still here?” He hugged his arms to his chest, looking around for any sign of L. He took a breath, taking a few more steps into the rooms.
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 22, 2021 18:19:17 GMT -5
L was very used to being more than one person, so it wasn’t too difficult for him to keep them separate. He didn’t think he could done it very well immediately, but it was much, much safer than being one person. He hadn’t used the one he was currently on too often, which made it a good one to stop in now, when the other two were ‘busy’. He snorted very lightly as Orpheus continued, and leaned his head against the shoulder for a brief moment. Any contact with Orpheus was good by him. “He does take breaks,” he replied, glancing at the other blinker, a playful smile at his lips. “I believe that legend may have something to do with those breaks, as a matter of fact. He might even be taking a break right now…it’s possible, you know. It’s very hard to say, for sure, of course, since his identity is extremely well hidden.” His voice abruptly cut off as he stepped into the room. In its place was cool air where he’d stood, not even a warm breath to prove he’d ever been there at all. There was a shape there, though. A tall shape, stepping forward, curly black hair falling down his neck and his face, almost covering his bright blue eyes. “Excuse me,” he said softly, inclining his head slightly to one side. “But do you know where we are?”
The soft smile that was a constant feature of Orpheus’ face when L was near disappeared, replaced by cold, uncertain suspicion. He didn’t trust the House with L, especially since he couldn’t be certain that L had blinked out instead of being lured into some painful trap somewhere. He swallowed, tensing as he realized he wasn’t actually alone. His eyes narrowed at the figure, and he wished he could tell whether it was a blinker or a House person. If it was a House person, it was the closest he had come to finding Elpis since he had last seen them. If this was a House person, it was one more being who deserved to have their own life instead of one controlled by the House. Orpheus couldn’t fight for both them and Elpis at the moment, though. He needed to get Elpis free first before he worried about anyone else the House had created. Besides, it was entirely possible that the person who had appeared here was another blinker. From the way they were looking at Orpheus – their eyes weren’t blank, for one – he had a feeling they were a blinker more than they were a House person. He wished L was there to calculate the odds. “This is the Paradox House,” he said gently, looking around. “We’re in a room here.” He had to hope that L had blinked out. He had to hope that the House had just gotten sick of them being mushy and had decided to throw in someone new. “Don’t worry, you’ll go back to your world eventually, and it’ll be like you never left at all.” He hugged his arms to chest and breathed out, looking around. “You didn’t see anyone else in here by chance, did you?”
Post by ®Hawkpath® on Jul 22, 2021 18:56:48 GMT -5
The man approached Orpheus, stopping a respectful distance away. He didn’t speak for a long moment, a small frown at his lips, as though he were processing the information. Then he offered a small, shy smile. “Paradox House?” He repeated, tone vaguely puzzled, but in a polite sort of way, as though Orpheus had spoken in an odd language and he was trying to carefully figure out what he had intended to say. “I…see,” he continued, shaking his head just a little bit. “Someone else? Oh…I did see someone else, when I was walking, but he didn’t seem very interested in talking to me. I think he was in a hurry? He didn’t answer me when I asked where I was, at least. Do you…know him?”
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