[P] and i'm a fan of holding hands and letting go
#1
As soon as Maudlin had begun fawning over Atlas, Discord knew that that was her cue to leave. She wasn’t sure if it had been because there were now three grown adults in a space that only just about comfortably housed two, or whether it was her own sheer embarrassment, but the room had suddenly become quite hot. The maiden hadn’t even bothered to grab a shawl such was her eagerness to leave, though when she got outside she found herself wishing she hadn’t ran out in such a haste. It was ignorable enough, she decided, staring at the door which she had just slammed. She could hear the titters of amusement coming from within, and the solidified her resolve to not return to fetch her shawl. She’d rather freeze to death in all honestly. Delicate fingers slipped through the wooden handle of the small cover pen in which Drum and Fortress were kept and she held the gate open as she wrapped a thin hand around the black horse’s lead rope. There didn’t see much point in saddling him, not when she was so eager to leave this place and get as far away from it as she could. God knows what they were doing in there. She would’ve at least liked to think that the idea of Julius looming so close by was enough of a deterrent for them, but somehow doubt did more than linger in her mind. It practically made itself at home. 

Discord’s resolve wasn’t quite so firm by the time she got into Millstone Village. The wind had picked up a little, despite the fact she was further inland than Julius’ watchtower and the little shed that herself and Atlas had settled themselves into for the time being. It whipped her hair about, which was probably more frustrating than the cold. Fort didn’t seem to mind, however, steady and dependable as ever he trudged through the generous layer of snowfall beneath him, utterly unconcerned as to where they were headed or why. Discord herself had no answers either, her green eyes were cast over the village, somewhere she rarely ventured, and wondered why on earth she’d let herself ride this far out in the cold. Had it been just to spite her siblings? Well, no. She doubted that either of them cared, especially when they knew she was too keen on self-preservation to do anything outwardly dangerous. Dependable, dull, despondent Discord. The Lady Greygrief huffed to herself in dry amusement. She couldn’t even defend herself. She saw no good sport in risk and no entertainment in malice, and where did that leave her in Salsola. The Thistle Kingdom was no place for bleeding hearts and tenderness. Her mother had made that well known and had attempted to beat the sensitivity out of her as a child, though she had never been entirely successful. At least, Discord mused, that she had given her a shield with which to protect herself from her siblings. That was something, she supposed.
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#2
Ooc: 

There was a bitter wind, one that chilled to the bone. 

Swallowed in his coat, Mogis braved the frigid wilds to make several small repairs to his humble cabin. Most notably, his damaged door. Winterproofing, he supposed, was an arduous, endless task. One that seemed to be insurmountable so far into the season. It was a shame though, he thought, to pour so much effort into a place he intended to abandon upon the turning of the season, yet he could not bear any further heat lost to the gap between the door and its frame.

Someone else would reap the reward of his labour. How disappointing. 

Nevertheless, he had little idea what he was doing. His hands were nimble, but they did not bear the strain of a labourer. They were trickster’s hands; made for conjuring tricks rather than craftsmanship. The hammer felt clumsy in his awkward grip. He’d never learned such things from his father, nor did his pride allow him to seek help. Mogis was ultimately on his own.

He patched the gap with a strip of spare wood, tacking it in with several crude nails. It was ugly – but it would do.

And for a moment, however brief, Mogis felt proud.

Standing then on the porch, Mogis shut the door tight behind him and faced out toward the village when he was greeted with something of a surprise. “Lady Greygrief?” A genuinely befuddled Mogis called out into the snow.

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#3
It took her a long moment to recognise the name that echoed off of the buildings, dampened by the snowfall and yet still eerily clear. It took her a moment to find where the voice had hailed from, seeing as the source seemed to shift from here to there as it filtered through the small village. Discord’s brow knitted in confusion and her lips parted slightly as she decided whether to call out or not. The voice was familiar, but not familiar enough for the maiden to summon a face or a name with which to go with it, and perhaps that was part of the reason why she’d had to do a double take when she eventually located the source of the call. Mogis’ earthen coloured form and coat must have blended in so seamlessly to the wooden frame of his cabin that it had escaped her sight as she’d searched, almost panicked, for him.

There was no sense in panicking, she admonished herself. Nothing would happen to her while she was in Salsola. Nothing unless whomever marked himself as perpetrator had a death wish. This was now some barren, lawless wasteland, the Thistle Kingdom had a certain way of doing things and that provided young girls such as her with ample protection. That had always been something her mother had impressed on her, especially as the once Lady Greygrief had so little to say in favour of men. Even if she had doted on Atlas tirelessly. But Atlas wasn’t a man was he? Well, she supposed he was in the truest sense of the word, but admittedly Discord still struggled to see her brother as the display of wealth and wonder he considered himself to be.

“Mogis.” she greeted, steering Fortress towards his cabin, “I didn’t see you there, my apologies.” The horse trudged forward, stopping dutifully and the edge of the property before he lowered his great head and nosed at the disturbed snow in hopes of finding early spring greenery under it. Discord let his mane fall from her hands and, as they always did, they began to fidget with the jewels that adorned her form, namely her rings this time. A claw traced the outline of the vines on the fat sides of the gold and ruby ring on her index finger. It had been a gift from Atlas and, despite everything, it was a much-treasured item. Atlas had always been like that. She supposed part of it was sheer showoffishness, the House must always be seen to be wealthy, even if it had little in the way of prestige. Discord herself wasn’t even sure if half of their so-called treasures were real, but she had to admit, some of them sure were beautiful.

“What brings you in the cold today?” Discord asked, trying her best to pretend that she herself had any good reason to be outside in the howling wind. The wince she gave as it blasted past her and sent her long hair flying again did nothing to aid her, but she still refused to give up the pretence, even as her ears began to drop lower and lower against her locks in order to keep that incessant whistling out of them.

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#4
Ooc:

The shout gave her pause, but through the icy haze Mogis could see the mark of realisation work along her fine features. It was stange, he thought, that she would ride here of all places. The Millstone was a place rarely tread – home to those on the outer fringes of polite Salsolan society. Perhaps it was good for one who liked their privacy, yet Mogis was already making plans to move to the ruin and walk the walk of a Salsolan proper.

But, for why had she come? There was undeniable selfish desire within Mogis that she had come for him. That the warm and friendly seed he’d planted had taken root into something… something useful. Yet, Mogis was not so naive to believe just yet. 

I could say the same to you my lady,” he chirped from his porch. A kind smile gleamed underneath his hooded cloak. 

Home repairs,” he answered with a nonchalant flourish of the hammer in hand. It was good to appear useful. Often, audiences connected with a salt of the earth sort of character. The great houses of Salsola needed to perceive Mogis a certain way, after all. He curated his behaviours, his mannerisms, to match.

She drew her mount near and Mogis delighted in the opportunity. “Please, hitch your horse and come inside – it’s far too cold to linger in the snow.” He pulled his cloak tight as he descended the front stairs. Here, he offered wordlessly to help tie the horse to the post.

 “I have a fire burning inside,” he explained.
 

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#5
"Ah." Discord voiced, her gaze drifting towards the spot to which he had gestured with his hammer. Yes, now she could see his handy work, the patches of wood that pockmarked the entrance to his abode. Presumably, it had been the winter's ferocity that had necessitated such repairs and she wondered if the majority of the damage to her own small shack had come from the same source. If she and Atlas had arrived earlier, and if they had managed to patch the damage in time, would their job had been effectively halved? There would have still been a great deal of ivy to clear either way as according to her brother the amount seemed to significantly predate even him. It was a funny thought. Those tendrils and spade-shaped leaves being years, perhaps even decades older than those who had callously cut it back and used it to make soap. It was a thought that had made her stop and consider her work, though that in itself had triggered a deep mocking tone to rise from Atlas' maw. "Please don't tell me you feel bad for plants now?"  he'd scoffed, brushing wet soil from his pale, muscular hands and dusting the detritus from his lean thighs. She didn't give him the satisfaction of a response. In this case, the ivy was better off dead and processed that it was alive and snaking around the tower and its outbuildings. Perhaps if it had been flowing wisteria she'd have been more moved by its plight.

An invitation inside was a hard thing to turn down in this weather and for a while, she didn't respond, caught up in considering what Atlas would say if he were there. But it didn't matter really, he wasn't there, and even if he had been the Lady Greygrief was in just the right mood to utterly disregard any advice given to her. Discord had been so lost in her own thoughts, and before she'd had time to argue to accept, Mogis was already slipping Fortress' lead rope from its roost atop his withers and holding it out to the maiden. She didn't know whether to take it out of his hands or not, nor if he was offering to hitch the stallion to the nearby post himself. Ever the romantic, she assumed the latter and nodded her permission, taking advantage of his turned back to slide from her mount and readjust her skirt and blouse. By the time he had knotted the lead rope and drawn himself upright again, Discord had moved to stand by Fortress' lowered head, fine hands brushing powdery snow from his broad, arching neck.

"Thank you, sir." Her words came with a soft, polite smile, but an entirely practised one at that. Grace and etiquette had been as relentlessly drilled into her by her Uncle Julius as it was currently by Atlas, and even in these strange, almost unsettling moments of almost intimate conversation, she never forgot her manners. Anything was better than sitting out in the cold for another few hours at any rate, and Mogis wasn't a threat of any kind, in fact she had found his company very agreeable during the handful of time he'd visited Atlas.

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#6
Ooc:

Mogis' mistrust of large beasts being cast aside, the horse's lead was taken tentatively in hand and was wrapped thrice around the hitching post. In his mind, he framed these hoops he willingly jumped through like a game; one that could be won should he carry himself with dignity. There were rules to courtship, of course -- rules Mogis intended to abide by. The Greygrief family, while being relatively new actors upon the upon the Salsolan stage, was a small part of a much older, much more traditional system/

He turned then, once her mount had been properly secured, to offer his hand to help her down. Yet, Mogis was met with surprise once again as his outstretched hand was met by a riderless horse. "Oh." A slight sound escaped parted lips. However, he tried not to wear his surprise on his face. Instead, he merely smiled.

"Come, please," he invited warmly as he led Discord up the stairs of his humble abode. The door was pushed open with a heavy creak that spoke directly to its age and general state of disrepair. The door opened to a single room cabin. The air inside was warm, yet the decor was sparse. He kept a tidy home, but apart from the bedfurs neatly folded by the burning hearth and a small table equipped with a set of crudely built chairs, it was obvious that Mogis' place among the Salsolan populace was not that of nobility, but the common gentry instead. He could not deny a small amount of insecurity regarding this, and could only hope that the Lady Greygrief would not think less of him for this

Yet at the same time, he believed he could turn this to his advantage.

"Warm yourself by the fire," he instructed, stripping away his heavy coat before hanging it on a rack by the door. "If you'd like, I could make us some tea. How's that sound?"




 

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#7
She followed Mogis up the steps to his home without a word, once or twice casting her gaze around to take in more of Millstone Village. She'd never had reason to be up this way before, and she doubted that she would have reason to visit again for another while yet. Of the top of her head, she couldn't quite think of anyone she knew that live in Millstone, at least not anyone she spoke to with any regularity, though on first impressions she couldn't fathom why. It seemed like a nice enough place, so the only reason she could summon to mind after a quick consideration was the distance alone from here to the Ruins. Everyone lived in the Ruins (at least, everyone that mattered) and being seen was half the game sometimes. Atlas had always made a show of going anywhere, bedecking both himself and his sisters in all sorts of finery, just in case an important eye were to pass over them. "You don't have to be important to look and act important." he'd explained once. Fake it 'til you make it, she mused.

Discord didn't think much of his home, but then again she didn't think much of her own. Atlas had done his best to lie rich fabrics around and leave all manner of interesting or glittering objects on show, but she'd always felt that it seemed a bit... impersonal. Everything in that damned shack had to say something, had to fulfill a purpose. Even the flowers that she brought in couldn't show the slightest sign of wilt and the fire always had to be crackling away, even when it wasn't particularly cold. They had to be seen to be able to afford to have such things out in the open or used year-round. To Discord it seemed a foolish endeavour, but to Atlas it was the basis of his masterpiece.

Still, she found herself a place by the fire, once again smoothing out her clothes, arranging the sodden ends of her skirt so that they might have a chance to dry. Discord listened as he hung his coat up, not watching to watch him in his own hour, but still curious as to what he was doing. When he offered her tea, she accepted with a, 'Yes, please. If it isn't too much of an imposition.' She felt safer drinking his tea than she did that which was kept in her own home. There was always some slight irrational fear that Atlas would mistakenly put something dangerous where something harmless should be, but she knew it was a silly fear for her brother was far too keen to allow that to happen. 

While he stood with his back to her, she dared to peek around the room again. As modest as it was, it was certainly cosy enough if nothing else and she supposed that given time he would add to it and it would develop more into a home. Discord was all too aware that she and her brother had practically speedran the renovation of their small abode.
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#8
Ooc:

As his unannounced guest settled in, Mogis went straight to work. His kitchen, or rather, kitchenette, was certainly nothing to write home about. Consisting of little more than a small cabinet, he set about his search through meager provisions. Squatting, with face buried out of view, Mogis could only muse aloud, "Pardon the, uh -- the lack of comforts here." His head peeped up from the cabinet and looked at Discord in earnest. "I don't have company often." 

A half-truth, he supposed. He rarely had visitors apart from game night, but he felt he needed some excuse to explain away the simplicity of the cabin.

Returning to his search, the leftover wine from Saturnalia caught his attention. He hesitated for a moment, lingering over the bottle until he finally grasped a small jar of dried tea leaves. It felt light in his hand which gave him pause. Upon opening the jar, he found there was enough for perhaps one more kettle -- yet...

There was still the wine. This he could use.

"Bad news,"  he spoke, a farce of what could be considered genuine disappointment tinging his voice. "It seems I'm out of tea -- I should have known." However, he reached for the half-full bottle of wine and raised it aloft with a swirl. This was preferable. All according to plan. "I have wine though!" he added with an excited smirk.

He brought with him two wooden cups and sat beside his guest. He poured her cup first, and then his own.



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#9
She found it mildly humourous how Mogis had introduced his meagre about with all the humility of a hermit. Specifically, she found it amusing how he introduced it in such in comparison with how Atlas spoke of their own home. Home for Discord was scantly larger than Mogis' cabin, but the walls were of a more solid stone for the majority of the build and the Greygrief's possessed a significantly larger amount of furnishings. Fabric was draped on every in the stone outbuilding and in contrast, Mogis' abode seemed to be almost entirely devoid of decoration. The modest room in which she sat in functioned almost as a palette cleanser for the Lady Greygrief, giving her eyes a rest from the gaudiness and constant rearrangement she was forced to deal with in her own home. The blank wooden walls and bare-bones furniture served their purpose and nothing more, something that evoked a feeling of... almost tranquility for Discord.

Her ears pricked up as Mogis next spoke, swiveling backward a little in reaction to his cry of "Bad news." She didn't quite know why she'd reacted so instinctively to those words, as there was nothing particularly live changing about a lack of tea, but perhaps it was the fact that she was always so high-strung these days. The young hybrid paused a moment to clear her thoughts, flashing Mogis a polite, understanding smile. 'That's no problem, wine is fine too.' It wasn't fine. Discord barely tolerated alcohol at the best of times and only obliged Atlas by drinking it at feasts because she also couldn't abide hearing him go on about it constantly. Besides, she certainly had no appetite for wine at this time of day even ignoring her personal opinions on drink, but that didn't mean she was about to refuse hospitality. Against her better judgment, she took the filled cup from him, disregarding the playful smirk he had given her.

She took a sip, masking the distaste she had for it and ignoring the burn of the alcohol as it slide down her throat. How on earth did people enjoy drinking this? Never mind drinking it day in day out, and in such vast quantities as she'd witnessed during feasts. A hand flitted to her chest again, fingering the delicate crucifix (not that Discord knew what on earth one of those was) that nestled in the ruffles of her blouse. It was a bad habit, and one that she was surprised Atlas had not at least attempted to chide her out of it. Part of her wondered if it was because that, although it could be regarded as a sign of discomfort (which it never usually was, Discord just couldn't abide not having something to fidget with) it was also a fantastic opportunity to draw attention to the many pieces of finery she wore. "Some flaws have their uses..." She could almost hear her brother musing.

"I must have Atlas send some new tea your way in return.' Discord said, 'He's following in the wake of our mother and grandfather, though I suspect he has grander aspirations than either."


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#10
Ooc:

"Oh -- only if you insist," a grateful (or rather, with the appearance of being grateful) Mogis quickly interjected. He took his own cup in both hands and sat with legs neatly crossed. "It's so hard to find good tea these days. Especially in this season.

He looked wistfully into the crackling flames. The fire's light reflected in the darkest parts of his eye like a tiny mirror. "I hope, when the spring comes and trade resumes, that I can return your kindness," he added, making mental note all the while to actually make good on this promise. An empty gesture held no weight after all in this lofty game of politik.

Raising his cup, Mogis sipped. However, he had every intention of remaining sharp.

"Your elder brother has ambition... it should suit him well here," Mogis mused. It could suit him well too should Mogis hitch himself to the Greygrief cart. So long as that ambition did not find itself at odds with Mogis' own aspirations, he saw it as a net positive.

For now.

Setting his cup on the floor, Mogis shifted a puzzled glance toward Discord. Still, there was a question that demanded an answer. "If you don't mind me asking..." voiced Mogis, "What brought you to the Millstone?" Particularly on a frigid day like this.



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#11
'I wouldn't know,' Discord smiled, almost apologetically. 'Atlas has the house packed with teas and herbs and God knows what else. Sometimes I think the place looks more like some ornate teahouse than an actual home.' Until they found their own home, there was little that the Greygrief's could do about living in a would-be teahouse. Storage was at a premium and Discord supposed she should at least count her blessings that she wasn't sleeping on crates of herbs or under a canopy of dried bouquet garni. 

The hybrid girl shook her head, 'Repay what kindness? You have no debt with us. It's me that owes you thanks.' Atlas would have hated her saying that, she supposed that in his mind an endless cycle of gift-giving was the perfect back and forth display of status. To her, like many of her brother's schemes and thoughts, it sounded ridiculous and tiresome. Besides, this was not her brother's debt to repay, it was hers and his opinion wasn't particularly one she cared for at the best of times. 

'I hope so. He's unbearable to live with when things don't go his way.' Almost immediately she regretted letting the information slip, and she took another sip of wine to hide the narrowing of her lips as she mentally chided herself for her loose tongue. Though perhaps Mogis would not take it as a genuine complaint, perhaps he would see it simply as a young girl venting her frustrations against her older brother. Older brothers were by stereotype either total nuisances or knights in shining armour, and while Discord couldn't place Atlas confidently in either category, that morning he had proven himself to be a complete and utter nuisance without a doubt. 

'Oh-' Her brow furrowed as she attempted to decide how to explain her trip to Millstone. 'Well, I hadn't intended on coming here at all. I just... sort of let Fortress go where he wished and... here we are.' The maiden was still so new to Salsola and that meant that there were ample places that needed exploration. She'd found that letting her mount wander was an effective way of finding places she wouldn't have thought to venture to, though obviously she usually made such trips in better weather or with ample cold weather clothing than today. But she usually also had time to prepare before she left, which she had not had today. It was her own fault really, she thought. Atlas and Maudlin hadn't exactly forced her out of the house, it had been her own weak spine that had caused the particular issue, but she stood by her actions. Whatever the pair of them were up to she didn't want to know a thing about it.

'Sometimes three's a crowd and when it comes to my siblings, I'd rather not be around both of them at the same time.' Discord admitted, bringing the wine to her lips again and regretting her words once more. She didn't know if it was the wine or her own desperation to talk to someone that she didn't share blood with, but she could feel her resolve to be tight-lipped and ladylike fading.

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#12
Ooc:

Ah, all was not so well in house Greygrief as Mogis had assumed. A slip of the tongue, so innocent in its execution, revealed so much about the great gryphon crested house. Mogis merely nodded along, offering an affirmative hum in reply. The more she spoke candidly, the better model he could build of the Greygrief family in his mind. He needed to keep her talking; to make her comfortable. He needed to find his in with dear Lady Greygrief.

So, he lied.

"I might know the feeling," Mogis answered with a knowing huff. He crafted a narrative in his mind; one not too far off from the truth, but distorted enough to make himself relatable. "Growing up with my sister Marla... it wasn't always easy.

"We were performers mostly, and Marla -- she was one of the best of us," he explained. He had always envied her talent; her raw command of the stage. How perfect she had always been. Of course, he left her kindness out of the tale he wove. It no longer served him. "She was the type that could suck all of the air out of the room, leaving everyone else without.

Mogis' brow furrowed as an intentional, weighty pause settled between them. Taking his cup, Mogis drank deeply.

"Welp," he spoke after the beat had passed, "I'm glad you came here." He looked to Discord with wide, innocent eyes as he leaned forward. 

"And if you need someone to talk to," he went on, "I've got two big ears for listening." Both twitched as he smiled warmly.





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#13
'Maudlin isn't the best of anything.' Discord said disdainfully. She only half regretted saying that, the words weren't followed by that bitter tinge that made her reconsider her words. Her dark brow furrowed once again and she said 'That does sound a lot like her though. She's so loud and she's always there.' Always having to have her say. She supposed that she still did love her, but there was this frustrating juvenility about her that she seemed unable to shake, especially around Atlas. Nothing seemed serious to her unless of course, it was those things that she herself cared about. Then nothing was nearly as important as that. Discord found it exhausting to jump through all of these hoops, but she reasoned that at least Atlas and Maudlin thought so alike that there was only one set of demands to bow to at the time. Even if they were more often than not the utter antithesis of what Discord herself desired.

'You performed?' The youth asked, almost eager for a way to avoid talking about herself. The idea of a life as a performer was a curious one, something so incredibly far removed from her understanding that it was easy for her to ask in earnest interest about his life. 'Performing how?' She asked further, for she could think of many different narratives her mind offered up to her. Song, dance, music, trickery, were all arts that sprung from the depths of her imagination. An interesting folly, but a folly nonetheless. Though perhaps that was the tiny Atlas on her shoulder speaking again. If such acts brought entertainment to the masses, if they brought a smile to people's faces, then surely that wasn't in fact a folly. Everyone deserved some humour, something that was there to do nothing else but liven the spirits.

'I suppose it has been pleasant enough.' She said, taking another mouthful of wine. Safe to say her opinion on alcohol had not changed during the course of her visit thus far. It was still bitter and hot on her tongue and down her throat, and the more she drank the more she felt lacking in control. She still didn't like it, that sharp edge she usually had was dissolving and it filled her with a general sense of unease, though she did not show it. Discomfort was something to be swallowed and hidden, not displayed for all to see, especially for a new friend as Mogis was proving himself to be.

'Thank you.' The maiden said, her voice thick, 'It's- It's not easy, coming here, dealing with Atlas' delusions of grandeur. With Maudlin's spitefulness...' Her tongue had slipped again, but this time Discord had decided entirely that she did not care. Resolutely she took another drink of her wine, draining the last inch or so of the berry coloured liquid within the cup. 'But you don't need to hear about my problems.' She said with a polite smile and an almost laugh. 'It's just... sibling stuff. Silly stuff really.'


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#14
Ooc:

The venom in her voice was a quiet thing. A beast, malnourished as it seemed in this moment, snapped underneath the surface of her skin. He thought to feed it -- for every word that poured from poor Lady Discord's mouth, the schism within the Greygrief household became more abundantly clear in the trickster's mind. Mauldlin's name was drawn into the fray too, and Mogis merely nodded thoughtfully along in the affirmative. A good listener. A good friend.

Her discomfort regarding the subject, however, too became more apparent in the way she latched on to a potential pivot. He would indulge her, of course. There was no sense in pushing too hard -- especially now. These things would come in time, and Mogis had the potential to be a patient man depending on the stakes.

"Ah, yes!" he exclaimed, his face taking on a joyous facade. "Here, let me show you."

He rose from his place by the fire and opened a nearby drawer. He produced a tarnished, silver coin. One that once gleamed in the sun, but now bore an ugly green patina.

Easy little slight of hand tricks were often a way to get crowds warmed up before the big show. They were also a thieves favorite tools. Returning to his place by the fire, he held out an open palm with the coin in it. With a flourish, expertly practiced, he closed his fingers around it tightly. However, when his hand unfurled, the coin had seemed to disappear. 

"Magic," he muttered in hushed, whimsical tones. 

He clasped his hand again, and then presented to coin to the Lady Greygrief. "For you, my dear."

"We would mostly put on stage productions -- to entertain, but I always found my gifts here," he explained

Upon seeing Discord's cup run empty, Mogis reached for the bottle of wine and filled her cup again.

Taking his own cup in hand, Mogis raised it in the fire's light. "A toast then, to shitty siblings.


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#15
It was a known fact that Discord allowed herself to be spirited away by the unexplained with far more childlike wonder than her siblings. Atlas was far too focused on the how and the why, determined to get to the bottom of such follies and manipulate them to his own will. He'd been like that as a child. No one could tell him silly stories of heroes and dragons for he found them far too unrealistic. It had been amusing to find out that in his adolescence he'd taken to devouring all sorts of dark, fantastical (and utterly impossible) books. She didn't think such a complete one-eighty degree turn was possible in a man with such firm beliefs, but the dark maiden found herself corrected.

Her brow knitted as she watch Mogis' hands closely, but she was utterly unable to fathom how he'd managed to sully such a bright new coin, or how he had made it disappear entirely before her very eyes. Delicate hands reached out to take the coin that was offered to her, and she inspected it closely. Spinning it around, Discord was unable to find anything special or significant about the coin. As pretty as it was, it seemed for all intents and purposes to be a common or garden coin. Which meant that Mogis was indeed a strangely talented man. Now, Discord didn't believe in magic per se, not the kind she'd been told stories of or that appeared in books. But she did hold strong stock in the word of the occult and she knew that some people were just naturally in tune to it. Of course, she knew of the sleight of hand tricks that street magician's used too, but that didn't stop her being fascinated by this ability to make it seem as if they were conjuring things from out of thin air.

Time seemed to melt away before her. Perhaps it was the alcohol that caused it, but regardless, Mogis' conversation was well-honed and it seemed as if he had a funny tale or a moral anecdote in response to every gripe and reminiscence that she divulged to him. Honied eyes watched him refill her cup again, her lips parted in an all too late attempt to decline, but the neck of the bottle had already come to rest against the rim and there was an almost silent bubbling of pouring wine. The fire stick crackled pleasantly, and Discord lamented the forthcoming ride home. Would it be rude to perhaps ask Mogis to borrow that thick coat of his? It wouldn't necessarily have meant another wasted trip if she could quickly persuade Atlas to whip up a box of teas for Mogis in repayment for his sanctuary. And the last of this disgusting, disgusting wine. 

'What time is it..?' Discord enquired softly, putting her cup down beside her and smoothing out her skirts once more. The hem was still slightly darker in the places where it hadn't completely dried, but at least it was no longer sopping wet like it had been when she had arrived. 'My apologies, but I think I've kept you from your work long enough and I really must be getting back...'

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#16
Ooc: Slight PP! Hope it's okay!

Time had a funny way of slipping away.

The bottle of wine, now empty and upturned, had rolled unceremoniously along the floor. Both out of reach and out of mind. Minutes bled into hours and Mogis had hardly noticed their passage. Only when pressed by Discord did Mogis finally glance toward his shuttered window. It was dark now; the last vestiges of the days light had all but gone. "Oh god, I dunno," Mogis answered with a casual roll of his shoulders. Who could really say how long it had been? It had been an evening full of mirth and laughter, and it was a shame that it would have to come to a close -- but, he supposed it didn't have to. 

Not yet, at least.

"Wait," he spoke in earnest, reaching for Discord's hand before she had the chance to rise and flee. His grip was intentionally loose, tentative and nervous as fingers softly intertwined with hers. Projecting a characteristic hesitance, he muttered a quiet, "I -- I want you to stay." It had all the weight of a secret; spoken only for her.

Then, very slowly, he pulled her hand to his muzzle and placed a tender kiss upon its back

He cleared his throat and straightened himself. "It's just -- it's so cold," he explained. Innocent, saucer-like eyes locked on to the feminine features of Discord's face. "I just wouldn't feel right knowing you were riding back in this alone."     

Word Count - ---
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