Characterization - Arcady Alatáriël
[Note: This is a self titled thread because I recently had to do a creative writing assignment focused on characterization. I could have put this in art/fiction I guess but it made more sense to put it here. This occurs sometime before Brasilia.]
The morning light filtered softly through the sheer white curtains. With one eye open, Arcady Alatáriël admired the way the iridescent beams hung in air, spotlighting dancing dust particles. She did not know what time it was and did not care. The alarm clock was on the other side of the bed and she did not feel like reaching over Santiago to check. Instead, she burrowed deeper into the sea of blankets, moving quickly when bare skin felt the cold contact of the room. Santiago was still sleeping. She could feel the familiar way his chest rose to meet her back, and the way his breathing warmed the curve of her neck.
She did not want to get out of bed. No, she wanted this moment to last – this feeling of comfort and security that did not always come with what she thought was love. It was something she used to pursue tirelessly when she was younger. Now she was old enough to know better. Besides, it was too cold to get up and turn on the heater. It was more appealing to stay in bed, cocooned around sheets and the warmth they shared. But life didn’t allow being comfortable all the time.
The room was quiet. Once in a while she could hear his breathing crescendo while he dreamed. Arcady rolled over until her nose brushed over Santiago’s sleeping face. When she pulled back, she instantly wanted to remember that very second - how peaceful he looked and how fiercely she felt for him. She was alive with feeling, while he slept unknowingly. No matter how he felt about her, he was beside her at that moment. For a fraction in time, he was hers. It was painfully beautiful.
When she was alone, it was different. She was the most vulnerable when she was alone, and that’s when they would come. Demons filled her mind with fear and apprehension. They infiltrated her thoughts with poison and withered everything bright. These were demons that pushed her to say and do things she wouldn’t normally. Demons that sought to destroy her character and the most genuine of intentions. Or perhaps they weren’t demons, but something dark, something that was a part of her. And perhaps that was another reason she didn’t want to get out of bed. She didn’t want to be alone.
She ached for this silent reverie to last. Would she remember the time they spent together? She wondered if it would be lost, along with all the other experiences she’s had with others. There was nothing ever as distinct as what one felt when they were in the moment. She didn’t want to forget, but she feared that she might.
A pair of forest green eyes opened.
“You’re going to be late to work,” she warned.
Santiago stretched and eventually flopped an arm around Arcady, “Isn’t it Sunday?”
She blinked thoughtfully at him, as a smile crept onto her lips, “Oh. Right,”
“You’re a dork,” he said as he pulled her closer to him. “Let’s go back to sleep,”
“I wish. But we have things to do. Do you want coffee or tea?” she asked into his chest.
“What? I can’t hear you,” he continued to hold her to his chest, even though she was obviously trying to get away.
“Yes you can!” she couldn't help but laugh a little when he finally relented and pushed him away. Arcady asked again when she caught her breath, “Coffee or tea?”
The cold air bit into her skin when she threw the covers off. “****!”
Santiago smirked, still in bed, “Cold?”
“Shut up, ***,”
Arcady padded to the kitchen, the tiles feeling like ice cubes beneath her feet. When she returned to the bedroom, she had a steaming cup in each hand.
“Here,” she handed him one of the mugs.
He propped himself up against the headboard and immediately took a sip, “Thanks,”
The room was warm now. He must have gotten up to turn on the heater while she was in the kitchen. Arcady decided to sit beside him while she drank her coffee.
“You’re pretty,” he said suddenly, she had been staring off in thought and hadn’t noticed that he had been watching.
“Are you serious? I just woke up,”
“You’re still pretty,”
She rolled her eyes and feigned disgust, even though she secretly enjoyed the compliment. At the same time she felt a pang of guilt. She knew more about him than he wanted her to know. That was because of her job description. He was a member of a group of rogue meta-humans that sought more power than they deserved. That included sacrificing the equality between themselves and the original human race. Arcady, although also a meta-human, fought for the human side. On the surface, he was business entrepreneur and she was just another cute barista in a green apron. He had been sleeping with the enemy the entire time.
After a few minutes his eyes grew heavier and heavier as he drifted off into an unnatural sleep, “Damn I’m tired. This hangover sucks. I love you, but I’m going back to bed,”
And so he slept. She had received orders to kill him. He was a high ranking officer amongst the rogues but she couldn’t do it. A pacifist by nature, she wasn’t sure if it was because of her morals or ideals. Instead, she had given him a strong tranquilizer in his drink. Despite the urgency of the situation, Arcady took her time to get dressed and treated the day like any other Sunday. She wanted to savor every moment because she would never see him again, and if she did, he might kill her. When she was ready, Arcady took his briefcase. She knew she held precious classified documents and keys that would gain her access to areas only while Santiago was still unconscious. Placing one last kiss on his brow, she left.