Anonymous asked: (´･ω･`)
Please go away…
Anonymous asked: (´･ω･`)
Please go away…
Oswald definitely had begun to come across as one of more quite intelligence rather than shy stupidity. The more Loki heard from the young man, the more he found him to be perhaps even… similar to himself.
But no. He would never actually compare himself to any of the wretched human beings there. The young man’s species was hideously low in respect to Loki’s kind — at least, that was what the former Asgardian wished to believe.
So he had, indeed, received a good education — at least, that was what Loki could surmise from their conversation. That was good to confirm. The more they spoke, the more the green-eyed frost giant thought of them working together (though it would most definitely be Oswald working for Loki). Besides, there was no doubt that he would have things go his way, for he was too powerful for the young man to deny any of his offers.
He stepped closer to the short boy. Nearly everyone was a child to Loki, who had already lived for many thousands of years. The Asgardian held up his scepter and pointed it directly onto Oswald’s chest, lightly keeping the blade hovering above his shirt without actually cutting into the human.
“I will put you at peace…”
The cerulean orb that was connected to the scepter’s blade suddenly glowed bright as he began the short process. Of course, Oswald was only one of the many inhabitants there… but if he had to begin somewhere, this would be the best place at which to start.
On a more minor scale, Oswald was slightly like the God of Chaos. Only slightly. His upbringing, his status and place… it had all led him to believe that he was destined to be part of a superior class of people. High society. Those that looked on the weak as they lived merely day by day, as if they were animals. Peasants unworthy of further care. But in his mannerisms he was forced to approach all others with care and good manners, regardless of his inward disdain for them.
Still, before a god that wasn’t going to be worth much, was it? The portly teen could barely even work up the courage to look Loki in the eye, never mind say his mind. What else could he do while standing in the presence of apparent divinity? A person who knew so much more, about the world and those who inhabited it. The young man was fond of stories and knew the havoc that this man… no, this BEING could wreak upon Cote Celeste.
And suddenly, a scepter was being pointed towards Oswald’s chest. The last free thought that he had was that, funnily enough, perhaps their powers were somewhat akin. To have control, and use it on others. Then his mind blanched, and he was free. Free of freedom. Free of choosing his intent and purpose. Eyes glazing over to the hazy blue of those under the influence of the tesseract, the young man stood still.
Meanwhile, the bird on his shoulder chirped her concern, but was hushed by the now placid young man. There was no fear in his eyes anymore. Only obedience to his master now. Deference. What else did a god deserve? A ruler?
“… Thank you for granting me peace, sire. Thank you for freeing me from choice.”
Oswald’s voice rang hollow, reciting the words from memory. As if he had been a servant his entire life. “What is your will?”
… what a stagy city.
Azure hues fell despotically upon the concrete pathways, iron edifices jutting from the horizon as if blossoms from a vast, monochrome garden. Perchance she was precarious at the peculiar spectacle laid for her delectation; there was always more than met the eye. A queen as herself stepping foot in this burg would erect it’s merit exponentially, an equitable barter for their assistance to supervise her potency.
Tufts of gold rested gently against her bosom, visage retaining nebulous interest. “ … then consider this a favor. “
Pamphlet crumpled in her seize, a thump from boot graced soles initiating her strides. Fuchsia dyed fabric flowed behind her as a zephyr brushed passed her with permission. A hand tossed a strand of tied hair over her shoulder with comfort, the other relaxed against the curves of her hips.
It was until a certain region that she pressed forward. Through the mass of the populace below her, jostling a few who did not navigate from her path. Jaded gaze swayed to the side, analyzing the avenues and labels; it was obvious evident the adolescent entity was in quest of something. Vexation sunk in so nimbly, glowering to each individual who passed before her.
— hadn’t she seen this particular corner before?
Pride would not concede to initiate the inquiry of where her residency was to any of these knaves, standing ireful upon the walks as people fluttered by with little attention to her smoldering glare. Admitting her intellect was below another’s… what a fallible assumption to notion the woman would do.
Navigation. The process or activity of accurately ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route. At least, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. In truth, Oswald still had only a vague idea of what the word ascertaining meant. But he could infer the maning of that, at least. Of course, learning and memorizing these definitions simply functioned as a way for the young man to deal with slight incompetence when it came to casual conversation. By utilizing a veritable cascade of large words, he sounded smart rather than silly.
But for now, he would be better off with knowing ACTUAL navigational skills, rather than the mere definition of it. Because, frankly, it would mean that the portly gentleman wouldn’t have to consult with the sheet of paper in his hands every three seconds. Which was, quite frankly, extremely irritating.
It seemed, though, that he wasn’t the only one lost in these parts. Or at least… the girl was PRESUMABLY lost, if the look of irritation gracing her face was anything to judge by. This meant that Oswald had a duty to go to her assistance. It was the way of the gentleman, after all, and mother had always to respect that ideology. It separated him from the lower classes of human, after all.
"Do excuse me, miss… but do you need assistance, perhaps?"
“You aren’t.. Mr. Penniworth?”
A lengthy silence followed. Seconds turned to minutes, and Mukae still did something close to nothing in response (though her smile had noticeably fallen). Rather, she wasn’t sure how to respond— or whether or not she should respond. While she didn’t hold any contempt for Oswald – could she really detest him? He hadn’t done anything wrong, and he was only being honest about the fact he wasn’t the man she’d hoped him to be – she couldn’t say the same about her disappointment.
After a considerable delay, she blinked. Once, twice, three times. Any ordinary person would’ve taken this time to make hurried apologies and go along their way to avoid any further embarrassment, but Mukae hadn’t moved an inch – save for her breathing and the occasional blink. Her expression remained vacant for quite some time, but she made a little noise to signal that she’d managed to process her mistake.
Luckily for her, though, he seemed to have sweeped the matter under the rug and instead appease her desire to even catch sight of Albert Penniworth. She was definitely a woman with drive, if anything.
“Ah— but you’ll take me to see Mr. Penniworth—?!” An unnecessary amount of enthusiasm filled her tone, and that sickly smile returned.
Excitement boiled in her very blood, and the corners of her lips gradually began to curl up into a grin. She grew flushed – not out of embarrassment, but the pure admiration that she held for this elusive man (whether or not he existed) brought these reactions about at even the mere mention of his name. Incessant giggles poured past her lips, and amidst her glee, she took the chance to take hold of his hands and hold them to her chest.
“Thank you so much, Mr. Cobblepot!” The foreign name didn’t slip very well off her tongue (the only reason why Penniworth did was more than likely because she’d rehearsed the pronunciation a little too much). That hadn’t hindered her good mood in the slightest, though. “I’m glad, I’m really really really really glad—!”
Albeit happy, there was still something wrong. Mukae was oblivious, but intuition would tell anyone that something was off. Her hands were still on his, and, regardless of the fact it was a harmless gesture that displayed her appreciation for Oswald’s offer of assistance, he’d come to learn why everyone at home kept a healthy distance.
The stench of rotting flesh permeated the air, and it grew stronger and stronger as she kept his hands in hers.
Oswald didn’t like disappointing people. Perhaps it was because of the way he was brought up, or the environment in school that had expected results. Either way, the pudgy teen was starting to feel some guilt for not actually being Mr. Penniworth. There had been so much excitement and pleasure in the eyes of this girl that, for a second, he vehemently wished that he HAD pretended to be Mr. Penniworth. But no… that might have landed him in a heap of trouble with the man himself.
Unfortunately, there was now an awkward silence, as the young man thought of something he could say other than I’m sorry for disappointing you. But she didn’t seem particularly disappointed, actually. No tantrums, no yelling, not even tears. Just vacancy, which was a little alarming. But he would help her in this quest to find Mr. Penniworth. After his little nervous outburst, the young man owed this strange girl that much.
"Absolutely! I will do everything in my power to bring you to him!"
Alright, perhaps that was a little too enthusiastic of him. But he didn’t speak to very many girls, and to have disappointed this one elicited far too much guilt for the portly little gentleman to leave this issue alone.
Suddenly, Oswald found that his hands were being clasped tightly by the pink haired girl, and his face was beginning to grow flushed again. She didn’t know much about personal space, did she? It was like they were close friends rather than people who had just met several minutes ago. But her expression was so elated that the young man couldn’t help but smile as well. Everything was good. No, everything was PERFECT. He’d help her find Mr. Penniworth, possibly make a new friend or at least acquaintance, learn valuable life lessons…
But what was that odd smell? Before looking down, Vivian suddenly went ballistic and attempted to attack the girl’s hands… but not before Oswald pulled away to chide the bird. Eyes glowing with a blue tinge, he spoke with force to command the little chick. “Under no circumstances should you attack this girl. It’s rude.” He didn’t notice the rot on his hands, odd as it seemed, but the bird did. And soon enough, the young man would have to acknowledge the source of that slight numbness in his hands…
"… I’m sorry about that. Usually Vivian is more well-behaved than that. Perhaps we should start looking for Mr. Penniworth, then! Oh, and by the way… what’s your name? You can just call me Oswald, if it’s easier for you."
Clay didn’t care much about the boy’s appearance in the slightest, and what care and interest he did show wasn’t malicious in the slightest. He was relieved almost, to find someone outwardly different. Every time he met someone like him, he felt this relief, and with that relief came an almost kind nature. His desire to belong here came with a somewhat softened personality.
“Yes, yes, I know… the Vivian comes from the actress, Vivian Leigh. One of my mother’s favorites.”
“Eh?” All Clay heard were chirps coming from the budgie, but he was absolutely certain that the boy - Oswald, he reminded himself - was having a little conversation with the creature. Clay almost gave the two of them an excited look, particularly because Oswald’s special power seemed to be quite similar to his own…
“Pleased t’ meetcha, I’m sure. Don’t know many polite kids like ya. I should take this as a blessin’.” Clay spoke gruffly, but despite that, there was a heavy hint of sincerity in his voice. Despite his outward appearance and way of speaking, he really did hope to make friends and get along with others here.
“Vivian, ya wouldn’t mind it if I held ya, would ya?” The cowboy stretched out his hand towards the feathery beast. He didn’t expect to understand the bird’s reply (assuming she would chirp in response), but that didn’t stop him from trying. “I ain’t ‘round birds as often as I should be. I s’pose it’s because bein’ in th’ air makes me feel queasy.”
To belong… well, Oswald could certainly sympathize with that. The young man was a little bit of a cuckoo in the nest, as it were. But other people would always be subject to their biases and anger against those who they didn’t understand. That was life. You simply had to roll with the punches.
"Oh, sorry, that was rude of me…" Understanding birds came so naturally to Oswald that he often forgot other people couldn’t comprehend their speech. Most tended to think he was ever so slightly insane, but apparently not this Clay. In fact, the older man seemed almost happy at what should have been a sign of mental instability in the ordinary. Then again, normal was probably now a thing of the past.
"I always endeavor to be polite. There’s nothing wrong with having good manners, after all." It was an example of good breeding, which set the Cobblepots apart from the rabble and common folk. Not to mention that people who were outwardly rude were, quite frankly, a lot worse than animals. At least animals were likable.
The bird had no complaint, or at least wasn’t chirping angrily as she did in the presence of people she disliked vehemently. “… No answer means yes. I think.” Just because one spoke a language didn’t mean one was fluent in it, after all. The budgie flew over and perched herself on Clay’s shoulder, eliciting a small smile from Oswald. “Pteromerhanophobia… that’s a fear of flying, if I recall correctly. Or it may be acrophobia: fear of heights. Still, you seem quite at ease with the natural, Mr. Clay.”
He stepped off the train with ease, white coat tails flapping faintly in the breeze as he stopped to look around. A constant smirk was on Kimblee’s face as he gazed about his surroundings, taking everything in. What a quaint place… he couldn’t have expected to find any town more quiet than the one he stood in. Everything there seemed to be rather picturesque, the air clean and the streets unlittered. It was rather refreshing, though unbearably stifling to the action-loving veteran.
The alchemist carried no bags of any sort, for he had no need for such things — at least, he hadn’t before, for the government had always taken care of his lodgings and supplies in preparation for his arrival.
Then again, that had only been the case when Fuhrer King Bradley had been in charge. Now that he was dead and gone, Kimblee had to remain on the run, in constant wariness that he might be caught and put to trial. After all, Fuhrer Mustang had no sympathy for murderers such as the Crimson Lotus Alchemist, and they both had gotten to know each other well while at war together. Mustang knew what Kimblee was like. They both had seen the horrors of bloodshed and death, but the most evident difference between them was that while Mustang despised warfare, Kimblee absolutelylovedit.
He nearly always craved for the thrill of the chase, for the excitement that filled ones veins when on the run — or even on the chase, itself. It was all part of the beautiful inner workings of the wondrous battlefield. He couldn’t have asked for anything better, though any other person may have deemed him insane for thinking that (and rightfully so).
Kimblee stepped forth, catching the eye of a passerby while raising one hand, gloved in white, smooth cloth.”Excuse me..”His tone was polite, but it still held that faint tone of leering amusement that was so very common to him, always being present in his voice.
“Could you direct me to the Comely Court?”
Attired in his typical long sleeved polo shirt and khaki pants, the young man known as Oswald Cobblepot was on his way to the station underneath an umbrella which was a tad large for him. For some reason, it was comforting to go there. To see the rest of the superpowered savants that had been invited to the little town of Cote Celeste. It made him feel at ease with the whole concept, to think that maybe even a portly little teenager like himself could associate and relate with either people.
He wasn’t expecting criminals or the military to come to Cote Celeste, however. His world had been sheltered, even amidst the ever growing crime rate of Gotham City. The wealth of his family had allowed him to remain in a bubble, ignorant of the dangers that the outside world possessed. And even here, the dangers that a young man could face hadn’t truly occurred to him. So the portly young fellow walked with his head held high, almost naive about his situation.
It was nice so far, though. Peaceful. Serene. An odd change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city, but a bit more Oswald’s pace. The action and excitement certainly wasn’t for him. Besides, in this place he had a sense of purpose. To hone and train his abilities, until they could be useful. Or at least stop giving him a migraine.
Suddenly, a man in a white suit caught his eye. Polite in manner, and seeming every inch the gentleman that Oswald would never be perceived to be… even his tone. A slight edge of command, but smooth as silk. Nevertheless, the young man answered. How could he not? “Comely Court? It’s not too far from here; just by the pier.” A slight pause. “… I live there anyways, sir, so I could guide you there if you like.”
Labrys had always been a firm believer of repayment. If one were to wreck her council, she would naturally give them the punishment they deserved. Or, when people helped her out, she was obliged to give them her aid in return. She didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, even more when she was in debt of the young man’s help. Leaning closer to him with a piercing gaze, the android repeated her offer once more, only this time it wasn’t an option.
“No, I insist. We should help each other out in times of need, don’t we? I offer my company and help in return for your aid.” Sticking her chin up higher in the air, she had a haughty tone as she mentioned: “You should be honored to have the Student Council President, Labrys following you, you know.”
At the mention of her name, Labrys’ face lighted up as if something had dawned upon her. Looking at him, she tried to ask in the friendliest way possible (she did know that she wasn’t being amiable, after all) about his name. It came out more like an inquiry though, but it was better than being rude.
“You… what’s your name?”
It was an old concept. Equivalent exchange, an eye for an eye, common courtesy… it all meant the same thing. To pay back what is owed. And indeed, Oswald would like to believe that the world was nice enough to adhere to it. This stern girls certainly seemed to believe it was important, and he wouldn’t begrudge her that opinion. Especially since it didn’t seem as if this little bird lover was going to have a choice in the matter…
"… That seems fair." A slight smile. Not many people would be willing to help out the pudgy teen back at home. They probably would have laughed in his face or refused any assistance he would have attempted to provide. But never mind them; they weren’t fit to associate with a Cobblepot, after all. No good pretenders, the whole lot of them.
"A Student Council President? My, I didn’t realize I was in the presence of authority." But that was said sincerely, without any sarcastic inflection. It would really explain her commanding tone and forceful nature. But that was fine. He’d been intimidated just from the fact that she was a girl. That’s what education at a single gender school does. "Oh… my name? I am Oswald Cobblepot, but most people just call me Oswald. It’s a pleasure."
In most cases someone would have considered the early part of this transaction to be eerie, in a way. The girl had been caught in her own thoughts for the most part, however, as the boy approached her, her gaze suddenly shifted to him before he had even really reached her. And the look she gave him. As though she knew what he was going to say before he had even said it. Well, this would have seemed a tad eerie if one were dealing with regular folk. Sadly there were no such people in this town.
“The definition of lost is an interesting one. One could be lost without having a specific destination in mind. Lost in thought, for example. Or perhaps being at a loss spiritually. Emotionally. Losing touch with oneself can also qualify as being lost. But I suppose in this case I am lost in the literal sense, yes.”
She certainly was talkative. Ajimu’s eyes never seemed to move from their initial position. They glanced directly into the boy’s eyes and nowhere else. There did’t even seem to be a blink at any point. It was as though she were trying to understand his life through his eyes, which may very well have been something people were capable of doing in this town. Anything was possible. But that wasn’t the case this time. She just didn’t feel like blinking is all.
“In the event that someone is lost they should seek guidance. But I suppose guidance has sought me in this case. Anshin’in is relieved. And Anshin’in is me. Hello.”
A conversation that had already been predicted? That would be frightening, indeed. What sort of power would that be? Precognition, right? Or something like it. But Oswald remained oblivious to the strange girl’s powers of prediction. Even if she hadn’t been able to anticipate his arrival, his speech was so formal, and therefore formulaic enough to predict. Still, you could tell that wasn’t Oswald’s power from the incredulous expression he was giving this girl.
In his studies and interactions with other people, the young man simply couldn’t recall anyone quite so… contemplative of the definition of a word. At least it marked this strange girl out as interesting. Then again, pretty much everyone here was interesting with inflection. Otherwise, what was the point of coming to Cote Celeste in the first place?
But her stare was very unnerving, and Oswald found himself very hesitant to say anything at all, which was quite unlike him. She didn’t even seem to be blinking. Instead, it was as if she was peering into the depths of his soul and boring into his mind with a piercing gaze. Or maybe she just didn’t want to blink. But to the pudgy teenager, it certainly didn’t seem like it. It took a good-natured tap on the head from Vivian, his companion, to stop this inner contemplation and fear.
"Oh! Ah… h-hello, Ms. Anshin’in." What an unusual name… "I’m Oswald Cobblepot, and I’d be happy to help you." Provided she stopped staring. Immediately. "… Where are you headed, anywho? Or are you planning on taking the road less travelled by, which shall make all the difference?"
It hadn’t been very long since he first arrived- no, not at all. Ten, twenty minutes tops. So it wasn’t so much that he was lost. After all, you needed to have an idea of where you were going before you could get lost, right?
And so there he was, sitting on the train station bench, watching the people walk by. They… were pretty odd, weren’t they? Nothing like the ones back home? The humans here were flashy and bright rather than… just the run of the mill cookie cutter ones he was used to.
In fact, a lot of things about this town were flashy. Weeeell, maybe not as much as Mr. Penguin (at least when he was drunk), but still relatively superfluous. There were… so many buildings. Panda wasn’t used to it, really. His family had owned a large plot of land and the surrounding area around the house was mostly forestation too. There were roads and city, of course, but not where he lived.
It didn’t really matter now, did it? That was then and he needed to move on from it. There was no family, no friends, no Polar Bear. It was only him alone to brave the wild of this new location.
He slipped the crumpled letter out of his little panda-shaped side pouch, staring at it intently with his little beady black eyes. All right, Wrest Street, prepare yourself for the roughest, toughest panda around!
Now he knew where he was going, but how to get there? Slowly, he stood from his seat and began to walk towards the end of the street, looking around. Wrest Street, Wrest Street- to him, that sounded like ‘west’! So that was where he took himself, heading off to his left. Because west was left, obviously.
But then shock hit him and he realized he left his luggage at the station. He sighed, forcing himself back over there. This was going to take soooo much energy. Panda put a strong bear grip onto his luggage - the best that his big black paws could do - and moved forward only and inch.
“Eeeeeh? I’ve been invited to this town but no one is going to take my luggage for me?? That’s so inconvenient!“
It was true that Oswald Cobblepot could talk to animals.
…However, that power was limited to creatures of the avian persuasion. Eagles, condors, ravens, crows… even your everyday pigeons and partridges were just a small part of the retinue of avian companions that the young man could speak to. But other animals? Frankly, their language was pretty much all Greek to him.
So it was with some surprise that, from underneath the umbrella that accompanied him from place to place, the portly fellow saw no less than a talking panda. A talking panda! Gotham had certainly had its fair share of the wild and wonderful, but certainly not something like this. In fact, the young man had to do several double takes just to wrap his mind around such a ludicrous concept. It was almost inconceivable… and yet, this panda was talking. And judging from the other people staring incredulously at the panda, Oswald wasn’t going insane.
Then he heard the bears’ complaint. Snapping out of his slightly confused staring, the polite young man immediately waddled, or rather walked over. Even though this was an odd occurrence, it didn’t mean that the teen had the right to forget his manners. And so, he tapped the black and white anomaly on the shoulder, with Vivian chirping cheerfully on his shoulder.
"Hello there! Do you need some help with that luggage of yours?"
The boy behind Clay didn’t seem bothered in the slightest by his attitude, which almost amused the cowboy. It seemed like everyone here was quite soft opposed to those back home. Maybe it was the fact that most people here were considered freaks in any normal society…
“Pardon me, sir, but I believe these are yours?”
“Hm?” Clay turned around and noticed that the boy was in fact holding his important papers! Almost eagerly, he snatched them out of the boy’s hands before stuffing them back in his pocket. Next time, he’d have to wait till he was indoors before he’d give them a good look.
Now that his paper problem was out of the way, Clay decided to give the helpful boy a good look. He was an odd boy, almost freakish in appearance, what with his beak-like nose and flipper-like arms. He looked quite like a penguin to Clay, and while normal people would have been put off by that appearance, Clay almost found it welcoming.
The second thing he noticed was the very tame looking budgie perched upon the boy’s shoulder. He didn’t know much about birds (he focused his efforts mostly on ground-dwellers) but he did know enough to know that usually birds weren’t this… tame. Maybe this boy had a special power related to animals? Or maybe Clay was just over-thinking things WAY too much.
“Name’s Clay, kid. What’s yer name, an’ the name o’ yer little friend?”
Compared to the jeers and sneers of his allegedly high society classmates, this strange adult wasn’t really that much of an issue. Oswald had had to deal with quite a few gruff and crass people, so having one more on his plate didn’t really hurt manners much.
He almost flinched, however, at the eagerness with which the older man had grabbed the documents out of his hand. What was with people here and snatching pieces of paper from people who were only trying to help? First there was that Labrys girl, and now this strange cowboy. As a city dweller, Oswald had never had much experience with the outdoors, and so the very earthy sort of vibe he was receiving from this man was unusual to say the least.
Welcoming would certainly not be a word most people used to describe the pudgy young man. Freakish, maybe. An abomination. On one choice occasion his father had called him something akin “a reject from the circus”. But mother had always said it was proof that he was superior to these crass imbeciles. And besides, the birds in the house had always been much better companions for a young man to have than any gang.
"I’m Oswald Cobblepot, but most call me Oswald." Not technically true. The preferred moniker was the Penguin, although the young man ignored whichever flippant mongrel called him by that name whenever it was mentioned. "And this little lady is Vivian." "LIKE THE ACTRESS! LIKE THE ACTRESS!” He sighed slightly. “Yes, yes, I know… the Vivian comes from the actress, Vivian Leigh. One of my mother’s favorites.”