Silas & Ryu, parts 1&2

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Silas chuckles as Ryu stops to flick the sand out of the large tassel on the end of his ribbon for what seemed like the twentieth time that morning. 

“Still draggin’ that thing, partner?”

His comment earns him nothing more than a derisive glare and a particularly violent shake as the other bean floats a little higher above the scorching hot Solei sands. He shakes his head and chuckles, adjusting his hat against the glare of the nearly mid-day sun as he scans the ground ahead of them once again, easily catching sight of the trail they’d been diligently following since morning. Even though he wasn’t all that familiar with this particular area of the island, he was more than used to the terrain. Every little disturbance in the sand and stones was clear as day to him, painting a picture of the event that had created them. A few small tracks here were from skittering mice, and the wavy trail behind them clearly showed the snake they’d been running from. Some things were less narrative, a little line from a falling pebble, or the soft wave and scattering of a breeze. The trail they followed was far more clear, a large set of disturbances in the environment.

He nods to himself, following the markings in the sand at a deliberate pace, focusing on each little turn the creatures took through the lands that seemed lifeless at first glance. Ryu huffs beside him, wiping his brow and shielding his eyes against the relentless rays, seemingly less aware of the little stories around them as he sweept away the tracks with the dragging of his tail or a flick of his wings. 

“First you and Gabriel attempt to freeze me, and now to boil me. I am beginning to wonder why I continue to work with your association.”
Silas chuckles and shrugs, motioning vaguely with the hand not resting on the handle of his revolver. 

“Well, fer my charmin’ company and dashin’ good looks, of course!”
Ryu snorts, shaking his head and opening his mouth to protest only to be cut short by a strange call not far from them. One voice turns into many, and the haunted howl rises up through the shimmering waves of heat.

The two exchange a look before silently drawing their weapons and creeping around the edge of a nearby rock formation, following both tracks and call. Silas has to stop himself from whistling at the site that hides behind the stone. A large group of coyotes was gathered around a watering hole, an image that wouldn’t be so unusual if it wasn’t for the strange oozing purple nature of the liquid it contained. The creatures pace the perimeter, clearly unhappy about the tainted nature of the life-giving liquid, but also clearly parched. After some time, their thirst seems to win out over their other survival instincts, and they drink from the pool. 

Ryu frowns as the two retreat back around the rock, motioning towards the spectacle with an arrow still nocked and ready.
“That pool, it is full of corruption, yes?”

Silas nods grimly, tilting his hat down as he checks his revolver over again, making sure it’s loaded once more. 

“Sure is. Just like Gabe’s source said it’d be. Explains what’s gotten inta the coyotes lately.”

The other bean humms, nodding.

“Ah, yes, you mentioned they were becoming more bold?”

“Yeah, and hostile at that. We don’t generally make it a practice ta go shootin’ up the wildlife willy-nilly though, so we figured we’d best check it out. Looks like we’re gonna have ta take care of this one though.”

Ryu’s eyebrows shoot up as he glances towards the revolver in Silas’s hand, his question unspoken. 

“Aw, naw, not like that. Gabe’ll get someone down from the order ta take care of it. Wouldn’t dream of hurtin’ a critter that ain’t hurt nobody.”

The two float there in silence for a moment, enjoying the brief reprieve of the shade as they processed what they had found. After a while, he sighs and pulls himself upright, adjusting his bandana against the hot, sandy breeze. 

“Allright, ya ready ta drag that tail back ta town?”

Ryu grunts as he stretches, squinting at the sun accusingly.

“Only if I do not die of heat first.”

Silas can’t help but grin at his disgruntled expression as they begin their trek back.

----oOo----


The darkness was practically all encompassing, nearly suffocating as he tried to right himself, soaking wet and cold to the bone. His head spins as he tries to remember what happened that left him sprawled on what he could only assume was the damp stone floor of some godforsaken Azul cavern. 

Gabe’n the team were pushin’ inta the canyon, lookin’ ta see if the corruption outbreak on Solei had anythin’ ta do with canyon activity. We got a little past the south openin’, then that helluva storm rolled through, twins said somethin’ about swimming, Ryu went fer the trees ta see about the size of the thing. Then that cracking sound, musta been a dam breakin’? I guess that washed me here, who knows where the rest of the team are at. 

Silas groans as he pushes himself up, reaching out with one arm into the inky nothingness. He’s pleasantly surprised when he finds his hat in the darkness, placing it firmly back on his head as he pulls out his revolver. 

Better get back ta jefe, he’ll kill me if I get myself hurt down here. 

He frowns as he tugs his bandana down, weighing the pros and cons of trying to see if any of his teammates happened to land nearby. While he might find an ally, he didn't want to alert any enemies. His thoughts seemed to end abruptly as two electric blue eyes seemed to lock with his. He whispers, more of a hope than a question. 

“Ryu? That you partner?”

The eyes dart towards him, accompanied by a particularly soothing familiar voice. 

“Hai. Silas, are you alright?”
He chuckles despite himself, slipping a thumb into his belt loop in a hopeless attempt to steady himself as he reels slightly. 

“I reckon I’m as allright as any bean could be in this kinda situation, darlin’.”

The eyes stare at him for a moment, then blink. 

“Did you hit your head, gunslinger?”

He frowns, trying to remember the fall. 

“Good question. Now that ya mention it, I . . .”

He trails off as something behind where he assumes Ryu is floating begins to glow. It slowly seems to grow, and then another lights behind it, and then yet another. 

“Silas, what are you-”

“Yeah, I either hit my head real good or there’s somethin’ over there glowin’. Hell, maybe both, you tell me.”

He points past the now-visible silhouette of the archer towards the strange glowing blobs that now seemed to slowly be approaching the two. Ryu follows the motion, his eyes widening at the sight. 

“Chikuso!”

He springs back, practically dragging Silas along by the collar as he scrambles up the sheer rock face behind them. Silas can’t help but yelp, suddenly aware of a stinging pain in his wing. He glances down to find his ribbon torn, the appendage hanging uselessly at his side. 

“Fuckin’ hell, that ain’t good.”

Ryu simply grunts in agreement, pulling him bodily to the low ledge as he shoots arrow after arrow at the encroaching creatures. The meaning of the globs finally click in Silas’s foggy mind as one tries to throw itself at them, making a particularly sickening squelching sound as it smacks against the stone, slowly re-forming at the base. 

“Aw, slimes.”

He sighs as he cocks his revolver, easily sighting down the barrel to the core of one of the approaching adversaries and blasting into it with a full round. After a moment or two, it simply starts to re-form.

“Course, couldn’t be somethin’ that only takes a shot or two, gotta be somethin’ ya gotta blast with magic. Ya any good with that kinda thing?”

Ryu falters in his firing, glancing at Silas for a moment before a strange expression flits across his face as he turns away. 

“I - I cannot control my abilities.”
“That so? Reckon I ain’t got a lot of choice then.”

He grunts as he holsters his revolver, pushing himself up a little higher and tilting his hat down. 

“Might wanna cover yer eyes, sugar.”

Ryu snaps his head to look at him, concern written on his features as Silas breathes deep, immersing himself in the feeling of burning sands and beating sun, the desiccating heat of a desert blooming inside his chest as he glares at the approaching hoard. 

“Silas, your dew-”

He hardly hears the words as he exhales, the dazzling light and wave of heat that follows the last thing he sees as he slips into unconsciousness. 

 

----oOo----

 

Ryu frantically opens the door of one of his many cabinets, quickly rifling through the multitude of objects within until he finds the particular vial he was looking for. It was a small and relatively simple bottle, made even more plain when compared to some of the beautifully crafted pieces within the rest of the cabinet, but it was precisely what he needed now. Kneeling beside the other bean, he carefully pulls out the dropper and lets the glistening golden liquid fall into his mouth. He waits pensively for a moment, sealing the bottle once more. What were mere seconds seemed to stretch into aeons before the gunslinger groaned, dew re-forming in his ears, the tear in his wing mending as if it were never present.

He can’t help the sigh of relief that escapes him as slumps against the cabinet, clutching the small bottle in one hand as the other three worry with the objects around him. Silas gasps as his eyes shoot open, one hand immediately reaching for his gun, the other for his hat.

“Look out!”

Ryu nearly laughs, instead schooling his voice into a soft and soothing murmur.

“You are in no danger.”

The gunslinger blinks, glancing up at him, and then around at the rest of the room. He frowns, eyes flitting down towards his wing as he props himself up on one elbow. 

“Now, last I remember, we were on Azul fightin’ off a helluva lot of slime, and it weren’t lookin’ so good. How’d we get here? And where is here, exactly?”

Ryu sighs and shakes his head as he turns and begins to tidy his shelves of the disorder created by his panicked searching. 

“Yes. You summoned a- a light wave. It eliminated our enemies, but you used nearly all your dew and fell unconscious. To be frank, I do not remember much of what transpired after. I drug you out of the canyon to here, my - home, I suppose.”

“You suppose?”

Ryu shrugs noncommittally, hands idly running over a familiar chipped teacup, setting it gently beside a well-worn helmet. He takes comfort in the old trinkets, their familiar weight soothing to him as he slowly relaxes from the tension he had been carrying since the other bean had fallen so suddenly in the cavern. 

Silas shifts behind him, glancing into the many cabinets. 

“Odd sorta collection ya got here, Ryu. Ain’t really what I’d expect a dragon ta hoard.”

He chuckles and winks at him, and Ryu scoffs before turning away to hide the blush rising to his cheeks. He tries to put a little bite into his tone as he returns the quip.
“It is hardly odd.”

Silas hums with a slightly amused tone as he slowly floats upright, gingerly placing his hat back on as he looks over one of the shelves. 

“Really? I would argue it ain’t exactly regular fer most folks ta keep-” He pauses, tilting his head and squinting at the object, ”tiny dioramas made outta pasta?”
Ryu bursts into laughter at that, glancing over at the shelf in question.

“No, I suppose not. However, I believe it is common to treasure sentimental objects, is it not?”

Silas blinks, then nods and smiles. 

“Yeah, I reckon it is. All this stuff mean somethin’ to ya?”

Ryu hums, glancing around the room. 

“Most of it, yes. They are objects from people I have met on my travels, old friends from other worlds. Some hold no meaning to me, but have great value to others. They may be gone, but I do not forget their sentiments.” He murmurs the last statement, gently tracing the edge of an old photograph with faces he does not know with a gentle hand. 

Silas smiles at him, the expression reaching his warm amber eyes. 

“Well, I reckon that’s a mighty fine sentiment Ryu.” He continues to look around for a moment, commenting on some of the more unusual objects, querying him about their nature. He eventually points to an unassuming chest at the end of the room, scuffed around the corners from wear and age. 

“What’s the story with that one?”

Ryu chuckles, gently lifting the lid to reveal the glittering contents of gold and jewels. 

Silas’s eyebrows shoot up into the brim of his hat as his mouth falls open, staring. He gently shuts the lid, sliding past the cowboy with a smirk. 

“What dragon’s hoard would be complete without a gem or two?”

 

----oOo----

 

Silas happily sips at his disgusting perversion that he had deemed ‘almost sweet tea’. Ryu had watched on in dismay as the cowbean had ruined a perfectly good cup of jasmine tea by dumping sugar into it until it could no longer dissolve. After discussing their drastically different opinions on what made a good cup of tea, the conversation had turned back to the subject of his collection, something Silas had not expected to find himself so very happy to discuss considering it’s deeply personal nature, and even finds himself smiling as he pulls out the most prized item in his collection by far. Between the earlier events of the day and the friendly conversation the two had shared, it seemed the perfect time to share a meal. 

Silas’s ears perk up as he sets the small box on the table. It was not particularly remarkable, a simple thing made of some soft wood with box joints, stained in a deep cherry color and painted in a broad folk style with floral patterns and abstract golden borders. The interior was even less spectacular, the wood crude and generally unfinished, some of the glue from the joints having oozed out and solidified in droplets in the corners.

The gunslinger motions at it, curiosity in his voice. 

“What’s this one?”

Ryu smiles fondly as he opens the lid, flicking through the various papers within. 

“My prized possession, the jewel in the crown of my collection.”

Silas stares at it, confusion and intrigue written on his chronically honest features. 

“That so?”

He snorts, nodding as he pulls out a particular card and lays it down on the table. 

“Indeed. It holds a great many treasure.”
The cowbean leans over the table, tilting his head to try and read the text, shrugging when he realizes it’s not in a language he knows. 

“What is it?”

Ryu has already turned away, carefully putting the box back into place in his kitchen cabinet, nestled amongst his nice dishware. 

“My recipe box. That one” he motions behind him without turning “is for a traditional family dish, given to me by my wisher. We enjoyed it on many a cold evening.”

“Well, that sounds mighty fine right about now! You got lots of recipes in that thing?”

He smiles softly, an expression the other bean can’t see, but surely hears in his response. 

“Yes, a great many. Each with a memory.”

He hums as he thinks of all of the recipes within the simple box, some of which he knew by heart, but pulled out every time he made just to see the handwriting on the card. 

The soup he made now was printed ever so neatly in rows of crisp, archaic kanji and hiragana, the definitive and disciplined script of his wisher, ironically so unlike the emotional scrawling of runes that covered his own wish.

As he thinly slices the spring onions, keeping an eye on the broth that was steadily coming to a simmer on his stovetop, he thought of the elegant, flowing but utilitarian cursive of his dearest friend’s handwriting detailing their precise method of preparing fūl, each step detailed with precise descriptions of what the consistency and appearance of the food should be at each step, and yet so little direction when it came to the precise amounts involved. She had simply laughed when he had asked for clarification on the quantity of ‘a pinch’, and handed him seconds instead, telling him he would get the hang of it in no time. He had yet to master the recipe, and suspected she had left out an ingredient purposely to tease him. 

He hums in contentment as swishes the noodles through the broth, Silas peeking over his shoulder. 

“That’s lookin’ awful good, partner! Kinda smells like this chicken soup recipe I know. Should make it fer ya some time, give ya the recipe and all.”

Ryu nearly smiles as he glances at the gunslinger. 

“That would be nice, Silas.”

cerulean_blues
Silas & Ryu, parts 1&2
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In Guild Application Art ・ By cerulean_bluesContent Warning: Cussing, fantasy violence
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Submitted By cerulean_blues
Submitted: 10 months agoLast Updated: 10 months ago

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