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Mistborn: The Inquisition

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Drop Point

Julian Casuana's Photo Julian Casuana 15 Jul 2010

Julian moved cautiously in the mists. Dawn had not arrived yet to burn them away, and they made him uncomfortable, as if they hated him. Well, he hated them right back. As high nobility weather like this was superfluous.

As skaa, they made him cautious. Mistborn he wasn't. Mistblood he was, but only as a joke.

It was a nontrivial endeavor to get away in the morning. The rebellion caused increased security for essentially everywhere--the Inquisition's Third Precept required absolute lockdown for skaa and to double the guards on hand. Had Mia not placed a highly ranked Casuana servant for the night watch, he could have never gotten free. The careful bribe kept that man away from the door for just a short time.

Julian kept to the shadows, though, as Ministry officials could kill him at every moment (noble houses, too, would capture a wandering skaa simply to keep them in the Inquisition's good graces). He feared he was doing a rather poor job of this "sneaking" thing. He hoped that claiming he was Julian Casuana would prevent an Inquisitior's axe for a few key moments. Of course, Mia specifically placed the drop point three blocks from his tenement, so the probability that an Inquisitor would exist in his quick little trip would be lower.

He scanned the alleyway. This was the drop point. He and Mia planned these because he could not just go and visit Mia personally, and unfortunately dressing up as skaa in Keep Casuana himself increased the chances of his discovery to near-certainty. Plus, that wouldn't let him get into the rebellion anyways. Yet, while Mia had Julian's complete confidence, he didn't want to leave her hanging alone. Sometimes, Mia simply needed encouragement.

If Mia had any information for him, she would leave it here. This was how Julian found Cassi. He'd wondered why Mia didn't update him personally with solid, absolute information, but the drop point was at a corner under a pile of rubble. Mia did not think it would be wise to leave sensitive information out in the open. So, Julian didn't expect much from this morning's drop.

Though there would be the opportunity for Julian to write something for her. That was what he looked forward to.

He dug through the rubble, but he couldn't find anything. No small notebook, not even a pen. His heart raced, his well-whipped skaa instincts kicking in. What if the Inquisitors had gotten to Mia? Or, more likely, whomever Mia sent to deliver the items to the drop. Though Julian had no watch, the tenement did, and he left at a very specific time to get by that Casuana guard. Give no more than five minutes for the journey, and this was the time Mia had agreed upon. Still, nothing.

He glanced out to the alley's exit and saw a dark figure, the mists wrapping around its black cloak.

He gasped, holding up his hands. "Wait, I'm actually--"

"Julian Casuana," the thing said. But its voice was strangely feminine for an Inquisitor. "I know its you, silly." She took off her hood.

"Mia?" he said, exasperated. "Lord Ruler, what are you doing here?"

She grinned, and ran up to him. She rammed into him enthusiastically, hugging him tightly. "I missed you." Mia looked down and kissed him. He let her.
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Mia Casuana's Photo Mia Casuana 28 Jul 2010

Lord Ruler, Mia thought, this is amazing. She felt her skin tingle just like the first time Julian kissed her. It was enthralling. The only difference now was his putrid musk. It had made her cringe, but she got over it almost instantly.

After an exquisitely long time, Mia stopped, though she still held him. "Hi."

"Hi," Julian said, his characteristic smile gleaming through the dirt on his face.

"You're dirty."

"That's nothing new."

Mia snorted. "Sorry. Dirtier, in a more literal fashion."

"Well, I was under the impression that the girls liked the more realistic musk. I really just did this whole endeavor to try it out on you."

"You don't need to be skaa for that, you silly boy." She threaded her fingers through Julian's grimy hair. It didn't matter that it utterly destroyed her careful finger polish. "No need to leave the Keep..." She gripped and kissed him.

"Oh, wow, Mia."

"What?"

"You're just, uh, really into this."

"And you're not?"

Julian paled. "No, no no, Lord Ruler, no! Its just, your eyes... they're so intense. It's worrying me. What's happened?"

Mia sighed. He always worried. It was sweet, but... "It's been rough. I'm working through it. Lots of successes, I guess."

"Like?"

This was not what Mia needed now. Not after Cami was deciding to abandon her. "Julian. Please. There's no rush." She rested her head on his shoulder--it was easy, since she was taller than him. "Just hold me for a little longer."

Julian began to mutter something in slight protest--after all, Mia knew he had to get back to the tenement soon.

"I won't keep you long," Mia said. "I just don't want to cry anymore."

Julian smiled. "Of course, love." And he held her tightly, his warmth soothing the pit in her stomach.
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