By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
After their somewhat recent talk about Tartaglia's mental state, it felt strange to even think that he felt like death.
But...he felt like death.
Apparently drinking the entire bar then having an emotional breakdown, wasn't good for your mind nor body. It left him feeling fuzzy, for lack of a better word. Just...fuzzy. Earlier, he had baked some brownies and given away something that was...holding him back. A boon that was tying him to too many false hopes and other things he wasn't really wanting to think about, while as hungover as he was.
It was gone now.
And so he napped.
Tartaglia woke up on his couch, feeling even more disoriented than he had earlier. His phone in hand, as he spotted a text from Heisenberg. Aw, he was checking on him. Weird. At least he seemed to enjoy the brownies. Of course he did. They were the best brownies, because Tartaglia's grandma just was that powerful. He leaned into his worn couch, with his narwhal blanket pulled over him. He felt like shit, but it gave him something to focus on.
Until it didn't.
Goodbye greasy breakfast.
Tartaglia threw himself back into the shower, after throwing up...again. Then immediately crawled back under his blankets, feeling genuinely awful. At this point he wasn't even sure if he was hungover, or just wildly depressed. His texts growing increasingly less filtered, as he just watched deep secrets casually slip out, as if they were nothing. He hadn't even spoken his own name, let alone written it since coming to Pandora. And back in Teyvat, it was only ever used in letters to his family, or when around his siblings. Yet Ajax was just a fact Heisenberg now knew about him.
And boy howdy did he absolutely hate that.
Then topic shifted to music, thankfully. Something less personal, and more just opinion. Somehow that turned into an invitation back to the nightmare warehouse.
Tartaglia didn't bother getting more dressed than he was. An oversized hoodie, black sleep plants. His hair a mess.
Typically Tartaglia was an extremely put together person, but on this particular day...he was not.
He made his way to Heisenberg's warehouse with the instructed blanket and pillow - already knowing he was probably going to fall asleep before making it home. But...company didn't sound awful. After all the scabbed over wounds were ripped open, he could use a hand in stopping the free-flow of just being fucking depressed.
Tartaglia wandered in with little preamble. A half-hearted wave at Heisenberg, before essentially nesting in the corner. His narwhal blanket left at home, in favor of one he didn't mind getting dirty. The pillow was his least favorite of the pile.
"I am here. Dazzle me with music," his voice weak and cracked.
Heisenberg was pretty sure that all this shit with the kid was above his fucking pay grade, but it seemed like telling the kid that was easier said than done. The text-based word vomit had just started flowing, and Heisenberg hadn't been able to do much to stop it, even if he'd wanted to, so he'd settled back and simply worked on a set of killer speakers for the warehouse while replying back and forth to Tartaglia.
Luckily, speech-to-text and text-to-speech made it less agonizing than actually reading every goddamn word the kid tripped over, besides the moments when Ginge was too drunk to spell, or, in the morning, too hungover to care. In any case, for the most part Heisenberg had kept half an eye on his phone between a variety of projects, aside from the blessed span of hours when Tartaglia was definitely passed out.
He refused to admit that he'd worried about the stupid bastard choking on his own sick.
Inviting the kid over felt second-nature at this point, and not because Heisenberg was fretting about the idiot puking into his own lungs, or driving himself off a bridge. Because those things didn't worry him at all. He just thought that... the best place for the stupid little fuck was probably the warehouse.
There was a threadbare, seen-better-days mattress shoved in the corner already, which Heisenberg had definitely not scrounged up the night before when he was definitely not seriously debating carrying the kid back to the warehouse to play fucking suicide watch.
Because he didn't give a fuck, Heisenberg didn't look up from the monstrous, old machine he was taking apart as Tartaglia walked in. He merely grunted a greeting and pulled himself off his feet, using his body weight as leverage to crank some old-as-shit nut loose, high up on the beast. The 30" wrench he was hanging off groaned dangerously as Heisenberg jerked his weight down a few times until the lug nut cracked like a gunshot and finally twisted.
He landed hard and wiped his brow. His hat was tossed somewhere out of the way, along with his jacket and his shirt. He was sweating too goddamn much to bother with any of it.
Still, it felt better to do things the hard way sometimes.
He waved a hand, focusing just enough to tap into the bluetooth shit, and the warehouse was filled with surround-sound hard rock. Heisenberg still didn't speak to Tartaglia as he started on the next bitch of a lug nut.
The kid didn't need him to say jackshit, probably.
He wasn't sure what he was supposed to say in the first place, so Heisenberg just let the playlist roll, with its alternating rock and jazz.
The mattress was a surprise. One that barely really scratched at his mind, as he essentially nested on it. Climbed on, scooted around, then rolled onto his stomach and tucked the pillow under his head, as he draped the blanket across himself. Nested. It wasn't even cold in the warehouse. His body temperature was just sort of...all over the place, thanks to a little bit of this and that. Sometimes it was too warm, other times it was too cold.
His gaze was momentarily on the speakers, then on Heisenberg's work. Tartaglia mostly hidden under the blanket and behind the pillow. Just a set of slightly too-blue eyes, and a bit of messy ginger hair poking out from under the blanket.
The music started up, shuffling between some variation of rock and jazz.
Tartaglia didn't understand why he felt so much better in this place. He was on a probably cum-blood-vomit-spit stained mattress, in a filthy warehouse, with a man who had genuinely murdered him more than once. The music wasn't even things he was particularly fond of, nor familiar with. The place smelled of...metal. Either blood or rust. Grease. Something just metallic and sweaty.
And yet, he felt...better. Like he could finally breathe in through his nose, after having a nasty cold.
So he silently watched Heisenberg fuck around with with...something. And lose his hat, shirt, and jacket in the process. Thankfully his pants remained, otherwise Tartaglia would have just silently walked home, and located some bleach for his eyes. He did manage to be more scarred up than Tartaglia, which actually took genuine effort.
"What are you working on?" he asked - voice muffled by his pillow. Realizing he probably wasn't heard, he repeated it louder - briefly lifting his head up, before settling back in.
The kid came in and laid down and as fast as that, he left Heisenberg's thoughts altogether in lieu of the more immediate challenge before him... which really wasn't a challenge at all, if Heisenberg just used his Cadou to pop every goddamn lug nut on the bitch all at once, but no. He was in a mood today, and that meant doing this manually... and that meant hanging off a fucking wrench like a fucking idiot to jar each nut loose one at a time.
Initially, Heisenberg had some sort of background awareness that Tartaglia was still in the warehouse, but within a matter of minutes, he'd truly forgotten all about the kid's existence as his focus was dominated wholly by the project at hand. He stalked from one side of the old fabrication machine to the other, getting a better idea of its dimensions and how to tackle the next step when he got to it.
Anyway, the point was, Heisenberg heard a strange whisper behind him and chalked it up to the wind.
When he heard a voice, he jumped half a fucking foot in the air and every fucking lug nut on the old bitch turned into a glorified bullet, punching holes through the sheet metal walls on all sides. Immediately, Heisenberg gave a hoarse howl of laughter and bent in half, hands on his knees and head hung.
"Holy fuck, Kid!" He wheezed, standing upright and wiping some sweat off his face, sauntering a little closer. Despite his heart pounding like a fucking jackhammer, Heisenberg wasn't pissed off about it. It felt sort of pleasant to get startled so badly. "I forgot you were fucking there." Heisenberg peered down at Tartaglia, pulling off his sunglasses to wipe his face, then slipping them back on.
"What did you-- what am I working on?" Heisenberg shifted to glance behind him. "I'm just patching it up. It's an old metalworking machine." That was an extremely, comically basic explanation, but he knew better than to elaborate for Tartaglia. The kid didn't have a fucking clue about anything mechanical. "I'm not retrofitting it, or turning it into anything it's not. Just giving it a facelift."
He squinted down at the kid and shifted on his feet slightly. "...You okay, Kid?"
The general sick feeling was slowly pulling back. Like a greasy film being washed away with enough soap. He still felt terrible and probably would for awhile, but almost functional. It was probably the walk over here that helped. Forced his body to move, a bit of fresh air in his lungs. It was no wonder he was feeling a bit more like himself; and probably had little to do with his present company.
Tartaglia jumped as Heisenberg did; not expecting to be forgotten in the corner. He somewhat assumed that his presence was like a splinter; irritating and hard to forget he was there. Yet apparently his very presence had slipped out of Heisenberg's mind.
He wasn't sure if he was honored or insulted.
Yet he laughed anyway - burying his face into the pillow to muffle the sound.
"It's okay, I forgot I was here too, comrade," he didn't bother actually lifting up is head to speak this time around, since Heisenberg had walked over to actually face him.
His gaze shifted to the machine in question, attempting to puzzle out its function at a glance. Metalworking machine. Interesting.
"So...fixing it," he clarified, kicking his legs slightly as he continued to lay on his stomach, and hug the pillow under his chin.
The question caused him to glance up at Heisenberg and make a faint noise, before shrugging his shoulders, "I haven't thrown up in awhile, so that's nice," he shifted his pillow under his chin slightly, "And I'm feeling more human than I was earlier," he almost sounded optimistic, "Don't worry comrade - I'm done oversharing for a long while."
This was so far outside Heisenberg's wheelhouse that he kind of wanted to laugh as he stared down at the kid. He absently leaned against his hammer's handle, resting his chin on it with a bemused, nearly-fond expression. Ginger was wrapped up like some kind of fucking human burrito. Snug as a fucking bug in a rug or some shit.
That was not the effect Heisenberg usually had on people, besides maybe Donna a long damn time ago - and that had depended so much on the psycho's state of mind that it was always a crapshoot. He'd spent more time trapped in hallucinations being led off goddamn cliffs and ledges for fun.
Anyway, it was different. This was different.
"You could call it fixing, sure." Heisenberg sighed with a grand shrug. Tartaglia wasn't going to care about the finer details, he'd learned. The kid got as far as vroom-vroom car go fast and his interest dwindled... and Heisenberg was oddly okay with that. He... didn't mind the company.
God damn, what a weird situation.
At the comment about oversharing, he scoffed loudly. "Like I care, Kid. Maybe where you're from, you spilled some deep, dark secrets, but it doesn't amount to much for me." He pointed out brusquely. He turned away, one arm outstretched and still loosely wrapped around the hammer's handle as he observed the stupid bitch of a machine. "There's juice right next to you. People like juice. It's like wine for babies." Heisenberg muttered, snapping his fingers.
Every goddamn nut that had evicted the premise came rocketing back, whistling harshly through the air. Every one slotted flawlessly through the hole they'd punched in the walls, and they briefly formed a maelstrom around Heisenberg as they all slowed down. He waved his hand and they lined up neatly on the floor beside the machine.
"You wanna change the music, you can. It's bluetooth." He turned his head and squinted at Tartaglia, rapidly locating his phone beneath all the blanket and snuggliness. He blinked. "Yours is connected." He mumbled, stomping away before shit could get any weirder.
While he was feeling better, that didn't take away the rest of everything that was wrong with him. He had consumed an entire bar, pretty much. Had what could only be called a less than gentle breakdown. And that wasn't even taking into consideration the fact he had the literal shit beat out of him by the Undertaker's people, earlier the previous day. The damage was mostly hidden under bandages that were tucked away under his clothing, at least. But it didn't really help much of anything.
Tartaglia left the 'metalworking machine' at fixing it, and immediately lost interest in any of the finer details. If it was relevant to him in any way, he'd ask. Then he'd push to learn too much about the subject, until he knew it as well as anything he held a mild interest in. It was still interesting to watch Heisenberg use his power with precision.
"Maybe it doesn't mean much to you, but," his eyes half-lidded as he watched Heisenberg work, "Not even the people in Pandora from my own world know my name is Ajax," his eyes narrowed a bit more - the name feeling weird on his tongue. Like speaking some sort of extremely forbidden curse word.
Lumine didn't know, and she had literally babysat his youngest brother.
Zhongli didn't know, and they were actually very good friends once.
And the rest...well, they very much wanted to see his head on a pike.
"Mmm...juice," he mumbled, seeking out the juice with a sleepy sort of blind pawing.
He grabbed it, and waterfalled some into his mouth - knowing better than to drink more than a little at a time.
Setting it back down, he rolled onto his back - pulling his hood over his mess of hair, as he pulled his phone out of his pocket.
It was connected.
Tartaglia scrolled through his phone, before just tapping a playlist he built which was a mix of literally everything. More aggressive classical pieces that sounded more like calls to war than pretty melodies. Metal song that roughly sounded like something going through a chipper-shredder. Some electro junk that he somehow ended up not hating at some point.
Heisenberg was definitely going to hate it all.
Tartaglia scrubbed his hands over his face, trying to wake himself up. There was something inherently embarrassing about falling asleep when not home. Yet he shifted slightly to get more comfortable anyway. The movement more guided by his half-awake brain, than an actual thought. He ended up curled on his side, facing the wall...and passed the literal hell out.
If the music was terrible, his phone was somewhat near the surface. Balanced on top of the juice bottle. While his phone did have an overly complicated combination of a passcode and pattern, the play button for his music wasn't hidden behind it.
Heisenberg studied the kid, knowing that he wasn't going to say the right thing in response to anything he was being told - or had been told. For once in his goddamn life, he cared about taking a misstep and saying the wrong fucking thing that was going to make this worse on the kid, so he just... didn't say anything. He just stared at Tartaglia for a little longer than usual before turning away and going back to his work.
The music was a piss-off, but Heisenberg didn't really hear it after the first ten minutes. He just focused on dissembling the machine in front of him, piece by lumbering piece, and before long that had eaten Heisenberg's focus entirely. He zoned out again, forgetting that the kid was even in the world as he stalked around his project, gradually tearing it down to expose the inner workings.
At some point after banging away on a stubborn joint, Heisenberg remembered that the kid was still alive and glanced over to see if he'd woken him, but... no. The brat was dead to the world.
So he wandered over and squatted next to the stupid little bastard, rudely jabbing his finger against the side of the kid's neck and feeling for a pulse, which there was. Heisenberg double-checked that he was breathing, which he was, then went back to his own fucking business. He changed the music back to the shit he preferred.
Heisenberg noticed the change in temperature around... well, he had no idea what time it was, but it was a few hours after sunrise and he was covered from ass to tail in oil and dirt and sweat from a night spent fixing up the fabrication machine, and he was sweating for reasons besides the exertion.
It was goddamn hot.
Heisenberg hooked a hand around the front of the kid's mattress and dragged it, with the kid still on top, out the door and around to the side of the warehouse that was currently shaded. His eyes fucking stung already from the sunlight, so Heisenberg left the brat there without decorum, tossing the juice down next to him and checking again that he was still alive.
He headed back into the building and went right back to what he was doing, cracking open a bottle of water as he did, just to delay the inevitable heat headache for as long as possible as the temperature outside started to crawl up and the temperature inside skyrocketed mercilessly.
The sleep was...empty. No nightmares, for once in his life. No dreams of home, either. Instead, it was just this almost overly-warm inky blackness that swallowed him whole. He was never someone who slept particularly well. A good night was really only a handful of restless hours. Typically pieces from his time in the Abyss would seep through. Long repressed things that didn't have the proper locks in place, when he was out. He'd never remember what they were when he woke up, but there was a distinct chill that came along with those memories.
Tartaglia didn't even stir when Heisenberg poked at him, or changed the music. Even being dragged outside didn't do much, outside of cause him to cling to the blanket just a bit tighter; more of a muscle reflex than anything.
It was the sun that woke him up, eventually. Not the heat, but light.
His eyes squinted, despite being closed - before slowly opening, and quickly closing again. His mind a warm blurry fog; not bothering to ask questions, as he ran his hands over his face and grunted. For a moment, he just remained on that mattress in the shade. Blanket half kicked off of him - hooded sweatshirt skewed enough that his stomach was just sticking out. It created just enough breeze that he wasn't overheated. His gaze locked upwards on nothing in particular, as his mind spilled the puzzle pieces of reality on his lap, and tried to put them together.
Tartaglia shoved himself up on one arm - seeing the warehouse nearby. Somehow the mattress had ended up outside. Maybe it was a noise thing, but it seemed pretty quiet at the moment. Or a dust thing. He already knew Heisenberg didn't sleep, so maybe he just got tired of Tartaglia's presence.
He scrubbed at his eyes again with the back of his hand - yawning a loud and dramatic yawn as he dropped himself back on the mattress. Childe hadn't meant to fall asleep. In fact, he would have assumed that he wouldn't be able to somewhere that technically was in the same location where he had died multiple times.
Coughing once, he spat whatever morning gunk was stuck in his throat, and shoved himself to his feet. He stripped off his sweatshirt, as dramatically as physically possible, and stretched his arms over his head. Tying the hoodie around his waist, he left his blanket and pillow out on the mattress and wandered inside the warehouse - immediately feeling the heat.
Tartaglia was rather glad he decided to throw on a ratty t-shirt under said sweatshirt - even if it did mean his appearance was possibly even worse than when he originally showed up. The color in his cheeks was probably more normal. The dark rings under his eyes were less. Eyes generally not blood-shot. Or less so, at least.
Maybe there was an improvement, but he hadn't showered and wasn't dressed very nice.
Therefore he looked terrible.
"Why was I outside?" he asked as he wandered in - saying the words before he actually spotted Heisenberg.
The kid looked a lot less dead, and a lot less like he was on the verge of bursting into fucking tears.
Overall, a drastic improvement.
Heisenberg grunted noncommittally as he fought with a particularly stubborn casing inside the machine, straining at it with a startling amount of his strength while it strained to stay right where the fuck it was. "You fucking bitch!" He spat viciously, giving it a good fucking kick that did nothing. He heard a crack, and presumably his toe was probably fractured.
Heisenberg couldn't feel it anyway, so it didn't matter.
He turned to face the kid, wiping a stupid amount of sweat off his brow and tugging off his glasses to clean them with a nearby rag, flinching visibly at the sunlight coming in through the door until he got the glasses back on. He waved a hand around them vaguely. "I'm me and you're you, Ginge. Sit in that corner for five minutes and you'll know why I fucking moved you." Heisenberg said gruffly, turning back to the machine with one hand on his hip, looking properly vexed.
"You filthy fucking bitch. Just come apart." He snarled - mostly to himself.
"Yes, yes I am," his voice a bouncy sing-song that almost felt foreign on his tongue, considering how out of it he had been for...days at this point. That aggressive nap had somehow worked like a reset. Tartaglia feeling about as close to as himself as he could get, these days.
There was a crack that was most definitely bone (he knew the sound well) and noted the lack of reaction in Heisenberg. From everything he had seen so far, the man didn't react to pain as a normal person did. Maybe it came from knowledge that it'd heal, or maybe something was simply not connected right. Pain wasn't a voluntary response, after all. He knew that first hand.
If it was a switch that could be shut off, he'd have flipped it long ago. Switching from his Hydro Vision to Electro Delusion had a literally shocking effect. Not to mention the continuous mixture of shocks and general pain that came from the transformation. Damage in battle as well, was something he tried to not allow him to be slowed down by, but the human body had limits. Forced responses to things that were outside of your control.
And thus, Heisenberg had issues with feeling pain.
Or something along those lines. Sometimes it took time for the mind to catch up with the body with a bone fracture. Tartaglia already making a point to see if he started to walk with a more pronounced limp or not.
Finally he got an answer. His gaze shifting to where the mattress was, realizing he was moved outside for his own comfort.
He chose to not comment on it, genuinely not sure what the normal reaction should be.
And considering he was thankful, he didn't want to spit in the man's face.
Wait...there was an answer in that.
But was it weird to thank him?
Instead, he just sat himself up on something loosely resembling a counter, and watched as Heisenberg fought a machine.
"How long was I out?" he asked, pulling his phone from his pocket, only to find it very much dead. He didn't know enough about machines to actually contribute with his fist-fight with it, so he just wasn't even going to try, "I'm pretty sure I was legally in a coma for at least some of that," he stretched again, and yawned loudly.
Heisenberg prowled from one side of the bitch of a machine to the other, showing no sign of a limp as his broken toe flopped around inside his boot before gradually mending itself while he stood and surveyed the absolute fucking mess he'd made. The whole process had no real pain attached, aside from an odd little itch when the bone sealed itself back onto its other half. Heisenberg was aware of it only in a very generalized way.
He glanced back at Tartaglia as the kid sat on the drafting table Heisenberg had built for himself a few days before. He briefly considered reminding Ginge that he was dead if his fat ass broke the thing, but... whatever. The kid was a bunch of twigs conveniently tied together. He wasn't going to break anything.
Not far from where Tartaglia's hand rested, the Delusion was tucked inside the top drawer of the desk. Heisenberg wondered if he could sense it.
He went back to yanking the casing off the guts of the machine, and this time it flew off like a bat out of hell, sending Heisenberg sprawling onto his back, rolling ass over teakettle before landing in a daze miraculously back on his feet. He looked down and gave a hysterical bark of laughter, whirling to look at Tartaglia. "Did you see that? Holy fuck!" He exclaimed, throwing down the casing in success.
It took a second for him to catch up with what the kid had asked, and Heisenberg frowned as he started fucking around with the machine's insides, getting a good look at last. "I wasn't watching the time, Kid. Probably a while. All night, at least." Heisenberg grunted, yanking out a jumble of fused, old wires. "Look at this fucking rat's nest. Whoever built this should be fucking shot." He mumbled, stooping his neck to get a closer look.
"How the hell are you still tired, Ginge? How much goddamn sleep do you need?"
Tartaglia was vaguely aware of some sort of elemental energy around the desk. Were he more lucid, he would have simply used his elemental vision to track it down, and actually get to the bottom of its source. But he wasn't, so he didn't. The slight tingle that came from some sort of elemental power, was pretty much a constant around Heisenberg and his electrical and magnetic powers. It tinted the air around him; which Tartaglia was sensitive to, now that he had his Vision back. A Vision that was clipped to the top of his soft sleep-pants, but hidden under the bottom of his shirt. It was simply a habit to never take it off of his person.
The thing Heisenberg was fucking with, finally broke...or came apart, or whatever he was attempting there. Tartaglia naturally ducking his head and blocking his face, not wanting to be slapped by a spare sharp thing. Of course a raised hand and ducked head wouldn't exactly stop a spare bar of rebar from stabbing into his torso again. But hey. He was trying to avoid death, at the moment.
"I thought that would finally kill you, how disappointing," he beamed, laughing too, as he relaxed in place - studying the lack of casing on...whatever that machine was.
Probably something to build other things, knowing Heisenberg and his nonstop need to construct things.
"Hm," he flopped back on the desk, immediately not caring what Heisenberg was working on - casually laying on top of whatever was behind him. Some of it was slightly sharp, but nothing seemed to be actively piercing his skin at least, "At least it wasn't days," he casually remarked, loudly yawning again - before Heisenberg called him out on it.
"It's not that I'm tired, comrade, I'm just waking up," he explained - kicking his feet very slightly, as they dangled off the side of the desk, "And I don't get hard sleep like that very often, so it's taking me awhile to shake it off."
He paused, continuing to feel that twinge of something in the air. Tartaglia kept telling himself it was Heisenberg himself, but something about it was as concentrated as if the man was using his powers - which he wasn't.
Tartaglia blinked hard - causing the room to fall into black and white hues. Of course, Heisenberg had purples rippling from him, because of the electrical powers he possessed. But...so did the desk, too. A desk he wasn't touching.
"My Delusion is in this desk, isn't it?" he asked, propping himself up on his elbows, as he blinked away the elemental Vision - which apparently just made his eyes a bit brighter and glowier than usual, but not much else.
Despite his words, he made no sudden movements to go for it.
Heisenberg barked a laugh with his head halfway in the guts of the machine. "You're not that lucky, kid." He said conversationally, tugging out another mess of wiring. Even if the casing had somehow torn his arm off, Heisenberg could reattach it with a bit of time and patience. No machine (yet) had ever done more damage to his body than he could easily recover from.
His brows quirked at the idea of Tartaglia sleeping for days. That seemed unrealistic, but then again, Heisenberg didn't know shit about normal people. Maybe they were just as capable of reaching that point of exhaustion as he was. For all he knew, maybe that was normal.
He doubted it though.
That it was hard to shake of heavy sleep was a bit more believable to him, so he made an affirmative noise as he poked around in the heart of the fabricator. Heisenberg didn't immediately look up when the kid asked about his Delusion. In all honesty, it took him a good few seconds to remember what that was, and when he did remember, Heisenberg was too focused on what he was doing to have the common sense to be concerned.
He merely shrugged halfheartedly. "Maybe, Kid. I can't remember where I put it." He admitted, shimmying a little further into the guts of the machine, tugging at a rusted jumble of something and dragging it slowly out into the world.
It was dripping something that smelled corrosive, so he tossed it aside and wiped his gloved hands in his pants. Heisenberg glanced over at Tartaglia at last, still too distracted to care much about their game of keep-away. The kid's eyes had briefly looked weird... but the kid looked weird regardless.
"If you plan on killing me, you might as well make it quick and put me out of my suffering." He joked brusquely as he started yanking on the next casing.
Tartaglia glanced uselessly down at the desk, as Heisenberg brushed off his question. He'd probably be drop-kicked out the door for trying to grab it, but for the moment it seemed like he wouldn't be stopped. Without much fanfare, he shoved himself off the desk and onto the floor - sitting on his knees as he pawed around at the drawers. Hand reaching on top of the desk for something to pick a lock with.
But the first drawer came open as he leaned on it. Oh. Maybe he should have checked that first.
He assumed there would be a trap door, fake bottom, or the bottom drawer would be locked and the one that held the Delusion in question. But...it was just right there. Mixed with a handful of other things, as if it lacked any real value.
For a moment, he just stared at it.
Tartaglia had convinced himself he was fine without it. That he didn't need it. Yet he felt a chill that was borderline sexual move its way through a system, as his fingers wrapped around it. His thumb brushed against the surface, as he sat down on his knees next to the open drawer, on the floor.
"I should really show you what I can do with this," it somehow wasn't voiced as a threat - his tone about a million miles away, as he continued to just hold it, and stare at it.
After whatever weird come-to-jesus moment the kid had had about the bitch he worked for in his world, Heisenberg had assumed that he'd had the wherewithal to dismiss the bauble gifted to him by said bitch, because she was, as previously stated, a bitch. Heisenberg had assumed it was no different than him keeping the gnome-thing or whatever the fuck it was called. It was something Tartaglia didn't need, that caused more problems than anything else, and the kid had willingly wanted it gone.
Staring at him from around the fabricator, Heisenberg sensed that he might have missed the mark on his assumptions by the way the kid was holding the stupid thing. From across the warehouse, he felt a familiar tingle on his skin. Back home, it would have meant an incoming storm - the kind of thunderstorm that caused rampant flooding for half the summer. Here, Heisenberg suspected it had to do with the zappy bauble in the kid's sweaty little hand.
He leaned against the machine, arms folded and expression tight, aware that there was a fine line to tread here, if he didn't want something to escalate. "Maybe some other time. I'm busy." Heisenberg pointed out in a blase tone, gesturing with his thumb at the fabricator. "If you want to fuck around with it, go outside, Kid. Don't screw around with my shit in here."
Tartaglia hadn't been separated from his Delusion since the Tsaritsa had first bestowed it upon him. The same could be said for his Vision, in fact. His fingers delicately brushed against the faux Vision, silently remembering that the Tsaritsa didn't trust him. That she had sent in that bitch. The more he thought about the entire situation, the more he knew that he was never once meant to succeed.
Once he had arrived within Liyue harbor, he hadn't once been aware of Signora anywhere near the area. Her presence was up in Mondstadt, trying to get the Anemo Archon's gnosis...which very much required her full concentration. That indicated that before Tartaglia had even arrived within Liyue, she had been present and spoken to Zhongli - or rather, the Geo Archon. They had brokered a deal, using information he could have utilized from the start. Everything else was just him being in the right place at the right time, to make other people's plans work.
Perhaps it should have soured his feelings about the Delusion. Made him wish to attempt to destroy it, out of some sort of misguided effort of defiance to her Majesty. But the fact was simple: Tartaglia was stronger with it. And he needed that power. If she oh-so-happened to show up in Pandora, he wouldn't bend a knee to her, but continue to use tools she was powerless to remove from his grasp.
So, in a way, it was defying her. No longer he pawn, yet using tools that she only crafted for her most trusted elite.
His gaze lifted to Heisenberg, almost forgetting he was there despite having just spoken to him. There was a flash of disappointment on his features at the refusal to see the power of the Delusion. But it was quickly pushed away, as Tartaglia pushed himself to his feet - silently removing the Vision from his waistband and clipping the Delusion to the opposite side of it.
"Yes, of course comrade," he slipped both elemental powers back onto his hip - the Delusion facing outward and shining slightly, as he exhaled a breath that almost sounded relieved. His gaze shifted to the doorway, and he was gone in a literal flash. Purple streaks from where Tartaglia stood a moment ago, slowly fading from the path he had taken outside.
His Electro Delusion made him fast.
He stood outside of the warehouse - surprisingly mindful of the distance between him and the assorted machines inside. Purple weapons born from electricity, appeared in his hands - two daggers with severe serrated edges.
Typically when using his Delusion, he pulled his Fatui mask over his features.
While Delusions were an impressive feat from the Tsaritsa, they were...imperfect. The thought felt like the largest stride in defiance thusfar, but it was the truth. They were knock-off Visions. Not born from their Archons, but crafted from her Majesty attempting the impossible. They didn't function quite right. While they did their purpose of allowing the element to flow through her chosen, their eyes gave away that something wasn't quite normal.
Tartaglia's blue irises were a deep purple, with faint purple tendrils spreading over the rest of the eye; as if they were bloodshot with electricity. It was something better left hidden, but he didn't have means to do so. But, he supposed, it didn't really matter.
He allowed the electricity to pool between the two daggers - creating a polearm, which he slowly swung around himself. For once in his life, he was taking it slow - feeling out the power that was lost to him for...some time.
Heisenberg let the kid leave, but that didn't do much for his state of mind. He couldn't seem to get his goddamn focus back, and his eyes kept twitching to the door. The kid hadn't fucking had that stupid bauble in ages, and Heisenberg already knew it did a fucking number on him. What were the chances that Tartaglia would be stupid enough to push it too far just for the sake of using it because he had it?
Heisenberg gave an angry huff and threw down the part he was fucking around with. He adjusted his glasses, already dreading being outside in the sun even as he stomping out there, shoulders hunched and eyes slits behind his sunglasses.
As expected, even with something to shield his eyes, Heisenberg's temples started throbbing with a steady, stabbing headache within seconds. "Alright, Ginge. I'm watching." Heisenberg snarled, wishing he'd had the common sense to grab his fucking hat before he'd come all the way out here. Maybe then he'd be able to see something.
The sunlight felt nice, but Tartaglia always liked the heat. A sharp contrast to what he was used to - making him crave it, even if he melted a bit faster than most. His movements were slow and methodical - gently probing into everything that was the power of the Delusion. It had been some time, and it'd take a few minutes for his body to adjust to the imperfect stream of power that came from it.
His gaze lifted as Heisenberg joined him outside - eyes growing a bit wider with genuine surprise that the old man actually had parted from his work. A wide, almost proud smile spread across his features, as he continued to swing the weapon around himself in very practiced movements. Like with the water, it was constantly shifting between weapon shapes. Daggers, polearm, short sword, long sword.
"On a base level, it's essentially the same as my Hydro Vision, but with a different element," he admitted - stilling moving the Electro weapon around himself, to essentially warm up his stiff muscles, "After all, it's the person that decides how the element is used, not the Vision or Delusion itself. The Delusion does let me move faster than my Hydro Vision does - as you've already seen. So nothing too exciting on its own," an unsettling smile spread across his features, as he met Heisenberg's gaze, "However," he slowed his motions to a stop - throwing the electro weapon away from himself, calling it to disappear, "Why I need both is for something else entirely. That reason nobody can stand me is more than just the fact I'm annoying. There's something inside me that I can't quite unlock unless I have both my Vision and Delusion present within my grasp."
Could his body handle this at the moment?
He had no idea.
Time to find out.
He pulled his Delusion and Vision off his belt - pooling energy into both, before clipping it to the collar of his shirt. Being closer to his head always helped make it less painful for some reason - but he never knew why.
Tartaglia rolled his neck, flashed Heisenberg a wink, before exhaling a deep breath, and let the energy just flow out of him. It pooled from the ground - a mix of water and electricity; blues and purples - washed over his legs, and pulled him off of the ground. His legs were suddenly clad in a thick armor. With a quick movement of each arm, they joined the ranks of having thick armor. Claw-like gloves coming to sharp-tips at the edge of his finger. The energy washed over his features, covering it in a mask. Tartaglia punched his hands together - finishing off the transformation process. He remained hovering just above the ground, as a polearm that was both Hydro and Electro appeared in his hand.
"And this is my masterpiece."
His voice sounded much the same, though a bit muffled and unhinged from behind the mask.
For whatever reason, the kid seemed to specifically want to show off to him, and, for just as mysterious a reason, Heisenberg was willing to play ball, half-blind as he was. He leaned against the side of the warehouse, watching the electrical arcs form cohesive weapons in the kid's grasp.
It was a hell of a thing.
Heisenberg nodded along as Tartaglia explained, then glanced up at his face sharply at that however, eyes narrowing behind his sunglasses as things started getting dangerous very quickly.
Not that Heisenberg had been given any reason to think that... but there was some kind of fucking energy pouring off the kid that put his back up, and he automatically stood up straight. From inside the warehouse, his hammer floated closer and landed at his side - untouched for now, but close enough to be grabbed if the kid decided to go off the chain.
"Color me impressed, Kid." Heisenberg drawled slowly, dragging out his words.
It really was impressive, if painfully showy.
It reminded Heisenberg of his own transformation - except this one was a flashy look-at-me song and dance bit. Heisenberg's was something he kept to himself until he was backed into a corner and had no other fucking way out.
Still, he could feel the electrical energy emanating from the kid, and he knew it didn't mean anything fucking good. "You look like a dipshit." Heisenberg pointed out callously. He folded his arms, frowning.
"So... is this you showing off, or are you asking for a fight? Use your words, Ginge."