Jack, even though he had been pacing and circling the Catacombs like a shark, the building felt as if it was peering over him now more than ever. Damian walked in front like the natural leader that he was. Oddly, at least to him, Damian didn't seem to be walking with any kind of caution. Maybe it was all a facade, he couldn't tell without looking at his face. Behind him, though he dare not make an awkward glance back, Xephyr and Anya were behind him, arms linked. They seemed to be hitting it off well. Then that left Skylar on his left. She didn't seem to be irradiating the same sense of antisocial aura from earlier, but Jack didn't want to reinstate any earlier feelings of it.
They entered inside and instantly the shade had provided relief. Jack shuttered from the sudden change in temperature. Through his peripheral, he saw that this had no outer physical change upon Skylar. The slight darkness they had proceeded to immerse themselves in had also changed the way Skylar looked. She seemed a bit cooler, but not in a non approachable way. She just didn't seem so annoyed. Jack hoped that maybe she would be more open to communication. After all, they were a team, and Jack wanted to at least try to seem like he wasn't a total wreck.
"There are supposedly ninety-nine steps in this staircase", Jack muttered. He had done a little bit of extra research just in case. He always lived by "better safe than sorry".
"...you count the floor as the bottom, then you have one hundred steps...The Egyptians were very meticulous and precise", Skylar had been deep into her own thought, concentrating on what she had to do when Jack's voice broke through.
She looked at the boy next to her who she had neglected to even acknowledge before then. He had matched her steps and was suddenly made very aware of the stone she stepped on.
"Huh...cool...", she let out stoically. She gave a very slight nod, almost imperceptible, and kept that emotionless mask on. Skylar did not care if she seemed rude, but the boy was at least trying, that was a bit admirable. Still, she did not show any hint of interest. She continued to act passive at all times unless the situation was dire. There really was no point otherwise.
That is until she realized something that annoyed her about that fact. Damn it...that's just ninety-nine steps I might have to run up should something happen. Not only that, but she also figured there might be other people scrambling up these steps to get out. She just hoped it wouldn't come to that. Skylar looked about the narrowed space she was in and once the image of a panicked mass stopped forcing itself upon her imagination, she actually commended the Egyptians for such a nice piece of architecture. They did seem to be very exact as Jack said. That was something apparent even in the blueprints she saw. It was a pity that it was going to have to come down, but it was a miracle in itself that something this old was still structurally sound.
Xephyr took a deep breath of the cooler air and let it expand in his lungs and down his throat. He could tolerate the heat, but it was something that was far from enjoyed. With every step lower, he could feel it get cooler. Every now and again, a miniscule flowing of cooler air would rustle around in the air, cooling him either further. Yet, no matter how far they descended, there was one part of his body that was continuously warmed. His right arm captured in the clutches of his female companion, Anya.
The warmth flowed outward from his arm through his body. A deep warmth. Xephyr could no longer focus on the mission. He wasn't sure if his arm was the culprit responsible for this sudden output of heat, or if it was just a conduit for Anya's. He wasn't even sure how he felt about it all. It was troubling. He couldn't decide if he enjoyed the skinship and admired Anya or if he was anxious over it and was scared of her.
(Going to end it here. I'm going to see if I can write in shorter bits everyday. Maybe this story will make some progress that way. Comments always thanked whether they be good or bad. Suggestions always welcome. Though I know there's maybe three people reading this, tops.)