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[M] New Wounds and Old Scars

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 567
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#1
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Thread Status: Closed
Players involved: Kila, Roma
Characters involved: Brianna (Kila), Zaeren (Roma)
Setting: All of Sleibte
Time: Late at night, Haliea 25
Weather: Clear with storms rolling in on the horizon; heat lightning is present and common as thunder softly rumbles over the plains

Brianna had been out for a while.

Zaeren had carried her back to the cabin in the woods, and she'd been in and out of consciousness for parts of it. She recalled him opening the dark cabin and lighting a fire before he set her down on the furs on the floor. She recalled vaguely gesturing to her bag, though if words came out she couldn't say for sure. She continued to fade in and out as the different sensations overcame her--the wound being cleaned (that hurt quite a bit), her hair being tied back, the oily feeling of ointments being rubbed into the wound (she half recalled crying out and raking her claws through the fur blankets), and then... everything went dark.

And it stayed dark.

She was alone in her mind, surrounded by darkness, with herself being the only point of light around. She was in a pool, just floating on the surface, hair splayed out around her, completely numb to everything going on in the waking world. And it was quiet. Blissfully, peacefully silent. And then the thought occurred to her...

Am I dead?

It was her first thought in this world--her subconscious.

*You're not dead,* said a soft male voice from her right. Brianna turned her head in response, and there, sitting on the water's surface, was Kazae, the white lion. He stared at her with contemplative eyes, golden mane blazing like a fire, further illuminating the dark nothingness that surrounded them. He tilted his head and spoke again, *Would you rather be?*

No...? Brianna responded hesitantly. No. I'm rather glad I'm not dead. She chuckled.

So... if I'm not dead, am I dreaming?

*Ah,* said a feminine voice from her left, *Now there's the million gold question.* Brianna instantly knew this voice to be that of Danae, the kitsune. She turned her head and met the ebony beast's scarlet eyes. Unlike Kazae she was barely distinguishable from the darkness around her. The kitsune gave a swish of her many beautiful tails as she continued, *Not dead. Not dreaming. You just are, my dear.*

Kazae was quick to add on, *Your body is healing itself, and has been. Your light magic has...* he trailed off, as if uncertain of how to continue. Brianna watched him chew at his claws pensively, and she found herself trying to sit up in the water, though she was unable to.

Kazae?

*We can't sugar coat this, dear, it's best we just come clean with her.* It was the first time Brianna had ever heard Danae speak with... was that tenderness?

There were several awkwardly quiet moments as Kazae licked his paw and ran it over his ear and face. It felt as if Brianna had walked in on something she wasn't supposed to see--like she'd discovered a secret that she still wasn't quite privy to. Guys, what is going on? I'm so sick of you both knowing more about me than I do! she cried out, frustration at the edges of her voice.

The two spirit weapons locked eyes for a split moment and nodded in unison.

*Your magic is increasing. Whether you're aware of it or not, you're using your light magic right now to heal yourself.* Kazae's voice was as warm as the sun, and the more Brianna looked at him... the more his words seemed to ring true. Had his mane always blazed like that? Somewhere deep in her heart she knew it hadn't. *And with this new well of power comes greater risks.*

*The brighter the light becomes, the darker the shadow,* Danae added with a soft chuckle, though her words were tinged with concern. *There's so much more to you than you can imagine, Brianna... we just... can't quite tell you...*

*Because even we're uncertain--*

*We don't have all the answers you seem to think we have. Kazae and I just know the parts of you that you know, just... a bit more intimately.*

Ah, so it's still a riddle... Brianna sighed, though as she closed her eyes she felt a strange semblance of peace over not having all the answers. If even they were still in the dark, then maybe everything would be okay.

...

So how do I wake up?

*Oh my sweet, foolish girl,* Danae said.

*The answer is simple. All you need to do is*

*Open your eyes.* Their voices combined into one, and the kelahati found herself compelled to do exactly as they said...

She opened her eyes and found herself staring straight up at the ceiling.

The firelight was flickering gently, casting soft shadows that danced over the cabin's dark rustic walls. Even the dragon's skull mounted on the wall seemed less threatening than it had before. The soft crackling of the dwindling fire was a homey comfort, and outside the chirps of crickets mingled with the distant rumble of thunder. She could smell the humidity on the wind through cracked windows, and the air was bursting with the smell of rain. It would turn into a stormy night...

Aside from the fire in the fireplace the cabin was dark. A glance out the window told her it was well after sunset; she could see flickers of starlight between flashes of distant lightning. It was only then that her stomach began to growl. Ravenously. And it was at that moment that the obvious question came to the forefront of her mind:

How the fuck long had she out for?

As she tried to get up to remedy her painfully empty belly a sharp jolt radiated down her spine, and she gasped a little more sharply than she'd intended. Propped up on one elbow and halfway between being rolled onto her back it came into stark clarity just how far Zaeren had gone in treating her wound. She was shirtless, save for the bandages that wrapped around her exposed breasts, and there were either several layers--as the wound wasn't seeping through--or the wound was already scabbing over. But judging from the need for bandages, that likely wasn't the case.

But gods above did it hurt.

Her eyes fell on the man sleeping next to her. The man who had supported her as she walked out of the dragon halls at her own foolish request, carried her back home, and then so tenderly cared for her... Let him rest, she thought. It's the least he deserves.

She managed to work her body until she was sitting upright, but each movement of her spine elicited a soft mewl of a pained gasp from her lips. Damn, she hadn't felt pain like that in a long time. It was like fire in her back and shoulders, and one wrong move would have her tearing up in pain.

But at least the pain meant she was alive.

Andromeda Offline

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The small movement of the covers caused the man to open his blue eyes. He had been asleep, but not touching her. For days he had feared being too close might hinder the progress she had been making. He had made sure to change her bandages, and clean the wounds often. Barely leaving unless for the essentials like food or more medicine for her.

He was wary leaving her alone for long periods of time might be dangerous for her or someone might stumble upon her vulnerable body and take advantage of her.

Now she was awake, but those fears still remained. He knew from experience that she would be weak and most importantly need food and water. He sat up beside her and grabbed his glass of water and offered it to her.

"Bri, hov do you feel?" His eyes were gentle as he waited for her tp drink. "Are you hungry? Vat vould you like to eat?"

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 567
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Joined: Jul 2017
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#3
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She greedily took the glass and gulped down the contents, not even caring that water dribbled down the corners of her mouth. She was parched. Having not even taken a pause to breathe, the woman took a deep breath, wincing at the dull ache in her ribs and back, and finally met Zaeren's eyes. "Please... I'm so hungry I could eat a bear," Brianna said, tossing her head back slightly to give a short melodious laugh. "I could eat anything, really. Don't trouble yourself too much, Zae... Just bread and whatever else you have around will do until I can get out and hunt." She let herself trail off as her eyes moved to the empty cup still held in her hands.

Tightening her grip on the glass, she once again met his gaze. "Really, don't. You've done more than enough in caring for me so dutifully while I was out... for however long that was."

A pause.

"How long was I out?" She held the cup back out to him before quietly asking, "If I could have more water too, please?" Her cheeks flushed scarlet as her stomach gave another loud growl.

Andromeda Offline

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Zae kissed the top of her head as he gently took the glass from her hand. "Please do not stress yourself vit vorry over time gone. It vas only a veek or a little more maybe. I lost track of it myself," he told her as he gently cupped her face with his other hand before pulling away. He got up from the bed and gave her a small smile trying to get her not to worry as much. Stress would not help her heal and that grip she held on that glass.... He wanted her to rest and relax more than anything.

"I vill be right back okay? I just am going to get your food," he told her softly as he left the room. He softly shut the door to give her a moment and made his way back into the kitchen. There honestly wasn't much here for food, but he'd make what he could. He didn't want to leave her with her just waking up. Had she known that? Or did she not want him to leave her? A sigh. This is why he was always careful not to get close to people, it hurt. He had been so scared he as going to lose her after everything he had done trying to bring her peace and then keep her alive after the fight.

His hand tightened on the glass and it broke in his hand, shards falling to the ground. He looked down at it for a moment and watched blood drip from his hand before getting a rag and cleaning it up. He threw the broken glass into the trash and grabbed a water stone. Using a water stone, he filled a bowl and cleaned his hand off before wrapping it. She was okay. He needed to focus on that now. The hard part was over. The rest would just be letting her get her strength back and part of that started with food. Zaeren opened cabinets looking around for any kind of food. It was a hard to find anything to go with bread... He did find some smoked meat after a moment and then put it on a plate. He found some bread and got another glass and filled it with water. Slowly he made his way back to Bri. Opening the door to the room, carefully to not drop anything, he walked in. 

"I told you I'd come back," he said with a smile as he walked over and gave her the food. "Are you... okay? Like hov do you feel over all?"

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 567
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Joined: Jul 2017
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#5
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She watched him go with melancholy eyes; Zaeren seemed so sad. Why? Had she done that to him? Guilt began creeping at the fringes of her mind, and her hand began to move towards the pendant at her throat, though she stopped shortly before touching the crystal as his words dawned on her.

A week. She'd only been out for a week.

A relieved sigh; her ears tilting back. That wasn't too long, especially considering what had happened to her. She rolled her shoulders, wincing at the pain caused by the stiffness, and gave a chuckle as Zaeren entered the room.

"I feel like I got stepped on by a dragon," she said with a lighthearted chuckle as she gingerly touched her shoulder. "Which is to be expected, all things considering." She gave a one shouldered shrug and a yawn. "If anything I feel a bit stiff, and I'd like to get up and walk around, stretch a bit and all that..." she trailed off as her gaze drifted over to the food. Oooooooh it smelled so good...

With all the grace of a ravenous dog, Brianna's hands shot out and snatched the bread and began tearing it to bits as she unceremoniously shoved pieces into her mouth. She. Was. Starving. Though that was unsurprising. A week with no food! She hadn't gone that long without food since she was a child fresh from the loss of her village. The bread and meat were demolished quickly, and the feline gave a contented stretch with both hands on her belly.

"That hit the spot," she said with a purr, tail thumping against the bed.

She shifted to lean against the man, rubbing her cheek against his chest, her throat still rumbling with a soft purr. "I'm sorry for worrying you, Zae," she said softly, lacing her fingers with his. "Truthfully this is nothing compared to other injuries I've sustained. But I really do appreciate you caring or me all this time..." She brought his hand to her lips and brushed against his fingers. "It makes me feel better knowing I was in such capable hands." Brianna looked up at him, her lips pulling into a wry smile. "I'll have to thank you properly when my ribs heal," she teased, giggling.

Andromeda Offline

Monarch

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He had smiled a bit at her joke and watched her eat silently. She was just so hungry. He should have hunted something yesterday and brought her more things. This would not be enough for long with how she had eaten. It didn't help it had been so long since her last meal. "I see te dragon stomping you didn't discourage your love of affection," he teased her softly as his free hand moved to trace a trail down her back teasingly. "As for your offer, I vould gladly accept, but only after you take te time you need to heal. I do not vant to hinder your progress vit such actions."

Zaeren pulled back a bit and moved his hand to her chin and gently moved it upward so her eyes were looking into his. Then he gently kissed her. "Even if zose vounds vere not as bad as past ones, to me tey vere. I should have not let you get hurt. For zat I am sorry," he mumbled against her lips. "Vat can I do to make it up to you?" His lips brushed hers with every word, and his medium blue eyes looked into her eyes with soft affection. He did blame himself, and he was looking for atonement. What could he do for her to make her feel better? His fingers that were interlocked with hers gave a gentle squeeze and the corners of his lip twitched softly into a smile.

"Name your price... I am villing to pay it."

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 567
Threads: 83
Joined: Jul 2017
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#7
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There it was again, that guilt of his. Brianna brought her hands up and cupped his cheeks, stroking them with her thumbs. "You big dumb idiot," she sighed, her lips pulling back into a bright smile, revealing her teeth. "I'm not made of glass, Zae. I'm flesh and bone, and to live is to feel pain and hurt." Her eyes met his, and all she could think about was how to take away the deep rooted sorrow held within their depths.

"Stop feeling guilty, for starters," Brianna said with another sigh, pulling away from Zaeren to gently rap his forehead with a knuckle. "It's most definitely not your fault that I got hurt. We were fighting a dragon, injury was bound to happen. And if I'm not feeling bad, you shouldn't be either." She looked at him again, this time wearing a crooked smile that made her eyes twinkle with what could only be described as chaotic mischief. Zaeren was about to eat his words; Brianna would make sure of that.

In the truest of feline fashions Brianna pounced, ignoring her body's screams of pain, and pinned the giant man down underneath her. She rested her arms against his torso and lounged on him, tail swaying back and forth as she flashed him a cheshire smile, showing off her all-too-sharp teeth. "Weeeeell," she purred, "If you really want to make it up to me..."

She drew little circles on his chest and continued in a sickeningly sweet voice, "You can take me to where you're from. Tell me more about yourself and your people." Her eyes followed the trailing of her fingers before slowly looking up to meet his gaze. "Satisfy my curiosity~" The look on her face told Zaeren everything he needed to know: Brianna wasn't about to take no for an answer.

Andromeda Offline

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He looked up at her, his eyes kind of wide as he felt her finger tracing his skin. He didn't try to get up as his mind processed her request Vhy did she have to vant zat? Hell everyone seemed to want the one thing he just did not feel comfortable giving out. Why should he? It was the one piece of information that no one but a select few knew and it was on a need to know kind of biases. From what he knew those few were all his kind, not another species or anyone that may be able to use the information to their benefit. He felt his guard go up slightly. He had never told anyone about any of those things and even though he liked her, he wasn't sure if he could bring his code. Even for her....

A sigh. "I can tell you a bit about myself but not much to be honest. I am kinda just like anyone else," he said after a moment letting his shoulders sag trying to burn off the uneasiness the though of those questions always brought him. Would Mother want them to know? "For instance, I am alvays going around a good bit of ze vorld on jobs and tings I need to do for my family. I rarely stay in one place for very long," he admitted after a moment.

"As for vhere I live, zat might be a bit difficult. Zey don't really like outsiders too much tere. It makes tem very vary of you and slightly hostile. If I took you, I'd have to send vord to tem and hope tey are in a good mood," he said slowly as he tried to figure this out. He wanted to make her happy, but he also couldn't jeopardize his own kind for her sake. This was going to be a very fine line.

Kila Offline

Sphinx Queen

Posts: 567
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Joined: Jul 2017
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#9
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The feline felt his guard go up as soon as she asked. His muscles tensed, his eyes narrowed slightly, his brows furrowed...  Brianna felt a pang of guilt for asking--until Zaeren uttered a lie. That he was like everyone else. She felt her tail bristle, and from there it traveled up the rest of her body, causing her thick tresses to puff out more-so than usual. Though her eyes didn't narrow, her pupils turned to little slits as she stared at him, lips pulling into a frown.

"I'm not stupid, Zae," she said flatly. "You told me you're a balance keeper. You have the authority to kill a dragon king for his crimes! You take the form of a dragon, but you're not a dragon. Nor are you a man." She got off of him and slid onto the bed, shifting until she was at its edge. "If you can't tell me, that's fine, but don't act like I'm stupid." She turned her back to him and huffed, tail thumping loudly against the bed covers, back and forth in an even rhythm.

"You know very well that I don't have a home, and it's because of the dragon we just killed. So I travel everywhere, too..." Her harsh tone softened. "We could travel together, Zae... I don't care about not settling down in one place. I've never had the chance to do it, so why start now?" She reached up to clasp at her pendant, her hand once again stopping short to scratch an itch under the bandages. With a sigh, she turned her head around to look at him, eyes all too keen. "I can tell you're tired of being alone, Zae. I see it when you think I'm not looking. That brooding far off stare... the heaviness you must feel in your chest carries to your eyes, you know."

Another sigh as Brianna pulled herself off the bed, taking a moment to stretch her sore muscles before walking to the window, propping her elbows on the sill to glance out into the balmy summer's night. "Smells like rain," she said to herself, sighing again. It rained on the day they met, too...

"Zae, I want to help ease whatever burden you carry, but you have to be willing to let me in so I can do that. If you just push me away, well... don't be surprised if one day I take the hint and leave. I have to look out for myself, too." She made no effort to look at the man, instead fixing her gaze on the stormy horizon with intensity. Her ears swayed in the breeze, and before she could sigh again Brianna reached up to clasp the pendant at her throat.

And then she felt it. The roughness of its normally smooth surface was wrong in her hand... Her eyes widened in horror, and before she knew what she was doing Brianna reached back to untie the string around her neck. Her shoulders ached at the motion, but she ignored it and dropped the crystal into her palm and--

Dropped to her knees before the window.

In her palm rested the shattered pendant that was the only heirloom she had ever been given--the only thing tying her to her mother and the brief home she'd known as a child. Her mouth opened as closed like that of a fish, eyes wide in shock, unable to blink. The once clear crystal was now marred with a deep gouging crack, and was now so opaque she couldn't see her own hand through it. When had it--how had it??

The tears fell hot down her cheeks, completely unnoticed.

"O-oh..." was all she could manage to say.

Andromeda Offline

Monarch

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He had been about to reply to her, his heart heavy, and unsure. This is why he never let people close to him or close to his people. They often asked questions he just could not answer and he wasn't sure how the answers would soothe them or help. They would only give some people nightmares and hate his species besides just fear them. What had stopped him was her tears. They had come on quick after her noticing her heirloom was gone. "Bri..."

The word was barely above a whisper as he watched her. She was heartbroken and it had only happened cause she had gone on the mission with him. She wasn't even suppose to be there but he wanted to play the white knight for her and the price of his judgement seemed to only cause her pain. "I'm sorry..." he said as he got up and walked over to the window and slid down onto his knees to hold her. "I am so sorry for it all, but give me time. I have never needed anyone before so it is hard for me to open up. I vill try for you."

He closed his eyes and rest his head on her back just holding her. "And if you vant I can see if ve can salvage your necklace. Find a nice jeveler in te area vho can make it into something new... zat way it isn't lost forever." He exhaled sharply. "Just please don't cry... It vill all be okay. I von't leave you..."


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