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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > The one with the hallucination
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 09:01 PM
On the floor, in his soon to be empty house, Maalech lay unconscious.
He knew this. Part of him was aware that he had fainted for the first time in years, that his body had just given out on him, depositing him deep into unconsciousness.
He was also aware that he might be hurt quite badly, the last he remembered was pain and the taste of blood in his mouth. Part of him hoped that he had not suffered a stroke, but he liked to think that his thoughts would come more sluggish then, his memories be more distorted.
They were not. He still remembered this in all too annoying detail, his mind working unbidden to rebuild the city of his childhood around him. He supposed it was the helplessness that had brought this particular image out, it had been a long time since he had been helpless at all.
Here he had been.
He supposed it was not a bad city, the geometrical layout allowed for wide streets laid with fired bricks, rougher and harder than the ones that made up the houses lining them. The houses were square cubes, most of them turning their faces inwards, towards the small gardens at their hearts. The monotony of squares and lines were broken by the colourful fabrics that were suspended on poles, providing shade from the ever present sun to the sides of the streets where peddlers sold their wares and craftsmen shouted in customers.
He supposed he had been happy here, in his own way.
But never really content.
Not even in just a memory could he wipe away the low-caste streetswipes and corpsemen, carefully avoided by the more reputable citizens. Filth for the filthy.
He absentmindedly wiped his hand on his shirt as he tried to regain consciousness, failing.
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 09:13 PM
And the girl appeared, eventually, in blowing black robes, her hair covered up with a long dark scarf bound around to her forehead and another over the lower half of her face. Only her dark eyes, heavily kohled, were visible. She walked slowly, taking in the streets of the city. The wind brought in her voice:
"I met a traveller from an antique land who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear--'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'"
She paused beside Maalech. "Nothing beside remains. 'Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 09:18 PM
"Words of wisdom I suppose, everything must end." Maalech brushed some dust from the arms of his Weaver's robes, a simple grey amongst all the colors of the street that surrounded them, all the people faceless and forgotten.
"Am I dead then?" The thought came unbidden but disturbed him less than he supposed that it should, it mainly brought a feeling of disappointment.
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 09:26 PM
The girl threw up her hands. "No! Why does everyone insist on asking me that? You of all people should know that I am not the Angel of Death! Sheesh!"
She offered him her hand. "You'll be all right. You probably need to go to ground somewhere safe though, really fast, and take it easy for the next little while." She gave him a sceptical, sad look. "Be honest, I don't know how well you'll be for travelling. If you've got any favours with Morgan, I suggest you call them in. You're back in the continuum or I'd have the Yellow Aspect transport you."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 09:33 PM
Maalech could not keep back the small quirk of a smile that had appeared at her emotional denial of being the angel of death. It was harder and harder not to let her through, he had grown far more than fond by now.
Complications, but he thought the end was worth the struggle.
"Unruffle, please." He took her hand, squeezing it lightly as he stepped closer. "Considering the circumstances it was a valid question. I am pleased I was not wrong about her though, she is not someone that goes for the kill this fast." The crowds passed around them as if they were not there, in this the memory was not unlike real life.
It had been simpler not being noticed.
"I will ask Morgan, he will probably be more than pleased to have me ask yet another favor from him." He looked rather amused at that. "I do think he has grown fond of being needed."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 09:39 PM
"Morgan's so easily pleased in some ways." Though it was hard to say what expression she wore beneath the veil, the corners of her eyes turned up, and her voice was wry and cheerful. Then it changed. "I'm sorry," she said. "That was an ugly scene. It came on so quickly . . . all at once everything went in another direction than I expected. I knew you two would have a confrontation eventually, and that it would probably be a bad one. I just didn't know it would happen so soon."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 09:47 PM
"Neither did I." Maalech was silent for a moment, then frowned in concentration and the landscape around them shifted slightly. They were now on top of the massive walls that surrounded the city, line upon line of fired bricks, the top wide enough to drive a cart around the city limits.
"No, that is a lie..." he did not let go of her hand, but turned slightly so he looked at the surrounding landscape rather than her. The fields were green and gold, the mother river rolling fat and lazy between them, small ships dotting the greenish surface. In the distance a low mountain range rested, clouds gathering around them, the air smelling slightly of rain. It was hot, but not arid. Not yet, the people cared for the land, watered it and tilled it. The sand was years and years away.
"I forced the weave. It was a risk, but I would rather take a small immediate one than wait and be destroyed. It will get uglier before it is done."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 09:55 PM
"Mm. She's on the rise, you know. There's very few cards left in her deck. Fortunately I think a lot of the trumps are still buried. Even so, she's coming back into her own. I . . . " She hesitated. "I honestly don't know how you'll do against her when she's back to full force. That's one of the things I'm not given."
She went silent, looking down from the wall on the river below. "I've never been here," she said.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 10:00 PM
"It does not exist anymore but in my memories." Maalech sounded almost wistful for a moment, he would not call his childhood a happy one, but he had loved his city fiercely despite its faults. "It was already changing as I left. War. Occupation. Nothing lasts in the end. It is amusing in a way, I started as an oddity, and when I left there were far too many like me. Halfbreeds." The word had lost its venom by now, he had come to peace with his past.
Laid it to rest.
Unlike some things.
"Are you worried about me?" The question was almost flippant, as if his brush with death has invigorated him.
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 10:04 PM
"It's a lovely one." She let go his hand and leaned against the wall, as far as she could without losing her balance. "You remember it very clearly. You can always tell when things have that velvety sheen about them. Like everything's covered with a very light coating of dust."
She turned back to him. "Of course I am," she said, as if it were the most reasonable thing in the world.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 10:11 PM
"I lived here for almost twenty years after all, it is still clearer to me than many places I have lived in since. It is the way of ones childhood I suppose, everything is more vivid, more important." He looked down the wall as well, at the long, long drop below.
The ground was clean down there, no body.
He had not seen her jump. He had only been told, after the fact.
How far away it seemed, and yet not so long ago.
"I am not a fool, even if I might seem like one at the moment." Maalech sighed faintly, shading his eyes as he looked towards the horizon. "I cannot let the weave I made around the countess stand. Since she wove her dance around it, it grows stronger, sucking us all in deeper. I thought I had time to unravel it, but it needs to be broken. An Morgan is by far a too blunt instrument, and Seth is not ready. She is the simplest way, and I know her well enough to guide her hand. I hope."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 10:17 PM
"The way things are now, I honestly don't know," she said. "Some people work in pairs. The continuum--the Weave, whatever you want to call it--can't separate them; it regards them both as a unit. Usually chaos and order, something like that. The King and Queen of Faerie are sort of like that now." She shook her head, still looking downward. "It's hard to say, with you and Aly, but . . . I think you might have become something like that. You define each other."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 10:24 PM
"That is a disconcerting thought, but not a surprising one." Maalech looked rather disturbed, reaching up to touch the scar over his eye as it had re-materialized. He had been younger a few moments ago, but his self image was too strong to let itself be influenced by the surroundings for long.
"She has always had one trait that I admired. She does not acknowledge limitations, at all." This made him chuckle in amusement. "It is no idle boast with her, she truly believes that the world should roll over on its back for her to be tickled. And most of the time reality seems to agree. It was an invigorating confidence, I think I astounded her by denying her back when we met. And yet, in the end I suppose she was right. I succumbed."
Fond memories. Long gone.
"No matter what, this will end badly. Things will be lost. But she is too powerful, and too hurt. She will destroy herself, and much more with her. I cannot allow that."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 10:27 PM
"The trouble with these pairings," the girl said in a soft, dark voice, looking back to him, "is that one half of the pair often can't exist without the other."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 10:33 PM
"I do intend to preserve her life any way I can. Not for my own sake, but simply because she has not had a chance to come to terms with what happened. She has been trapped, unable to move on, unable to find what healing she might. She deserves more." The words were spoken plainly, honestly.
"She will not thank me for it."
He closed his eyes for a moment, then looked at her, for a long and silent moment. "And then there is the risk of the Tzarg. I truly am not certain how I see them anymore, and how I see you and your kind. But the possibility cannot be disregarded, and this might stir them."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 10:48 PM
The girl regarded him steadily still. "There are two ways that could go. If the Tzarg are something different from what me and my folk are, then there's some way to get around them. There always is. Even if it becomes something that we have to intervene in for the sake of perserving continuum. If it turns out that they're the same things as we are, though . . . then there's nothing that can stop them."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 10:52 PM
"Then it is a very simple choice, is it not? Prepare for them being something different, because if not, whatever I do won't matter." He kept watching her, as always second-guessing his own feelings, wondering whether he had been wrong about her, whether his feelings clouded his judgment.
"Our discussions... have made me reconsider many things." He looked away, out across the plains once more. "I always asked myself what the reason was, why an entire city needed to be destroyed, razed to the ground. Why so much death was needed. I am finding answers now, and they disturb me."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 10:59 PM
"And the only way to know for certain is if they show up." Her eyes narrowed, ever so slightly. Beneath the heavy lashes, the eyecolour--there was no mistaking it--lightened to a pale shade: not quite grey, not quite green. She blinked in a gust of wind over the wall, and it was gone again.
She cast him a gentler look. "What have you learned?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 11:08 PM
Her shifting eyes made Maalech frown faintly, but he made no mention of it. Here reality was malleable, though he supposed that to her it was just as real as the outside world.
"That there is cause and then effect. I used to think that the attack was perhaps what gods sometimes do, lashing out in anger, for lack of faith or to inspire dread. Then I thought that perhaps it was because of her, that she was some form of threat, from what I have discerned they do seem to target only certain individuals. But now... now I wonder."
He narrowed his eyes in the rising wind, there was approaching thunder in the distance.
"Scale seems irrelevant. Could her city have been destroyed simply to uproot her? It seems that way, she was ensnared shortly afterwards, bound to protect an almost dead land, to bring order and peace to it once more. What had destroyed that land? I never asked. But there were legends..." There was a frown on his brow now, as deep as it used to be.
"Perhaps we are not pawns but bricks in a building we cannot see the scope of. Mow down something displeasing to build something new. Perhaps..."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 11:15 PM
She stepped a little nearer, half in curiosity, half worried. "Would that make it any easier?" she said. "Knowing that no matter what gets taken away, it's being done so that something else can rise from it?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 11:24 PM
"Of course. I deplore waste. But then I am told I have quite an odd view of things most of the time. She would not agree though, for her the reasons do not matter, only the actions."
Maalech sighed faintly at that.
"Still, it is disconcerting knowing you are but a brick."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 11:34 PM
She sighed along with him. "You are not a brick. It's a bit more complicated than that. The bricks are what the other pieces are laid on, yes, but they're also ends unto themselves. They're not tools."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 11:43 PM
"It is always more complicated I presume, imperfect human understanding and all." He let the frown fade away to be replaced by a faint smile. "There is a part of me that wishes for the world to acknowledge my importance, I am aware of that. And yet I know the dangers of those delusions. Or rather..." He reached out then and ran his fingers over her cheek through the veil.
"I am no more important in this than any other being, and yet at the same time I am central to my own story. Both at the same time. I assume it would be the same for any being with pneuma."
Posted by: Serendipity Sep 30 2008, 11:48 PM
She turned her face into his hand as he reached for her face. "You're getting closer," she said. "You have the understanding, but not the sympathy, I think. Not yet. But you're getting there." Her eyes lit up. "It's been fun to watch you. I feel like a little kid with a garden. First thing in the morning they run out to see if anything new has sprouted."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 30 2008, 11:54 PM
"Sympathy." Maalech tasted the word, considering the consequences of it. "I fear that it is not one of my traits. I never had much sympathy for the world or the people in it."
They had not had much sympathy for him. He knew his upbringing had formed him, at times in ways he disliked, and yet that was what had created the man he was today. It was a hard thing to let go of, that particular distance from things.
It was not something you could do and not expect to get hurt.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 12:01 AM
"Maybe not," the girl said. "It depends on if you think you can afford it now, though. There's a virtue in clear-sightedness, but after a while, you run out of things to do from your distance, you know?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 12:07 AM
"I do not think I can afford it. But I am also aware of the fact that there will never be a time when I think I can. It is simply... I assume frightening would be an adequate term." He sighed, shaking his head.
"In this I am not certain." He seemed rather amused at that, giving the girl a fond look. "Since I met you I have stopped being certain about quite many things. You are my undoing it seems." It was said fondly, but rather sadly.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 12:12 AM
"I don't want to be your undoing," she said, shaking her head. "It shouldn't be that way. I want to help you, if I can, as much as I can. Love shouldn't be a handicap."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 12:18 AM
"There is very little in life that is the way it should be." Maalech reached out and put his hands on her shoulders, leaning in to kiss her brow lightly. "Do not fret. Yes, all my schemes are tumbling down and the tings I took for granted turns out to be misconceptions at best, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes things do need to be brought down before they can be rebuilt."
There was a smile then, a thin one. "And love is always a handicap in some ways. But we would not be alive without it."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 12:28 AM
She tipped her face back up to him. "Meh," she said with jovial disdain. "You're one of those perpetual survivor-types. You always have a plan. I think you'll do fine. I just . . . " She spread her hands. "I wish there was more I could be to you. I could have . . . stopped tonight from happening."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 12:36 AM
"Don't." The word was quite forceful and sincere. "Do not even entertain those thoughts. I do not want to lose you over something so trifling, and I do not think you are allowed to play favorites." He loosened his grip slightly and forced himself to relax once more. "You would be hard pressed to be more to me than you are. You..." he fought for words there, finding none suitable, yet continued anyway "... make me happy. How could I ask for more."
He was hesitating a moment, then let go of her and looked over the side of the wall once more.
"Responsibility. I brought this situation about, I will not run from the consequences."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 12:46 AM
"I am already playing favourites," she said, with a roll of her eyes. "God, I'm turning into Marcello. I'm acting like the rules have to be suspended just because I fell in love with someone. I'm going to chew on Scarlet when I see her next; I bet she's getting such a kick out of this."
She joined him back at the wall, looking down, and put her hand on his back. "I can be good," she assured him. "Don't worry about me. You're going to have to look out for yourself for a little while. Your poor mortal body," she teased lightly. "All its aches and pains and inconveniences." She suddenly sounded thoughtful. "Although there is something I can do on your account there that's not breaking any rules whatsoever."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 12:49 AM
Maalech fell silent, watching her with an odd look on his face. "You have fallen in love with me then?" He looked oddly shaken at that, it was not that he had not hoped or wished, but to hear the actual words was still a revelation.
He was always rather slow when it came to grasping emotions.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 12:55 AM
"A bit," she admitted. "I mean, if that's all right with you. I won't act all girlie about it. Although I have written your name about a hundred times on the back of my spiral notebook," she teased.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 01:01 AM
"You..." Maalech could not stop the smile there, she was simply too adorable. "It is alright with me. It is in fact a bit of relief since I have been in love with you for quite some time. I was just not certain how much feeling you were allowed... or rather, how much specific feelings you were allowed."
This would still end badly he feared, but for now he dispelled his pessimism.
"Now... what was that about my poor mortal body?" This smiling thing was a problem, it could too easily become a habit.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 01:08 AM
"Nothing at all romantic," she said. "The Brown Aspect. He's our Physician. He's got a couple of good avatars roving about the place. I can try to nudge one toward you."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 01:11 AM
"Am I in that bad a state then?" Maalech frowned, because yes, that did worry him. The fragility of flesh without Art was disconcerting, and he was no longer a young man. The older the body became, the more work it took keeping it together. And without his Art, he was just a man.
As had been repeatedly proven.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 01:16 AM
"Pretty bad," she said. "I've seen worse. It's something you can prevent from declining if you take the time now to deal with it, which is going to be difficult to do if you immediately bolt across the country to escape your angry ex-wife."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 01:23 AM
"There is no use running there. She needs to be dealt with, it is as simple as that. As long as she was insane, there was power but no direction, but now... now she is half and half, and that is a danger. This is a bad time to start developing a conscience."
He ran a hand over his short hair, looking disturbed despite himself.
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 01:24 AM
"This is an equally bad time to develop an eroded blood vessel in your occipital lobe," the girl said patiently.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 01:27 AM
"Oh." Maalech touched his head despite himself. He could easily imagine what had happened.
"I have no wish to die, that is true. But it is a bad time for rest."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 09:44 PM
She held out her pale palms, the only thing that showed beneath the full black sleeves. "Mal . . . you're old. There's nothing else to say. You can run now or run later, but this is something that even I have no control over, and if it gets worse Aly won't have to lay a finger on you--she can just sit back and let nature do her work for her. It's your choice."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 09:50 PM
It was a rather unpleasant truth. Of course he knew that he was not a young man, but there were ways of keeping the body running long after it should have been in the ground if you knew how. If you had the Talent. It was not unlike keeping a house in good order, if you patched and took care of it, it would last ages. And now he did not have that option any more than he was able to deal with disease or wounds.
He turned away from her, walking over to the edge of the wall, looking down.
"Things are never simple, are they?"
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 09:58 PM
With a slight frown beneath the veil, she walked up behind him and put her hand flat on his back. "No," she said simply. "They're not. I just want you to take care of yourself. Things still need you."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 10:02 PM
"Need. An interesting word." Maalech leaned back slightly into her hand, it was not her he had turned away from but the unpleasant truth. "I am not used to trust. And I am not used to delegate what needs to be done. Of all the things I pondered learning during this experiment, that was not one of them. But you are right. In the end it always comes to this, we are very small creatures on our lonesome."
He straightened slightly, as if a weight had fallen from his shoulders. "This is a mistake I always make."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 10:05 PM
"One of the perks of power is delegation," she said wryly. "Unfortunately, you're a perfectionist. You don't trust people to do it as well as you can. They won't. They never do. But they can do it well enough to make it work in the meanwhile. Work on fine-tuning their fuck-ups later."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 10:12 PM
"True." Maalech turned around, facing her once more. "But it is more than that, more than wanting something to be done right. It is a small thing for most people I suppose, but for me it is hard. In order to get help you need to ask for help. I have issues with that. Issues with pride." He sounded amused by his own foibles, he had lived long enough by now to know them by heart.
But some were so much a part of him that knowing was a lot less than half the battle.
"Surely you have your issues as well?"
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 10:19 PM
"Other than being perpetually optimistic and having an innate unshakeable belief in the deep-down decency of humankind?" she asked. "Hm. No, I think that's it."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 10:22 PM
"At times I am not certain when you joke and when you are serious. Very well, you might still develop some." There was a hint of dry amusement to his voice now, he had accepted the limitations put upon himself and was preparing to adjust his plans accordingly.
Adversity was something he had always been fond of.
"Is there a reason for the veil past a whim? I admit I see little sense in your clothes at times, and at other times you are obviously fitting in with the surroundings."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 10:28 PM
"It's called a niqub and it goes with the costume. It's from a part of the world where women are recommended to cover their faces for modesty's sake." She drew it a little down from her eyes. "Besides, I like veils. They're mysterious."
She blinked up at him once she had the veil at a proper level. "What are you going to do now?" she asked seriously.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 10:34 PM
"Ah, modesty. Yes, I have seen similar things. At times it is the hair, at other times it is the face or legs. Or, from the look of things, everything." It was just another custom amongst many others, he noted them but made no judgment. After all, he lived by no rules but his own.
"I do believe you would manage to achieve an air of mystery even without a veil." But it did bring focus to her eyes. He had a hard time not smiling as he watched her.
"Now. As always it depends on so many actions but my own, but... the likeliest path." He frowned for a moment, tapping his fingers on his thigh. "If I judge correctly Alynealin will break the weave that ties her to the countess. That will make your friend Scarlet pleased I hope. I am not overly fond of threats. However, that still leaves me with what to do about her..." He hesitated there, then sighed.
"This is not at all what you were asking, is it? I suppose I ought to say I will ask Morgan to transport me back to the Wreaths for some much needed rest."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 10:45 PM
"This is exactly what I was asking. As long as you can get to ground somewhere, at least temporarily, I can get one of the Physician's avatars to you without disrupting continuity. The Wreath might actually be best for that, but if there's no way to pull it off, the Physician gets everywhere; there's tonnes of him." If there was anything unusual about this statement, it seemed to slip past her. "My predictions have been for her to break her own ties to the countess as well. I think it's safe to bet that she will, or that she's going to give it the old college try. Dammit, I should have been watching for this. I didn't expect this for ages yet." She fretted her teeth against her lips. "I feel as if I let you down."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 10:51 PM
"You are not my keeper." The words had turned serious there, and the frown was back. "This was a long time coming, and I would not be surprised if there is more on the way. The legacy I have left behind is not a pleasing one in most parts. You cannot shield me from that more than I can shield you from the possible consequences of your affection for me." It infuriated him that he could not, that she could be removed at a moment's notice and he would never know until it was too late. But he knew he could not interfere.
"This is the third time I have told you to stop fretting now." The smile returned as he watched her eyes. "Are you going to make this a habit?"
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 11:01 PM
She gave him a long, mildly annoyed look. "I know it's been a long time coming; that's why I've been keeping an eye on it. Jesus, you don't get one of these kinds of confrontations every day; this is like, primordial. This is one of the things that get monitored."
Her expression softened. "The rest of it? I feel things. I know it's not my doing. But I still feel as if I should have been there. This was the best I can do."
She sighed. "And it's nearly over. You're going to need to wake up soon before Morgan freaks out and thinks you're dead, or in a coma."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 11:08 PM
"Yes. He is bound to do something rash or annoying then." Maalech sighed, shaking his head. "I will ask him to return me to the Wreaths. I admit to having grown fond of that place. And I will rest." That was added with a fond smile.
"But I do not relish what needs to be done. She cannot be allowed to walk free, she will destroy me then. And though I grant her reasons for it, I am not ready to meet my end yet. But she is beyond reason, and all the choices I have will violate her even more. It... is distasteful." He grimaced for a moment, then shrugged. "And no matter the path I choose, the danger is there." He mused silently for a moment, then admitted "It was simpler when I needn't share my plans with anybody, the illusion of omnipotence was easier to uphold."
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 11:11 PM
"I think she'll destroy a lot of things if she's allowed to go back to full power," the girl said quietly. "That's one potential that's been tossed about. I've seen down that path. It goes somewhere big. Bigger than the countess's war. Everything that's gone on down here so far is just a mirror to what it leads to. But there's a shot." She smiled at him. "Things turn out right a stupid amount of the time."
She tipped her head up again at him. "Will you kiss me before you go?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 11:16 PM
"Mirrors." Maalech sighed, nodding to himself. "She has been dancing for chaos for a long time, destruction, revenge. She has forgotten her reason, but the pain is real. I... yes, there is guilt there." He had not managed to find a way to connect to her, to help her heal whatever had been broken. He did not have those skills.
But he was working on them.
"Will you remove the veil then?" He looked down at her, into her eyes. "Or will I have to suffer for your modesty?"
Posted by: Serendipity Oct 1 2008, 11:18 PM
"Right now? You're broken. You have to heal. Don't push before you have to."
She raised her hands to the back of her head and unwrapped the long black veil, leaving her face bare.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 1 2008, 11:22 PM
"I will be careful. If for no other reason than I would not like to worry you." Maalech reached down, cupping her bare face in his hand, hesitating a moment.
Not because he did not want to, but because every time he touched her the improbability of this all struck him with full force. He supposed he ought to treasure this even more than he did.
And so he kissed her, lightly at first, just brushing her lips. It deepened in a moment though as he wrapped his arms around her.
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