Oh, its you

Description:

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Oh, its you
« on: December 03, 2019, 04:29:43 AM »

It had been a strange awakening. The world had tilted and changed in the night, only to be discovered in the morning. Rumors rushing in of shattered windows and smoking debris. Rumors that took longer to reach them before. The world reduced to the swiftness of Eyrien wings with the Winds gone.

A curious morning indeed.

But that had been many mornings ago; when the blood had still run heavy from her body and Lillian had been able to do little more than fret, and be fretted over. Too riling to male tempers to soothe them. Too goaded by pain to be much help to her friend. Lillian had still tried. Wafting between bed and Ilithian's side like a storm tossed leaf.

She made extensive notes of every rumor that made it to the Eyrie. A map of events. And she worried. Worried especially about a place and people that weren't exactly hers. "Still nothing?" She asked across her borrowed desk every day. This day, the end of a pen wobbling between her teeth. Still nothing. And her Green too shallow to reach so far.

And Lillian too afraid to try. She and Peitar had not parted on good terms.

With a sigh she leaned back in her seat, crushing her wings between her body and the chair. The weight was almost a comfort. Pinned in place, just like she was. With all the mayhem running about Askavi, Lillian didn't dare ask her friend to spare an escort too see her to a place she most likely wasn't welcome. Ink blotting the paper as she lost herself in the spiral of useless worry and half concocted plans she was startled by the interruption to them.

"You!" Lillian stood with the accusation. Pen rolling away as her hands crept up her chest to cover her spreading smile. Heels to lips and fingertips to cheeks, she grinned despite her rough welcome. Eyes sweeping from warrior to dog and back again. "How did you get here?" She asked, dropping her hands for Helen to sniff.



Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 08:16:01 PM »
Blind. Peitar had a century of experience at being just that. At least, he had thought as much. It was the absence of sight. People recognized by the way they smelled, or breathed, or the sound of their voice instead of their smile. Weather judged by the humidity on the wind and sunshine on his face. Danger a tingle under his skin rather than a warning at the edge of his vision. He had thought he was blind.

Then ten tons of snow buried him alive.

They were on a camping trip. Three men that were using the pursuit of fresh meat as an excuse to sit around an open fire, drink moonshine, and bitch about the poor selection of attractive women in the village. Not long after they fell asleep an unusual sound woke Peitar up from his drunken slumber. A sound he could only describe as a mountain sighing. A sad whisper that slid down her spine towards them. Towards the village tucked into her side.

Before his brain could piece together what was happening the avalanche filled the valley. Snow twenty feet thick in some places. Only twelve or so in the spot where he lay trapped with Dog for eighteen hours. That was when he learned true blindness. No light to warm his face. No air on his skin. No scent on the wind. An absolute stifling of every sense he possessed. All consuming and unforgiving he lay there fueling a warming spell that kept him, and Dog, alive but not actually warm. Eighteen. Hours. Cold piercing down so deep he wasn’t sure he would ever stop feeling numb. Shields creaking under the pressure as every second wore on. He probed towards the surface to figure out which way it was. To figure out if it was safe to blow a hole to free himself. Even once he had figured a path out he had to judge how deep to dig into his Sapphire to keep from burning it all off too fast.

When he had finally clawed his way up to fresh air, pulling Dog up with him by wedging her between his knees he tried to find the men he had been traveling with. He only found one body, deep below the surface, too deep to justify retrieving when there could be survivors in the village. Dog warmed up quickly and he asked her to lead him towards home before his own fingers had their feeling back. A home that had never much felt like home quite as keenly as it did now that he was reading the damage done. His probes spelled out a grim picture of the tent city that compromised the bulk of his district. The snow had rolled in on them during the night. There were losses, good fighters that Peitar would count later. If the numbness ever left his soul.

Make shift tents were thrown up in a meadow outside of the village. A grassy knoll where deer came out to graze and wild rams peppered the landscape. It was supposed to be one of Lillian’s crop fields. But Lillian was gone and she hadn’t come back. Even when the world had turned upside down. So Peitar had trudged on, reverting to a familiar way of life. Upset, loss, death, struggling to reach the next day. Like war, except they had the luxury of time now. Time that they spent entirely too much of probing the snow packs for survivors. Peitar especially. Sleepless for days as he walked over the crisp surface that was heavily at odds with the spring sunshine on his back. No matter how much he probed and paced and paced and probed his brother never answer, though. And his people needed a healer to set broken bones and save frostbitten digits.

On the sixth day he gave up, pulled his dog under his arm and had an escort of small boys guide his flight to Ligure. He expected to deal with Ilithian directly, but she was a woman on fire rushing between bigger issues. Threats from Dhemlan, which had turned into a proper madhouse, pleas from a dozen towns and districts he had never even heard of piling up on her desk. Peitar figured there would be a triage process, and so he wandered aimlessly to wait his turn. Too numb still to realize his feet were being subtly led by a tug on his subconscious and the gentle shoulder of his faithful hound.

“Yeah, me.” He said gruffly when an open doorway squeaked at him from inside. Feeling his way in with a flat palm he sighed. There was something twice as pressing about being in this place, full of bustling life and fragrant queens. Something that made his numbness feel more like an aching tooth. “Flew.” He told her dryly, spreading bruised wings in evidence. “I thought my place was a mess. This is a damn circus.” He thought so at least. Sounded an awful lot like the only one he had ever been close enough to hear.

"Looks like you lot didn't get much of the shake up, though. Too close to the source for the shockwaves to be bad." He was glad. That was one less mess to clean. "Lori around?" Technically Peitar wasn't in his province but he thought the whole fistfight incident had earned him a half-favor. A few healers would do.

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 07:41:54 AM »

He was clothed, at least, if raggedly. Helen's wet tongue dragged over her knuckles just before Lillian tucked her finger tips under the dog's chin for a scratch. Fur soft, warm and comforting. "Oh." She breathed,  eyeing the expanse of wing he spread in her borrowed office, walls vanishing behind their battered sails. He looked terrible.

Lillian's pen rolled from the desk to her chair, pinging softly against the wood before continuing its descent to the floor.

"Why?" Not that dozens of others hadn't come. Fingers switching from chin to ears, Lillian swayed between Helen and her desk, somehow coming around the corner of one, and leaning against the other. Edging closer to the warlord prince she'd run from. The rest of her worried questions cut off by his own. Rolling an ear in her palm, she nodded. Then remembered he couldn't see.

"Of course. He arrived the second day after... whatever happened." The warlord had stuck to Ilithian's side like a burr ever since. Lillian twitched her skirt away from the other corner of her desk. Somehow the wood had become rough and splintered along that edge, and always snagged on her dresses when she passed it.

"Is everything alright in, um," her lips rolled together, words pressed until she could find the right one. Theirs? His? Hers? "The district?" It had not been a proper village, not really. And she hadn't tried hard enough to accomplish proper housing before she'd left. Hardly tried anything at all for all the fear rolling around in her stomach. The land had been easy, since Peitar hadn't fought her on that. Building had been a trickier subject.

Though not half so bad as raiding.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 10:19:27 AM »
Peitar listened to the way her breath hung on her breathless answer, suspending it like a gleam of light in his sightless world while he used other senses to make sense of it all. It told him were she stood- near or far, and how she stood- huddled over, relaxed, or stiff and straight. He wasn’t the sort of man that reflected on how rich his sense of other people had become once he had lost his ability to look them in the eye. But it had, and his wings spread reflexively wider, to be more impressive, as that one word he put a picture together in his mind. The tapered tips of each wing threatened to quiver with the strain. Tired from hours of flight after hours of worry after hours of work. A fleeting thought drifted through his head, that if he let them spread big enough, long enough, they might catch the whisper in their dark sails. He didn’t know, though, if that would be soothing or upsetting so he pushed the thought away.

Thankfully something small and light picked precisely that moment to clatter its way towards the floor. In a series of clicks and ticks against hard, wood furniture he tracked the distraction with his ears and a probe. Always eager for a challenge he snatched the whatever-it-was out of the air a few inches from the worn stone floor. He called it to his hand. Long calloused fingers examining the shape and staining themselves in sticky ink before he realized what he held. While they talked he scrapped the pointed end against the thick skin on his thumb pad. Peitar didn’t think it really needed explaining, but he explained anyway. His tone short and offended because he suspected she only asked since it was him. ”Same as most of these other clowns. Here to ask for stuff, report in on my slice of Askavi, find out how the rest of the world held up.”

Two of those three tasks had proven mostly impossible to do. There was a line of people asking for stuff, and he didn’t really have the time to wait for his turn. In fact, there were so many people asking for stuff that there was no one to listen to him report in. Everyone was ready to spread rumors and tell stories though. Word had it that Dhemlan was leaderless and in shreds, that most of Askavi was the epicenter but least physically touched by the actual event but territories across both realms were reeling from side effects. ”Of course he did.” Lorivar usually had his shit together. If there hadn’t been much damage to his province then he wouldn’t have much reason to sit on his hands there when he could be in the thick of things here. ”Any idea where he’s at right now? Owes me a favor.”

Dog’s tail drummed frantically against his leg. She was standing, and most likely slobbering on Lillian since her nose was pointed in the same direction the queen’s voice drifted at him from. His weight shifted, and so did her hips. Like two magnets held apart by a sheet of wood. Move one, the other followed. Especially after the trauma of being buried with him. They were rarely separated to begin with, but neither were willing to be parted now. A constant comfort to one another in uncertain times. She made a sad sound and shifted again as Lillian tiptoed around words. Sympathetic to the queen’s emotions. Emotions that were lost on Peitar who could only guess at what the hesitation in her voice meant without the expression on her face to weigh it against. What had she been on the verge of calling his home? Hers, even though she didn’t want to be there? His, except she was supposed to be curating the land?

”No.” He said flatly. He hadn’t had to say it out loud yet. Those affected knew what had happened. Knew the toll and damage. Dog must have felt the sense of dread that roared up into his stomach because she whined and sat on his foot. Tail going quiet as she put her flank to his shin and rested her ear to his kneecap. ”Snow came down the mountains. We dug out most of the survivors I think, but people are still really busted up.” In the war loss had felt different. The places that burned had always only been temporary. Relationships all short lived as soldiers moved from one camp to another. Or never left the battlefield. Death was the price of freedom. One that Peitar had thought he would pay along with the rest. A brother laid on a funeral pyre was a shallow wound when you thought you would be next. Lost on the tangent Peitar stabbed himself too hard with the point of the pen. He held it out to her with his other hand and pressed his bleeding thumb against the woolen jacket he wore over a dense cotton shirt. ”That’s about my luck. Never was any good with a pen. No use for them in war, and no use learning to read or write once I was blind.”

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2019, 04:10:38 AM »

"Of course." Little reason else for him to come. Lillian's shoulders rode high on her neck, bunching her hair around her ears. Her wings remained quiet down her back. Never having so much as twitched in response to Peitar's great cloak. They would not open in answer to his posturing, or whatever it was that had made the warrior's wings strain against the confines of the room.

The rest of her did. The hand not occupied with Helen pinching at the fabric of her dress when he stretched. Flattening across her stomach when he called her pen from its free fall to his hand. Lillian watched him roll the barrel in his fingers, staining them. Easier that than meeting his eyes, even if they were blind. He expressed his disdain well enough.

"Wherever Ilithian is." Lillian shrugged one shoulder, both of them slowly easing back down to a more natural, relaxed, position. With Lorivar present Lillian worried less and more about her friend. The subject of her fears merely shifting from the practical to the romantic. "And she has been busy trying to be everywhere." She was like a swarm of bees all on her own, their queen.

Scooping Helen's jaw in her palm, Lillian waited for Peitar's answer. It was swiftly and curtly given, leaving her thankful for the warm softness in her hand. Hound and master both sagging dejectedly in the doorway as the topic settled into the real cause for his visit. Lifting her chin, Lillian looked at him, noting the tightness around his eyes and the exhausted way the muscles at his shoulders fluttered. "Oh no." He looked as she imagined most of the others did. Worn thin with the sort of work that was tragic rather than fulfilling.

All while she'd been hiding beneath the shadow of Ilithian's wings like a little bird too afraid to leave the nest. Her skirts settled over paws and boot tips. Sympathetic gravity drawing her closer. Tongue tisking against her teeth as he pierced the callous of his thumb with her pen. The smell of metal and power just barely muted by his jacket. "Let me see it." Lillian offered, drawing his hand away and brushing her own power across the wound. Small enough that even she could feel skillful in its tending.

A slow, hard won measure ability won in the long hours of the night. When Lillian couldn't sleep and neither could the wounded. Her queen's gift kept them calm while she learned. Craft slowly restored and honed after the furious onslaught of a too long put off moon time. Peitar's skin grew whole again. Bones and tendons like stone and steel where she held him.

"I can help you get the supplies you need. And take your report. I end up with copies of most of them anyway." She explained, releasing his hand back into his care and patting Helen's head.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 11:19:25 AM »

"Business as usual then." Peitar said in a low, clipped drawl. He couldn’t grudge Lorivar his queen, or the queen her responsibilities. No matter how inconvenient both were proving to be to his needs in that moment. As a boy he had thought the entire notion of romance a bit of fiction- and the dire warnings of a queen’s influence an exaggeration. Even with Witch as proof, he simply  couldn't understand the draw of women. Then after he had figured out what made them so desirable he had held onto a rather stubborn belief that love and bonds of service were the trappings of weak willed men, not inexplicable captivation or pointedly wielded power. And while he had never been outright proven wrong, Peitar couldn’t deny that the company of a genial woman- queen or not- made laughter roll easier from his lips and mischief more entertaining. ”Guess that means they’ve figured things out between them. Idiots.”

He would probably never let any of them live down their misguided assumption about his relationship with Ilithian. It would be as good a laugh in five hundred years, though he didn't have any laughter in him today. Not once in his life had Peitar longed for a woman all to himself. There was nothing wrong with sharing the work. He was the sort of man that preferred to take what was needed and leave the complicated bits out of it. Attachment had been dangerous to the heart in the war and Peitar didn't know how or desire a way to untangle himself from the trials that had created him. Besides, he was bad at love. Even before he was blind he had been too blind to romance to notice the small intricacies that made a relationship more than a friendship. The rules were too complicated.  Boundaries too  blurry. Spirit too wild for taming. All of which had landed him in hot water with a few women that had formed fantasies he fell far short of.  Lillian was standing there in distant sympathy as proof that his social skills had done no improving since the war's end.

It was a different, sharper sort of mess that had brought him to the Queens' nest though. Naturally the conversation wore towards that point. A subject he struggled to articulate for someone that still felt like an outsider to the way his band of merry raiders lived. No one would mourn them, Peitar knew. And it inclined him to wonder if his own death would be a tragedy or cause of celebration. But that probably didn't matter. The world had been saying he was one breath away from death for centuries. From war fodder to raid leader, death had overlooked him while taking the people around him instead.

The pain was old and almost comforting in its familiarity. A fresh reminder that the impact of what Dhemlan had allowed to happen, and what they still did by attempting to occupy Askavi, went beyond the life of Witch. He would fight them until he was the last man standing, and then, maybe, mercifully, he would finally get to die fighting. At least one of his brother’s had died peacefully in his bed, he realized sadly. Dog leaned her weight to him as if she could hold him up. Peitar let her sit for half a breath before he shook her off. Fitted trousers tugged at his thigh by his free hand. Until he needed the free hand to give back her pen. Agitation condensing down to another familiar, and comforting old emotion- anger.

”It’s fine.” He snapped, wagging the pen at her more insistently. He had survived worse than a scratched thumb. Even if he had done nothing to prevent the opposite. Headlong into every raid because anger was easy. It added weight to his already heavy caste, weight he could throw around like a shield. But it was too heavy to shoulder today. It seeped right out of his toes, which curled in his boots. Body unflinching but stiff at her touch. He didn’t argue or fight. There was no harm in letting her look. Not enough blood exposed for anything nefarious, if he had even thought her capable of such. To his mild surprise the cut knit back together under her attention. A sweet, snappy feeling power pressing into it until the wound was gone. He almost, almost wished that every hurt was so easily mended.

Voice gruffer than he expected he thanked her, clearing the gravel that had collected at the back of his mouth with a small cough. He wrapped the fingers she let go of around his own neck. Adam’s apple stroking his palm as he cupped the same elbow in the opposite hand. He found the vibration of his own talking soothing when he was trying to hold himself together. And he was trying, wings pulled in tight and stance shifting. ”Okay.” Now he didn’t know where to start. ”Whenever you’re ready.”

The supplies were few, but important. Tents to keep his people out of the weather. Bandages and medical basics to tend wounds. The snow had been filled with debris as it tumbled onto the village. Those buried the longest suffered frostbite on their fingers and toes. He listed it out for her. The scratch of her pen timing each addition. ”Not much to report beyond what I’ve said. There was an avalanche. Half the valley is covered. Took a day to get out, so it was that long before we could start pulling out the survivors. I think we’ve found them all. It’s been a week...” How long could an unfed Green keep a body alive in packed snow? He thought Lillian might be able to judge. Since she could heal shit now, and wore the same. He didn’t think that he would have made it seven days, though. ”We’ll need help retrieving bodies later. I can name the dead, if you want to make a list for any relatives that might come asking.”

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 05:17:30 AM »


Lillian hummed agreement, unsure if Peitar meant the pairs proximity, or Ilithian's constant of motion. But in the end, it did not matter, as both were equally possible and true. Though the statement he tacked on caused color to spread across the rounds of her cheeks. Heat warming her lower lashes, because she probably fell in the idiot lot as well. "Something like." She mumbled.

Lillian was far less sure about all that. But it was a curious dance to watch anyway.

Emotion impregnated the dwindling space between them. Peitar seemed to stew, and Lillian was not yet ready to breach the well of his thoughts. Even with his wings relaxed, no longer displayed to show off the hard, scarred work they had done that day, he still took up too much space. His caste like growing pool of stagnant water at their feet. Her craft rose to answer it. Something gentler and soothing to lap at his sharp edges.

"It's not fine, it's bleeding." She argued, plucking the waving pen from his hand. And then plucking up his hand too. They made a pretty triangle, Lillian, Peitar, and the hound. Albeit, an uncomfortable on that quickly separated. "You're welcome." Lillian told him pertly, a long strand of hair looped around her fingers, and then her ears, as she watched him strangle himself. Mended hand to throat. Elbow to palm. He looked ready to roughly escort himself out the door. His wings even tucked in to fit.

"Alright." A word put to the nod he couldn't see. Calling her pen back in, Lillian put distance between them again. Perching once more in her chair, she pulled fresh paper in front of herself, scrawling the districts name across the top and beginning the list with Supplies. "Begin." A single word that held a catastrophe's worth of patience. How many times had she said it? How many times had she listed the same supplies over and again for the various leaders and loners that had come begging?

It put into perspective how very unprepared and under supplied their people were, and it made Lillian heart sick.

"It has, hadn't it?" It seemed both longer and shorter than that. Blotting a drop of ink from the edge of the list, Lillian slumped in her seat, shoulders rising toward her cheeks as she leaned into the desk top. A moment to despair in company that could not see it, before she picked another piece of paper up and nodded. "Go ahead." Too many names. Tents did not hold up well against avalanches, it seemed.

All the more reason for the homes she'd been pushing for. Clay brick and wood would have stood up better against the weight. But Lillian did not dredge up the point. Not now when so many were dead and she'd run away from them. "I'm so sorry Peitar." The names would be posted with the others. A stack of such lists piled on one corner of her desk. She added Peitar's dead to the many and rose from her chair abruptly. The need to do propelling her upward.

"Come on. It'll go quicker if I take you for supplies myself." Peitar wasn't half so fearsome as the healers, and Lillian knew her way around the supply closet now. "Have you eaten?" She asked, folding her wing down her side so that they could walk together without becoming entangled.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 06:16:38 PM »
Smooth bottomed shoes whispered on worn stone. Hair that he imagined as long and dark scented the air with a queen’s potency, and a woman’s allure. He didn’t need probes to know that she was moving away from him. But he used them anyway. Measuring the room, which seemed to open up around him as Lillian rounded the desk. Space to breathe without breathing so much… Lillian. Thumb fidgeting against his pulse he filled his lungs and let it out slowly. Dog laid herself on the floor, warm body splayed across his feet. Head pointed towards the desk, which she could see the other pair of feet she wanted to lay on beneath. Her tail thumped softly as it wrapped around towards Peitar’s left ankle. Sound muffled by the cracked leather that was strapped in place by dirty boot laces so long they wrapped around three times before knotting.

The near awkwardness filling the room was cut short by the prompt to start. A task he found relief in focusing on. The paltry items that would keep his people from scattering to the four corners of Askavi. All they needed were a few weeks to recover, then they could return to raiding, the surest and fastest way to keep themselves surviving.   First they had to clean themselves up, and inter the dead back to Mother Night’s care. ”It has.” He agreed under his breath. Did it seem like less or more to Lillian? Reflex had him eager to condemn, to assume that it had been a week of relaying lists exactly like this while she sat secure and untouched by the shock and tragedy. But he could feel the swirl of emotion on her surface. Probes that pretended only to trace the room and spill into the hallway testing and tasting everything as they worked. He knew that the lists were not just lists to any of them.

He read his off more carefully than he had the request for supplies. Names given to the space between them in a low tone. His face twitched between smirks brought on by the memories the names stirred, and hard lipped smiles that covered the quiver of his lip as he let each sink into the role of being only a memory from then on. A thousand snippets of conversation past flitting through his head. Very few faces could swim in his mind, most met only after the war, but he knew them all by the sound of their walk and their laugh, the flavor of their caste, or the smell of their skin. No smile to miss, just the sharp absence of the small things that make a person an individual. At the very end he hesitated. A syllable of his brother’s name given up, then swallowed down. No. There was no reason to put him on a list, there was no one beyond Peitar that would ask. ”That’s all we’re sure of. Someone will send an update later.”

Her sympathy held the promise of comfort- a comfort that he didn’t know how to trust. ”It is what it is. And it’ll remind people that the fight is far from over. Everyone was getting fat and complacent.” His hand left his throat to test the strength of the doorframe. Wood fitted to stone in a manner he would never understand. Simple construction, how to make wood join to wood, was all he had ever been coaxed into learning. The art of architecture was lost on him now, taking the desire to figure it out. He pressed hard fingertips to hard wood, and almost flinched as her chair squealed on the stone. Dog stood abruptly too, and the room filled up with Peitar’s probes. Buzzing, angry things that tried to track the source of their upset. ”What?” He asked when no intruder was found.

”Oh,” A call to action. Peitar knew that feeling well enough. His body ached with the exhaustion of moving because stillness felt wrong. An ache that settled down into his bones as he followed the swishing of her skirt out the door and into the corridor. ”Alright.” He had no qualms about cutting in any hypothetical lines. ”But we need someone to use the too.” Missing fingers wouldn’t bandage themselves. And Peitar was no good at sewing up his brothers anymore. Mostly because he was blind, but he was also fresh out of brothers.

”I-” Peitar’s face puckered as he stalled over the answer. ”I don’t remember. Must have, I’m not hungry.” Especially not now with another goal set in front of him. He followed Lillian so closely their arms brushed and his steps were almost in time. Dog trotted two steps ahead. Each step punctuated by the tap of her nails on the stone. She guided Peitar around others in their path with a touch of her hip to his shin. And tried to follow and lead at the same time. A thousand big brown eyed glances at Lillian reading the queen’s direction. ”Did you eat?” He decided to ask, since it seemed the polite thing to do for someone that was getting you supplies. ”Must be hectic getting anything done around here lately.”

His stomach felt turned inside out. Too tense to think about eating. And he didn’t really want to stop for her to eat either. There would be time for sleeping, eating, and fucking later. A later he would push towards blindly, with the consoling thought that once he’d had all three  he’d feel much better. ”So. Anyone important die? We haven’t gotten any news. I heard there were a lot of patrols on the border though. Dhemlan must have felt something too. This Wind thing stretching pretty far?”

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2020, 10:41:42 AM »

"It wasn't an act of war." Lillian complained. But did they know that for sure? It hadn't felt like one. Dhemlan had laid no claim to whatever had been happening. Some argued their sudden increase in border guard was an act of guilt. Protection against retribution because they had done.. whatever it was that had been done. Others argued the opposite. Protection against the Eyriens who were sure to blame them.

And blame them many did. Maybe it was her own mixed heritage that made her so sensitive to Peitar's condemnation. Or the knowledge that he had kept the war dragging out by not giving it up. Picking at the edges of Ilithian's hard fought for peace with his raiding. All of it was too much for stillness. The dead. The anger. All the hatred and suspicion that had been stirred up like a hornets nest.

Even here, in the heart of Ilithian's domain, Peitar was ready to act. Probes filling the room up at her sudden movement. All of him alert for an attack. To attack.

"That I'm afraid, I cannot command to you. All the healers belong to Ilithian, or other rulers." Lillian ruled nothing. Not even herself. "I can put in a petition for you, however. Ilithian is doing her best to dispatch healers where there are none." There were more such places than healers, they were quickly coming to discover. It made Lillian stroke the brittle bone of her wing in worry. There would probably be no healer for the raiders at all.

Eyeing him suspiciously, Lillian let it pass. Whether he lied or not, she couldn't say. But she didn't think he'd ever lied to her before. Peitar was brutally, brutally honest. As if the filter between mouth and mind had gone the way of his eyesight. Though maybe he had always been so terribly blunt. She didn't know. "I did, the staff makes sure of it." Witches fussing her with plates and bowls. Men sometimes doing the same.

The pool of her queen craft spread, until it blanketed the hall around them. Following them as they went. It helped keep people from approaching them on their walk. People in need of direction or comfort. Bristling males from challenging her abandonment of her office to walk around with a warlord prince. They had gotten used to her meek ability to mostly stay where they put her.

"Um." Lillian bit her lip and tried not to snort. He would never make a court male. She wondered what path he would find to follow when he finally accepted the war was over. Or when the war really was over. Drawing a length of hair down her front, Lillian shook her head before remembering. "I'm not sure. There are a lot of rumors, though. Trouble with both Shalador and Dhemlan Territory Courts."

Lillian had left broader politics to Ilithian. Exchanging greetings with the healers and their apprentices, Lillian lead Peitar to the supple closet, hands guiding him around beds and closing the door behind them. It was really a whole other room dedicated to supplies and opening out onto the garden that helped fuel their craft.

"You've any baskets or boxes in your cabinet we can fill?" She asked him, pulling his list of supplies from her pocket and comparing it to the shelves. Shelves that had been full a month ago. Now the stockpile dwindled by the day. Sometimes by the hour if they had an onslaught. Lillian sighed. It all seemed too big to cope with. Even when she ignored everything but the next step, she could still feel the pressure of it all looming over her.

"From what we've heard, the Wind thing is like before. Everywhere." She spoke to keep her thoughts at bay. Far, far at bay. Working to keep from fretting at her hair or wings. Petting Dog when she was close enough to do so. Maybe this time they were gone forever.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 11:08:02 PM »

”Didn’t expect you to.” Peitar grunted. Lillian was not the commanding type, he had learned that much in their short period inhabiting the same district. He understood the hidden warning in her words, though, underneath the indirect refusal. Petitions for help. There would be none for his people then. Their work unappreciated, their lifestyle too harsh. You didn’t save thieves and murderers when there were queens and priestesses and children waiting in line. Nevermind that there were women and children in his village too. They would be forgotten by the whole of Askavi just like the discarded soldiers who had married and sired them. Lips rolling in over his teeth Peitar bit them hard to stifle a morbid laugh. His throat filled with thick mucus that tasted bitter at the very back of his tongue and refused to be swallowed down. ”We won’t waste your time on the paperwork then.”

In his mind his list of necessities shifted. The things that would keep people alive would be less useful without a healer. He would have to settle for their being comfortable while they died. It seemed that Lillian was being kept quite comfortable too. She didn’t slow them down to press a meal on him or indulge on one herself. The staff, apparently, handled such things. In a very un-Peitarly fashion he only grunted in answer. Mind a dull blade from exhaustion, a blade that grated over the sensations of being around too many people. His probes flashed out in front of them to give him a sense of direction and the form of the hallway. Dog ticked on with her wagging tail drumming on his knee.

They passed small clusters of bodies. He felt them at a distance, uninvasive with his probes. Not even deep enough to feel caste or gender. He was only picking a path. Some of them shifted and shuffled off when they passed. Swarmed by queenly craft that bubbled up around them. Dog tensed but never growled, meaning that no one stepped out of line towards them. If there was a challenge in any of the faces they passed it was left unanswered by Peitar’s blindness

Lillian didn’t ask him any questions to fill in the time they had spent apart. Not that he really expected her to. As far as he could tell her interest in the district, and in Peitar, had ended with her parting. So he filled the walk with conversation instead. Since she was close to the source all the information was flooding back to he assumed she would have some answers. But that guess was ill placed. ”Always a lot of rumors flying around in Askavi.” He charged as if that were Lillian’s fault. The healers’ alcove spared them any more small talk. Following her inside Peitar grumbled as the stuffy scent of cleaning tinctures.

She touched him and Peitar flinched involuntarily. Surprised by the small, cool hands that kept him from bumping an occupied bed, or running into busy nurses. He didn’t think he liked it. Not when it brushed up on him so suddenly and unexpectedly. Dog touched his hand with her nose as if she could feel his ragged emotions tumbling around his chest. They passed through one space into a smaller one. It smelled much like the first but a sweet breeze blew in from somewhere nearby. Growing things and fresh, queen fed soil tickled his nose.

”A box or two and a few cloth sacks.” He told her. ”Mark a spot to put them down.” Small objects were impossible for his probes to pick up unless they were heavily used and therefore stained with someone’s scent. The small room could be brimming with glass bottles or bare to the stone. He couldn’t tell without feeling around. ”Instead of the antibiotics, send extra opium. Without a healer they’re going to die anyway. No use wasting what can help someone else, we’ll just help them pass to the Darkness faster.” There it was again. That nasty clot in his throat. Peitar decided he had better get one of the witches to have a look before he left.

Dog left him to sniff at Lillian’s skirts. He stretched a subtle probe over to investigate. Found worry and stress ruffling at her edges. ”Oh well. The Glacians will like that.” Had gotten rich off the disaster the first time around. He didn’t know how to comfort whatever worries were prickling at her barriers. He was surprised at himself for evening wanting to try. Sleep deprivation was getting the best of him, he supposed. With a fake cough to clear his throat he called in the bags he had. Old flour and potato sacks that he filled with leaves to make targets out of for the youngsters. None big, but they could wrap up delicate containers to keep them from cracking in his cabinet. Leaning against a shelf he toyed with the stopper on a vial he couldn’t see. ”I guess the ones that died fast were the lucky ones in the end. Should have guessed. Muktar always took the easy way.”

He didn’t know why he told her. Standing there with his stupid bag open like he was waiting for a gift. He said it though, and in his fist a slender crystal popped out of his cabinet. Thumb rubbed over the pointed edge he sighed at the floor and spoke to himself. ”I should have known better. I always let Ili get into my head with her talk about unity, but it never goes the way she says it's going to go.” He should have stayed home. Put the dying down himself rather than let them suffer while he flew off for help. Why had he even thought there would be any?

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2020, 04:16:34 AM »

"That's true enough." Lillian had to admit. Askavi had always been rife with rumor. From the far and wide to the small and close. People seemed to flap their mouths as much as their wings. "You think we'd be better informed with all these winged couriers at our disposal." The ascella she blamed less, feeling some things were lost in translation.

Peitar did not seem amused by her amusing. He stayed close, the warmth of him a constant at her side. Occasionally pressing into or brushing against her as they walked. But he flinched when she toucher him. Fingers curling down his wrist and into the palm of his hand to help guide him through the tight quarters of the healing hall. "Sorry," she whispered to him, but did not let go until they'd reached the supply room.

There they parted. Peitar to lounge a room away from her, and Lillian to fret at lists and shelves. "Here." She marked a spot with her Summer-sky, curling dogs ear in her fingers before she began filling a box with larger items. Peitar worried too. Changing his mind just as she was pulling down packets of herbs. Lillian paused, then shook her head and kept at her work. "Don't say that. We'll find you a healer." She could beg a favor from Ilithian, surely. They were friends.

"If they can get through a gate. No ones tried yet that I know of." She filled the containers as she talked. Pausing between items to take comfort from Helen. Quick pets and rubs that Peitar chased with his probes as if jealous. She took one of the smaller bags with a thread of craft and wrapped a bundle of vials in it before stowing it away.

She was tucking a couple bulbs in as well, when he spoke. Starters for the district so they could grow some of their own healing herbs. They were gritty in her suddenly cold fingers. "Oh Peitar." No wonder he seemed so out of sorts. His people were one thing, but his brother was another matter all together. Close in a strange, violent way Lillian couldn't fully appreciate or understand. "I'm so sorry."

Emptying her hands, she brushed them clean on the front of her skirt and crossed the distance between them. Her hand rounded his, clenched around a crystal of some sort. Up his arm to his shoulder so she could pull him to her. Or herself to him. Other hand plucking the bag he held and dropping it to the floor, Lillian hugged him. Heartsore for his loss. Deranged with sympathy. She usually avoided touching him when she could. He was gruff and terrifying.

"Don't talk like that. It'll work out." She told him fiercely, nose turned into his cheek. Lillian would make sure of it. She kissed him there, on his scarred cheek, and squeezed his shoulders tight in the circle of her arms. To comfort him, Lillian promised herself. Even if it was some measure of comfort for herself to brace her body against his strength and know he'd survived, even if so many had not.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2020, 03:17:49 PM »
”S’fine. Just wasn’t expecting it.” Peitar mumbled as she led him through the infirmary. Voice pitched low to match her whisper. After spending months convalescing in a sick bay after the war he knew how ornery the injured, and their caretakers, could get over a bit of noise. He couldn’t tell how many people were being treated in this one, or what the nature of their ailments might be. He wasn’t even sure that was the reason for her quietness, since Lillian was in general a quiet woman. Unless she was being splashed by river water or watching a fist fight.

In the smaller room there was less pressure to be still and quiet and clean. Things that Peitar seemed to fail miserably at most of the time. Not built into his brash, exuberant nature in the least. He pulled a large crate from his cabinet. It was empty except for a few strands of dog hair. Another, smaller box joined it on the drop of Summer-sky she had marked. He listened to her rummaging. The steady shift of items moving on the shelves, Lillian’s wings like crumpled paper as she moved, the soft placement of things dropped into the boxes. She stopped to answer him, but he found no comfort in her assurance. ”That’s not for you to command,” He reminded her glumly, ”and Ilithian will prioritize like she always does. It’ll be the right choice for the territory. Just not a fortunate one for us.”

She had been on about ending the raids for two years already. Most would even see it as stupid to sweep in and save a bunch of bandits who refused to take her orders. Shoulder and attached wing rolling Peitar considered her point about the Glacians. ”Gates were fine the last time the Wind went out. Guess they probably don’t remember that though. Any who were alive then would be old-timers by now.” A morbid thought that didn’t help his mood any. He had fought with good, strong men in his youth. It seemed unfair that some would be dust before he was old enough to sprout a grey hair.

Then again. There were those of them who would never. His mind traced over them, until the most recent loss spilled from his tongue. This time when Lillian stopped her soft shuffling it wasn’t to combat his negativity. Her apology crackled at his raw emotions. Throat clotted again he raised his shoulders high in answer. Sorry was all there was. It wouldn’t change anything, though, and Peitar didn’t see how he could have done anything differently. When he drooped again his wings dragged the floor. Dog had hopped over to sit on his boots. She wasn’t alone either. Those soft fingers found his hand.

Peitar leaned back without really pulling away. Face tipped towards the ceiling because he couldn’t control the heavy frown there. Expression twisting up as he fought to swallow the lump in his throat without coughing back up on the queen. He thought for a mad second that she wanted to pry the memory stone out of his hand. But she didn’t linger there. Fingertips dancing their way up to his shoulders. He had forgotten what it felt like. To be held by someone that wasn’t searching your body for satisfaction. The simple comfort of a hug. He squeezed his crystal harder in one hand. It was her crystal he held tight, and he was pretty sure she was the last person to wrap their arms around him that way. He found the base of her spine with his free hand and molded into the hug without planning to.

Teeth sharp on his lips he sighed at her sudden determination. It rose up out of a dreary place in his heart. Sad and hungry. He usually filled it up on fights, because that was easiest. But there was no one to put his fist to, and no energy to see the swing through. ”It will. I’m just not sure it’ll work out in my favor.” He dropped his face in time to pick up the very unexpected kiss. His fingers curled into the fabric of her dress. ”Well now you’ve done it. I can’t let go.” He complained over an excited baying from Dog. She spun in circles around them and bounded from one’s thigh to the others in joy. ”And she might bite me if I do.”

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2020, 04:51:09 PM »

Lillian wiped a layer of dust from a bottle so she could read the label. Date checked to be sure it was still potent enough to be worth anything. She'd found it sadly pushed back behind a row of its brethren.

"You're a part of her territory." She reminded them both. "She wouldn't just leave you all to die." At least, Lillian didn't think so. It was just finding enough healers for all the needs. It made her all the more determined to practice more. There wasn't much time to spare for training her, and yet the timing was also perfect.

Deciding the bottle wasn't too old, Lillian packed it away with the other things. At least it would be useful and not forgotten with Peitar and his people. "I'd forgotten they were short lived." That anyone was. How terrible it must be, to have such a quick existence. Where did they find the time for anything?

Time to love. Or to mourn. All over so quickly. Maybe they were more used to death and loss. Even for old warriors like Peitar who had fought hundred year wars, a new loss was just as fresh as a new. Lillian didn't wrap him up in her craft this time. Just her arms. What calming was there for the loss of a brother? She had only her cousins and nephew to compare against. And her father.

Peitar did not reject her comfort. Body tensing for a moment before he stood still for it. Arm slow to answer, but it did. Callouses picking at the fabric of her dress as he pressed his hand to the small of her back and fit himself into her arms. She held on tight, surprising them both with the pass of her lips across his face. Peitar complained about the state of the world, but held her tighter. Her dress becoming a snare that held in her place.

Around them, Helen danced. Her baying bouncing off the close walls and drawing barely heard murmurs from the healing room. "Hush, both of you." Blushing, Lillian his her face in his shoulder and pet the back of his neck comfortingly. "Helen, really. Peitar, make her behave." Lillian tried to let him go. Tried stepping away without stepping on the dog.

"She wouldn't." The idea of it was preposterous. They were best friends, Peitar and his dog. "You can let go. I'm not going to fall." Well, maybe she would. What had she been thinking, kissing him like that? The hug made sense. Surely he'd needed, and Lillian had too, without even knowing. But the kiss was just too much. Giving lie to her assurance, Lillian was jostled against him by Helen's leaping. Huffing, Lillian ended up cursing as her wing twitched, the joint trying to put out one of Peitar's.

"For Darkness sake! I'm sorry." Annoyed with herself, Lillian let go of him and tugged her wing back into place, which was quietly down her back, not smacking mourning warlord princes in the face.

Peitar

    Opal to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    The Blind Prince
    Askavi Terreille
    64 Posts    63 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2020, 12:12:12 AM »
Amusement was a pretty distraction from pain and exhaustion. Peitar embraced it the same way he embraced the source- Lillian; or more accurately, her unnecessary sheepishness. Coy as ever she fretted over the noise. His keen ears heard the mild complaints from the healers in the next room, but he didn’t really care. Dog was a good, sensible girl. She deserved a little outburst of excitement once in a while. Really she was just jealous that they were clinging to one another instead of to her. Mouth turned up on one side in a tired smile he whistled through his front teeth. ”Sit.” With a single whimper she did as asked. Butt on bobbing on the floor as she wagged her tail frantically but stayed seated. Her mouth was parted in a canine smirk and her eyes were joyful slits as she beamed up at them. But Peitar only heard her toenails lightly tapping as she wiggled in place. ”Now, quiet.”

This time when she danced between them she did so without all the barking. Hot tongue lapping at Peitar’s knuckles and Lillian’s elbows as she hopped around them in a circle. Peitar tipped his face back to Lillian to explain their new predicament. She didn’t understand though. Breath warm through his shirt she spoke to his shoulder. Denying his threats about Dog, and misunderstanding his warning about letting go. ”Alright, maybe can’t isn’t the right word.” He admitted. It didn’t matter though, she didn’t pull away. She fell into him instead. The hand on her back turned to an around her waist. Pulling her in even closer to keep her on her feet.

Lilian was warm and light like a doll. Not at all the typical sturdy, matronish bodies he had pressed to his own. She smelled different too. Less like clean dishes and more like fresh flowers. Chin to his chest he hummed down at her as the joint of a sickly wing snagged him in the eye. She twisted and wiggled in his grip but he still couldn’t let go. Possession seethed quietly under his skin and locked his bones together. When she had cursed and apologized he put his lips to her temple, ”Calm down, it’s alright. I wasn’t using that eye anyway.”

Fingers flexing he spread them wide touching from her lowest rib to the light swell of muscle before her hip bones. ”I was saying- I can’t let go; because I don’t want to let go yet. Just… stand here with me another minute until it passes.” It would. Eventually. Especially now when he was too strained emotionally and physically to be truly aroused. Crystal still wrapped in the palm of his free hand he lifted it to her jawbone. An experimental knuckle tracing the bone then reaching around to try the curve of a wing. ”Were they born that way? There were four of us before the war, and my littlest brother Xy was born with a twisted wing.”

He had never seen Lillian through anyone’s memories. He had never asked about her wings either. Only knew that she could not fly, and that when they rustled it was spasmodic and the sound brittle and weak. The smack to his face had been weak too, no harder than a hand. Years of being battered by healthy wings had shown him how much a direct hit could hurt. So he could guess the state of Lillian’s wings to some extent. ”Do they hurt?” While he knew that his questions were personal and forward he still expected her to answer in some form. And he wasn't done soaking in her closeness yet anyway, so he could likely hold her there until she did.

Lillian

    Summer-sky to Green
  • Queen
  • Played By: dergon

    District Queen
    Askavi Terreille
    44 Posts    3431 marks
Re: Oh, its you
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2020, 04:17:09 AM »

They were too much of a pair. Lillian despaired that they would ever behave, forehead resting against Peitar's shoulder, she watched Helen dance around them, barks ringing in her ears. And she though Peitar was amused by it all. Letting it carry on longer than needed before he calmed his hound. It was easily done, a single command and she sat quietly, if not still.

Lillian smiled at the sight. Body writhing in her seat, Helen looked like the happiest animal in all of Askavi. A canine smile splitting her jaws and wiggling her tail. At another command, she was let loose again. Quieter this time, she used her tongue to show them how excited she was. Giggling, Lillian tucked her elbows in, trying to hide from the wet tickle of dog licks.

Her laughter died with his words. He wouldn't then, she assumed. Proven right as Helen knocked her farther into him. Peitar took her weight and slid his possessive hand farther around her, ringing her around the waist to keep her trapped against him. Her heart tick-tocked like a clock and then went quiet. Fluttering wildly as her body reacted to all the stress and tried to knock Peitar's head askew. He didn't seem to mind that either. Close and humming he ignored her battering and held on tight.

To her.

"Peitar!" Lillian scolded, cheeks burning hot. He was terribly close. Breath fanning her temple. "You shouldn't say things like that." Mortifying and amusing, and all the more mortifying for being found funny. Hands locked behind his neck, Lillian tried to ignore the way his spread over her waist. As if he were measuring the distance between her ribs and her hips. She breathed carefully into the hollow of her shoulder and promised herself it was all just comfort.

"I will." Just comfort. Lillian called on her training to settle her nerves. He wasn't molesting her. And she'd initiated the embrace. For comfort, which Peitar was taking advantage of in warlord prince fashion. She let herself relax against him, taking once more that same comfort she'd found before. Her thumb traced the hairline at the back of his neck, and she shivered only a little when he touched her face. And a little more when he touched her wing.

Turning her cheek to his shoulder, Lillian shook her head. Surprised by his question. Very few people ever asked. "I don't think so, but I can't remember that far back." She explained, turning some of his own sarcasm back on him. She worried how much to say, how it would make her father look in Peitar's eyes, the father she loved. The reason, she suspected, Peitar was often so rough and rude with her.

"They were bound, when I was a child." To protect her from from her otherness. Lillian sucked her cheeks rather than launch to her father's defense. He was dead now, he didn't need saving. Glancing upward, she studied Peitar's face. They hadn't been this close to each since he'd knocked her out of the window and then landed in a heap on the ground with her.

He'd needed a but of comforting then too. Full of pain and possession. It was the curse of his caste. So Lillian used some of her own to blunt the sharp edges. "No. Sometimes they cramp, but so do plenty of other muscles." They were uncommonly weak, she knew. Delicate from lack of blood flow during development, or so the healers had told her. Sometimes she laid on them at night, comforted by the pressure that reminded her of a time when someone had loved her.

"Are you sure your eye is all right?" She whispered at him.

 

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