Lucia could tell that the Vagabond was in enough turmoil, and so she didn't say anything about how involved any of those things would be. Instead, she lightly touched him on the shoulder and spoke as comfortingly as she could. "Hey, it'll be okay. Rest for tonight, then tomorrow we'll try to start repairing some of what's broken in your heart. I'll be honest, I've never tried to do anything like that, but with my ability to Dive into people's hearts it should be possible." Her voice remained gentle, but held a subtle conviction of her certainty.
Suddenly her gaze shifted from him to Éirín. "Éirín, I'd really recommend trying whatever you're doing after some rest. Channeling seems to be more linked to mental stamina than our Realm's magic, and trying when you're tired can lead to burn-out." She smiled, then continued. "You're welcome to hang out with me tonight, if you want."
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
”Hey, it’ll be okay.” Lucia’s voice sounded faint, almost as though he were under water. Feeling her touch on his shoulder jolted him back to the world he stood in—er, ship—bringing him out of his mind. ”Rest for tonight, then tomorrow we’ll try to start repairing some of what’s broken in your heart.” The Vagabond’s hand that rested over his chest fell to his side as the hooded man sighed. Nodding a bit in agreement, the man attempted to gain control over the emotions flooding through him. How long had it been, since he had had difficulties with balance? ”I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried to do anything like that, but with my ability to dive into people’s hearts, it should be possible…”
Nodding, the Vagabond excused himself as he made his way out of the room. With a sigh, the hooded man’s form was slightly slumped over, his posture slouched as he hung his head. ”Repairing…what’s broken…?” Looking down at his own hands, specifically the gloved one, the Vagabond’s shrouded gaze bore into the flesh with a new zealous. This whole time…I’ve been afraid… Afraid that there was no answer. No way to fix him or whoever resided within his heart. Who…is it? For a moment, the Vagabond stood in the ship hallway silently, searching within himself to poke or prod at what it was he felt within. Blech. He felt the darkness within him, oozing, squishing, devouring. Looking inside himself always felt like this—he ended up feeling violated or wronged. Shaking his head of such childish complaints, the Vagabond attempted to look inside himself further. Who’s there? There was no response, as always, just a steady presence that felt impatient—waiting for an opportunity. Sighing a bit, the man shook his head as he made his way for the common area in the ship once more.
”Tch…useless as ever…” It seemed he’d have to rely on Lucia’s ‘diving’ power—he wouldn’t get any answers on his own like this. Truthfully the man felt a bit embarrassed, once escaping from that place, it had taken a while to grow accustomed to being in the realm of light again—by that time his memory and heart had already been sundered. Just who’s heart resided in his was a mystery, though the feeling he had when he left that place was urgent: he had to find a way to free it.
Why had he been in such a rush, any way? Just who had been with him? Was it even someone he knew? He didn't know many people...
Last Edit: Oct 9, 2019 11:35:53 GMT -5 by hoodwink
Éirín barely noticed what Lucia was saying, but she acknowledged it with a nod. She still went through a repetition or two while she waited for the Vagabond to leave the room. She was thankful that Rand likely had his mind elsewhere, lest their bond rat her out for her controlled, if somewhat foolhardy actions. She sighed once she felt the Vagabond's presence leave the room and slowly opened her eyes.
The wolf girl grinned at Lucia. "Thanks for letting me hang out with you, and, it is a little mentally taxing, but, I got in touch with this realm's magic and the rules governing it and my homeworld through a very similar manner, so, I was merely testing for my limit as to not foolishly overstep it."
The priestess paused for a moment. Her stomach rumbled slightly. "I also didn't want to eavesdrop and was hoping Moiraine might have shown up, but, I don't think I entered that trance in exactly the right way. Anyway, are you the type of person who hides snacks in her desk?" The goddess chuckled lightly. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting the night to be so crazy. I certainly wasn't expecting to be hungry right now, either. I'm just glad Rand masked our bond, or it might've gotten more awkward."
Lucia nodded in understanding at Éirín's explanation, though that quickly shifted into a giggle at her next comments. "Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I once tapped into my sister's heart because I sensed her using Aspect, only to find out that she was going at it with her husband. I heard waytoo much."
Shuddering, she pushed that memory away. Then she remembered what else the girl had said. Lucia moved over to another drawer, opening it and rummaging around. "As for being hungry, using that kind of energy tends to drain the body some. I have the same issue when I use a lot of Twilight, since I have to synthesize it using my own personal energy."
Suddenly she made a satisfied sound and pulled out a small wrapped bar before tossing it over to Éirín. "Here, this'll help out."
Mink suddenly sat up with a cry. It took them a moment to figure out where they were, but once they did a small smile appeared. "Thanks, Aura."
They stumbled a little as they stood up, barely able to walk. They still managed to step out into the hall, albeit unsteadily. Their clothes were in tatters from the repeated simulations, but they didn't even notice the exposed skin as they moved toward the kitchen.
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
Dammit. Another wall loomed in front of the Vagabond as he stood at the end of the hallway. There were many doors littered around, but none that he recalled being a room he could reside in. He was so used to either sleeping while he worked or roaming and sleeping in random places on other worlds that he had forgotten to ask about a bedroom. Hm…it’s not like I can just go outside, either. Oddly enough, sleeping beneath the stars would surely have soothed his weary heart. How ironic. I’m hurtling through space yet I can’t get a good view of the stars… It was a sad and bitter irony, but one he felt amused by nonetheless.
With a sigh, the hooded vagrant turned his back to the wall and leaned against it. Sliding down until he was sitting the Vagabond went cross-legged, resting his hands on his knees as his hooded head slumped forward. It wasn’t as if there were countless hallways, but the man didn’t have the willpower to open random doors and potentially others rooms. Instead, the Vagabond rest where he sat. Sleep never came to him easily, but he had grown accustomed to such things over the years.
His shrouded eyes closed, his mind pondering the tasks to come ahead.
The wolf girl both grimaced and chuckled when Lucia mentioned her unfortunate run in with her sister. She caught the candy bar easily, and she opened it easily. In a moment, it was gone. The priestess suddenly felt more at ease. "Thanks. I needed that."
She eyed the bed, but thought that just settling in would be rude. She yawned, barely able to hide the fact that she was tired. She licked her lips unsteadily. "For the record, I'm not jealous or anything. I know Rand loves me. It's Aillil that I'm not sure about just yet. Obviously, it's going to take time, but, it's not like I'm too comfortable going to talk to Rand now, either."
The goddess sighed and rubbed her temples, clearly feeling frustration set in.
Lucia nodded once again as she listened to Éirín. As limited as her own experience with relationships was, she had an odd sense that something had guided her to Conrí and Éirín. "I understand completely. While I didn't go through it myself, I watched and helped Jen go through it with Riley and the others."
She paused for a moment as the pain surfaced again, then moved past it and sat on her bed to continue, her voice soothing and gentle. "It's fine to not know what to feel about Ailill right now. It's even okay if you end up not feeling anything romantically for him. So long as all of you are happy, it doesn't matter what that looks like."
Mink blinked a few times before they recognized what they were seeing. They had been walking the halls on the way to grab a snack and happened to stumble across the Vagabond about to fall asleep in a corner. Sighing, they walked over to just outside of arm's reach, then spoke up. "You know there's a bedroom right next to you, right? You alright?"
They offered their hand, still unaware of the skin and somewhat more exposed on their torso. All they cared about right then was making sure that he was okay.
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
Mulling over the nagging questions lurking at the door of his forethought, the Vagabond was suddenly jolted awake by a voice cutting through the silence of the hallway. ”You know there’s literally a bedroom right next to you, right?” The hooded form stirred, sitting upright with alarming speed. ”You alright?” For a moment, the mans shrouded gaze was groggy—he could make out the faint form of a figure holding out a hand. Retrograde caused a familiar nausea to well up, though familiarity betrays custom. It was nothing he wasn’t used to by now. ”Huh? Y-yeah…I’m fine.” Shaking off the sensation, the Vagabond reached for the hand with his left.
The gloved hand.
For a moment, his shrouded eyes lingered on it.
How ironic, it be the left.
Grabbing onto Mink’s hand, the Vagabond was hoisted onto his feet, albeit swaying slightly. Where…was I? It had seemed to be dark…everything dissolving around him…what had he been doing? There was a question of reality going through his head. Glancing around the hallway, he finally was able to recognize Mink and the ship he was within. ”Uh…” It was then he noticed the state they were in. Their clothing draped in tatters, reminding the Vagabond of the earlier simulation they had witnessed Mink going through. For a moment the man jolted, shuffling through his many pockets.
”…here.” Procuring a Hi-Potion from within his jacket, the vagrant held out the shimmering green bottle towards Mink. His hooded gaze remained a mystery, though it bore into the figure before him with a mixture of concern and nostalgia. What...is this? Why did something about this seem familiar? Without really realizing why, the Vagabond found a familiar phrase on his lips.
Éirín watched Lucia carefully as she scarfed down the candy bar. She sensed that something had recently caused the woman and by extension Jen a decent amount of pain. The wolf girl decided not to pry, however, and simply nodded. The advice made sense and put her at ease.
The priestess yawned. It dawned on her that, despite the food, she'd used up quite a bit of energy. "Thanks for the advice, Lucia. It put me at ease. Enough for me to realise how tired I am."
The goddess hummed in contemplation to herself. "Where do you think I should sleep tonight? I doubt Jen's back, but, should I go back there in case she shows up?"
Lucia smiled and nodded, glad that her advice had helped. Éirín's yawn proved contageous though, and it was with a hand over her mouth that Lucia shook her head in responce to the girl's question. "I doubt she'll care if you do, so sleep wherever you like. We've got a full day of flying tomorrow, so there'll be plenty of time for talking and anything else that needs talking care of."
Another yawn forced her hand up yet again, making her chuckle after it ended. "Seems you're not the only one who's tired either."
Mink glanced between the Hi-Potion and the Vagabond a few times in confusion. Then they thought to look down, finally realizing the state of their clothing. Instantly a deep blush formed as they moved an arm to cover their chest. "N-no, that's okay. I'm fine, it's just the clothes!
Catching themselves, they took a deep breath and tried to calm down. "Sorry, I get kinda dysphoric without certain bits being covered."
The Vagabond's question caught them off guard, freezing for a moment before shakng their head slowly in disappointment. "I wish. I've been pushing myself and training for over a year now trying to figure out what Element my soul is. I'm half-Celderatin, so I should be able to do something like mom's Aspect. But every time I get close, every time I feel something start to happen, I start thinking about how she died in my original timeline."
Tears of both frustration and grief fell as they continued. "I've accepted that I couldn't do anything to save her and forgiven myself. That timeline doesn't even exist anymore! So why am I so scared of it still? Why is it still haunting me?" Without realizing it they had grabbed the Vagabond's hand, falling to their knees before him.
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
Upon Mink’s clarification, the Vagabond relinquished the faintly glowing green bottle he held. Tucking it away in one of the countless pockets lining his blue jacket, the hooded man tilted his head a bit at their apology. Huh? Did they do something? Maybe they just felt bad about not taking the potion? ”I wish. I’ve been pushing myself and training for over a year now trying to figure out what Element my soul is. I'm half-Celderatin, so I should be able to do something like mom's Aspect.” Tilting his head a bit, the Vagabond was confused for only a moment. Upon hearing the word ‘Celderatin’, he was reminded of the previous conversation he had with the Paladin-Chef. That’s right…they said something about them having mastery over elements… Did that include the light and darkness? Two elements always lurking, forever present and engaged in combat with one another. ”But every time I get close, every time I feel something start to happen, I start thinking about how she died in my original timeline.”
Mink’s sudden tears caught the Vagabond off-guard. It seemed a few people were having a rough night. As Mink cried out, speaking of forgiveness and acceptance, they fell to their knees, instinctively reaching out for the Vagabond’s hand. ”That timeline doesn’t even exist anymore! So why am I so scared of it still? Why is it still haunting me?” He was a monster. That didn’t mean he would ignore someone’s help in front of him, though. Holding onto the hand reached out to him, the Vagabond lowered himself to a knee in order to maintain level with Mink. For a moment, the hooded man didn’t respond. He wanted to give them a moment to feel what they were feeling.
”Of course it haunts you.” The Vagabond’s voice was monotone, as always, though there was no harshness or condescending tone. It was just that he wasn't used to reassuring people...or interacting with people much at all, really. ”You may have gotten a second chance...but only after seeing your worst fears actualized.” For a moment, his dull matte eyes gazed at Mink from beneath the shroud of his hood. I know this pain…? How? He couldn’t quite place a reason, but somehow the Vagabond ached. Somehow, this pain seemed familiar. ”It’s okay, to be scared.” His grip on Mink’s hand tightened reassuringly for a moment before he stood, though he wouldn’t let go, offering to help them stand. ”It’s okay that you’re still upset—how could you not be?” Looking down at Mink, the hooded man’s voice maintained its composure.
”It's okay—to take your time, I mean.” For a moment, the Vagabond thought about his own 'progress'. He too had been seeking out his own goal for quite some time now. How many moments had he had, disparaged over the waste of time and the feeling of inferiority? Well...people never do take their own advice.
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2019 0:58:07 GMT -5 by hoodwink
Éirín nodded drowsily, wondering if she could make it back to Jen's room. She shook herself slightly after she noticed Lucia yawning, and then stood up and stretched. She stifled another yawn and then proceeded to just find Lucia's couch and lie down, curling up as though she were a dog of some kind. Without too much more prompting, the wolf girl found herself drifting off into an eerie light sleep.
The stars were fanned out in front of the priestess again, only this time, she knew enough to recognise them for what they were. Her suspicions were confirmed when she floated to a cluster near her. She could see into the stars, meaning they were likely dreams. As she got close to where she thought Rand's dream was, she was surprised to see the dream warded. The star next to his, however, for some reason, wasn't, so, the goddess decided to jump into it.
The priestess desperately hoped that they weren't somehow sharing their dream to continue whatever it was they had started in real life in this place. The thought made her turn bright scarlet, and she considered turning away and just going into the realm of sleep properly, but a figure intrigued her.
Aillil felt something enter his dream and mumbled a curse once that feeling made him realise that he'd forgotten to ward his dream. He sighed, looking to the left, and wandered in that direction. He hoped he wouldn't find some threat, but, then something else got his attention. He studied the ground carefully. Shit. Not here. Not now. Please. Dark storm clouds rolled in all around him, and the man started to get scared of himself. What was he going to find now? He wasn't the best Dreamer. Out of the shadowy clouds, an alternate form of Lews descended. His face horridly marred and a large scar across his chest. He stared coldly at Aillil.
"Lews...I..." The man simply fell to his knees as this version of Lews touched the ground.
"So, now you'll call me Lews? After you did all of this to me?"
A hand touched his shoulder, and he felt warmth spreading through his body. "This is a dream. Stand your ground, Aillil."
Aillil shifted his gaze to see Éirín standing next to him. The warmth replaced itself with a chill so sharp that he knew she'd held onto saidar. "No, lass. I'm not dragging you into this. Get Rand. Get out of here and get Rand. I will keep looking for a way out of this. Go, NOW!"
I guess I really did misjudge him. A little. But, what about the wards? Her thoughts seemed to echo through the air, and she realised she'd said them out loud.
Aillil chuckled. "Good point. Let's both...think about Rand really hard. Maybe he'll sense them. In the meantime, get behind me."
Mink listened to the Vagabond's words as they struggled to compose themselves. By the time he had finished they managed to succeed, if barely, and they graciously accepted the help up. "Thanks." Their voice was still unsteady, but a self-deprecating chuckle still emerged as they stood. "Looks like I've still got a ways to go after all."
Abruptly they remembered why they had stopped in the first place, and that one of the rooms nearby was in fact theirs. "Hey, want to come sit down and chat for a bit? My rooms just at the end of this hall, and you can take any of the other rooms when you need sleep." They realized how that sounded, and quickly stammered out a clarification. "Y-you don't have to of course! If you're too tired I'll be fine on my own. Got a few bottles in there if I really can't sleep."
Lucia couldn't help but chuckle softly at Éirín's decision of sleeping location, though she didn't blame her either. The poor girl had been through a lot in the past days, and that took its toll on a person. Unconsciously she rubbed her left arm, the cool metal under her fingers reminding her of her own burdens.
Just as she was about to shut off the lights and go to bed she noticed the girl on her couch begin to shift and mutter, something that worried her. She knew firsthand how bad dreams could get, especially after confronting trauma.
Crossing over to the couch, Lucia sat lightly. The barest touch to Éirín's shoulder was all she would need, though she wasn't certain if that would even work. As she initiated the Heart Dive she heard what sounded like Rand's name, then she dove.
A moment later she was on Éirín's platform, but without even looking around she immediately tried to shift, not really understanding how she did it. Everything blurred, then she was suddenly beside Ailill and Éirín, opposite a mangled man with blond hair. From the feel of the area and the man's lack of aura she assumed that they were in a nightmare of some sort.
Immediately she summoned Requiem's Resolve, holding it easily in her right hand. "So this is why you were tossing and turning. Either of you want to fill me in on how to get rid of this?"
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
”Looks like I’ve still got a ways to go after all.” As Mink’s sad chuckle filled the hallway, the Vagabond couldn’t help but feel another pang of nostalgia. We all fail our own expectations… He chose to not say the thought aloud, as it was just depressing and didn’t seem helpful at the moment. Upon Mink’s invitation to ‘chat’, the hooded man shrugged and nodded. ”Sure—” Glancing back towards the end of the hall where he had slumped up to sleep, the Vagabond’s voice remained dull and monotone. ”—I think I got enough rest for now.” Truthfully, sleep typically left him feeling more drained than he did beforehand. Wasn’t it supposed to make people feel refreshed?
”Lead the way.” The Vagabond gestured towards the end of the hall with his gloved hand. Following Mink to their room, the Vagabond would idly wonder what he was going to talk about. Personality of a sand dune… Someone had said that to him, once. When was that? He couldn’t really recall. Did he dream it? He was having difficulty remembering what had really happened and what hadn't, ever since his memory became so jumbled.
Aillil stared at the purple haired one, not quite sure what to do. He felt tired, for some reason. He could tell that Lucia did not recognise the man in front of her. Somehow, the cloaked man thought that might be for the better. He wondered if his thoughts could reach Rand at all, though the woman's question caused him to pause and actually take stock of the situation. Quickly, he shifted in front of Lucia instead of Éirín and raised his arm out with his open palm facing her. "Please, don't engage him. Don't fight him now. Just go, get Rand."
The cloaked man wanted to just face his past mistake alone, but, then, he thought that maybe such a notion was indeed foolish and he could use the help. He tried to open his heart to the purple haired woman. "I know you can touch hearts, and the wolf lass is our best bet of holding this off. She's more adept than I am at this. So, I open my heart to you. Use it to find that fool dreamer of a scholar and bring him here, please."
Éirín simply nodded in agreement with Aillil and also motioned for Lucia to put her weapon away. The wolf girl tried not to look at the deformed Lews too closely. He didn't disturb her, per say, but she was unsure what all he was capable of. That, at least gave her some pause. She still clearly was reaching for more of the Power, just in case. Rand, please be awake enough to follow Lucia or our voices, or something. Those thoughts quickly turned into reminders to not draw on too much of the Source, lest she take a chance and burn herself out from it.
The other version of Lews smirked at Aillil. His eye flashed sinisterly at the cloaked man. He waved his hand and lightning bolts struck close to Aillil. "I never loved you. Not once. And you dare to come to me when you did and tell me that? If you loved me so much, then why did you cause me this pain?" The anger in his voice rumbled through the air like thunder. The lightning strikes danced closer to Aillil's feet.
Mink's smile returned as they nodded, walking down the hall to open the end door. Beyond was a fairly simple room. A full bed sat against a corner, deep red sheets and comforter contrasting the dark oak nightstand beside it. Near the door sat a desk with a game console and smaller screen, their hoodie draped across the back of the chair in front of it.
Without hesitation they entered the room, using a small amount of Wind magic to pull the hoodie over and onto them as they headed toward an empty looking wall. "So," with a touch the wall slid open to reveal a selection of liquor, mixers, and tumblers, "what's your poison?"
Lucia looked from the man to the two before her, taking in what was spoken and how. It didn't take long for her to connect the dots, and with that realization came the certainty that they were right. "Got it. I'll be right back then." As she touched Ailill's shoulder a thought went through her mind. If this even works...
Then she Dove once more.
She wasn't sure if the interference was from Diving within a dream from another Dive or if it was simply part of his heart. Static flashed across her vision, glitches she would only expect to see in a heavily corrupted game, if at all. Still, that wasn't something she could afford to care about right then.
Looking down at the portraits, she quickly found the one she was looking for. Rand's face looked out at her, though when she wasn't looking straight at it it appeared to shift into that of Lews Therin instead. Focusing, she tried to draw him through onto the platform, but an odd resistance met her efforts.
Frowning, she pulled harder as she added a mental plea to him. As she did the interference grew around her, but she paid it no heed in her efforts.
Finally she succeeded, a highly confused Rand appearing before her. "Wha-"
"There's no time to explain." She cut him off with a determined look. "Ailill and Éirín are stuck in a nightmare dreamshard of past you attacking them. They need your help." Focusing even harder, she opened a Corridor not between places, but between Dive and Dream.
Instantly the static and glitches worsened even more, nearly corrupting the entire platform. "GO! I'll deal with this." Exerting her will as a Keyblade Master, she fought to control the instability as he nodded and rushed through the quickly closing portal.
She hadn't bothered to tell him that she had no idea how to deal with it. Mentally controlling it seemed to not work at all, and so in desperation she decided to try one last thing.
She began to absorb the corruption, and an instant later she fell into another place. She caught a glimpse of barren waste, then hit the ground.
Rand emerged from the swirling portal to a scene of chaos and lightning. Keeping his calm took all his efforts, but he kept what Perrin had told him about nightmares forefront in his mind. You had to deny them, deny their very reality or get drawn into them.
Some of the lightning drew close to him as he took measured steps toward his two loves, but nothing affected anything within a foot of him, and the clouds above parted in a similar circle. "You have to deny it, you two. Believe in what was here before, the empty plains with a clear, starry sky. Believe that I am here, not there, and that this is not real." With that confidence, he continued until he stood beside Ailill and Éirín, not drawing his keyblade or embracing any of his magics.
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
Following Mink into the room, the Vagabond couldn’t help but feel detached. How long had he lived without such furnishings or luxuries? As Mink draped their hoodie over them using a bit of wind magic, the hooded man felt a pang of jealousy. Magic… It was something he had been exposed to since leaving that place—yet something he hadn’t been able to comprehend. Though aided with his own (in his opinion, terrifying) powers, the Vagabond knew no magic of any kind. Being surrounded by others with so many fantastical traits only cemented the lack of self worth the hollow man had.
”So, what’s your poison?” For a moment, the Vagabond simply blinked (though Mink wouldn’t be able to see this, due to his hood) and tilted his head slightly. It took a second for him to understand what they were asking. ”O-oh…uh…” Looking at the fully stocked bar that had emerged from the wall, the Vagabond wondered if that had been trickery of magic or science. It was sometimes hard to tell the two apart.
”Er…whiskey?” How long had it been, since he had had a drink? Alcohol cost Munny, after all. Munny wasn’t something the Vagabond was ever in much supply of. The only thing he was used to drinking were the discounted Potions he stayed stocked with, or whatever water he could normally acquire.
The Vagabond realized he had no idea what his tastes were. How would one that never tasted have any, after all?
Conrí shifted in his sleep. He was having a rather weird dream about wandering through a wasteland. Wherever he looked, there was a dull brown shade of sand stretching out as far as he could see. Bits of rubble speckled the landscape in the distance. As he walked, the wolf boy scanned for any traces of anyone he knew, but couldn’t really find anyone.
Then, his heart ached for a moment. Something about this moment in time and this place felt distinctly off. The would be king was hit with a sense of longing. A horrible kind of longing that would never be fulfilled. He nearly sank to his knees, straining to hear or sense anything, because something had to have called him here, be it a sense of duty or something else. Suddenly, there was a distinct pull, and Conrí found himself kneeling in front of Lucia, who seemed to shimmer somehow. “Master, is there something I can do?” He wondered if there was a way out of the dream, or if they were just stuck in this strange place.
With some hesitation, Conrí scooped Lucia up into his arms and stood. He had his cloak appear over him and thought of a gust of wind pushing his hood over his head. Lucia’s body still shimmered, like static, almost. The wolf boy wondered if she was actually there with him or not. He sighed, and then tried to just move forward in the realm of shifting sand. “Stay with me, Lucia. C’mon, just hang in there.” Something about this situation made him remember that cold, harsh winter. Lucia’s body at least felt warmer than his mother’s had. For an instant, the would be king thought he felt the cold from that winter night. “We’re going to find a way out of this, Mom,” he whispered softly. Tears streamed down his cheeks, but he urged himself forward, hoping to find an oasis and not a funeral pyre in front of him.
”Good luck, and I hope you’re able to be quick about it.” Lucia had just seemed to disappear, and Aillil froze on the spot momentarily, so Éirín had to shift some of the lightning away from the strange cloaked man with her own. That, she noticed, only made the angry Lews worse. Whatever this man was, he clearly thirsted for Aillil’s blood, especially given how hurt he’d sounded with his last outburst.
The wolf girl sighed, not really wanting to believe that Rand, who she loved now, was anything like this man in front of her, despite what she knew of her arseling’s backstory. She wondered if this version could be reasoned with. ”I’m not a bloody hero.” The utterance under her breath caught her off guard, slightly, and, she noted that the mangled blond man stopped and studied her curiously.
The priestess contemplated firing off some form of the Power at him, right then and there, but then, Aillil seemed to get back into action with his dodging. The goddess shuddered, not wanting to be stuck in this situation anymore, but was faced with it anyhow. She calmly tried to think her way through this, and that seemed to make the threat stop in its tracks.
Then, Rand seemed to pop into existence. ”Rand! I’m happy to see you.” The wolf girl listened to Rand’s words and chose to simply breathe and fix her mind on the vision that the red haired man had painted for them. Right as she could feel Rand near enough to them, she pulled Aillil into a hug with her one arm and drew Rand into the embrace with the other.
Aillil closed his eyes and started to apologise to Lews over and over, until he felt Rand next to him through the bond. He also tried desperately to cling to the image Rand had mentioned, especially after it seemed to work right in front of him. Soon, the billowing storm was replaced with a refreshing breeze, and he felt himself being pulled into a hug before he threatened to collapse from sheer exhaustion. ”Lews, I am so, so sorry. I don’t feel I deserve it. The feelings you share with me so openly. That, mixed with me not being the best Dreamer likely caused this.”
Éirín felt a lump form in her throat. ”No, Aillil. I used to think like you until very recently, thanks to Rand here, Light-blinded, flaming, bloody arseling though he is, and, you do deserve what he feels for you, whether I’m a part of that feeling or not yet.”
Mink could tell by both his aura and hesitation that the Vagabond wasn't a regular drinker, if he drank at all. Still, he said whiskey, so they pulled out a pair of square whiskey tumblers. A single large sphere of ice clinked into each, so perfectly clear that they nearly disappeared when Mink smoothly filled the remaining space in each glass two-thirds full with golden drink.
"Here, the smoothest I've got. On the rocks, of course." They handed over one glass, then sat lightly on the bed. A sip and sigh later, they crossed their legs and leaned back on their free arm. "So..."
They trailed off for a moment, gathering their thoughts. When they spoke again, their voice began softer than before. "In that original timeline everyone I knew other than two of my cousins died when I was seven. We escaped on this very ship, and spent the next eight years learning to fight and surviving. Then we found our way to this time and stopped that from happening by killing Null now, before he could catch them off guard."
Their voice grew more confident as they went, though a touch of bitterness remained. "Zane and Hannah lost their memories when the timelines merged, but somehow I didn't. Maybe because of the fact I learned the time spell? I really don't know, but that's what happened to me."
Rand hugged both Ailill and Éirín tightly, relieved that the nightmare was fading without them getting fully drawn in. Love for both of them radiated through the bond strongly, along with pride at Éirín's words. "She's right, Ailill. Well, about it not being your fault and that you deserve it." Playful annoyance flowed into one of the bonds. "I'm just glad Lucia could reach me through whatever that interference was."
Lucia floated within her own mind for once, not understanding why. She remembered doing something, but exactly what eluded her. Glancing around showed the same platform, complete with her in the center surrounded by portraits. Conrí, Éirín, Ailill, and Rand had all been added to those, as well as a black-haired woman she could only hope was Tamara.
"So, you've finally pushed once too far, eh?"
The malicious humor in the voice filled Lucia with dread as she turned around to find the source, her own voice equal parts determination and hatred as she glared at the copy of herself, the only differences the crimson eyes and the cruel smirk. "Darkside."
Six characters, written by five alters... What could go wrong?
Nodding as Mink offered the drink, the Vagabond silently lingered on the cool sensation in his hand. For some reason, the cold was always refreshing. Something about its bitter heat soothed him. While Mink made themselves comfortable on the bed, the hooded man lifted the glass to his shrouded face, sniffing at it absent-mindedly. Lifting the glass to his lips, the Vagabond took a swig and immediately felt a nostalgic heat warming his gut. Oh—it has been a while.
Already he felt the warm sensation moving out from his stomach to his chest and neck. Mink’s voice broke him from his vacancy, causing the standing man to turn and gaze quietly. Eight years… Spending that much time…and even then there hadn’t really been an ideal solution. Is it better to just lose people, or have their places held? The question was one he was sure Mink had asked themselves before. Pondering silently, the man listened as they finished their story.
Leaning against the wall and sliding a hand into one of his many jacket pockets, the Vagabond swirled his cup absently. Clink! Clank! Snap! The ice jittered and crackled, filling the halting silence. Time magic…? He should know better than to be surprised at such things. But did such power really exist? If so, how easily was it obtained? Whatever the spell—clearly it didn’t let them reverse what happened… All magic had its subtle cons. Offering almost what you wanted—but not exactly what you needed.
Sighing a bit, the Vagabond gazed up towards the ceiling for a moment before raising his glass a bit in the air. ”To your family, and you.” He hoped it wasn’t inappropriate. He had seen others do similar things while drinking and wallowing. Somehow the words felt hollow. Do the dead ever rest easy? He thought of that place—someone had perished there…but who? Whoever they were, they certainly weren’t resting easy, the Vagabond was sure. Torn to bits…and devoured. Shuddering at the memory, the hooded man pressed the cold glass to his lips once more, gulping another swig of the whiskey.
What exactly Mink had gone through wasn’t something the Vagabond could relate to, nor help. Everyone went through their own personal hell, after all. ”Honestly though, the idea of ‘timelines merging’ is throwing me for a loop.” Sliding down against the wall, the Vagabond made himself comfortable in a sitting position on the floor. He was never one for modesty—making himself right at home. Not used to furniture or the like, he preferred the comfortable and familiar feeling of the floor. ”I don’t think I’d be able to grasp things such as ‘time spells’ and the like…”
From his shrouded gaze he peered at Mink—who despite their appearance had been through more than most would go through in a lifetime, if not several. ”Despite the hell in between—I’m glad you found them again.” What was it like, to have ‘family’? It was something he could only wonder, without having any memories or lingering emotions around such things.
Conrí: Okay. *cracks knuckles* I looked over things! I'm likely off to get tea and food, and then, I'll try to...y'know, be a decent student, lol.
Mar 7, 2019 17:12:26 GMT -5
Conrí: But, I'm so happy about all the new activity! Great job on such thoughtful characters, everyone! They will be fun to RP with.
Mar 7, 2019 17:13:25 GMT -5
Mega: *dances in celebration*
Mar 7, 2019 20:27:47 GMT -5
straxeragous: so, a while back Hood and i were on another kh rp site on devientart. and we may have sent this places link to our friends that we still keep in touch with so they can join.
Mar 8, 2019 0:52:56 GMT -5
Conrí: Awesome! Thanks, Hood and Strax!
Mar 8, 2019 10:32:04 GMT -5
Alma Taschner: Been a long while since I did stuff here. Currently considering the idea of coming back and making a new character.
Mar 19, 2019 0:32:43 GMT -5
Alma Taschner: I know I won't be using this old version of Alma if I do.
Mar 19, 2019 0:34:13 GMT -5