||[Feb. 11th, 2005|05:21 pm]
Deranged minds connecting
OK. This is a reasonably ambitious thing to do, but hey. It'll give me more peace of mind, at least.|
"You dropped me down a hill? How can you possibly drop somebody down a hill?!"
Our two heroines just left a rather drunken type of party. Kriss is quite, quite drunk, Gwennie dear is stone cold sober and so not loving the situation. Kriss declares that she wants to "look at the pwetti shtarsch" and proceeds to stumble her way up to a hilltop. Gwen follows, muttering things like "never again" and "why? Why me?". Kriss falls. Gwen catches her. They fall. Tangle of arms and legs and elbows.
Again with the why-me's.
In danger of losing an eye and seriously reconsidering the whole friendship deal, pondering what that howl just now was, Gwen hears a voice, accepts the offer of a hand and is pulled to her feet. As she is about to thank her timely rescuer, she stops. And stares. (And if this was a script, it would say ENTER DARIEN about now.)
It's not just the long hair, or the stubble, or the fact that he's quite a bit older than either of them. It's not even the fact that he's gorgeous, in that woodsy way that's all the rage after the LotR movies.
It's the clothes; the tunic, the leather belt, the loose breeches, the shirt. It's the weapons; the dagger at his belt, the bow across the back, the sword at his hip. It's the capability he projects.
It's the fact that someone staged a live roleplay nearby, and she wasn't invited.
Here follows a conversation, mostly consisting of Darien being gentlemanly and confused, and Gwen being at first curious, then incredulous, then resigned. Muttering about addicts, she gets hold of Kriss and tells her it's time to go home.
Darien says, that might be a good idea, considering the banshee coming up the hill. More incredulity, more laughter, more point-and-mock, another howl, suddenly everything's not so amusing anymore. Somehow they end up believing him, and moments later they're all running for their lives. Kriss stumbles, falls, says something about not getting up yet, school's not for two hours. Darien does some heavy sighing and picks her up. Gwen's far ahead by now, running faster than she's ever done before. They follow, and slowly draws nearer. Another wail, closer now. A deer leaps into the path, and Darien jumps aside, his hold on Kriss getting lost in the prosess. She rolls down yet another hill, and Gwen runs back to them, calls to her, is she alright? She is, but there's no way she's getting back up.
Darien looks at Gwen and says, run. She shakes her head. Safer together. Run, he says again. I'll take care of your friend, I promise. But you need to get out of here.
Another wail, another shiver. She runs.
Darien makes his way to Kriss and glances backward, knowing that the banshee is going to go after them for sure.
It's headed straight in the path of one exhausted, defenseless girl without even the benefit of a weapon.
So, Gwen runs and runs, and she tastes blood in her mouth, and realises the banshee's after her. So she runs faster, but not for long. She's about ready to drop, she's not in shape, not made for this kind of thing. She's afraid, so afraid, but fear only keep you going for so long. And the things's wailing, it's getting to her. Why bother? It'll catch her anyway. But run, he said, run.
She stumbles. Falling badly, she feels blood running from her nose, and wonders what a banshee's wail really can do. Does it kill simply because it's so high-pitched? Does it break down the veins of blood or something? And it annoys her, that she'll die now and never know, never know what killed her.
And she can see it's face, and its skin is the colour of snow, lips bloodred, hair darker than anything she's ever seen, and the eyes...the eyes...
A flash of light, she imagines, somehow from within the thing. Then darkness.
In the morning, somewhere else, Kriss wakes up.
"Oh, you know, she's human. They think we're all gay."
"And whose fault might that be, hmm?"
Darien tells Kriss he lost her friend, some way or other, and that they'll search. Maybe she got away. Maybe. Kriss can't remember much, and certainly not what happened, which leads to a bit of confusion and some rather funny comments. He makes her eat something, despite the hangover, and leaves her to get some sleep. Later, as they travel through the woods, searching for the trail, for a body, anything, a group of other rangers join up with them. Obviously old friends of Darien, they look at Kriss with quite a bit of scepticism, mainly due to her being dressed up in Darien's old clothes, not to mention her odd way of behaviour, strange sense of propriety and unfamiliar dialect.
They end up deciding that they'll cut through part of the Forest Mir, infamous for being inhabited by dangerous creatures, because if they don't the journey is likely to take well over a month. It's not that dangerous in these parts, anyway, Darien assures Kriss. She's not entirely sure she believes him.
For the first week or so, everything goes well. Oh, the rangers insist on her cooking, and then throw dark glances in her direction when the food's burned, they keep pestering Darien with what exactly he's doing with a girl, in the middle of the wilderness, but overall she doesn't have any concerns beyond being saddlesore. Enter Miraen.
Nobody goes in these woods without protection and supplies, Darien told her earlier, but this girl claims to have taken a ride and gotten lost. Kriss is instantly suspicious. Instinct, maybe. The rangers all seem to warm to Miraen a little too quickly, and isn't she a bit too beautiful to be real? Hair so blue, skin so pale, an elegance beyond human. Darien scoffs at her objections. Honestly, what should they do, leave her there? Soon he's as besotted with the girl as the rest of them. And Kriss wonders, maybe she really is wrong, maybe it's just dislike.
When a party member is supposedly killed by a wild beast, in the company of none but Miraen, and then not a one of the rangers will go search for him, because Miraen wouldn't lie, never, it starts to get bad. Their party gets another addition; Miriam, a Tarien girl used to getting her own way. She agrees with Kriss that something's wrong, and has a couple theories, but neither of them voice their suspicions out loud. They don't travel any further for the next couple of days, because, the rangers explain, Miraen is very shocked and in need of peace and quiet.
The girls exchange glances. Miriam had to be right; this was a nymph they were dealing with.
Here follows a not-so-epic battle, ending with Miraen being mildly fried by a wave of wild magic from Kriss. The rangers are immediately free of the spell and horrified at what has happened. Kriss is injured, but doesn't talk much about it. She doesn't trust them much anymore. They couldn't even see that she was the very thing they were worried about, why would they be able to help? Besides, they appear as fascinated by Miriam as by Miraen. Why would they listen to her?
Meanwhile, Gwen wakes up. She's in a room like nothing she's ever seen, and she feels so weak, as if she hadn't eaten for a week. After a moment she remembers the banshee, and wonders what happened. But she's hungry, so hungry, so she doesn't think too much about anything after catching sight of the food on a table nearby. Someone's clad her in a frilly nightdress, which is a bit creepy but alright, food. She eats till her stomach groans, pats her belly and sits down for a bit. Where could she be? Her surroundings are beautiful and unsettling, but she notices one thing, everything seems to have been made for a taller person. Her nightdress brushes the floor, the bed is not quite in comfortable sitting height, the chair leaves her feet dangling an inch off the floor. Odd. She's tired, though, and sleepy, so she doesn't question anything anymore, and goes to sleep.
When she wakes up next, there's more food on that table, and she pads barefoot toward it absently, thinking that maybe giants live here and are fattening her up. Then she adds, to herself, that she doesn't really need it, but starts nibbling on a piece of cheese anyway. The gigantic door behind her opens, and she spins round. The person standing there, while clearly male, is so beautiful she wonders if she's dreaming, and clad in long, elegant robes, the like of which she's never seen. His eyes are so green they seem to glow, and his very slender frame is lithe and graceful. She understands now why everything seems made for taller people; he has to be almost one-ninety. He asks her, kindly, in a rather high-pitched voice that she could listen to all day, is she feeling alright? He talks slowly, as if not sure she'll understand. She starts to tell him, that yes, she's alright, but what is going on, where am I, and then she noticed something she hadn't before.
His ears are pointed.
She faints dead away.
Lorion eyes her curiously as she collapses on the floor, and tsks. Humans are frail things.
She does that the next time too, but this time she doesn't till she catches sight of Evarian, standing in the doorway. Lorion shoos him out and tells him to keep away from the poor girl till her health improved. He wonders how he is going to keep her safe for the next couple of weeks if she keeps doing this. Amrun and her whims.
The next time things go better. Lorion manages to keep her conscious long enough to assure her that yes, he's an elf, and yes, she's been saved from the banshee, which he believes is rather dead. He adds in that she'll be staying there untill he's sure she won't lapse into coma again. He decides not to mention her fainting spells, because obviously someone with that kind of disease knows how to deal with it themselves. He then makes her clothes.
Meanwhile, Kriss is making her way into the town, mildly delirious with fever and pain.
The moment Gwen manages to stand on her feet for more than five seconds at time, she goes exploring. She wanders the hallways and concludes that elves appear to have excellent taste; everything she sees has a feel of art noveau to it, and what could be more beautiful than art noveau? She studies carpets and gobelins and nearly cries at the paintings, listens to snatches of music from the street although that was definitely human, and otherwise revels in her quiet, aloof, serene world, far from everything she's ever known. She worries about Kriss, but thinks that the ranger, whoever he was, probably took care of her. He had seemed very serious about it. And the banshee had followed her, it was dead, nothing to worry about.
So she tells herself, anyway. And walks into the garden, trying to take in everything at once.
She walks slowly around, admiring every separate blossom as well as the composition; all colours seem to belong exactly where they are, and they're all so beautiful, so perfect. Then she catches sight of roses, and goes there, and suddenly she sees black ones. She stares. They're lovely. They have long, sharp thorns, and dew clinging to their petals, and this lovely purple-blue shade where the light is strongest. She reaches out a hand, instinctively, to touch them, to hold one, to feel as well as seeing and smelling.
Her hand is snatched the moment before it reaches the blossom, and the grip about her wrist is firm, neither gentle nor rough. A voice from behind her accompanies, it is authorative, and if musical still much the same as the hand; firm but not offensive. She is warned to stay away from the Airam, it is lethal to her kind.
She turns, and his grip on her hand lightens but is still present. Opening her mouth to ask who he is and what business he has denying her to touch a flower, and what this nonsense about poisonous roses is, she stops. He is a head taller than her, and she has to tilt her head backward to catch sight of anything but a neck and part of a chin. His eyes are so blue they made it hard to concentrate, and hir skin, though fair, has an outdoor tan. His hair is silver; not white, not grey, but silver whose shadows are blue, and it shines in the sun like some halo. His features are very sharp, she suspects his cheekbones could cut as well as any razor.
Gods, but he was handsome.
Not that a pretty face stopped her from upbraiding him. Thoroughly. If anything, it made her put more bite in it, because she doesn't like having to hope that he thinks her blush is from anger. He only raises his pretty eyebrows, smiles at her in the most infuriating way, and tells her that they are poisonous, if only to healers. The roses, not the eyebrows.
Here follows quite a bit of yeah, right. Healer. Her. Hah! He doesn't bother correcting her, introduces himself as Evarian. Lorion arrives and scolds her, doesn't she know to stay away from pretty things? Gwen blinks, Evarian stares a bit, Lorion has an innocent smile on his face.
Maybe a week or so later, Kriss and the rangers finally wander into town. She's sick and looking worse and worse, and Darien gets his gentleman on and announces that he's finding a healer. Misunderstandings follow. Finally getting across that Kriss is not pregnant, and scowling at the ones who suggested so, he goes off to find one. He runs into Lorion somewhere, and the elf agrees to go heal her. He asks Evarian to babysit Gwen meanwhile, he too agrees. Gwen scowls at them both and tells them that she can manage to sleep without help, thank you very much, then realises what she just said and blushes furiously. She goes to bed and sleeps there, Evarian spends his time reading a book or summat.
None we care about die; Evarian does a spectacular dive-and-roll and knocks Gwen out of the bed before the roofbeam falls down. (No, not like that. He heard it cracking. Mind out of the gutter, please.) They get out of town, Gwen in nothing but her frilly nightdress and socks. Evarian decides to be nice, sort of, and lends her his cloak. It doesn't help that much, but it sates his need for nobility. He declares that they'll be meeting Lorion out of town, and she, though muttering, goes with him. They run into dryads, Evarian does some fancy-nancy combining of fire and swords, oooh, chases them off, but burns his hands badly in the process.
Gwen is seriously freaked out, mostly due to the burning-flesh smell. Eeeew.
Anyway, they walk off, him being all butch and manly and pain-is-a-state-of-mind. She manages to convince him to at least soak his hands in a stream for a while, and he agrees. Ripping her frilly sleeves off, Gwen soaks them in the water to use as bandages. Evarian mutters about decency. She ignores him. As she wraps the things about his hands, she starts feeling odd. Five minutes later, she heals for the first time.