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Private gloom and how it gets that way

Discussion in 'Threads of Time' started by Lift, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
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    Female
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    Human - Surgebinder
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    NOVEMBER 30, YEAR 7
    EARLY AFTERNOON
    @John Uskglass




    “Mistress?”

    The spren's voice was tentative, worried, as he grew along a branch until he was just above her head. She was still sitting on the same tree trunk she'd sank down onto when she'd first got here, her head bowed, black hair hanging in front of her face as she stared down at the dirt and twigs and leaves beneath her bare feet.

    When she ignored him, Wyndle came a little closer. She heard the rustling of his leaves as he dangled down from the branch in front of her, using a tendril to push aside locks of dark hair. It was rare that Wyndle ever took advantage of the fact that they could touch each other. The very idea of it had always been disturbing to him, so it was a surprise that almost drew her out of her trance as he gently pushed her hair aside, a couple of leaves brushing against her forehead, so that he could look at her face.

    “Lift?”

    She still didn't answer, only jerked back away from his vine so that her hair fell back in front of her eyes again. She didn't want even Wyndle seeing how her cheeks were blotchy and glistening from tears that she'd stopped bothering to wipe away, or how her eyes - still white and almost glowing from how bright they were after she had summoned Wyndle as a Shardblade - were rimmed in red. She felt angry with herself for being so upset, but angrier with Reaper for doing this to her in the first place. Every time she closed her bright white eyes, she could see him hanging from the rafter, swaying almost gently, peacefully. She wasn't sure the image would ever leave her.

    Something cool shoved against her hand. Her axehound puppy started whining, sticking his nose against her palm, the mandibles brushing against her skin. His antennae were flat out to the side, a sign of his distress at her own. She managed to move her hand enough to pet him half-heartedly on the top of the head. Storms, he was probably getting hungry.

    The first fat drops of rain that splattered onto her hand and the top of her head made her sigh, the first noise she'd made since leaving the cabin aside from her own crying. A distant rumble of thunder joined the rain. She would need to find shelter. As tame as she considered even these tropical storms, she only had the one change of clothes and she was not going to go back to the cabin, not as long as Reaper was there. He was the last thing she wanted to see.

    Silently, she pushed herself to her feet and began to move through the jungle further away from the cabin. She would go to the cliffs she had taken John to a few days earlier. There were several caves in the side of the rock that she would be able to take some kind of shelter in. She sniffed, her face a mess from all her crying. As she walked, Wyndle followed, trailing along the branches, and Taun trotted along close beside her. At least she still had them. A spren and an axehound... neither of them would ever hurt her the way Reaper had.


     
  2. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    A crack of thunder broke across the sky behind him, clouds like iron rolling through the sky, carried on a wind that whistled and cut through John's flesh with a salt-sea chill. He cast a glance back over his shoulder, towards the beach, before shaking his head and pushing on into the jungle. All hopes, he would come across lift at some point before reaching the place where she lived. Curious as he was about the man who had taken her in, the one who was training her and wore the owl mask, she did not want the two of them meeting for a reason, and John, that afternoon, was not in any particular rush to run head-first into an argument.

    The rain began to fall not long after he'd passed the tree line, and John sighed, his eyes rolling up towards the sky above. Drops of water spattered down onto his face, rolling down off of wide palm leaves. Shaking his head, he began moving on again, the pattering of rain against the forest canopy above growing louder with each passing second. Hopefully he would find Lift soon, and they could both find someplace drier to be together.

    He was not wandering long, looking for her. He did not even need to call for one of the islands birds and send them looking for Lift, he was able to spot her dark head of hair easily enough. But as he approached her there seemed something...off about the way she moved. Wounded was the first word to come to mid, though he could barely imagine any hurt that could be done too her, not one that lasted, at least. He had seen her watch as a foot she'd crushed against a stone re-built itself in a matter of moments. No, but this...

    John edged nearer to her, and saw that her cheeks were blotched red, and tear streaks ran down her face. John's stomach twisted, and he found himself moving out fro the underbrush that separated them to lift's side. He took his place beside her silently frowning as he looked over her. "What happened?" the first words out of his mouth.
     
  3. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

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    Another rumble of thunder sounded, closer this time, masking the sound of someone approaching. There were only a few seconds before the jungle lit up with a bright flash of lightning, the storm swiftly moving in overhead. The rain fell harder, though it was still no match for the highstorms she was used to. Lift continued walking, ignoring the droplets that hammered down from the canopy, and jumped a little when a taller figure suddenly appeared right next to her.

    For a moment, she thought Reaper had come after her, and opened her mouth to tell him that he was the last thing she wanted to see, and to go away, but when she turned her head just enough to see, bright white eyes seeming to glow with Stormlight in the gloom, she was surprised to find that it was John walking alongside her, frowning as his eyes took in the blotchy mess of her face.

    Great. Not that she was unhappy to see him, 'cause she didn't she'd ever be that, but she coulda thought of a great many situations she'd rather he saw her in than when she had been crying for ages. Crying was stupid. She didn't want him to see her being stupid and weak. She lifted her hands, used the heels of her palms to rub the tears from her cheeks, though she couldn't dry them, not in this weather.

    What happened, he asked. She snorted a little, because that was such a storming loaded question and she didn't even know what to say. She hadn't even spoken a word since she'd stormed out of the cabin. Taun, excited to see John, nosed at his hand, letting out a soft dual-toned trumpeting sound, antennae perking up a little.

    “Just realised what a storming idiot I've been,” Lift said quietly, another rumble of thunder swallowing the last word. She waited for it to pass, the flash of lightning coming faster now. She needed to get to one of those storming caves, though she s'posed it didn't really matter. She was already storming soaked. Damnation, these jungles were horrible. “Dunno why I even bothered sticking with him. Shoulda just storming left him to his bitterness.”


     
  4. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He took a sharp breath in as lift turned to him. Her eyes were white, bright and blazing as though they'd been made from lightning themselves, and for a moment anything that John might have said fled from his mind. What had happened? He'd never seen her like...this before. If he was hopping for the clarification that her usual bluntness might have brought him, however, he was sorely dissapointed. All that he could make out was that there was a 'he' involved.

    John's thoughts flicked back to the man in the owl mask. His stomach twisted, hands twitching at his sides, What did he do to you? The answer never came though.

    Instead John was left walking along beside Lift, only watched her and waiting for more, his head canting to the side, brows drawing together, eyes narrowing as thunder crashed and another crack of lightning broke across the sky. The wind began to pick up then, to a high-pitched whistling that whipped at his hair and clothing and made the trees above thrash like wild beasts caught in a net.

    John sighed, his gaze darting up towards the sky. This was not the place, nor the time to be having this conversation. Still, however... John shook his head, turning back to Lift. Feeling Taun nosing against his hand, he fond himself absently scratching the odd shrimp-dog behind an antennae, as though it were one of his own hounds from home. "We should get to shelter." He said, already offering lift a hand so that he could take her out of the storm. And then you can tell me what happened to you more properly...
     
  5. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
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    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    The storm built around them, the wind whipping Lift's black hair across her face, and tugging at her wet clothes, the branches flailing around and above them. She walked along as though she didn't even notice the storm that was starting to rage around them, the only sign that she was even affected by it being the occasional stumbling stagger as a particularly strong gust of wind pushed her off-balance.

    When John mentioned getting to shelter, she opened her mouth to point out that that was exactly where she was heading, but then she looked down and saw his hand extended toward her. She remembered the last time he'd offered his hand in the rain, when they'd been in the jungle one step and then somewhere else entirely in the next.

    She thought of Reaper, back in that cabin, wondering how he must feel with her gone. Maybe he was hurt. Maybe she'd upset him by going so abruptly. For a moment, she felt kinda guilty, before she stomped up and down on the feeling. She had nothing to feel guilty over. Storms, she coulda just left him hanging, but she hadn't. She'd got him down and she'd tried to fix him. She shoulda just left him up there. He'd probably have regenerated in the noose and then had a right proper struggle trying to get down, which would've been all his fault.

    Thinking of it made her get angry again, and she decided that wherever she was heading, she wanted to be far away from Reaper. Far, far away, as though distance could make her stop thinking about him so much. So, she looked around and gestured with her head for Wyndle to come closer. She wasn't gonna make the same mistake as last time. The spren zipped up to her, reaching across a heavily swaying branch and winding around her arm. Then, she turned her head again and reached out to take John's hand.


     
  6. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
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    Human (Magician)
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    Alignment:
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    John stood there waiting for her, as the wind rose to a wailing pitch, the branches of the trees and their broad leaves, snapping and shuddering around his head and the rain lashing through his clothes. He remembered the last time they'd been out in the rain, how it had been he who had upset her, his own stupid actions and pride, and how happy the both of them had been, how much relief he had felt after he and come back and made things right between them. How it had felt to take her away that night...

    He felt his stomach clench seeing her now, like this, and knowing that whatever had happened to her, it would not be so easily fixed as that. Much as he wished it were otherwise. A part of him just wished she would say something, but she only gestured behind herself -- for her spren he supposed, before turning back to him and taking his hand.

    John sighed, his eyes glancing over Lift for a final time, a frown tugging at his lips again, Before he shook his head. And then they were gone.

    He took her to the caves nearby the cliffs he'd done his searching in earlier. Taun lept around his feet as he glanced around the dark interior of the cavern. He slipped back from Lift, from the pale, rain-drenched light that crept in from the outside, and moved back into the shadows. Murmuring under his breath, he conjured that pale light into a softly glowing orb, that lit the darkened corners of the cave, before moving back to Lift's side and pulling her into his arms. "It is not exactly the most comfortable spot.." He murmured, as though in apology, "But I thought it would make it easier to get back when you were ready." He winced as soon as the words left his mouth, only realizing then what he's just said.
     
  7. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    446
    Gender:
    Female
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    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    When she took a step, they were in a cave, just like the ones she'd been heading towards in the first place. She knew they weren't far from where they'd just been, 'cause the storm was still raging outside, the wind howling through the entrance. It was kinda like the dream they had been in together when she had taken him to Roshar and shown him a highstorm. A lot weaker, but weird how that was kinda comforting.

    Taun was plainly excited to be somewhere new so quickly, wasting no time in leaping about and sniffing the rock. Wyndle unwound himself from her arm, transferring himself to the cave wall and pasting himself there in a splatter of vines that made no discernable shape. Lift paid no attention to the spren, and didn't really pay much attention to anything until John stepped closer to her and pulled her into his arms.

    For a split second, she thought about resisting, not wanting anyone's company when she felt so miserable. In a way, she 'specially didn't want his company. She didn't want him seeing her as weaker than he was, and he wouldn't cry like an idiot over someone being a selfish, stupid cremling. But it was hard to resist when the gentle pull from his arms promised warmth and something solid. She let him draw her against him, her face angled downward so he wouldn't see all the blotchy redness on her face. Her white eyes just stared down at the floor, seeing the image of Reaper hanging from that rope etched into the stone.

    She was silent for a few seconds when she heard John's words. She hadn't thought about when she would go back to the cabin. She'd not really thought about much beyond just getting away from Reaper. Storms, this cave wasn't far enough. “I ain't going back, not for a while,” she said quietly. “Maybe not at all. I dunno. Back there is the last place I wanna go right now.”


     
  8. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    She stared down at the earth as he held her against him. She was sopping wet from the rain, but then he was as well and so it didn't seam to matter as much, even despite the steaming body heat that seeped through their clothing. At his words she remained silent for what seemed to John too long a stretch of time. He held himself still, waiting, as the rain battered the stone of the caves walls and the waves crashed in an endless cascade outside.

    When she did speak, her voice sounded all wrong. Too quiet, reminding him too much of that time he'd found her with the body of the man she had been unable to heal. She wasn't going back, she said, returning to that cabin and the man inside it were the last things she wanted to do. John bit his tongue. He forced out a long breath past his lips, eyes shutting for a moment. What did he do to you? The first thought that crossed his mind. What should I do to him? The second.

    But he remained silent, only pulling her closer for a moment and absently brushing his fingers back through her hair. He couldn't say how long he stood like that, before he pulled back just enough to look her in the eyes -- he couldn't help but wonder in the moments before if they would still hold that same lightning-brightness -- and encourage her to sit with him as he sank down to he floor of the cave.

    "What did he do to you?" John asked her, attempting again to find out what it was that had hurt her so.
     
  9. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

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    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    She didn't like being so quiet. She was only this quiet when she was hurting, and she hated being given any reason to hurt. It just felt like recently she had been given more to make her miserable than she had to make her happy. Only a few things since arriving in Pandora had really made her happy deep down, no matter how generally positive she managed to appear most of the time. But then, wasn't like she wasn't used to being dealt a crappy hand in life.

    She normally tried to avoid being dealt them by people she liked and trusted, though. Mostly through just avoiding trusting people.

    Although Lift knew the questions would come eventually, she was glad that John took his time in asking and remained quiet for a while, the only sound the waves that crashed on the rocks somewhere below, and the wind whistling through the cave entrance. She closed her eyes as she leaned into him, partially to avoid seeing that image of Reaper hanging that still seemed carved into the stone floor and partially because the feel of John's fingers through her hair was more soothing in the moment than she might have expected.

    When he sat down, she joined him on the floor, far enough back from the entrance of the cave that the rock was still dry. She folded her legs beneath her, picking at the wet fabric of her trousers, not answering immediately when that question finally came.

    “Nothing,” she said, still in that quiet tone, staring down at her fingers as they plucked and picked at the cloth. “It's what he did to himself.” That didn't give much information, she knew. But how was she supposed to explain everything in a way that he wouldn't just get confused? “He... deliberately harmed himself to force me to heal him.”


     
    #9 Lift, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  10. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
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    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    He didn't say anything to that. His eyes widened, brows rising. He breath came in sharp edged and he glanced away, fingers twitching against the stone ground. But he didn't say anything. Her words were vague and he felt that she was not telling him the whole of it, but it was enough. To be forced to do magic? He did not even really understand it. What was there to gained from it, in the end? Harming oneself only to be healed again?

    John shook his head. His gaze flicked back up to watch Lift, picking and worrying at the wet cloth clinging around her legs. And she was still so quiet, still so unlike herself. To see her like this...his stomach twisted and he felt something hard and cold knot up in his chest. Even in what pale, struggling light there was it was clear to tell how much Lift was hurting. And John did not know what do do about it. If only to stop the small, mouse-like motions of her fingers, John reached out for her and wrapped his hand around hers.

    "Why?" He found himself asking. He took in a long breath and let it out again. He traced over the shape of her hand in his, thumb drifting over her knuckles and marking out the lines of shadow along her fingers. Glancing up he met Lift's gaze again. "You do not have to say. Not if it is too much..." H bit his lip and tried to begin again, "I do not understand though, and I only want..." I want to help you.
     
    Lift likes this.
  11. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

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    Female
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    He didn't understand. 'Course he didn't. It was way more complicated than she had made out, and she wasn't very good at explaining stuff. She sighed, keeping her gaze downcast and watching his thumb drift over her knuckles after he took her hand.

    “He ain't normal,” she said slowly. “He ain't technically alive, he says. Can't live properly, can't really die properly neither 'cause summat in his body fixes any damage, and not the same way mine does. He hates it.” She shrugged her shoulders, explaining it as best as she could 'cause she didn't really understand it herself. All she knew was that for all that she and Reaper looked like polar opposites yet similar at the same time when their powers activated - one with black smoke, the other with white mist - his stuff was nowhere near the same as her awesomeness.

    “I tried to fix him a while back, but I wasn't strong enough. He asked me to try again earlier, but he said he'd... he'd kill himself first, so my healing could maybe work before his body fixed the damage.” She paused, huffing out a poor kind of bitter laughter, still not looking at John. Just talking about it made her want to cry again. Stupid. “I said no, that I didn't want no part of that, 'cause I didn't wanna risk it going wrong and him actually dying. Eventually, I thought he'd accepted my answer. I went out with Taun, and when I went back...”

    Her voice caught in her throat, and she couldn't help the hot tears that rolled down her cold cheeks. “When I went back he was hanging from the rafter. I'd heard the table clatter but didn't know what it was 'til I saw. He'd been waiting for me, storming timing it so I'd be there quick enough to heal him. He was just... hanging there. Dead. I had to cut him down myself and I still couldn't fix him before he regenerated.” Her bottom lip trembled, tears flowing freely after having spoken about it all, before she growled under her breath, dashing them away with angry motions of her free hand. “I don't ever wanna see that again.”


     
  12. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
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    Male
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    Magician King
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    Silverwood
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    Human (Magician)
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    That bastard! As Lift's explanation sank in and the image of her walking in to find the man there, hanging from the rafters, dead and waiting for her, burned itself into his mind, those were the only words that came to John. He waited for her, wanting the first sight she saw upon entering the house to be his swinging corpse? He broke her trust like that? The selfish, treacherous, thrice-damned, bastard.

    Hot tears were rolling down lift's cheeks again, her lower lip trembling as she struggled to fight back tears. A low growl escaped her as she swatted them away. He was already regretting he'd asked. fo making her have to life through it all again, for getting those tears flowing... John turned away. She probably hated him seeing her like this as much as he hated to see it. Absently he dragged his free hand through his hair, fingers tangling at the ends. And he didn'tknow what he was supposed to do. If he could make any of this better he would but...how could he?

    in the end, he reached over, to pull her in closer to him. "Do you know where you are going to go?" He asked. Because she couldn't go back there. That atleast he understood now. Not after what she'd seen.
     
  13. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

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    Female
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    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    As they sat there on the cold rock floor of the cave, Taun came trotting over, flopping down onto his side and sticking his head onto Lift's lap, one glossy black eye staring up at her as he nosed at hers and John's conjoined hands. Running her free hand along the axehound's sleek, firm side, Lift fell back into silence, snuffling in her attempt to stem the tears that had started to flow all over again.

    John was just as silent, and she wondered what was going through his mind. Did he think Reaper sounded like a freak, like someone she shouldn't have ever got close to in the first place? Did he reckon she'd been selfish saying no to his request? She still wondered if that was the case. If she'd just say yes and prepared herself mentally for the sight of the hanging, it woulda been fine, aside from her not being able to fix him. She shoulda just said yes.

    The feel of John's arm around her, pulling her closer against him - not that there was much warmth to be had, when they were both cold and wet - broke her out of the vicious reverie of bitter thoughts of her own selfishness. Those thoughts were like old friends. She'd already had 'em for years over her mother.

    At John's question, she lifted her shoulders in another shrug. She hadn't really thought beyond the end of her storming nose. Definitely hadn't thought about tonight and where she would sleep. She knew she didn't wanna go back there though, not so quick. She just needed... storms, she needed a break. “Dunno,” she admitted, before she looked around at the cave, and the storm still raging outside, making the waves crash against the cliffs. “Staying here will do, I guess. It's dry, and I can find food easy enough.” She'd been doing that her whole life, after all. Living rough really wasn't a problem for her.


     
  14. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
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    Human (Magician)
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    "Here..." John's eyes roved over the cavern and it's hard, cold floor. A sharp click escaped the corner of his lips as he eyed the space around the entrance, darkened and slickened with creeping pools of water, and listened to the shrill keening of the wind outside. In Faerie he had slept in conditions near as bare, but at the least there were furs and skins to lie on, and the warmth of other bodies to keep him from freezing at night.

    John shook his head. "Not here." He said, before even truely thinking about it. The idea of having something to offer her, some concrete thing he could do and some direction in which to focus on, rather than flailing helplessly, of more concern to him than whatever Lift -- or her spren for that matter, considering his comments the last time they had met -- might make of that offer. "I can give you a bed, atleast, and you will be far warmer and drier for it."

    The young man sighed, leaning down to scratch at Taun's side and lapsing into silence once more. "He should not have done that to you." John finally murmured. He did not quite look up at Lift as he said the words, but there was something that shook just on the edges of them, a bitter anger that lurked there. But as John shut his eyes and released a long breath, flickering his gaze back up to lift again, there was no sign of it. "And you should not be left without a place to stay because of it."
     
  15. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    446
    Gender:
    Female
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    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    Her eyes flickered to him when he said that she shouldn't stay there in that cave. He seemed more bothered by the location than she was. She'd slept in caves before, when she'd travelled between cities, just like she'd slept in gutters in cities. She was used to sleeping anywhere when she could actually catch a wink anyways. She'd learned not to sleep too deeply on the streets. There were lots of bad people around, people who would mug a sleeping child for whatever they might have on them, or... worse.

    “I don't mind sleeping here,” she said quickly, when he suggested that she stay with him. “You don't hafta feel like you gotta make an offer, y'know.” And although she kinda liked the idea of going back with him and spending some time with him without worrying about getting back before Reaper thought she got murdered or summat, she also wasn't really sure she wanted to end up in John's debt, neither.

    She sighed a little, scratching at her cheeks where her tears had made 'em wet again, her eyes settled on Taun instead of John as he scratched at the axehound's side, making his back set of legs twitch happily, a high pitched hum resonating in his throat. “Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did too,” she mumbled, shrugging her shoulders. “Saying no when he needed me was selfish.”


     
  16. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
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    Human (Magician)
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    Atleast one of them was happy, John thought as he watched the pup's legs twitch,a high pitched humming --a sound that was strange to his ears and wholly unfit for the mood of the room as it stood -- vibrated from the axehound's throat.

    Lift spoke then, her voice little more than a mumble. Was there something in the way humans saw right and wrong that was the problem, or was it simply Lift who was so strange? This was the question leaving sticking burrs in his mind that that moment as John blinked at her, his brows drawing together. "What?" He asked her, and then, "No, no." He shook his head, sitting now upright, he rested a hand on her shoulder, and gently tilted her face up towards his. "He wanted to kill himself. He did not even know if it would work." John reminded her, and he did it anyway. He remembered the way she'd looked when he found her that night in the alley with the dead man, when she couldn't bring him back. She cared that much for a stranger's life, did she really think it selfish to not wish to risk loosing someone she considered a friend? And if she couldn't see the difference here, between someone who were harmed by chance and a man who might as well have thrown himself over the side of a building claiming angels would catch him...

    John sighed. "You were not the selfish one here."

    And with those words, he let his hands drop, falling back near her own and twinging his fingers with them. "And for the record, I am not asking you to stay with me out of obligation." He paused, and then amended, "Well. I am asking out of obligation, but then I would rather not earn your ire by taking you without your allowing it." He said the words as if his deciding to up and kidnap her were the most natural conclusion in the world to reach, and the clarification were nessicary.
     
  17. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    446
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    She didn't really wanna look at him, even when he tilted her face up to his. Not when her cheeks were so shiny and blotchy, her nose red and runny, her eyes bloodshot yet burning bright white in the gloom. He insisted that she'd done nothing wrong, that it was all Reaper's doing, that he was the cremling for killing himself anyway even though she'd said no.

    He was right, of course, but there was still summat that made her feel guilty. She saw herself as selfish, inherently so, and it wasn't the first time she'd just left someone what needed her. First time had been her mama when she was younger. She'd been sick, and little Lift had gone off to explore the city by herself, leaving her mother to steadily die. The only difference was that Lift had been able to do summat about Reaper. She'd been able to get him down, to at least try and fix him even though his body fixed the damage anyways. She'd never been able to save her mama. She'd just been a normal little girl.

    A selfish little girl. And now she was just a selfish girl in general, whatever John said.

    She let out a sigh as he threaded his fingers between hers, and she gave them a very slight squeeze, just to show she appreciated his words even if she didn't entirely believe 'em herself. His following comment was enough to make her finally actually look at him, white eyes meeting his, before she huffed out a bit of laughter. “Don't reckon Wyndle will put up with you taking me off somewhere without him again,” she pointed out, glancing over to where the spren remained, silent and unmoving, far enough along the cave wall that he was mostly hidden to shadow. The only sign he gave of even being there if she wasn't looking right at him was the noise of his leaves as the wind whistled through the caves and rustled them. She wondered just how bored he must have been. Could spren even get bored?

    Falling silent for a few moments, she dropped her eyes back to their entwined fingers, and the axehound with his head still in Lift's lap. The wind rushed through, shifting her heavy wet hair against her skin and making it feel even colder. “Okay,” she said finally, reaching a decision. “I think I'd rather have a bed to sleep on than a cave floor. And I bet it'd be better than the piece of crem I had to sleep on in that storming cabin, too.”


     
  18. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    She refused to look at him still. It was difficult to tell, eyes as pale as they were and still glowing in the shadowy gloom that clung thick to the air, but even as he tried to turn her head towards him she was still refusing to look at him. He could not blame her, of course. She was in a bad way, her cheeks and nose blotched red and shining sickly from whatever little light there was reflecting from her tears. She was vulnerable like this, showing more of herself than he would ever want to show anyone if their positions had been reversed. It was like baring your throat, or exposing your stomach to a pack of wild hounds. No, he could understand her not wanting to look at him perfectly.

    Still. It was not like he could leave her like this, refuse to look at her and try to...he didn't know, do something when she was so obviously struggling. In pain. She did not say anything to his words, only giving his hands a light squeeze in acknowledgement of them. He wanted to hold her then, he half wished it would solve everything, that he could take her in his arms and press her to his chest, that he could kiss her and make her smile again. As it was he was sopping wet himself and could barely warm her with a hug. It came as a relief when a laugh came from her, soft and breathy, huffed out as it was.

    He smirked, "Ah, no! No, I imagine he would not," John drawled, his eyes darting off to the wall where left look as he began addressing it, "And who should I like to anger less? I cannot think of any." Shaking his head, his eyes fell again and he turned back to watch lift. A silence descended once more over them both as John waited for her to speak.

    Finally, she agreed to stay with him. "Ah! She finally speaks sense!" John said, leaning down and laying a kiss against her temple. "If you are going to stay underground after all," and here John's eyes darted around the cave once more, "you might as well do so properly."
     
  19. Lift

    Lift The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    446
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    14
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good


    She kinda felt bad about not wanting him to look at her face when she was like this, as though she just didn't trust him enough to see her so vulnerable. It wasn't that at all, least not so far as she could figure out her own mind. She just... Storms, she didn't really know. She didn't like anyone seeing her vulnerable. Didn't matter who they were.

    His words, spoken to the patch of wall where Wyndle was splattered in a tangle of vines, made the spren rustle appreciatively. “I think I like him even more, mistress,” he said suddenly, actually sounding kinda pleased like John had paid him an actual serious compliment. She couldn't help a slight smile, the tiniest little twitch of her lips at her spren being dumb, before she started at the sudden gentle kiss that was laid against her temple.

    “I'll be happy just to get in some warmth,” she muttered, shivering as another gust of cold wind rushed into the cave. Then her face fell again, and she grimaced. “Dunno what the storms I'm gonna do about clothes. Didn't bring any others.” She huffed a sigh, running her fingers through her wet hair and squeezing her eyes shut. “Not sure I wanna go back there even to get summat to wear. Don't s'pose you have any spares in your big hole in the ground? Don't need to be nothing girly. Don't wear girly stuff anyways.”


     
  20. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

    Posts:
    614
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Magician King
    Location:
    Silverwood
    Race:
    Human (Magician)
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Lawful Neutral
    John eyed her for several moments, fingers absently tangling through the ends of his hair. A soft hum pressed past his lips and he shook his head. Lift was fair bit smaller than him, and would probably find herself drowning in any spare clothes he had to offer her. Chise might have had something if she were willing, and ever if she didn't , well, he was a magician. Theycould always figure something else out...

    "I can find you something..." He finally said, shrugging. Truth to tell, he was actual grateful for a more solid, more practical issue to sort through on his end. It was something to focus on rather than feeling next to useless in the face of emotions he was not even prepared to begin to help her sort through. Moving to his feet, he offered her a hand up. "In the meantime, perhaps we shall leave here and get you in front of a fire?"

    The wind was not blowing any warmer, after all, and each time it gusted through set Lift shivering.