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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 6
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 495 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1

The trip to Denocte had not been an easy one. Fiona had been injured, weak, in shock. But while within the walls of the Night Court she had started to heal. While it had been kind of their new queen, Isra, to give them refuge, the court of the moon and stars would never be her home. She would never grow to know its streets or its people. While she had been there, more than anything she had sought solace, a place to be on her own.

The trip back from Denocte had been easier. Her side had healed, though sometimes she still twinged at the memory of glass slicing through her skin and there would always be a faint scar there, cutting across the lavender and ivory sky of her skin. Her mind had been clearer, her body stronger, and she was glad to be home in her court of twilight, surrounded by those she knew and cared for.

It was true that she should not have gone alone, back to her house, for the first time. Perhaps she should have waited, asked another to join her, but perhaps her pride was a little too great. Or her self-preservation not great enough. Whatever the case, the Champion of Community found herself standing before her home, or what was left of it. Although much of the structure remained intact the walls were scoured with angry black burn marks, and within much was reduced to ash and half-destroyed rubble.

The furniture her father had built, worked most of his life creating, she wasn’t how much of it was salvageable. All of her books, years of sketches, exchanges, thoughts. They were nothing now, left to her memories for those she could remember. Her vision blurred with tears and her chest tightened as she stood in the middle of everything that had ever been hers and was now gone. Even when she left, breathing fast and feeling as though she were physically in pain, the truth follow, clinging to her in ashen streaks on her skin.

After some searching she'd found a notebook and a pen, but unlike the many she had kept in her home this one was empty. There were no flowers pressed between sheets of paper, no carefully scrawled pieces of conversations. No drawings but for a few sketches, started and then abandoned, half finished lines with no purpose. In the past, Fiona had always enjoyed starting a new notebook but now this felt as empty as the blank ivory pages.

At length she discovered herself within the citadel walls, wandering past the courtyard and into a quiet room. Hesitantly, and clinging to the book in her possession, Fiona lowered herself onto a cushion and then opening to one of the pages, she began to draw. Instead of thinking about what her subject should be, she allowed her mind to drift. As the pen scratched over the paper, slowly, an image started to come to life.


@Asterion




[Image: 13772706_D0f7QJjLtyXb1qw.png]
with the lovely
flowers in her hair



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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 372 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,335
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2

Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*

  He wonders if his heart has grown, to be able to hold so many conflicting feelings - surely it must have, for he cannot remember it being so full when he was only a boy with each day a new adventure.

Then there had been room for excitement, for hope, for just a touch of fear - but now, oh now, everything his gaze touches within Terrastella summons a roil of emotions. There is sadness, there is guilt, there is fierce pride and fiercer joy; most of all there is love, love like a sea for the court that has become his home. Maybe someday it would be enough to wash the rest of those feelings clean. For now, there are still too many scars, too many wounds not yet healed by summer sun or the flowers that bloomed on the mud-slick hills.

The king had been restless, had wandered the prairie and the cliffside and the swamp with Cirrus above him all through the long summer day. As the light thickened to gold then darkened to deep purple he at last turned toward the city, weary and dirty but with his mind, at least, quieter.

He parts from Cirrus at the wide wooden doors, promising to meet with her on the cliffside below the pale wedge of moon. The gull nips at his ear - a bird’s kiss - and then is gone, pale as a spirit in the deepening evening. Asterion watches her until she is gone beyond the curve of the castle, and then he steps inside.

The wandering mood still has a hold of him; with no destination in mind he walks the hallways of his keep, greeting those he meets, never settling. For a moment he is a wanderer again, but within his own walls; it is not until he steps by chance into a quiet room and finds Fiona that he at last stops.

At first he thinks he is alone; it is not until his ears catch the soft scrabble of the pencil, the softer sound of her breathing, that his gaze catches on her. For a moment he says nothing, only watches the Champion as she works at her drawing; he cannot see what she creates so instead reads the truths written on her skin in tear-tracks and ash, and feels his heart sink low as a stone.

But then he nickers, and crosses the room toward her until he stands above her. His gaze moves between the shapes on the page and the dusky purple of her skin (so like the sky outside). Gently he reaches out, touches his muzzle to the curve of her shoulder, closes his eyes at the dusty smell of ash.

Asterion does not ask if she is well; the answer is written on her skin, in her eyes. They weave pretty lies for each other, his friends and his court; he hasn’t the heart to hear them now. Instead he watches the pencil sweep across the paper in its dance, and says softly (as if afraid to disturb the peace of the room), “Did someone teach you how to draw, when you first began? None of the sketches I’ve seen in the markets are half so lovely as yours.”




@Fiona <3







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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 6
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 495 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#3

Fiona startles at the sound of Asterion’s nicker, too buried beneath the sensation of her pen moving across the paper. Too buried beneath the smell of ash and smoke, as it clung desperately to her skin, drowning her. Her lashes flutter and she drops the pen, losing her grasp on it as it rolls down the page and onto the floor. The sound of it is like a bullet, too loud and booming and ricocheting off the stone. She doesn’t look up, even as he stands over her, even as he reaches out and gently touches her shoulder. She is afraid that if she looks up and meets his eyes she will wish she could speak and she cannot wish that she could speak.

She cannot wish for things that are not meant to be hers, because they will just be like wind through her fingers. Unable to take a hold of them.

For a moment there is nothing but silence between them, and then she looks down at the picture on the page and it steals her breath away. The bottom half of the picture is comprised of sharp, straight lines, hard and heavy. Near the top those same lines clash against wild lines of curves and cuts and waves, sprawling, consuming. It is a house, with fire lashing across the roof, claiming everything in its path. It is not her house, the details are wrong, but the image itself sits heavily on her heart.

When Asterion asks his question she gladly turns the page, pushing away the drawing. Pushing away the truth, the ache, the pain. With shaking hands, she grasps at her pen again. Her scrawling penmanship is not as neat as it should be, not as soft and flowing. It says, No, but my father gave me my first set of art supplies. There is a fleeting, wistful smile to her face, fading away with thoughts of burned furniture and memories. He thought I needed to do something else with my time other than study.


@Asterion




[Image: 13772706_D0f7QJjLtyXb1qw.png]
with the lovely
flowers in her hair



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Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 372 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,335
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#4

Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*

  At once he regrets the word, lovely - while each individual line and the image they conspire to create might be so, as the full image takes shape it is clear it is anything but.

I could have put that fire out, if only I were there, he thinks, and tonight there is no Cirrus to rebuke him, to stir his thoughts away from where they carve down and down into the bedrock of his heart. Oh, he must be in love with guilt, he must long to play the martyr - but he thinks of what Eik had asked him, about the responsibility that came with power.

What good had his done? What use, when it lessened no suffering? He can feel his magic churning in him now, a Charybdis fed on his sorrow and shame, and if he is not careful he knows his body will begin to weep like Niobe.

Instead he only sighs as she turns the page.

It feels strange, to watch her as she writes - like spying on someone’s thoughts half-formed. And so he turns his attention to the room, soft and cozy in the dwindling light, and on the window outside, where the sky is quiet and bruised with dusk. Only when her pen falls silent does he look back and read.

And smile, too, though his heart pangs at the word father. What might his have taught him, if the man had stayed to see him born? No studying, surely, and no art - until Novus he was a feral thing, a creature of nature in a world with no buildings, no roads, no art but what the earth made and magic wrought. He cannot quite miss that world, not now, not when he wonders what voice Fiona might have had there, with no pen and paper to make clear her words.

“He sounds a wise man,” Asterion says, and the curve of his own lips surprises him with its sincerity. “And what did you study? All my mother had us learn was the pattern of weather as it swept in over the ocean, and the wonder of the stars, and to dream.” The bay might have said more, but he closes his teeth on the words, almost abruptly; all that dreaming and dreaming, and where had it gotten Aridela? For all he knows she is still alone on her beach, happy perhaps, building a world of wishes. As for his twin, oh - dreaming had done nothing for her but show her all the things she could never reach.

And he, in all his years of telling stories to himself, had never once dreamed himself a king.




@Fiona <3







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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 6
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 495 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5


He was, she thinks, at Asterion’s words. Her father. He had been kind, intelligent, hard working. Strong. Even when her mother had left them he'd been strong. They had only ever had each other, but they were happy. He had only ever done his best to teach her and love her. It was his love that made her who she is today, his love that reminds her to be open and understanding and warm and oh, though the sting of having lost him never seems to fully go away she can remember him and smile and laugh, like she knows he would want her to do.

But this new loss, of everything he'd made and filled their home with, it makes the pain stronger. It makes her miss him more than ever, for a home without any of his left behind treasures could not be a home at all. Fiona listens to Asterion speak but she is not completely there, staring down at the blank pages in front of her with poorly scrawled words drifting across them. She had never missed her mother. All she remembers of the woman is her displeasure at Fiona being unable to speak, that that is what made her left. Oh, what would it have been, to be the perfect child her mother wanted?

She has never hated her inability to speak until these recent events. Is that her mother's influence finally rearing its head? Making her feel weak, useless. Helpless.

At some point Fiona realizes Asterion has finished talking, silence having fallen over them again. She blinks a few times, her cheeks warming in sheepishness. Careless of her, to be so involved in her own thoughts and sorrows that she does not pay attention to the ones who mean so much to her. She frowns, then, and puts her pen once more to paper. She draws out more words, strangled and unsteady. Everything, the words say, and what use had it been, then. It had not saved her home, had not protected her. Life, plants, animals, she continues, it is what made me interested in healing. Plants can be used for so many wonderful things.

They can soothe coughs, prevent infection, ease fevers, aches, pains. They can help with nausea, improve your immune system, calm a frantic mind and heart. But they cannot put out a fire, they cannot repair a broken heart nor return what has been lost. Fiona is filled with sorrowful bitterness, because she has spent her whole life learning and yet here she lays, smoke stained and tearful, without a place to lay her head and call her own. Without her years of drawings, sketches, memories. It is an emptiness inside her, acute and growing. She doesn't realize she's writing until the words are formed on the page, What will I do?



@Asterion




[Image: 13772706_D0f7QJjLtyXb1qw.png]
with the lovely
flowers in her hair



Reply




Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 372 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,335
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#6

Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*

 

It is difficult to know whether she wants him there at all. He reads what he can from the curve of her shoulder, the bow of her head; he cannot see her eyes, from here, cast down as they are, but it is not hard to envision them limned in wet silver.

Her hurts are nothing he can fix. Perhaps Florentine could, with her time-eating dagger; perhaps, if he asked her, she could go back and back, unstitching the seams of the world until it was the morning of the meeting on the summit. And this time they would not go.

Oh, but what then? Gods made more vengeful by disobedience than obedience? It is hard to imagine. Yet it is tempting, too, the thought that they might stand together, and fight, and play no games of gophers and rain -

The scratch of her pen on paper draws him back. “I would like to learn some of those things,” he says idly, as the mourning doves call in the plum-colored night.

Asterion has no answer for the next thing she writes.

It makes him feel stricken, the way he is a king and yet has nothing to offer her. He studies the paper, not the words but the flames, leaping and dark-drawn and devouring the page. His heart feels like an empty well, fallen down and down where the water is dark and cool and still.

“Rebuild,” he says softly. What other answer is there for any of them? “And heal, with time. And eventually…” He trails off, shifts until he’s not standing behind her looking over her shoulder but is beside her, instead, so they can look at one another. See me, he thinks, see our home.  

“Eventually you will feel whole again, and stronger than you ever were, for having learned how much you can survive.”

It is not only Fiona he is answering, though his gaze never leaves hers.

Until at last, of course, it does - straying again across the room, soft pillows and gentle curtains, and to the window where a summer night is coming alive with fireflies, with stars. Maybe this is why he smiles then, though it’s as soft and small a thing as the room they are in. “If you need a place to stay, in the meantime, you’re welcome to my rooms. I always prefer to be outside, this time of year.”


@Fiona







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Played by Offline Katherine [PM] Posts: 42 — Threads: 6
Signos: 0
Dusk Court Champion of Community
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 8 [Year 495 Fall] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 19 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7

Fiona,
Her lavender eyes fall upon those scrawled words on the page, and the writing is hers but it looks so foreign. It does not remind her of pleasant conversations recorded neatly on paper in books with spines made as soft as a flower’s petal from weeks of use. The words cannot possibly be hers, for she has never felt so desperate, so helpless, and yet the tear tracks that have carved their way through soot and dirt smeared on cheeks say otherwise.

Asterion’s words fall upon the floor like raindrops and she thinks of all the knowledge she had once stored in such books as this one. How empty this one feels in comparison. Years of research and learning of flowers and plants and their properties. She could have given him any one of her books to learn from, and now? Oh, of course she knows it all by heart anyway, but it is the knowing that she can never go back and remind herself of whether this rare plant that only grows on the peaks of Veneror helps with cough or with restlessness.

When Asterion moves beside her, Fiona at last turns her gaze to his. Already she can feel the flood pounding at the gates of her chest. Her heart skids, crashing, and the dam, oh how it aches and groans under the weight. The only release from the building grief inside her is the moment he looks away, and she has nothing to say. No answer to give. She cannot find it in herself to say that he is right because her heart wants to cry that nothing will ever be alright.

Fiona looks at Asterion and sees a man who, perhaps, did not necessarily want to be King, for she can sense the weight he carries on his shoulders much like the weight that sits oppressively over her, leaving her heart racing and her lungs short of breath. But, in this time the court could ask for nobody better to care for and to love it than he. She can see it in the fleeting, soft smile he gets just before he speaks, and the way he watches the fireflies outside the window. Her spirit still mourns, but his gentle concern is a salve at the least.

She turns back to the notebook once more, and she grasps the pen more carefully than before, and she writes. Perhaps, she begins, one day I can show you some of those things you wish to learn. Fiona thinks it is the least she could do, for the ways in which he has opened his heart to their court, and to her. She breathes in, a slow, shuddering breath, but releases it with more composure. Though there is a tiredness to her eyes, a wilting to her shoulders like a flower in need of care.

If you’ll excuse me, I think I would like to get cleaned up, and the haunting shadow in her eyes is, perhaps, a litte less solid when she looks at him again. She stands slowly, and although she cannot quite cover the quivering still in her legs, it is not as powerful as it had been when she’d been running through the streets, away from all the remains of the things she treasured in her home. When she presses her muzzle to his shoulder she knows there’s no words necessary to show him what she is thinking. It is a warm feeling she leaves him with when she exist the small room. One that says simply, thank you.

Writing.

be kind.
credits


@Asterion thank you for this thread <3




[Image: 13772706_D0f7QJjLtyXb1qw.png]
with the lovely
flowers in her hair



Reply




Played by Offline Griffin [PM] Posts: 372 — Threads: 37
Signos: 2,335
Dusk Court Sovereign
Male [He/Him/His] // 7 [Year 496 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 52 — Atk: 48 — Exp: 91 // Active Magic: Water Manipulation // Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#8

Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*

 

She says nothing in return to his faint words of hope; maybe he should have expected that.

Still sorrow tightens his throat when she looks away again, when he thinks of all the words and drawings she has lost that nothing he says can fill up again. But as her pen makes its soothing music against the paper he thinks, unbidden, of Pan - little lost boy, sea-green shadows below his eyes, afraid and uncertain on the cliff. Asterion thinks of the book the boy had shown him, rough sketches of herbs and their properties, and his quest to find others in Tinea.

Maybe, with the right help, there would be books again, and houses, and gardens spilling over with flowers like a rainbow river swollen over its banks.

It is this thought he comforts himself with when he scans her words again, and his smile widens into something less like a reflection of itself. “I would be honored, and do my best to be an apt pupil,” he says, and his soft laugh stirs the page. But at her next words he only nods, and steps away to give her room to rise.

When her nose touches his shoulder he bends his head toward hers like a bough, and touches his mouth to her cheek. Just a ghost of a touch, a breath, and then they are curling away from one another again like flower petals folding on themselves for the night.

But her touch - and with it her thanks - lingers with him for a long time after her footsteps have passed from the hall, after the smell of ash has drifted from the air in favor of sweeter smoke.

Asterion does not pray, but he hopes, and what he hopes tonight is this: that one day he might be able to give his people more than a balm for their wounds and more than a word for their sorrows. But not tonight; tonight there is only to rest, and it is his weariness he eventually succumbs to, tucked in cushions beneath a window with the bruised night brushing plum-colored against the glass.


@Fiona same to you - so quiet and lovely <3







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