When Worlds Fall

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Bright Lights

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226Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:52 am

"Only because you'd be some kind of moppy," I retort with a snort. "We'd all be too high to argue."

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227Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:54 am

"I'll have you know I haven't had any in like... a day." I say, the realization explaining a bit of the fatigue and aches as I shift uncomfortably. 

"Feels like longer, but, whatever."

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228Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:00 am

"We're not far from a supply point," I promise as I glance at her, my expression not betraying any concern, though my gaze looks her over for signs of withdrawals.

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229Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:04 am

"Good," I respond, "I'm starting to get that awful ache in my spine, and that always comes right before the inability to sleep."

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230Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:09 am

"We can't have that," I say seriously. "Much as I enjoy having someone to talk to while I'm driving, I can't sleep if someone else is awake. You have to sleep."

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231Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:10 am

"You slept just fine earlier," I argue slightly, cocking an eyebrow as I look over at him.

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232Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:14 am

"I was dead exhausted earlier," I point out as I glance back at her. "Stressing about getting out of Skycrest, about Richard catching up to us, about Fergus, and driving fast enough to make it to the supply point before I run out of salve. Really, pick a subject, and I'll tell you how distressing it is."

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233Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:15 am

"Sounds like my being awake didn't really bother you, then." I shrug in retort, looking back out the window.

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234Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:17 am

"If that were true, I wouldn't haven bothered waking up to put more salve on," I say simply as I watch the road. "Just in case."

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235Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:16 am

"In case of what?" I scoff, "Spontaneous cuddles?"

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236Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:25 am

I don't respond to that as I continue to watch the road quietly, no outward objection or invitation thereof written anywhere on my features.

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237Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:34 am

"That's what I thought," I laugh, shaking my head.

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238Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:42 am

I don't offer any further response as I glance over at her hesitantly, my gaze wandering down to the outline of curved legs inside too large, threadbared slacks. Sighing to myself, I fix my attention back on the road and reach over to turn the radio up; content not to let my exhaustion unleash all of the cats from the bag at once.

No, I think I've lain enough bare for her today. Besides, my fleeting thoughts and tired little day dreams won't mean anything if I run out of salve.

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239Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:10 pm

The silence that falls over us morphs from comfortable to something overbearing as I rest my head against the window, my hands in the pockets of the coat as they work over the paper of Marnin's note, or the bundle of herbs I'd taken from his sunroom. The gloves have since come off, my hands tucked safely into the pockets of the coat so I can feel what little pieces of that life in Skycrest remain. Even with Lavellan at my side, I feel hollow just imagining what world I'd left behind. Who's face I'll never get to see again. 

The herbs in my pocket have gone soft, and I pull them out just enough to peer down at them with a frown. They need to be laid out to dry properly, or they'll rot in that pocket. Besides, it gives me an excuse to crawl into the back of the van so I don't have to worry with Lavellan seeing me cry. He's hardly offered more than a stark frown since Marnin's death, and something about mourning in front of him seems wrong. 

Rising from my seat, I lean over to cup Lavellan's jaw in my hand, kissing his neck before he can object or question what it is I'm doing. I linger slightly, just slightly, before withdrawing into the rear of the van, settling into the corner behind his seat so I can lay out the items in my pockets, preparing myself to face the reality of the last few days.

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240Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:16 am

I leave Ljuba to her ritual, dazed for a moment or five over her unsolicited show of affection. I'm not sure how I feel about it - my stomach in knots with a pleasantness that's marred by inconsolable dread. Fortunately, since my time in Skycrest, I've become rather versed in ignoring the inconsolable dread; though, I haven't quite gotten over my residual ability to quickly snuff out the pleasant warmth that had tried to trick its way into finding a home inside my belly.

Instead, I focus on the road and the music coming in over a station I've long since had to magically augment to continue receiving signal as we leave behind all signs of civilization. Our drive is marred only by the distant sound of explosions, the bass of which vibrates the truck and draws Ljuba to my elbow with wide eyes as the horizon off to our right takes on the greenish hue of some kind of magical fire.

"It's fine," I respond dismissively to a question she hasn't yet asked. "They're over an hour away from us - at Ölüm Kapısı. Death's Gate, incidentally. As long as we don't interfere, we have nothing to worry ourselves with."

Ljuba only nods as she retreats back behind my seat, a quiet sigh of relief escaping me as I continue to glance toward the source of the light uncomfortably. Despite my reassurances, I pull my gloves back on and slick my hair back with fidgety, nervous hands. The lights continue to burst here and there, the source getting closer and closer as whoever it is setting them off makes it further and further past the gate. Silently, I find myself cheering them on, though I grow more restless the closer they get, until - eventually - they stop.

Off to the left, some five minutes later, we see them - more lights. But these ones are much, much closer. And silent. Small flares, some magical, some not, set off into the air to be carried up into the sky - a spectacle that will be much more vivid and persistent once the sun has gone down. And as we get closer to the next town, the sun dipping low over the horizon off to our left, this holds true - even after I've pulled the van up to a spot in the little village square where we're within walking distance to an inn as well as the supply shop across the street.

"You ready?" I ask as I glance back at Ljuba from around the seat, my hands going to pull my hair up even as I ask.

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241Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:23 am

"Hmm," I nod, ensuring my own gloves are on as I tuck my trinkets back into my pockets and crawl up into the front seat. The world here is much different than any I'd known before, as Skycrest and Reach's End were relatively untouched by the war stretching over this area of the globe. Everything seems to have a layer of dust over it, and the sky takes on peculiar hues even without the sound of explosions to explain them away. 

"Where are we going first?" I ask, trying not to sound unsettled by the thought of getting out of the fan, straightening my coat around my shoulders as I grab the scarf from earlier.

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242Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:27 am

"We'll get some clothes for you and some supplies first," I say as I dig in my pocket for the wads of cash there, taking care to sort out notes more at home in this region of the world. "Then we can get a room for the night, maybe grab a bite to eat."

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243Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:38 am

Exhaling heavily, I sit up and look out the window curiously, glancing towards him as he sorts the cash. 

"Separate rooms, right? I mean, you're nice and all-" I say with a teasing smirk.

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244Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:50 am

"Not a chance," I scoff as I tuck the money back in my pocket and then get out to open the door for her. Once she's out, I close it up and lock it. Tucking my hands in my pockets out of habit, I walk close to Ljuba as I lead the way through the plaza. We pass the supply spot a couple of times as I look around uncertainly.

"Hmm," I frown to myself as I continue looking down side alleys and in front of various other shops. "Usually they're out here... ah! Here," I gesture for Ljuba to stick close to me as I we start down an alley, only making eye contact with the vendor once we're closer. He's a little sketchy - nervous - considering his harmless wares.

"Ayrıldığı için teşekkür et?" he asks warily as I get close, my response coming fluidly despite how long I've been away from the area.

"Düşen alevi," I nod solemnly as I pull out a couple of notes from my pocket to hand him. "İki, lütfen."

The man works quickly as he tucks the bills in his jacket and then pulls out two very simple candles, nodding respectfully before he disappears down the alley with his head down as though we had just conducted some horribly illicit business. Frowning, I shake my head at his peculiar behavior as I turn to nod Ljuba back down the alley, carefully reaching over to tuck one of the candles into the pocket with her small collection of mementos from Marnin.

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245Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:55 am

Despite trying to wrack my brain for whatever slivers of language I could understand, I'm left clueless as Lavellan slips the candle into my pocket before guiding me back towards the road we'd come from. 

"Candles..?" I ask quietly, glancing up at him once we're far enough from the peculiar street vendor.

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246Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:04 am

"The vendors come out every time the lights happen," I respond, keeping my voice down instinctively. "They sell candles, flares, sparklers, firewood - anything to light a flame in the dark. Either to guide the Büyücü or Cadı, mage or witch, to safety... or to honor the fallen who died trying to escape to a better life... but it's not just for the ones who make the lights. It's for anyone who's ever been lost; anyone who's ever fallen in the darkness, never to get back up again."

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247Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:10 am

"But, then-" I start, dipping my hand into the pocket to grab the candle when my fingers brush over the metal bee. "Oh..." I sigh, nodding my understanding as I clear my throat and look towards the road.

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248Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:14 am

"Wait to light it," I say quietly as I look around the plaza with a frown. "This place used to be crawling with people when the lights came... the whole place would be lit up, cobbles to sky, you could scarcely tell what was a flare and what was a star. Now there's nothing... no one. It looks like a fucking ghost town."

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249Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:20 am

My hand closes around the candle in my pocket as I look around the dim square, nearly backing into Lavellan at the solemn nature of the quiet. 

"So what now?" I ask as I glance up at him.

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250Bright Lights - Page 10 Empty Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:22 am

"Let's get off the street," I say apprehensively as I nudge her toward the old supply shop.

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