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Bright Lights

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276 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:18 pm

I continue to sit in silence for awhile, the sound of Ljuba's bath somehow comforting in the background. After exhausting my useless stressing, I finally sigh and pack the things up into a small box I'd gotten from the shop before putting it aside on the dresser. I'm not sure I'm welcome at the moment, but I knock lightly on the bathroom door before coming in anyway.

"Do you mind if I join you?"

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277 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:27 pm

"Mmm," I shrug as I wipe the water from my face, my fingers working the tangles from my hair as I shift to the back of the tub. I can't help but watch him curiously as I curl my legs to my front, absently wiping some dripping water from my eye as I shake my head. 

"Not at all," I respond softly, though I don't offer much more than that as I gesture to the empty end of the tub.

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278 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:45 pm

Undressing carefully, each article of clothing folded and sat aside neatly, I make a point to drag my hands over my arms to make sure there's still enough salve there for me to draw on before I climb into the tub across from her. Despite the stress from earlier, I don't mind her watching me as I wet my face and hair, dragging my fingers through it to lather in some soap.

"You haven't been outside of Skycrest since you left your family, have you?" I ask after looking her over for a moment. "How are you doing?"

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279 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:53 pm

My own fingers are busy twisting my hair over my shoulder as I watch him, though it feels course and messy in it's filth. I hadn't done much more than soak before he'd joined me. 

"It's weird," I confess softly, averting my gaze as I pull down a bottle of shampoo from the small shelf beside us, twisting the cap off as I shrug. "Last time I fled, it was because people already thought I was dead, and Skycrest was an easy place to get lost in.

"This, though?" I frown, setting the bottle back before I start working the shampoo into my hair, "I'd never seen the War before."

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280 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:38 pm

"You still haven't," I frown a little as I work the soap down into my beard. "Not really, anyway. What we saw earlier was someone like me trying to flee the Chantry. It doesn't happen often, but every once in awhile... well, who can tell what their reasoning is for fleeing. Most mages live a happy life within the Chantry; they're cared for by their Guardians, their gifts are guided to keep everyone safe, and they're protected - hell, sometimes even loved.

"But for people like me or those who got a bad Guardian or resent the restrictions, we wage our own silent war," I sigh as I settle back into the water. "But it's a losing one. One that rarely leaks beyond the Chantry's walls because, in all honesty, the Chantry is right... in a way. Magic is dangerous. It needs to be regulated and monitored and guided. Just not their way. Not in a way that turns frightened children into unfeeling, ungifted shells of humanity who can't even remember to eat because hunger and a will to survive have been stripped from them along with all other emotions.

"No," I frown as I tilt my head to dip the ends of my hair into the water so I can work the tangles out. "We've done fairly well about avoiding the really wartorn areas so far. But if this town is an indication, I'm going to venture a guess and say that that won't last long. I fear the Chantry has finally stepped up to join in all the fighting and grabbing at land and power. It's not entirely unexpected... these little villages out here used to be havens for those who had run that the Chantry didn't care enough to chase. Every other person you spoke to was a witch or something. I guess they finally got tired of the villages encouraging runners."

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281 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:18 pm

"So now we're hiding from Richard, and the Chantry..?" I frown, sighing heavily as I pull down a small cup so I can start rinsing the soap from my hair.

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282 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:33 pm

"As long as they don't recognize me and we don't cross into their official territory, then we're fine," I say with a slight frown. "But let's not worry about any of that, okay?"

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283 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:40 pm

"You were practically shaking in your boots in that shop," I frown sharply, getting the last of the soap out before setting the cup down. "Doesn't exactly make me think there's nothing to worry about with them..."

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284 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:49 pm

"I've been traumatized by them - repeatedly," I say, shaking my head as I scowl at her. "If you asked one of those 'doctors' in Skycrest, they'd tell you I had severe psychological damage from it. Regardless, something like that sticks with you, even when there is no real threat - and more often than not, there isn't. Most of these people are just people.

"Don't let my distress think for you," I press earnestly. "In fact, anything you can do to not let my stress and poor manners get to you would be... good. I just need some time to adjust to being back out here, that's all..."

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285 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:57 pm

"If you say we're safe, I trust you." I respond softly, frowning slightly at his initially defensive tone as I stretch my legs back into the steaming water, my legs tucking against his. "And you're right, I don't wanna worry about it tonight. I feel like it's been constant since-" I stop, shaking my head. "Since that hospital. 

"Not thinking about it all seems really inviting."

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286 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:48 pm

"I, uh, might be able to think of some things that may help in that endeavor," I say as I scoot closer to her, my hand going to find hers so I can press my palm against hers, our fingers winding together.

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287 Re: Bright Lights on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:57 pm

I can't muster a proper response as he takes my hand, my gaze watching as his fingers tangle in mine, my shoulders sagging halfheartedly. 

"I'm not stupid," I say hollowly, "I know it's not something you do, but-" I hesitate, my hand winding against his as I watch his skin react to my touch, "Can we just be close tonight..? I won't ask it of you again, but... Just tonight, could you do that for me?"

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288 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:05 am

"Ljuba," I frown, my shoulders deflating with a thick sigh. I don't say anything else as I twist around in the tub so I can slide in beside her, my arm going around her chest as we maneuver into a more comfortable position with her back resting against my front.

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289 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:24 am

We fall into a comfortable silence, Lavellan hugged against my back as the water licks against our skin with each subtle movement. My arms are smoothed over his, holding his close as I close my eyes against the bright light of the bathroom. After having spent much of the day (and last night) awake, it's hardly a surprised as I feel the threat of sleep come over me. 

It's the vague tickle of his beard that keeps me awake, the occasional brush of it against my temple threatening to bring a grin to my face as I nuzzle against him.

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290 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:36 am

There's something relaxing about the quiet intimacy we share, the water growing cold as we continue to relish one another's touch. Even then, it isn't until I can hear the beeping of my watch that I shift underneath her, coaxing her up to pull the plug.

"Let's go to bed," I say as I lean forward to place a kiss on her spine before I get up so I can get out of the tub. I offer a hand to Ljuba as she gets out before handing her a towel and grabbing one of my own. After drying off, I wander away from Ljuba for a moment to retrieve the salve from my bag.

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291 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:42 am

Stretching tiredly, I hold the towel around my front as I watch him wander off, rubbing at my eyes with a thick yawn. I was very near asleep when the alarm had sounded, and now I'm certain my head on a pillow is all I'll require. 

I trail behind him out of the bathroom, cutting off the light before pulling the towel up to dry my hair as I notice the slip of paper under the door. Curiosity piqued, I wander to it to pick it up, my brow pinching at the foreign words scrawled on the paper. 

"Can you make sense of this?" I as as I glance back at him, holding the paper up as I glance at the door warily.

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292 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:47 am

"The food is by the door," I say as I glance at the note without having to read it. "I ordered dinner earlier."

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293 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:50 am

"Oh," I nod, turning to set the note on the dresser before pulling the door open and peering out to ensure it's empty before stepping out - the towel hardly covering anything - to grab the tray of food. 

"So what'd you order?" I ask, looking at the tray's cover curiously as I kick the door shut and move to set it on the foot of the bed.

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294 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:53 am

"I don't know, food," I shrug as I put a generous layer of salve on my arms, neck, chest - basically anything I feel the need to cover to get me through the night without having to wake up excessively.

"It smells good, though, whatever it is," I admit as I finally toss the tin aside to come over and investigate the food with her.

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295 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:57 am

Giving him a tired look, I pull the cover off and peer down at the plates of roasted chicken and vegetables, small bowls of gravy and pieces of bread for each of us. It reminds me of the stuff I used to eat when I visited my grandmother's house, and it's oddly comforting as I dip my finger in the gravy to take a taste. 

"Mm, it's still warm." I grin as I look up at him, turning so I can pull on the slip so I'll have something to sleep in.

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296 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 am

I nod my approval as I spear a mouthful of vegetables onto a fork before dipping it in the gravy and taking a large bite. Pleased with the food, I glance at Ljuba before frowning slightly as I turn my gaze to my own bag. Sighing to myself, I go over to grab a pair of thin sleep pants and slip them on, more as a courtesy to Ljuba than anything else.

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297 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:18 am

With the slip pulled on, I hesitate for a moment as I pull it up to my nose and smell it. It smells old and dirty, something I don't exactly love given I'd just bathed for the first time since before the hospital. 

"Does this smell to you..?" I ask hesitantly, frowning as I walk up to him and hold the front towards him.

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298 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:34 am

"Yes," I frown slightly. "We could just sleep naked, if you prefer..."

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299 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:36 am

I drop the front of the slip as I sigh, more than aware he didn't even bother smelling it from his height before I shrug. 

"I don't mind if you don't," I say simply, shrugging the strings off of my shoulder and letting the slip fall before I turn to crawl onto the bed, eager to eat.

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300 Re: Bright Lights on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:04 am

"Not at all," I respond as I slip my pants off gratefully before crawling into bed. As we settle in to eat our food, my knee comes to rest against Ljuba's, the only bit of contact between us as we eat our dinner.

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