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The Failings of Time

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76 Re: The Failings of Time on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:02 am

"I thought it was old skin," I cringe, folding it back up and dropping it in the box. "Everything in this box is disgusting, and you're a really odd person."

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77 Re: The Failings of Time on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:04 am

"What can I say?" I shrug, offering a toothy smile that's meant to be creepy. "I couldn't touch people for years. I grew morbid and obsessed with collecting pieces of the things I couldn't touch."

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78 Re: The Failings of Time on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:06 am

"Of course," I sigh, unsure of just how seriously to take him as I pick up something else from the box. "Unless this is a baby tooth, this isn't yours either."

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79 Re: The Failings of Time on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:08 am

"I've had that box since I was five," I say a little roughly before I snap my fingers sharply, the lights in the room dying instantly. "Stop trying to guess, and use your magic! I don't need an expert in deductive reasoning, I need a weaver."

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80 Re: The Failings of Time on Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:35 am

"Really!?" I whine as the lights go out, the box dropping between my legs as the change startles me. I groan as I right it again, my fingers sifting through the items to try and make sense of them. 

"I can't see anything, imagined or real." I complain, pinching at the tuft of hair from the van as I wave it towards him pointlessly. "Is it the hair, then? My guess is-" I stop as I feel a fleck of something between my fingers, my attention pulled towards it as I'm forced to focus on the tease of understanding. 

It starts slowly, but I recognize the inside of Lavellan's Skycrest apartment. Shelves lined with jars of herbs, the inside of his pantry. I can't piece together why, though, am I seeing things from my own memories of Lavellan. 

Not, at least, until the connection is stronger with the small piece of him that that shifts. Seated on the floor of the the apartment, surrounded by mortar and pestles of crushed herbs and half strewn ingredients does it begin to make sense. He's making his salve. I recognize some of the items, the smell of it as he mixes it, the familiar look as he smooths it over his arm. 

I can feel the lurch in my gut as the memory shifts, his arm the focal point as the world around changes to something much darker. My own arm aches at the strength he's using to hold onto the man before him, his fingers digging into the arm of the stern looking man as he rips the lock of hair from his fingers with his other hand. The look of horror on the man's face as familiar black streaks seep through Lavellan's fingers and into him, it leaves me feeling sick as  I force myself to drop the hair in my hands to stop the memory from getting any further. 

"The hair's yours." I say softly.

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81 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:21 pm

"What did you see?" I ask, the shift in her tone convincing me she hadn't simply guessed. Snapping my fingers again, I roll onto my side and prop my head up in my hand as the lights come back on to illuminate her pale expression.

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82 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:32 pm

"You don't know..?" I ask softly, looking at him in confusion as I sit frozen in my spot.

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83 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:36 pm

"No..?" I ask hesitantly. "Am I supposed to?"

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84 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:49 pm

"No, I mean... I don't know. Usually when I do that, people know what I'm seeing, but..." I trail off, looking down at the hair as I pick it up and turn it over in my hands. Now it's a matter if figuring out what was the glimmer of emotion that sparked the magic to take hold.

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85 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:54 pm

I frown slightly as I watch her intently. She appears lost in thought, her eyes unfocused as she tries to see something only she can make out.

"Tell me what you're thinking," I push.

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86 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:04 pm

"I don't know," I respond sharply, more out of my own frustration than anything regarding his question. "I have no idea how I triggered that, it just happened." I admit with a sigh, dropping the hair again as I rub at my face tiredly.

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87 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:07 pm

"Would it help if I tell you the story behind it?" I ask as I pick the lock of hair up, letting it twirl around my fingers absently. "Or maybe I could show you?"

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88 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:10 pm

"I saw someone pulling it out and you grabbing them," I admit, still rubbing tiredly at my eyes before I sit up to look at him, rambling on. "And I saw you making your salve. What you hair has to do with that, I don't know... Maybe to establish it was you? Point of reference for myself? I've never needed those before, but I've also always known who I was reading... Maybe it was a subconscious guide, answering the question before I could ask it..."

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89 Re: The Failings of Time on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:59 pm

"I don't know," I frown as I look at the hair in confusion, trying to think of what could possibly link the two things together. "When I make the salve, I'm always sort of at peace but... excited? Like I'm about to hold the key to the world in my hand.

"As for this," I say hesitantly as I drag my nail across the pale gold strands of hair. "That was sort of a bittersweet day. I was sixteen, and I'd been caught using stuff like this to do magic. Nothing bad, mind you. Just little things - mostly keeping people away so I didn't have to worry about them touching me... so I could grieve in peace.

"But my new Guardian was angry," I frown. "Mathias, I think his name was. He hated magic, was abusive to those in his care. We yelled at each other for hours when he found the box under my bed, and when I tried to walk away from him, he grabbed me by the hair. He dragged me a block and half back to the Circle with me screaming and crying the entire way, convinced he'd fall over dead at any second.

"And then I yanked away from him so hard, it ripped my hair out. But when I looked back at him... he was fine! All I could do was just stand there in shock that he was okay. There was this strange sort of... elation. Like I'd just had an epiphany. He'd touched me, or at least part of me, and he'd lived. More than that, it hadn't left so much as a scratch on him.

"Until he started threatening to take my hair to the arch mages," I sigh. "Have them give me a dose of my own medicine. Have them make a little poppet of me that he could control and abuse as he saw fit. I'd never killed anyone on purpose before..."

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90 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:25 pm

"There's a connection between them, though," I frown as I look at the hair, my mind twisting over itself to try and piece the two memories together before I concede and look up at Lavellan. 

"I'm sorry," I say, "I was listening, I just can't fathom how that must've been, aside from the same hollow words people offer. Heart wrenching, terrifying, awful."

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91 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:36 pm

"It wasn't, though," I frown, shaking my head. "That was my first step toward having some semblance of control in my life. Toward accepting that death isn't always this awful, frightening thing. And I also found some small shred of hope in that moment, too.

"Up until then, the only person who'd ever lain a finger on me and lived to tell the tale was Sister Magdela. And then Mathias ripped my hair out. It wasn't pleasant, but if he hadn't done that, I'd have never thought to test my limitations more thoroughly. Because of his violence toward me, I was able to go on and have a relationship with someone - or some echo of a relationship, at least.

"It was-," I inhale sharply, trying to find the right word. "Humanizing."

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92 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:51 pm

Frowning, I tuck the items back into the box to set it aside before reaching forward to take the shred of hair from him. 

"Think that was it, then?" I ask as I twist a few pieces of the hair between my fingers, "Humanizing yourself? Both the realization and the culmination of that with your salve?" I ponder for a moment before looking back up at him with a grin, "Is that why you keep your hair so long?"

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93 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:53 pm

"So bastards like Mathias can rip it out?" I scoff, shaking my head. "I like having my hair pulled, but not that much."

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94 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:58 pm

"Mhm," I grin, twisting to lay sideways at the head of the bed so I can inspect the hair a bit more. 

"You must've been a sight to see with hair this color," I remark as I hold it up to the light, "Like a ghost."

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95 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:04 pm

"It was very difficult to blend in, yes," I nod in agreement as I reach over to feel the ends of the lock of hair. There's a tension in the pit of my stomach at being so close to her without my salve, but its a familiar kind of anxiety that's almost comforting - particularly when I pause to let my nails graze across the back of her hand, my eyes fixed on the pale lines they leave.

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96 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:09 pm

Sighing contently, I twist my head to watch his nails drag towards my wrist before glancing up at him. 

"So, tell me about Magdela." I practically chirp, smiling slightly at the peculiar tone before extending my hand towards him to return his hair. "Like, what'd she find funny? Or, her favorite thing to cook or read? I'm curious about this woman who got past your mean little shell."

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97 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:24 pm

"I don't know," I shrug as I roll onto my back with a sigh, my fingers still fidgeting with the lock of hair absently as I stare up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "Honestly, she was always laughing. At everything. The cats chasing the birds, the outrage of her peers over silly things... she said life is too short to be taken at all seriously. The things that twist our insides with dread and make us want to pull our hair out with stress just aren't worth the energy we give them.

"And she read so much, it's hard to say, honestly," I admit with a frown. "Though, she did like to read these stories to me... children's stories, but the other Sisters didn't like it because they were written by apostates - that's what they call people like you or me, witches who renounced the Chantry and the Circles. Sometimes they were perfectly innocent little stories, sometimes they were dark and frightening... but they always had a lesson to take away, and always one that applied to children with magic. Dangerous magic... I loved them, couldn't get enough of them. Especially the one about the bear and the travelers. She had this ridiculous stuffed bear she used when she read it, did these funny little voices.

"Honestly, I don't know that she had any business being a Sister," I sigh. "She was far too kind and forgiving for that order."

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98 Re: The Failings of Time on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:45 pm

"I'm glad you had her," I smile softly, twisting to find a more comfortable position before settling against the pillow. "How long ago was it, again?"

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99 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:03 am

"I was seven when I went to live with her," I respond a little evasively as I glance at her out of the corner of my eye. "Or were you fishing for how long ago that was?"

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100 Re: The Failings of Time on Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:13 am

"Was it that obvious?" I laugh.

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