Nov 14, 2018 6:40 PM
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"You're welcome. It'll take me a while to learn how, and you'll have to tell me where to aim it within the mortal world, but I should be able to do it. I don't really have any reason to lie to you. Why would I need to?"

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"I don't even know," Emma sighs. "It's just, um, hard to hope, any more."

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"How long did she have you?"

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"...um. I don't really know that either," Emma admits wearily. "Months? Maybe a year? I couldn't really keep track, and, um, the light thing didn't really help."

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"Yeah, this forest doesn't have a night cycle. Well. She's not literally the worst fairy who could have caught you..."

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Emma had, upon occasion, come up with Nightmare Scenarios, to try to remind herself that it could be worse. (It wasn't particularly effective.) All the same, she shivers violently at the picture that invokes. "Yeah..." she mumbles. "It- could have been worse."

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"At a guess River would be run-of-the mill. But I expect her agreement to hand you over to last at least long enough for me to learn to make a gate. Will you be okay if I leave you here for a few hours to fly out for books?"

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Emma looks around helplessly. River left her alone plenty of times, but she doesn't have orders here. She feels weirdly adrift. What does she do now?

"I, um. Is there something I should do?" she offers, bemused.
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"Do you want something to do so you aren't bored? You can read my books if you want. Or take a nap. I don't really have any chores lined up for you."

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"Oh, um, I was bored a lot, it's not a big deal. You don't have to amuse me. You rescued me."

She hopes. It's promising so far, at least.
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"Okay, well, you can read my books if you want. I don't recommend you leave the house. You probably won't be bothered." Promise picks up a bag that looks like it's made of a giant flower petal.

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Emma requires absolutely no convincing to stay in the house and avoid other fairies. "Um, okay, thanks," she manages to mumble. (Social niceties are not her strength right now.)

She stays put, for the most part. It's practically a habit now. She dusts everything, feeling that she should do something useful, and finding dusting the most likely "helpful and unlikely to disturb anything" of available activities. She skims the titles on the bookshelf when she gets to it; most of the titles look hopelessly obscure but she does briefly page through one that looks like fairy tales (hah).

Mostly, she just sits and hopes.
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Promise is back a few hours later with more books.

"Did you get hungry while I was out?" she inquires, unloading these onto her little table.
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Thinking, thinking. Normal, non-fairy-servant levels of hunger. "Um, only a little," she decides.

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"Okay, I'll get you a snack and start studying." Promise gets her some nuts and feeds them to her. They are soft and salty.

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Emma eats quietly and tries to stay out of the way. She was more curious, before. Now, it's more a sense of I should help, she rescued me that prompted her to say, "Um, can I... help, at all? With the gate thing?"

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"Humans can learn sorcery, but you aren't going to get up to speed enough to help with the gate before I finish learning how by myself."

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"Um. I could organize things? Your books? Or clean, or-" she won't suggest going outside to hunt for food, she doesn't want to ever leave until it's to go home, "cook, or something?"

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"If you want to, you can cook and clean. The books are organized, please don't rearrange them."

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"I can cook, or clean, if it-" would get me home faster, "-would help. I'm... only okay at it," she admits, "but I don't mind."

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"Like I said, you can. You don't have to. Oh, and I don't really have a bed for you, but you can put some spare pillows and a blanket on the floor."

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"Oh, um, that's fine, that's... I mean, that's better than River's still by a lot..." Emma hurries to assure her.

Not being forced to sit in a corner all night while you sleep will be an enormous improvement just by itself.
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"Okay. I don't know what time you've been keeping, go ahead and sleep whenever you're tired."

And Promise starts investigating the books she got.
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Emma sits quietly in the corner. She wasn't planning on it, per se- she's gotten out of the habit of planning things to do with her time- but she just. Wants to stay out of the way.

For all that, she's been running on adrenaline most of the day- and if she'd had the energy to think about it, fear-based adrenaline for most of her time with River as well- and she finds herself passing out in the corner without even really meaning to.
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When Emma wakes up she finds a blanket over her and a pillow tucked under her head, and Promise asleep up in the little bed-nook above the bookshelves.

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