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Nov 19, 2018 2:33 PM
alteriverse!imrainai lands on atlantis!serg
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Well that's oddly relieving. Maybe he tired himself out after making all that.

She sort of wants to wait here for him, but she's really hungry, and the food is probably for her.

She heads outside and finds something to eat.

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The garden contains many eatable things! All of them are tasty.

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She doesn't bother testing for poison this time. Mathrael can criticize her life choices if she ever sees her again.

When she's full (and when she's filled one of the bottles with berries and dropped it off at her corner so that she doesn't have to do this again every time she wants to eat things), she returns to see whether Saikirei is any more awake.

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He's sitting on the floor and leaning back against the side of his chair, with his cloak pulled in close to his body.

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"Hi! I saw the trees!" she says, and then it is at once patently obvious to her that she could not possibly have gotten here without seeing the trees.

Oh well.

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He looks up, and then looks concerned.

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Oh no. He can tell. Aaaa.

"They're really good!"

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Conceeeeern.

Haltingly: "Imrainai afraid trees?"

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"No??"

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"Imrainai afraid trees," he concludes sadly.

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"I'm not!" she insists, and then she doesn't have any words for whatever it is she needs to explain. She couldn't explain it with her usual fifty thousand, and certainly can't do it with fifty, certainly not when she can barely remember which fifty she has, but this much is important, and - "Please don't take them away? Please?"

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He hugs his knees and sighs frustratedly. He has the look on his face that he gets when he's trying to say something and knows he is going to fail. Usually when that happens he just gives up, but—

"Imrainai... water," he says slowly. "Saikirei—" he puts his hand by the floor and makes a lifting-up gesture "—stone-water. Imrainai—" he holds out his hand and makes an in-gathering grasping gesture "—water."

Then, paralleling the first sequence: "Imrainai... food. Saikirei—" lifting-up gesture "—trees. Imrainai—" grasping gesture "—food."

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She understands this, and it's good, and it was so nice of him, and she wishes she could say that, but the only thing her brain will think about is the stupid, stupid silkworms, and she doesn't actually know what feeling goes with that thought, much less what she should be feeling about this, or what words she might express it with if she knew.

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She does not look sufficiently reassured.

He thinks hard, rubbing his face with one hand. (It trails small curls of shadow-smoke.)

Then he cups his hands together, and they fill with shadow-smoke, which recedes to reveal a little statue of a circle of grassy ground with a bush and a tree and a tiny stone fountain.

He gets up, and crosses the room—moving hesitantly, with an awkward half-successful effort at shrinking down to reduce his intimidating stature—and takes Imrainai's hands, and puts the statue in them, and closes them firmly around it.

"Imrainai trees."

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She cradles the statue for a moment, letting the weight of it settle in her hands, and then she bursts into tears.

This is quite possibly the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for her. As soon as she has the thought it's obvious that it is, but the statue makes it - OK, somehow, brings it back down to the scale of a gift and not a world, makes it something that can exist for her, not something that has to define the full scope of her existence.

She only lets herself cry for a second. One second, not two, before she's dropped the statue in her pocket and started hugging him.

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—!!!

He hugs her back, smiling like he can't believe a thing as nice as being hugged by Imrainai could possibly happen.

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Awww, he can smile! This is a really good thing for him to be able to do! She would probably be more obviously in favor of this if she were not still crying, though. Right now she's just going to cling for a bit.

"Thank you."

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Hug.

"Imrainai trees."

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Hug. Hug hug hug. She will just keep hugging him until she calms down, and then wipe her eyes and smile back awkwardly.

"'M sorry," she says, even though he won't understand it because she's aware that it doesn't actually logically follow from anything. "They're really good trees."

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He doesn't understand, no, but he smiles back.

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Oh man how do conversations move on after something like this.

"Um - Imrainai go see more trees? Saikirei see trees too?"

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He smiles and nods.

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Oh good! Then she takes his hand and attempts to lead him outside, where she will name things and declare them good with very genuine enthusiasm.

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He is so happy that she thinks the things are good!!!

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The things are really good!

Now that she doesn't have to worry about imminent starvation and dehydration (and given that she's pretty sure she can find a way to reliably dispose of waste by pushing it into the ocean), her most pressing concern is once again her lack of words. She redoubles her efforts to learn Saikirei's words for things. If she spends most of her time on it then she can pick up, what, fifty more words a day? Surely eventually she'll be able to communicate complex thoughts.

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