This post has the following content warnings:
Jun 05, 2020 7:25 AM
Bruce Banner as Vanyel, from end of book 1 of "A Song for Two Voices"
Next Post »
+ Show First Post
Total: 996
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

The girl called Shavri is still there! Abras hadn’t realized because she wasn’t talking or monologue my (Shavri is new enough to Thoughtsensing to be paranoid about checking her shirked constantly, and she’s further away). “Queen’s Own Lancir, he’s in a lot of pain, can we give him something for it?”

Permalink

The quiet is nice, but the noise was something of a distraction from the pain. Abras tries pressing his hands against his head; that helps with headaches sometimes but it doesn't seem to do much now. "Why does it hurt?" he asks plaintively.

Permalink

“It’s a - this may be a bit confusing, lad. Did Savil ever talk to you about your potential Gifts? Whatever just happened out there, we don’t fully understand it, but they’re active now. The channels were sort of ripped open, though, they’re damaged and that’s why it hurts. We’ll try to help you out with that.”

Permalink

“I doubt willowbark will cut it,” a woman’s voice says dryly. “Shavri, dear, why don’t you pick up some poppy-syrup at the House of Healing and we’ll go from there? He looks miserable, poor thing.”

Permalink

"So I have Thoughtsensing now? And, I think I also have Empathy."

He's not sure how he feels about this; he dimly remembers magic being really interesting and exciting, but right now he just feels awful. He can't even manage to be scared of the prospect of getting addicted to painkillers; numbness and cravings would still be an improvement on pain and absence-of-Tylendel. And maybe the poppy syrup will knock him out again. That would be nice, he could skip some time to . . . something. There's probably some reason to be conscious and do things at some point. He just can't think what it is right now.

Permalink

“And some others. Try not to worry about it now, all right? Your body’s just been through a lot and you’re exhausted. Get some rest, try to sleep.”

And he pats Abras’ shoulder and says some words to the Healer about keeping him under shields and not leaving him alone, and then the other girl is back and they prop him up and make him drink a cup of broth before giving him a dose of bitter syrup.

It doesn’t, really, get rid of the pain, but it does eventually make him feel floaty and fuzzy and very drowsy, and it looks like they’re going to stop talking and leave him be for a while.

Permalink

Consciousness bad sleep good. Maybe this time he'll sleep until things are different.

Permalink

When he wakes up, the thing that’s different is, one, it’s light out (ow) and two, his sister is there. Lissa is sitting on the side of the bed stroking his hair. He can’t quite hear her thought-monologue, there’s...something in the way...but she feels exhausted and worried and scared.

“Abras? Are you awake?” Her voice cracks. “I heard - I’m sorry, I’m so sorry...”

Permalink

"Lissa . . . " His sister was never fully able to get between Abras and his father's total and justified disappointment, and she can't get between him and the holes that have been torn in his mind, but she's always tried and she's trying now. He leans toward her, trying to convey gratitude and reassurance, mostly projecting grief.

Permalink

"Hey, it's all right, I'm here – I came as fast as I could – I'm really sorry about everything..." Lissa pulls him into her arms and holds him tightly, rocking from side to side. "Lancir told me," she whispers in his ear. "About Tylendel. It's so horrible. I should've been there." 

Permalink

"No, then you would have died too--I can't lose anyone else--gods, I wish he had gone through the Gate and left me." He cries on his sister's shoulder for a while.

Permalink

"Hey, don't say that - I love you so much..." Lissa can hold him as long as he's willing to let her. 

Permalink

Eventually, though, there's an outside interruption. 

"Abras?" It's the grownup Healer again. "How are you feeling? It's finally stopped raining, so if you think you're up for walking outside, your Companion really, really would like to see you." 

Permalink

Companion. His Companion. He has a Companion? That can't be right; only Heralds have Companions (like Tylendel, who is DEAD). But if someone wants to see him (why? he's got to be awful company) then he will go do that. If he can figure out how to get out of bed. Possibly he is not at that level of competence.

Permalink

Gemma seems to take whatever facial expression he's making as a yes. "All right, then, let's get you up. Lissa, give me a hand?" 

Lissa does, and the two of them wrestle him up, without his being much involved in the process, until he's sort of sitting on the side of the bed with his legs dangling. "Good," Gemma says, and throws a robe over him and then an additional blanket over his shouldres. "Let's get you up – Lissa, on three? One, two, three..." They haul him onto his feet. 

Permalink

Walking is much harder than he remembers it being but at least it doesn't require him to think. He'll lean on the available arms and go where they steer him.

Permalink

It's weakly sunny outside and not too cold, and they steer him over to the bench in the garden and plop him down. There's a white mare waiting for him. Blue eyes looking right into his. 

:Abras, Chosen... It's so good to see you up: It's a woman's voice in his head again, and it stings a bit but not too badly. She noses at his hair. :I love you. I don't know how much of yesterday you remember?: 

Permalink

She's beautiful. There's no reason she should love him and he's not sure whether it's good that she does. He's supposed to love her, and he thinks he might, but feeling anything other than pain is dicey enough that he might be fooling himself there. He considers her question.

"I think I remember everything before--before the Gate. Then after that . . . I don't know what gaps are stuff I don't remember and what's stuff I wasn't there for."

Permalink

:It's all right, love. I know you're hurting; we're going to find a way to get you better and then we can handle the rest: She settles her head on his lap. :Mardic tried to take down the Gate because it was still draining you and would've killed you. Something went wrong, and – it tore open your potential Gifts. All of them. That's why you're hurting like this. And – I'm sorry I didn't come sooner. I wish...:

She trails off, and just pushes wordless love at him for a while. 

:We don't control when we hear our Call: she sends finally. :But... I heard mine, and I came as fast as I could, and I Chose you. I wasn't there before – I'm so sorry I couldn't stop what happened – but I'm here now, for whatever you need: A soft puff of air from her nostrils ruffles at his robe. :If what you need is just to sleep and get better, that's all right too: 

Permalink

He should say something to Mardic probably but figuring out what sounds very hard. 

The wordless love is nice. Kind of strange, but it isn't pain and it isn't 'Lendel-being-dead so it would probably win by default even if it wasn't nice in itself. He just sits there feeling it for a bit, then tries Mindspeaking back. :Thank you. I'm sorry I can't do . . . anything. The normal things.:

Permalink

:Please don't be: Blue eyes stare up at him. :You're badly hurt – your Gift-channels are burned raw. No one's expecting you to hop up and do anything, right now all you need to do is recover. Let us figure out the rest. We will figure it out, all right? I promise. We'll get you healed up. And then we can worry about other things: A pause. :I should stop talking to you, don't want to irritate your Mindspeech channels any more. Just... I'm really glad that you're alive and here with me. That's all I want right now:

She kneels in the grass in front of the bench and curls up and keeps her head on his lap. 

Permalink

She's so nice. He should figure out how to love her. He runs his fingers through her mane and lets his mind reassume its natural form of "variously unpleasant thought-fragments without a coherent narrative", now with bonus "nice soft Companion", until the next time someone wants him to do something.

Permalink

Gemma is the one who eventually nudges at his shoulder. "Abras, you're shivering a bit, I think we'd better get you inside now. Lissa, help me get him up again?" 

Permalink

Yfandes rises gracefully and backs away, the wash of clean, bright, affection-and-love that comes from her fading into the distance but not quite vanishing. 

Permalink

He says "Thank you" again, out loud this time, to Yfandes but also to Gemma and Lissa. Now that the cold has been pointed out it grabs enough of his awareness to support the idea of being brought back inside.

Total: 996
Posts Per Page: