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Oct 16, 2021 3:01 PM
it is the inevitable tendency of glowfic protagonists with repeatable interworld travel to go peal
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:He came to a movie but we didn't talk.: Instead she got jealous of Queen Carissa and injured her hand and then got scolded when she snuck out to fix it and now she's very embarrassed to be reminded of it.

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Ma'ar, not wanting to embarrass her any further, tries to push across a feeling of reassuring non-judgement and makes no comment. 

He feels like there are half a dozen unfinished thoughts just out of his reach, but he's also suddenly very very tired. 

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:We're getting close on time: she says after a bit.

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<Right, of course.> 

And he figures out, by following the Yeerk-body instincts, how to extract himself from Carissa's brain and slip out through her ear again. 

...It's weirdly a lot more unpleasant than before, being suddenly tiny and helpless with a very limited perception of his environment. This is especially odd because he isn't scared, right now. Just exhausted. 

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She sits down and holds him and dismisses the spell.

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He lies flopped in her arms, feeling - something hard to describe, it's not just tiredness, it's - sort of like he's just barely survived nearly-drowning and, now that it's over, his heart is still hammering but he's also suddenly devoid of any impetus to move, or form words. 

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Detect Thoughts has run out so she is not sure what's up with him but she hugs him and sits quietly and looks nervously for signs he wants her to do something different than this.

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He wants to convey to her that - well, he's not sure that he's okay, exactly, but he feels safe, right now, in her arms. It takes a minute or two before he's capable of forming words to actually tell her that, though. 

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" - that's good. I'm - that's what I was hoping for. I think."

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"Mmm. ...Just want you to hold me now. For a while." After a pause: "How are you feeling?" 

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"...a little confused? But - good, I think."

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"Good - m'glad..." Ma'ar closes his eyes. 

Maybe it's not even that he's tired, right now. Maybe it's just that for the first time in years if not ever, he's no longer trying to hold himself vigilant and ready to take on arbitrary threats, and it turns out that when he stops doing that, when he lets himself fully relax, he suddenly has no momentum left to do anything except rest. 

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Well. Hopefully there's not much of anything that can get to them out here.

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The fact that Ma'ar only got half of his usual two hours of sleep before the nightmare that woke him is catching up with him now, and he finds himself drowsing. This seems fine, everything seems fine right now, and so he doesn't fight it, and after a few minutes he actually falls asleep. 

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Carissa is PRETTY SURE this is not how romance is supposed to work but - it seems like he needs it. She is used to having to work while stuck in place; she can start her shirt-enchanting here, and keep half an eye on the instruments.

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Ma'ar dozes in her arms for about forty-five minutes. 

...And then wakes up, blinks, turns his head toward her and smiles. It's not a broader smile than is usual for him, exactly, but something seems different about it. 

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... that seems good? She's going to assume that is good.

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He yawns, stretches, and sits up, leaning in to kiss her cheek before settling back. "I need to check on the navigation." Some of his usual alert tension is back. 

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Carissa feels that ???romance??? should be LESS CONFUSING THAN THIS but she nods. 

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He spends a few minutes puttering around doing that, getting out the computer with the maps and comparing it against the magical ward-sensors. 

Then he turns back to her, smiling in a different way. Waits until it looks like she's interruptible. "The Void-ship should handle itself just fine for a bit. Are you busy?" 

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"I actually have weirdly little on my social calendar lately."

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"- Then I suppose I am lucky." 

Ma'ar sits down beside her again, looks at her for a moment, and then leans in to kiss her. 

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It's been about four weeks since Ma'ar and Carissa departed in the Void-ship, and so far they've heard no news. Which is exactly as expected, but still leaves Leareth feeling restless and impatient. 

There haven't been any spy reports with actually-new information in almost a fortnight. It seems likely that Asmodeus' indirect agents are still trying to learn more, and failing to get past the palace's precautions, and of course there isn't much new of interest for them. Leareth is, at this point, attending all of his commitments and catching up on routine work. 

The Andalite ships have arrived, ready in hyperspace, with the human Aroden in command, giving Leareth daily updates on the state of their various battle plans. Leareth isn't sure how long he can make them wait there before it becomes a problem, but he intends to stretch it out as long as possible - and maybe they won't ever have to fire their weapons at all... 

...

Leareth is in a meeting with some city representatives when the ward-alarm interrupts. 

He makes some excuse, his brain forgetting what it was as soon as it's said, and slips off into a side room to trace down the details of the alarm - 

- which he's just barely done at the point when the second alarm hits. 

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:Carissa. Ma'ar is in trouble - alarm went for an enchantment, then an unexpected change of location - come meet me now–: 

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She runs.

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