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Oct 28, 2021 10:16 AM
now earn your happy ending
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Yeah.

Gleam's still shaky, but... She can walk, even if hesitantly, and she's not actually still injured. 

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They're stopped at the threshold of the house. (They've never seen that expression on Micqui's face before.)

Her hands tighten, but - she doesn't seem to know what to say at first. (There's something scared, maybe, under the fierce determination.)

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"I've come to apologize."

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"Both of us."

"Are the twins okay?"

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She examines them, expression suspicious...

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And then her expression crumples a bit. Saddens.

"Yeah," she says. "Upset, but - I got them out before you guys even went full - terrifying avatars of war. Told Samira to sit on Layla, so - don't think they've snuck back."

She's still examining them, but - there's something yearning in her gaze. 

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"Thank you for protecting them."

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Nod.

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Family hug?

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...Yeah. Family hug.

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Family hug.

"I'm sorry for scaring you," she says to Micqui.

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"Just - don't do it again, okay?"

"I - I want Layla and Samira to be able to know the same parents I did."

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"Nothing more."

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Deep breath. "Okay."

"You guys - sit in the den, and I'll go let them know everything's okay?"

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She nods and lets Micqui detangle from the hug.

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And she heads back into the house; her footsteps vanish fairly fast.

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To the den for Elathea and Gleam.

"It has been a long time since I've been myself..."

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"...Yeah."

"I was - really surprised. That. You apologized."

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"I feel... different. Freer, somehow, or like a veil has been lifted."

"The way I have been treating you and the children, I-" She shakes her head. "It is not a series of decisions I endorse."

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She nods.

"...I don't feel like - my mind's clouded, or - like my reasoning has been. Just..."

"Right now I feel - empty? Just - remember when I said it was like my anger was a river, and - all the strategies I have to not lash out are levees? And sometimes there's storms or surges, but there's always a river - "

"It's like - all my emotions were these huge rivers, and every time they surged they'd get stronger, and they never went all the way back down, and now I'm looking at them, and - they're trickles."

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"Hm. It- must be related to the manipulation of Essence somehow..."

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"There's a thing lots of Lunars call Essence fever. The - emotional intensity using Essence gives you, and the way it can wash over your mind if you're pulling on it right. Lots of people like it, I've triggered it on purpose before, but - it is an - altered state. Mentally."

"Just - I mean, we're all kinda crazy? And just about all of us were kinda crazy before we took our Second Breaths. And Exalting makes everything bigger and grander. You're not just a good painter, you're the most amazing painter ever. Your songs make people weep. Your fights are enormous and shake the world. And - your emotions are bigger, too, and - that's something we always tell new Lunars. Everything's gonna be a lot for a while, but meditate and take some deep breaths and have some fun, and it'll chill out."

"But - I dunno. Most of us had always just - figured if it was supernatural, it was just that using Essence gets you this momentum. It's a big rush, and no one wants to just - change what they're doing when they get going like that. But I've always thought of it as a normal rush? Like, you can do that with drugs, or - just having enough fun. And - there's long term stuff. Really powerful Lunars are all super crazy, but... I - didn't think I was that crazy, so - I figured it was just. Powerful people not even trying to hold themselves back, like I used to not, and the ways it's addictive are just - the ways fun's always addictive."

"But sitting here with my emotions - not even empty, but small like they used to be... I feel actually insane for the first time in centuries."

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Hug.

"I don't like this."

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