sonder winter 1710

when it all comes down

Ruel's Guard

from Saora
4 years old

He moved closer and at first she was too numb to realize. The medicine was wearing down, the aches in her bones and muscles lingered there before the threat of flames replaced the numbness. There was no worry, however, as she knew the doctor would be back to remedy it, and besides that her mind had her in such a trance that her pain seemed to be the least of her worries. The constant thought of being crippled frightened her. It was a life she was going to have to learn to live after being so use to the one she previously had.

who did this to you?

His questioned cause her amber gaze to rest on his face, and there seemed to be a slight peace when she looked at him. She could see the lack of sleep, the worry in his brow, the bags under his eyes. She could only imagined the nights he kept himself awake.

For her...

"I—I don't know their names," she admitted, though she could remember their faces so vividly. She stared in the faces of death, in the faces of two individuals who were ready to erase her from the earth in the name of who? Jacob? Adham? She could snort. "One wolf with a face of black and white, piercing blue, cold eyes." Onyxia was happy to have landed such a fatal blow to the woman's face, and the anger that bubbled within her only wished she made that woman blind. "The other was Russet, cream and white face, pink or red eyes? It's hard to remember." He was the one who nearly decapitated her hip.

Slowly her head rested back on the comfort of the bedding, a heavy sigh escaping her lips.

I am looking at you.

His admittance caused her head to pull from the fluffed pillows once more, and with him so close they shared only a hair's distance.

you didn't owe me your name, not then and not now. you were right to protect yourself from me. I—

An audit flicked as he trailed off in his apology and she hung on to every word. She could tell he felt bad, but mostly he blamed himself. She felt the pang of guilt, wanting to stop him, but she would let him finish before she offered him a soft smile. "Ruel," she scooted forward closer to him, though the pang of pain in her hip caused her to wince. "Give yourself some grace. It was my fault, putting my nose where it didn't belong. Your life is not my business, and you working hard for this life wasn't for me to make my own." Slowly she pressed her forehead into his own, her eyes closing as she inhaled a slow breath. "You spent every night with your eyes open to make sure mine would open again. This is just something I am going to have to live with because what's that saying?" The reality pained her, but if there was always one thing she was, it was realistic. "Curiosity killed the cat?" Her eyes would open to Halibut's meow.

"Except you Hali, you're a smart one."

code by claerie
01-24-2024, 01:51 PM


4 years old
Ink & Wine
Ruel Darcy
There was little that he could do with mere descriptions such as those but he noted them carefully, committing them to memory. Soldiers had a tendency of fighting together—there was the possibility that, if he saw them together, he could pinpoint their identities. And do what? The voice of logic nettled him and yet he shoved it aside. Such plans and aspirations of revenge were often foolish and such foolishness was what he took such pains to avoid. But Jewels—no, Onyxia—and returned to him so ragged that the thought of doing nothing was far more maddening than the distant threat of risk. "I will keep an eye out," he promised, knowing that he could offer her nothing more satisfactory in the moment. Given time however... no—it was best not to dwell on such things when satisfaction was so far out of reach.

And was it not his fault that she had thrown herself into this conflict? He could see her own guilt swimming within those amber eyes and yet it did nothing to overpower his own. He was no fool. When she'd first appeared within his home, he had seen a woman that longed—not for safety but for power. Not the kind of power in which she ruled but the kind of power in which she controlled her fate. She bettered the world in her vision, taking only enough so as to never question the fact that she was her own master. It had been an easy, calculated decision to offer her a job within his home, to give her wealth beyond her initial expectations.

In doing so, he knew that he had made himself an object of her affections. Not ardently; there was still hope for her to find someone else, especially now that she had the right to walk close to his circle. But not vapidly; she was far too loyal to give even more than a piece of her heart away superfluously. And he had done nothing to push her away. Even knowing that she would wield a sword and charge into conflict, even suspecting how radicalizable she was, he had done nothing to save her from herself. To stop her.

Now he was staring at a hip that could never recover. The whole of her health had been stolen away.

This was not the kind of price he had expected to pay. She even winced as she tried to come closer. His tooth pressed sharply into the skin of his cheek.

"...It was my fault, putting my nose where it didn't belong. Your life is not my business, and you working hard for this life wasn't for me to make my own..."
His ears folded back against his skull and he wordlessly shook his head. He stopped only when she pressed her brow to his, her touch surprisingly strong and encapsulating despite her injuries. Ruel gazed down at the ground, gaze softening as sorrow overruled his self-hatred.

It was not right for him to take away her agency either, to imagine that he could have orchestrated her life away from this fate. Yet it did not sit well to blame her for this either. Perhaps, then, it was easier to feel hatred for the crown and all that it stood for. This was a sorrow caused by the conqueror.

"Curiosity killed the cat?"

Her wry humor did earn a soft chuckle from him, especially when Halibut mewled. He hadn't even realized that she'd snuck in.

Leaning back slightly, he looked over his shoulder at the feline. Then, slowly, he gazed back at Onyxia. "I won't keep burdening you with my own guilt, but know that I cannot be wholly blameless." In this, he wouldn't fight her, but he wouldn't let her win either. "But I take your point." Pausing, he took a moment to think before rising to his paws.

"You were impeccably brave," he said at last, gently brushing his nose against her cheek in a lingering touch—before it was ripped away and he slipped out into the hall.

It had to be done before he overstepped with more.

- exit Ruel -

this table scrolls!
02-11-2024, 08:12 PM
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