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Random Intermission story

Posted by Anke 
Random Intermission story
September 22, 2012 03:24PM
Sylvie took even, deep breaths, trying to focus on the problem at hand. Her fingers moved occasionally while she imagined the spell she would have to keep up. The voices presenting future problems grew quiet, apart from one: The implied question Nico had just brought up wanted an answer.

Close enough.

She elbowed Sebastian gently. "Are you still up for holding the other end of my line?"
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September 22, 2012 03:25PM
He opened his eyes. "Quite so."
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September 22, 2012 03:34PM
"All right." After a look at Nico, who seemed to be just waiting, watching them, she continued, "Give me your hand." She couldn't change anything about the way the spell attached, but maybe the back of his wrist, just above the hem of his glove, would be less bothersome. "There. Does that work?"
Random Intermission story
September 22, 2012 03:36PM
The tingling returned, but, all told, it felt better there. Flexing his wrist and fingers, Sebastian nodded and looked determinedly at the terrain. "Perfectly. I can feel it. Where do you want me to go, love, or should I decide?"
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September 22, 2012 03:41PM
"You shouldn't go past the top of the hill, because the line would go through it and not over the ground. Keep in mind that it'll be straight between us, all in all."
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September 22, 2012 03:44PM
"Hmm." He thought about that for a while, leaned into kiss her cheek and then stretched. "Lines, then."

A shrug later he started to walk briskly -- and not much later, started to jog.
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September 22, 2012 04:43PM
Sylvie drank some water while waiting for Sebastian to put some distance between them. She felt a warm pulse every now and then when the line crossed a tree or shrub.

Once both women had shouldered their backpacks, she told Nico, "Threats? Really?"

"I was joking. Or trying to." Her briefly apologetic tone switched to good-natured teasing. "I'm getting the feeling anybody threatening either of you will be in deep trouble with both, anyway."

Sylvie gave up on that thread, and nodded at the path running by and large parallel to the rivulet before starting down it. "As to you and Yrn, it could fall back on me if we arrive together and you... get in trouble. But if you're going to follow later, you won't have anyone to translate."

"Eh, I'm used to that." Nico decided against pointing out that they might end up in a corner of the world where Sylvie didn't speak the language, either, figuring that might be a bit too much of a distraction. "Thanks for not saying 'cause trouble'."

Sylvie snorted a short laugh.

"Because I don't want to cause you two trouble. I figure I'll head back to Hilyet. Maybe see if I can find the Cross'd Roads again and Argilla from there, though I should ask the two of you together beforehand. Or I'll come up with something else to do." Visiting Canyet to see what new stories about the Fox were circulating might be interesting, for one.

"Right. Maybe we'll talk when we have found that gate."


They fell silent, Sylvie concentrating on her line. The odd hot spark of a small animal crossing it reassured her that it was sensitive enough that she would not have missed anything while they had been talking.
Random Intermission story
September 22, 2012 09:38PM
With enough distance between them, Sebastian went to his quiet place; he watched, listened, smelled, examined as he went through the area, ducking branches, quietly moving through bushes and taking in the feel of the outdoors, the nature around him. It wasn't always a calming exercise, but right now he felt calmer than usual -- not too much so, seeing as he kept an ear and eye out for someone else. Certainly, he picked up a few scratches from thorns and narrowly avoided something that looked like nettles and a fairly good representation of poison ivy.

He pushed through, burying all his worries and focussing on the task ahead of him. Once that went through to his thick head -- seeing only the task --, everything felt better. All worries, all doubts were cast aside.

Someone had once told him he turned positively feral and single-minded once set on any sort of task. It was true, Sebastian mused as he stopped to sit on a boulder, wiping sweat and sniffing the air. Something, somewhere, was tickling his sense of smell.

But at that point, on that boulder, he started to let his awareness slip and let loose those many strands of thought. Sebastian stood up, stuck his hands in his pockets and frowned as he walked, kicking a few pebbles on the way (ignoring a pair of mice fighting over a huge clover-like thing, which ought to have said something to him). "I do love her," he said to himself, sounding even to himself strangely surprised.

He stopped, took another step -- and tripped on a root, falling face first into a puddle.

For one reason or another, not one he understood, he began to laugh. Howled laughter, in fact.

The sound of it probably reached all the way to the women.

It only dawned on him a few seconds later that those clovers looked and smelled quite a bit different. Size: half the size of his palm. Scent? Sort of... bitter.

"...well, godsdamn."
Random Intermission story
September 22, 2012 10:01PM
At the noise Nico, who was paralleling the path a way up the slope to keep an eye out for hollows Sylvie's line would not sweep, sought eye-contact with Sylvie, who answered with an exaggerated shrug.

So she took a deep breath, and the obvious approach, yelling at the top of her lungs, "Oi! What's so funny?"
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September 22, 2012 10:04PM
"Hard to explain! My face was in a puddle and now I'm staring at a bunch of really big clover-things that taste bitter. Also, the air smells strange," Sebastian yelled back after a moment -- he had been busy wiping mud off his face and staring at the clovers.

Under his breath, he said, "...I hope you had that last laugh."

<em>I did,</em> came the tinkling voice.

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September 22, 2012 10:18PM
"Sounds promising! We'll find you!"

With the line on Sebastian and her own longer legs, Sylvie took the lead, worried that something was wrong with him.

She let the connection fade as soon as she saw him, and asked half-joking, "Is eating strange plants a habit with you?"
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September 22, 2012 10:35PM
He sat there, next to the puddle, hands full of the plants and his jaw working when Sylvie entered his sight. "Well. The rodents around here weren't dying of it, and rodents are usually pretty cautious about food, so... yes, this time?" Sebastian offered her one of the plants. "Familiar taste to me at least."
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September 27, 2012 09:33PM
Sylvie gave him a dubious look, lip curled - she had seen rats eat things she really wouldn't - but took the offered clover. Four oval leaflets with a dark centre. And the smell... a smile spread across her face. "Yes, familiar."

She looked at the patch of clover wondering if she should check in the early pages of her diary for comparison, but then just flung out a few lines to look for the gate that had to be there. Her fingertips itched.

Pointing and staring at the spot, she slowly walked sideways trying to see the gate. "I'm not sure it's open right now, but it's right there, I'm sure."
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September 27, 2012 09:55PM
He wasn't going to say there was a certain acidity he'd smelled and tasted on many worlds, merely out of the fear that she might be discouraged. Instead, Sebastian smiled and considered as he waited -- and found his hopes rising.

Sylvie's diary was something he wanted to read at some point, though, if at all possible, but for now, Sebastian kept his mind on the present. "It ought to be, if I got the general idea. I've usually not been able to sense those things, you know," he said, looking a little embarassed. "Magic, yes, gates, rarely if ever. Ought you put the connection back on? I could do walk about? Or...?"

He looked at Nico, questioningly. Maybe she'd have some more insight.
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September 27, 2012 10:08PM
His first suggestion made Sylvie wince. Pronouncing each word separately, she answered, "I really do not want to manipulate a worldgate." Turning to the others, she added, "It might blow up and throw us who-knows-where."

Nico shrugged with one shoulder. "I've seen plenty that opened regularly. Only at dusk or dawn or midnight, that kind of thing." She didn't bring up cases of solstices or rare stellar constellation.
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September 27, 2012 10:11PM
Having nodded at Sylvie's explanation (he was hardly the expert), Sebastian considered that. "You know. I've usually fallen into deep... waters, so to speak, just around midnight."

He looked embarassed. Especially when he shot a glance at Sylvie.

"You don't want to know," he said in Eodean.
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September 27, 2012 10:44PM
The mild curiosity on her face was quickly replaced with sympathy, right until Nico distracted, or got back to the point: "Sounds like we're camping out."
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September 27, 2012 10:56PM
The look on Sylvie's face hurt deep down. He was used to sympathy, but coming from Sylvie, that was bad. If something went wrong despite all promises, well...

"Yeah," Sebastian said. He rummaged through his satchel for a while, then frowned as he remembered something. "Nico. I'll ask you about the puzzle, later, but..."


No. Damn words. He smirked, walked over to Sylvie and took her hand. "Mind if we take a walk?" Sebastian almost purred, throwing caution to the wind. His tone said it all. The fleeting glance he gave Nico said something, at least. The look he gave to Sylvie suggested as much.

Private time, for a while.
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September 27, 2012 11:03PM
Sylvie got up, letting Sebastian help, while Nico smirked. "Right, and I'll see if I can scrounge up something edible." She pointed away from the pair. "That way."
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September 27, 2012 11:10PM
"Oh, all right," he responded with a nod and a smile. While they watched Nico moving away, he whispered into Sylvie's ear. He said: "Come what may, best we enjoy the now and here, hm? I think I saw a little dell over there, on my way here."
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September 28, 2012 01:29PM
In his mud-streaked face, his smile looked even brighter than usual, and still highly contagious.

With a look in Nico's direction, Sylvie faltered briefly - shouldn't someone stay here to keep watch? What if--

She cut off her thoughts with an effort before they could spiral out of control, concentrating on Sebastian's presence instead; the cloth of his shirt under her fingertips, his warmth and calmer breath, his scent, now overlaid with soil and bitter clover. Sylvie whispered back, "Sounds like a very good idea."
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September 28, 2012 08:48PM
"I do have those sometimes," he returned in similar tones, then somehow managed to look even more mischievous than usual.
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September 28, 2012 10:58PM
Sylvie chuckled and gave him a gentle push. "Lead on. I'd like to test that idea you're having now."
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September 29, 2012 03:01PM
"I think you already have," Sebastian said, still teasingly, took her hand and lead the way. His attempt at looking innocent was obviously botched on purpose.
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September 29, 2012 04:38PM
Amusement made Sylvie's voice dance. "Repeated tests mean more certain conclusions."
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September 30, 2012 09:47PM
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<em>They are taking their sweet time,</em> Nico thought. She had cleared a patch of ground upslope from the location Sylvie had pinpointed for the worldgate, got a small fire going, and had borrowed Sylvie's pot to roast the beechnuts she had gathered.

The light changed colour, tilting towards dusk, before they returned. They looked rather worse for wear, hair plastered to their temples, clothes mud-streaked. When after rather perfunctory greeting Sylvie walked past Nico towards her backpack, Nico noticed the side-seam was freshly ripped, making the formerly short slit for easier movement much deeper than it had been. And that mud-smear on her trousers looked suspiciously like a handprint.

Nico's lips twitched, and she couldn't hold back a grin entirely when a quick look at Sebastian showed the string his shirt was lashed up with was ripped.

However, she quickly turned to Sylvie. "I've got needle and thread, in case you've run out."

"I'm fine, thank you."

The two women exchanged an amused look, more wry on Sylvie's side, and open grin from Nico.
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September 30, 2012 09:58PM
Sebastian didn't even try to look dignified. He rarely looked the part, especially now that his shirt was even more frayed that his personality. "Well," he said, "if you do, might I do the repairing?"

The half-elf blinked, smirked, buried his face in his hands and finally said, almost laughing: "I think I walked into that one."
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October 01, 2012 03:57PM
Sylvie wasn't sure what that was supposed to be about, so she concentrated on the first part. "If you like to, but it's no problem. It's..."

"Worth it?"

Sylvie ignored Nico, and pulled her shirt out of her backpack.
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October 01, 2012 04:41PM
Sebastian kept his mouth shut. As well as his expression. He wasn't sure if Sylvie caught the gleam in his eyes.
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October 01, 2012 10:19PM
She wasn't even looking at him, instead with her back to the fire quickly changing out of the tunic and into the shirt.

"Oh, well." Nico nodded in the direction of the alleged worldgate. "While I was here I tried to keep an eye out, and didn't notice any change."

"Thank you." Sylvie sat down cross-legged, facing the fire. After a quick look downslope she examined the damage to her tunic again. The light wasn't as bright as she would have liked.
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