Ok bad joke I know. But this is post 300. >.> har har.
Anyway – I’m going to apologize in advance if posts don’t have pretty pictures and formatting like you guys are used to. Someone changed something on my server somewhere (possibly a PHP update? don’t know), and the end result is that I can no longer use my text editor to upload posts here. And I’m having real issues with the wordpress image insert function. Sooooo going to be a little less shiny than usual until I get this all figured out.
Today’s post is just a little vignette of a thing, as Aelflaed tries to square with all of the stuff that’s been thrown at her over the last few days.
It doesn’t help that everyone around her (Riders, people in other RP channels she’s in) seems to be edgy, grumpy, quick to anger, and generally unpleasant. Her usually unflappable good spirits have taken a bit of a beating, particularly since she’s running up against stuff she can’t do by herself (and being a healer, she’s used to taking care of others, but not used to having to ask for help). Going to Dragonblight is probably only going to make things worse, but I think she’ll feel better if she feels like she’s actually *doing* something and not just beating her head against these problems.
Also, the whole Arthas-whispering thing? Yeah – that’s not sitting so well.
***** ***** *****
Aely managed to put on an air of unflinching confidence as she tramped around in Westguard Keep, making sure Maera was stabled and fed and that her armor was in respectable condition. She nodded at the innkeepers on her way upstairs, though she wasn’t sure they’d noticed – they were too absorbed in each other, especially at this late hour. The glimmer of light under the door from the room that she and Phileas had been renting was the first thing all day to make her smile.
She closed the door behind her, all semblance of bravado fading from her face and shoulders as she quietly pulled off her armor and lay it and her weaponry neatly near the door. Phileas was sitting by the fireplace, wrapped in a blanket, dozing or reading, she couldn’t tell which – apparently he’d had the sense to come in out of the cold before the wee hours of the morning, something she apparently couldn’t say about herself.
He looked up at her, weariness in his face. “Howway tha, love?”
A thousand thoughts ran through her mind, as she tried to make some sense of the things she’d seen and heard over the last two days. Of … Him. The Lich King. Undead and Val’kyr. Of this new plague, bringing the Vrykul to the point of death in only a few moments. Of dwarves gone mad in their search for answers. Of Riders bickering – even fighting. Of ancient rituals and myths. Everyone was on edge, people were squabbling over nothing (or sometimes more than nothing), not to mention the arrival of Deathknighs. She couldn’t decide whether she mistrusted them or felt bad for them, or both, poor sods.
And some how through all of it, the voice of Arthas, echoing in her own mind in a way that … she couldn’t think about it anymore.
She shook her head, running her fingers over her hair and attempting to tuck the loose bits behind her ears – which admittedly didn’t do much for the disheveled fuzzy caterpillar look she was sporting. “I’ve go’ a favor t’ ask a’ ye. An’… an’ I dinnae think I can answer ye proper ‘f ye ask why.”
He peered at her, grey eyes under a furrowed brow. “Aye? Tha awreet?”
She stopped for a moment, as though considering just how to answer. “… I dinnae ken, Phileas. Leas’, nae righ’ now.”
The creases around his eyes deepend for a moment as he stood up, rolling the kinks out of his shoulders and moving to stand in front of her. “Wha’ does tha need a’ me, then? Anythin’ tha asks, ‘f I can, ‘s what I’ll do.”
“I… If ye would jus’…” She sighed softly. “Le’ me sit wi’ ye?” She didn’t meet his eyes, though whether that was for fear of being laughed at, or frustration at her own feelings of weakness, or just to hold off tears of exhaustion she couldn’t be sure.
He blinked at her for a moment – not quite registering the request – and then sat back down, pulling her into his lap, wrapping them both in the blanket and nestling her firmly against his chest.
After a few moments, Phileas chuckled. “Tha’rt a quare one, Aely…thinkin’ I’d need an explanation. Tha’rt knackered again…and tha’s been chasin’ thy thowts th’ las day or sae tae th’ poin’ tha dinnae ken where tha’rt goin’ wi’ ’em anymuir. Quit thinkin’, love…an’ jus’ rest fer a change. Let me take care a’th rough stuff fer at leas’ a bit.”
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