He kept his eyes on her even as she rolled over a bit. It was odd to have this woman’s or any other person’s weight on any part of his body for that matter. It was something that he may need to get used to. It wasn’t an unwelcome feeling exactly, just something he wasn’t quite used to any more. He saw in her face different thoughts rolling around, and he would venture a guess as to what was going on in that brain of hers. Deciding it best to probably not ask at this point, he broke the eye contact to look near the top of the flames again. Finally he spoke the question that was on both of their minds.
“Why did you bring me out here?”
She wrinkled her nose, and grinned up at him, shrugging. She knew he was going to ask, and she had her own question for him that she was working up to.
“I’ll tell ya th’ truth, ’cause I never can tell lies, an’ the truth is, I don’t know. At least not exactly… ”
She blinks up at him through her big long eyelashes, and waits for his response instead of asking him a question in return right away.
His face contorted into one of concentration before looking back down to her in an almost frown. He opened his mouth to speak though closed it again as nothing came out. Finally he actually spoke up.
“What do you mean exactly..?” He trailed off a bit, picking up… something in her gaze. He couldn’t quite pick out what exactly.
“Well… ” Her cheeks turn a little pink, and she giggles, a very childish sound probably, and not the grating sharp sound it normally is, “Yer a man, an’ I miss bein’ near a man.” The answer was honest, simple and honest.
He lets out a breath he doesn’t realize he is even holding before he nods and answers slowly,
“I understand that… I too have been on my own for quite some time.”
“Well … now ya not, “ She crinkles her nose and reaches up from where she lies to touch his face, as she did often. Touchy feely, that was Lylah, but most of the time she wasn’t even conscious of doing it. If she wasn’t already quite comfortable where she was, she’d have been sitting on him, or trying, or toying with his hair, anything that involved physical contact and probably a little more in his personal space than he would have been comfortable with.
“Can I ask ya somethin’ o’ my own?”
His eyes closed as he turned his head away from her hand just a couple degrees, but not enough to make it impossible for her to touch. The breath of air left his nose and he spoke softly. Her question arose and he kept still. Every muscle in his body froze at her touch and his blood ran cold. He almost stammered.
“I can’t stop you. I’ll answer as best as I can.”
Either not noticing his discomfort, or not paying any mind to it, she doesn’t retract her hand and her fingers brush his cheek. She blinks up at him.
“Why’d ya come out here -with- me?”
His eyes opened slowly and he blinked them a couple of times as if trying to rush away whatever it was that he was peering at underneath those eyelids of his. His attempts in vain, however, as his expression didn’t change.
“I don’t know. I truly don’t. You just sort of took me with you and I got swept up in it. I don’t regret it, but I just simply don’t know.”
Lylah opened her mouth to sing a song that suddenly popped into her mind. She did that sometimes, songs and rhymes and silly things, but closed it again. Oddly, it didn’t seem the time, and were she to sing the words that she was going to, she somehow doubted it would have an effect on the man’s mood, or lack of mood. She sat up suddenly, and nimbly hopped to sit in front of him, right in front of him, cross legged, and she tilted her head and peered at him, at his eyes, the twinkle in her own eyes not there anymore, if he looked they would seem flat, and sad almost.
“Ya know, Mister Capa. Ya very hard for me t’ read.” She pursed her lips and crinkled her nose. “I don’t know what t’ do with ya, or … for ya.”
He blinks once more before bringing his eyes to hers, for one of the first times he actually looks at her. Wholly. His expression is empty and blank despite her words.
“Necessity to be hard to read… and I am not expecting you to do anything. I don’t expect much of anything from anyone any more.”
Lylah blinks at these words and crinkles her nose.
“Ya know. When ya say things like that, I just wanna give ya a big ol’ hug.” She frowns, looking down at her hands and keeps her eyes there. Seemed like she could giggle and grin all she wanted but it wouldn’t help the man do the same. What to do, what to do? She pondered this thought in the silence following.
He wouldn’t pull his eyes away from her this time even as she looked away. He signed and reached around his waist to procure a long leather strap about an inch and a half wide and several millimeters thick. It looked very weathered and worse for wear, yet it still kept it’s shape in defiance of everything it had seen. In many ways it would reflect the Farstrider himself in this aspect. He held it in a relaxed hand to her. It had clearly seen better days.
“I have a story for you…” he trailed off, almost as if he didn’t realize he was talking and had to stop himself, though he kept his hand outstretched with the strap in it, offering her to examine it.
Taking it from him, she’d keep her eyes on it, gaze down as she turned the strap over in her hands. Eventually she glances up to look at his face again, surprised that he still is looking at her and nods.
“‘Kay. I’m listenin’.”
His eyes trained on her, he spoke almost cautiously at first, and over time of the story his words would have more depth to them and more of himself delivered, rather than something off of a record.
“A couple of years ago the attacks started. The second time he ever attacked me was in the Ruins of Lordaeron where I confronted him again. I stood up to him and he removed my sight in the most brutal way possible…” He brought up his left hand to trace the index finger over a few of the scars that surround his eyesockets. There were several chunks of flesh missing as if something had exploded from the holes in his skull and taken skin with them. “In the scuffle, he removed my eyes. Not with his hand nor a weapon. He… he made them explode outward and left me to bleed out. Only by a miracle was I found and patched up. I wore this band for several years and trained to ‘see’ the flows of magic that are around us. Objects. Living beings. I had no other way of seeing. I had to walk the world entirely blind for a while…” he seemed to have more to say, but the words wouldn’t come. He closed his mouth and only now did he look away.
She only gaped at him, her mouth open, eyes blinking, and she screwed up her face as she listened, wincing and pulling faces as she imagined somebody taking her eyes out, and she felt something odd, when he told her that, and it made her think of a lady a while back, the one that the man had robbed of her sight, on her say so. Was it guilt, this feeling? Whatever it was, it was unfamiliar and she frowned and shrugged the thought off, for now. She leaned forward, her hands on his knees and stared at his face, blinking, poking her tongue out, flipping her head from side to side, her pigtails bouncing and then stopped, sitting up a little straighter, her hands still on his knees.
“So, ya can’t see me proper? Or nothin’? What’s that mean anyways, flows o’ magic ’round stuff?”
His head leaned back a bit at the sudden proximity of the woman. He may not be able to actually see her, but he could tell she was close. He blinked a couple of times, shaking his head afterward.
“No, I can’t. I can’t see your body. I don’t know what you actually look like. All I can sense is what flows through you. Every living being, especially us elves have a magic that pulses through us to one degree or another. And each of us has a special way that it happens. I’ve learned this through my own experience. Even if you don’t use magic, you have it in you in trace amounts that I can pick up. The only reason I even have sensitivity to it is because of my family. I come from a family of nothing but Magisters. I was the only one who couldn’t actually use magic.”
He seemed to stop himself, having spoken much more than he intended to. It wasn’t like him to explain so much all at once, and he paused to take a moment for her to take that in.
“Well, “she grins, a thought occurring to her, “I knew a lady once couldn’t see. Ya know how she used t’ see people an’ things?”
He nods at her, the glow of his eyes receding a fraction more, though underneath would be an odd color of green. More paler. Emptier. It still wouldn’t be enough to see a pupil, but the color of it was apparent.
“It’s not easy to go through life without being able to see. Especially as one who uses a bow and arrow. My condolences go out to her.”
“Somebody took that ladies seein’ from her. An’ some people didn’t like when she did it…”She raised her hands as she spoke and would gently touch a palm to each of his scarred cheeks if he didn’t pull away, moving her small fingers over his cheeks, his forehead, down his jawline, even tracing his lips with the digits, “touchin’ things she said could make ya see ’em better. Ya know… in ya head.”
His jaw clenched at the contact, though he didn’t pull away this time. Her words came in, but he didn’t quite hear them. He was lost in his own memories. Thoughts coming back to him that hadn’t been uprooted for quite some time. His head dropped to look down just a few degrees.
“I walked without eyeballs for a while. Learned how to ‘see’. Only after quite some time were new ones crafted for me. They worked… until those were ripped from my skull as well.” He lifted his right hand now, tracing his index and middle finger over a thick scar that ran from his left temple, over his eye and bridge of his nose, and back to the temple on the other side of his head. “Twice my sight was taken from me. Twice I was left for dead.”
She shifted her hand to trace the scar after he did, the one on his temple, and then she tried to catch his hands with her own, carefully, but insistently, if he would allow it she would bring his own hands and fingers to her face, inviting him to trace her features to see as she had done to him. Her shoulders were slumped a little, her entire mood and demeanor changed. It was completely out of the ordinary for her to be so subdued and quiet, but respectfully, she was. It was quite unusual.
“I feel bad for ya, ‘was all she managed to say. “It’s bad an’ sad.”
He stopped in his movement as she guided his hand. Despite the strength of the man and the seemingly brutal history he had seen, he seemed very willing to be guided and it seemed almost easier than it should be. He allowed her to move his fingers over her face. Despite the leather gloves he was able to get a rough idea of what the woman may appear like. The thought rolled into his head that he’d feel better without the protective barrier, and yet pushed it from his mind. He let out a soft sigh.
“I don’t want you to feel bad for me. Pity and sympathy kills more easily and thoroughly than any plague. I appreciate the sentiment. I’ve learned to live with the handicap. If anything I can ‘see’ better now than I ever could with my original eyes. With the flows of magic. I feel them. I sense them around me instead of having to rely on eyes to perceive them…” he trails off again, slowly wanting to pull his hand away from her face. Should she keep a firm grasp, however, he wouldn’t put up much of a fight to retract.
The slightest movement, that he would pull away from her and she gently but firmly tightens her grasp on his gloved hand, and then places her hand over it.
“An’ how d’ ya see -me-?” she asks, genuinely curious.
He allowed his hand to be kept where she wanted, and froze for the few seconds of silence before she asked. He closed sightless eyes in thought, slowly taking in a large breath through his nose. His right hand now this time moved up. This sincerely would be an odd gesture from the Farstrider given his physically shut off behavior before. His hand moved up to her face, the leather oddly warm and allowing for articulation of the joints of his fingers. The limb moves to the side of her neck, thumb placed upon her jawline just below her ear. It would almost seem an intimate display if not for the male’s unchanging expression. He opened his eyes once more and spoke.
“Hints of shadow magic flow through you here and there. Ever present and swirling benevolently. There is arcane in your veins, and a larger concentration of it centered in the muscles of your legs.” He paused for a moment. “And in your chest.” He opens his eyes again, sightless gaze upon her.
She lifts her other hand, placing it over his other hand now at her jawline, and studies his face as he speaks, silent. Absolutely silent. She wonders if this magic stuff is somethin’ that people just know about, but the thought is only fleeting, and she just sits there dumbly in her ignorance, completely fascinated, almost entranced. She shrugs, a slight movement and giggles, softly. A squeaking sound in the corner of the room would alert him more than her that Mister Muggles was back, and sitting there just watching. She would hear more than a squeak though, and she narrows her eyes, shooting the creature a sideways glance as if to say ‘shut up’, but she doesn’t move, not an inch, not to move away from the man, nor to let go of his hands.
He wouldn’t look in the direction of her companion. Instead he kept his attention forward, only making mental note of his surroundings. He too would sit silent now as if trying to compose more to say. His efforts fall flat and he releases the held breath growing stale in his lungs. It would escape slowly through his nose, and as if deflated by the thought his shoulders slumped for the first time, removing themselves from the straight backed posture he always held. His arms would grow heavy and would release the woman ‘less she kept hold of the near deadweight.
She’d fling herself at him then, the only thing she knew how to do. She didn’t know many things. She knew how to sing terrible nonsensical off key songs, she knew how to procure things, any things, she knew how to talk to and hear the words of a rodent, even though she wasn’t really sure if that counted, but she didn’t know what to say to this man now, and she suddenly felt silly. She’d been called a lot of things. Crazy, out of her tree, silly and she certainly wasn’t stupid, but for now, this moment, she felt about as stupid as she ever had done for the simple fact that she could find nothing to say, not a word. And so she foisted herself upon him, on her knees, her arms around his neck, half clinging to him as a child might to some toy they didn’t want to part with or some such thing. She would most likely spend the rest of the night between fits of sleep trying to figure the thought process out, and what these feelings were she was having right now, and come up with nothing definitive, but the entire situation was entirely out of the ordinary. This one was different. Had they met in a different place, at a different time and she’d played to her usual script, she was sure it would have ended up at this point. She would neither toy with nor rob this man, had he even had anything to ‘borrow’ in the first place. She might have just discovered not the thing he’d told her not to have for him earlier, sympathy. But empathy. And it was a strange thing.
Instinctively, his body leans back a portion of the way, but it was nothing to put off the woman’s embrace. His arms were now to either side of their bodies, out in surprise. His entire body froze and the blood ran cold in his veins. The green glow of his eyes flashed to their original brilliance before, and he didn’t even realize he had stopped breathing for this fraction of a minute. Slowly, carefully and as if he wasn’t sure of anything in the world anymore he would close his arms around the woman’s waist. He sat there blinking, breath coming in shallow breaths.
“I think… that may be all the storytelling tonight.” he spoke awkwardly, unfamiliar with the position he found himself in.
((Again, I am aware of tense issues in this piece but when you’re in the middle of an engrossing roleplay, correct grammar and spelling sometimes goes amiss in places. I have left this text largely as is, save for the correction of a few obvious spelling errors)).