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Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre)

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1 Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre) on Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:17 pm

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Super Duper Angst Meme (Injury Edition)
Send me a ➴  and I will generate a number between 1 and 100 for what my muse will say to yours.
10. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."

The good doctor wiped his brow with the back of his hand, felt the coolness of his sweat collect there. The night had been a long one, but as the dark ended with the coming dawn, so did his work. He glanced down at the woman lying upon the bed, his eyes tracing the severe lines that marred her face, then to the bandages that he'd carefully wrapped around her torso a few hours prior. She'd have a few more scars to add to her collection, it would seem. 

As the soft morning light reached out with gentle fingers to touch the slumbering figure, she had begun to stir. He watched her open her eyes and look around, like most previously unconscious patients had done in the past, and when she began to sit up, he reached out to stop her. His touch was gentle, but firm. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."


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Lyra couldn't help but crack a smile of her own, feeling proud to have drawn a genuine smile from her fellow scholar. "Ahh, well, I can honestly say I'd never thought of trying that before!" She said, thoroughly enjoying his company now that he wasn't being quite so dour. He still evaded her question, however; it was clear that he would be a tough nut to crack, but maybe eventually she could get some honest answers out of him.

"Alright," she replied, leaning back in her seat, "ask away." No doubt, he was going to be much more to the point than she'd been, and she had an idea of what he was likely to ask her; it had only been a matter of time before the topic came up.

"What is your profession?"

The Nightingale grinned, and she answered him simply. "Librarian. Chief Librarian of Brightwall Academy, and occasional tutor."

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He nodded, lips pursed, eyes narrowed. "Mmhm. And what, pray tell, does the Chief Librarian of Brightwall Academy need a mask for?" he pressed further, eyebrow arching, a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth. "Or a sword? Not very librarian of you, is it? And how does a librarian find herself so far from Brightwall, shot in the chest by a bandit's musket? Unless you're not just a librarian. But that'd just be crazy, wouldn't it?"

His smirk grew and he fixed her with an unwavering stare. "It would seem I'm not the only one with secrets to hide. Me thinks you and I are a lot more alike than we originally thought. Hm?"


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Ahh, there it was.

Lyra laughed softly and brought a hand to her breast, feigning hurt despite the coy smile painted across her scarred face. "Oh, you wound me, sir! Are you implying a librarian isn't allowed her hobbies?"

She chuckled once more and found herself looking up at her amber-eyed companion with an amused twinkle in her eye. He wasn't wrong, of course; she had plenty secrets of her own. "Let's just say that sometimes, when the world is becoming as mad and unkind as it is, a woman wants to do more for her people than sort books day after day. As for the mask, well," she sighed and ran a hand over her unruly hair once more, "it's both for protection and to make sure my actions continue to stay anonymous. I don't particularly want or need the attention. Besides," she paused for a moment and shrugged, "they're terribly comfortable."

The Nightingale was quiet a moment, her brow furrowed in thought. "Now, it is curious that you'd mention the specifics of my injury; I don't recall sharing that information."

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He smiled. "I overheard the good doctor when you were brought in. There was quite the commotion. 'The Great Nightingale is here!' people were saying. You're quite the celebrity, it would seem." He could not suppress the chuckle that escaped him. "A Hero to inspire those who wish to be so. I haven't seen so many people in such a tizzy over one person in quite a long while. I never got to ask around about it, so I must ask you to divulge whatever details you are willing to share. I'm quite out of the loop about... well, everything."

He may not have been particularly fond of Heroes in general, but a woman who was a librarian by day and a vigilante Hero by night made for a great story. He couldn't help but be interested in hearing more. After all, anything and everything was interesting to him after being locked up for so long.


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"Ah."

There was a visible flush of colour upon the redhead's face then, her eyes shifting downward. "Truly, they give me too much credit." Lyra replied softly, her fingers fussing with a hole in her sleeve. "I'm no Hero. Just a foolish woman with foolish dreams." A foolish woman who had very nearly bled out on the road, if not for the kindness of others. Perhaps it would soon be time to retire the Nightingale and let the Heroes of Mistpeak Valley handle things, lest she actually get herself killed.

"But enough of that," she sighed; there wasn't any point in dumping her negativity on someone who had plenty to deal with himself. "I do thank you for your kind words; what would you have me tell?"

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"I think you give yourself too little credit," Xiro replied, ignoring her question for the time being. "Not everyone can do what you do. And not everyone can take a shot to the chest and haul a man much taller than they are several miles the very next day. I'd say that's pretty impressive, if not Heroic. But I digress.

"Tell me about your adventures," he said. "I have never heard any of them. I'd like to know what everyone was so excited about."


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Lyra looked back up at Xiro, a warm smile spread across her face. She wondered if he knew just how much his words meant, even coming from a stranger such as he was. "Thank you. I--" She seemed at a loss for words a moment. "I just try to do what I can to help. I don't ever really expect praise, so I suppose it's hard to accept it when it comes."

"Let's see, now. ." She rubbed her chin for a moment, chewing her lip as she thought. "Well, I mostly just travel around and either detain or dispatch bandits, highwaymen. . the more mundane dangers on the roads. Not much to say that's truly interesting." Her brows furrowed.

"Unless you count that time with the gnomes. ."

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He listened to her stories, his attention, for once, fully focused on something other than his current predicament. Questions interrupted her here and there, but for the most part, he was silent and attentive, glad for the pleasant conversation and distraction. As her stories were drawn to a close and the car operator finally took up his post, Xiro let out a great yawn.

"Forgive me," he mumbled as his face stretched. "It's been a long night." At least he'd be able to get a couple of hours of sleep on the way to Millfields, one of the many perks to traveling by the monorail. He forced himself to his feet, moving stiffly, painfully, but on his own. "I suppose we ought to get going."


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Lyra chuckled, her mood visibly improved after sharing some untold stories with her fellow scholar; sometimes she forgot how peculiar her sleep schedule, (or rather, her lack thereof,) actually was. "Oh, no, I understand," she replied, following Xiro's example and pulling herself from the comfort of her seat. "You get some rest when we board. I'll wake you when we arrive."

She kept a watchful eye on her companion as they made their way to the cable car, hovering somewhat close to him until she was satisfied that he was able to walk on his own. Her eye turned to look back at the entrance of the station momentarily, the Nightingale once more feeling a pang of guilt as they boarded the great metal contraption. There was no turning back now.

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Xiro was asleep pretty much the moment he sat down, his head falling forward, his chin cradled against his chest. His sleep was far from peaceful or dreamless, however, and he awoke with a start several times during the trip, his heart thundering in his chest for a few moments before sleep claimed him once again. If she were to mention this to him later, he'd have no memory of it or the dreams that woke him. He would awake when they reached their destination nearly just as tired as he had been before he'd shut his eyes, drag himself from his seat, and exit the car with a yawn. He did not risk stretching for fear of aggravating his wounds, and he shuffled and hunched like an old man, too tired and in too much pain to care.

"We must find our way to Hero Hill," he told her, glancing back to make sure she followed. "We won't be able to survive marching through Silverpines, so we must use a Cullis Gate to get where we need to go. I'm sure you find that quite exciting."


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The Nightingale sat in silence as the car rumbled on, sorting through her thoughts as she tried to wrap her aching head around everything that had happened these past couple of days. More than once, she found herself looking over at her newfound companion, a frown pulling at her lips and brow as she observed his fitful thrashing, hoping that her assistance would help him in any capacity. She felt sympathy for him despite his protests of being a good person, and it was obvious in any case that his quest was important not just to him, but to all of Albion. Whatever chased him certainly wouldn't be satisfied with just one man, and she was all too painfully aware of what the Darkness was capable of, if indeed it was Darkness that hunted him.

As the car came to a halt, Lyra sighed and rose from her seat, finding her strength much more easily now, despite the throbbing in her breast. Her mind was made up; whatever it was that Xiro needed of her, she would do. To ignore any of this was an unthinkable prospect; she may not have been a Hero, but it was her duty to her people to protect those less capable of doing so themselves, and her companion clearly had the power to combat whatever evil it was that threatened the land. She gently tapped the slumbering man's shoulder, pulling back as he roused so as not to alarm him. "We've arrived," she said softly.

The door of the monorail slid open then and Lyra watched as Xiro stepped out into the daylight, pleased to see that he was at least moving around well enough on his own, despite his clear exhaustion. She followed suit, blinking in the morning light as they exited the station; it was quite the lovely day, all things considered, and she looked up to the sunny skies with a small smile. What better way was there to start off a day of adventuring? Xiro's words quickly brought her back to the matter at hand, however, and her face lit up. Hero Hill! The famed location where The Hero of Bowerstone and the Three had faced Lucien over one hundred years ago. She'd come to Millfields in the past to observe it and what remained of the surrounding ruins and had long wished to see the top of the monument, but the winding path had long since decayed, and she didn't fancy lingering about Reaver's Manor longer than she absolutely needed to.

"A Cullis Gate?" She asked, curiosity piqued, "But only Heroes can--" A grin worked its way across the Librarian's face, a twinkle in her eye as she looked up at her newfound friend. She hurried her steps to keep up with his strides; even in as much pain as he was, his long legs carried him more swiftly than she cared for. She'd been suspecting it since she'd first seen him, but there was beginning to be little doubt in her mind that he was, indeed, a bona-fide Hero. After a few moments of being visibly ignored, she couldn't help but ask the question that had been eating at her all night.

"Are you a Hero?"



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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He knew the question would be asked eventually. Anyone who'd ever been around him long enough to see him do any magic always asked. Frankly, it was a wonder it even took her so long to get around to it, as for most it was the first thing out of their mouths after he cast a spell. It was an understandable conclusion to come to, even if it did frustrate him to no end, but the answer was not so simple.

"Me? No, no, that's the furthest thing from the truth. I know that may be very confusing to you, but trust me when I say that a Hero is something I never was, nor ever will be." His words were not harsh, but they carried the tiredness of being asked the same question too often.


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'Of course,' she thought with some exasperation.

Lyra opened her mouth to speak, wishing to press further, but there was a finality in Xiro's tone that made her think better of that decision and she quickly bit her tongue. As much as it was frustrating her not to know more about her companion, he was clearly a private person, and she didn't wish to overstep her boundaries. She huffed softly and brought her scarf up to obscure her features, following along after the mysterious gentleman she travelled with and trying to avoid the prying looks of the early-rising aristocrats that wandered about their lavish Millfields homes. Her gaze shifted to the decadent mansion on the lakeside that nearly overshadowed their destination and her nose wrinkled at the thought of its owner.

"So, what exactly is it that we're searching for?" She asked suddenly, wishing to break the silence before she dwelled on unpleasant thoughts too long.

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Another sensible question, one that he did not have an answer for. Poor girl was going to be continuously disappointed at this rate. "I'm not exactly sure? I know it's an Old Kingdom artifact of some power, and that it will help, or so my sources tell me. I know where it is located and how to get it, but beyond that, I'm just as much in the dark as you are." It occurred to him that he may have been betrayed, that this was an elaborate trap set up to lure him into a false hope only to cruelly tear it away. But even though the fear and danger were palpable, he had to try. It was his only chance, and he would be a fool not to take it.

"I was told I will know it when I see it." He gave her an apologetic look and a barely detectable shrug. "Sorry. Mystery after mystery, I know. At least this question will have an answer eventually. It had better, for both our sake."


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Lyra merely raised a brow at her companion and was quiet for several moments. She sighed and brought a hand to her temple; now, this was just getting ridiculous! Of course, that's what she got for tagging along with a strange man she'd found lying on the floor covered in her blankets. Still, the prospect of seeing ancient ruins of historical significance was more than worth all the vague answers she was being given.

"I certainly hope so," she muttered in reply, turning her attention back to the path in front of them.

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"Look," he sighed, running a hand through his hair, "I was given the opportunity to escape. I didn't ask any questions except 'where should I go and how far should I run'. If there had been time, I would have asked for more details, but there was none. I'm lucky to have gotten away at all." His hand traveled to the back of his neck. 

"I'm not comfortable with this arrangement, either. These ruins are the last place on this planet that I wish to go, but I have no choice. You've been a great help thus far, and I thank you, but... If you do not wish to go further with me, I understand. You are wounded, you hardly know anything about me, and there will be much danger if you follow." It was not that he wanted her to leave. In fact, he knew quite well that he would likely not be able to complete this journey alone. But he felt he needed to give her the option of leaving. It was only fair.


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"No, I--"

The auburn-haired woman shot an apologetic look up at Xiro, her shoulders slumping. It wasn't like her to be so short with people, but she supposed her pain and exhaustion were getting the better of her. "I'm sorry. There's just. . There's been a lot to take in, and I have so many questions. I feel like I'm groping around in the dark." She looked up as their destination neared and sighed.

"Regardless, I shouldn't have gotten snippy with you. I really do want to help, and I'm not just going to leave you to do this alone."

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"I understand your frustration," he said. "This isn't easy. But we're almost there. And I do appreciate your help, truly. Assuming we make it through all of this in one piece, I shall have to think of some way to repay you." It wasn't often that he expressed his thanks to others, but she had jumped at the chance to help him out of little more than simple kindness. Perhaps it wasn't the most intelligent thing the woman could have done, but he was in her debt for it.

Another thought occurred to him, one that was not particularly of the happy sort, and he frowned. "Before we get there, Miss Brighton, there is something you should know..."


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Lyra chuckled. "Yes, well, assuming you find what you're looking for, you can repay me by getting better." She owed it to the doctor to make sure he was in a state to actually recover after this whole mess after all, and Lyra would certainly be happy to see him heal. Avo knew she'd definitely be happy to get out of the clinic and back to Brightwall.

"Hm? Her attention returned to the battered gentleman walking beside her. "Yes, what is it?"

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He came to a stop at the foot of the hill, glancing up at it with a brief look of trepidation before fixing his gaze on her. "What I must do to get us there will take quite a lot of power. This cullis gate must be... "recalibrated," so to speak, and I know for a fact that the one I must direct it to will not have been active since the destruction of the Heroes Guild. It will take a lot out of me. I cannot say what kind of condition I will be in when we get to the other side." 

He took another breath, holding up his hands and emphasizing his wrists. "I told you that these act as a beacon of sorts. When I use a lot of magic, it boosts the signal, as it were, and activates the runes. They are designed to keep me beaten down so that they can find me quickly. I'll likely suffer an attack once we get there, and it'll be... unpleasant. I'll need you to get us to safety, whether that be in the ruins of one of the buildings, or in a cave, or in the Guild itself. I'll be pretty much useless until the attack is over."


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Lyra was quiet a moment and bit her lip, her focus shifting to the top of the monument before them as she recalled Xiro's "attack" the previous night. She had to admit that she worried for him, and hoped he'd be alright. To be so close to possibly freeing himself of those blasted markings and still having to go through the pain they caused. . It must have been maddening for him.

"I understand." She replied, her eye meeting his amber ones. "I'll do what I can to make sure you get to safety, and if there's anything I can do to make it pass a little more comfortably, I will."

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He gave her a weak smile. "Thank you."

Taking in a deep breath and letting it out in a shaky stream of air, he began his ascent. It wasn't difficult save for a place where the ramp had been broken (purposefully, it looked like), but a large and sturdy branch from a nearby tree had recently and conveniently fallen across the path, bridging the gap and making it possible to cross. Keeping one hand on the wall so that he could lean upon it whenever necessary, he made it to the top in a matter of minutes.

In the center lay the Cullis Gate, dormant from lack of use. Nothing a quick burst of Will energy could not fix, and there would be more than enough of that within a few moments. He took another breath and approached the ancient artifact, knowing full well what the consequences would be and dreading them with every fiber of his being. He glanced over his shoulder to his companion, his face a stoic mask to hide the fear the churned like a storm within him.

"Are you ready?"


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The auburn-haired scholar followed behind Xiro at a steady pace, ready to assist him if need be. She cast the occasional wary glance over at the mansion nearby, glad to see that all was peaceful; the last thing they needed was Albion's most infamous political figure sniffing around. Soon enough, the two reached the peak; the trek uphill went rather well with little pain for two very injured individuals, such as they were. Lyra looked around her, eyes bright as she took in the top of the famous monument for the first time. Her attention came to rest on the Hill's cullis gate, worn by weather and time.

"Are you ready?"

Lyra took in a deep breath and nodded, standing back a bit to give him room to work. "Ready."



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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With a nod, Xiro returned his attention to the gate before him. Another deep breath, he raised his hands, and from them shot forth a font of energy, red like blood and burning like fire. The air crackled, stung, reeking with the stench of powerful, old magic: wood, dirt, water, and a touch of something else, something unidentifiable. Then there came a flash of blue. He cried out as the pain seared his body and mind, falling to one knee as he struggled to maintain his focus. The stream of power sputtered, nearly died a few times as the agony did its best to claim him for its own. Several gasps for air later, he managed to center himself, to push the pain to the back of his mind. He would feel it later, but for now, he was able to push himself to his feet and complete the task at hand, pouring all of the power he could muster into one point.

Part of him prayed to whatever gods that would hear or care that this did not kill him. The other part of him prayed that it would.

He felt the shift in the gate and, like the flip of a switch, the magic ceased to flow from his fingers, and he stumbled back as though someone had landed a punch to his stomach. 

"Gah!! Through the gate!" he ground out, already doubling over. Another agonized scream pushed itself past his teeth. "Quickly!"


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The Nightingale stared on in awe-struck silence as pure Will crackled forth from Xiro's outstretched hands. She tried to contain the shudder that ran down her spine, travelling to the tips of her toes and fingers and making her teeth tingle and hair stand on end. She could feel the energy whipping around her, smell it, and deep down beneath her wonder she couldn't help but feel. . afraid? Was that it? It was such a small feeling, but she could nonetheless sense it lying coldly in the pit of her stomach and the back of her mind. There was something very old and very powerful about this magic, and Lyra couldn't help but ask herself if this was indeed how Will was supposed to feel like. Her attention immediately returned to her companion, however, when she recognised the tell-tale flash of blue and rushed to his side as he fell to a knee.

Lyra watched as he struggled to keep the flow of energy steady and fought against the urge to step away from him as a million different sensations washed over her all at once, overloading her senses in a way she'd never experienced before; she had to be ready to help him up when he needed her. The cullis gate began to sputter back to life, a glowing energy of its own awakening within the ancient stone and, as quick as it he'd produced it, the sanguine energy bursting from Xiro's fingertips stopped altogether, and her hands caught hold of him as he stumbled back.

"Through the gate! Quickly!"

The auburn-haired woman nodded and gripped her companion tightly, hoisting him up with a wince of pain brought on by her own injuries and the intense burning she felt as she supported him. Her legs went to work quickly and she all but ran toward the mystical glow before her, determined to get him somewhere safe. A flash of light engulfed them as they reached the cullis gate and, just like that, they were gone.

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