Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

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Sunny
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Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Sunny » March 16th, 2018, 9:49 pm

Dax
Dax had read enough stories and listened to enough glee men to be familiar with the Age-old story of the man who, upon returning after a long journey, fell to his knees and cried at the first sight of home. The first time he’d rolled his eyes, the second time he’d thought it trite, the third time he’d been moved (but that might have been because the teller was a glee man of exceptional skill). He’d never actually thought about what such people felt, however, why they made such a dramatic gesture. He supposed he’d always thought the stories included the moment for drama.

He thought all of those things until the day came when he climbed out of a bowl-shaped divot in the ground, still scratching sand out of his hair, and turned to face a certain cliff high in the Mountains of Mist. He didn’t cry or fall to his knees when he saw Hama Valon spread below him. The Grey Tower rose far above the terraced rooftops of the city. The early morning sun caught on its glass facets, light reflecting in every direction like a beacon.

He didn’t move, or speak, or do anything of particular note. Such action would require presence of mind the Gaidin didn’t possess. All he could do was stand still, chest rising and falling far too rapidly, and stare. Somewhere far below, two children ran and played in the sun while a beautiful women engaged in intrigue too dark to contemplate.

Did she wait for me? In brutal honesty, Dax couldn’t imagine Elia had. He knew her to well to expect such loyalty when he hadn’t so much as said good-bye. But if she did... His chest hurt, but the thought gave the Tairen strength. He gathered himself, scrubbed at his face (he was not crying, the wind had just picked up), and turned his feet toward the nearest likely game trail.

--

Dax’s stride lengthened when he passed the Tower gate, carrying him swiftly to the Tower proper, through the Green Ajah’s courtyard and into the central antechamber. From there he turned his feet to the Indigo quarters. He felt a hand on his shoulder and yanked himself away. “Dax-!” He ignored the call, instead making for the ramp that would spiral upward to take him -eventually- to the Indigo quarters. To Elia’s apartments. Home.

Some distance up those shallow steps he saw a crowd of women approaching, speaking quietly among themselves. Through bright gowns and the shift of colorful fringe he caught a glimpse of a flame-tipped staff, and beyond that, eight stripes looped over slender shoulders. As the Amyrlin’s entourage approached, Dax bowed, his offhand resting on his sword hilt.

To his surprise, the group filtered past, then abruptly stopped, the Amyrlin turning to face him. The Tairen’s eyes traced over delicate embroidery on the hem of a gown that shimmered faintly in lamp light, vaguely wondering that the fine material wasn’t the blue Ninya preferred. His gaze traveled upward slowly, traced over curved hips, a delicately worked belt, and finally up to meet the Aes Sedai’s gaze.

Blue eyes met green and he straightened immediately, shoulders squared and brows drawn together in confusion and shock. This is bad. This is very, very bad. Despite the gabbling in his mind, he managed to push words through his reluctant lips. “Light shine on you….Mother,” he said. “May we speak privately?”
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Craig
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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Craig » April 7th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Elia
The Amyrlin Seat walked along the corridor without conscious thought whilst the gaggle of Aes Sedai around her spoke. Her coterie - or perhaps it was more of a menagerie - had been hand-picked, but not for their companionship nor their insights. They were carrier pigeons of the most exquisite sort, one plucked from each of the Ajahs. Well, all aside one Ajah. She slowed for a brief moment as she wrangled with that thought, considering whether she should have included a Black sister amongst the doves.

The slowing turned into a full stop as Elia returned to reality, her gaze drawn sideways to one of the people bowing to her. It was an instinctual pause rather than one borne by reasoning. Her eyes studied the man as he straightened, not reading him for his motives or his upbringing or anything else she could pluck from observation. No, she watched the way he moved as forgotten memories came flooding back in a storm.

Elia's malachite-hued gaze widen as she looked into a face she never expected to see again. She felt the choker around her neck pinch. Hands scrubbed at her dress as her corset felt too tight. Elia recognised the rising panic and quickly focused on elementarily techniques to cool her nerves.

When her pupils returned to a normal size, she made a curt gesture with her hands. "Leave us." The words were directed at the nine Aes Sedai with her but she didn't look away. She was still running over the differences from her memories against the figure standing in front of her. He was the opposite of a Gray Man; every part of him was distinctive. Her mind swam as she compared each part of him to her memories. She recalled the touch of each fingertip against her lips, how his earlobes tasted between her teeth...

She closed her eyes, putting an end to untimely thoughts. Her lungs filled as she inhaled deeply, and she opened herself to saidar in the same breath. As her eyelids opened, she formed a Ward around them, keeping sound from travelling outwards.

"Dax?" She heard the noticeable tremor in that syllable and her hands balled into fists by her side. Why am I playing the part of the little woman, waiting in the house for her brave man to return?

Her gut churned. Her emotions told her that she held saidar in her grasp, and with that, she could get all of the answers to all of the questions she'd had since his disappearance. Was it even a disappearance, or had he intended to leave? Well by the Light and the Shadow, he was standing here now, and he wasn't going anywhere until she was satisfied with his answers.

There was no trembling this time. Only a will of iron and the heat of the forge.

"Explain yourself, now."
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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Sunny » April 8th, 2018, 6:40 am

Dax
He’d half expected Elia to banish him on sight. Dax released breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding, rolled his shoulders, and looked anywhere save Elia’s face as her coterie scattered like a kicked anthill. Information churned in his head as they left, knowledge he did not want, but could not get rid of. Time passed differently in mirror worlds; a week in one could be a year in another, or vice versa. How long was I gone? Long enough for his lover to become the Amyrlin, but he had seen that happen in the course of a day.

The air changed, the channelers’ whispers muffled and distant. A ward. It wasn’t total privacy, but it would have to do. “Dax?” That didn’t sound like Elia, past or present. She sounded surprised, perhaps even concerned. The last time he had heard her so off balance she had thought their children were in danger. Now I know why...and so did she. Light! That thought did little to still the rising tide of swirling color in his head.

“Explain yourself, now.” That sounded more like his lover. His lips twitched up despite themselves, but he schooled his mouth to stillness before he looked up at her once more.

“I went with the embassy to the White Tower,” he told her. “The Amyrlin was intolerably rude and I grew angry...you have seen me in that state before. You know I can’t- don’t remember what happens. Not clearly. When I woke up, I was in the Mountains of Mist. It was summer time, I had a headache, and Hama Valon did not exist.”

What?

He grimaced at her tone. “No lie. Try living it, love. I didn’t know where I was or what had happened, but I knew it wasn’t home. It took...months, perhaps years? I lost track of time, to be honest. It took a long time to figure out what I needed to look for. As soon as I found a hint of an answer, I followed it.” He would sort through which details of that quest were safe to share another time. As it was he could only thank sheer, dumb luck that Elia studied ter’angreal and thus might take his story seriously.

“Jaryd -the one from that place- found me after that. Burn me, but he did a number on my head.” Dax twiddled his fingers at his temples to indicate Compulsion. ”Pray that man never joins the Shadow in our world, Elia; he was one twisted son of a bitch. I’m lucky someone realized I needed help or I’d likely still be there.” Elia would probably like nothing better than to have Jaryd under her heel, he realized abruptly. That was a sobering thought. The knowledge the Aelfinn had granted him weighed heavy on his soul as he contemplated her face.

“Someone helped you?” she prompted when the silence stretched for longer than a breath. Her voice was incurious, but her eyes burned green. She hadn’t forgiven him yet. Dax smiled despite himself. Yes, he knew terrible things, but those were not the only truths in the mixed up world he now lived in. Perhaps his truth would overcome hers. That’s a fool’s hope. The thought sounded like Jem, but distant and unthreatening; he chose to ignore it.

“Yes. Someone helped me escape. Then I continued my search until I found my way back home. Back- to you.” His voice softened and it was his turn to feel unsteady, to hear the uncertainty in his own words. “I never wavered, Elia. A world away with no route home and I still dreamed of you every night. I love you.”
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Craig
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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Craig » April 10th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Elia
"I love you."

The fires of her rage consumed the words without quelling it in the least. For countless nights she had dreamed of finding herself in his arms again, but now presented with the possibility, Elia found the man before was not the man she had mourned for.

That man - her Dax - would never have lied to her so brazenly.

She worked through the story in her mind. He provoked the Amyrlin, magically ended up in some world without Hama Valon, found Jaryd (who was now a Darkfriend?), met some mystery figure, and returned just as fantastically to the Grey Tower? Did he do all this on the back of a s'redit, juggling honeycakes and writing odes to the stars? Peace.

The worst of it, the least credulous part, was that "dreaming of you" element. Trapped in some alternate world without the Grey Tower or her, Dax would have slept with all the whores wherever there was a good alehouse. Or even a bad alehouse. That depends on the quality of the whores.

She tilted her chin up, disdain tightening her lips. Her eyes moved away from his, glancing at the wall behind as she thought of how to deal with him. Deal with him? Apparently she had just decided that Dax was a problem to be handled, not solved.

"You swore oaths to the Grey Tower and the Warders' Yard, Dakson Torellion." Her tone was clipped like a Cairhienin's, the voice she used when disciplining her children.

Our children, a small voice injected.

Elia cleared her throat. "You abandoned your charge of channellers at a time of war. Darkfriends ravaged the cities of Hama Valon and Tar Valon, and you lapsed in your duties."

Her gaze shifted from the wall to his and-- Uncertainty struck her. In the cool blue of the Tairen's eyes was a softness she hadn't seen before.

'Bleakness' was the word her mind landed on.

"Desertion is not tolerated." Rage fuelled her onwards, but there was none of that present in her voice now. "You can't abandon the people you're entrusted to protect. There's... consequences."

The blueness shifted as her vision blurred. She couldn't read his emotions now. His face became indistinct as she pressed on. "And you must answer for them. Properly answer." She felt something trail down her face after she blinked. "And not with stories about other worlds." She blinked again, then scrubbed at her face. Her hand came away damp.

She made a half-step backwards, tilting her chin back more, struggling to keep her composure. "You'll go immediately to the Gaidin Captain and tell him why you left us alone, without answers." Droplets of spittle flew from her lips. "And why you won't give me real answers now!" A void opened up as saidar slipped from her grasp. She staggered back a step before catching herself against the wall with her good hand. Even with tears in her eyes, Elia saw her gaggle of flunkies rush to approach now that the ward had fallen. She raised her bad arm to stop them in their tracks.

Staggering back to her feet, Elia put everything into the scornful look she shot towards Dax. "Where did you go?" she cried breathlessly, "Why did you leave? Give me the truth, Dax!"
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Sunny » April 12th, 2018, 6:04 am

Dax
Although Dax had hoped for grace, the verbal onslaught came as no surprise. What did shock him was the sudden flash of cold blue that seared through his mind, the physical hurt that gripped him at Elia’s disbelief. I was honest to you in all my doings, while you were honest to me in none of yours. Elia’s hypocrisy should have brought anger, but all Dax felt was gray despair.

If Elia did not believe him, the Gaidin Captain certainly would not. I don’t even know who the Captain is, he realized, chewing on the inside of his lip. If Elia is Amyrlin, what else has changed? How long was I gone? Again with that unwanted awareness of the difference in time. Were Thea and Tom grown now? That thought hurt; he had enjoyed reading to them.

Dax was so lost in his thoughts he barely noticed Elia’s movement until she was pushing herself back up, waving away her attendants with all the imperious authority she possessed. "Where did you go? Why did you leave? Give me the truth, Dax!"

Blue eyes shifted from startled face to startled face. Some were ageless, some weren’t; some male, some female. One for each Ajah, he realized, plus the Keeper. Dax knew them all, which he found vaguely comforting. Perhaps he hadn’t been in the mirror world for all that long after all. None of that mattered; they had clearly heard at least part of their conversation.

So much for privacy.

Dax had never claimed much in the way of forethought. Perhaps that was why instead of taking that golden opportunity to walk away from the mess he’d caught himself in, he instead chose to face Elia head on.

“The first thing I learned as a professional liar was to keep my lies simple and based in truth,” he told her. “If I had told you I was thrown in prison for fighting, I doubt you would have questioned my story. It’s an easy tale to believe, given my history. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve used that excuse to explain an absence.” He exhaled sharply, glancing up at the ceiling as if for guidance before turning his attention back to her. “I didn’t do that this time because I am not bloody lying.

He held up his hand when she would have spoken. “I swear on my soul, Elia. I am telling the truth. I was taken against my will and I came back to you,” to her, not the Tower; the emphasis was subtle, but it was there, “as soon as I possibly could.” He wet his lips as a new thought occurred to him. “I can prove at least part of my story with a single step, but I am not going to explain how or why in front of this flock of scheming geese."
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Craig » April 15th, 2018, 1:32 am

Elia
Elia had regained some of her composure. She stood with a straight back, looking at Dax with reddened eyes, ignoring the... the 'scheming geese' beside them. In retrospect, this had been a bad place to have this conversation, but she didn't need the geese... what noises do geese make? Well, she didn't need them squawking rumours around the Tower about the Amyrlin and her long-lost Gaidin.

She turned to them and doled out commandments. Some were pertinent, such as disseminating reports from their colleagues across the land. Others were close to trivial, like making sure the Mistress of Novices had enough coin to hand out to the new Accepted. Each was assigned randomly, just to keep them on their toes. She had no favourites, not even towards her former brother in the Indigo.

The geese dispersed, leaving Dax and Elia in an empty corridor filled with an uneasy silence. She looked at him again, discerning what she could from his apparel whilst mulling over his words. Accepting his story seemed inevitable, given his reasoning against how far-fetched it sounded. There were other worlds, or at least reflections of this world. Seeing Jaryd as a Darkfriend didn't take much imagination.

She rubbed at her nose with a sniff. Her eyes danced away from his gaze, eventually finding purchase on a random point on his shirt. Without the distraction of rage or attendants, Elia's thoughts shifted towards her dreams of this moment, and her plans if she ever laid her hands on Dax again.

"Why did you say that?" she asked after a long pause.

"It's the truth, love."

She glared up at him. "No, not that," she snapped. "Why did you say 'I love you'? What is it you expect from me, Dax? That I'm just going to take you back? Ignore the fact you've been gone for years after you never even said 'goodbye'. That's not the actions of a man who says 'I love you' and means it. That's the words of someone hoping to claw back something they don't deserve, and they know it."

At some point during her rant, Elia had stepped towards him, arms crossed over her chest. She glared up at him, regretting how desperately she had wished for him to return. In the same thought, she just wanted to grab hold of him and never let him go. Fortunately she was used to dichotomies, yet it didn't stop her heart from thumping hard within her chest.

There was more she had to say, but fear constricted her throat. There were certain times when you knew asking a question would lead you down one of two distinctly different paths. Down one was the outcome she dreamed of. Along the other was a future she dreaded. Yet the question needed to be asked, nonetheless.

"Tell me the truth, Dax. Why are you really here?"
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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Sunny » April 17th, 2018, 6:13 pm

Dax
Gone for years. The world stopped spinning so suddenly that Dax thought he might fall. His hands flew backward, pressing palm-down against the wall for stability as those words circled in his head. Years! Time passed differently, but he had hoped, Light how he had hoped, that it wouldn’t be to that extent.

Elia had sent the others away, he remembered, her excuses as flimsy as her serenity. That was either a good sign, or a terrible one. Dax clung to the wall, studying Elia with wide eyes, and tried to determine which path this meeting would take next.

Her very presence distracted Dax from that goal. He had not known Elia’s secret before -oh, he’d had suspicions, but nothing nearing the truth- but he had lived with her, cared for her, loved her. He knew her secret needs and hidden wishes, grown to understand the humanity that bubbled just behind her ageless face and cool authority. He knew her, and she knew him. Partners in dysfunction, one of the Gaidin had once said. If only he'd known how true those words were.

It had taken a long time to earn what trust she could give. It had been a fragile thing even then, built around their children and a hasty promise. Leaving without saying good-bye would have caused enough damage; vanishing for years had surely destroyed everything they had built. Her anger made sense now, except… She waited anyway. They spoke because she had waited; there was no other explanation. He knew that as surely as he knew his own name.

For some reason that hurt. Everything hurts.

“Tell me the truth, Dax. Why are you really here?”

The Tairen pushed himself away from the wall and reached for her. Dax knew he courted disaster with such a presumptuous move, but he could not gather his thoughts without touch. Elia’s hands were small in his, one pale and soft, the other still mottled gray and stiff. He took care not to jostle her bad arm, knowing the pain that could come from the slightest pressure in the wrong place.

“Because I finally know what I want,” he said softly as he examined her fingers, “and it isn’t freedom. Not the kind I used to dream of, anyway. I could have had that in the mirror-world, you know. Fighting, drinking, whoring...whatever I dreamed of, worry free. And I walked away.” He ran his thumb over the back of Elia’s hand, amazed at the wash of gold that colored his thoughts at the touch.

“I’m here because I want to give you everything I am or ever will be, Elia. I want to stand by your side for the rest of my life.” That was a dangerous pledge to make. She was a Darkfriend, no more capable of returning his fidelity than she was of showing the Tower her true colors. The Aelfinn had given him a glimmer of hope, however, and he would die to reach it if he had to. “I understand you can’t trust me right now. That’s why- why I want to give you my bond, if you will take it.” He gnawed on his lip, his eyes finally sliding up to meet hers once more. “You could feel that I mean what I say, then. You would know it to your bones."
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Craig » April 23rd, 2018, 2:17 pm

Elia
"I finally know what I want, and it isn't freedom."

She watched his hands because that was far easier than looking at his face. His touch wasn't the electric shock that she had expected; instead, it brought a feeling of calm. Each stroke of his thumb against her hand brought with it a wave of relief. The years apart slowly faded away, her internal anger buried beneath a desire to return to their past lives before his disappearance.

"I want to stand by your side for the rest of my life."

I do too. The thought was immediate and unbeckoned. She wanted to wrap him in her arms, nuzzle her face into his chest and breath in his odour. She hadn't been the same since his departure. No-one else's company allowed her to strip off the titles that burdened her. Even with her children, she could never be just herself.

"I want to give you my bond."

Her breath hitched. She instinctively looked up at him and saw the nervous look on his face. Not nervous in the sense that he was scared to pledge his life to her. He's scared that I'll say no? It had been one of many regrets that she hadn't bonded him before he vanished, although to believe his story meant that bonding him may have driven either of them mad with worry. She had been driven mad with worry. And now you just offer me my dream? It seemed unreal, but then Dax's very presence was unbelievable.

Elia closed her eyes, focusing solely on the touch of his fingers to return her to a sense of serenity. Her mind was scrambling around her dreams and hopes. She had to be more pragmatic than that. She couldn't just give in to her emotion, no matter how much they demanded her to submit. Elia could feel her eyes scrunching up in dismay. She could visualise the worry that would be crossing Dax's face as he noticed her uncertainty. Peace, why does every decision with you have to be so instantaneous?

Her hands were trembling, or perhaps that was Dax. She wanted to say yes but common sense told her no. Fear gnawed away at her bit-by-bit since she swore to the Black Ajah, a fear that told her that her time was limited. The centuries of life that the One Power promised could be swiped away within an instant. One wrong decision, even just one misspoken word could result in the end of her life as she knew it. Her fear wasn't because of death. That held a finality that the stilled could only dream of.

Dropping her head, she leaned against Dax's chest. He was the man she wanted. He was the one person who allowed her to be herself. He'd also stuck with her when others would not have, beholden to children or otherwise. The children, peace. The children will want him too. She had regretfully thought about being with someone else simply for Corinthea and Tomas's benefit. All she had to do was accept his offer and they would have their father back.

Something dripped off her nose. She felt the tears that were running down her face. Her nose bubbled as she breathed. There was a truth she was ignoring, denying even to herself. It was the real reason she hadn't answered.

He would know.

The reality of that, his realisation of that, would destroy everything. Any love they shared would die. His love for life itself would end. He would be hollow like a wicker mannequin, not truly alive, just simply existing.

Yet if she said no, wouldn't that be the same? He would leave and she would be the one who was hollow.

Her legs shook. Strong arms were wrapped around her slender frame, keeping her from falling. She was sobbing, her face pressed against the rough fabric of Dax's shirt. Words were beyond her. All Elia could do was cling to the man she loved and cry.
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Sunny » April 30th, 2018, 4:42 am

Dax
Dax’s hands shifted automatically, sliding around Elia’s waist to cradle her against him as she crumbled. The contrast between the aura of confidence she gave off and the vulnerable reality of her slender form took his breath away in a rush of familiar feeling. Dax ducked his head and buried his nose in her hair, soothing fingers stroking through red strands as he considered his next move. He soon felt dampness soak through his shirt, but made no move to disturb her.

Did I really expect her to say yes? If Elia could feel his truths, then he could feel hers. That would be dangerous to one such as she, something he had not considered when offering her his bond. Logically he knew the Black Ajah had to bond Warders, but perhaps they only bonded their own kind. That seemed foolhardy in a different way; What if one was captured and forced to talk, thus exposing the other and all their contacts? What if the Warder were given different orders than the channeler? Or does the Shadow treat them as a unit…

More things to learn about, once he had ascertained his standing at the Tower. For now, finding a way for her to say no without exposing herself was more important, even if the very idea felt like a mule kick to the chest.

“I won’t ask you to decide right now, love,” he said after a long time. “I’ve had years to consider what I want and to make my decision. You…” he pulled away to peer down at her, then pulled one arm free and wiped the tears off her exposed cheek with his thumb. “You’ve only just learned I didn’t abandon you. It was unfair of me to ask at all. Since that cat is out of the bag,” he sighed, a soft sound that held a thousand emotions he didn’t know how to express, “when you are ready, if you ever are, my answer will always be yes.”

And that? Well, that would have to do. Going by how close she had pressed herself, perhaps forgiveness did not depend on a weave of Spirit.
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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Re: Carry on my Wayward Son (Elia/Craig)

Post by Craig » May 3rd, 2018, 9:50 pm

Elia
She trembled - it was beyond her ability to stop - but she forced herself to look at Dax. He was entirely too reasonable, entirely too understanding. Her subdued rage tried to blossom again, infuriated at his control in comparison to her own lack. Instead she found herself inspecting his face, marking up all the differences between her memories and the man before her.

"Earring?" she asked between sobs. The black loop through his ear was new; everything else was how she remembered. Had he really changed so little in their time apart? She had griefed and mourned for the complex life they had built themselves. Necessity had forced her to adapt, to alter her priorities. Was he really so single-mindedly focused on this, on her?

Her right arm ached from holding onto him. She loosened her hold on Dax as she let the useless limb drop to her side. Her left hand reached up to stroke his cheek.

"Don't make me a promise if you know you can't keep it."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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meble kuchenne na wymiar cennik

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