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Lirriel's picture

Arkav stumbled out of the Stonefire Tavern, hands shaking enough that he couldn’t turn the ignition on his bike. He concentrated, sending a private call for help across the background chatter of the Link. It didn’t take long for the memories to intrude.

“Ark!” Tavrilla screamed again. Then she began to choke, her skin turning a blotchy green-grey, her hair shriveling.

He nearly jumped at the hand on his shoulder. Rhaala’s hand, he realized just before striking. Ki’in’s hands covered his fists, pulling the fingers loose so Ark’s nails would stop digging into his palms. “Let’s get you home,” the archaeologist said. Dwarven bystanders watched and whispered; how long had he been standing there?

Arkav wasn’t sure how they got to his apartment; he was too focused on the hammering of his heart, his difficulty breathing, and the screams echoing in his ears. Xillia was waiting, bleary-eyed and concerned. He dropped into her arms, letting her stroke his hair and rock him as he tried to calm down.

He had thought he was done with these; it had been months since the last attack. Seeing that woman’s scars, her illness, her cynicism, and her casual disregard—that had drudged everything to the surface. She had been there too, survived scarred and broken…

No, he had stop thinking about it, about her. Focus on Xilly, on Rhaala, on Ki’in, on Scribble’s concerned rumble through the window and Doodle dropping spores on his chest. Focus on the warmth of the hearth, the smell of Xilly’s Light-forsaken mushrooms.

He was safe. It was long over. Everything was OK now.

Why the fel couldn’t he convince himself of that?


Raeyn's picture

Ki'in held onto the

Ki'in held onto the handlebars of Arkav's bike, slowly pushing it back to his apartment. Ark had even left the keys in the ignition in his state.

He could drive the bike home, but this gave him think.

Seeing his friend's face a mask of terror. Pulling him back from the terrible memories.

And knowing there was nothing he could do.

His grip tightened on the handles.


Darlain's picture

Xillia was still in a bit of

Xillia was still in a bit of a state of shock at having been woken up like this. She could feel his heart beating against her, fast, very fast, like he was running for his life. She turned to her memories as a scared child being calmed by her mother, a calm, soothing voice, stroaking his hair, giving him small kisses on the head. 

She blinked back a tear, overwhelmed with with empathy towards him. She had always seen Arkav as a rock, an inspiration of someone who had been broken with regret and rose above. This must have been how he had felt when she had been infected with doubt, when she had nearly died. 

"Shhh" she whispered soothingly, "I'm right here, i'm not going anywhere."

She could feel his heartbeat begin to slow. Of course she wasn't going anywhere, this is where he was for her, and she would be there for him.