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Enduring

Lirriel's picture

I drop onto the bed of my borrowed room, shove my face into the pillow, and scream.

I want to be back at my own garrison. I want to only be responsible for my own Dragoons, only having to keep them in line.

I want to be drinking strong tea while leaning on Wes and going over paperwork together.

I want to lose my temper and tear apart the traitor who helped lay Dolraan low. I want to rage and rip apart the R&D bastards who callously killed so many gnomes and left Pinapple raving in Doc Coggle’s lab.

I want to take the heaviest mace I can find and smash apart that new lawn ornament in Nagrand, because how dare he start this whole mess after all he did back on Azeroth. And if I ever get my hands on that black whelp, I’ll—

I scream against the pillow again. Until my throat hurts.

For a long time, there’s only the gentle ticking of the clock and the muffled sounds filtering in through the closed window.

Breathe. In, out, in, out. One, two, three, four, five. Let it go, empty, drain…

I slowly sit up. I take off my gloves and toss them on the nightstand. I reach up and let my hair down, the waves and flyaway curls still shorter than I like. It all needs a good washing.

I shuck my tabard and uniform to stand in my smallclothes and simply stretch, continuing the breathing exercises, hearing the count in Vindicator Varduun’s rumbling voice, the slight roll of “r” in his accent. I wish my old mentor were here now.

I fill the small sink and pick up my shampoo. Simple, unscented, just does its job. I duck my head over the basin and pour water from a pitcher over the whole mess, massaging my scalp, running scarred fingers through the tangles. I remember when Ma and I spent time on each other’s hair, when I was a girl. I wish she were here now.

I take my time, until the water starts to cool and I’m running out of clear water to rinse. I fumble for a towel—this room isn’t as familiar as my own, not set up the same—and wrap it around my hair, twisting it over my head as I straighten. I let the water drain and pad back to the bed.

I sit cross-legged and try to meditate like I learned in the Pandaria monasteries. Their methods let me finally connect to the gentler side of the Light, figure out how to heal others as well as myself. I breathe, center, balance, try to let the list of stressors settle.

I remind myself it’s okay to feel frustrated. I am not being selfish. Others have it worse, sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be angry, too. Kamron taught me that, when I tried to blow off problems before; couldn’t be as bad as what happened to him, right? He called bullshit. I wish the old soldier were here now.

The candles are low when I open my eyes again. I’m still sitting up, so I don’t think I fell asleep this time; I’m getting better about that.

I unfold and pick up my discarded clothes, hanging the uniform up for the orderly to come and take to morning laundry. The tabard I hang over my armor, cleaned before the Dragoon meeting, left here during the fiasco with the Crusaders’ traitor and unworn in the few days since then. Now I get this letter about Lai-Ning, and…

No. Later. Time to read, then sleep. Rest. I am far from okay, but for now, this will have to do. I just have to keep it together a little longer. Pin is on the way to recovery, maybe, hold onto that. We got the traitor and are going after his bosses soon, I can let out some of the energy then.

Be the shield. The rock. The reliable, steady one. The Commander. The paladin. Just a little while longer.

And when Pin is better, when Dolraan is recovered, then it’ll be time to take my own advice, get Wes, and take a vacation. Somewhere. Anywhere.

But for now…Endure.