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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi

    A smoldering fire - any

    Love is friendship set on fire ...
    It had already been a few days since she had arrived at the forest. She knew she should go home, that much honour did her God at least deserve, but she simply couldn’t get herself to it. Gunsynd would be there, just like Lior roamed in the meadow. After their encounter the forest had been her destination, the place she had fled too, because Igni didn’t really feel like facing either of them right now. What should have been a happy reunion, had turned into a painful memory.

    The black roan girl – even though she was an adult by age, her heart and actions didn’t make her a woman yet – was genuinely confused and upset. Igni doesn’t understand what exactly had happened, and why Lior had been so angry and what could be wrong with Gunsynd. Yes, she trusted Lior, he had been and was her first crush after all, but she also genuinely believed that Gunsynd was their God’s (Carnage) chosen one. And how could a God’s chosen one be so horrific as Lior wanted her to believe?
    ... and fire is the burning passion within.

    OOC: Short words for the sake of short words. I needed a break from my take home exam, and allowed myself to do short words ^^.

    The forest exhaled and he sighed into it. Eyes still closed, he rolled the stiff of sleep from his shoulders. A nearby critter spooked at his sudden release from slumber and catapulted into a bush. His eyes caught on the movement and he stared dimly at the little hideout until the rustling eased.

    Another shuffling nearby attracted his attention, and his gaze fell on a roaned mare through a break in the trees. She stood tensed, her eyes a little wide as she seemed to be considering a rather difficult problem. He thought she might be breathing quicker than as was normal as well.

    He edged closer, shrouded in shadows from the thick canopy. Gypsy Vanner ran through his blood and bulked his large form with muscle and heavy steps. You look troubled, his voice rolled from the darkness. A stray beam of sunlight filtered through the trees and lit his silver eyes. He took another slow step forward, the planes of his broad face illuminating as it slid out of the blackness.

    Could I help you?


    Love is friendship set on fire ...
    As she was too consumed in her own thoughts, the blue roan girl didn’t notice his arrival. Only after he makes his presence known by speaking, she becomes actually aware of it. And it happens in a rather not quite charming way. A high – but short – shriek is pulled from Igni’s throat, as she quickly turns herself around to face her new companion, or was should she call him the perpetrator? After all, he had snuck upon her. ”You surprised me” she states in just an observing manner as he had done just moments before, but only once she has caught her breath.

    She silently watches him as he steps closer, revealing his silver form as rare rays of light dance on his skin. He somewhat resembled both the males that had kept her mind busy, in build that was, since both Lior and Gunsynd were black as night. Her blue eyes stay directed at him, even if the silence stretches far beyond what is considered normal in a conversation. Igni simply doesn’t know how to answer his question. ”I.. I don’t know.. It’s all such a big mess..” she eventually answers, still naively opening her up toward strangers even though Lior had just told her to not do so. Her head was a mess, her thoughts all over the place.
    ... and fire is the burning passion within.

    She squeaked in surprise as his voice shook her from her deep musing. He hadn't meant to startle her. He hadn't even meant to speak to her, but it felt like the thing to do. She steadied her breathing as he waited.

    "You surprised me," is all she said before a long silence settled between them. Gaze for gaze, they only watched each other, neither one disturbing the eerie but peaceful quiet. He wondered briefly if perhaps he should have left her alone with her thoughts. Maybe she didn't want anyone around in a time like this. But there she stood, returning his stare evenly. Not afraid, not angry. Almost as though she'd suffered so many emotions in such a short time that she could not be bothered to feel more just then.

    "I.. I don't know.. It's all such a big mess." She spoke softly. The weight of her troubles looked burdensome, diminishing the natural light in her eyes and faintly slumping her shoulders.

    He couldn't solve her problems, whatever they were, but perhaps all she needed right now was a friendly ear. Comfort, he may be able to provide. Support. If she welcomed it. Or even allowed it. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time he got rebuffed for trying to help. Maybe she'd be too small to cause much damage.

    He slid forward, his mass lighting as it left the shadows. Thick, silver-white hair fell across a dark grullo face. His belly variegated into a paler gray, almost metallic but still a natural hue. A violent slash of white cut boldly along his shoulder, the only show of a tobiano pattern.

    He reached for her muzzle as he neared her, carefully trading scents, then edged in closer. When he came to her withers he stopped, turning his head to ruffle the base of her mane with calming breaths. It had always felt reassuring to him when his mother had done it for him as a child, a gentle tickle at his neck.

    No words left him, no questions. If she wanted to talk it out, he was here. And if she wanted to just rest, he supposed he could stay for that too. It wasn't like he had anything else to do today but catch more naps.

    Love is friendship set on fire ...
    She was tired, oh so tired. Not physically per say – although she would’ve to admit that she hadn’t had a good rest in quite a while now – but more mentally. Simply too much had happened for her young mind to wrap around, to understand. Right now choosing to not understand was the easy choice Igni was so close to make. To just hide her head underground and play dumb. But she also knew that Lior wouldn’t tell her all that just for fun. So it was impossible for the blue roan girl to just forget about it.

    With just that simple sentence she had voiced out all her troubles to this stranger. She was lost, broken, utterly confused. Perhaps she was nuts talking her heart out to someone she didn’t know, but Igni simply couldn’t help herself. She needed this. She needed him. Even if he only pretended to be genuinely interested, for now she would just pretend he was. He doesn’t speak, neither looks away, and for a moment she’s afraid he’ll turn his back on her. Igni couldn’t blame him for that, she brought more trouble than she was worth.

    Then he moves closer. With slight interested and hope her ears twist forward as her head perks up. For a moment she just stands still, awaiting his movements, but just before he retreats, Igni offers her nose to him. She almost shyly breaths in his scent, even flustered to a point as this was a whole new experience to her. Never before had anybody ever been so… so thoughtful over her. The weight drops from her shoulders and she slouches down at this side before even realising it.

    She closes the last bit of distance between them, her muzzle resting on his shoulder, without actually getting herself to properly groom him back. ”I.. I don’t know where to start.. I’m so so confused..” she mumbles, her warm breath hitting his skin. Unable to continue, simply not knowing how to, she pauses for a while. ”One says this, the other says that.. W-who to believe..? I-I want to believe him, I always did, but that will be blasphemy, so how can I believe him?” She’s asking questions, question to which he probably didn’t know the answers either. But she had to share them, had to get it out of her head, and maybe, just maybe, he would be all knowing and able to answer her questions. There were more than one miracle in the world.
    ... and fire is the burning passion within.

    He sensed the tension in her release and she slumped just a little. Her breath tickled his skin as she closed the distance and came to rest at his shoulder. Her actions were surprising, but also comforting; she didn't see him as a threat. He felt relieved by that, and quietly listened to her bear her problems to him as though they had known each other all their lives.

    His velvet trailed lazily across her coat as she spoke, intent on her words and unaware he was still touching her so gently. She was confused, she said, and he could hear it in her voice, mixed in with the hurt. After that single admission, she grew quiet again. He paused his treatments, his shoulder pressing against her in solid reassurance, and waited.

    It felt as though he cupped something delicate, something fragile and valuable. This woman was shaken and torn by some event and all he could do was hold her carefully together and hope the pieces mended back where they should. Of all people, she was stuck with him to do this for her, a large and clumsy fool that might sooner cause more damage than aid. The slightest trip in his gait and she could shatter.

    Probably for the best that he was standing so still.

    "One says this, the other says that.. W-who to believe..? I-I want to believe him, I always did, but that will be blasphemy, so how can I believe him?"

    What do you believe? he asked vaguely. He had no grand wisdom to impart, no sight into her problems or how to fix them. But he would try to help her find the solution regardless. Words are meaningless. What do their actions tell you? His voice was low and gentle. Whoever had caused her to fall into such a state must have made a real mess of things for her to become so confused and doubtful. Hopefully, he would at least bring temporary comfort for her.

    Love is friendship set on fire ...
    It was strangely relieving to get it all off her heart, to rant to a complete stranger. It was even stranger that this stranger was so willing to listen to her like this. Sure there were goodhearted people out there, but all of them had baggage of their own. Who hasn’t been affected by the reckoning, most had lost their homes, some even their families and loved ones. And not to forget all those who had been gifted with a trait had lost their special thing. Igni was one of those, having both lost her home and family. There was nobody with who she could share her troubles, except for this random stranger.

    She had hope for him to have an answer, but instead he asks her a question himself. And that one doesn’t really make the issue any easier for Igni. Right now she simply doesn’t know what to believe. ”I.. I don’t know..” she mumbles, voice soft, matching with how small and she currently felt. ”I believe in my God, but.. Lior was my brother in the Tundra. He always cared and looked out for me, and says that his father Gunsynd – the God’s chosen one – is manipulative and the one to be careful off. How can those two work together?” Torn between staying faithful to her god or believing her heart and memory.

    Sighing softly Igni closes her eyes, her muzzle resting on his shoulder. She was also unaware of the fact that she was moving closer and closer to him, leaning on her left leg as that was the side that could feel his warmth. His next question has her pausing for a moment, what did their actions tell her? Lior had always been kind and protective of her, he had been her first – and only – recruit for the Tundra. After Gunsynd and she had followed the same god, and he had even been blessed by the god by gaining traits. ”Lior has never done anything wrong.. He’s kind. My god, Carnage, has given us a land to live in, given us a home. And Gunsynd has only been good to me too. Although he did seem to like my connection to Lior a bit too much..” Yes, a little voice in her head pointed out the flaws, the things that didn’t make sense, but her heart stubbornly overrules that all. How could any of them be wrong? And at the same time, one should, because otherwise there wouldn’t be two opposing parties.
    ... and fire is the burning passion within.

    She defined her problem in greater detail, slipping out names that meant nothing to him. He could only be quietly present and listen to her heart bleed.

    Her breath tickled his coat as she sighed against him, going silent for a few moments. In the emptiness, he became hyper-aware of how close they were. He could feel every inch of her warmth that touched him. His legs suddenly felt stiff and aching, but he forced himself to remain as he was. Just a bit longer.

    She was talking again. He tried to listen, but was becoming distracted with their nearness, now that he was made so aware of it. The name "Lior" repeated again, and more about her God, as he twisted to just barely brush his cheek against her. So soft. How long had it been since he'd held a woman? He couldn't remember. That other name, Gunsynd, tumbled out of her with a hint of doubt in her voice.

    He sighed inaudibly, and moved to carefully detach himself from her. It was nothing she did, he knew. He was just so out of touch with the proprieties of the rest of the world lately. There was enough in him to recognize he was becoming far too intimate and affectionate with a stranger. Not having a mare around for so long, and possibly craving it a little, was his own problem, not hers. She had enough problems of her own than to have to deal with him, too.

    I'm sorry, I wish I knew how to solve this for you. He stood apart from her, tall and massive in comparison to her delicate grace. Without answers for her, he could only stand there awkwardly and wish he knew something wise to say. Perhaps time away from it all will clear your mind and give you a better perspective on things.

    Love is friendship set on fire ...
    Only when he moves away from her side, Igni realises how close they had been. And that while they were complete strangers. She sidesteps, turning towards him as she doesn’t dare to meet his gaze in her flustered state. ”I’m sorry” she murmurs softly, eyes directed on his shoulder so she doesn’t have to meet his eyes. She hadn’t meant to become this cosy with a stranger, but honestly, she needed the comfort he offered. Yet the blue roan girl doesn’t get the chance to introduce herself, as he offers her a bit of his wisdom.

    He tells her that he does not know the answer, that he cannot solve the puzzle that kept her mind busy. However, he does offer her advice. He tells her to stay away for a while, so that she wouldn’t be influenced by those that might want to steer her in a said direction. She nods, shortly meeting his gaze for a second before she let her eyes travel across the trees that surround them. ”That’s why I’m here.. Why I didn’t go home” she tells him honestly. What she doesn’t say was that she is afraid to go home. Afraid to confront Gunsynd. But at the same time, she isn’t sure if she wants to see Lior either.

    ”Do.. Do you want to stay with me?” Her voice is soft, hesitant, and Igni definitely does not dare to look in his direction. She’s afraid he will say no, that he will leave her, even though he soothed her like they were close relatives just moments ago. ”I- I don’t like it to be alone…”
    ... and fire is the burning passion within.
    She stepped aside as he pulled back, turning to face him. "I'm sorry," she said softly, her eyes lowered. Perhaps she'd noticed their easy intimacy as well and was uncomfortable with him now. That hadn't been his intention, especially if she was ashamed of it. He'd only meant to ease her heart if he could. Now he wondered if he'd made things worse for her. Another problem for her to work through. He grimaced.

    "That's why I'm here.. Why I didn't go home," she said, her eyes only passing over him for a moment before surveying their surroundings. Of course that was what she was doing; staying away from her home. Even when he tried to be helpful, it seemed he was only good for warmth and physical comfort. He sighed quietly, thinking that perhaps he should go now and leave her to sort herself out. He was clearly not helping.

    "Do.. Do you want to stay with me?" He hesitated. She avoided looking at him, standing so unsure and vulnerable. "I- I don't like to be alone..." His heart hurt for her, this seemingly innocent young woman. What on earth had happened to her to make her so unbalanced, so broken? He knew he should leave... And yet his heavy feet propelled him carefully forward. Dark velvet swept across her nape, as though they had known each other all their lives. As though they had grown up together as children.

    I am yours tonight, he whispered into her hair. With another step, his silvery side lined up and pressed against her. Firm and solid. A temporary support to keep her steady. By morning, he would be gone. But for now, he could pretend they were old friends, and comfort her however he could.

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