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  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [private]  it's always getting stranger than I thought it ever could

    He stands amongst the brush that thrives near the crystalline lake, eyes on the farthest shoreline as his tail snaps from one side to the other, lashing at the smooth hide of his flanks. There is a distinct bite to the breeze that stirs the greenery, heralding the colder months that await them in the near future. Normally, he might pause to lament the passing of summer (easily his favorite season, at least temperature-wise), but on this evening, he is too distracted by different trains of thought.

    At least twice now, someone has asked if the Dale is his new home and each time, he has given no firm answer because he can’t seem to make up his mind. The Dale has been pleasant enough and its people kind and welcoming. He has heard that all of the lands have recently begun organizing beneath new leaderships, but he has not sought out she that wears the Dale’s crown. Maybe he should.

    And yet.

    Something keeps him from choosing this place. Perhaps it is the curiosity that picks at his soul and pushes him toward the Chamber, despite a lack of allegiance to her in the past. But he debates whether or not to select the Chamber as home, even though he has yet to set foot within her boundaries. It is an inevitable link, however tenuous, to his past, and he is hesitant to travel down that path again.

    Then there are still the Gates and Pangea to consider. There is sure to be a long history behind the Gates, for some version existed when he last walked the surface; he wonders if the landscape is as heaven-like as it’s old name might suggest.  On the other hand, he knows nothing of Pangea’s history, nor really what the climate and surroundings are like. There is a certain allure to the unknown aspects, yet he still holds back.

    All this time quietly yearning for a home or for a purpose, or maybe for both, and now faced with a handful of options, he may as well be clinging to a fist full of smoke.

    Perhaps because home is not always about a place to hang your hat, sometimes it’s about what you’re coming home to.

    Unbidden, her image manifests in his mind’s eye. The uncertainty does not slip entirely from his being, but it fades from the foreground. Her presence, even the very thought of her, affords him a sense of comfort he is yet to find elsewhere. A part of him assumes that it is because she is the first creature he’d laid eyes on in a century or so, but the deeper crevices of his soul recognize that there is another reason, that something else is rooting and taking on its own new life.

    They have been exploring this newest version of Beqanna, so it has been some time now since he has seen her. A faint, wry hint of smile curves his lips as he realizes this is why he has come to the water tonight. He watches the moonlight creep lazily across the gently rippling surface, quietly appreciating the white-gold softness it bathes the scene in.

    Something tells him that she will be here tonight, so he waits and thinks of what to say.


    "The comfort zone is always the most desirable place to be. But in settling for comfort, there is a price to pay and it comes in the death of ambition, of hope, of youth, and the death of self."
    -Simon Barnes

    image by EnchantedHawke
    i showed him all my teeth & then i laughed out loud,
    because i never wanted saving, i just wanted to be found

    Though they had come to the Dale together, Adriana had been careful to not cling too tightly to him.

    She is still not ready to acknowledge the part of her that longed for his company, and the only way she knew to elude facing that is to continue as she had always done—to be indifferent, though not to the point that she appeared callous or entirely disinterested. And it is easy enough to find ways to entertain herself without him, whether that be in the Dale, or elsewhere, with whoever happened to capture her attention at the time.

    She is fairly certain he does not struggle to occupy himself without her company, either, although that is a begrudging acceptance on her part.

    This is a new land to her, and while it isn’t likely a place she would ever consider calling home it is still interesting enough. It is beautiful in a way that she is unaccustomed to. It is not lush and bright in the tropical way that Tephra had been, but the rugged hills and mirror-like lake are pristine in their own way. She did not care for the way the mountains seem to make a barrier just before the sea, though; even though the lake is beautiful, it did not call to her the way the ocean did.

    It felt too enclosed, and she missed the feeling of infinity that the ocean provided—the idea that she could go forever and end up somewhere entirely new.

    It is why she still found herself leaving the Dale to seek the solace of the sea, only this time whenever she found herself miles beneath the surface of the waves, it was far more difficult to ignore that invisible anchor that pulled her back to land every time. 

    That something—or someone—drew her back.

    Tonight she followed that pull, walking the now familiar path that led her through the rocky hills, the scent of the sea still clinging to her hair and skin. The frost on her scales glistened faintly in the silvery moonlight, and the golden strands of her mane remained damp and knotted. She looked especially out of place on land this evening, with the water of her wings cascading along her sides and the seashells embedded into the coils of her hair, her ocean-blue eyes scanning around her intently.

    She knows that she is looking for him, and this time she lets herself accept that that is what she is doing.

    She finds him along the bank of the lake, illuminated by a streak of moonlight, and she pauses. There is no denying the way her chest tightens at the sight of him—a mystifying ache, and she cannot decipher if it is pain or happiness, or why it somehow makes sense that she would feel both.

    Although she is sure he heard her approaching she still manages to fix that siren-smile to her face by the time he looks up, her expression impassive as she slips forward to place herself alongside him and ask sweetly, “You waiting for someone?”
    A D R I A N A


    A snippet of his first conversation with Famkee worms its way into his thoughts and he finds himself thinking about days long since put to bed. He runs down the pieces of his old life, the routine of leading a herd, the women that he kept under his thumb, the children he barely glanced at despite his quest to keep producing more of them, and the relative ease of keeping all of them safe.

    But he lingers at the single name that has stayed with him for all of years that have passed in the meantime. He is sorry to realize that details have slipped permanently from his memory, as though they are surrounded by a dark hazy shield that rebuffs his attempts to summon them back. He remembers the feel of her pressed to him in one of her calmer moments, but cannot recall the color of her eyes, not even the once familiar curves of her body. It is frustrating, to say the least, but he is grateful that some of the intangible things remain, for he knows he needs them in this current phase of life.

    “How did it feel to be in love?”

    An innocent question, one that he hadn’t cared to give much thought to when he had answered Famkee. However, it returns with a vengeance, demanding his attention as he waits by the water. 

    Not quite willing to abandon the bravado that had once served him well, he denied that he had loved Demise back then. She’d just been one of his girls, albeit his most loyal (even if the most unhinged) one. But beneath the wicked delights that occupied their time, love had surely woven a web that supported their chaotic relationship. Now, he sees that and can admit to himself that just as she would have done anything for him, so he would have done for her because he did love her.

    And so, where the clouded vision of his old love’s face sits in his mind’s eye, a new image develops with precise clarity. The crimson and gold tendrils that frame the eyes, blue as the icy sea she so carefully tries to keep her heart locked within. He smirks at this. As well as he knows himself and his stoicism, he also knows that he has somehow burned through her barriers, by however small a measure it may be.

    As he draws in a deep breath, he swears he can smell and taste the salt of the ocean that reminds him of her, despite knowing that the lake at his feet is the freshest of waters he’s encountered thus far. Just as he brushes it aside as a mysterious manifestation of his longing, he hears the steps that had become so familiar to him on their journey here.

    He is tempted to bound up to her with the enthusiasm of a young colt, but restrains himself and stands placidly fixed in her gaze as she slinks up to his side. A glint of pleasure, easily mistaken for a flash of moonlight, passes briefly through his eyes as he reaches for her. The new additions to her mane do not go unnoticed, but he does not bother to comment on them even as they scrape at the soft skin of his nose when he pushes against them to inhale, to memorize more of the briny scent that clings to her. The coolness of the scales beneath the hair rouses a quiet rumble of satisfaction deep in his chest as he lets his breath trace a warm path to her cheek.

    “And how would you feel if I said it’s you?”

    His voice is soft and quiet, yet laden with the loud roughness of his delight (and relief) in seeing her again. He says nothing else, content with just her nearness in the moment. Eventually, his curiosity wins out and he tugs gently at an errant strand of her mane that just happens to be near his lips.

    “I haven’t seen you in the Dale for a while.. find anything worth your time?”


    "The comfort zone is always the most desirable place to be. But in settling for comfort, there is a price to pay and it comes in the death of ambition, of hope, of youth, and the death of self."
    -Simon Barnes

    image by EnchantedHawke
    i showed him all my teeth & then i laughed out loud,
    because i never wanted saving, i just wanted to be found

    Even though she doesn’t flinch away from his touch, it is a habit that she cannot seem to break, that she still tries her best to hide the fact that she is happy—relieved, almost—to see the way that he reaches for her. She fights the urge to lean into him, afraid that he might feel and read her every thought if she allowed herself such closeness. But there is something in the back of her mind, a voice, that tells her she runs the risk of actually pushing him away if she keeps going on like this; if she continues to play it cool to the point she may as well be ice.

    It would be so easy, to simply let herself press back into him, to just see where this path might lead if she weren’t afraid to follow it.

    But all the things that could go wrong flood her mind, overriding anything that she might feel or want, and she might have managed to once again barricade herself inside her self-imposed fortress if it had not been for the warmth of his breath against her cheek.

    It was only a breath, only the ghost of his actual touch, but it still sends a shiver up the length of her spine and draws her in like gravity, her body leaning towards his whether she wants it to or not.

    “I’d feel like I should tell you that you don’t have to wait for me,” she begins, and at first she speaks with her usual lilting cadence, that teasing coyness that comes to her far too naturally. Her lips brush against his mane, and she can feel the weight of his wings against her side, and something in her shifts, changes, as she averts her eyes to the ground and admits quietly, “but I’m glad that you do.”

    It felt like a confession, but instead of the coiled knot in her chest loosening it seems to twist itself tighter. The urge to move away from his closeness—to restore a bit of the shield she had lowered—comes again but she resists, and she is certain that he must feel the erratic way her heart pounds behind her ribcage. She almost doesn’t hear his question, but the feel of his lips tugging at her mane demands her attention, though she does not look at him yet. The internal war she has been fighting starts up again, her mind racing almost as quickly as her foolish heart.

    She could lie; she could make her encounter with Lie sound like it had been more than it actually was. She could use it to keep space between them, to lead him to believe that he, too, is just another conquest, another thing to distract and entertain her. 

    But that voice is there again in the back of her mind, the one that tells her to stop before she makes a life-changing mistake. The one that tells her she will never know where this path goes if she doesn’t follow it.

    Finally, she looks at him, ocean-blue eyes finding his face, and her pretty golden lips twist into a small, knowing smile as she shakes her head. “No, I didn’t,” is all she says at first, holding his gaze. She could say more; she should say more, but she can’t bring herself to do it just yet. She can only hope that maybe he can read between the lines of all the things she doesn’t know how to say, and know that the fact she came back at all meant more than any words could express anyway.

    Leaning closer, she brushes her muzzle against his neck, trailing the slope of it down to his shoulder as she asks, “and what did you do while I was gone?”
    A D R I A N A


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