[AW] In a veil of great disguises, how do I live with your ghost
Grimrun was quiet.

For a long time, Casimir stood at the fence and watched as the horses grazed along snowy paths. At a distance, he couldn't tell which were last year's foals —they were nearing a year now, and soon, he knew, the next batch would arrive.

Sometimes the passage of time was a comfort. He knew that all the painful moments would dither and fade, and the new blood of Salsola would replace what had been lost. Maximo had given his life in service to the Kingdom, and that was the best, most noble death one could hope for in this world. His father had understood this, even if some did not see it this way. Lilia would forever begrudge the Queen for what her uncle had sacrificed, despite the life Elphaba had given to him in return. 

The young soldier tucked his chin into his elbows and sighed. A gentle breeze tugged at the paper in his hands, as if to remind him that the longer he delayed sending the letter, the longer it would take to move on. He just couldn't stand the thought—not of Rhaegar and Nym reading it, not of Lilia's concerns (if she hadn't already heard from Clementine or Indra), nor of its eventual journey to the Onuban shores where his father was finally at ease. Would he care about his sword, his steed, his son?

Would it be worse if he didn't?

He examined the writing against the dim white-blue of the overcast sky. Spotting a spelling error for the first time, he groaned and hid his face.
(---) | NPCs: None
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Having two helpers in Grimrun was useful – and once Whisper was more capable with her hands, Grievous imagined she would be joining him more often. She had expressed her desires loudly and often, but there was plenty she needed to learn before Grievous would be comfortable trusting her to handle the horses alone.

Cole and Evelyn managed well enough without his supervision, though he came to the barn every day to ensure this was the case.

As he loped up the path from the east, Grievous caught sight of another figure lingering near the fence-line. The wolf (on four legs so as to make his traveling easier) slowed his approach to a halt. He was made for winter and could easily disappear against the snowy ground. When he hunted this was especially vital, though Grievous did not intend to hide from his packmate.

It was not as if he and Casimir had been strangers since the attack. Despite his wound the young swordsman had accompanied the envoy to New Caledonia. He had likely spent the weeks after healing properly. Grievous suspected Casimir had tended to Lyra, whose broken arm would take much longer to fully recover. This was the way of the men-folk here, meant to ensure their women were provided for and protected. Had he any sons Grievous would have undoubtedly done what Brocade was with Tattersall – prepare him for battle, and for all the expectations their lesser gender required of them.

There were exceptions to this, he supposed, but gentle men never lasted long.

The wolf picked up his pace again and moved towards Casimir directly.

“Have you come to help with the horses?” Grievous called.

masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull

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