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Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:02 pm
|WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.|
Moons ago the teen disappeared from Casa di Cavalieri without a trace. Not even her closest confidante, her brother Rum, knew where she had gone. Her journey had started as nothing more than a mere dalliance outside of Casa, the girl looking for adventure, something to pass the time… anything more than these stiff “duty is everything” old windbags she was surrounded with. She never meant to hurt anybody. But… she did it anyway.
How would she explain it to her mo--… foster parent, Veri? How could she look little Alaric – not so little anymore – in the eye and explain why she abandoned him, just like how her own mother and father abandoned her? Seeing Rumpa again was difficult enough, even though he was happy to see her and quick to put the hurt she inflicted aside, just thankful to have her back once again. Of course Mercy had given her anemic explanation of what happened, but her brother was right… she could have written or sent word that she was ok.
There was much to apologize for, but it was a duty that must be done. Duty. Now I sound like one of the knights, she thought to herself as she padded through the Fort. After all, there was something much bigger than her transgression happening to her foster family right now, and Mercy could not ignore the tragedy unless she prove herself to be as heartless as Raine Nightshade.
Mercy didn’t really expect the healer to be in her medic office. From what she’d heard, the woman had been a mess ever since the discovery of her mate’s slaughter. Still, she knew her foster mother well, and if the woman was anything at all, it was dedicated to her work. Thinking that she might find Veri burying herself in her work to keep the pain at bay, she stopped by the medical office on the first floor of the Courthouse before checking for Veri at her personal quarters.
Rapping on the door gently, Mercy awaited any sound, any sign of life from within. She knocked a second time and then said through the door, V… Veri? It’s Mercy. I’m… home...
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Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:31 pm
Was it cruel to seek solitude from those who only meant well? Even if those individuals were family? Was that unfair, to leave her sons outside with the rest of the Fort to bear their own grief when all she wanted to do was shut herself in and slowly disappear into dust?
Of course, she'd made a legitimate reason for her presence here, in the office she'd been granted for her station amongst the Council, but really she'd only been sitting in the dark at her desk, staring toward the covered window and studiously ignoring the urge to pick up a paper and roll a joint to take away the painful lump lodged in her chest.
Occasionally tears would fall, misting across her vision before they dripped onto the sword sheath across her lap; his broadsword. It'd been left on him, and she'd collected it and kept it here in her Office. If she concentrated and held the leather up to her nose, she swore she could still pick up his scent...
A knock at the door startled the Cleric from her thoughts, snapping open her eyes which had drifted closed unconsciously. Swiftly she stood from her desk chair and leaned the weapon in the corner, picking up a flint to light a couple of candles just as a second knock rapped against her door. Her eyebrows pinched in slight annoyance, but the emotion barely gained any traction before a voice she hadn't heard in moons echoed from the other side of the wood barrier.
Almost instantly she was grabbing the handle and quickly pulling it open to stare out at the woman before her, a lump rising into her throat. "Mercy...Oh, Mercy, you're alright...I heard...Isobel told me you'd gotten to the Outpost... her arms reached out for the younger female and she pulled Mercy into her arms, holding the girl close. "Oh Mercy I'm so relieved you're home and safe, I was so worried..."
But if Mercy were to return the embrace, the Nightshade would be able to feel through the tunic how thin her foster mother had already grown in the few short days since the loss of her mate, and even her fur seemed less lustrous than it's usual appearance.
Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:38 pm
Just a beat after the second knock and the door swung wide with the vehement exaltation of a mother who had just found her lost pup, for that was what Veri was. Even though the circumstances were awful, if Mercy could be the origin of relief in such a dark time, she would be happy for it, however long it lasted. Veri appeared in the doorway in an instant, and Mercy had only a moment to take in her bright, aquatic eyes before Veri was grabbing her and pulling her in to an sublime embrace.
Mercy didn't realize how good it would feel to see the woman again until her arms were around her. Mercy held onto her foster mother tightly, and for a brief moment she felt tears of joy well up in her own eyes before blinking them back. She was surprised at herself, these unexpected feelings caught her off guard, though she would never admit it. At least, if questioned, she could say the tears were for her lost foster father.
I'm happy to be home, she replied softly. I've missed you, Mum. She said it. She said the word that she so rarely would speak to Veri, even though she truly did think of Veri as a mother deep within. The rough and tumble, hard exterior Mercy always affected as her wall against the world always prevented her from admitting just how important Veri was to her, but now that wall was slowly coming down.
The Nightshade girl held her foster mother tightly for a long while. A passing thought danced in the back of her mind. Isobel told me you'd gotten to the Outpost, Veri said. Was that the last she had heard? Did Veri think Mercy was safe at the outpost this whole time? If so, perhaps she would get off scot free and not take another tongue lashing like Rum had given her. In fact, Mercy had only been at the Portland outpost for a short time before falling off the radar entirely, to the point where she had to request entry back into the pack when she returned.
Yes I... I was safe the whole time, she lied. She felt justified in her little white lie, for now.
Releasing the embrace, she leaned back from Veri just enough so the woman would know she was not being rejected by her foster daughter. After all, they were just standing there in the doorway – Veri half in the medic office, Mercy half in the hall. Mind if I..? assuming it would be a yes, Mercy padded past the healer and stepped into the clinic, closing the door gently behind her.
She peered about the room and caught the scent of freshly struck flint. Mercy assumed she would be working to try to drive away her troubles but that didn't seem to be the case. Had Veri just been sitting here alone and in the dark? Giving her caretaker a look, she decided not to question it for now.
Reaching out, she took the pale woman's hand and gently held it between her own palms. Looking into Veri's eyes, she said sofly, Mother, I heard what happened. The rest of the 'are you doing ok?' 'how can I help?' 'everything will be better in time' platitudes all sounded too weak to be spoken for such a tragedy, so Mercy bit down on the words and refrained from uttering them aloud.
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:19 am
To her utter shock in the back of her mind, Mercy actually allowed herself to be held in the mother's embrace and even returned it as well, the two women both giving and taking in comfort of their contact. Fresh tears, for different reasons, sparked into her eyes, and the sting only grew worse as her daughter announced she was happy to be home and shared that'd she'd missed Veri, but instead calling the flaxen gold woman by 'Mum'.
They stood there for a long while, and Mercy assured Veri that'd she'd been safe the whole time. There was a hesitation that the mother would have normally pounced on immediately, but as for right then she was just so happy and relieved to have Mercy back home. The younger woman leaned back just slightly, mix-matched eyes glancing around to the interior of the office and half asking if she could enter.
"Yes, yes of course sweetheart, come inside," she murmured, releasing her daughter to retreat into the Office and allow Mercy to pad in past her. Her daughter also shut the door behind her, so Veri watched the Nightshade woman inspect the Office.
After only what seemed like a cursory glance, Mercy had turned back to the Cleric and taken her hands into her own, those violet and red orbs looking into her own, divulging that she knew what had happened to her foster father. Veri's expression pinched painfully and crumpled in on itself, her thoughts reeling back to that horrible day. Her eyes closed momentarily, her breath shuddering from her chest, and she squeezed Mercy's hands in hers.
"Yes...Yes, I..." her eyes opened and they were shimmering with moisture, but she took a deep breath and swallowed thickly. "I'm the one that...found him. Luca, Honrin, Temnota, and I...he, he was..." beheaded, executed, she wanted to say, murdered, but despite her distress, her motherly intuitions didn't want to bear such a horror to her daughter, still wanting to protect and shelter the Nightshade woman.
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:37 am
Mercy's expression was gravely serious as her mother delved into the painful memory. The painful, traumatizing memory of finding her beloved's body after it had been mangled and mutilated, desecrated in a death that no Cavalier, especially not a man willing to help raise whelps that weren't even his, deserved.
She clasped Veri's hand tightly, her grip firm as Veri choked her way through the words. Mercy shook her head. You don't have to say it, she assured her gently. Mercy knew what happened. A death like that... the murder of a knight was something that got around. Especially one so brutal as was meted out to her foster dad. She decided not to tell Veri that she knew what kind of death Rurik suffered, because that might just torment her even more. Though, try as she might, much of Mercy's demeanor implied that she knew.
Mercy hated that she had mentioned Rurik's death and caused Veri such immediate pain, but this was why she was here. Mercy knew that this kind of pain cut deep, and that there was no way Veri would escape her torment for long. The altruistic healer who had done so much to help two orphaned pups only to get no thanks in return was now the one in need.
One hand slid up Veri's arm so that she could gently lead her over to the chair and ease her down into it, then Mercy crouched next to her, peering up into her face. There was a gentleness and caring in her features, traits Mercy barely displayed when she was a young, selfish teenager. In that moment it was almost like the child had become the mother.
It's why I returned. Hearing about Rurik... it made me realize how important family is, and just how fleeting life is. I've taken everything I've ever been given for granted, she sighed. And that includes you and Rurik. She peered up at Veri, nothing but apology written in her bicolored eyes.
I'm back and I'm staying, she said, though even as she did so she knew there was something she wasn't telling Veri. Something important. Now was not the time, though. That would have to wait until later.
She wanted to comfort Veri, and at first she did her best to remain calm and do so. But as she knelt there watching the pain on Veri's face and knowing all that she'd been through, she couldn't help but tear up. The healer had opened her home to Mercy and her brother, and brought them in as though they were just another part of the family. Where other Cavaliers treated them like they were different, an extension of their monstrous father, Veri saw them for the innocent children that they were. So did Rurik, for he looked after and provided for them as well. Mercy didn't appreciate that, and now the man was gone and she would never be able to thank him for looking after her.
Mercy suddenly felt ashamed and averted her eyes. Her own violate eyes began to well up and become glassy, and she, too, began sobbing softly. I'm so sorry Veri. I'm sorry Rurik.
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Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:58 pm
It was not a relief to hear she need not say. Though her throat ached less without choking out the words, her heart constricted with the knowledge that her ward-turned-daughter might know the details of her foster father's death. Mercy had been abandoned and tossed about from caretaker to caretaker, and now she'd just lost another.
Mercy's hand slid one up of her arms and helped to guide her forward to the seat she'd abandoned to let her daughter inside. Once she'd been settled, the Nightshade woman knelt beside her and gazed up into the flaxen gold woman's face, her expression kind and gentle in a way Veri had so rarely seen in the months prior to her disappearance. Something had changed for her daughter in her time away, and sometime in the future she should ask about it.
Right now, though, mother and daughter were bonding in a way they never had before in the past. The closest time before might have been when Mercy had gotten fleas and been forced to reveal their existence to Veri by accident when attempting to find her own herbal relief without help.
Mercy went on to explain that hearing about Rurik's demise had been the siren call she'd needed to return back to Casa's lands. The regret and guilt for her daughter's earlier actions in life were written across the other woman's face plainly, squeezing Veri's heart all the tighter at the cruelty of it all. Children growing up too fast, family member torn from family member.
Mercy declared that this time, she was back to stay. Mismatched blue orbs grew misty, one clear and bright and the other fogged over permanently for protecting someone who couldn't. Veri reached out her hands to take up one of her daughter's and squueze it gently, her smile tremulous and fractured, but a smile none the less.
As she watched, however, tears welled within Mercy's beautiful violet and ruby irises, creasing the healer's face with more worry that pain. The Nightshade's expression shuttered as she turned her gaze away, her shoulders shaking beneath the weight of the world.
Without even thinking Veri bent at the waist and wrapped her arms around the woman before her, holding her comfortingly, hushing her quietly and squeezing her shoulders. "Hush my darling, you have nothing to be sorry for. Absolutely nothing." she soothed, curling one of her hands around the back of Mercy's head to stroke it in motherly affection, her own tears falling to wet the top of her daughter's hair.