Visionary Tales
9/18/19: Visionary Tales is ELEVEN YEARS OLD! Happy birthday! Leave a post on the site today (anywhere!) as a gift to VT. It's a good day to catch up on replies. (;If this is your first visit to the New VT, you'll need to create a new account. Visit the archive to view posts from Old VT.Archive site available at http://archive.visionary-tales.com

The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius watched calmly as his host's mate approached him; he did not know what to expect from her, whether she would take her frustrations out on him, as Victor obviously suspected she might. If she did, then he was not sure if he would even bother to defend himself.

He felt something inside him flutter as she spoke and he knew that Samuel was desperate to let her know that he was still here. It felt as if the other personality was beating his fists against his mind, screaming out to be heard. It was enough to give him a headache.

Idryius nodded, gravely.
"You'll get nothing but the truth from me. He's still here. Watching. I have no control over who is in charge of this body."

He gave a grim smile.
"She's probably already told you, I tried to take my life. If I had my way, I would leave this world and let Samuel have his body back. That is out of my hands."


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Beka considered his words carefully and without reacting, though the faint line between her eyebrows relaxed a touch when he confirmed that Samuel was still there.  Not dead then, but a prisoner in his own body, forced to watch another man control his life.  Beka could not imagine worse fate; death, at least, brought peace.  Despite that, she could not deny that her primary feeling was relief.  If Samuel still lived, then there was hope.  Idyrius himself was regretful over the situation, having not chosen this for himself.  Lora had mentioned that they had killed the mage who had done it, that Idryius had grieved his death and tried to end himself.  That alone told her that this was difficult for him too, albeit for different reasons.     

She finally acknowledged his words with a curt nod, coming to a decision.  “I will prepare the spare room for you.”

Victor immediately spoke up. “Beka, we will find somewhere else for him to stay.  There is no need for you to—”

Beka interrupted, the volume of her voice remaining at the same even level. “I will not deprive my husband of the comfort and familiarity of his home, nor will I decline to offer hospitality to someone who is clearly in need of it.  Unless Idryius chooses otherwise, he is welcome at my hearth.”

Victor shook his head. “It is too much, Beka.  There is no need for you to endure that pain needlessly, not with you so near your time.”

Beka’s gaze grew cold, and her voice tapered to just above a whisper. “I know what I can endure better than you do.  Unless Idryius chooses otherwise, he is welcome at my hearth,” she repeated. 



Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius recognised the caution in Victor's tone and he knew that, for all his civility, he would only want him in a place where he could be watched at all times. Just in case he tried to end his suffering again.

Personally, Idryius didn't care where they kept him, even if it was a prison cell somewhere. Yet, of course, if he didn't accept then Samuel would probably make his grievances known. Incessantly.

'Thank you for your hospitality. ' He replied softly.

He glanced at Victor briefly before turning back to Beka.
'I understand this will be painful, no matter what.'

There wasn't much more that he could say. There was no point in sugar coating the harsh truth. None of them knew how long this would take.


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Victor looked as though he might protest again, but before he could open his mouth, Beka nodded curtly and gestured for Idryius to follow.  One of the others responsible for unloading the gear hauled up the cliff before their climb presented her with Samuel’s bag, which she took and slung over her shoulder without a word.

Lor sidled up to Victor and the two of them spoke in hushed tones, though gradually it became evident that their discussion was rapidly dissolving into an argument.  Regardless of what the Alpha and his mate were speaking of, Beka led the way back to the village in the distance, eyes straight ahead save for the glance she shot in Idryius’ direction to make sure that he was following. 

Home was a small, two-level house built in the traditional Nord design.  There were some differences; a hearth built into the wall instead of a pit in the center of the main room, for instance, and the loft above was more reminiscent of Breton architecture than Nord; open rather walled off.  A large standing loom was tucked in one of the corners of the great room with a half-finished, elaborately designed woolen blanket in the works. There were numerous shelves of books along the walls, and one bookshelf that seemed entirely dedicated to rolls of paper, bottles of ink, and spare quills.  Several rolls of paper were also stacked on the table in the kitchen, an open bottle of ink and a quill left abandoned in her haste to greet her husband. 

Beka placed Samuels bag on the steps leading up to the loft, then gestured to one of the chairs sitting near the hearth.  It was still difficult to really tell what she might be feeling, but that was hardly a new occurrence.  She had always been reserved, her emotions contained until she had a moment of complete privacy to reflect on them.  “Make yourself comfortable.  You look as though you’ve been through the worst of Oblivion.  There is mead or ale, or water if you are thirsty, and the soup over the fire is ready enough if you are hungry.”



Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius followed Beka towards the small settlement, heading towards the house that she shared with his body's host. Inside him, Samuel protested at how his mate took the heavy pack, even though she was so heavy with child. Idryius chose to remain silent, much to Samuel's annoyance, but he didn't see a point in antagonising her still further at an already stressful time.

He looked around the house; it was alien to him, but inside him, he felt a pang of familiarity from Samuel. He stook awkwardly for a moment and then finally settled in the chair that she gestured to. Comfortable? He felt as if he would never again know the true meaning of that word.

"Water, please."

Samuel's body had probably lost a considerable amount of weight since he was last here, with his hunger strike for a large part of their journey. Even though he had broken that, he was still not completely recovered.

"The soup smells good. Thank you."

He stood, still feeling awkward.
"If you need me to assist? I'm used to having to work for my food."



Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Beka nodded and retrieved a mug, a bowl, and a spoon, filling the mug with water from a pitcher on the table.  She gave the mug and the bowl to him so that he could help himself; she had noticed how much weight had been lost since the time she last saw Samuel.  Werewolves had faster metabolisms than ordinary humans, and it was clear to her that Idryius had missed too many meals. 

She went about retrieving blankets and whatever else was needed to set up the spare room for him, but paused when he stood and asked if she needed help.  She studied him, deliberating internally whether or not he was truly well enough to help her with anything, though she certainly appreciated the offer.  He was uncomfortable, that much was clear.  She couldn’t blame him, really; the situation with which they had found themselves in was an awkward one, and Beka couldn’t deny that she wasn’t certain what to do or say, herself.  She imagined that in time, things might grow a touch easier, but for now, the only thing that they could do was weather the storm until it passed. 

“Thank you for the offer, Idryius.  You have traveled a rough road to reach this place,” she finally said.  “Help me by aiding in your recovery.  Eat, rest, and heal.  When you are better, we will discuss how you can help.  Does that suit you?”


Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
"I understand." Idryius nodded grimly; he understood all right, he just didn't like the answer. For Idryius, keeping himself busy was a way of coping with life's hardships. When he had been a boy, it had been his swordsmanship that had held himself together, both mentally and physically, even when it had seemed that everything around him had fallen apart.

Yet he was hardly in a position to argue, not when he was sitting inside another man's body and home. An intruder.

"As you wish." He exhaled slowly, giving a faint sigh as he sat down.

I missed her so much. I never thought I'd ever see her again. Tell her I love her, would you? Please?

Idryius rubbed at his temples; Samuel wasn't doing his headache any favours.
"I'd rather not." He muttered quietly. "I don't want to hurt anyone... No more than I already have."


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Beka noted the disappointment in his response, watching him sit down.  She supposed that she could find something less labor intensive to do while he was recovering, if it meant that much to him.  If it made him a little more comfortable about being there as well, that would help.   Raking a hand through her close-cropped hair, she looked down at the bundle of blankets in her arms and the fresh candles she had added on top. 

She picked up on his soft mutterings, brow furrowing when she realized that he wasn’t talking to himself—or rather, he was, but…to Samuel.  It was reassuring in a way, that Samuel was still conscious inside of his head, even if he wasn’t in control.  Her mouth thinned slightly and she looked up, glancing at Idryius.  “I suppose making up a bed wouldn’t cause you too much strain,” she remarked, carefully avoiding letting him know that she had overheard him.  She offered him the bedding and the candles. 

“And when it comes closer to dinner time, you can help me with the preparations, yes?”


Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius looked up at Beka, managing a smile; it was a small gesture, but it was a genuine expression.
"Thank you. It will make things... easier."

He stood up, following Beka to where the spare bed was, just off from the kitchen, cut into the floor. It was a small space, but it would do. He took sheets from Beka, spreading it out over the bed. He might have been tired, but he was determined to show that he still had some use left in him.

He cleared his throat awkwardly as he worked, only giving Beka the odd furtive glance as he tucked the sheet in.
"Samuel... is relieved to be home. There was a time where he did not think he would ever be able to return."

Idryius felt Samuel's consciousness shift a little, easing a touch now that he had been able to pass on at least part of his sentiment.


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Beka didn’t hover; when he began to make the bed she backed out of the room, but only just a step or two to the table so that she could tidy the mess she’d left behind earlier.  She would glance at him occasionally, just to make certain that he was faring alright, but remained largely unobtrusive. 

She was in the process of rolling up one of the sheets of paper when Idryius spoke, mentioning that Samuel was glad to be home.  A subtle tension relaxed between her shoulders and she closed her eyes, exhaling softly in relief.  She had done well so far, resisting the urge to ask Idryius about Samuel despite how badly she wanted to.  She was almost positive that Lora had needled him more the enough on the journey home, and perhaps even Victor as well.  She had hoped that he would say something in his own time, and was glad to have that confirmation at last. 

She finally looked up from the table and met his gaze.  “Samuel is my world.  I miss him when he’s gone.  It always feel as though a part of me is missing.  When the time they had estimated for their return came and the weeks after followed, I had the very same fear.  I am grateful to you, Idryius, for bringing him home to me in spite of everything.  It can’t have been an easy thing.  I imagine it still isn’t an easy thing.”

She fell silent then, a thoughtful line etched between her eyebrows.  “Thank you…for telling me.”   


Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius dropped his gaze, feeling awkward at the intensity of her emotions.
"I wasn't sure how you would take me saying something like that." He frowned, reaching for the blanket and laying it over the bed.

"I am aware that it could have the potential to do more harm than good." He finished with the bed and straightened up. "He is... incessant at times. If I hadn't said anything, then he would probably just keep on at me."


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Beka considered his words in silence, choosing her words with care.  “I take it as a kindness, not a torment.  I would rather hear him through you than not hear him at all.”

She returned her attention to the paper in her hands, turning it between her palms until it was rolled tightly, then slipped a length of tied, undyed wool over the end and to the center to keep it that way.  She couldn’t help but smile to hear of Samuel’s persistence that Idryius say something.  She was all too familiar with that herself.  It had been one of the many qualities that had endeared Samuel to her in the first place.  Her husband was focused, and when that attention was fixed on her, it made her feel as if she were the only person in his world. 

“He would,” she agreed, glancing at Idryius as she moved onto the next in the stack of papers.  “Once his mind is set on something, there’s very little that can change it.” 

She finished with another roll of paper and sighed as she moved onto the next. “It will be awkward for both of us for a time.  Until that awkwardness fades, rest assured that I am not a fragile creature, and can most likely weather whatever storm your words might stir up.  But thank you for your concern all the same.”

She paused and leaned against the table for a moment, resisting the urge to grimace when the child forced their feet up into her lungs and pushed outward at the sides, causing a subtle but visible strain beneath her shirt in a couple places.  She had delighted in the movements when they began, but the babe was bigger now, and every kick, stretch, or turn had become uncomfortable.  The midwife insisted that it would be any day now, but Beka had a feeling that the child would stubbornly hold on for another week or two at least.  The baby settled some in its new position and Beka exhaled in relief, straightening and finishing her task at the table.     


Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
"I'll try and remember that." Idryius nodded, glad that he wouldn't be feeling like he was walking on eggshells quite as much as before. Within him, he felt Samuel settle a little now that part of his message had gotten to its intended target.

He looked up as Beka took hold of the table for support, noticing the tension that she was trying to hide. Inside, he felt Samuel tense up once more.

Help her. I need to help her.

Grimacing, Idryius made his way back to the chair, but no further. She had made it clear that she did not need him to be interfering in her life. He was a virtual stranger to her, despite Samuel's insistence.

"How long do you have?"


Offline Firesblood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 400
    • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Pressing a hand against the side of her stomach, Beka’s jaw locked in place until the child finally found a more comfortable position, at which point some of the tension left her and she straightened with a sigh of relief.

“It will be any day now,” Beka replied, wincing when the child shifted again.  “He’s run out of room, but it hasn’t stopped him from trying to make more of it every time he moves,” she said, a touch of humor mellowing her tone.  No one ever spoke of the misery of the final months, how hard it was to take a full breath or eat a full meal, to bend to grab something dropped on the floor or even roll out of bed in the morning.  She was more than ready for it to be over.  She smoothed her hand over her stomach, a line forming between her brows as something previously unthought of occurred to her.  Was this going to be the only child she would carry?  There was no certainty that Samuel would ever be restored to himself, and if that wasn’t the case…

She couldn’t even imagine being with anyone but him. 

Beka swallowed thickly and banished the thought, finishing tidying up the table.  “I have to take these to Nymala.  She’ll be expecting them.”

Nymala was an ancient, displaced Dunmer woman who doubled as their wizard, though she did less magic these days and more magic theory, which she scrawled in seemingly endless streams on whatever paper she could find.  Beka re-wrote and edited them for her because Nymala couldn’t be bothered by such trivial matters, but the Dunmer woman paid her well whenever the College purchased her manuscripts. 

Gathering the rolls of paper, Beka glanced at Idryius and gave him a short nod.  “I’ll return after a while.”     


Offline Jabbathejack

  • Manager
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 417
    • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Idryius nodded grimly; having him here was something that she did not need, however, he was not about to suggest that out loud, not after witnessing her defend him staying with her to the others.

He watched as Beka left, leaving him to his own devices. Without having any possessions to set in order, Idryius turned to the sword that he had fought with. A cursory search of the house turned up a whet stone and a rag and he settled down, cleaning the blade and sharpening it to a fine edge.

It felt good to be able to do something with his own hands, something useful.

We'll find a way. I know it.

Despite everything, Samuel was still optimistic. Idryius wasn't even sure how.