Participants:

Kitty_icon.gif Seren_icon.gif

Scene Title A Sleeping Tiger
Synopsis Kitty finds a sleeping healer.
Location Courtyard, Circle of Magi
Date July 26, 2016
Watch For Kitty strangeness!
Logger Seren

The fact is, it's Summer and Summer is hot, but you know what's hotter? Rivain at the same time of year. Seren has been spending the middle of each day in the sun wearing only pants or a shortened version of them. Someone told him his face was becoming pink on a trip to the Chantry and this? This can NOT happen. He's also been spending more of his nights in said courtyard because sleeping is hard enough without having to do it under a roof in a place that feels like a prison. It's late enough that almost everyone is asleep, including the healer, who has dozed off as he lay looking up at the stars with his robe rolled into a pillow under his head. At LEAST he has a habit of pants.

With Taril having abandoned their tree for… I don't know, something about babies, Kitty has taken to wandering the streets of Kirkwall at night for lack of anything better to do. Oh sure, she could have followed the damn elf, but he's sleeping in a place now that reeks of Justice and ain't nobody got time for that shit. Nobody. Tonight's haunt, it would seem, is the Circle. It is a weird place, this Circle. The suffering and death in the Gallows makes it one of the thinnest parts of the Veil in thhe entire city, but the active presence of so many Templars here have patched and reinforced it in… warped and sad ways that make the whole thing feel like the work of a very inexperienced seamstress. So as the tiger wanders from place to place, she fades in and out of reality without any rhyme nor reason to where she does appear, fades into some spectre-like existence or disappears entirely. She hadn't expected to find anyone out of doors at this hour, so the napping elf is interesting enough to merit a closer look and she can smell several of the Children on him. Compassion, Love, Wisdom, Duty… she could sense their touches and could not help but wonder at the feeling like something is missing. So of course that means she needs to lie down on the grass with her great head on his stomach and follow the tether from body to soul wherever it's roaming within the Fade. At least SOMEONE is still willing to dream with her, even if it's not exactly conscious consent.

Seren's dreams are always this odd mix of places that hold memories that SHOULD be happy and places that have no association with that memory. Places his clan has camped now empty of any signs of the inhabitants are a frequent theme and the current version of that includes a well traveled path blocked by debris. Even asleep he can't bring himself to revisit what might be beyond yet. And then? Then there's that presence and it's not the warped and confused energy of a demon, so he's not forcing himself awake just yet. "I'm not sure what you came here to find, but I'm fairly sure you're not going to find it here." Not that he's a dreamer by any stretch, but anyone can have the power to make decisions within their own dreams with enough practice. Mages rarely need even that.

All mages are able to be aware in the Fade; it's a fun side-effect of their stronger connection to it. The Dreamers are… well, their own cluster of fuckery, but it doesn't seem to surprise Kitty one bit when this elf is aware of her. She walks in silence between the campsite's trees - sometimes on four legs and sometimes on two and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind those changes either. "If you don't know what I'm looking for," she sing-songs, sounding… oddly Ferelden, but also oddly Dalish… and also oddly ancient and terrible and neither of those things at all. "How could you say with surety that it isn't here?"

Seren gestures around. "Because there's nothing here but me and a few memories." Ok, that's a tiger. He's never seen one except for drawings in a book that he borrowed from a friend once. In fact, he can still recall his daughter being frightened that they would somehow show up to eat her in the night. "Alright then, what are you looking for?" It's asked as he sits, his back against one of the trees, and pulls his knees to his chest. "Or did you just find me and decide to visit?"

It is a tiger. "You're lonely," she blurts out, sounding for all the world like she's just solved a puzzle. "That's why there are signs of camp but no camp." Helpful, she is. And perhaps it could be written off as a tiger's sensibilities, but when she steps out from the shadows and stands in the clearing itself, she's not so much a tiger as she is a woman - tall and wild - with pale skin and a mane of curling red hair and those tiger stripes in almost-but-not-quite Avvar style war paint all over her skin. She isn't dressed in much, but what there is consists of hides and furs and nothing about her looks even remotely civilized. "Why are you lonely?" And in case that's all not weird enough, when the Fade-light catches those eyes? They're violet.

Ok, let's take stock here. Seren is from Rivain, so he's used to there being spirits. Especially near the seers. They're usually vaguely 'person' shaped and kind of see through. So Kitty's form? Yep, that gets a raise of both eyebrows. And, lest anyone think he's under-reacting to all of this, there's that gasping sound of surprise that goes right along with it. But honestly. He's dreaming and this isn't a demon, so what's he gonna do? Try to address this as if it were a really odd version of 'it happens'. "That's… not what I was expecting." Just putting it out there! "If you were a person asking me this, I'd say that I'm away from my clan and can't go back to them. Somehow I don't feel that you're going to take that as an answer. What if I say it's easier than the alternative? …and you didn't answer my question." Somehow, he's not really expecting that pointing that out is going to matter.

"I'm never what anyone's expecting." And she sounds… vaguely sad about that fact. She crosses the clearing to the tree he's sitting under and drops into this very bizarre position where it looks like she's sitting and hugging her knees to her chest but she's actually still got all her weight on both feet? Very strange person, this. "An easy alternative isn't always a smart one," she quips back, tilting her head and regarding him cock-eyed with eyes that are still more feline than they really should be. "You don't have to be lonely, you know." She says it so matter-of-factly, too. Like it's just a simple matter of choosing not to be. "What was the question again?"

"What you were looking for," Seren answers, then shakes his head. "No, not always. It's probably one of the safer alternatives." He's still studying this woman, as if it would help him figure out exactly what has come to visit and why. "Where I'm from, Spirits aren't ever this … well. This. You're a little more than I expected."

"Am I really?" she asks, ducking her head as though flattered and somehow a little embarrassed. "I thought I'd lost all of my muchness." And being told that she has some is apparently enough to bring a rather charming smile to her painted face - the darker tones over temples and eyelids not enough to hide the color that rises to skin underneath. It's such a physical thing, blushing. It isn't something one often sees in spirits, but this one does it all the same. "I don't know what I'm looking for," she admits, back to sounding a little bit put out. "I used to spend my nights hunting, but then he left and it feels… wrong to run the woods alone." Tigers are solitary hunters. Someone should maybe inform her.

Seren chuckles. "No, you haven't. I'm sorry you lost your companion. I can't imagine him staying away long. I thought tigers liked hunting alone, but I suppose you can't be held to physical 'normals'." He looks up at the sky- and it's the sky he remembers from the very last time he was in this spot, so the stars aren't exactly right- and sighs. "Maybe the same thing we all are, hm? The rest of ourselves? I'm afraid I'm not much of a hunter. Revas is, but it was all I could do to not heal the animals she attempted to hunt when she was learning to do it on her own."

"I'm not really a tiger," she points out, in that almost childish tone that says she's having to state the obvious, duh. "…at least I don't think I am." And her brow furrows downward and the skin around her eyes gets tight and her mouth pinches in and she just… sighs until it all goes away - leaving her appearing far less like she's going to cry and far more like she's just sad and far away. "I can't always remember." But his answer makes her face light up like she's just answered another riddle. "Oh! Oh, of course. That's why you smell funny." God job, Kitty. A+ friend-making. "You're a healer." But then her nose wrinkles again - she has such an expressive face for a spirit. "It's weird, though, to see a healer who doesn't smell like Hope. Feels… kind of wrong, if I'm honest."

Seren chuckles. "I couldn't have guessed." Yep, he's playing minor smartass to a fade spirit. Like you do. "You're probably not, but it's as good a form as any. Perhaps you're part of something that was lost a long time ago, hm? There are worse things to be." The information that he 'smells funny' is met with another soft laugh. "I suppose that's one way to put it. Healers smell funny." And then his smile fades, which is funny if you consider the location. "And now you understand, hm? I can't smell like what isn't there. It would be very wrong of me to seek a way out of loneliness when that's gone. …and there are worse things to be."

"Oh I've been lost a long time," she drawls back, sounding suddenly ancient and wild and dangerous - a full grown predator instead of the fluffy, curious cub - but it fades as quickly as it came, leaving her placid again and vaguely sad. But it's a vagueness that takes on sharp focus when he answers, when he vocalizes the lack that had felt so strange. Crawling forward, she changes as she moves until her shape is small and light like these modern elvhen - so much less than what they used to be. And by the time she's weaseling her way up under his arm to curl up against his side, she fits there almost perfectly. "There's nothing worse than being lonely," she argues, though it sounds different… more Ferelden and less ancient. "I would rather be dead."

Seren watches the spirit's change and almost chuckles as she moves. "There are worse things," he assures, but doesn't bother to move. "Remove that and all of the things it held down with its weight come out. I don't want that, not in the place I am now. The fear is already gone, and I held onto that as long as I could. Loneliness hurts, but not as much as hurting others." He shakes his head. "Yours is probably different. Too long gone from the things that are familiar? After a while you forget and forgetting means you lose some of yourself. That's the way it works with people, at least. It can't be much different for spirits." Yet, the healer doesn't really seem to need personal space. Either that, or he's sacrificing that to offer comfort.

"You don't have to be lonely to not hurt people," Kitty argues, obviously not understanding even a little bit. "You just have to reach out and touch." She lifts her hand and lays it flat on his chest where she can feel the heartbeat. "Alternatively, just don't run when someone else invades your space." And the wicked grin she turns to hide in his shoulder says she absolutely knows what she's about. "See? You're doing a good job of that already." And in the way of absolutes that seems to sometimes be the norm with denizens of the Fade, that seems to be that in her mind. "It's hard to be lonely like this."

Seren should know better than to argue with any kind of spirit. He really should. "I wouldn't let a person get that close. There are some things that aren't worth struggling for." Which he would probably have never said before. He shakes his head as if to dislodge the idea from it. "No, I'm done with that. I'm certainly not going to have it taken away again." There's also that fear that if that weight is gone, he'd have to face all the anger. "I'm pretty sure I'm safe from the touchy types here."

"Oh." Oh. She is silent for a long while, then, chewing on her lower lip in a very mortal habit to have. "…would you be more comfortable if I sat over there again?" She actually sounds apologetic. "I did not mean to make it… worse." This, right here, would be why Kitty does not attempt to People. She is spectacularly bad at it. Which is sad, because really all she'd wanted to do here was help and she'd gone and bungled that one up real good. Ten out of ten, kitten.

"It's alright. It matters that you tried. I'm thankful for that." Seren offers a smile. "I am probably the least enjoyable person to have chosen to visit. So let's change that, shall we?" He gestures to the abandoned campsite. "My daughter was born here. Her mother, father, and I were sitting here sorting through the berry harvest when it started and she was born over there." He points to a flat and worn patch of ground. "It took hours, her mother threatened both of us with never sharing a bed again."

Kitty nods, her head moving against his shoulder solid and real here. She even opens her mouth to contradict him - because this is… nice, not boring - but when he starts talking about his daughter she shuts right up. There is a feeling of heaviness here, like the words he's using have weight to them, building something in the air around them, even if it's just a feeling. "Mothers often make such threats," she says knowingly, a crooked smirk curling her mouth. "I know I did." But without explaining that cryptic statement, she moves right along. "How did you know which of you the father was?" Her nose wrinkles. "When it was my turn to carry, they both were." She's… really not good at this, but she's trying.

Seren isn't missing out on these bits, but focusing on them might make them go away. So he'll put them together if he can as they go along. "It didn't matter. We both were. We were a family until I changed that. It was stupid, but I thought it was for the best." He stops and takes a second to get back on track. "She's clearly my offspring now. Then. I haven't seen her for a while. She has my eyes and nose. She may have siblings by now. I often wonder if she will be hunter or train as Keeper. How many?" This is clearly for Kitty.

"It was just two of us at first, but it was hard. We were…" Her brow furrows, trying to find a way to explain the physical impossibility of being in close quarters with something whose nature was so diametrically opposed to your own as matter and antimatter. "It was… difficult to be near. Like a fish and a bird. Mythal could not breathe water and I could not breathe air." So lost in telling the story - in reliving the story - she doesn't seem to even realize that she's talking out loud anymore, never mind the weight of what she's saying. "So we made something half like me and half like her - she was her when we did, that was important I suppose - and he was entirely new and when there were three instead of two, the gap was bridged. He wasn't always him, but he liked it better than her. I never much cared either way." She shrugs then, the shoulder not resting against the dreaming elf. "I lost them, too. What was her name?"

Seren is, to his credit, not going cross-eyed. He's trying to make sense of this, but there are names being mentioned. Names he recognizes. "My daughter's name? Serala. He? Who was he?" Because he can try to untangle this, he can. "Her mother's name is Nesinni, Her father's Arran. We'd been together since we were 16." But the jumble of information is confusing and it's making it hard to not think of them as still his, so he's moving on. It's easier to not think in that direction.

"He was him." Good. Excellent. Helpful as always, Kitty. "Serala is a beautiful name." She twists her head then, to try and get a better look up at his face. "I am sorry they are gone. That pain is terrible, I know." There is no coherent, cohesive way to describe any of this, but she does her best to be soothing about it all the same. "I went mad for a long time after being separated. I wasn't meant to be alone. I'd never been alone before and it took so long to be able to hear other voices again."

Seren is already trying to convince himself he's not exactly hearing all this. "At least they still live," it's said quietly and he's really trying to ignore that weight that settles around his heart when he thinks about them. So now he's stuck with two choices- daggers in his heart or the certainty that he's going mad. Well, they say maniacs feel no loss, so he'll dive off that deep end. "None of us are meant to be. That's why it hurts." So the choice is apparently "why not both?" And he's having this conversation with a fade spirit who dropped Mythal's name as 'baby daddy/mommy/fish'. So maybe he's reached crazytown- population him and this spirit. "But you can hear them now? Other voices. Spirits?"

"For a while," Kitty answers, sounding wistful and nostalgic. "Then one by one the darkness took them. They would start to scream and then went silent." The hand flat on his chest curls into a fist, holding tight to the handful of cloth. "I haven't heard anyone in a very, very long time." And as if to echo that never-ending silence, she is still for long minutes. "Would you go back to them now? If you could?"

Seren had been about to say something, perhaps even something comforting to the spirit. But then she's asking that question. "I…" For a few seconds he can't answer and the wind picks up through the tops of the trees- echoing the feel of the elf's magic down to the impression of sound. "I can't go back. I wish… But the man that was taken away is gone. I can't give them what a Keeper is supposed to give them." Because a Keeper gives the clan hope for the future. "We can't talk about this."

"Alright." And within the space of a blink, she's no longer curled up against his side but rather sitting on his lap. Because that's not awkward. Well, she's sitting cross-legged and it doesn't hurt so she must be hovering just over his lap. Somehow. Not all that much less awkward. "If I made you feel better - even if it was just for long enough to sleep well - would you be angry with me?" Because apparently some people have weird attachments to their pain. Yeah, she doesn't get it either, but it's a thing!

Seren shakes his head. "I wouldn't mind." He has to force himself to say it because he knows he doesn't sleep well. He hasn't in so long it's hard to imagine what it feels like."I wouldn't mind it this time."

She takes a long, slow, deep breath in through her nose, reaches up both hands to cup the sides of Seren's face, and exhales. It's a long, deep sigh, one that takes with it the pieces of her that are jagged and jumbled and leaves only blue-white glowing in a vaguely person-ish shape. "You've been alone long enough," she breathes - and though the form looks entirely different, the voice is exactly the same. There is a flood of light and energy that fizzes like it might be somehow restorative. It does not last very long, but the spark it leaves in its wake is tiny and fragile and beautiful… but unmistakable. When she disappears and leaves him to sleep again, it is with the gift of hope. At least for a night.


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