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[The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:15 pm
by Kokuten
Modeka's Glade
A few Days After the Descent into the Maw

A small godling slept in Percival's lap while he sat and stared at the passing clouds in the sky above. He rested against a standing stone with a small hole punched through it. The glade surrounding them was quiet, a boundary of thorns drawn up into the surrounding trees, with a smattering of flowers and herbs growing wildly like a natural garden. Birds on a near-by tree considered the man and the strange, new resident to the Wilderwood. They chattered and sung to one another, talking to a couple of forest sprites who had just joined the conversation. A few spriggans watched from the treeline, silently trading glances to one another. A pair of deer watched from the other end, curiosity and a sense of duty drawing them to observe.

The Alchemist didn't seem to notice them, for the last eight hours he had sat there with Modeka in his lap, and time seemed to be passing almost too quickly. He hadn't slept since the incident on Friday, it felt as though he had lost the ability, but it seemed as though the Godlings had instead gained it. Aurus, Zulan, Tulan, Akanus and Decanus, all of them seemed to sleep like regular humans at unpredictable intervals, perhaps a sign of their adjustment to the real world. The exception to this new rule was Modeka, who seemed to be having the most trouble adjusting to her new home in the Wilderwood.

Her leg kicked, and Percival's attention came down from the sky. The harvest godling had been breathing soundly until a moment ago, now her chest rose up and down rapidly as she began to become fitful. A pair of small hands reached out, and Percy's hand came to them. Gripping his fingers, she seemed to ride out whatever fitful nightmare that almost roused her.

Then, her breathing slowed, and she fell back into her deep sleep.

The nightmares were keeping Modeka from sleeping, and it was part of the reason she had attacked him when he first entered the glade. An hour was spent trying to convince her to calm down, and then another sitting and building trust. After that, she had fallen asleep in his lap, and he comforted her through episodes of troubling dreams. Nothing could wake her: shaking, rustling, even loud noises had no effect. Only the dreams seemed to threaten her rest.

"Never fear," said Percival gently, wiping away her tears with his hand, "Percy is here."

The glade of the Harvest Godling fell back into the gentle tranquility of rustling trees, and the quite recession of thorns. The denizens of the forest watching pensively as the healing was done.

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:46 pm
by Straken
"I'd been wanting to check out the newest addition to the forest, but I'd hate to disturb the li'l ones," said a voice from the edge of the glade; loud enough to be heard, but gentle enough to not be disruptive. Ruarc stood leaning against a tree a short distance away from the deer with his arms crossed. His face was stoic and hard to read. After a moment he shrugged himself away from the tree and walked softly into the glade until he stood a short distance away from Percy. Passively he idled himself by looking around the glade.

"How are the newest tenants settling in?" Ruarc asked after a few moments more. "Anything I can do to help make their transition easier?"

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:12 pm
by Kokuten
"They're all doing well enough."

The response was short. Terse. Percival had tensed when he heard Ruarc's voice, but it didn't seem to bother Modeka, the discomfort was his, not hers. He brought his hand back to her head, and she wrapped her arms around it securely. His face seemed to strain as he watched the godling sleep.

"Most of them." Percival corrected himself, "Give them something to do and they'll be fine. The six of them struggle when they're idle, it's part of the reason why they sleep now. Modeka, however, hasn't slept at all, and she's confined herself to this circle because she doesn't know anything beyond it. None of them have any tangible memories, so they aren't likely to stray far from where I put them. But Modeka..."

The Alchemist's gaze hardened, that same look of guilt he always wore in these matters. "Modeka's spirit is still haunted by the way she died and by the way her shade was slain. She didn't get the end the others got, and she's tormented by it when she tries to sleep. For her... It will just take time to heal. To forget memories she doesn't understand."

His lips curled, his eyes still on the harvest godling, "I'll leave when she wakes up on her own."

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:52 pm
by Straken
"I'll think of some tasks to keep them busy," Ruarc commented without looking over. The Irishman understood needing time to heal, especially after what the reckoning they experienced in the Maw; he was already setting up some vacation time so he could travel home for the first time in a about a year and a half. So he was more than happy to do what he could to help the gods recover in their own way. Good intentions aside, silence now lingered between the two men, after all it hadn't been all that long since they had had their own fight; the bullheaded side of him telling him to be obstinate, but maybe getting stabbed in the stomach cooled his temper a bit. In the grand compromise of his personality, Ruarc held his ground on not apologizing.

"Take your time," Ruarc said as he turned to leave. "You looked like death a week ago. Make sure you're resting too."

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:13 pm
by Kokuten
"I can't."

The words came out helplessly, as if they escaped Percival's lips while he was distracted with Modeka. "I haven't slept since you all came back."

One of the spriggans stepped closer to look at Ruarc, feeling safer with him around. The forest creature looked up at him with a pondering gaze, as if to understand what the druid represented. Percival's words came around again, while the Spriggan rattled at him, as if to rope his ankle.

"Is Laoise alright?"

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:49 pm
by Straken
Kneeling, Ruarc waved his hand mystically in front of the spriggan as he listened to Percy. Once the Welshman had past the conversation back to him, the Irishman heaved a rough sigh. Considering his answer, he scratched the back of his head before standing up once more. "Well, it's a good thing Ah said rest and not sleep," Ruarc growled.

He didn't understand what was going on with Percy, and he was still apparently in the mood to be evasive with his responses. The bullheaded side of him was regretting checking in. "Laoise is fine," Ruarc said, tempted to be similarly noncommittal. "She's taken a couple days off of work. Seems dying took a lot out of her. But she's relaxing and taking some self-care days."

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:01 am
by Kokuten
Percival was beginning to bristle at Ruarc's words, but Modeka's shuddering brought him back down. She could feel the disturbance in his mind, as it no longer helped her anchor her dreams. He took a breath, and the Godling seemed to find peace again.

"Thank goodness," said the Alchemist finally, "After what happened, I wasn't sure how she would... be. I'm still getting used to this. What I am now."

The trees rustled over their heads, shaking up the shadows cast beneath them. A silence carried between the two men, who used to be able to talk for hours over nothing. Now they could barely speak over anything truly tangible.

"She's not like me, but she's not the dove you grew up with."

If they hadn't been fighting, Ruarc would have already known everything, as Percy would have just spilled it all at the pub. Now...

"I'm sorry I forced that on her. That new form. I'm sorry for all that happened to her."

It was just awkward. A small storm of emotions boiled in Percival's stomach, things he couldn't even say to Miyuki, not as she was. Not after everything she had gone through. They were things he thought he could hurt Ruarc with, damage him in some petty, underhanded way. Things to wake up the guilt that had been abated in the Irishman's heart, and maybe force feed him more. Tear apart that soul that had been put together.

"I'm --..."

The thought to apologize for everything crossed his mind. His pride stopped it firmly, even kept him from realizing he had started crying. It ate him up from the inside.

"If you could tell her for me. That'd be grand."

He looked away, his eyes on the other end of the glade, where the thorns seemed to recede little by little.

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:33 pm
by Straken
Ruarc's face was practically a snarl as Percy was even trying to pawn off his apologies. He felt a fist tighten, and ground his teeth to keep his temper in check. Tempted to just leave, his bullheaded side won this time. Walking with grim purpose, the Irishman raised his fist. Something needed to change.

Ruarc's fist flew straight down, and with marginal force he pressed his knuckles into the younger man's hair. No where near enough force to harm, but enough to make himself known. He held his fist pressed down as he spoke. "Tell her yourself, Percy," Ruarc said, his tone firm. "I hardly understand what happened to myself, much less the changes Laoise is going through. How on this green Earth am I s'posed to apologize for something I don't understand? So, apologize to Laoise yourself, or at the very least talk to me; help me understand. Better yet, do both."

Pulling his hand away, Ruarc turned to leave.

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:00 pm
by Kokuten
"What is there to say, Rook? Your little sister died, and I remade her in some desperate attempt to help, and ended up turning her into somethin' else. I mean, didja' even ever check your pockets after all that? To see if you still had the necklace?"

Percival stared into the back of Ruarc Flynn, his brow furrowed, his emotions playing up into his throat. "When I wasn't trying to make sense of the hell I stepped into, I was watchin' you, the whole time. When she assumed her human form, didn't you think it strange she could do it without the necklace? That it was at all different?"

Modeka began to squirm again. The movement was enough to bring him back down from a true, emotional outburst that welled up inside of him. "Laoise is more human than spirit, connected to the Elementalia. She draws from me as well as you now. Not by her choice, but by the way that she was remade. Reborn. I can't explain it because I don't know. I mean, you think this awful gift came with a manual? I went to sleep feverish, and I woke up in a pile of my own ashes. There's no more counsel of Gods in my mind, just the silent whisper of an entire realm under my influence. I close my eyes and all I see is a world shifting beneath my will. There's no one who'd understand it, I don't even understand it."

When Percival looked back down to Modeka, she had turned over onto her side, possessively holding Percival's hand to her chest.

"When I died, I saw the world end, Rook. A front-seat to the end of humanity, a ball-park of when it may happen. It's a lot to bear. At the moment."

Re: [The Forest] Healing the Heart and Mind

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:02 pm
by Straken
Ruarc stopped and sighed heavily. With body language suggested he was considering the situation, the Irishman turned and strode back towards Percy. A pace or two away from his counterpart Ruarc decided to lie down. The day was pleasant, the breeze was refreshing, and the grass was cool; and if he was gonna be having this conversation, he decided he wanted to be comfortable. "It's magic. Gotcha," Ruarc responded anticlimactically, his tone frustratingly blasé. "I'll level with ya, Perce; maybe it's best not to dwell on this. You don't understand it, and that's okay. That's trauma. Sometimes you just need to accept that it happened, and know that understanding will come in time. You saw the end of the world? I believe you; just, don't go wearing any tin foil hats, alright? If you ever need to talk, you've got Miyuki who will always have your back; if you ever need to not talk, I'll save a seat at the pub and we can drink in long, brooding silence. We can't help you understand what you went through, but we can help you come to terms with it. Just don't run away to Greenland and make us save you again, we've read that story a couple of times before. Deal?"