“Ah, of course.” A thought occurs to him, and he snorts a laugh. “I’m sure none of them would expect to find me here.”
He’s suddenly idly curious about how much is known about him and Sparrow’s relationship. After all, it’s not like he’s around all the time… especially as of late.
No one really knew about the extent of her relationship with Garth, aside from the fact that she considered him to be one of her closest friends. How would one of her staff react to finding the two of them in bed like this?
“It would definitely be a surprise to them,” she smiled.
“It must be contagious.”
He quirks an eyebrow at her second statement. “They do that?”
“It must be,” She grins, hugging him close for a moment.
“Well, usually I’m up and about by now. Since I’ve been helping run things because my children are all off on adventures, someone usually stops by so I can take care of something or other if I haven’t made an appearance yet.”
His stomach grumbles as if in grumpy agreement. “I suppose you’re right. But what do you know, I seem to have caught a sudden case of paralysis — I can’t move from this bed at all.”
Smirking, he idly moves his hand to stroke her hair. “My queen should be granted room service.”
“How strange, I seem to have caught sudden paralysis as well.”
She grins, “I’m sure someone will come in to make sure I’m still alive soon enough.”
“Just when you thought it was safe to hang up the ‘Hero’ title for good.”He chuckles dryly.
A sigh of relief follows her inquiry. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
“I should commission a series of posters that say ‘Don’t envy Heroes, this is actually awful’”.
She adjusts again, resting her head on his chest, “We’ll have to eat at some point, but that can wait.”
“With the sort of history it has, I doubt anything good could happen there.” It isn’t inherently evil, but enough evil has permeated it to the point where it had nothing else to offer but insidious, black dread. A shame — it’d held a lot of potential.
So had the men who’d used it.
“…Eventually.” He closes his eyes and breathes in, a lingering rosy scent filling his nostrils. Right now, all he wants to do is laze around — an impulse he very rarely has, but it seems as though all he does lately is get pulled into awful circumstances.
Conversely, this bed and this woman in it are the most un-awful things he knows.
She falls back against her pillow, “So, something awful’s happened to Theresa. And we’re going to have to go back to that hellhole at some point.”
Getting out of bed was now the last thing she wanted to do. So she snuggles close to Garth, “Can we just stay in bed for the day instead?”
“Just a…” He waves his hand in the air a bit, as if trying to pluck the word out of it. “A feeling. An impression. The Spire… something’s happened there. I don’t know what, but I don’t think it was entirely good.”
Speaking about it makes the sludge-black impression of the Spire seem fresh again, and he can’t suppress a shudder. Just when he thought it was gone from his mind…
“Well. Nothing we can do about it just now. Seems like I never have anything good to say, huh.” He turns his face towards her, brushing his lips against her hairline. This was supposed to be a good morning, his first one back home. Why couldn’t he have had that?
“Does anything good ever happen at the Spire?” No matter how many years had passed, mentions of the Spire still filled her with dread, the memories of all they’d gone through on it rising to the surface of her mind.
She sighs. “We’re going to have to check it out, aren’t we?”
He snorts, unexpectedly amused by that response, but waking up naked in bed next to Theresa isn’t the most pleasant of ideas. He knows what is under Theresa’s skirts, and he wants no part of it whatsoever.
“I’m fine,” he reassures her after a moment of consideration. The headache would fade with food and distraction, and maybe a couple of exercises to calm his jittery Will lines. “But I’m… not entirely sure she is.”
Out of everyone still alive, the two of them knew the Seer better than anyone — Sparrow after years of living with her, although that imparted scant insight into her person, and Garth after years of encountering her and becoming a not-necessarily-willing bearer of some of her more arcane knowledge. He didn’t always love her, but something about the idea of her death deeply disturbs him.
She’s awake now, the idea of something happening to Theresa is not something she was happy to wake up to. Sure, Theresa had been fairly distant, even when Sparrow was a child, but it’s hard not to be attached to the person who gave you an actual home.
“What do you mean?”
He is too psychically exhausted to truly dream, but fragments of gnosis come to him anyway — whispers on dreamwind, glimpses of faces, flashes of Sight. He wakes in the dead of night, briefly, to the shuddering of his Will lines, but sleep only claims him again before he can figure it all out.
He wakes in morning under an unfavourable cloud, his brain throbbing as if it’d just been rattled viciously inside his skull. He groans softly and presses the heel of one hand against his forehead — the other arm is trapped against Sparrow’s body.
Sparrow. He blinks his eyes open and glances over, and his scowly expression softens slightly. But still, something pulls at the edges of his mind, something important, something like black tendrils — the Spire, but how, it can’t be — and something like bone-fingers — the chary man’s fingers, but… how… who…
The Spire, and death. “Theresa,” he murmurs without realising he’d spoken aloud.
“That’s not my name”, she opens one eye to stare at him and squeezes him close. She can tell that something’s on his mind.
Sparrow wakes slowly, cuddling herself close to Garth as the sleepy fog lifts from her mind. She doesn’t bother opening her eyes, not caring much for what the time is, only that he’s still there with her.
She is hungry, though. But she doesn’t feel like waking Garth just yet.
The Old Enemy ((@garth))
Sparrow’s sleep was not as calm as she had expected it to be. No, instead it was full of strange dreams, visions of her Ancestor, the origin of her bloodline, freeing Albion from a dark shadow. Another dream, and she sees part of the shadow return, this time falling to someone closer to her, someone she somehow knows is related to Theresa.
A third, final dream, and she is shown her Albion. But there is something wrong, something there that shouldn’t be, something that wants her dead, but before it can attack her, she wakes, clinging to Garth. She doesn’t know how she had seen it, but she knows it is the truth.
The Jack of Blades was back in Albion.