Finding our Way

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artymon I\/
Dwarf Thief
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu 9th Feb 2012
Location: Beyond time and space

Finding our Way

Post by artymon I\/ » Mon 6th Aug 2018

Sad as this may sound, I was inspired by a Parks and Rec meme thing. Never watched the show, but I read the papers. Or rather, I read the stories on the Facebook. Occasionally.

Also serves as a prelude of sorts to another tale I may eventually post.

It had been the ice cube tray. If forced to name a culprit (and there were many), Livy’s finger would have settled on the ice cube trays.
In fact, her fingers had no sooner closed around the humble plastic when it hit her again.
Ice was one of those commodities a sailor simply couldn’t afford in practically any ship, save some state-of-the-art tourist-trap cruise boat….and really, at that point it’s just a hotel on water.
Thus, the ice tray served as a signal for what she couldn’t have regularly, what she frankly didn’t care to have regularly if it meant she had her ship.
Thus was the reminder again that she had lost her ship.
It took Colin a minute to notice the change; he had been occupied with navigating their cart around a tricky aisle where a shopper had had the unfortunate lack of grace to careen into a rack of wines that had shattered and now cascaded their dark liquids upon the cold-tiled floor.
The spilled liquid reminded Livy of blood as well.
Now that the subject had mentally been broached, there was naught to hold back the flow.
Imposing images overlaid her eyes: Flames; shattered chunks of wood; discarded swords; an unusual, tilted angle; sliced lines and halyards that lifelessly lay on a ship’s deck, holding the appearance of snakes. All covered in a scarlet sheen of fresh blood. Some hers, some theirs.
But in the end, her losses had felt far greater than she had been able to inflict….
“Love?”
Concernedly, Colin had turned the cart around, nearly colliding with a cleaning crew dispatched to deal with the damaged wine’s downpour.
Snapped from the haze, Livy jumped back to the present, the past a bad shadow just outside the realm of her vision.
“Mm?” She didn’t trust herself to form sentences just yet.
The memories had a tendency to render her weaker.
Weaker.
Oh how she loathed the very sound of the word! What it implied.
To be weak. Defenseless. To be…dependent.
This world had taught her the hard way others weren’t to be trusted or relied upon.
“Are you alright?” he asks in a tender tone that in so many ways said, I can tell something’s wrong. What is it, mo stór?
He rests his hand on her shoulder.
“Only half right, the rest of me is all-left,” she gingerly jested, hoping to trick herself into an improved mood.
No such luck.
With the weight of his hand on her, she can nearly feel him siphoning her thoughts through it, as though she were an electrical conduit for his metal hook.
Their eyes met.
Her emerald eyes on his blue eyes that matched the ocean.
There it was again.
It would have been easy to fold into his arms and let him pat her and tell her it’s all going to be fine. The truth was, it wouldn’t be fine.
Not this time.
They had lost.
The price had extracted an extreme toll of the both of them. There was more to consider than even her losses; Colin had lost just as much as she….and it was all her fault. How could he stand to look at her? Much less to kiss her or share what little life he had left with her?
Burying the tears and pity behind a wall of fury, Livy clenches the ice cube tray as though it were the source of all her anguish and wrath.
“I don’t want to buy this stupid ice cube tray!” she snapped, feeling the cheap plastic give under her fingers. “Or that infernal vacuum machine – Athena knows the last thing I want are any of these stupid ties to land! I hate this entire continent!
Though subdued, her outburst was still enough to garner gleeful looks of a few busybody shoppers searching for in-store entertainment.
To his credit, Colin didn’t shush her or tell her now wasn’t the place. Perhaps here was the perfect place to make her declaration for her disdain of land and those who lay stake to ‘lub’ it.
“At least we’re finally on the same page about this country,” he jested, strategically slipping his hand from her shoulder to her back. Easier to twist out of a shoulder hold. Around her back if she started to run, he could reel her in.
Bloody hell, what’s the matter with you, O’Donoghue? That’s not some rapscallion, that’s your wife.
He breathed easier when she closed the distance between them as she made a fist and beat it on his chest.
“Why did you have to come back?” she demanded, meeting his eyes again, a sheen of liquid glazing over her own. “If you hadn’t come back, at least we’d still have your ship.”
With a grim smile, Colin squeezes her hand. “But then I wouldn’t have you.”
His tone is soft, even. Not in the least accusing.
Feeling a tear welling around her glazed eyes, Livy attempts to bury it behind humor. “Oh so you’re allowed to be selfish and think it’s all about you?”
It doesn’t work and she bursts, feeling like a cheap and pathetic tweenager that’s developed a crack in her latest piece of useless technology.
Colin cradles her in his arms a moment, all too aware the dangers of letting her wallow in self-pity for long.
She had been doing so well…
He could fight raiders, rapscallions, pillage and plunder villages, knock drinks back with even the largest and heaviest of heavyweights, whoo and carousel any lass that danced in his arms (…well, mayhap not the last, Livy sated his desires more than he was aware), but he couldn’t defend or protect Livy from herself.
Especially with a mind as powerful as hers. He had seen many a strange endeavor with her and was witness to latent abilities sprout from her. But as Nature gives, it takes. All power comes with its price.
Thus it was important to pull her back from the desperate isle of self-pity and isolation.
“Love…” using the crook of his hook, Colin raises her chin to meet his gaze. “Yes we are maturing, or what passes, but we are by no means domesticated sheep. This venue,” he waved his free hand around the market, “is not permanent.
“By Poseidon’s will, the back of our heads will know a good wind again. The soles of our feet shall dance to the waves’ music. Our nostrils shall again be salted by the brine of the ocean.”
Hearing his passion flow off each word, Livy wanted to feel rallied…
“Our noses are going to be assaulted?” she meekly repeated.
“You’re impossible,” he chuckled.
“And you love me for it. Besides, you totally set that up for me.”
“…mayhap,” he admitted. “Above all though, if you think I’m not going to buy those water pistols on Aisle 13 and wage a water war, you’ll be sorely mistaken.”
“And if you think I’ll allow an abhorrent alliteration, I’ll annihilate your ***,” she vengefully vowed.
Grinning, Colin cupped her cheek in his hand, slipping his hook around her waist.
“First blood has to do the dishes.”
“You’re on, pirate. Seal the deal?” she asked.
“Always.”
Leaning forward, Colin pressed his lips on Livy’s.
For a moment, raw passion melted the dreary world of land around them. For a moment, it didn’t matter their physical location or situation. All that mattered was they had each other. Whatever the future held, they’d be able to face it and give it the business.
If only they knew the peace wouldn’t last long….
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The last step in any journey may be the first step of an even greater adventure.
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