Log:Protecting the Beloved

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Protecting the Beloved

Amity, November

5 November, 2019

Amity beards November in her 'den' to demand that the rainbow not hurt Amity's beloved Mavis.



      Overcast and chill, the day isn't the most auspicious for meetings. The Autumn storms have swept most of the fire-colours from the trees, grey boughs spindly and bare, skeletal fingers reaching toward the sky between the deep, rich greens and auburns of pines and oaks outside, air rich with the scents of damp earth and fallen leaves.

      The rest of the Wayhouse is considerably warmer, but November's private rooms? No. The windows are open wide, letting in the fresh air of the dying year. Hints of the chill can be felt from the crack beneath the door by anyone walking by the corner of the upstairs hallway.

      A sign is on the door, and while the variegation in the tones of liquid ink prove that it was certainly written by hand, the perfection of the flowing script is all but artificially precise.       "Knock twice, pause, and knock once more if you are Amity. Standing on one foot will help. Come in."

      Amity hesitates at the doorway. This meeting is... intimidating. November scares her at the best of times, and to march into her lair (even protected by Hospitality) to make requests (no, demands) of her is quite against her natural instincts. But the recent developments in her life drive her forward and if she cannot be brave for herself, perhaps Amity can be brave for others. She pauses to read the sign, then carefully balances on one foot as instructed. Knock-knock. Pause. Knock. She opens the door and steps into the office. Since November has seen her last, something has changed in her--her skin is a little paler, her ears a little more pointed. Most striking though is her eyes which have turned from periwinkle blue to a stark and glittering sapphires surrounding the stark black of her pupils. She doesn't curtsy.

      November is many things. Today, 'punk' is one of them, but despite the cheap tank top and soda-can tab belt, there's just something about the way she holds herself -- the confidence, perhaps, or the bedrock-solid self-assurance beneath smooth tranquility. She's in control, she knows it, and .. well, she has hair all over the place despite that fact.

      Maybe she's not in control of her hair.

      When Amity steps in, the rainbow is working at French braiding the underside of her hair, starting at the nape of her neck. Seated on the far side of the low, Asian-styled table on a flat cushion, her side is to the door, and the slanted eye she angles up to see the other woman is a vivid, bright electric blue, wholly unnatural for human colourations, despite her outwardly human appearance.


      "Yes, thank you," Amity says quietly as she takes a seat on the opposite side of the table from November. She's dressed in her usual conservative style--a long skirt with stockings, sweater, blouse. All appearances neat and proper. As it should be. She settles, quiet for a long time as she peers at the otherworldly beauty of the woman in front of her. It hurts, a little. There are flashes of memory now that linger with her--another woman beautiful and ethereal and awful who gave her gentle touches and kisses, who gleefully guided her hand. Cheered her on. She can remember the sensation of impact as the rod she carries strikes flesh. That isn't what she's here for though. Memories are hers to deal with. Amity straightens. Rests her hands on the table and folds them neatly together.

      "I wanted to speak to you about Mavis." Straight to business, barely giving November time get the tea.

      Ah, but taking time to make tea is for people who don't have their hair in a slippery, half-woven tangle. November frees one hand, retrieves a lovely porcelain teacup from beside the pot on the table, and pours one-handed, a single finger sliding back to rest upon the graceful, green-glazed knob and keep the lid of the pot from moving. The tea is a light green tea, with ginger, honey and a hint of lavender.

      "A matter of some importance to you, lovely, no?" The rainbow sets the teapot down again, motions fluid with seemingly-effortless grace that Amity is likely to know all too well is -not- effortless, nor learned without pain.

      November's head tilts as she draws another section of hair into the braid, nearing the crown of her head. "I trust you are taking good care of her; she is a lamb among wolves, so...deliciously naive." The colourful creature's tone is .. not motherly, per se. More like a guardian aunt someone would send orphans to, really -- someone protective of Mavis, but not terribly close. "It will be a shame to see her innocence broken." One too-bright blue eye fixes on Amity, calm, but intent. "The price of being in our lives is danger, lovely. What will you do to keep her safe from -you-?"

      "She is important to me, yes," Amity says, her voice quiet as she reaches out to accept the cup of tea. Her fingers curl delicately about the teacup's handle and she lifts it in perfect form, pinky extended, to take a sip. It is not conscious--it is the product of conditioning and training and terror and pain that has made it look effortless. Yes, yes she knows that effortless seeming grace comes with all too much pain. Amity sips, her own glittering blue-bright sapphire eyes meeting November's gaze. It is not done without effort and November can likely tell that it takes some internal struggle not to flinch away.

      "I would never harm her," Amity says without thinking, but she knows it is at best half-truth. She cannot say she never will harm Mavis. The next words slip out with even less thought. "She is mine." A slip of the tongue, human jealousy amplified by the Wyrd. Her grip on her teacup tightens. "I am more worried about her being exposed to you. Even she can't help but notice the sort of power and grace you exude, can she?" Another pause, another breath. "I want your word that will not draw her into this world deliberately."

      "Ah, the lover's passion," the Ancient approves, smiling slowly as she finishes the braiding by her scalp and begins working on the long, long length of slippery strands, fingers nimble and plainly accustomed to the task. "Which role am I to play in your romance, darling? You've come girded for battle -- am I the dragon in its mountain lair, and you, the prince?" Bright eyes consider the prospect with a speculative air, then dismiss it, head shaking a fraction. "No, no. That won't do, though I -do- look excellent in scales."

      Finally able to straighten up, she winds the long braid around and around, coiling it atop her head and pinning it in place, despite the fact that the fancy up-do doesn't exactly match her punky attire.

      "Mmmm...am I the wicked witch, perhaps? Do you believe I would harm her? Cut her up and bake her in my oven, to feed bits of her to the next little lostlings who arrived at my doorstep...?" Pale fingertips 'walk' along the table's edge, 'step' by tiny step, as electric blue eyes dip toward the digits, then lift to meet Amity's gaze, amused.

      "Or is it simple jealousy?" A long, pale arm extends, delicate hand laid to rest near Amity's teacup. The table isn't wide. "I can't help that Mavis responds to me, Amity, but I can promise that I harbour no intention of taking her away from you. Your love for her is safe." The hand lingers there, motionless, graceful even in its stillness. "We have been through experiences your mortal friend can never wholly understand, you and I, but what will you do? You live a dual life. Will you lie to her, forever? Would she thank you for that? She is prideful, strong, clever; she will learn that you are keeping a part of yourself from her, and she would not want you to make decisions for her."

      Amity is so apparently unflappable. And yet her pale, pale cheeks take a tinge of pink at November's words. Whether it is embarrassment, anger, passion, or all of the above, well, it's hard to say. She stares at November, her grip on her teacup white knuckled. She hates the truth of the words, hates that she feels compelled, almost, to agree by an instinct and memories that she cannot grasp. Is she here because she truly fears November stealing away Mavis? Or is Amity scared of her own inexplicable gravitation towards the Waylady, who captures her like she were some wayward satellite circling in towards a brilliant star? Her eyes drop from November's and glances towards the fingers resting near her teacup. A flash of memory, a birch rod striking an outstretched hand and then the thought vanishes from her mind like a passing breeze.

      "I will protect her from this," Amity repeats. Her hands leave the teacup and settle impeccably into a folded stance again, steam rising from the tea to cross in front of her face. "What would you have me do? Ensorcell her? Drag her into this world of ours? Or should I forget her and all the delight she brings me? I only want her safe. She should not be part of what we are." Yet Amity cannot chop herself free of the Wyrd and be mortal anymore than she could command the stars to cease moving in the heavens. Her voice, though even and controlled, takes on a strained quality. What emotion it hides is uncertain, though it could be many. "What do you think I should do, then?"

      Drawing a slow breath, the colourful creature shakes her head, lashes briefly veiling bright eyes. "That decision is yours, and yours alone, Amity." The hand is withdrawn, though not removed from the table; if Amity wants it, she'll need to reach for it.

      "Do you want to share yourself with her? Wholly and truly?" She waits, giving the other woman time to think, but speaks again before any answers can come. "You will live longer than she, outside circumstances notwithstanding. Your health will be better. If she were to become ill, if she were dying, would you use our power to heal her? How would you explain to her, then, her miraculous cure?" The hand on the table turns, palm up, and spreads graceful fingers to elaborate upon the question before curling back again.

      November watches Amity, calm and reserved, then twists, reaching behind herself to pluck a peony from a low vase on the windowsill, and offers it to her over the table. The petals are a mix of muted gold and peach with a vibrant carmine heart, their scent sweet and subtle. "There is no 'right' answer. You have put her in harm's way simply by loving her, darling; those ties can be read on the heart." She says this with utter certainty, as if the ability to do so were perfectly ordinary. "Go. Think about your choices, about what she would want. The freehold will protect her, if you do choose to grant her the sight; it is our duty to safeguard the mortals in our members' lives. If what you feel for her is real, it would be a shame to cut the bud so long before it has the time to flower."

      Amity doesn't /like/ not knowing what to do. It was easier when someone told her. That thought flashes unbidden across mind and vanishes before she can truly think on it. Her breath catches and her eyes follow the graceful motion of November's hand. Envy sparks, then pity, then fear. To be so graceful and beautiful would be a truly glorious thing. But would it also not be terrifying? But she could with certainty protect those she wishes to protect, couldn't she? But that is a thought for the future. Very far in the future.

      "I might then, yes," she murmurs, voice quiet. "I think my heart should ache too much to bear it otherwise. Why must we feel things in such ways?" To be Fae is to be a creature of emotion, raw and pure. Even when you are still mostly human, it is intense and deep and vast in a terrifying way. She takes a long drink of tea before she sets it down, watches as November plucks a peony and offers it to her. Amity hesitates, then long, slender fingers reach across the space to pluck it from her grasp. She raises it to her face to inhale the sweet scent. Yes, Mavis is such a blossom. And it would be a pity to see her wither. A great pity.

      "To love is dangerous all by itself, yes," she agrees after a long moment of silence. Slender fingers turn the flower over in her hands and then she carefully moves to tuck it into her hair. For safekeeping. "I am grateful, that you all would support me and her if that is what is decided. I..." She trails off. The command to 'go' echoes in her head and she has to resist the urge to stand and march from the room. "I ask you for your advice because you scare me, November," she says with plain honesty. There's no judgement in her voice, just the faint tremor of a woman unused to being so frank with one so powerful. "And what I feel is true, I have no doubt of it. Am I still just a foolish girl in some sort of faery story? To love so easily?" She laughs, quiet and constrained, and then moves to stand.

      "To live, to truly live, is to embrace the bad with the good. Our people, lovely, were victims; much of what we do, what we are, perpetuates the cycle." November remains seated, looking up at Amity with a small smile. "You -should- be afraid of me, of what I have become. I am a lesson, and a warning. Even with the best intentions in the world, you will lose yourself, piece by piece, without an anchor. If Mavis can be that, for you, if she can hold you closer to your humanity, that is a precious gift."

      Amity dips her head slightly, acknowledging the other's words. "I appreciate your candor, Waylady." She stands, feeling awkward and out of place for a moment. Though really anyone would feel awkward when in the same space as the glorious November and her unnatural grace. "She's a good person. Better than me, that much is certain."

      "I appreciate your willingness to fight for what you love," the rainbow offers in return, a hint of sly humour evidence enough that she knows full well how hard Amity has been fighting her instincts. "We'll break that shell yet, little bird. I look forward to seeing you fly."

      As a seeming afterthought, she adds, "I baked cinnamon scones this morning. Do take some with you, when you go. They should still be on the counter, unless the Summers got into them first."