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 Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame

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CommanderStarseed
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Thu Aug 29 2013, 20:57

Rufus blinked, not having expected that answer to his question. Still, he paused to give it some thought, and concentrated.

"I'm not... sure? I mean, we have both lived in Thanksgiving Town for a number of years. We may have ran into each other, or seen each other from afar at least, once or twice..."

But as he spoke, he considered more of what she had said. Wheat field, tying something red around his neck. He tugged on his bandana as he thought, eyes sliding closed as he tried to conjure up what she might be thinking of.

Wind rocking golden waves. He liked to think of it like an ocean or sea, but if it was as wet as one, he would've been able to...

Able to what? He scrunched his eyebrows together, thinking harder.

He was putting a lot of consideration into his bare hands. Such dry, rough skin. He sighed, feeling his neck ache slightly and itch. He scratched it once, quickly, and looked down at his hands again. Red flecks under the fingernails of the hand he'd used just moments ago. That can't be good.

'Don't pick at the scabs'. He remembered a voice not his own warning him that. He reached into his pocket for something. Where was... Ah, he'd found it. He pulled out a hankerchief. Soft between his blunt fingers.

He lifted it up and tied it around his neck. As he turned around, he saw someone heading towards him from far off. The sun cast a glow around them, making them look shiny and beautiful. He drew in a deep breath.


When he opened the eyes, he felt like he was resurfacing from being underwater. The edges of the memory were fuzzy, but he was sure it must've been the same incident Prudence was refering to. But try as he might, he couldn't remember any more than that.

"Yes, I'm sure we met once... In a wheat field. It was so bright out, and hadn't rained for a while. I was hoping for a storm..." He trailed off, wondering why he knew that information but he couldn't remember for sure if that had actually been Prudence heading towards him or not. When had this even happened?
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Thu Aug 29 2013, 23:56

Her brow furrowed. Yes.... rain.... or storms.... she remembered wanting that too... But why? She never worked on a farm once in her life. Maybe it was hope for the farmers of the town.... Her head hurt. No... it wasn't that... It was because...

She scrunched up her face. Her head felt like someone had shoved a pencil in it and was trying to dig it in her cranium. Her hands flew up to her face and her breathing sped up. Pain? Is that what that was? Emotional pain she was familiar with, but this... this... she wasn't supposed to feel pain.

She practically folded herself in half, straining to remember why she wanted rain, when this was, why they were in a wheatfield-- why was it so hard? She had a superb memory! She could recall information from a book faster than she could blink, usually! So why this? Why now? She made a pained noise and buried her face into Rufus's shirt. He smelled strongly of musk and... maybe straw? But little else. She had smelled him before-- just barely. This was at least ten times more of everything at once-- even his hands on her felt more real than they ever had. Prudence tried to say something, anything, but couldn't-- instead, she coughed loudly into her wrists and shivered. When did it get so cold?

Almost as quickly as it began, it was gone and Prudence could barely remember what she had been thinking about.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Fri Aug 30 2013, 00:09

Seeing her face scrunch up, Rufus worriedly began to reach towards her before she made it even more apparent something was wrong.

"Prudence!" He called out to her in panic, as she made such a muffled little pained noise it broke his heart. His arms wrapped around her and he pulled her even further into his chest, wrapping himself around her like a protective shield. He didn't know what else to do. She coughed and shivered in his arms, and he squeezed tighter, saying her name again. "Prudence?"

When she still didn't respond, Rufus picked her and his discarded clothing up in one bundle in his arms. He wrapped his coat around her slightly, even though she had ceased trembling. It felt like the right thing to do.

Wordlessly, he carried her out of the library. Prudence looked up at him, looking dazed and flickering slightly. He kissed the top of her head.

"It's going to be okay." He reassured, though he really had no way to explain how, or even when, it would be. He headed towards the lift and struggled to press the buttons, refusing to put Prudence down. "I'm taking you to see May Flower again. Something just happened there. Good or bad, I don't know." He brushed some hair out of her eyes as he spoke quietly to her. "But I'm hoping she will."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Fri Aug 30 2013, 21:06



Prudence wanted to argue with him-- she didn't even have to walk, she could float-- but it seemed to offer him some comfort to whisper words of reassurance to her as he carried her to the circle of doors. As he reached out (with some difficulty) to the door shaped like a turkey, she began to notice that the flickering was beginning to subside a bit. Of course it was, they were about to enter Thanksgiving town. She was always more stable there.

-----

Miss Flower sat them down in her sitting room and looked at them, concerned. She was wearing what appeared to be some sort of gown with a bathrobe closed tightly over it, embroidered with brown and gold stitching. With a twinge of guilt, Prudence opened her mouth to speak.

"I'm very sorry for disturbing you, Miss Flower--"

"Please," she said kindly. "You know you may call me May, Prudence. What brings you and Mister Rufus here so late?" The question was directed at Prudence, but instantly her mind filled with so many thoughts that she didn't know where to begin. She bit her lip and looked over at Rufus for some support. It was apparent he understood, because he launched into the tale of her remembering them meeting before the Academy and then feeling pain when she wasn't supposed to and then flickering so badly that he didn't know what else to do. May looked hopelessly confused, but she thought for a moment before going to her bookshelf.

Placing a thumb on her chin, she scanned the titles and pulled one out before flipping through the pages for a moment. "No," she said quietly while shaking her head. She put it back and repeated the process with three or four more books and admitting defeat.

"I must admit to you both that I'm just as puzzled as you. I do know of someone who may know better than me, though, if you don't mind accompanying me for a walk."

They didn't mind, and expressed so before May dashed out of the room to grab a large coat and a bonnet. She replaced her slippers with boots and opened the door for them, gesturing for them to go before her. Once they were outside (she didn't bother locking the door), she began leading them to the east side of town.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Fri Aug 30 2013, 22:20

Rufus slipped his hand into Prudence's, reluctantly letting her walk (technically float) beside him now instead of carry her. She was no longer flickering and looked in much better condition, but he couldn't help the knot in his gut that almost made it uncomfortable to move forward.

His jacket was still flung over one of his shoulders, gloves shoved into one of the various pockets. He was reluctant to put it back on for some reason, when normally he would be more than eager to pull all his layers back on. It was Prudence's influence, he supposed.

He realized he was staring at her profile, and probably looking like a forlorn puppy, but he didn't feel like putting in the effort to stopping himself. He was worried about and concerned for the woman he loved, and she had informed him earlier she might very well fade out of existence forever at some point. He gave her hand a little squeeze, rubbing his thumb over the back of her tiny knuckles.

At this, she looked at him, and he tried to smile. But only one side of his mouth pulled up, and she gave his hand a reassuring squeeze in return while floating a little closer to him. He wrapped his arm around her back instead, and spent the rest of the journey staring at his boots walking next to the flowing hems of her skirts.

"We're here." May Flower said ahead of them, and Rufus raised his head to see her giving him a concerned smile. He blushed slightly, but subconsciously moved closer to Prudence. May Flower nodded and indicated one of the various tee pees they were now standing amongst. Rufus raised his eyebrow. This one looked no different than any of the other tee pees, and though he spent a moment looking around for one more impressive, May Flower was insistent, and gestured for them to follow her inside as she went.

Prudence eagerly stepped forward, catching Rufus slightly by surprise as he stepped forward simply to follow her. He shrugged his shoulders as he fell in step beside her, figuring he clearly didn't know any better.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Fri Aug 30 2013, 22:55

Magic was clearly involved in the tee-pee because there was a fire going inside and it was much larger on the inside than the outside. It wasn't large enough to be a house, but it was large enough to be a decently sized bedroom at least.

Several important-looking tribe members sat on the floor, cross-legged, deep in discussion. The smoke circling above their heads, creating pictures didn't make it harder to breathe for some reason.

A youthful man looked up to see Prudence, and rose. When his face wasn't lit so drastically, it was easy to tell it was Squanto, the other founder of Thanksgiving Day Town.

"Brothers, do excuse me." The men looked around to see May and nodded, clearly unoffended. May pointed with her thumb out the door and Squanto nodded before squaring his shoulders and opening the cloth door of the tent for them all to file out again.

May took him aside and spoke with him in hushed whispers for a moment. Squanto said nothing for a while, but occasionally looked up at Prudence with a piercing stare. It wasn't frightening when he did it, but she felt like he could see right through her-- and not in the ghost way she was used to. He nodded at May before moving to Prudence and Rufus.

"Come," he said calmly, placing a hand on Rufus's back, as if to steady him even though he was upright. "I can see you are burdened with much confusion,"-- he looked at Prudence-- "and deep sorrow," --he looked at Rufus before turning and gesturing toward an open field not very far off. "I can help you. Walk with me."



May gave them an apologetic smile before she hugged her coat closer to her and turned as if to leave. A firm, but gentle hand on her shoulder and a fixed stare from Squanto, though, caused her to turn and throw him a meaningful look before following him. She looked a bit confused, but it was clear she trusted the young man greatly because there were no words exchanged.

Prudence, looking mildly worried now, took Rufus's hand before they continued after them through a field of wheat that tugged at Prudence's memories and caused her brow to furrow. She looked a bit sullen as May fell back a few feet and Squanto turned to speak with them. The moon was huge in the sky and cast yellow light down on the four.

"When May Flower came to the first land with her people, she was their way across the mighty waters. My people were hesitant at first, but when they showed us kindness, we helped them to survive. In turn, their ship was given a new vessel when we moved to this land. She is now May," he gestured behind them, "as you know her. She is very beautiful because the hope her people had for our land was beautiful. She is happy because her people were happy to escape their oppressors." He said everything as-a-matter-of-factly, not stopping to say it was he that thought she was beautiful. The way he spoke made it clear that he didn't think it mattered what he thought. The fact she was happy and beautiful were facts-- just as the pilgrims came to where the Native Americans lived in Plymouth, she was those things.

"May Flower had to learn many things about her new vessel. I taught her everything I could, and others helped greatly. She is the result of the love, hope and admiration of an entire town." Very pointedly, he turned to look Prudence in the eyes deeply as he had earlier before continuing, "You are the result of darker thoughts. You are aware of which memories you are."

Prudence became very interested in the ground. Her golden eyes were glazed over and her lower lip trembled a bit. She understood exactly what he meant-- he meant they didn't know much and could help them very little. They had never dealt with memories like her before.

"Yes. I understand."

Squanto moved to them and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Do not grieve, Prudence White. There is hope as long as you keep it." He turned to Rufus. "That is what I trust you with, Rufus Cornelius. I may only know little about what there is to do for her, but I know that you are the only one who can help her now." He paused and turned to look up at the moon.

"I should not say much more, but I said I would help you and I shall help how I can. It may not sound very helpful, but you will understand soon."

He moved toward them, eyes still on the moon. He raised his arm covered in tribal tattoos to the sky and said, "The Harvest Moon has special qualities. If something important were to happen, it would be then." He looked at Rufus again. "She is here because of you. If she wavers or you are scared, you can help her. If you do not leave her alone in darkness for too long, I sense many years for the two of you. Many happy years." He placed one hand on Rufus's right shoulder and the other on Prudence's left shoulder. "I am sorry they are not here yet. I wish there was more to tell you that you could take comfort in."

He began to walk toward May, wheat parting in front of him as he did. Turning around half-way and looking at what appeared to be nothing in particular, he said, "Acceptance of one's past can be painful, but it is the only way to move forward. Next time, do not fear."

He turned to May, and offered his arm to her, face still set in stone as she took it. May gestured to Rufus and Prudence to follow them, smiling faintly.

"Come, if you would like," Squanto said. "The elders of my tribe are wise, and the stories have yet to begin."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Aug 31 2013, 19:42

Throughout the proceedings, Rufus held Prudence's hand after she had slipped her's into his. At first, he had felt somewhat like a grounding force for her. But as Squanto spoke, Rufus found himself feeling like the one who needed something to hold on to.

The result of darker thoughts? Rufus was the only one who could help Prudence? She was here because of him?

Though he had a great deal of faith in the founders, somehow Rufus found such things hard to believe. Surely there was someone better suited... He looked at Prudence.

'I love you.' He mouthed to her, and squeezed her hand firmly. It didn't matter what he thought. This was how he felt. And if the founders told him he was a source of hope for Prudence, then he swore he would be on everything that he could.

He, too, looked up at the harvest moon, and closed his eyes. He hadn't previously noticed his shoulders were locked with tension. They slowly eased, then relaxed completely. He put his arm around Prudence's shoulders and kissed the side of her head.

"Yes," He nodded. "I think being among the elders stories right now would be entirely worthwhile."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Aug 31 2013, 20:05

Prudence looked at him with a bit of a somber smile on her face. She looked like she was on the verge of tears-- though of course that was impossible.

'I love you too,' she mouthed. 'More than anything.'

She gripped his hand and nodded, agreeing with his decision. She wanted to learn everything she could, and if they were being invited to sit with the elders before going wherever they were to go, she was not one to refuse.

The wind blew through the trees, creating a whistling noise that Prudence blinked at. It sounded vaguely like a tune-- a simple four-note tune that gave her a headache. Some legends said that the forest carried melodies, and she had heard them before, but this one sounded familiar in a distant kind of way. She couldn't place it, but she wished she could.

It was while her brow furrowed that Rufus whistled the same four-note tune and she remembered something. She was in a house looking through a window into the darkness of the forest. A shadow stood among the trees, whistling. It turned to look at her and whistled again before smirking, gesturing to her, and disappearing.

That was all, but as they walked to the teepee the elders were sitting in, Prudence couldn't shake the thought. She hummed it quietly (being unable to whistle) before they entered the tent.


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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Aug 31 2013, 20:44

Rufus' ears perked hearing Prudence hum beside him, and he tilted his head towards her curiously.

Speaking under his breath, he asked, "Where did you hear that?"

"I could ask you the same thing." She whispered back, and raised a delicate eyebrow.

He opened his mouth, but said nothing, stuck hovering there for a moment.

"I'd... always assumed I learned it... from the forest." He realized how foolish it sounded as he said it, and looked slightly to the side a little self-consciously.

Prudence smiled slightly, looking a little befuddled herself.

"I remembered... learning it from the forest too, in a way. A figure in the woods whistled it to me."

Rufus considered this information, focusing hard on his own memories concerning the tune.

The woods... dark, except for the moonlight shining through the leaves in the trees. It flickered and vanished before reappearing as the wind gently shook the branches. As the light sparkled and danced, the wind gave off the vague impression of a sound. Not much more than that. He puckered his lips and finished the tune, leaning against the trunk of a tree.

There was also a different sort of light between the trees - a window, perhaps. Warm and golden, a little ways away in the distance. He was close enough to see lacy curtains on the other side of the glass.

He worked his mouth again and whistled the tune, feeling it echo off the trees around him and travel towards that light ahead of him.


He blinked at Prudence, looking through his present eyes in the current day again.

"Another time we might have met...?" He asked himself so quietly, he wasn't sure if Prudence had even heard him. This was starting to get out of hand. "How many more secrets do you suppose the two of us share?" He squinted at her with a grin, but though he said it with a jovial tone, he was actually quite curious how much more there seemed to be waiting to be revealed between them.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Aug 31 2013, 22:41

Unbeknownst to Rufus (somehow), Prudence was eternally hanging on to his every word, no matter how softly it was said. She agreed; it certainly was puzzling. How could they have met before? Prudence was certain that she would remember meeting a man such as Rufus. She remembered everyth--

Wait... Not everything... She didn't remember a single day of her previous life. All she remembered was dying in someplace very cold, dark and lonely. She had vague impressions like she shouldn't have been out in a blizzard or her family must be worried or that she didn't remember the way back home, but outside of these fleeting feelings, she remembered nothing of her life. And yet, she had been reassured time and time again that she did live. Could it be that they met while she was alive and that was why she couldn't remember?

No, certainly Rufus wasn't as old as she was. She had always assumed he was 38, like he said he was. Why would he say he was 38 if he was actually over 400 years old? She pushed the thought away into the dancing smoke above them, in the shape of various animals and greenery as one of the elders, adorned in feathers and animal teeth stood and began weaving tales. He told tales of love, friendship and union, but he also told them of sorrow, forgetfulness and even the deepest despair. He reminded them of why they shouldn't spend their time in the darkness-- no matter who they were.

This was, of course, not to say that Prudence didn't also spend much of the evening admiring Rufus's profile out of the corner of her eye. He caught her once and raised an eyebrow as if to say, 'Can I help you?' but she didn't pay him any mind other than grinning as if to say 'Not at all.' By the end, though, she remembered increasingly well why she didn't leave the Academy often. Her hand gripped Rufus's at one point out of pure terror- not that she would ever admit it.

By the end of the night, she considered herself better off, though, and was more than ready to continue to the Academy. Rufus, however, looked troubled as they walked out of the teepee.

"Rufus, dear?" Her voice echoed into the darkness of Thanksgiving town as they walked toward the doors. "Is something the matter?"
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sun Sep 01 2013, 22:57

Listening to the elder's tales, Rufus drew himself inward and tried to return to the same memory again, when he was alone in the woods and learning to whistle. Or perhaps he was trying to remember that time in the field, when he tied what he figured was his current bandana around his neck. Or even something entirely different. How many memories could there possibly be?

But the harder he tried to think about it, the harder it seemed to conjure them up. Like glittering sand sliding between his fingers, the harder he grasped the less there was.

Frustrated, he watched the smoke rise and waft above their heads instead. It relaxed the frazzled edges of his consciousness, and let his eyelids droop halfway closed. It allowed his mind to drift.

"What's the matter with you?" A hushed voice through snowflakes. They sounded angry, or at least frustrated. "You'll freeze!"

Silence when he didn't respond. He strained his ears to listen for more than that. If he focused, he could hear the sound of the falling snow, and someone breathing. He opened his eyes and grunted vaguely in their direction. Footsteps crunching through the heavy drift he found himself in. He'd stumbled while walking and fallen into it. He already felt too cold to care. The sight of warm breath wafting up in the freezing weather comforted him, for some reason. He shrugged once they were close enough to see him do so.

"Have you
no self preservation?" An irritated sigh. "Here, take this." Something was being held out to him, large and brown. It smelled like fur, with traces of a fire place and honey suckle. He took it slowly, but then yanked it on eagerly and took a deep breath in. It left him feeling warm all over. He stood up and brushed the snow off his pants.

"Thank you." He nodded, and left his head downcast. His wild stalks of hair swayed in the wind and tickled his face slightly. "I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"You know what for." He clenched his fingers into fists, golden light being cast on the snow piling up around two sets of boots. "For all of it. Everything. I'm sorry..."

"It's alright."

"No, it's not."

"Very well, you made an ass of yourself." A pause for a giggle. "But I'm still here, am I not?"

He looked up, snowflakes catching in his eyelashes and making it hard to see.

"You're still here..." He swallowed nervously. "You should head home, if you're giving this to me." He pulled up handfuls of material. When he let go, the garment was so loose on him it hung down like a gown. It made them laugh again, and he smiled. "
You'll freeze, otherwise. Do you know the way?"

"Of course I do."


His breath shuddered as he released it, not realizing he'd been holding it for an extended period. He hoped no one noticed his lapse in judgement as he came back to the teepee, hearing the elder speak of time in darkness. An apt time to return to the present, he supposed.

He glanced at Prudence, catching her already watching him. He raised an eyebrow at her. She just grinned back at him. He was tempted to shake his head at her in a loving gesture, but was more than happy to hold her hand instead. Though, he was reluctant to admit, when she gripped his hand in terror he wasn't experiencing, his heart leapt into his throat all the same. He curled his fingers tighter around her's. A defensive barrier, he hoped, from whatever it was she felt so afraid of.

"Rufus, dear?" Prudence was speaking to him as it was time they were headed home, and his ears twitched in her direction. "Is something the matter?"

"What's the matter with you?" Something echoed in his ear drum. This time, he did shake his head.

He grunted, and shrugged. He felt unusually cold.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sun Sep 01 2013, 23:05

Nothing but concerned at this point, Prudence's brow furrowed and she found herself staring at his profile again. She knew he was secretive, but usually he tried to play off his troubles as unimportant. It didn't look as if he was trying this time.

Being careful to keep in 'step' with him, she edged her way over and cautiously took hold of his arm, trying to offer him a reassuring look.

"Don't worry, love. We'll be fine. Remember what Squanto said? Many happy years." She wrongfully assumed he was upset about her condition for lack of anything better to do. After a moment, afraid of putting her metaphorical foot in her mouth, she added, "Unless it's something else...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sun Sep 01 2013, 23:12

Giving her a half smile, he had to kiss her temple first, stroking one hand down her cheek and to the edge of her chin.

"Many happy years, yes." He purred, and kept her chin tilted upwards. He held his mouth in front of her's, but didn't quite kiss her. Though he was tempted, the rest of her question nagged at him. He very slowly let his hand fall away from her chin (though he was secretly pleased with the tiny bit of disappointment that appeared in her eyes when it became obvious he was not going to follow through on that almost kiss) and let his mouth turn into a frown.

"Prudence... they said you were the result of darker thoughts. What does that mean?"

Seeing her bite her lip, he worried his own slightly before speaking again.

"Do you have any memories of... being so cold, you thought you might..." He trailed off, not wanting to say it. He closed his mouth and set his jaw firmly. "It was a thought that came to me earlier during their stories. It seemed important."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sun Sep 01 2013, 23:26

A sadness shone through her golden eyes as she looked up at him. She seemed to look, for only a moment, much older. A past was reflected in them that Rufus had never seen before and, knowing how depressed she must look, Prudence tried to shake it away to no avail.

"I... I remember being cold, yes. Ice cold. Like..." she held her free hand up to examine her fingers at this point, "like my fingers were going to fall off. And.. and my toes. It was dark. I must have been in a cave." She shivered. "I was alone.... and I remember having vague emotions, like... knowing I shouldn't have been out... or being upset that I was lost.... wondering what my family would do without me..."

Some hair fell in her face as she tilted her head down toward the ground. "Then... gold light. And... I feel like maybe someone tried to come for me, but I was already gone at that point. Here I am."

She shook her head. "None of this could have anything to do with you, though. It was 400 years ago, long before your time."

Prudence desperately tried to chase away visions of snowflakes and darkness as she moved her arm to grip his hand tightly. "That's all I remember. Apparently, I am that memory. I'm nothing else."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 02 2013, 00:11

Rufus noticeably flinched, stopping his march towards the doors so suddenly Prudence floated a tiny distance ahead of him before she stopped. They were at an arm's length apart, and though she started to floated back towards him, the unbearably harmed look on the harvest lord's face stopped her.

"Prudence, you are so much more than that..." He whispered, sounding wounded.

"Rufus, what..." She started to ask, but he held up a hand and she stopped.

"Prudence, I..." He flummoxed, looking exasperated with himself as his mouth attempted to find the words and failed. He looked up at the night sky and clenched his hands into fistfuls of the front of his shirt. "I'm over 500 years old. I thought... I just assumed... Harvest folk - harvest spirits. W-we don't age like normal beings. By the standards of most people at the academy, I am only 38." He was beginning to pant slightly now, his pulse was thudding so loudly, it felt physically painful. "But counting actual chronological years, I am 538."

Releasing his shirt, Rufus dragged his hands over his face and into his hair, flexing his fingers periodically as he stood with his chin tucked against his chest. He was struggling to breathe and he was shivering.

"So, I could've... I-it wasn't before 'my time'. When you died."

Unable to stand anymore, Rufus fell into a crouch, hands still in his hair and face covered by his arms.

"I could've been there. What if I was there?"
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zykrinnox
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 02 2013, 01:32

In an instant, Prudence was on the ground, eyes widening as the corners of her mouth sunk, creating wrinkles on her youthful face. A definite line formed between her eyebrows as she put her arms around his shaking figure. Whispering words of reassurance, she ran her fingers through his wheat hair.

"Rufus, dear... My love, please... We have no proof that such a thing happened or that you even knew of my existence back then. All we have is a bunch of fleeting memories that we only half remember, and I don't know which of mine are true and which aren't." She brought her hand to his face and stroked his cheek with her thumb, gently, tracing patterns lightly on his high cheekbone.

"Besides," she breathed, "If I didn't die, I would have very likely been human. I would have died long ago. Just because I'm nothing more than a memory doesn't mean that I can't live. In fact, I'm grateful that things happened this way." It wasn't entirely true, but it was becoming closer to being the truth everyday and it was worth saying. She planted a kiss on his head and hummed to him softly for a moment. There was something else to say, she could feel it, but she didn't know what it was. She grasped for words that wouldn't come, and after a while, asked a question she felt she might regret when it came down to it.

"What makes you think you knew me? What makes you think you could have been there? 538 years is a very long time, my love. It's possible you could be mistaken..." She spoke hesitantly, slowly, deliberately. There was a terror filling her that she would say the wrong thing and break him. Right now, for only the second time ever, Prudence caught herself thinking about how fragile he was. Here, though, he could even break down and she would be fine. Just being in Thanksgiving town gave her strength; there was nothing he could do that would give him a scare like what happened in the Academy, not as long as they were here.

"Tell me what you remembered," she pleaded. "We can make sense of it together. Many happy years, he said. Remember that. The darkness is here, but I'm not alone, and neither are you."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 02 2013, 19:23

Feeling her arms around him and her words of reassurance in his ear, Rufus became aware of what a spectacle he was making of himself. But no matter how hard he tried to force himself to stop shaking, nothing seemed to work. He focused on Prudence, every part of her that he could. Her voice, her words, her finger stroking his cheek. He released a shaky breath.

'Yes.' He agreed internally, not feeling confident in using his own voice again now that he was beginning to get a hold of himself (with her help, of course). 'Focus on now. Now is here. Now is good.'

"Many happy years." He repeated again, after her. He raised his head slightly and peeked at her from between his arms, feeling such a fool. He moved one of his hands to place it over her's on his cheekbone, the other sliding down the back of his head and onto the back of his neck over his bandana. "There isn't time -- so brief is life -- for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving -- and but an instant, so to speak, for that."

Feeling much calmer as he finished the quote (and was enjoying the slight gold it made spread across Prudence's cheeks as she recognized it, which he knew she would), Rufus stood up gradually and took Prudence with him. He moved their hands so he was clasping one of her delicate ones between both of his, held between their chests. He considered how small her hands were again.

"Why are you always the one to comfort me?" He chuckled, and tilted his chin down to plant a kiss against her hairline. "If we're in this together, it seems hardly fair."

His bidding for time was obvious, but it seemed apparent Prudence would wait for him as long as he dragged his feet. He gave her a very tender look, tilting his face down further to plant a kiss against her lips instead.

"I won't be the one to keep you in the dark." He whispered, voice kept low as though he was afraid what he said would break her. "When the elders were weaving their tales, I tried to return to one of those memories we've already discussed. Tried to think of them in greater detail. But I couldn't. So I allowed my mind to wander, and found himself... somewhere I didn't recognize. Like you described, I was beginning to feel so cold, I thought I would..." He still couldn't bring himself to say it. Instead, he looked down at his hands over her's, flexing the fingers on one hand. "I thought all my fingers might snap off and fall, it was so unbearably freezing. But someone came to my aide..."

As he continued to describe the memory he had experienced to her, he watched her face for any kind of reaction, or spark of recognition.
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zykrinnox
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Tue Sep 03 2013, 15:14

Suddenly, she was very cold. Her brow furrowed. She did remember helping someone-- giving them her coat-- she thought it was her father's coat but she couldn't even remember what it looked like, she just remembered her father giving it to her. She didn't remember if it was the same blizzard she died in. Surely she hadn't given away her only source of warmth. She wouldn't do that. Prudence shivered and attempted to form words that wouldn't make him feel responsible, because surely, surely it wasn't the same time, and even if it was, it wouldn't have been his fault.

"I do remember giving somebody my jacket, but Rufus dear, I'm not certain it was the same blizzard," she said, sounding more confident than she felt. "In fact, I'm certain it wasn't. I had more layers on than you and I went home shortly after-- it was nearby. I remember saying I knew the way home and insisting you take my jacket," she lied and tried to fill in gaps with the truth. There was no use in trying to convince him with what she knew-- he would likely jump to conclusions that were uninformed and very hasty. "You know how it was back in those days. Long periods of ice. It was hard on everyone." That part was true, at least. Nonetheless, the line between her eyes was sure to become permanent at this rate. She hated lying to him, but she hated him being so confident that everything was his fault more. Shivering, she moved toward Rufus a bit and smiled weakly.

"I would like to go back to the Academy now, if that's alright," she said softly. "It's dark and I'm starting to get cold."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Sep 07 2013, 19:47

An icy chill settled over him, though this time Rufus didn't shake. Holding very still, he sucked in a breath through his teeth, before releasing it through his nose slowly.

'How can she be certain?'
'Don't allow yourself to assume the worst.'

He reminded himself.
'Prudence is right. Believe in her certainty.'

Holding her closer, he rested his forehead against her's. His warm breath felt unusually hot in the space between them.

"That is more than alright." He grinned at her. "If I may..." He started to say, but picked her up bridal-style, as he had carried her earlier, before actually finishing his request that he do so. "I shall escort the lady to her quarters."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Sat Sep 07 2013, 23:04

She did feel guilty, but it was hard to let that control her thoughts when he was doing things like this.

Though giggling, she couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at him. "Oh? Well, I'm sorry to inform you that this lady doesn't have quarters. So where are we to go from here?" She put her arms around his neck regardless, though, and leaned against his chest.


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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 09 2013, 15:11

Rufus: Smirking like a fox, he held Prudence closer to himself and leaned in so he could whisper in her ear.

"I guess I'll just have to take you back to my quarters, then."
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 09 2013, 15:16

Prudence: Her face and neck went completely gold as she tightened her grip on him. "B-but--" She tried to form more words but couldn't and squeaked instead. She had wanted to see and go inside his house (she had only seen it from a distance in the far fields on his farm) but that sly fox knew exactly what he was doing because her heart started beating so quickly she was afraid it would jump out of her chest.

After a moment of this (as he began heading toward the outskirts of town) she finally said, "I-I don't know," before stopping again. Being outside of the Academy for too long made her very uneasy.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 09 2013, 15:23

Rufus: Taking in what he could see of Prudence's blush, he was positively over-flowing with delight. If he hadn't of been carrying her, he might very well have clicked his heels together. But somehow, he managed to stop himself from doing more than grinning like a cheshire cat.

He stopped instantly at Prudence's hesitation, though he had yet to put her down but would instantly if she indicated she wished he would do so.

"If you would prefer to go back to the academy, we always can." He kissed a spot on her hair he thought might be near her ear. "But I think you might want to give my home a try, even just to see... I've made some changes to it that may make you feel more comfortable!"

He hoped he didn't sound like he was putting pressure on her. He just merely wanted to encourage her to the idea that she could be safe outside of the academy, especially if it was with him. He kept his boots firmly planted on the ground until she made her decision, not indicating in any way that it mattered to him if she wanted to return to the academy, or see his house instead.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 09 2013, 15:29

Prudence: She did feel better, and she knew somewhere deep down that if she could handle being away from the Academy with anyone it would be Rufus, so she nodded, blushing again at his eagerness.

"It will probably be fine," she said quietly and honestly. "I just hope I'm not intruding.." She tightened her grip around his shoulders again (he was so quick to pick her up lately-- not that she minded). She knew that he was usually extremely private and careful to separate his home life (whatever that might be) from his life at the Academy, often going to such extremes as to even sleep in the Academy most of the time during the Winter when his farmwork was sparse. He even slept there often in the Fall, regardless of the Harvest still going on. She was glad he was offering, but was also afraid she was somehow stepping her metaphorical toe in where it ought not be.
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PostSubject: Re: Prufus: Disclosing to a Flickering Flame   Mon Sep 09 2013, 15:43

Rufus: "Not at all!" He tried to bite back a bit of his own excitement, but may have failed a little bit. "If anything, you are doing me a favour!"

Springing into action - though not so fast he jostled Prudence in his arms - he headed in the direction of his farm.

"The stars are beautiful out here." He pointed out, encouraging her to look upwards. He swallowed quietly while she marvelled at the stars above them. Though the academy wasn't up-to-date on all possible technology, it was still more impressive than all of Thanksgiving Town, and it also wasn't located as far out in the countryside as his home. This left the sky above full of lights, glittering brilliantly.

"A shooting star!" Prudence whispered in reverence, which made even Rufus look up. He smiled with her, happy at her present joy. But he was still fairly nervous as he continued walking forward.

It's not that he was seriously worried with her reaction to his home, but at the same time, he knew he had never mentioned much about it at all. He hoped she would not react badly...

He offered to put Prudence down and hold her hand instead. He knew as soon as she realized what building he was leading her to that she was surprised, because she stumbled for a second and gripped his hand tighter.

"That's your home?" She gasped in shock.

"Eheh..." He nodded, some red entering his cheeks. He rubbed the back of his neck as she stared at the structure ahead of them.

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