- December 13th, 2011
After breakfast, he found some words. They were not enough and he doubted they're the right ones -- are they ever? -- but something had to be said before he leaft. So:
"I have some work today. Probably the next few days, actually. It's different from my normal stuff. If I'm in two places at once for a while, the ring tracking system's not buggy. And if I vanish from it entirely, don't panic. Weird work, that's all."
"Don't panic? That's a tall order, but I'll do my best."
Chry had to look at him to make sure that wasn't pure understated irony. But no, the worry was there already like it had been the last time Chry had needed to do an overnight elsewhere for business reasons. It was even dialled up a bit in the cast of his ears, the little lines on his forehead. Chry smiled at Alevh, trying to be reassuring but he knew this was all probably just making himself feel a little better.
He's going to miss me.
Then the relief came all crashing down into guilt. Self-centered cruel Keenblaze. This was at least as bad as thinking about asking Ilthus to kiss him or something with Levh around just so Chry could try to see if there was a reaction, any reaction.
He pulled Alevh toward him for a hug, heedless of the dangerous elf-shrinking (wet! wet! Sooty disapproves of wet) dish-suds on the older elf's hands and arms. "I'll do my level best to get back in time for dinner. I want -- fel. I promise I'll do my best. I love you." Chry buried his face in Alevh's hair toward the end of it and held his breath for a few beats once he'd made himself shut up.
Alevh embraced him tightly, a steady mooring for the clinging Chry. It wasn't a casual, comfy, sleepy hug but a firm hold, sharing his warmth and scent and stray soapy suds. "Love you, my lovely boy," he murmured, giving Chryseth's back a pat. He paused, then leaned up to bring his lips to the mage's ear: "Vegetable stew sound good to you?"
"Sounds delicious." And it did, but not half as much as that embrace. He tilted his head to gently rub his ear against Alevh's lips. A thought overtook him -- several thoughts, really, but one was more pressing than the others. "M'not sure yet exactly where this work'll take me. Might be somewhere exotic. If so, I'll try to bring something home for you?"
"Sure. But make sure you bring my Keenblaze back." Alevh gave him a gentle peck of a kiss before returning to the dishes.
Sooty chirped a friendly farewell from the comfort of Alevh's shoulder but most of his attention was on the vital work of washing-up supervision. Chry took a long lingering look at the two of them even though he didn't really need to. The pleasure of seeing was worth something even if it didn't last as long as the pleasure of remembering.
He found Jiel fishing near Unu'pe, Little at his side. As Chry got closer he could see the wolf was trying to get into the basket of already-caught fish by the knight, intent enough on her task that she didn't even look up at him. It was just as well, Chry supposed, since he probably didn't smell nearly as interesting compared to the foods she wanted to get at.
"An Fharruk," Chry said once he was near enough. "I have need of you."
"Oh?" Both of the death knight's black-tipped ears turned to Chryseth now. "What needs killed?"
"I’m not sure yet," Chry said cheerfully. He came to stand by the knight, close enough for a shoulderbump and to offer his hand to Little, who only had time for a few quick finger-slurps before she went back to trying to nose into the basket of loot. "Chromie showed up to ask for my help with something and said you could come along too. Asked for you, really. You don’t mind? I hope?"
"'Course not," Jiel replied, hopping up and reeling his line back in... and then pausing and looking back at the mage, brows at a worried angle. "Wait... Chromie? You mean that bronze dragon? Asked for me?"
"That she did. Said I should bring my blade. Both of em. If you don’t want to go -- I know it’s not as if she’s in your chain of command -- I can tell her you said no..." Chry’s words skidded to a stop and he looked to the sea. As usual, it had no helpful advice.
"Noooo, no no -- no!" Little scampered away from the death knight's flailing hand with what looked like three whole fish in her mouth. Jiel sighed loudly and looked back at Chry. "No, I mean, I'm coming, you're not getting out of that." He smirked and flexed his fingers in imitation of a Death Grip. "Just... sounds like it's gotta be something dangerous, if the dragons want both you and your violent, stinky friend."
"Actually she said the big dead one. I hope that’s not too offensive.” Chry blushed and gestured apologetically. "My other blade."
Jiel wore quite the interesting gobsmacked expression for a moment before scrunching his face up in exaggerated irritation. "You're telling me some bronze dragon called me fat!?" He slung his fishing pole over his shoulder and picked up his basket of fish with a pouty huff. "Must be serious danger indeed, if they're making sure I'm going in there as wound-up as possible." Stomp, stomp, stomp off towards the house; "C'mon, let's get my runeblade and crap and head there straight away."
"I’m sure she didn’t mean..." But Chry gave up and followed, still blushing and mumbling to himself. For all he knew, she did mean it that way and Jiel read it straight. If things needed smashed, there were worse ways to make sure smashing would occur on schedule.
They snuck past the Silverbuckle house. Or rather Jiel snuck, hunched and hooded; Chry just gave it a longing look over his shoulder but kept moving to the workshop where Chromie waited.
"Keenblaze! Jiel Mornherald!" She looked to the mage for a moment and got a nod of approval -- yes, yes his name is Jiel -- and then back to the knight. Her brow furrowed slightly. "What’s the matter, Ebon Blade? You look... wroth."
The death knight endeavored to smooth out his expression as quicky as possible, clanking to attention. "Nothing, ma'am. Here to put my runeblade to work."
"He thinks you called him fat,” Chry said helpfully. "He’s not, you know."
Chromie was take aback for a moment -- just a flash of confusion and hesitation before she put on a smile again. "I’d never," she said. "If anyone has ever, it’d be the Lord of the Infinites but you don’t want to hear that from me. I said big, didn’t I? I meant big and strong. The words are different in Draconic, you know, and if Thalassian isn’t as eloquent it’s not my fault. I didn’t write it."
Jiel briefly boggled before shutting his mouth, eartips wilting in a subtle Jiel-blush. Chry stepped in to save the Blade from continued embarrassment. "The Infinites? D’you mention them by chance, or is that what we’re up against?"
"In a manner of speaking... yes. For now. It’s bigger than that but the full explanation might take longer than we have to spend. Ever wanted to see what would happen if Deathwing won?"
"Not... particularly," Chry answered, glancing toward Jiel for some sort of confirmation of this opinion, though all he got was a worried shrug. "I mean I’ve thought about it but it seems like it wouldn’t be more interesting than rocks fall, everyone dies."
"That’s not too far from the truth, I think. Unfortunately there are those who are less prone to see that particular regrettable future so clearly. A demonstration is needed, you know all about those right? I can’t tell you much more than this, but trust me, this is important."
Chry looked at Jiel again but the Blade was busy playing the strong silent type, so he gave him another careful shoulder-nudge. "Well, even if it weren’t important I’d come running at your call. Got my sword, got the best elf around to have at my back... let’s do this."