|The Road Back
Author: HyacinthMacaw PM
Sometimes the hardest tests of character and strength come only after the battle's over and done. A very quick Nameless KC & Casavir NWN2 one shot, a writing experiment consisting of 8 segments of 100 words each. Post OC with a very minor MotB referenceRated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 818 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 12 - Published: 10-22-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3850854
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As the door collapsed, the sound of his neck breaking was sickening. Waking underneath a pile of rubble was awful. Not feeling anything below his shoulders was sheer terror.
Neeshka had been trapped too. His aura reacting with her tiefling's blood must have made it a living hell for her. But she cared for him, kept him alive. And in the still darkness, they wondered what had happened to her best friend, and his truest love.
Rescue came on the sixth day. After he heard that she was missing, he was glad of the sleeping potion the healer gave him.
He looked back at her without a flicker of sympathy. Immediately she expected hearing the worst. So he would again play the role of tragic chorus. "He tried to hold a doorway open for us to escape until it collapsed on him. I think it was an end that a man of his sensibilities wouldn't have found dissatisfying."
Her teeth clenched and the heat of tears burned on her cheeks, grief and pain and rage roiling inside her. She hissed, "And if I find it dissatisfying, Ammon Jerro?"
It had been a tenday before he could stand. Another three before he could walk without wobbling like a newborn colt. It was three months gone now. And still his body was slow, and clumsy. He tired far too easily. With work he'd regain much of what he had lost, they told him.
But the worst injury, still raw, was losing her.
She saw him then. And she thought him a shade, a phantasm, a grieving fantasy. But as he walked towards her—so carefully, like an old man instead of the youth he was—she looked into his blue eyes. So she wasn't the only one returned from the dead.
She felt something amiss, and looked at him in puzzlement. "My back was injured that day," he said softly. "I…it may take time yet for me to recover."
"But you're alive," she whispered.
He saw the new lines of care worn in her face, but her eyes were bright.
His movements now were sluggish, awkward, a marionette's mockery of his former self. A battle would kill him in minutes.
But he had a paladin's stubborn pride and duty. He'd bear a sword again, or die trying.
He was winded quickly, leaning on the sword with a quiet cry of frustration. Even as she left, giving him back his privacy, her heart ached.
The hurts, slow to heal, made them both keep distance. It grieved him now to remember. If the trust ended so quickly, had it ever really existed? Or had theirs just been a battle-born shadow of love?
He was a paladin, and even if his sword arm had failed him, his courage hadn't.
He went to her room that night. Standing before her, he offered only, "I'll never be fully what I was."
"I won't either." She stood up and held a hand out to him.
"You feel this?" she teased.
His deep groan in response that told her that yes, he definitely did.
Later, she snuggled closer to him. "I do love you."
He reached out and took her hand in his. Carefully, he raised it to his lips and kissed it. "Always, my lady."