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Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesSeptember 17, 2022 12:56 PM

Lost Memories
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

Of course, butterflies are fun to make. Do you want to hold it?

Isabella smiled widely, eyes glittering as she held out her hand.

"Bella! I- I need help please!"

Isa's face immediately fell and she was on her feet within seconds, stepping swiftly towards Ambrose's tent, only to be stopped by Amel.

What’s going on?

Esta’s in Ambroses’ tent helping him, I think… Or I thought…

"Yes, she’s with Ambrose.

All of you, stay out here, I’ll deal with it. Yes, Isabella, that includes you. If she’s in danger we need to debilitate the threat, your skillset wouldn’t help.

Isabella opened her mouth to protest, but for once, she was at a loss for words. She was panicking a little too much to even come up with a good argument. Instead, she just tensed her shoulders, clenched her jaw, and watched Ambrose's tent anxiously.

Don’t leave the area though, stay on standby just in case. Salen, Eni; we may need a mental illusion so be ready to come if I need you. Isabella, I’ll need you to look at Esta and take her to the med area as soon as I call your name. Stay close.

"I'm not a fucking idiot." She snapped, eyes not leaving the tent. "Hurry up!"

---

"Damn it." Karma hissed under their breath, watching the way Illon curled more in on themselves, nails digging into skin. This wasn't good, but what could they do? They were completely helpless, completely useless. Just the same as they always were when it came to other people. They never knew how to help, they only ever made things worse.

"Illon, come on, please, you'll be alright." Would they though? They were obviously having a flashback of some sort or something. How could Karma possibly guarantee their safety and health? Panicking, Karma reached out and gently pulled Illon up into a hug, rubbing their back repetitively and gently. Honestly, they weren't sure this helped at all, probably not, but it was the only thing they could think of at the moment. "You're worth it."

The skeptic whispered into Illon's good ear and started to slowly rock both of them back and forth. Repetitive movements tended to help them a lot when they were panicking (as long as they were aware of who was touching them), maybe they'd get lucky and Illon would be the same. They doubted it honestly, but they had to try. "You haven't failed, you've had a setback. Everyone does, it'll be alright. Focus on my voice. You're not alone. You don't have to be alone. I'm going to ask you to trust me, El, I know it's the hardest thing, but if you could just try."

They really hoped they were doing at least something positive for Illon right now, and not making things worse like they tended to, because that would be very bad. Very, very bad. If only they could take this shit from them, if only they could make Illon's pain their own. Then things would be easier, things would be better, they wouldn't have to watch someone they... someone they cared about get hurt again. Someone they cared about. When had that happened?

Karma shoved the thought away and continued speaking, trying to ground Illon again. "You've made it this far, El, I'm proud of you for that. Now just keep trying, keep breathing. You deserve it, I promise you do, but you have to believe it yourself too, or else my words mean nothing."

---

Esta looked at Amel when he entered, tears in her eyes and leaving trails on her cheeks as her blood dripped on the floor. She winced as Amel sent a small shock towards Ambrose, causing him to fall back slightly and release her. She immediately pulled her hand to her chest, putting pressure on the wound even as it pulsed with pain.

Another shock was sent Ambrose's way and he passed out. The healer looked at him with wide, uncertain eyes, flinching slightly when Amel wrapped an arm around her and helped her up.

He’ll be fine. He’s just going to sleep for a few hours, okay?

She looked at the leader with glossed, overly trusting eyes and nodded, stumbling as Amel led her toward the tent entrance, her head felt fuzzy with stress and anxiety.

Isabella! Need you to take Esta to the med tent, patch up her arm! Salen, Eni; get in here and make sure Ambrose doesn’t have a nightmare during his nap!

Esta looked at her girlfriend as she was transferred to her arms, leaning against her rather heavily, more for comfort than physical support. Bella was saying something that Esta couldn't make out in her panicked state, but she nodded along anyway, letting Isabella guide her to the med tent, shooting a wide-eyed look towards Salen as she passed.

---

. “Isabella! Need you to take Esta to the med tent, patch up her arm! Salen, Eni; get in here and make sure Ambrose doesn’t have a nightmare during his nap!

Isabella rushed forward the second Amel appeared with Esta, carefully taking her girlfriend without a glance at the leader.

"Hey, starlight, you're alright! Look, I've got you now, let's get your arm patched up, okay? You'll be just fine, promise!"

The healer nodded along, but Bella could tell she wasn't really processing the information as she leaned heavily against Isa's chest. The second in command couldn't yet clearly see the wounds, but the fact that Esta's arm and fingers were coated with blood was enough to tell her that the wounds were moderately deep.

Once they reached the med tent, Isabella helped her girlfriend inside, gathered bandages and supplies to clean the wounds, and then sat across from her, gesturing for her arm. Esta complied and Isabella felt her eyes widen in surprise. The wounds were indeed deep, so deep that she almost couldn't believe that someone (especially Ambrose) had managed to cause them with just their nails.

She carefully cleaned and wrapped Esta's wounds and watched as the healer started to calm down and regain orientation. "Hey, star. How do you feel?"

"Better." The healer murmured, lifting her arm to inspect Isabella's work before slightly adjusting the bandages.

"Hey, I'm not that bad!" The second in command protested, earning a soft chuckle from the girl across from her.

"No, you aren't it's mostly well done, actually."

"Uh, yeah, I know basic first aid, silly."

"That doesn't mean you're good at it."

"But I am."

"You're decent." Esta conceded, earning a small huff from her girlfriend. Her smile faltered a little, however, as she began to reenact the scene with Ambrose in her head. "I've never seen anyone like that." She said softly, Bella's eyes darkened, but she stayed silent and listened. "I mean, I've dealt with crazy people before, people do things when they're in pain, but I've never seen anyone so... lost. Ambrose looked completely broken, he just kept muttering nonsense, and... and, well, I'm not even really sure what was going on. One minute he was calm enough, just worried about Illon, and the next... it was light a switch turned on, he just changed."

Isabella shivered, she honestly couldn't see the kind, patient, shy Ambrose hurting anyone, even though he'd obviously just hurt Esta. The idea of him being anything but quiet and kind seemed completely unrealistic, even in battle he was careful and rarely did more than redirect a person with his song. He wasn't remotely violent, and yet...

"I'm sure he'll be okay, Star, he probably just... I don't know, it was probably pint up anger or something, I doubt it'll happen again."

The healer hesitated but nodded. She wanted to believe that, even though she knew it wasn't true. "Yeah, maybe..."

---

For your information, Katniss, I know plenty of invisible squirrels. I had to learn from someone, right? Eh. It was because of you being a good ranger, it was also because of your close attachment to Eni, and probably some other reasons that I don’t know about.”

Agnar smiled a little. "I didn't think of that! It would make sense with me being close to Eni! Aw, I like it even more now." He grinned brighter. "And that gives me an idea, I think I'll do something different than the first carving idea I had."

The ranger looked up at Blair. "Hey, what's your favorite animal? And color? Oh, and flower? Don't question me, I need to know." He stated, a little mischievous glimmer entering his gaze as he looked at the other. "It's important information for future references. I ask all my friends."

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesOctober 19, 2022 12:11 AM

Overthink101
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Amel Wyther | 26 | Male | Demisexual | Leader | Mentions; All

Salen Frez | 25 | Female | Pansexual | Diplomat | Mentions; All

Eni Vizin | 27 | Non-Binary | Demisexual | Mentor | Mentions; All

Illon Elatos | 24 | Non-Binary | Asexual Demiromantic | Inventor | Mentions; All

Agris ‘Blair’ Bairugih | 23 | Male | Gay | Turncoat | Mentions; Agnar(Dir), Amel(Ind), The Others(Even More Ind)

--

Isabella! Need you to take Esta to the med tent, patch up her arm! Salen, Eni; get in here and make sure Ambrose doesn’t have a nightmare during his nap!

--

As soon as Salen and Eni heard the words, it wasn’t hard for either of them to figure out what exactly Amel had done. And just like in most situations during this entire mission, the two stood and made their pace brisk.

--

As she entered the tent, Salen managed to give a small, encouraging nod to Esta as her girlfriend shot her a wide-eyed glance. She didn’t waste time getting inside the tent though, not wanting to risk something happening to Ambrose- More than what had apparently already happened, that is.

--

Eni, meanwhile, was close to fuming. Again. This could’ve all been avoided had everyone sucked it up and spoken about everything that bothered them before it festered like this! They probably shouldn’t have left Ambrose to go talk to Illon but- But- It couldn’t wait! Nothing could ever wait. Why could no one ever wait?! It was almost annoying! If Eni didn’t care about the team then they would’ve put their foot down a long time ago about the whole waiting game they all loved to play! Couldn’t they see what happens when people play the stupid waiting game?! This! This is what happens!

--

But none of that mattered at the moment, because Eni had to help Ambrose. And talk to Salen. Which, what better time than while the two work together to make sure Ambrose didn’t have a traumatic flashback as a nightmare or just some other type of nightmare?

--

The two more psychically inclined got to Ambrose’s unconscious body, and took a seat, kneeling beside him. At least it wasn’t the first time they did something like this. Though, to be fair, the last time was on an enemy and they had given them a nightmare instead of, well… The opposite. Either way, it wasn’t the first time. It wasn’t even the second or third or fourth. They had enough practice at this point, they both hoped it was enough.

*~*~*~*

Amel handed Esta over to Isabella the moment she reached them, carefully of course. He didn’t want the medic to get hurt any more than she already was. He made sure not to try and initiate eye contact with Isabella as she took her, he found that he couldn’t even if he tried.

--

Hey, starlight, you're alright! Look, I've got you now, let's get your arm patched up, okay? You'll be just fine, promise!

--

As soon as Esta and Isabella were making their way to the med tent and the other two had gotten into Ambrose’s tent… Amel… Well, he watched to make sure that Isabella and Esta reached the med tent, and then…

--

Then he noticed the tingling in his fingers, the small tremor, the small sting at his eyes he refused to focus on. So he sent a shock between his fingers, a small one, just enough to keep him rooted in the present. It just wouldn’t do for him to get caught up in her memory right now. He needed to focus, needed to move on, needed to survive. He had done so all these years for a reason, surely. He couldn’t get distracted now. Or ever. He just couldn’t.

--

So he forced his feet to walk, his eyes to glance around the camp… The group needed tomorrow off after this. That was for sure. Starting tomorrow, he really needed to take better precautions to keep this stuff from happening… What else didn’t he know about? If Ambrose, one of the nicest here, was capable of this? What else didn’t he know when it came to his own team?

--

With things decided, he walked over to the campfire and sat down. He’d tell the team as soon as the majority of them were out here again. They would be staying here for the next day, at least, and he would be taking the night shift to keep watch of the woods. Which, thinking of… Where was Agnar?

*~*~*~*

Eni looked over to Salen and then over to Ambrose, reaching out telepathically to both after a curt nod from Salen. The link with Ambrose was easy, he was unconscious. Salen’s mind had always been… Well hidden. As if under constant guard by something. It had irked them at first, but given that they always got a headache after doing anything with Salen’s mind and they trusted Salen anyways? They let it go fairly quickly. For this though, a connection had to be made, so eventual headache be damned- Eni made the connection. It was easier when Salen knew and was willing.

--

So it was no surprise that when Eni made a connection, and created a link between the two minds they had just connected to for Salen to be able to send things through, that she was ready. Immediately, a dream-like illusion filtered through their mind and through the link to Ambrose’s in order to maintain a happy dream. A calm dream. One that would hopefully help him.

--

And most likely, the two were good enough at their powers to be able to have a conversation at the same time. Because Eni needed that conversation. They had had enough with… With all of this self-destructive, overall simply destructive, behavior from everyone. So, they looked over at Salen, and spoke. “Salen, we need to talk about my promise.

*~*~*~*

They stayed there, curled on the dirty, bloody floor of a rotting room. Crying, dirty nails digging into thin pale skin, stomach aching with dull hunger and pain, thin hair slick with sweat, lungs burning, and metallic wet coughs wracking their small frame. They deserved this.

--

They tried curling more, dirty nails raking across thin arms as they tried and tried to make themself disappear. It was what they deserved, after failing so many times. They were always given so many chances, why couldn’t they just do anything right?

--

The arguing had stopped, or maybe they just couldn’t hear it now. Either was a possibility. They didn’t know the more likely one… They attempted to curl more, and attempted to remove their sinful existence from the world as much as possible. They must have failed at that too.

--

They heard a door open, a gasp, and then quick footsteps. They felt someone dropping down to the ground, right next to them. They felt as someone reached out towards them, slowly as if they were a wild animal… They still flinched back. The hand hesitated, they tried to curl even more, nails raking and digging, coughing up what had to be blood, and shivered.

--

They were grabbed and pulled into a… A hug… A warm hug… A suffocating hug… The tears fell faster, their thin sweaty hair was stroked, and they reached out, uncurling as little as possible in order to latch onto whoever was trying to offer them comfort. Comfort they didn’t deserve, but comfort nonetheless. They were held tightly, they held on as though life depended on them doing so. And they sobbed. And coughed. And heard a higher pitched voice mumbling, they couldn’t make out the words, they assumed the voice was trying to reassure them. The tone matched the idea. Sweet nothings going into their ear.

--

They sat there, sobbing and coughing, for quite a while. The voice never stopped, the hug never ended, the person rocked them endlessly, tried soothing them in any way possible. And when the fog of the voice cleared, and Illon could make out the sweet nothings being said, with tears drying due to exhaustion more than them truly being done… They paused.

--

Didn’t that voice belong to… Karma? Karma was holding them, rocking them back and forth, Illon was still crying. They felt like mush. They felt terrible… They were still shaking, still crying, still making a mess of themself, still acting like a little kid. The scene was familiar though, so very oddly familiar. And Illon couldn’t help but remember the comfort more than anything in that moment. They wanted it again. Selfishly wanted it again.

--

You've made it this far, El, I'm proud of you for that. Now just keep trying, keep breathing. You deserve it, I promise you do, but you have to believe it yourself too, or else my words mean nothing.

--

The words were jumbled, but Illon caught the gist… Their eyes stung, red from crying. Their shoulders shook, tense. And Illon’s newly bloodied hands latched onto Karma, just like they’d latched onto her so many years ago. They weren’t sure exactly what had happened back then, they didn’t want to think about what had happened. They didn’t want to have to face the memories. They just wanted comfort. They just wanted steady.

--

So they ignored the new blood on their hands and whispered apologies to Karma. Because Karma shouldn’t have to deal with them, shouldn’t have to deal with this. And Karma hated physical touch- They practically tried to jump away as they remembered that. Karma hated physical touch- What was Illon thinking?!

--

Their hands found their way back to the arms they had been raking against before, tears falling with newfound speed, they tried to curl in on themself as much as possible again. They whisper-yelled apologies to Karma, words jumbling and blending together as they tried and failed to keep everything even slightly together. They truly were the worst.

*~*~*~*

As she sat, kneeling next to Ambrose, she saw Eni look at her. A silent question, asking if she was ready. Salen nodded, curt and firm, polite and stern. She was. It wasn’t too new, not with how often the two have carried it out on enemies. One of the few times on a teammate though, the last time they had to was… Well, it was with Illon and it was only because Salen had gone to the med tent one night and seen them in what was obviously a nightmare. So she had gotten Eni in there and the two had helped. She hadn’t told Illon, she hadn’t told Esta, neither of them had.

--

Perhaps she should have. It was before Illon’s capture, after all. And they had looked miserable, maybe all of it wouldn’t have been so bad if she had told someone? She wasn’t sure… She wasn’t sure about a lot nowadays, it seemed. Which just wouldn’t do, she had a campaign to get back to when they returned to the city!

--

She felt a tingling sensation in her mind, and focused on opening up enough to allow Eni easier access. Apparently, for some reason, her mind was harder to connect to for them? She hasn’t a clue why, but… Well, what can one do? It doesn’t make too much of a difference in the long run, and the two could work around it. Obviously.

--

As soon as the presence felt solid, she reached across it, felt for the other one at the other end of Eni’s control. And… There it was! The link to Ambrose’s mind. She pulled up an illusion of music, birds, trees, rivers, flowers, and the sky; she fuzzed the edges, added a slight mist, and put everything into making it a calm, soothing dream… And she sent it over to Ambrose. As soon as it was over, the activity became a background presence in her mind, constantly streaming out a positive and soothing illusion for the traveler… She heard Eni speak.

--

Salen, we need to talk about my promise.

--

Salen glanced over to him, tilting her head slightly. “Which one, Eni?

--

The telepathy one. The one that keeps me from speaking about whatever I find out about all of you on the team.

--

Salen nodded softly, thinking it over before settling on a simple word. “Why?

--

Eni’s eyes narrowed, “What do you mean, ‘why’? Because there’s important information I need to share, and we’re all already basically back to the city. Which was the original agreed upon time for it to end. Why not a bit early, hm?

--

Salen sighed, and nodded. “Fair, fair. Have you spoken to Amel about this decision yet? He is the one that first told us to make the promise.

--

Eni bit their lip, reached out to Amel, and gave him the warning sound the three had agreed upon for anything like this. “Totally, of course. Now, can we get rid of it now or not?

--

Salen bit back a small laugh as she felt them reach out somewhere through her mind. She ignored it though and huffed. “Sure, why not? I’ll do it once the illusion truly sinks in and is able to stick on its own without me constantly feeding it to him.

*~*~*~*

I didn't think of that! It would make sense with me being close to Eni! Aw, I like it even more now. And that gives me an idea, I think I'll do something different than the first carving idea I had.

--

Blair raised an eyebrow, Agnar was honestly kind of strange. It was a good strange though, he was fairly certain. A very nice strange, refreshing after… Well, everything, of the past few days or weeks or so.

--

Hey, what's your favorite animal? And color? Oh, and flower? Don't question me, I need to know. It's important information for future references. I ask all my friends.

--

Blair paused, blinking a few times before clearing his throat out of confusion. “Friends? We’re… Friends? Huh. Alright then… Uhm… My favorite animal is probably foxes or spiders or, uhm… Serpents, actually. Vipers and snakes are pretty cool, if you can get past the gang.” He chuckled lightly, only bare amounts of humor in it. “As for color? Green and gray, honestly. Good for camo, good for jewelry, good just in general. Very pleasing combination. As for flower?

--

Blair paused… Flower… He looked away, heart taking a bounding leap off a cliff somewhere far away. He wondered what happened to the garden he had worked so hard on back with Ryan and Scarlet… His eyes stung, he shoved the feeling down, shoved their names into the deepest corners of his mind. And forced his voice to work. “My favorite flower is a Rosa x damasce- Er… Damask Rose, is the common name. Floribun- Uhm. Iceberg Roses are also nice. So are Rosa Madame A- Uhm… Peace Roses.

--

Each time he almost used the scientific name, he corrected himself. Most people didn’t know the exact names, most people wouldn’t know the difference between the different roses anyways! He was already letting too much slip with the different common names, scientific names wouldn’t help anything! The ranger didn’t need to know his obsession with gardening. He didn’t need to know about the Damask Vineyard! Thinking about the garden, mentioning anything tied directly to the garden was basically a death sentence!… Wrong word choice for his thoughts, his eyes stung again. He swallowed thickly, forced out a few more words, trying to get attention off of himself. “What about you?

Whispers Cost | Adapa x SocratesOctober 19, 2022 03:37 PM

Lost Memories
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Posts: 6808
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Esta Haron / 24 / Female / Lesbian / Healer / M: All
Ambrose Alinsky / 26 / Male / Graysexual Panromantic / Traveler / M: All
Agnar Solefair / 22 / Male / Homosexual / M: All
Karma Bravo / 25 / Nonbinary / Pansexual / M: All
Isabella Finley / 25 / Female / Bisexual / M: All

Esta sighed and sat back in her sleeping roll, sighing softly. "Well, thank you for helping me, Bella."

"No problem!" Isabella replied. She was about to speak again when something caught her eye, a small piece of paper resting on the tent floor close to Esta's bedroll. "What's this?" She questioned, reaching over.

Esta's eyes widened as Isa snatched it up, brows furrowing as she processed the picture. "Who's this, Star?"

"No one." The healer replied quickly.

The second in command's eyes narrowed. "Doesn't look like no one." She flipped it over, the date the photo was taken as well as the name Felicia Adams with a heart afterward.

"She's just... an old friend."

"Star, you're kissing her cheek and she's got her arm around your waist. That's not a friend pose."

The healer fidgeted nervously while Isabella glared at her. "Esta."

"It's not important."

"How is this not important? I want to trust you, Esta, but you're making it very hard right now."

The healer flinched slightly and shook her head. "I'm sorry, but it's really not your business."

Isa's jaw clenched. "It is if there's another girl touching you like that. I want the truth."

"No." Esta's voice was uncharacteristically firm when she spoke, despite the pain in her eyes.

Isabella stared in shock for a moment before shaking her head in disbelief. "Why? What are you so scared of?!" The steadiness that she'd been maintaining up until this point (using a lot of self-control), finally slipped, anger seeping into her tone.

"Why does it matter to you? You aren't involved with this, Bella! Just leave it, please!"

Tears stung the healer's eyes and Isabella stood up, evidently trying very hard not to snap as she dropped the picture into her girlfriend's lap and clenched her hands into fists.

"I thought you were different. I wanted to trust you, but you're just as bad as them."

She stalked out of the medic's tent. She needed to use some of the angry energy that was boiling in her chest, otherwise, she'd explode and hurt someone.

---

Illon's bloodied hands latched onto Karma's shoulders, and though it took a lot not to flinch, they managed, continuing to sway and whisper soothing words instead. A few seconds later though, the inventor's hands dropped, grasping their own arms again and continuing to abuse the skin. They spat out frantic apologies and Karma tightened their grip ever so slightly.

"No, no, don't apologize. It's okay. It's fine. You can touch me if you want, I don't mind. Whatever you need to ground yourself that doesn't involve hurting yourself, do it, it's okay. I've got you, I'm here. You'll be alright. Focus on my voice, alright? I'll stay here as long as you need me, and as long as you want me."

They did their best to stay steady and continue speaking. They weren't good with people, but they knew that grounding was important for panic attacks and flashbacks, having had both themselves. They understood that, even if uncomfortable with touch, sometimes being held by someone you trusted enough was the best feeling. They understood that consistency was key.

No breaks, no hesitation, just steady and stable. So they worked toward that, trying to be encouraging and kind as they held their... their friend? Was Illon their friend now? They were their ally, yes, but were they closer than that at this point? Close enough to be actual friends?

Blinking, Karma shoved the thought away. They could figure out that confusion later, right now, Illon needed help.

---

“Friends? We’re… Friends? Huh. Alright then… Uhm… My favorite animal is probably foxes or spiders or, uhm… Serpents, actually. Vipers and snakes are pretty cool, if you can get past the gang.”

Agnar grinned, taking mental notes.

"Well, you did just agree to travel around with me, didn't you? Pretty sure strangers don't agree to stuff like that." He pointed out.

“As for color? Green and gray, honestly. Good for camo, good for jewelry, good just in general. Very pleasing combination. As for flower? My favorite flower is a Rosa x damasce- Er… Damask Rose, is the common name. Floribun- Uhm. Iceberg Roses are also nice. So are Rosa Madame A- Uhm… Peace Roses. What about you?”

"Rosa x damascene, Floribunda, and Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere." Agnar listed off, stating the scientific names with ease. "Nice, I like roses too." He smiled slightly at Blair, eyes knowing. "I'm a nature enthusiast." He stated. "Jumping from home to home your whole life, you've gotta pick up something that's consistent everywhere, I chose nature, I studied plants and animals. Read just about every nature book I could get my hands on."

"As for me, my favorite animal is probably a dog. Any dog. I really like them. Or maybe an owl, because of Eni. For my favorite color, I like most colors, honestly. Greens might be my favorite, though, or blues. And, finally flower, definitely Helianthus Annuus's, they're pretty and tall, and they always look on the bright side, literally!"

Agnar grinned happily when a noise caught his attention. His power was always partially in use, and unless he was sleeping, his hearing was ever so slightly heightened. Typically, he just ignored noises unless they were directed at him or out of the normal, but now he jumped when Isabella's voice shouted his name, sounding very angry.

"Ah, that sounds concerning. Sorry for the short notice, Blair, gotta go, I think I'm either in a lot of trouble or someone is dying. Talk later!" The ranger jumped to his feet and, knife in hand darted back to camp.

---

As soon as Bella came to the edge of the woods, she paused, realizing that Agnar, her best training partner, and, therefor, the person she needed right now, was no where around. Grumbling under her breath, the second in command raised her voice and shouted the rangers name.

"Agnar!"

It took maybe two minutes before Agnar appeared, eyes wide with concern as he looked around, finally finding his friend who stood at the edge of camp with her arms crossed and an annoyed look on her face.

He walked over, slipping his knife back in it's normal spot and rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly, assuming he'd done something to get yelled at.

"Heyyyy, Bella! What's up?"

"We're going to train?"

"What?"

"Come on."

The ranger blinked in confusion as Isabella started stomping into the woods, luckily going the opposite way from where him and Blair had been talking only a minute ago.

"Did something happen?"

"Yep."

"Wanna talk about it?"

"Nope."

"Okayyyy, so I get no information?"

"Nope."

Agnar pressed his lips together and shrugged. When Isa got like this, there was no point in trying to discuss anything. She'd rant to him about it later, but right now, it was all about letting off steam.

This also meant that this training session all the weapons used would be fake. Usually, both the ranger and second in command were skilled and careful enough not to hurt each other (at least, not badly) most of the time, but in times like this, Isabella would slice Agnar to pieces.

"Great."

---

Esta stared at the picture that Isabella had dropped into her lap, and salty tears started to pool steadily down her cheeks. Panic started to build up in her chest and she could feel a panic attack starting. She tried to breathe, but it hurt. Everything hurt.

She should have just told Isabella the truth. It wasn't bad or anything, so why did she struggle so much? Why couldn't she just accept what Felicia had done and move on. She thought she had moved on, so why now? Why when she was in a happy relationship did all of that have to come back up again? It didn't make sense, it was wasn't fair!

Pain turned into anger and, without really thinking, Esta grabbed the picture and tore it in half, glaring through clouded eyes at the bright smile on Felicia's face, now stained with tears.

Why couldn't she just let go?


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