Cold Tea
Sat Nov 4, 2006 15:40 (XFF:

Hands clapped before her mouth, Evie watched in stunned silence as her beau did little more than hush her, standing wholly still–where they could be seen! Light! Calla and Toliver, accompanied by a wee army of Aethan’Tar, trudged past the thickets and undergrowth of the Black Tower; the night was the conduit through which they travelled, and though it enfeebled eyesight, it was not an impenetrable void. It was not concrete, and it would not hide them.

But it did. For some reason, gazing through the night, the Aethan’Tar . . . could not see them. Evie’s heart jolted unsubtly as one of the nameless initiates peered right there–right where they were crouched–and flicked his glance away as quickly as causelessly. And it dawned on her. They did not see them. They did not see them! And her eyes gravitated on her companion, Kieran. Was this some product of the Power? Had he rendered them invisible? That didn’t seem to make sense, as she could see Kieran perfectly. Or, perhaps, it was a field of invisibility–and all on its outside were barred from gazing into it?

She’d have to get him to teach her how to do that.

At last, it seemed, after too short a wait–Light, Kieran was practically bursting with giggles–the pair was free to be at ease, for the mob had left. The Aethan’Tar had retreated into the evening. She smirked. Well, that hadn’t been difficult. Peering at her, Kieran had a grin to wear and a quip to speak. They would steal the heartleaf for themselves, would they? Oh, she had no objections to that.

“I’m sorry for the trouble I got us into,” Evie admitted truthfully. It had been her fault that Calla and Toliver had made enemies of them; she was big enough to admit that. “To compensate, I’ll nick the heartleaf on my lonesome.”

Kieran was gentlemanly enough to attempt to coax her out of it, though she would not have it. In sooth, it was more than just an apologetic gesture. In fact, the purported purpose was likely the least of the reasons she was doing this. Put simply, Evie wanted to know where the heartleaf was. No better reason than that. She supposed the Asha’man would give her heartleaf if she requested it–they would likely be encouraging a cardiovascular activity as that–but Evie predicted that she’d be requesting far too often for that. Too much of a hassle. She’d have it herself.

“I need you to make me invisible, though. Just like you made us.”

He did. “I’ll wait for you in my barracks, Evie.”

And so, pressing through the thickets and stray tufts of undergrowth, Evie was a ghost in the evening. It would seem as though the field of invisibility Kieran had placed over her this time was skin-tight, as she could not see her arms, her legs. She saw little aside of the thickness of the darkness. Kieran, too, had even claimed that the “weave was inverted”; she had not a clue of what that could mean.

A smile curved across her light-evading cheeks as she spied the procession of Aethan’Tar making their way through the night. Trudging with no such grin was Calla, and a slick sort of satisfaction started to suffuse her. The fool deserved to be seen as a fool, and all she had done was ensure that. Justice, then, had effectively been served.

The forest stole itself away from her, and Evie was at liberty to walk clearly through the evening. Drunken hoots riddled the yards for the hour was now late. Was that shadow wearing a fringed shawl in the bushes, and could she see the red glint of an Asha’man’s pin in the swarthy recesses of the night? Could it be that the members of authority were truly no better than the subjects over whom they claimed governance? Again, satisfaction. Of course they were no better. In fact, for claiming they were, these women and men could be sieged by the argument that they were worse.

The building was of black bricks, though its windows, its doors, were trimmed with the incidental aid of dark, lacquered wood. A closer examination would render unto the viewer blue-green marble, glossy as slime-covered pebbles that crawled across the ocean’s floor. In spite of the festivities, it was not closed. Oh, Light, no. Though swords and thunderbolts were placed aside if only for this evening, Evie could not imagine the Black Tower operating without an Infirmary. Not intelligibly, at least. A festival had all the more purpose for an able Infirmary. Folks would succumb to alcohol poisoning, and too few people were able enough to treat such an infliction–not without dooming their charge to aspirating vomit, at least. Oh, and drunken brawls, too. She smirked.

If I really do belong among the Jacks, she thought, should I not be familiar with the subterfuge of a Spy? And, she supposed, the first way to go about that . . . would be waiting for someone else to open that door. After all, she was invisible, and doors opening all on their lonesome, well. . . . If she was looking to avoid notice, that would most definitely be a poor stratagem.

It was a vexing task, to say the least, simply standing and waiting aggravatingly so. At once, three Soldiers all went stampeding into the Infirmary; one was stumbling artlessly, her face slack for alcohol, and two males were helping her in. By the time they crossed the threshold, the door had closed too far for Evie to steal an entrance. Bastards. A minute later, however, a large Soldier with what looked like a deep cut gracing his cheek trudged through the doorway. Standing almost right against his back, Evie threw herself through the archway, sliding past the closing door. She was in.

Cloaking herself in silence (for even a carelessly loud step could reveal her presence) Evie walked with tested steps past cot after cot of moaning, alcohol-stricken people. It was wildly unsanitary; she watched in wordless surprise as an Asha’man channeled a glob of sickly grey-brown sick-up from the floor, holding it motionless in a sphere. Light.

Ghosting across the floor tiles, Evie grew slowly impatient. It was hard to stay lit with a burning desire to do the rough-and-tumble with Kieran when she was watching men and women vomit their guts out. Making sure none were watching, Evie pushed open the door to an adjoining room. No, not a room. A corridor. Doors were on every side. Oh, wouldn’t this be fun? She took the task upon herself to open each in turn. Almost all rooms beared little aside of a private area, likely for those with long-term stays. Door after door she tried, growing ever impatient until–

A room adorned with a series of bland, elmwood cupboards was opened up to her, and a roguish grin slid across her face. In her mind, she held fixated the image of heartleaf. Tiny leaves with surfaces of a rich, waxy green. Its stalk was thin with tiny, fibre-like hairs. Mere whispers. Hunting through the cupboards, Evie scavenged hastily, keeping a cautious ear out for those approaching this storage room. Not well-versed in herbalism, Evie knew not the names of all but the most cautious, obvious plants, like healall and . . . well, just healall, really. Not much was required past healall in the case of simple inflictions. Unless you’re looking to stop yourself from being impregena–

Her thoughts were literally halted as she stumbled upon a swaddle of–yes, of heartleaf. Its dark, green leaves were unmistakable. At once, she hastened to the adjacent countertop, rummaging through drawers in search of–yes, a knife. And so Evie went about in a flurry, serrating the leaves just so as she emptied a kettle of water into a cup, mixing the leaves therein. She only just was about to rush out with the cup for Kieran to heat it went impulse took her. Closing her eyes, Evie tilted back her head, downing the concoction cold.

From there, it was a mere matter of stealing herself back to the barracks. Opening the door to Kieran’s, she found her blue-eyed beau sitting there patiently on his bedspread. A smile touched her face, but it was left unseen. “It’s me.”

In one fluid, melting motion, her arms and legs and torso all became evident once again as the invisibility effect was gone from her. Moonbeams were hard, luminous, and they touched each surface, each dying mite of space, in sight. Her breath silvered deftly before her, and she was touched with the sudden realization of how cold the night was. The ale, it seemed, warmed her yet. Kieran stood to greet her, but she would not have him standing. Entwining her leg in around his, she tripped the man into the bed, nimble fingers undressing him as she kissed him deeply. For the amount of effort it had taken to get here, Evie could say that it was wholly, thoroughly, sweepingly worth it.

  • Not Gonna Get UsSoldier Kieran (Karen), Thu Nov 2 15:07
    As Kieran listened to Evie as she spoke, he couldn't help but feel a bit of an itch when she pulled out the silver. He remembered his thieving days too much for his own good right now. Kieran unbound ... more
    • Cold Tea — Soldier Evie Holinshed, Sat Nov 4 15:40
      • Contemplations of the Morning AfterSoldier Kieran (Karen), Sat Nov 4 18:53
        It was not exactly easy having to wait there for Evie. He knew that he said that he'd wait for her…but it seemed to be taking longer than it should to just snatch something from the Infirmary, and... more
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