Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quae and Barraccus: Heading North

Quae gently traced the scars zigzagging across Barraccus' chest. He lay still, eyes closed, though she knew he was awake. She said nothing, however. She was thinking.

He had arrived in Telaar earlier that afternoon, and she had immediately noticed how worn out he looked. He had brushed off her concerns, so she had let it drop. All through that afternoon, however, she had watched him closely. He was tired, it showed in everything he did. She had cut their time out short, pretending to be tired herself, and after a supper that he only picked at, they had retired early.

She knew that his work up north kept him busy, yet he managed to get back to her every weekend so they could spend time together. But the constant traveling was exhausting him. Quae knew it had to stop. Barraccus would argue, she knew he would. She was also pretty sure of what he would say, and carefully thought out her own arguments accordingly.

Finally she leaned over, laying her hand on his cheek as she kissed him. He returned the kiss, then as she sat back again he opened his eyes and gave her a faint smile. "I love you," he said softly, and she smiled back. "I love you too," she said, then paused before continuing, "but... you should be up north." He blinked at her, first in surprise, then confusion. "I should-I need to be with you," he started, but she laid a finger on his lips, silencing him. "Hear me out, love," she asked him, and after a moment he nodded slowly.

"You need to be up north," she said bluntly. "You need to be there, when he falls. You need the closure, love. You can't be whole without it, and I need you whole." He blinked at her, then when she took her finger away he asked, "And how can I be sure you're safe, if I can't see you?" She gave him a faintly mocking grin. "Simple, love. I'm coming with you." "What?!" he exclaimed, sitting up partway on the bed, then he winced and lowered his voice. "But... Northrend, Quae. It's bad enough with you here, but what makes you think being with me will make it easier to keep you safe?"

She frowned, and he knew he had probably said at least two things he shouldn't have. Instead of answering sharply, however, she merely said, "It will be easier because you won't have to worry about us being apart. I'll be right under your eye. The Temple doesn't have any more of a presence there than they do here. And if you don't think you can protect me from anything up there, you're not giving yourself enough credit."

He looked at her for a bit, finally cracking a small smile. Then his gaze sharpened. "But what about your work here? Are you just going to pack up and leave?" She shook her head at him. "Barraccus, there is no work left. Everything I've been doing the past few weeks has been repetitive chores, things to keep me busy and out of their hair. And there are still younger adventurers coming in, looking to prove themselves before they head north. Love, trust me. I will not be missed."

Barraccus was silent for a few minutes, then finally he gave her a crooked grin. "You thought up an argument for anything I might say, didn't you?" he asked wryly. She smiled back. "Pretty much. You are rather predictable, love." He chuckled, then pulled her closer for another kiss. "Alright," he said when they parted. "We'll head out first thing. To Northrend." The twist of his mouth when he said it showed he still didn't approve, but she knew he wouldn't argue anymore; she had won. She snuggled down at his side, allowing herself a small triumphant grin. "To Northrend," she repeated softly. "Together."

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