(Yes, Rheugan gets his name in the title even though it's mostly from Pitch's point of view. >.>)
I've been feeling like Rheugan has stalled lately. Between my computer messing up, which means I'm stuck on the laptop while my desktop gets fixed (boo!), and many of Rheugan's in-game friends just being busy doing other stuff, he's been kinda hanging out by himself a lot recently. In fact, I've been wracking my brain lately just trying to think of something to shake him up.
Turns out I didn't need to. He got shaken up plenty just last night, during our weekly RP night. I'll let Rheugan tell all the pertinent details.
Rheugan was at the lake shore near the Earthshrine when Pitch found him. He was human, sitting quietly and watching the Shrine begin to buzz as the morning's activities started. Everything seemed to be normal- except the faint scent of blood that Pitch's sensitive cat-nose picked up as he approached.
Rheugan was aware of him, he knew, although the human didn't move or acknowledge him in any way. Pitch stood looking at him, then shifted out of his cat form and sat down beside him. "Let me see," he said gently, keeping his tone perfectly neutral.
Rheugan held out a hand, and Pitch suppressed a wince. His palm was practically shredded, some of the lacerations quite deep. Three of his knuckles were skinned, and one nail was broken off past the quick. Bits and pieces of bark were stuck in some of the wounds. Pitch pulled his eyes off Rheugan's hand and looked around, quickly spotting the offending tree. It looked like one of his sister Kel's devilsaurs had been chewing it.
Rheugan still sat motionless, his eyes fixed on some spot just past the water's edge. Pitch didn't say a word, he simply took the human's hand in his and reached for the earth-energy beneath where he sat. As he did, he heard Rheugan say quietly, "I couldn't heal it myself." Pitch didn't answer, all his focus going into his work. He had a hard enough time healing himself, and for whatever reason healing others was even more difficult. There was nothing he could say, anyway- Rheugan was much more adept at magic than he was, and the only reason he wouldn't have been able to do it himself was because he was lost in one of his worgen rages. Pitch knew better than to scold or to offer any sympathy- the younger druid didn't need either.
He pushed the healing energy he had gathered into the injured hand, watching in satisfaction as it mended. Rheugan wordlessly offered the other hand, which was in similar shape, and Pitch repeated the process. He didn't even want to think about how much pain Rheugan had been in, or for how long. "Dare I ask what the tree did?" he asked jokingly as he finished. Rheugan said nothing, still sitting motionless and staring into the water.
When it was apparent that he wasn't going to respond, Pitch leaned forward until he could see the other's face. The young man's expression was blank, his eyes distant, as if he was in some other world. "Rheugan?" He gave an almost imperceptible start, his eyes cutting over to the Night elf. Pitch kept up the gentle, neutral tone. "Tell me what happened?"
Rheugan stared blankly at him for a few more seconds, then he blinked, finally seeming to register the Night elf's presence. "The fellow your people keep talking about, Tiran Shard, is planning another attack on the Horde," he said quietly. Pitch blinked, then gave a small motion for him to go on. "He thinks he can cut their supply trains if he can blow up part of a road." Pitch's eyebrow went up, then he frowned. "I imagine he has a road already picked out?" Rheugan nodded. "The one between Silverpine... and Gilneas."
Pitch blinked again. "Oh no," he said. "Yes," Rheugan countered. "But that's not all of it. He plans to enlist some help while he does it." Pitch's expression suggested that he didn't really want to hear the rest. Rheugan kept on anyway. "He wants to ally with the Gilneas Liberation Front."
Pitch stared at him, the wheels in his head clearly turning and leading him to the right conclusions. "And you know how he works, don't you," he stated, and Rheugan nodded again, his voice taking on the first hint of emotion he had shown yet- anger. "He'll use them as battle fodder, won't he? He'll destroy what's left of my people."
Pitch covered his face with one hand. "Do you know how soon?" he asked. "Is there any time to try and stop him?" Rheugan shrugged, returning to the listless state he had briefly left. "I don't know," he said. Pitch dropped his hand, regarding the other druid with sympathy. "I'm sorry, Rheugan," he said softly.
Rheugan didn't answer for several minutes. "I want to go with them," he finally said quietly, just above a whisper. "I want to fight with them." Pitch stared. "You'd just die with them," he began. Rheugan's head snapped over to glare at his mentor. "Do you think I care?" he asked sharply. "At least I'd be doing something besides sit around here all day!" Pitch jumped slightly at his tone, staring at him in surprise. "Rheugan..." he started to say, but the human cut him off.
"You keep saying that I just need to get better, but I'm not getting any better am I? I'm stuck here doing nothing useful- just taking up space and time, and you're stuck here too, because you have to watch over me! I want to bloody DO something!" His hand curled into a fist, and he slammed it into the ground as he finished. Pitch winced, even though he knew it was now healed. He had never seen the normally quiet, reserved druid this upset.
Rheugan seemed to realize how far he'd gone, because he froze, staring down at his fist on the ground. Slowly he uncurled his fingers, then placed his hand in his lap and looked out over the water again. Pitch stared at him as he realized he'd been making a huge mistake.
He'd thought to keep Rheugan safe in the city, where he could be near friends and also be watched over. He'd thought the hunting trips they'd gone on would be enough to keep his worgen side happy. Now he realized why Rheugan spent so much time at the lake. It wasn't just about being outside and close to nature; he'd wanted to be as close as possible to where the action was, which in his present scenario were the Earthshrine's portals.
He reached over and placed a hand on Rheugan's shoulder. The younger druid was so tense that he was almost vibrating, the muscles rock-hard. "I'm sorry," Pitch said quietly. "I should have seen it sooner. I'll talk with Alanon, and we'll see what we can do." Rheugan nodded listlessly. "Crowley would never agree to it, I'm sure of it," he said hoarsely, though he didn't sound convinced. It took Pitch a moment to remember what they had been talking about before Rheugan's outburst. "I don't know, you'd know him better than I," he replied. "Listen, I'm going to go ahead and find Alanon, okay? We'll get started sorting all this out." Rheugan didn't answer, but Pitch thought that he was starting to finally relax. Slightly, at least. "All right," Pitch said. "Just tell me you'll stay here, okay? Don't go off anywhere?" At Rheugan's nod, he stood up, then changed to a bird and flew off over the city.
Rheugan watched him go, then shifted to cat, seeking relief in the simplicity of the animal's thoughts. He lay half-curled at the water's edge, staring at nothing.
He wasn't surprised when the bird flapped down to land next to him. However, this bird was smaller and sleeker than Pitch's flight form, and he had just enough time to blink before the bird disappeared and Shaurria stood looking at him. "Y'-.. Pitch said yer not feeling s'well?' she asked him hesitantly. Rheugan's shoulders hitched in a cat-shrug, and she knelt, then sat down beside him. She reached over to touch his shaggy ruff, then before he could protest she had lifted his head and settled it in her lap. Immediately the cat inside him wanted to get free, to claw her off if necessary, but he held it in firmly and kept still. Her fingers began digging through his thick fur, rubbing and scratching, and he let them.
Shaurria began humming softly under her breath. Rheugan didn't recognize the melody, but he didn't care; it was soothing. He lay still, listening and letting her pet him. Finally he was able to let his thoughts go, and soon after he fell fast asleep.