Postby Arkista » Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:10 pm

He wouldn't have allowed her the foolish mercy of liquor.

He wouldn't have allowed her the foolish surrender of dying in the unrelenting rain.

He had barely permitted her to 'escape' the hospital, and escorted... supported her as she roamed in a weakened stagger. And he had watched over her as she cried. Alone, save for her wordless companion. He could never speak, nor could he truly understand the meaning of words... but even without that unspoken bond between them... he knew what it meant, for the paladin to cry. He didn't know, however, what to think of that unbridled sobbing and strangled attempts at screaming as she'd sat helplessly upon the steps of the porch. It was no gentle release of sadness. Grief... sorrow... guilt... mere words that attempted to describe the pain of a mortal heart.

Perhaps, if he'd had a mind oriented to think in such a way, he'd have thought himself fortunate not to have to rely on words to convey emotion. The twisted force of her torment weighed upon him as heavily as it had the first time they had met, in a field of soft grasses and twilight skies in a land over mountains and rivers far away. A beautiful night, it had been... for a young woman barely sixteen summers at the time, with a heart as heavy as it was now. Neither had known what to do with the other then, and yet... something had bound them together. He wondered not about it, though she often did. Whether he had been sent as a divine companion, or whether it had been some strange quirk in the reality of Faerun... they had been bound.

And ever since, he had known her heart... a heart that now hammered with a torment as vile as when they'd first met. Rarely had such a wake of pain been felt, since.

But often, when it did... That Man had been in her thoughts.

Now he watched over her, a silent guardian of the night... in the humble surroundings of the stables. She was curled beside him in the fresh hay, with sodden cloak hung over the stable door. It was warm here, amidst the rich scent of the other steeds kept in safety from the rain. It was dark, and warm, and safe...

.. for the night, at least.

Alphonse watched, sleepless as the horse studied his paladin. He had not the mind of a mortal, only that of a noble beast. A bonded companion. It was well enough, that he could not wonder of such things as... would his comfort be enough? She had refused... or been unable to return to where she belonged, among the other two-leggeds who had mended her injury. She had stayed with him, instead... now asleep in exhaustion upon the hay.

Milia trembled quietly even in sleep, but perhaps in an act of divine mercy... the child of Krynn was spared her dreams and nightmares tonight. A single night of rest, at least, was given. What would come on the morrow would be more unease, and more pain... and would she even be cured of the poison that left her in ever-growing weakness?

Concerns for another time.

The future did not matter.

The well-being of his Rider did.

Alphonse watched over her quietly.
~ ... I don't mind fighting for something I desire... ~ ( Griffith )
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