Florence watched as the elf made what seemed like a long and arduous trek back to the bench. She clapped excitedly at his victory and leaned on him a little bit at his return. [+mediumseagreen “Really, painting? That definitely counts, I would love to see it.”] Regardless of skill, the Astorian woman was interested to see what sort of things he painted. People, places, still lives, there were all sorts of options, when it came to the arts just about anything was possible. It was interesting to her, even if she had never fostered any artistic talents herself.
Reading, that was more something she could imagine him doing, though it seemed that pastime had fallen away as well. [+mediumseagreen “Odd that, you would think they would be just raring to get their help educated.”] There was thick sarcasm there. Florence had experienced and seen many terrible things in her life, but luckily that was not one of them. She happy for that, but sad that Nicolai had had to go through it, it was complicated. [+mediumseagreen “Good to know Tyleth is keeping the standards high… though I guess I am not one to speak since I took forever to learn to read. It’s hard when you travel so much. But gods aside, at least Astorian isn’t anything like Wistinian. I swear you lot can’t decide on how to spell anything. In Astoria it is just how it sounds, here no! I was so mad that I had to spend so much extra time learning how to spell on these stupid outlier words.”] Of course she buckled down and did it, but Florence hated every second of it. Anything to fit in as seamlessly as possible in her new home, however she was obviously still grumbling about it to this very day, albeit with a comical tone.
Glancing down at the bottle he had retrieved, she not so sneakily placed the bottle of wine she had in Nicolai’s empty hand and attempted to get the whisky from him. When it was became clear this was not going as smoothly as she imagined, the green-eyed woman spoke up. [+mediumseagreen “I don’t want the wine; I don’t like it so much.”] It was a pretty pitiful excuse to make him give up his hard won spirits, but he obliged her at least for the time being so she could take a quick drink off the bottle. Much better. [+mediumseagreen “So, how did you manage to get out of that place anyway?”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai stared at her with a little annoyance though it wasn’t at her but that no good traitorous Tomas. He had paid the man’s damn bar tab as well! If the man still lived when they took the Capital, then there may some stern words or actions taken against him for that. He was a little embarrassed to see her close to laughter but all too soon he was grinning himself. He shook his head lightly with the indignation of her laughter toward him, but he was soon joining in and listening to how some immensely complicated sounding flower was her favourite. He tried to silently sound the word out though it looked like he was chewing something, and his attention only returned when she had paused. Had he missed something? His drunken nature prohibited his attention from being able to focus entirely on what she said but he was getting by with pieces here and there.
Hobbies? He shrugged lightly at the notion and it seemed even she found it quite humorous to ask him. Her gentle ribbing was becoming a terrible tease and he narrowed his eyes on her, had reaching out to take the bottle from her hold. He took only a small sip before handing it back and glancing over to the bench. It was an internal debate that ended with a sigh as he rolled onto his knees and began to push himself up but gave in. It was too tiring to stand fully and instead he shuffled on his knees back to the bench to retrieve the other bottle.[+royalblue “Well.. a long, long, looong time ago.. I used to paint. Does that count?”] He asked her as he grasped it with a small delighted sound before turning back to her triumphantly, shuffling back and stopping beside her, his arm brushing against hers as he worked at the whiskey’s stopper.[+royalblue “I used to read a lot too. But it seems there aren’t many books in all of Tyleth that isn't just badly drawn nude women. And surprisingly they didn’t have library in the slave camp.”] His chest rattled with a laugh, slapping his thigh at his own humour.
Looking at him with a soft smile, and a reined in expression that said she was trying not to laugh. Not at him, but simply because she was getting to the point where most things were funny to her. Florence did not hesitate to answer. [+mediumseagreen "Well, I never have."] That was the thin and thick of it, but she would not leave him with only that. [+mediumseagreen "Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful, and that is what Tomas probably heard me say, but they are too finicky. They will die to just about anything. Their roots rot easily and if they are not fertilized regularly they won't bloom at all. I would much rather just plant something else... One in the house might not be too bad, because certainly it won't live outdoors, but that is about it."] It could probably be said that there were some similarities between her and this plant, but the Astorian woman wasn't putting that together right this second.
[+mediumseagreen “I like Alstroemeria. They are a little bit hardier, even after they are cut they last a long while. It makes them nice for arrangements. Not that I have any talent for that, but I like to see them. Hydrangeas are pretty too, even though they can be fussy. As long as you water them enough they usually hold out alright though.”] It kind of felt like she was just rambling on, which was a touch embarrassing, but not any more or less than anything she had said only a few minutes ago. [+mediumseagreen “You know, I’ve really only ever seen you working... do you have any hobbies? I imagine being a general and whatnot it was hard to find the time, even now there isn’t much room for that sort of thing, but is there anything like that you enjoy doing when you aren't out saving the world?”] Her words were kind in intention, even if she teased him lightly.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat This was a most curious and new Florence to the elven man. She giggled? This woman who had once been the most difficult being in the world to make smile genuinely was now giggling? Then she had less asked for, more demanded kisses and these were more liberal in the type and number than what he could usually expect. There was no complaint, his eyes closing and lips more than happy to oblige her. The slight taste of rum was a playful touch and his hands squeezed at her hips in an appreciative manner as she pulled away from him.
Letting her slide free of his hands he sat back himself, a truly love drunk smile plastered to his face as she took the bottle. Watching her take such a long chug of the bottle he sat silently just watching her, unsure for a time with how best to progress after such a heavy moment of self reflection. It was a wonderful and sweet moment and he felt they had come together more, that they were more of a couple and their relationship was at a new level. He understood her desire to restrain from drunken relations, and to wait until she was sure it was the right thing to do. He couldn't imagine forcing himself on her even in this sozzled state he was.
But then he caught onto one topic, one in particular he had almost let slide, and his eyes narrowed on her as if some secret had been revealed in amongst the lone tear and hunger-fueled kisses;[+royalblue “You don't like orchids? Since when?!”]
To see the spark come back to his eye and his lips pull into a wider smile as usual, made her feel better. Florence was more at ease to know he would recover, and relatively quickly. Perhaps saying how she felt was not too terrible, although without the liquor she was not so sure it would have come out so readily. Still, when he mentioned the other mocking him, she giggled. It was a girlish sort of sound, very unlike her, at least in her own opinion. [+mediumseagreen “And why would I go and do a thing like that?”] She certainly would not him tattling on her if she were in his shoes, though it was unlikely she would receive the same treatment. One of the perks of being a woman was people did see your crying as anything out of the ordinary, though that did not make it easier for her. [+mediumseagreen “This will be our secret.”] Her own smile was subtler, but only for a moment before it widened. The atmosphere was lightening and with it her mood. [+mediumseagreen “Shall we seal it with a kiss?”] It was a question, but she did not wait for a response, instead moving her hand on his head down to his collar to pull him into a kiss. It was deep and tainted with spirits, however it was not as sloppy as one would expect with the two of them being so intoxicated. Her lips moved rhythmically with his until Florence pulled back some, choosing to end with a spackling of lighter, more playful pecks. When she was finally finished, and fully sat back from him, she smiled again. [+mediumseagreen “Perfect.”]
Fully satisfied with that, the green-eyed woman was ready for another drink, her gaze flickered to the remaining bottle on the bench, as that was the one she wanted, but she settled for snaking the closer one out of Nicolai's lap. With it, she took a larger drink. Not because she felt she needed it, but because she was ready to loosen up just a little bit more than she previously allowed herself to.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat A good thing about Nicolai is he was not a blubbering fool when he cried. That lone tear would be about it and he would not descend into a trembling mess against Florence's shoulder. On one side, it was a childhood spent learning not to show his emotions and holding back around his parents. On the other side, he didn't want to be seen as some emotional wreck to the woman he cared about. He wanted to protect her and see her safe and he determined that he would do so without crying. Her hand was warm much like her soft words. He wanted to say something to her along the lines of understanding, that her wanting to wait was fine as he truly had no-where else he wanted to be and no-one else he wanted to be with. But she knew how he felt and this was not the time to go back and forth with silly words.
Enjoying her warmth he let out a deeply held breath when she kissed his head, the sensation bordering between soothing and peculiar. The latter came from the fact most people tended to avoid a man with a scar like that. But also because the only person other than doctors to touch the wound had been Töka, and it was most always as a means to help him shave his head. It felt odd not to have someone swearing in his ear as they jostled his head this way and that.[+royalblue “Thank you too Florence.”] He said soft to her, a little muffled as he spoke into her shoulder, just wanting her to know he was thankful for her saying everything she just had. He pulled his head back a little, hands coming from around her to her hips.[+royalblue “But for the love of all God's..”] his head came back so that he could look in her eyes as he spoke, his own still shimmering in the lantern light but the sadness had all but gone, replaced by a look of optimism,[+royalblue “don't let them know I cried. They'll be merciless in their mocking..”] He lips parted, teeth shining as he grinned and a soft laughter shook his chest against hers. If Töka found out he was done. It would be non-stop mocking for the rest of his life. She didn't care if he was pouty or moody, but crying? Oh that girl would have a field day with him.
His tear wrenched her heart, but Florence managed to keep it together, even through his pained words and latching himself to her like a child desperate for the safe feeling of being held. She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed just as tightly, if not a little more so. [+mediumseagreen “Hush, you’ve done well. We are safe, you’ve brought us someplace we can seek asylum and rest, it’s more than I ever could have asked for.”] To have a bed to rest in and the security of walls around them was something she had not expected to have for months to come if not a year. Except for the occasional inn or tavern.
Pausing, she brought up one of her hands to rest on his head, her thumb brushing gently back and forth over the shaved side of his head. [+mediumseagreen “And I was not lying that time before when you asked me if I was happy. I am, so there is no reason to be sorry, my dear… Our time together, your kind words, your special way of touching and holding me so that I won’t be filled with anxiety, they all make me happy. Sometimes it might embarrass me, or I might not know how to respond, but I like how you make me feel, I want to be able to make you feel that too…”] She was not exactly sure she could. It stemmed from a certain kind of trust, one that Florence was doubtful she had earned or exuded. [+mediumseagreen “Part of me wants to give you that closeness you desire, but the other part wants to wait… I… I’ve never been with a man knowing I loved him. I’ve never had that be the reason…”] her implication there was clear. [+mediumseagreen “So, even though I am practically an old lady.”] The woman laughed at herself, it was a lighthearted sound. [+mediumseagreen “I would like to do it right this time. I want to wait till I love you. I am not there yet, but I can feel that changing.”] She just needed to pay attention, so that she did not miss it again. [+mediumseagreen “So, I guess what I am trying to say is thank you. Thank you for waiting for me. Thank you for being patient, though I know it is hard… You will never know how much it means to me.”] Her hand at his back grabbed a little tighter to his dark colored tunic and then, as if she was trying to convey just the tiniest bit of that gratitude, she leaned over to place a kiss to the side of his head. Her lips pressed tenderly to the central scar that ran along his scalp.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat He had been doing rather well that night. It had begun with harsh confrontations, approaching his family’s graves and discussing how he thought of his mother. Her joke about whores, whilst a little funny, had perhaps set a tone of mild humour interspersed with sorrow. It was hard for him to take these truths that the pair of them had spoken of their past and themselves. It was difficult to admit aloud to someone how he had so many regrets and how he wished he could have done so much more to help and yet he did nothing. To admit to the woman he had wronged that he was so flawed whilst trying to still hold onto their relationship, it was terrifying. He wanted to be honest, but he didn’t want to lose her, and he had managed to maintain his composure through their talk.
But that hand. It was soft, it was caring, nurturing, loving, soothing, wonderful, perfect..
His eyes looked up to her as her hand brushed at his cheek. He looked up to her large emerald eyes and the way she looked at him. A sparkling track from down his cheek as he watched her and listened more intently than he ever had before as if each word was gospel spoken by a holy man. It was nonsense, that last part, but he looked at her with renewed hope that maybe he wasn’t as big a mess as he painted himself out to be. His hand came up and took a hold of hers, leaning his cheek against her warm hand and nodding as he closed his eyes over softly.[+royalblue “I-I just wanted to keep everyone safe.. I wanted.. I wanted you to be happy.. I’m sorry Florence..”] His voice had broken by then as he pulled himself up a little more, still holding her hand to his cheek though he released it as he moved over to her to wrap his arms around her tightly and nestle his head to her shoulder.
So, self-reflection was the answer. It was odd to her though. Not long ago he had claimed to still blame her for many of those things he brought up now. Florence wondered if he just was not ready to let go of them, or just not ready admit that he had. They were something he could fall back on in times of frustration. She by no means thought that his admission cleared her of blame, the woman still felt bad about how things went between them, especially with regards to Adrian. He reminded her of Logan, which was partially why she trusted him so easily. In hindsight she could tell that was intentional. The Taken had played her for an absolute fool and it worked flawlessly. She was ashamed of herself for that. But hearing Nicolai’s story did cheer her up a bit. Florence smiled as he mentioned small things about her that she barely even knew herself, things that he liked. It brought some color to her cheeks, even though with him so upset like this, it did not feel like the time.
And then it all came to its climax with what she had done her first night back on the mainland: that cruel and ill intentioned kiss. It marked the official beginning of their relationship and maybe one of the first times she truly opened up to him about why she was the way she was. She knew it must have affected him, but Florence had no idea it was as pivotal as all this. Her stomach twisted. Regret pulled there that such an unkind thing had been what dragged him fully back into loving her. [+mediumseagreen “I-“] She started, but the glossy look of his eyes caught her attention, even though he had wiped them. Without much thought the back of her hand came up to touch his cheek, stroking lightly, soothingly. [+mediumseagreen “After the shock of meeting you again wore off, I was so mad… mad at you, but also mad at myself for being relieved. I was so worried that you truly had gone off and died… I did not want that. I may not have been in love with you, but still, I couldn’t bare the thought that you had chosen death because of me. It is selfish and stupid, but I was happy you were the one behind that mask.”] They could have had Ulrich and ended this feud with the taken, but she was pleased to see Nicolai instead, even if she hit him. [+mediumseagreen “And now more than ever, I cannot imagine if it had been anyone else. I am glad you are here with us Nicolai; that things are turning out the way that they are. Maybe we don’t always see eye to eye, but gods be damned, I am so glad that I don’t have to do this alone, that [i you] are here with me.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai nodded with her sentiment on wanting to just leave all of this behind. He saw a little dejection in her look when he seemed to wave her off to go live her life in the woods. He would have loved to state how they would be together, and everything would be perfect. But she clearly wanted to go home to Astoria and live the rest of her years there, and as she had pointed out he wasn’t welcome. Sure, he could lie, he could hide and sneak his way in and hope he wasn’t found out. But one unannounced visit from her family and he would be in the stockades awaiting beheading before he could think to run away. Different scenarios where maybe he could stay with Eugene’s consent came up but by then she was moving on and he nodded lightly. In the end she loved her family, she didn’t love him – at least as far as he knew – so he didn’t want her to give them up for him. Perhaps he should have said all of that aloud, but he felt embarrassed from his previous comments, and now she was taking a drink from the bottle and then quickly moved back to his comment from earlier.
Sighing softly it built to a painful groan.[+royalblue “Because I’m a bastard who can’t have a single thought or opinion on someone that stays the same for too long, I have to play both sides so no-one can learn or adapt to me and perhaps, somehow, get me to stick to what I think about them. I have to mess with it and sabotage it. Better?”] He was trying to dodge the question, throwing his head back to look at the sky as if not looking toward her would change things. But of course, Nicolai’s reason smacked back and made him explain.[+royalblue “Sorry.. sorry.. it’s just.. I’m crap at explaining myself.”] His eyes closed and brow furrowed as he brought his head back down, as if he were genuinely in some discomfort.[+royalblue “After the lake I was kind of lost.”] He started with a soft voice, trying to scramble together whatever brain cells had not already checked out for the night form some semblance of speech, especially as his barriers had come down and so many things were running rampant in there.
[+royalblue “I already hated myself for not saying I should marry you, a fake marriage, to become pseudo-King or regent and steady support for you until Augustine grew up and could take over. Then I felt foolish because I didn’t just use my power’s and arrest Vincent and Gabriel for being cunts or plotting and stuff. To take the abuse and anger onto me but leave you both as neutral and safe. That’s what a good General and good person would have done.”] Ah, finally they were hitting the underlying reasons for what truly disturbed him about how things had gone down. He had been quiet with these for so long it was natural that he would keep quiet and not want to shout these things out, even though they were alone.[+royalblue “And at the lake.. I found and clung onto this idea that it was your fault. [i You] lied about Augustine, [i you] didn’t tell me about Logan, [i you] used me as a means of keeping him safe and it was easier to blame you than it was to accept my own fault in it all.. I mean, fuck, I was willing to let myself die to that wound just to spite you.. and looking back at it now I just feel.. disgusted.”] He now copied her action with the grass, his hand coming off his knee and he would run his fingers through it. He plucked one or two shards free at times, though he took a deep breath in and out.
[+royalblue “Everything up to lake was just that; you were to blame. Simple as that. But after Liz and Naty,”] it was the first time he had spoken that nickname aloud in a few years and felt foreign,[+royalblue “after what happened..”] He glanced up to her with a melancholic expression.[+royalblue “When you spend your days in a cage, with no clothing, eating scraps to survive, you have nothing but time to think. Didn’t have to think hard to realise it wasn’t your fault. I couldn’t blame you for me not acting sooner. If I had stayed with you and not played the victim, I wouldn’t have been in that cage, I wouldn’t have this-“] he gestured briefly to the scars,[+royalblue “and maybe things would be a lot better for us all.”] He didn’t want this to become too long winded, to just talk her ear off and drive her to boredom.[+royalblue “When I saw you in Astoria, I was happy to see you because you looked healthy. You looked happy. You looked to be back to your best if not better. But I didn’t feel anything anymore to you. But, a little bit like you, I thought only of dealing with Adrian and then I’d let Eugene kill me or go live in Calista by myself, out the way. This, between us, I had tried and failed on a huge bloody scale in the past and I didn’t want to try again because nothing had changed with me; I’m still the same stubborn fool I was back then. I lied a lot to you and Augustine just to get at Adrian, to deal with him and make sure you were both safe. I planned to kill him myself, so you didn’t have to learn who he was but clearly I failed there too.”] He sighed and raised a hand to rub at his eyes, removing any tears that may have been building up.[+royalblue “And then the longer I was with you the more I began to feel the same way about you that I used to. I would see the way you smiled, or that sarcastic tone you took with me, or how you would try to be angry at me, but I knew you were wanting to smile so badly.”] He stopped there but there were hundreds of smaller things he saw her do back in the Capital that he had come to find endearing.[+royalblue “And then you kissed me and immediately I was back to where I was ten years ago, wanting nothing more than to be your man. I knew it was foolish, but I couldn’t help it.. I just loved you..”]
It seemed her efforts only beckoned sarcasm from him for a while. She had said it was fine if he did not have such plans, but he delved a little farther into why he did not long for the mundane dream of settling down with a family. Perhaps that is why he could not see that she was fishing for him to say that he saw them still together in the future. Florence was left alone in that, however, she tried not to be too upset about it since he was clearly not in the mood for hopes and dreams.
[+mediumseagreen “I am tired, Nicolai. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life plotting out revenge schemes and flattering people into liking me for politics. In fact, I am rather done with it. So, what does it matter if I have a tactical mind?”] Florence sighed. If you did not like what you were doing, it did not much matter if you were good or useful at it. [+mediumseagreen “You know, I actually hate how conniving I am... reminds me too much of him.”] Ah yes, the ever-present pronoun game, though she was playing it here out of habit and not really to intentionally hide anything. Taking in a shallow breath, she sighed one more time. Twice in a row left her feeling the need for the bottle again, so she gently took if from Nicolai’s hands and sipped off it gingerly. She was not really a fan of wine, but she got through it. The taste was not what she was after anyway.
On that topic, she jumped to another somewhat similar one. [+mediumseagreen “You said you hated me for years. What made you stop? Or was there something that made you stop?”] Maybe it just another one of those things that simple was what it was. That often seemed to be the case when it came to his feelings, this might be no different and she was prepared for that.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai half shrugged at her idea of a perfect plan as it sounded like she wanted to be alone. It was a touch confusing that she would chastise him for his idea of living out the rest of his days in an elven commune when her plan was to live alone in a forest. It wasn’t really chastising but she seemed to deride him for the plan as if he should do something more or that his ideal retirement was not as great as she thought it would be. Seeing as she hadn’t taken the bottle he wondered if it would be rude to take another sip but managed to stave off it for just a moment as he glanced up at her, seeing that warm smile as she taunted him for his stubborn nature.[+royalblue “If this was a perfect world then I would be the King, you’d be Queen, and.. well, maybe Augustine would be there.. definitely would be a lot more respectful of his fucking elders that’s for sure.”] He was sulking about how the boy kept pushing himself into other’s relationships, especially given his relative lack of experience, but she was not to know that.[+royalblue “Sure, I’d like to settle down and have a family and all that silly stuff most people take for granted. But, you see, I tried that – and it didn’t go so well for me if you didn’t already know.”] The sarcasm was thick here.[+royalblue “So I don’t know.. I think I’ve learnt my lesson and will let everyone enjoy themselves without having to worry about the old elf in the corner mumbling to himself about how he used to be a general and Duke and stuff.”] He indeed finished in an almost mumbling voice, but his fear was a common one of people who had once been at the top of importance and were seeing their ‘power’ slip away. When someone went from vital and key to the function of a realm, as he was to Germaine, to being trivial and just another hand – as he felt under Augustine – then it was a natural reaction.
He couldn’t help but smile a little at her though, how she tried to place herself on par with him in some odd scale of usefulness.[+royalblue “We both suck, sure, but my whole thing is I fight and swing the metal pointy stick. Now I’m slower and just.. blah.”] He ran his hand along his thigh to his knee, feeling the joint and how it was a little inflamed just from the ride that day.[+royalblue “You’re useful with or without that bow of yours.. you’re smart and know how to talk to people and.. you’ve got a brain and thoughts and all that stuff.”] He sounded a little jealous of her ability to think cognitively. Nicolai made little sense sometimes but he sighed and shrugged.[+royalblue “I mean, I learned not to try and be optimistic when I was young. You hope for a lot, sure, but slowly it whittles you down when,”] he sighed softly,[+royalblue “well.. it just doesn’t go how you hoped. Whereas if you plan for everything to be awful or bad or.. painful.. then it doesn’t affect you as much. So daydreaming or planning for the future doesn't really make sense to me..”] He didn’t seem all too bothered by what he was saying as to him it was just a life lesson and a truth that had come to be a guiding principle to his life. But he knew she was the complete opposite and she saw the light in most things and had optimism in abundance.
[+mediumseagreen “Well, that is not entirely what I was thinking... I more meant in a perfect world, where everything went your way, how would you want your future to look.”] She attempted to be more specific, though probably just sounded redundant. [+mediumseagreen “Unless that is your perfect outcome, then I can’t help but admit I am a little surprised...”] Florence had thought he would have a plotted course for their lives together, but then again, he was so pessimistic that she was only using him that it might make sense that he had not thought of it before. There was also a lot to focus on in the present, so that made it difficult as well. [+mediumseagreen “Personally, my plan after we are all done here, and Augustine is settled, and I think he is safe from any danger, was to return to Astoria. He doesn’t know that yet... I don’t think he will happy with it, but before I married Germaine my plan was to retire to the woods. Since, I imagined I would be alone, just a small home was fine, but I very much want to start a garden. I feel like that is something I can maintain relatively easily even when I get a little older.”] Helga was a lot sturdier than she would ever be, but Florence liked to think she would still be spry in her old age. [+mediumseagreen “It would be away from people, so I could have some peace for once in my life... but if I ever got lonely I could visit my family, or they could come to me.”] Back in the day, she thought perhaps she might adopt a child as well, but she wound up having on of her own even though she had never planned to do so. Life seldom went as planned, and now she was feeling that more than ever. [+mediumseagreen “However, lately I have been thinking differently. I thought that because you cannot go back to Astoria, I might not either... I might be okay with that too. As long as I do not have to live in the castle here, I think I could stand it. Of course, I would still want to make the trip at some point...”] The idea of never seeing her friends or family again was not a pleasant one.
Looking back over to him, it was a little less embarrassing now that she was not talking about dreams for the future. [+mediumseagreen “So you don’t have anything like that? I mean, it is fine if you don’t, not everyone likes to set such goals for themselves, but I really do not see you becoming some useless thing. You are too stubborn to let yourself fall to the background like that.”] A warm smile pulled at her lips, telling that this was meant to be a compliment and not at his detriment. [+mediumseagreen “Besides, I’ve been out of my prime for what feels like forever, and you do not think I am so bad, do you?”] It was frustrating to know you were once better than you currently are, and she had given up on herself for a while, but she was trying not to let that happen again.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai left the bottle where it was and gave a soft whistle. It faltered almost immediately, given his intoxicated state, but he continued to just blow for a few more seconds unaware. Her question was missing out her involvement in it's entirety. He wondered for a time what he would do as he had thought up so many different scenarios over the years. Some involved other people, some by himself.[+royalblue “Well.. if we're talking about the future and, I dunno.. it's just me?.. Well, I guess I'd go to the Calista Collective.”] It made sense for a lone elf to go to an ancient homeland and live out his days just amongst his people. But he felt he owed her a little more explanation than just that.[+royalblue “I'm already past my best, so I won't be of any use to Augustine. Can barely go through a fight without things clicking and cracking and feeling so damn tired. And Marko will be to him what Augustus is to Eugene I imagine, so there is nothing he would need me for there either. I was a shit adviser to be honest.”] He shrugged a little at how he dismissed himself so easily, but he knew his capabilities and what he was good at and unfortunately what he had been good at was slipping by him. Nicolai hated to think of himself as a hindrance to anyone, and disliked anyone who was a burden. He didn't want himself to become one to Augustine.
He made no mention of finding Natalya, or hunting down Elizabeth, he didn't even make mention of what he would do if Florence and he managed to maintain a relationship. Those were completely different topics in their entirely. To Nicolai, if he survived this by himself, he would just shuffle off and leave people be. His daughter would not remember him much as Augustine did not know Logan. Perhaps it would be better that way.[+royalblue “I could help maintain the buildings.. feed the elders.. read more about my people.. maybe there's something they do with useless old elves.. it would put me out of the way here at least. Augustine and Flora and Marko and everyone can just.. get on with things.. clean slate and all that I guess..”] He did not sound all too enthused but no-one liked to think of their retirement. It was that final step before death. But he didn't speak that out loud, it would not exactly help toward a pleasant conversation – not least given the graves behind him. For Nicolai right now, it was added fuel to put him toward another panic attack. He was lost to those thoughts for a moment until he waved a hand at her.[+royalblue “I.. I got nothing.. nothing right now.. you can go again.”] He said, hoping she would fill the silence. If he lingered too long he might spiral ever downward and with his thoughts going ever darker he left it to her to think of either an addendum to her last question or something else. Anything would help.
Listening to him, even as his words grew quieter and quieter, she wondered just how much pain she had caused him. Not in the big actions, such as her rejections and bold face lies, but in the little ones like he was describing now. How many times away and one wrong words had she stabbed him with? Florence did not think it was entirely her fault, it was something that just seemed to happen when you were close with someone, but it did hurt her heart to think about, even if he was likely talking about someone else.
His hand on hers was welcome. A warming touch as the heat of the day was fading fast around them. The wind was beginning to change direction as well. Coming back in from the tide, opposite as it had done during the warm late summer day. Looking over at him, her emerald eyes met his amethyst and he apologized. Not that he had done anything wrong, but that she had gone through what she had. It was unexpected. She smiled sadly in return. [+mediumseagreen “It is fine, enough time has passed and it wasn’t like I didn’t bring it on myself.”] Florence was aware she deserved everything she got in that case. [+mediumseagreen “But thank you all the same… I’ve never been able to talk about that with anyone else.”] It was sort of a relief to finally tell someone.
Her turn again, it seemed. The woman nodded, signaling she did want to continue. [+mediumseagreen “What are your wishes for the future? When we are all done with this mess and we rid this country of Vincent and his lackeys, do you have a plan?”] She basically wanted to know his best-case scenario, where he saw himself if everything turned out just as it should. Did it entail becoming the general once more, or maybe retiring here at his family home?
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