The Quest is BACK ON! DisreputableCharles and Hikaruchan

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Hikaruchan717

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The fact that she found his efforts idiotic aggravated him,"Oh, and I was supposed to sit there while the half a dozen men came after you, right? Shane, there was no way I was going to stand back and let you take care of all of them. You could've been hurt, or worse!"
Admittedly, this was slightly hypocritical, after all, he had worsened the almost-healed wound in his side by vaulting himself.
But there was an instinct to protect Shane at all costs.

Miyoko seemed to be staring the Immortal down, "You recognize, don't you."
She let out a breath and propped her feet up on a stool, and Soren remained silent, an affirmation.
"So what is it then? Evil, I'm judging by the look on your face. Because if we have to face it, if there is some "sacrifice" involved, we all need to know what we're up against."
 
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DisreputableCharles

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She doesn't understand, thought Soren as he shook his head.
"The sacrifice you speak of...it is not for all of you to make. It is something that I decided long ago, and so a price I alone must pay." He sighed heavily, running his hands through his hair as the pressure grew. "But, what you saw...that is something that will rise from my actions. The voice that spoke to us all in the clearing before Da'Tak; that is what awaits us there. I fear I have put you all in terrible danger."



"Oh, and you think I need protecting from one drunken idiot?" Shane's voice became dangerously low; she narrowed her eyes and snapped at Riker, "I was the one he was bothering, I was the one he insulted, and I could have dealt with him on my own! But no, you had to jump in like an IDIOT and get the entire ROOM involved!" Now Riker was annoyed.
“And you think I didn’t have my reasons? What makes your motivation more valid than mine?” His words only served to provoke Shane further, as she retorted,
“I don’t butt in where I’m not needed!”
“Like hell you---“ Riker made a small noise of surprise as Shane cut him off once again, but instead of using words grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him against the wall, kissing him fiercely to shut him up.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Shock was a complete understatement.
The feel of Shane pressed against him, it created a sense utter contentment. His frustration subsided with the kiss, every other sensation subsided besides the kiss.
Though it was thoroughly surprising, Riker made no move to disrupt the moment, instead, his arms wrapped gently around her waist, pulling her in closer. Though when it came to Shane, closer never seemed quite close enough.
Gods, this was like a dream; her warmth, her embrace, her kiss so gentle that at the same time burned like a flame, leaving him craving more. Riker’s heart ached as he felt, as he knew that he had never loved her more than at that moment.

"So this all has to do with your world? But we shouldn't be there, not any time soo-" She stopped herself. "Whatever the danger is, when it comes, Riker and Shane will be somewhat at least resolved. That, I do know. So we should have some amount of time to prepare for this danger, whatever it is. Soren?"
She looked back to Soren, and he seemed distant.
He must miss that place.

 
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DisreputableCharles

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Barely hearing her, Soren released another quiet sigh as he stared into the distance. He had hoped that this quest, the mission at hand, the entire journey would distract him from the impending consequences of his past decisions, but it seemed now that the traveling only made it easier for them to catch up with him. Suddenly acknowledging that Miyoko had spoken, he turned and asked, his attention neither here nor there,
"I beg your pardon; what did you say?"


As though suddenly coming to some shocking realization, Shane abruptly pulled away, directing her gaze anywhere but at Riker. She heard his bewildered voice began an inquiry, but that was when she quickly kissed him again, saying between breaths,
"Please...just...don't talk..." Shane's thoughts and emotions were at war; she could hardly discern what she was really feeling, and didn't know exactly why she'd kissed him the first time. However, she knew that if she allowed Riker to speak, he would ask for an explanation which she did not have, and so this was the easiest way to keep him quiet. Shane felt impatient; she didn't want to talk, as that had proven ineffective; she let her actions speak for her.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Miyoko sighed, sitting back down beside Soren.
"I was saying, that before this danger you are so fearful of attacks us, Shane and Riker will be made aware of their...emotions. And since I don't exactly see the boy confessing any time soon, we still have some time." she rested her head on her hand, "What exactly is this sacrifice?"

Shane's words didn't quell his curiosity, but it was hard for Riker to let go in order to ask her, just why.
" Shane..Shane..wai-" he tried to speak in between the intermintance.
He let go of his hold on her, moving his hands to her shoulders, giving her a gentle tug away from him.
 
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DisreputableCharles

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"I made a choice," Soren began slowly, "many years ago. The girl you saw, the one from my past...her name is..." He took a deep breath, as though the very utterance of that name caused him pain, "Mirelle. She was marked with the seal of death, and so I made a choice to save her life. It was selfish and impulsive, but...I had to. The sacrifice I made in that decision is that I was immediately sent to another world, forced to wander through other dimensions until chance brought us together again." Soren stared at the floor as he spoke again. "But I became lost. I was punished for the selfish decision that led to all worlds being warped, for no being is meant to control the flow of time."


Shane's breath was heavy as Riker pulled her away; she closed her eyes and opened them only to look away from him. Stupid, she thought, what a fool I've been. Riker was gentle; he did not push her from him but still kept her close, holding her by the shoulders with the kind of longing that was almost tangible in the air. It made her feel even worse.
"Shane...why---?" She shook her head as he began to speak, sighing in frustration with herself. Flight seemed the only option left, and so she slipped out of his grasp and strode swiftly to the door, exiting the room with no chance for closing remarks. As she left she stopped a fraction of a second to lean against the door, thinking of how stupid she'd been, how she'd complicated things with that impulsive act. She should have known that it was not worth it for a few moments of uninterrupted pleasure; her entire brain was frantically screaming,
...What have I done?
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Riker sank to the ground, completely bewildered by the sudden turn of events. He had held her so close, felt such an unexpected euphoria, but Shane...
If someone were to tell the mundane, village boy Riker that in his near future, he would fall for an elf, fall so deeply in love with such a conviction, he would have probably assumed that it was the most unbelievable lie ever told.Even when he had first met Shane, he was filled with an almost hate-like anguish and now...he relished the feeling of her lips upon his.
He sought to confront her, to ask her why, why in the name of the gods had she kissed him, but when they broke from the embrace, the look in Shane's eyes...
As though she regretted her actions. He yearned to run after, but he didn't wish to create any more turmoil within her, though she had stirred up such inner confliction for Riker.
He breathed deeply, a thought filling his mind.
The thought of Shane.


Miyoko was slightly surprised at the immortal's story,"But if you warped the worlds, then how have none of us noticed it? And does Mirelle even know of what you've done, what you are doing?
 
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DisreputableCharles

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"No, you would not have noticed it," said Soren to the Aquarian, turning to meet her gaze. "The time that I disrupted caused a change that erased all memory of the world before the disruption. Her time, Mirelle's time, has frozen at the point when I had the opportunity to save her..." He frowned slightly, "and the rest of the worlds were changed without their knowledge. And so," said Soren with a gesture to Miyoko, "in the time before I made that disruption, there may have been no Quest at all. No chosen ones. You may not even have been born. But no one can remember. One distortion in time, like a stone thrown into a pond, affects the whole of existence. And no," he said heavily, "Mirelle does not know. She remains in stagnant time; when it begins to move again, it will be as if no time at all has passed...for her."


There was no purpose in Shane's movement after she exited the room. She wandered through the inn until she found herself in the stables. It was frustrating and painful; the emotions that had exploded during their departure of the camp welled up inside her once more. She didn't understand why, why it was that she couldn't think with any reason when these sorts of things occurred involving Riker. He was an idiot; impulsive, at times ignorant, selfish, and prideful...
But he made her feel at peace. That sort of tension that had held in her mind since the beginning of her journey dissolved only at such moments as those, when in silence and the comfort of his arms, she could depend on someone else.
It was events like this, however, that shook her belief in that ability to be vulnerable. It hurt, sometimes more than she could bear, for Shane hated interdependence, hated that it was the one thing she so longed for yet could not achieve due to her own stubbornness. Had she ruined that for herself? Riker, she found, was the one person whose arguments she detested; that was perhaps what had driven her to such an impulsive action. Still, as she thought of it, she had not kissed him solely to prevent his questions.
It had felt so right, so natural to have Riker's lips upon her own, have him pull her closer, and to speak only through the intimacy of their actions. Realization hit; Shane sank down to crouch against the wall of an empty stable, covering her mouth to muffle the sounds of dry sobbing, the noises that reminded her own her own emotional weakness.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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It had been a half hour since Shane had left and Riker decided that he should go see Soren instead of wallowing alone. He sighed and exited the room, though she was still on his mind as he came to the room. A minute passed after Riker had knocked until the door opened.
"Riker?" Miyoko answered the door, a semblance of exasperation on her face, as she gestured for him to come in. Soren sat on the edge of the bed on the right, he too seemed under a tired spell.
She closed the door behind him, "Where's Shane?"

At her words, Riker seemed to flush and find a new interest in floor. Miyoko took a seat next to Soren, "What happened?"
He didn't respond, and Miyoko grew slightly worried, "Perhaps I should go talk to her, Soren, can you..."
She made a slight gesture towards the boy and the immortal nodded. She exited the room, knowing that Shane would be somewhere near wildlife, and this inn also housed a stable.
 
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DisreputableCharles

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There was a moment of silence after Miyoko left, punctuated only by a weighty sigh from Riker. Finally Soren said,
"Sit down; you look like death." The boy obeyed his command wordlessly, seeming in a daze...yet with such sorrow in his eyes. Soren knew it had to do with the Elf; obviously something had gone wrong. "...What happened, Riker?" He said, after a great long pause.


Still collapsed against the stable wall, Shane silently wiped from her face the real tears that had eventually come. She tried to lie to herself, to make her heart believe that this didn't matter, that her only purpose here was the group's mission...but Shane was too brutally honest to perjure herself. As the painful memory replayed relentlessly in her head, her ears detected light footsteps coming towards her, and there was only one person whose stride was that tentative in a stable.
Shane looked up to see Miyoko turn the corner and immediately felt ashamed; this was not her, she did not break so easily, and wished for no one to see it.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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She knelt beside the extremely distraught elf, shocked to find Shane in a state such as this. At the sight of Miyoko, she turned away as if to hide herself.
Oh, Riker, what have you done? Miyoko put a hand on her shoulder, "Shane, are you alright?"
She didn't answer, and the Aquarian apologized, "Sorry, that was a stupid question. Shane, Shane, what happened?"

Riker rested his head in his hands, searching for the words to describe what had occured. He sighed, "There was a...disagreement in the pub down below, between Shane and a-"
He resisted naming the bastard much worse.
"And a man. I got involved, and needless to say, she wasn't pleased. And somehow, we ended up..."
Again, the memory of that moment hit him like a brick. Soren looked up at him, a look in the Immortals eye which forced him to continue.
He let out an exasperated breath, "We kissed, Soren. I was so confused, but I couldn't let go of her...One second I am happier than I have ever been, and the next, the girl I love ran out that door like she regretted every moment of it."
He rose, "Here I am talking about it, letting someone else deal with my mess, while She is somewhere feeling pain and regret and turmoil."
 
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DisreputableCharles

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Letting out a low whistle, Soren leaned back and slowly absorbed the information he had just learned.
"Oh dear," he commented after a long pause. "That's...unexpected." Still mulling it over, there was more silence before Soren asked gingerly, "Apologies, but I have to ask: who kissed who?" The very utterance of his question sounded petty and insensitive, but Soren had many more years of experience in this world and he had learned how to analyze things. And yes, sometimes it was...petty and insensitive.


"Oh, Gods..." Shane leaned her forehead on her hands, exhaling heavily. "Miyoko, I can't even...how did you know where to find me?" She slowly uncovered her face to look up at the Aquarian, heart sinking in shame. Her heart ached; why had she not realized this earlier? It brought meaning to so many things, and yet the irony in it was that the epiphany came when she felt as though a part of her had died.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Riker looked up slightly at his words. It seemed irrelevant, since the aftermath was Shane running away an that was what stuck in his mind at the present.
He swallowed, "...Shane, she..." Soren gave him a quizzical look.

Miyoko tried to smile, "It seems than whenever you're distraught, you come to the closest animals. And judging by the look on Riker's face, I assumed you were pretty distraught."
She sat cross-legged beside Shane, ignoring the reek that reminded her what creatures were in the stable house with them.
"So do you want to tell me why you've decided to be emotional today?"
 
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DisreputableCharles

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"I'm sorry," said Soren, a bit perplexed, "but wasn't rejection your previous fear?" Seeing the boy's face so crestfallen was strange, making Soren want to rectify it. "If she feels enough to take that action, it hardly seems that you should feel sorrow. Riker, she's a serious creature; I doubt this has ever happened to her before. It's surprising, and most probably a bit frightening, but I can hardly imagine, knowing her nature, that something like this would happen if she weren't absolutely certain." His words seemed to have little effect; Soren sighed and said, tone more serious than before, "Riker. Do you really love her?"


Hearing his name, Shane felt herself wince a little. She turned her head towards Miyoko and leaned it on her hand, stretching out her legs onto the stable floor.
"I'd hardly call it a decision..." She sighed and asked, "What did he tell you?"
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Riker stood up, annoyed that the immortal for even questioning that fact
"Soren, I love her, of course, I love her, she is the only thing of this world that i love. There isn't even room to question that fact. But I have never seen her afraid before today, and you're saying that it's just shock?"


Miyoko shook her head, "The poor bastard could'nt even talk, let alone, recount."
She looked down at Shane, "Did he tell you already?
"
 
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DisreputableCharles

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Matching his height, Soren stood up and stared Riker in the eye.
"I'm saying that if you love her, boy, if you really, truly love her, then what the hell are you doing here?" Soren gave him a questioning look, then continued, "If you love her enough that one kiss was the happiest you've ever felt, then damn it all, go after her! Wasn't she the one who first made contact with you? Shouldn't you know better than anyone that anything she does, she does because she believes in it with all her heart? I don't care if you're scared, or even if she is. Love her so much it nearly kills you!"


"It was my fault, really," said Shane, closing her eyes in what appeared to be pain. "We were in the pub; he nearly got into another fight, the idiot." Despite her words, a ghost of a smile crossed her face as she spoke. "I dragged him out of it, though, we were arguing, but then the next thing I knew..." Embarrassed (a foreign emotion), Shane held her head in her hands. "Miyoko, I kissed him. I just couldn't stand bickering any more...it shut him up, but then I couldn't stop and I didn't know why...oh Gods..." She sighed in frustration, keeping her face hidden. "And I couldn't give him an explanation, so I ran like an idiot..."
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Miyoko gaped, 'You-you kissed him!" It was a statement of incredulity, she had thought for sure that any development between the two would take ages. No wonder Riker has been put in such a state, for Shane to kiss him...He must have been worried about her running away.
"Shane, but i don't understand why are you upset? Didn't Riker tell you that-"



The words from Soren were like heavy blows, for he knew he was right, about Riker's cowardice, about everything. Though he may have bee tacken a back by the immortals sudden fury, he nodded slowly and headed toward the door with a new sense of determination.
As he touched the door handle, there was a flash of excruciating pain, he felt himself crumble to the ground and a buzzing filled his ears,thehe could hear an incoherent groan of pain.
His felt as though his head split open, and then...
It was the vision, same as the one he had had on the outskirts of his village, though now he started directly in the temple. In front of, as before, was the stone slab, some figure shrouded in green fabric lay still, unmoving.
Slowly, he started to pull away the shroud. Silver hair, blue distant eyes, pointed ears.
He fell backwards, his heart beat quickening.
It was Shane.
 
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DisreputableCharles

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Initially Soren watched the boy go with a sense of satisfaction, but that turned to apprehension when Riker faltered at the door. He had thought it was nervousness, but when he approached the youth, he appeared to have entered a violent sleep. There could be no doubt of what was happening; Soren immediately put a hand to Riker's forehead in an attempt to see what visions were infecting his mind, but it was blocked from his view. "He's here..." muttered the Immortal darkly.


Only out of curiosity did Shane raise her head to give Miyoko a quizzical look, one eyebrow raised.
"Tell me what?" It had been so short a time since the event, she still felt the embarrassment and confusion, perhaps even sharper now than it had been originally. Shane fancied herself invincible, but the truth of her own fragility was the one thing she despised about herself.
 
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Hikaruchan717

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Miyoko paused, knowing that she couldn't give it all away yet, "That boy...he cares about you, very deeply. Shane, I think you should talk to hi-."
She stopped in mid-sentance, sensing all was not well.
"Somethings here..." She could feel it close by, and if it was what she believed to be, they had to get to soren and Riker very quickly. Miyoko gripped Shane's hand, beginning to drag her back to the inn.

No...Gods, no.
Not his Shane. She couldn't be dead, he had just seen her, kissed her. Yet here laid the remains of his beloved, barely a few days old. Around her wrists and ankles were vines, nature was attempting to reclaim her as it did with all dead elven.
He took her hand, still soft, still just as she ha felt moments ago, he couldv'e sworn she had been alive then but there was no evidence of such.
"Who did this to you? I'll kill them, I swear it," he growled, preventing himself from crying. Elves Shane's age didnt die from anything but battle.
 
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DisreputableCharles

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"Damn..." Soren's urgency grew as his attempts to purge the darkness from Riker failed again and again. He felt that he should have been capable of more aid, but then it struck him that he was not the one the boy needed. There was still a vague scrap of physical will in Riker's body; Soren took advantage of that and pulled the human's arm over his shoulder, supporting him to get him onto one of the beds. With a prayer in his heart, Soren tried to send a link to Miyoko, saying only one word:
Hurry.


Bewildered, Shane followed Miyoko as she was pulled along, but did not comprehend the urgency of the situation. She was still contemplating what the Aquarian had said to her about Riker, which she supposed made sense but which she had trouble admitting. They quickly ascended the stairs to the room where the other two were, and it was only when Shane laid eyes on Riker, looking no different than he would have on his deathbed, that she acknowledged the severity of the matter at hand.