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and_snow_fell in dauphinmare

Day Twenty-three - Order, really?

Who: Isadora, Saul
Where: Greenhouse
When: Late morning
Rating: Totally G

Status: closed, completed
Summary: Dora isn't as fussed as she could be by the change in location - especially when she discovers Saul present without Lizzy.

She and Iridia had explored the immediate area a bit, though Dora had found nothing that truly caught her attention. Or rather, everything she'd found had caught it completely for a few moments.

It was nicer here. Much lighter, brighter, fresher. Much more scenic. Calmer. But wasn't that rather the point of Order? Serenity and calm? She'd spoken briefly with the woman in charge and found her to be very personable and Dora thought it was a bit of a pity she hadn't been called to this side first.

In the end, neither of them were fighting the Authority, so what did it matter which side she played on for this game? Neither was furthering her goal, so her loyalty could easily go either way.

She'd found the greenhouse, and eased inside. The selection of plants here was different. Foreign, even to her. That intrigued her. Did it mean that whomever the greenhouse had been meant for was from a foreign place? Did that mean Riverfell's had been meant for her after all?

All of it was so ... very interesting.

She glanced to Iridia as he eased beneath a table, settling in. He knew her too well; she wasn't likely to leave her any time immediately.


He was searching for Lizzy. Mostly because he felt obligated to. The note this morning had said that people were missing, and that people were here from the other side, but he knew that Lizzy could have just as easily woken up early and be out exploring something, somewhere. Greenhouse most likely. He was pretty sure she'd made a new friend there, she hadn't stopped babbling about it or her new plant the other day.

He was not expecting the individual he saw in there when he opened the greenhouse doors, though he supposed that he should have been. He paused in the doorway, his arm reaching out to stop himself from tumbling, and stared a bit. He swallowed heavily, feeling an awkward tension creep over him.

He didn't really have words. He didn't think there were any for this sort of situation.
Dora glanced up as the door opened, and her expression cooled slightly. "Well, well. If it isn't one of the traitors," she murmured softly. She turned her attention back to the plant she was currently bleeding sap out of, and she smirked faintly.

"How have you been, Saul?" she inquired politely before she wiped her fingers off, setting aside the little vial she'd bled the plant into.

Truthfully, she didn't know what to think of this situation. He'd switched sides, granted, but she was here, now, too, so what did that say?
He grew defensive when she called him a traitor, his arms crossing in front of him as he leaned against the wall, eyeing her evenly. In his mind, she was the interloper here, not him. At least he had come over willingly - he doubted that was the case for her, if she were using that kind of terminology to refer to him.

"Well enough," he replied when she asked a direct question, opting not to respond to the other comment. "Have you come for a visit, or do you plan on setting up a vacation home?" he asked, his tone having an edge of bitter sarcasm to it.
"I woke up here," she said before she shrugged her shoulders. She corked the vial before she cleaned her fingertips off as she turned to face him. "I'm not sure why, but here I am."

She rested a hand softly on Iridia's head, stroking his fur gently as she regarded Saul. Her eyes flicked over him before she shook off her thoughts. "So do you intend to return with us when we go back, or have you made yourself a place here, among the denizens of light and order and all that's ... holy?" She smirked faintly.
He watched her move in ways that were still familiar to him, but tried to keep his face impassive as he did so. He listened to her words and schooled his reaction, though a flare of anger welled up in him.

"Have you made yourself a place in the dark?" he asked with a small quirk of his head. "Oddly telling, isn't it, that you wake up to find yourself here. Perhaps you're not as cozy there as you're making it seem."

Truth be told, he didn't know where he fit in. He was growing more and more convinced that Lizzy had been pulled back. Had the fact that he hadn't proved that he was more drawn to the side of Order and she more Chaos? But wasn't he stuck following her wherever she ended up?

"I don't know, Isadora," he said quietly to answer her question. "Is there anything left there for me?"
"If you mean am I left there for you? No." She shrugged. "But you were called to that side, Saul. Regardless of the people you met there, that still should have been your side."

Dora tried not to think too hard on the fact she was growing rather fond of this place, even in the short time she'd been here. It was so much brighter. Livelier. Cheerful.

Was she really that Chaotic? Wasn't destroying the Authority and the Magisterium a bit chaotic though? Granted, the way she went about it was orderly, but the intent wasn't ... good, or light.
"The question was rhetorical," he said coolly, and didn't bother drawing to light that it wouldn't have been if she had answered that there might be something left in chaos for him. "And my understanding is that some of our roles here can, and often include the role of being a catalyst for others, do they not? Can you imagine how destructive Lizzy would be without someone to ground her?"

Nevermind that he thought that she was doing much better here, and that with the people here being far more accepting - and younger, with their own attitudes - she may even be able to branch away from him. That was not his point. "Lizzy is exceptionally chaotic, of course she would be drawn to that side."

He suspected that bringing up Lizzy around Dora was a touchy subject, but what did he care? Had she not just made her intentions perfectly clear?
Dora quirked a brow, then shrugged. "I should think Chaos would want her to be destructive, wouldn't you?" Though she supposed he had a point - if she couldn't be controlled, was simply wanton destruction, what good would she be to anyone?

Shrugging it off, she turned her attention fully to him, one hand falling to stroke softly between Iridia's ears as the panther regarded Saul with his guarded yellow eyes.

"Is she here," Dora began. "Or do you think she's been relocated to the other side for the day?"
Saul didn't bother arguing to her first statement, because she had a point. But he knew that he had a point as well, and he knew that she had understood it, so he was content enough to let the subject drop.

Though content was hardly the word he'd use to describe his current situation.

His defences were still up for a moment, but something dropped when he started to answer about where Lizzy was, looking away for a moment. "I haven't seen her," he admitted quietly. "I was just searching for her here - she's befriended a boy who's taken up residence, I suppose you would call it, in the greenhouse. I imagine that if she is not here..."

He let that statement trail off, figuring Dora could easily fill in the blank.
"But you'd already established that she'd be over there," Dora pointed out. Though this ran uncannily parallel to thoughts she'd been having herself ... that the lines had been somewhat redrawn, that she was on Order's side because she was meant to be.

And Lizzy was meant for Chaos.

Her fingers continued to play lightly over Iridia's head, stroking his ears tenderly as she watched Saul. "There's nothing to be done for it, if she is. I spoke with the woman in charge here, and even she agreed there isn't a way back until the Powers let us go."
He scowled to her first comment, but he didn't know why he was taking that as insulting. It echoed residual feelings of not belonging here that he'd been having since arriving. They were meant to be on the side of Chaos. They shouldn't have come over here in the first place.

... Though... it seemed he was being proven wrong, in that regard. Lizzy may have been meant for the side of Chaos, but he had remained on the side of Order.

Would he have been pulled here, had they remained on the other side? Along with Dora? He couldn't say for certain.

"And there's no definite answer on that one," he said irritably. "Midnight, maybe, because all the other tasks have ended at midnight." He scoffed faintly.

He wondered why he wasn't more concerned that Lizzy was stuck on the other side. But in a way, he was... relieved. Because there was absolutely nothing that he could do for her, therefore... there was nothing he had to do for her, and the tension eased inside of him. He almost smiled. "Suppose I almost feel sorry for them," he said, his voice containing a hint of amusement.
She nodded. "Could be permanent," she pointed out. "If they were drawing new lines in the sand, as it were. That'll be interesting for Riverfell if it is," Dora murmured.

A Lizzy unleashed without a Saul? Made her glad she wasn't there.

Well, so to speak.

Fingertips continued to stroke along Iridia's head, dark eyes taking in Saul curiously. He seemed ... amused. She shrugged to her thoughts regarding where that might be coming from - or going - and glanced around the greenhouse.

Lizzy wasn't here, and she wasn't sure Saul really had a reason to be hanging out with her. Still, she'd see what else he had to say, in case it was something interesting.
Could be permanent. The words pierced him, and his breath caught slightly in surprise, and he wondered how he felt about that. Lizzy wouldn't last long alone on the other side - her attitude alone might get her killed within a day in that crowd, if they were angry enough not to understand that she was useful - but... still. He had the taste of freedom on his lips.

"You don't sound terribly distressed about that," he observed. "That it could be permanent, I mean," he clarified, since some time had passed since her statement.

Really, he didn't have any reason to be continuing to hover in the doorway like this. He'd determined that Lizzy wasn't here, and therefore he should go and continue his fruitless search. But he didn't seem to want to move just yet.
"I'm not," Isadora said. "If it's permanent, then Iridia and I will adjust to being here instead of there. I certainly like it better over here," she mused aloud. It was lighter, brighter. Airier. Reminded her a bit more of home, and that couldn't be a bad thing, could it?

Her eyes flicked over him curiously now, wondering what he thought of a life without Lizzy. She wondered what sort of changes he might undergo now that he wasn't under the girl's thumb, and her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.
"It's nice," he allowed, sort of flatly. "Also nice not feeling like you have to watch your back with every step you take," he pointed out. He'd always felt like he needed to do that in Riverfell, a little bit. People always gave twisted half truths and vague replies. No one was really real there.

Here, there were a lot of people who were painfully real, and didn't hide as much as they should. He knew that there were many who could very easily be taken advantage of by the right spy. But still... it was better than living over in the dull grey and not trusting anyone.

"Will you go back?" he blurted out suddenly, still not entirely sure why he was still lingering. "If they let you?"
"I don't know," she admitted. "The woman in charge here is very nice. We've ... got a fair bit in common." Ice was the sort of woman Dora thought she could have been good friends with.

"What about you?" Isadora inquired curiously before she started to move between a row of plants. "Are you staying here? Going back? Does it hinge on what Lizzy wants?" She did manage to keep any snark or bitterness out of her voice on that last bit, and she was rather proud of herself.
He nodded, as though the end result mattered very little to him, and he was not invested in it. But he thought that sounded promising. And then he wondered why he thought that was promising. What interested did he still have in her at this point, really?

"I hadn't given it much thought," he said quietly to answer her statement, realizing that he was imagining the bitterness on her last statement, and scowling faintly. Did she not care at all anymore? "I suppose it does, in part, hinge on her eventual decision. But I suppose it also depends on how she fairs being apart from me today." His eyes settled on Dora. "Maybe my services will no longer be required."
"That would be nice," Isadora murmured to his last statement before she started toward him, angling for the door. "For you to be out from beneath her thumb, so you can recall what it's like to be your own man again, and not the servant to the whim of some child."

Dora's brows elevated slightly before her eyes flicked over him. "Perhaps I'll see you later, Saul," she murmured to him before she reached for the door.
A thousand emotions ran through his head at her statement, anger, frustration, grief... he felt like she was accusing him of not doing more to fight her, and wondered how much of that was his own guilt for dropping what they had. For... yes, not fighting Lizzy more.

Because the more he thought about it, the more he felt like it was that simple. It was that easy. And that he had stopped fighting long ago because he felt weak. Felt... emasculated. Because he had forgotten what it felt like to really live.

Until he had been reminded.

So he shifted his body a bit - not really enough to block her progress as she moved for the door, but enough to let her know that he was thinking about it. Maybe catch her attention. To... say what, he didn't really know at this point. But... he'd felt inclined to not let her walk away so quickly.
Isadora regarded him at the motion, dark brows elevating slightly. She was very curious to see if that was going anywhere, or if he was simply shifting to leave as well. He had no reason to stay, certainly, unless he'd developed an affinity for plants.

He hadn't said anything, so she remained silent as well, simply looking at him. Her eyes searched his face before settling on his eyes, searching them a little more deeply.

One hand twitched slightly, almost as if to touch him. Instead, she settled it on Iridia's head as the panther sat beside her - a clear enough indication that she wasn't simply going to keep walking.
He struggled to find the words, to put his emotion into sentences. Into thoughts, really. But he couldn't find anything to say. It was all over his face as he struggled to voice his thoughts that just didn't want to be voiced.

His eyes fell on Iridia as he settled, and then returned her. He'd caught her attention. That was... something, wasn't it? Showed that there was still... something?

"I'm sorry," he mumbled. "Sorry that I couldn't... put you first," he paused, looked away for a moment, and though he was pretty sure that he wouldn't be forgiven - that he shouldn't be forgiven - he continued. "You should have been first."
Dora regarded him for a long, quiet moment, searching his face before she nodded slightly. He said the words now, but what about when Lizzy showed up again? What about when he was --

She cut herself off, mid-thought. Would any of it matter at all, as long as they remained on opposite sides?

So either she'd have to stay here with him, or he'd have to come back with her. Perhaps she'd talk to the woman in charge about that. About her options.

"I'm glad you feel that way," she said softly as Iridia pushed back up to his paws to head toward the door, trusting Dora to open it for him.
He nodded when she spoke, though he felt vaguely ashamed now. Most of the anger had faded at this point, and he felt oddly... drained. As though the conversation had taken a lot out of him. Part of him knew that was a silly thing to think - it wasn't like it had taken a great deal of energy to speak to her - but it had taken a lot out of him emotionally.

When she spoke, he noticed Iridia moving, and he knew the conversation was over for now. He nodded, somewhat distractedly, taking a step back from the door so she could leave first. He thought he might stick around for a while in here, in the quiet. Maybe get some of his thoughts in order. Thoughts of Lizzy had been all but pushed from his mind for the moment.
She nodded to him as she started out. "Maybe I'll see you," she offered softly before she and Iridia exited the greenhouse.

It certainly gave her something to think about, especially if the lines had been redrawn. If she was a resident here now with him - and without Lizzy.

Shaking her head and trying not to think too much about it, she stroked Iridia's head absently as they walked along. Where to go to next? Maybe she'd go explore the beach a bit ...
dragon goblet

May 2009



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