The Sweetest Things Take Time

In the heart of Ninraih's jungles, the Fae created the city of Ajteire, protected from the undead by the magic of fireflies and a pact with the Kerasoka. The complex network of trees, vines, and plants helps to keep unwanted visitors out. Read more...
User avatar
Harroc Crownegrove
Character
Disciples of Balance, Defender of the Woods
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
21 / 21 MP
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Race: Elemental and Shapeshifter
Class: Druid
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Harroc Crownegrove »

Zalai opened the door to the kitchen. "Is everything alright? I heard a scream-" he said, coming in. Looking over, he saw Harroc’s mate - the Fae - crumpled on the floor, the red-headed Fae waitress kneeling at their side.

She picked her head up, meeting Zalai’s eyes. "I-I don’t know what happened! I came back and they-" She swallowed, her fear plain. "They need a healer. Maybe Harroc too. I don’t know if he did something," she said, her voice catching. A tear dripped on the floor from her cheek.

"I’ll send runners. We keep a healer on-call. Do you know where Harroc is? He wasn’t where I left him yesterday." Zalai snapped into his authoritative mode.

"Their house, probably. They sounded really happy this morning when I came in." She shook their shoulder without a response. "By the idols, please be okay," she whispered, squeezing their hand.

Frowning slightly, Zalai stepped back into the cafe and called two Rangers over. "Get the healer and bring them back. At least one injury and who knows what else. It’s Harroc’s Fae." The Ranger saluted and sped out the door.

He turned to the other runner. "You’ll need to get Harroc. He’s at the Fae’s house." Bringing them back to the kitchen, he crouched down by the waitress. "I need directions to their house, Miss-"

"Poppy. Poppy’s fine." She exhaled shakily. "Go east on the walkway out front. Third right, behind an enormous tree there’s a staircase. Take it to the top."
She sniffled. "There’s two windows in the front. Thick curtains. The door’s green."

"Understand? Go," Zalai said to the runner, who saluted and followed the other out the door. Turning to Poppy, Zalai spoke evenly, "The wound isn’t serious, I’m more concerned about what caused it. Have they got a habit of falling, or is this new?"

"Falling? No. They’re usually more graceful than I am," she said with a laugh that was almost a sob. "Colle’s been stressed and more tired lately, I know that, but I’ve been making them go home early, sending them to go eat when they forget-"

She paused. "Harroc’s disappearing hit them hard. I wasn’t surprised when they flew out of here yesterday once they heard he might be back." She rubbed their hand with her thumb. "We’ve been short-handed lately, problem with a waitress. They feel guilty, they’ve been trying to cover her shifts too."

Zalai sat back on his heels. "That sounds a lot like burning more than both ends of the candle. Let’s hope it’s just exhaustion, but maybe have them get checked out for other ailments. And when he gets here, stay out of the way. I’ve only seen him mad once, and it is not pretty." Poppy nodded, looking back at Colle.

Harroc was lazily running his fingers through Chloe’s hair as she drooled on his chest. She’d fallen asleep again halfway through the simple practice exercise he’d been teaching her, the exhaustion simply overwhelming her. The banging at the door made him snap up, ready to fight, and he placed a hand on the young shifter’s face as she also came awake.

"Return to sleep, I will go," he said softly, filling her with another small dose of essence as he slid off the bed and moved towards the door. He tugged it open mid-bang, glaring at the Ranger who stumbled as he tried to continue banging against the wood.

"Oh- shit- uh- Cafe, Fae, fell. Said to get you- Zalai," they gasped out before leaning over and taking in deep breaths. Harroc’s eyes snapped wide and he ran to his discarded clothes, grabbing his casting stone and staff before careening back out of the front door at a dead sprint.
Word count: 656

User avatar
Harroc Crownegrove
Character
Disciples of Balance, Defender of the Woods
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
21 / 21 MP
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Race: Elemental and Shapeshifter
Class: Druid
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Harroc Crownegrove »

He took the stairs in great leaps, his feet barely touching the surface as he barrelled down the long spiraling path. The rain smashed into him constantly, but he ignored it, only wiping at his face to clear his vision when needed. The few people that were out and about practically dove out of his way, the sprinting Druid paying them no mind.

He reached the cafe much faster than he anticipated, and ended up taking several strides past the entrance before he managed to stop and turn. The need to adjust and refocus slowed his rampant movement, he even kept himself from barrelling into the cafe and likely injuring people. Instead he padded in and stopped, quickly looking around.

Zalai had been watching the door since the runners left. He waved, catching Harroc’s attention. The man was naked and carrying a staff and something else in a closed fist; he held them both like weapons and seemed willing to use them.

"In the back," he said as Harroc locked on to him. Before Harroc could move, Zalai stepped through the door and pulled the waitress off the floor, moving her behind him. He didn’t want any more injuries and doubted Harroc would be anything but furious.

Harroc strode through the door and moved past Zalai with purpose, his eyes not even seeming to see the man once he had the information he needed. Colle lay on their side, sprawled on the floor by the work table with blood pooling around their head.

They were pale, almost chalky, and their wings looked even duller than they had yesterday. Their hand dangled limply from the arm that had landed on top of them. Harroc immediately dropped down and put his hands to their chest, flooding them with essence and staring intently into their eyes. "Wake up," he growled out.

One of Colle’s wings twitched slightly, but they didn’t open their eyes. Harroc stopped breathing, shifting his hands desperately as he muttered. "Where is it, where is-" he froze, growling again and then looking to Zalai. "I will need to be kept safe," he said, waited for the man’s nod, and then leaned down and put his head to Colle’s. He grabbed onto the thread of essence trailing into their magical center and pulled- hard.

Colle opened their eyes with a gasp. They coughed, finding themself held down by Harroc. "H-Harroc?" they said weakly. "W-why-" Harroc’s eyes rolled back and he slumped over, as if his entire body had suddenly lost control. They squirmed, trying to move his weight to be able to breathe. "Sweetheart?" they asked, patting his shoulder shakily.

Poppy let out a long string of unintelligible words as she collided with Colle bodily. There were tears streaming down her face and she couldn’t seem to get a complete word out. Colle thought they heard something that might be, "What happened."

"Got dizzy. Passed out," they managed, their words rough. "What - Harroc-" they tried and stopped, coughing. Poppy squeezed them tight before leaning back.

"You fell, hit your head, there was a lot of blood. Zalai sent for Harroc and he came and did something with your chest, then he slumped over!" Poppy said, all the words coming out without a breath between them.

"Did - something?" Colle asked, looking for Zalai. "What did he do?" they managed once they saw the tall elf.

Zalai shrugged and pointed at Harroc. "Not sure. He came in naked, running like he was chasing a meal, then said he’d need to be kept safe before he did- whatever that was." Zalai walked over and knelt down, checking on Harroc who appeared to still be breathing. "You two cause a lot of trouble."

Harroc groaned, writhing on the ground and curling up into a ball as best he could with the obvious lack of control he was suffering. Colle sighed, relieved that Harroc was still breathing. "Sorry," they forced out. "Don’t mean to," they said, looking at Zalai.

Patting Harroc’s shoulder, they asked, "Harroc? Sweetheart? What did you do?" Harroc whimpered, trying to curl tighter, Colle felt rapidly shifting spots of heat on his skin beneath their fingers. "Fuck, what did you do?" They closed their eyes, trying to remember the exercise Chloe had taught them and holding Harroc with both hands as best they could.
Word count: 734

User avatar
Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
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Class: Summoner and Alchemist
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

"Come on, I can help, just let me," they pleaded, ducking their head slightly to speak into Harroc’s ear. The stream of essence that entered them suddenly was like nothing they had ever felt.

It was like the prior night’s storm was trying to tear them apart from the inside, the feeling of lightning in their veins and explosion of color in their sight forced their eyes shut and tore a yelp from them. They clung to Harroc; his body was the only thing they were sure of right now.

Wishing Chloe had given them more information, they tried to visualize a string of beads flowing around their hands, tracing the muscles, bones, tendons - any path they could envision. Their hands felt painfully hot and they panted through clenched teeth. The fire seemed to come under control after a few seconds, but they were starting to lose coherence.

Colle wasn’t going to be able to stabilize him alone. Someone was tugging on them, moving them away. "N-n-" they tried to speak. Whoever it was pulled sharply and the connection broke.

"Stop it! You’re hurting yourself more - and I’m not going to watch you do that!" Poppy yelled at them, dragging them away from Harroc. They took in a lungful of air and tried to yank themself free of her. Harroc shivered violently, before rolling over and emptying the sparse contents of his stomach.

"Let - go-" Colle grunted, flailing in an attempt to reach Harroc. ‘No, no, he can’t have come back to now - he has to be okay. Please let this be temporary,’ they thought to themself. They put what energy they had into crawling closer. "Harroc-" they croaked, reaching out a hand.

A strong and firm grip took their shoulder, gently, but insistently, pulling them away from Harroc. "You are injured and need care. The elemental will not die, he is simply overwhelmed," the old looking man said in a soft whisper.

Colle stopped struggling. "He - overwhelmed - damnit. He’s drunk. On magic. Again." They sighed, leaning against the man’s hand. "Okay. I - as long as he’ll be alright. Do whatever," they said, waving their hand vaguely and lowering themself down. They closed their eyes, exhausted.

"You are suffering from magical poisoning. You have been avoiding your regular spellcasting?" the healer asked. Now that Colle had gotten a look at him, he reminded them of a gnarled tree made into a man.

"Spell-casting? I don’t - I don’t have any magical talent really. I’ve never cast more than ‘detect magic’ and that only on rare occasions." Colle coughed, trying to laugh at the idea of being a wizard or something. "He - Harroc - said something like that, last night. He thought I was hurt." They paused, trying to collect their thoughts.

"Something about magic poisoning. I don’t remember much." They winced and put a hand to their head. "Everything’s fuzzy."

"Yes, he can transfer his spirit, and you can apparently absorb it. I am surprised you can speak given how much you are carrying," the healer said with a chuckle. He placed a hand on Colle’s head, there was a feeling of coolness, like a comforting breeze, and then he rose. "My work is done, get them both some water and don’t let him near any edges." The healer chuckled again and then hobbled his way out of the kitchen.

Sighing, Colle rolled and got to their hands and knees. They tried to stand up, but Poppy shoved them back down. "Nope. Sit." She shoved a mug full of water into their hands. "Drink." They tipped the mug back, holding it carefully in both hands.

As they drank, they saw her set another mug down by Harroc. "He’s going to need help with that," they said, finishing their mugful. Setting it to the side, they scooted across the floor. They picked up the mug and sat on the floor next to Harroc, who was curled up and shivering.

Lifting and tugging, they got his head and shoulders on their lap. "Hey, sweetheart. Water for you, you need to drink," they said, holding the mug to his lips. Harroc groaned and turned his face away. Colle set the mug down, sighing, and gently ran their fingers through his hair.

"I'm putting you on leave, effective immediately," Poppy said with a tone of authority.
Word count: 747

User avatar
Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

"But Poppy - I - the baking-" they started.

She held up a hand. "Look. You're not in a state to be working. I'm next in line. I'll talk to Juncea, but I don't want to see you working until you've had plenty of time to heal."

"I - okay," Colle said, dropping their eyes to the floor. They stroked Harroc's hair.

"You're seriously not fighting me on this? You must be in worse shape than I thought," Poppy said, her eyes widening.

"I was thinking about taking some time off when things settled down," Colle said, still looking at the floor. "But looks like that's not going to happen the way I hoped." They fished in their apron pocket and pulled out a notebook.

Opening it, they ripped out a handful of pages and handed them to Poppy. "Here. My recipes. Meant to copy them into something nicer but-" They shrugged. "At least the cafe can still have its regular offerings."

Poppy took the papers delicately. "I'm surprised. You finally wrote them down. And I can even read them." Colle glared at her for a moment.

"Yeah, yeah. Sorry I'm leaving you a disaster area, Pops. Or well, I will be as soon as I can figure out how to get us home." Harroc helpfully groaned again, accentuating the current predicament. He seemed to be, if not recovering, then at least not getting worse. There were still shivers, and he still tried to curl into a ball.

"I can't carry him, he's in no shape to walk, and he's heavy," Colle thought aloud. They closed their eyes and rested their head against the wall. "I just want to go home and sleep. Probably have to kick-" they stopped.

"Sorry, Zalai? How would Chloe have been moved if Harroc hadn't been able to carry her?" Colle turned to the tall dark-skinned man. "She's also at my house, by the way," they added sheepishly.

Zalai sighed, raising an eyebrow. "Probably would have just carried her. There's several Rangers that can lift someone needing to be transported. And good to know she's safe. I figured Harroc had taken her wherever he went."

Colle sighed. "I know I'm already deeply in your debt, but if you could get someone to carry him and possibly me, I'd be very grateful." They stroked Harroc's head as he trembled. Zalai nodded and walked back into the cafe.

"If someone can toss me some cleaning rags-"

"Yeah, no. Effective immediately, remember?" Poppy said with a wry smile.

"I - well, okay. I still don't like leaving you with a mess," Colle said, biting their lip.

"Eh, I consider it payback for all the times you were the sober-er friend," she said, pulling a handful of rags from the kitchen's stockpile. "Just promise me that you're actually going to rest when you get home."

"I promise. All I want to do is clean myself off, get the washbasin down, and sleep." They ticked off the items on their fingers.

"Washbasin?" Poppy gave them a questioning look.

"Bigger target." Colle sighed. "He's essentially puke-sick drunk. Best thing now is probably to sleep it off."

Zalai came back into the kitchen with Nethra and another two male rangers. The two men looked at Harroc and shuffled around until one was by his head and the other his feet. Colle sighed and took off their apron, tying the waist strings around Harroc's hips.

"Don't need to flash the neighborhood," they mumbled.

"Come on then," Nethra said with a wink, scooping Colle off their feet. "I’ll take you, and everyone gets a carry." She led the group out of the cafe, looking to Colle for directions as she went.

"Can’t say I expected you to sweep me off my feet today, Nethra," Colle said with an attempt at a laugh. In response to her questioning look, they explained, "Go east, third right, up the stairs."

"Oh you know, can’t get the big guy, go for his smaller friend and work your way up," Nethra said back with a laugh of her own. "Why’s he sprinting around naked by the way, and did he just give you that?" she motioned with her head towards Colle’s neck.

"My guess is whoever told him I was hurt, probably woke him up. He has kind of an aversion to clothing if it’s not absolutely necessary." Colle shrugged. "And not just now. That’s a few hours old."

They pointed at a large tree some distance ahead. "Take the stairs behind that tree. I’m at the top." Nethra hefted them up, adjusting their weight as she began to climb the stairs.

"So he just lays around your place naked, having his way with you? What happened to Chloe? She in the fuck pit too?" Nethra said with a wiggle of her eyebrows and a glance back at Harroc’s mostly uncovered form. She didn’t seem to be straining in the least carrying Colle, though whether that was a testament to her training or the Fae’s lightness was unclear.

They chuckled. "Not as much as I might like - although I hope that will change - and she is in my house, although not part of the 'fuck pit'." Colle coughed, a bit self-conscious. "I took your advice, made it pretty clear I don't appreciate feeling set aside. Harroc's been very attentive since then," they said with a grin.

"But yeah, Chloe's leg's fucked up pretty bad. She can't put any weight on it right now and Harroc said he can't fix it. At least, not right now." Colle frowned. "She's taking that about as well as can be expected." Looking around, they commented, "Almost there. One more landing and then you'll see it."

As Nethra reached the top, Colle asked to be put down to open the door. "Unless you want to get an eyeful of naked 'cougar-butt' - which is quite nice, actually," they said with a smirk. Nethra slid carefully into the door, leveraging it open from where it had clearly been slid shut on the wind.

"I think I won’t get many chances, and maybe I can help her out some with the rougher side of all this," Nethra said by way of explanation, though she did turn to the other two Rangers. "Just set him down here, I’ll handle it. Let Zalai know everyone made it fine."

When the two others had retreated she set Colle down carefully and grinned at them. "Now, I'll drag big boy inside. You can- Maybe start some tea, but nothing complicated, and then we'll see about the nice cougar butt."
Word count: 1114

User avatar
Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Fae
Class: Summoner and Alchemist
Posts: 44
Joined: December 28th, 2019, 7:16 am
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

Colle snorted and pushed open the door. "Just put him in bed on the side facing the window. I’m going to start some chamomile tea and then get a shower once Harroc’s settled."

They strode wearily to the kitchen, putting on a kettle and retrieving the washbasin they’d put against the cabinets. Pulling mugs and cups from the shelves, they poured a glass of water for Harroc and readied the mugs for tea.

Across the room Nethra grunted and grumbled a few times before dropping Harroc on the bed. She smacked his leg roughly for good measure and then leaned over him to talk to Chloe. "So, I hear you've got a nice butt. You wouldn't be causing problems for the Fae here would you?" she asked the question with a raised brow and glance to Colle.

They paused mid-step, holding the basin and water glass on their way to the bedside. "Uh. I think I've been clear about where my lines are drawn. Harroc and I still have a lot to talk about."

They set the glass down on the bedside table in reach of Harroc. The washbasin they placed on the floor near his head. "I'm going to take a quick shower, get the blood off," they said and disappeared into the bathroom.

Chloe came awake slowly, groaning softly as she did. "Come to rub it in already?" she asked with no hint of humor.

Nethra frowned and moved around the bed to sit beside Chloe. "That bad then, well on the bright side you got a place way better than the hospital to rest," the ranger said with a forced smile. "And besides, I know you don't quit. So I'll see you soon and you can show me how you're dealing, alright?"

Chloe half nodded but it was clear her spirits were shattered at the moment. Harroc grunted loudly and flailed about a bit on the other end of the bed. The two women looked at him and Nethra turned to glance at Colle. "So wait, what's actually wrong with him?"

Colle came back into the room, wearing a pair of pajama pants with their hair damp. "I think he's drunk again. I passed out and he was trying to wake me. I'm guessing he did the same thing he did last night, only more, so we're past happy drunk and into puke-sick drunk." They gestured to the floor. "Hence the basin. I hate mopping floors."

The kettle whistled and they poured the boiling water into three mugs. They brought one to Chloe. "Chamomile. It's hot. You can have a mug too, if you want," Colle said, speaking to Nethra.

"Wait, he's drunk? Can we get him a little less, get him talking?" she asked with clear excitement and an evil grin. Chloe nodded, and before Colle could say anything placed her hands on Harroc's side. She immediately groaned and fell against his side. Harroc jolted as if struck, his limbs flailing briefly. He lay still for a moment and then convulsed, as if trying to sit up, before sprawling on the bed and giggling.

Colle glared at the two women. "All I want is to sleep and maybe snuggle with my boyfriend while he sleeps. Can you maybe not try to sabotage that." They set their mug on Harroc's table and tried to climb over him into the middle spot in the bed. Harroc's arms came out and he growled as he tugged Colle on top of him.

Nethra leaned in. "I didn't even know he could get drunk. Hey there big guy, wanna have some fun?" she asked with a distinct measure of teasing. Harroc growled again, a very different sort of growl, and Nethra froze. Chloe, apparently knocked out, whimpered, and Colle felt their hairs suddenly stand on end.

Nethra lifted her hands and moved back slowly, even though Harroc had closed his eyes again. "Sounds like he's learned some things," she said, giving Colle a wink. "Have fun you three, don't let him devour you too often."

Colle rolled their eyes as the Fae woman left. "I'm staying right here, Harroc. Poppy grounded me and I'm supposed to rest. Healer's orders," they said in a nonchalant tone. "Loosen up a bit maybe?"

Harroc rumbled and dropped his arms. "Safe?" he asked softly.

"We are safe," they answered. "We're home."

"Angry," he grumbled before moving a hand to Colle's back and reaching another out towards Chloe. "Did not listen." He squeezed Colle as if to make his point.

"About?" Colle raised an eyebrow. "I thought whatever you did last night fixed things." They snuggled into his side, enjoying the warmth. Whatever Chloe had done seemed to have slowed the rapid shifting warmth to a slow pulsing instead.

Harroc's breathing began to slowly level and he got a hand around Chloe, pulling her to his side as he also tried to keep Colle close. He rumbled and squeezed them both.

Colle sighed. "Could I please have you hold me for a while? Just me, your mate, not Chloe too?" They put a hand on his chest. "I've barely gotten to talk to you alone since you returned."

Harroc's eyes came open suddenly and he grunted and shivered, saying nothing for a moment. Then he rolled over atop Colle, wrapping them up in a loose hug and nuzzling into their neck with soft kisses. "Mine," he mumbled as he settled.

Colle smiled, twining their arms around Harroc and returning a few of the kisses. The exhaustion that they'd managed to hold off after the healer's work came rushing back. Curling deeper into Harroc's embrace, they yawned and closed their eyes.

His warmth wrapped around them completely, the soft pulse of it like Harroc's heartbeat lulled them into a restful sleep.
Word count: 967

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Harroc Crownegrove
Character
Disciples of Balance, Defender of the Woods
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
21 / 21 MP
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Harroc Crownegrove »

Word count: 4

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Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

Colle suggests taking Chloe to the mages when they go to investigate Colle’s magic poisoning. Among other things.
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Word count: 19

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Harroc Crownegrove
Character
Disciples of Balance, Defender of the Woods
Level
01
24 / 24 HP
21 / 21 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Elemental and Shapeshifter
Class: Druid
Posts: 130
Joined: August 5th, 2019, 1:48 am
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Harroc Crownegrove »

Word count: 3

User avatar
Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Fae
Class: Summoner and Alchemist
Posts: 44
Joined: December 28th, 2019, 7:16 am
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Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

As soon as Harroc had finished he hopped up and began to stretch. "When you are- ah, come now," he said, noticing Chloe had finished and scooping her up to mild protests. "I will teach you some more control, and then you will practice." He laid her down on the bed beside Colle, and then clambered atop them both before settling in the middle. He wrapped an arm around Colle, squeezing them to his chest and rumbling.

"First, two points of contact. You are weakened, I am not," Harroc said in the voice Chloe had become very familiar with. Colle listened from their position draped over Harroc’s chest. They still hadn’t had much chance to talk to Harroc about how his essence worked and only a very short lesson from Chloe. Knowing more about Harroc’s particular physiology would likely help in the future.

Chloe complied, though with a touch of confused hesitation. Harroc grinned at her and immediately Colle felt a tug at their own power before it went away. They glanced up at Harroc, unsure of what he was doing. Chloe gasped, groaning loudly and forcing her eyes shut before she slowly opened them again.

"You feel it, the wrongness, but it is a pure source. Feel the edges, the power there. I have infused some, find it, tell me when you have," Harroc said softly but forcefully.

"Wrongness?" Colle asked softly. "What - do you mind if I ask what you’re doing?"

"I- put pure essence into her to fix- or try to fix Chloe’s leg. It solidified into pure stone, unfortunately I cannot repair the damage. I believe- I believe with time and practice she can remove the stone slowly, let the essence heal her naturally, and restore the limb," Harroc explained slowly, as if he was approaching a vicious beast.

Chloe seemed to be looking at nothing, wincing slightly and curling her fingers repeatedly. Colle bit their lip thoughtfully. "Is it sort of like when you were trying to figure out why I was burning through essence, but she has to do it herself?"

"Not-" he started and then frowned. "In a way I suppose. It is more that the essence is stronger than her control. It was done when I was not- of my body. She will need to refine her control and skill significantly to safely remove it.""

Colle looked confused for a moment. "So - when you shift, it’s like you’re letting an animal take over? Or only sometimes?" They tried to embrace Harroc, clumsy with exhaustion and their odd position lying half across him. "I want to understand. Sorry if I said something rude again, I’m not trying to."

"You have only asked questions. It is not rude to seek knowledge, only to do so without concern for others. As for- letting the beast take control, only when I become the great wolf, or think of my Honey." He grinned down at them, adjusting a bit to nibble their ear softly.

They shivered a little. "Oh. So you’re more ‘you’ when you’re a jaguar rather than a wolf? Or is it only when you’re the enormous wolf that it’s not fully you?" Colle tried, mostly unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn. "As for you ‘letting the beast take control’ in bed, I have no complaints so far," they said, with a lazy grin.

"Because," he began, his voice and expression suddenly gravely serious, "you have not truly seen it. It is a demanding thing, one that takes and takes until its never ending hunger is sated. You speak of it like an amusement, and I worry you do not understand the amount of power and cost it contains."

"I thought you were making a joke about ‘letting the beast take control’ when you see me," Colle replied, their brows knitting together. "You haven’t really told me much about your forms, except that being a wolf makes you more aggressive. I mean, I understand it takes energy to shift from one to another, since it does for me too. I’m guessing there’s more to it than that, then?"

His expression softened as soon as it was clear Colle had simply misunderstood. "For most, that is the end of it. A subtle shift in senses, the instincts tickling at the back of the mind, and the knowledge to use your new form, at least in a way. For myself, and others of my Order, there is a greater calling." He shifted himself, holding them tighter.

"I carry the power to take a form that carries the sliver of a Great Beast. A creature of legend who defends the balance of all things. My patron is Tata Cennaya, the great protector of this jungle, a great and powerful dire wolf the size of your home." He grinned broadly, giving the place a look. "Perhaps a bit larger. This comes with a deep cost, the cost of not being fully in control, and of having to fight to regain myself when it finishes."

Colle thought for a moment. "Okay. This is probably really simplistic, but basically when you shift into a jaguar, it’s like you putting on a jaguar coat. It’s still you, but with a bit more jaguar instincts and appearance."

They paused, collecting their musings into coherence. "But the giant wolf form, the one you were in when you came back - that’s more like you’re - um, combining maybe - with your great wolf? Like there’s another being in your body with you, trying to put forth its own wishes, and so to come back to being you, you have to fight them?" Colle gripped Harroc as tightly as they could. "That sounds - somewhat terrifying, actually."

"Despite the imagery of you skinning me for a coat, yes. That is accurate."

They shot Harroc a look. "Not skinning you, sweetheart. I’m talking some other hypothetical jaguar, because clearly, they couldn’t be as hot as you."

Chloe snorted with laughter from across Harroc. "Damnit, I lost it. Now I have to start all over," she groaned.

Laying their head back down on his chest, Colle traced swirls against his skin with their fingertip. "Having to fight to reclaim your own body though - that sounds like there’s so many ways that could go wrong. You lose and you’d be a wolf permanently."They shuddered. "What makes taking the great wolf’s form worth that risk?”

"Power, needed to do what must be done, endurance to do it without fail, fury to move when I should die," he explained with a shrug as if it was something obvious.

Colle bit their lip. "Is it usually a last-resort measure? Or only when you know you need that strength?"

"I perhaps use it more often than I should, but in the same breath I know that without constant refinement, practice, that I will be too weak when the time comes," he said thoughtfully, curling his fingers idly into Colle’s chest. They leaned into Harroc, moving as close as they could.

"I understand," Colle sighed. "I’m still going to worry about you though." They gently tugged Harroc’s arm to wrap around their shoulders and over their arm.

He curled himself around his lover, grunting as Chloe winced suddenly. "Slowly, it is not a race or something done carelessly. You will cut your leg to ribbons if you try."

"I-I know. I thought I had it," Chloe said, clearly frustrated and at the end of her patience. "Just wanted to do- something. Not sitting here useless and broken."

Harroc frowned, nodding slowly and taking more control over the flow of essence, finding it erratic and wild. "You should rest now, you are making mistakes," he said firmly but without edge. Chloe groaned in complaint and then collapsed back, letting out a frustrated puff of air.

Colle yawned loudly and wriggled into Harroc’s chest. "We could all use more rest, probably," they mumbled. "You two didn’t see yourselves when you came in, but you both looked like shit. Probably still recovering some. Not just physically." They flopped a hand in Chloe’s direction. "Try to sleep?"

She flopped her hand back, snuggling against Harroc’s side with her back and grumbling. Harroc rumbled as he curled tighter around Colle and closed his eyes. Almost instantly, the day caught up with him and he fell asleep.
Word count: 1423

User avatar
Colle Mellifera
Character
Pastry chef
Level
01
23 / 23 HP
21 / 21 MP
0p / 0g / 0s / 50c
Race: Fae
Class: Summoner and Alchemist
Posts: 44
Joined: December 28th, 2019, 7:16 am
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: The Sweetest Things Take Time

Post by Colle Mellifera »

A loud thud and the intrusion of bright sunlight pulled Colle from their very pleasant dream. They sat up, squinting to see the cause of the sudden interruption, feeling Harroc’s hand and arms go conspicuously missing from around them. A Fae with tangerine colored hair and deep pink wings fluttering anxiously behind her burst into the room. She immediately headed toward Colle’s side of the bed, but stopped and pulled back when she noticed Harroc standing very naked and very aggressively to the side of the bed.

She squeaked and Colle sighed before flopping back down on the bed. “This is why you knock - and wait for an answer, Jas.” They yawned, stretching slightly as they felt more than saw the energy radiating off of Harroc relax fractionally.

“Poppy said you collapsed in the cafe when I was there not five minutes ago!” Jasmine Mellifera’s voice pitched higher with anxiety.

“Did she also tell you that happened yesterday, and that I was home resting?” Colle said, shooting their sister a flat stare.

“Well - no, I kinda panicked and came straight here,” Jasmine admitted. She perched awkwardly on the corner of the bed, giving the glowering Harroc a wide berth. Chloe grumbled from the far side of the bed, looking up to see what was going on, before rolling over and shoving a pillow over her head. “Shit, Colle, are you having an orgy in here instead of recuperating?”

“One, that’d be a threesome, not an orgy. Two, Harroc is my boyfriend-” they motioned to the now very confused druid beside the bed. “And he helps out with the Rangers. Three, Chloe over there is his student. They were on a run a few days ago and came back injured, so they’ve been staying here. Four, I’m not sleeping with Chloe,” they explained, gesturing at each in turn. “Jasmine’s my older sister,” Colle said, turning to Harroc.

“Thanks for taking care of my baby bother,” Jasmine said, facing Harroc.

Colle groaned. “By the idols, Jas, let that die.”

Harroc relaxed completely finally, a smile replacing his faintly strained battle readiness. “It is good we were not greeting the morning, Honey. I had considered it several times already,” he said with a grin before moving to sit next to Colle and pull them to his side.

“Greeting the- Oh.” Colle blushed faintly and fought the urge to curl into Harroc’s chest. They coughed, and looked at Jasmine. “Why are you over here and all? Errands or did Mom and Dad send you?”

“Yes and no? Mom and Dad are doing another family get-together-” Jasmine rolled her eyes slightly. “Also, I figured you were going to bug me for more soaps and whatnot, so I decided I’d indulge at the cafe while you made up your mind about what you wanted. If you tell me now, I can just bring them to Mom and Dad’s thing.” She very carefully kept her focus on her sibling’s face.

“Sure, that works. When’s the thing?” Colle asked, leaning into their boyfriend’s warmth. “And have you got any new blends you want me to try? I’m about done with the rose shampoo - I like it, but I think you need something else in there to give it some oomph.” They nudged Chloe gently. "Feel free to make suggestions."

“Needs mint, but not too much,” she supplied from under the covers, grunting at the prod.

Jasmine tipped her head to the side. “Hmm. Hadn’t considered mint.” Her eyes unfocused for a moment and then she blinked, rearranging her features. “I’ll give it a whirl.”

“I like Colle’s scent,” Harroc provided with a soft growl, entirely unhelpfully before turning and nuzzling into their neck, asserting himself.

Looking puzzled for a moment, Jasmine focused on Harroc. “What scent?” Colle smirked at her.

“The faint lemongrass-spearmint thing,” they replied, finally coming to her aid.

“No oil smell though. It would be- wrong,” he added quickly.

Jasmine’s face went to mild surprise and understanding before frowning at Colle. “You! Stop trying to slather your lovers with food!”

“Technically, I don’t think coconut oil counts as food. Also, Jasmine? You’re one to tell me to stop doing something like that,” Colle returned with a devilish grin. Harroc simply looked confused, keeping Colle close as if to defend them. “Tell me, do the words ’rope, raspberries, forty’ mean anything to you?”

Blushing crimson, Jasmine reached out to Colle, but stopped as Harroc’s grip tightened. She sighed loudly. “Mutually assured destruction,” she replied in a resigned voice.

“You really need to talk to Poppy and make sure she hasn’t told anything she shouldn’t. Apparently she and Harroc had a conversation and the story of my birthday that one year came out.” Colle grimaced slightly. “I really wanted that to stay buried. Forever, if possible.”

“Honey, this is not like my mother. Your family is safe?” he asked softly, nuzzling into their neck.

“Safe? Yeah, I mean, she’s not going to hurt me. Besides, I’m pretty sure I’m stronger on my worst day than Jasmine on her best day,” Colle replied. Jasmine gave them a look of mock outrage.

“I heard that!”

“I meant for you to!” Colle and Jasmine stuck out their tongues at each other, scowling, before dissolving into laughter. “Idols, Jas, you still make the weirdest face when you do that.”

“No worse than you,” she said, leaning on her arm. “Can I give you a hug or what?”

Colle looked over at Harroc. “Let me go for just a moment?”

Harroc let them go instantly upon being asked. “My mother, she is not safe. I was worried. Hello Jasmine?”

She crawled forward on the bed and squeezed Colle tightly. “You made me worry, stupidhead!” Putting her face on their shoulder, she sighed.

“Sorry. I didn’t think you’d have heard about it, and we’ve been stuck here with the rain,” Colle said. “Even Poppy hasn’t seen me since then, but she knows Harroc would take care of me.” They relaxed their grip on Jasmine’s shoulders and sat up as she let them go.
Word count: 1044

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