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OOC: so this is light retro to the days after the DOTNM RP, so not retro retro but light retro...yeah ok nm you get it or not




Arya yawned, she had seen to Silver Arrow. The mare was still skittish after what they had seen. She was still just glad she had managed to keep the mare quiet when the flying beasts had passed overhead. Oh they had mainly been focused in the city and the lights had taken care of it, she hadn't seen the details, but a couple had managed to fly rounds out and around before circling back. She had been on duty to watch one of the gates along with some other spies and soldiers. Luckily they been well hidden in the trees, the thought had made her belly ache. She would not want to face one of those up close. It was then she heard the soldiers passing by mentioning Mehrin. She walked over and asked what was going on but there was not much they could tell her. Apparently he had been there alone. But then where was Drea? Had she been there? Had something happened to her? It was rumored Mehrin had not looked the best. Her tired mind was spinning. She tried to look for someone who would know more, but realised soon enough it was a dead end, and anyone who might know was busy. 


She went back to her cot and lay down, but couldn't sleep. She tossed and turned, until she suddnely sat up on bed with a silent scream from a bad dream. No, she rinsed out her eyes, she was just fantasising she told herself, but she had not been sleeping well these last few days. Maybe a walk would help. She looked out. It was dark, but she wandered until she found some fires where people were eating, sharing stories and drinking. She didn't feel like she fitted in though. She never liked it, when she was younger, that Drea drank. It made you do silly things, lose your head, but she knew many slept solid after it too. Before she knew it she had a flask in her hand going inside her vest and had walked off.


She sat down alone in a glen and took it out. Should she? Her head leaned back against the stone she sat against and she looked up at the moon. Visions of flying beasts passing as shadows across it had her lifting the bottle to her mouth. The smell made her stop a moment, but how bad could it be? She closed her eyes and took a sip, swallowing before she could regret it and then started coughing. The stuff burned down her throat. She wasn't sure what it was. It wasn't in its original container but a field flask, but it smelled somewhat like some of the brown stuff she'd seen others drinking. She poured some out in her hand. Yes, it had a golden color to it. So this was scotch. Oh how she wished Drea was around! She missed talking to the woman. She'd always been someone to throw ideas off with and she was honest; she said it like it was and never treated her like a toddler. Arya looked at the bottle. Well she had said a she might as well say b, she closed her eyes and emptied her mind into the void then took a long swig of the bottle. She coughed once more, but less this time. At least she wouldn't be cold this way. She focused on breathing until the burning in her throat stopped, then lifted the bottle again taking four or five more swigs. She knew Drea used to take quite a bit before she went overboard and drowsy so she figured it would take a bit to get enough to sleep. Her head was spinning though, and everything felt blurry. She took off her jacket and lay down in the moss looking up at the stars. 


She looked at the bottle and giggled, "You really are evil you know that." Why was she talking to the bottle? Never mind, it was getting colder. She took another sip and felt the warmth spread down her throat and out through her body. 



Not knowing what she is doing

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Ely wearily scrubbed the back of a hand over grainy eyes, by-passing the camp fires that proliferated around the training grounds. Their brightness was a strain and too much bother to deal with. The remnants of her fever were taking longer to shake off than she'd hoped, interfering with both her training, and her peace of mind. She very much disliked the sense of weakness that still pervaded her limbs. Tonight, her brain was refusing to shut down, to let her sleep, which meant walking was her best recourse; thus her current aimless wandering around the Citadel. She didn't truly want company, but being on the periphery of the usual nightly activity was sufficient to make her feel that she was still part of the life of this place; that she could choose at any moment to leave the shadows and join in.


A smile quirked her mouth at the fanciful notion. She'd never been one for joining in. Her footsteps veered off, taking her further from the lights. The sounds of carousing receded until they could no longer be heard. The black velvet darkness, broken only by faint starlight, spread, enveloping Ely in its silence; comforting, and peaceful. Until someone giggled. And a female voice spoke, too slurred for her to make out the actual words.


She edged forward carefully, the soft mossy ground deadening the sound of her movements. It had to be a Bander. The Gates were securely closed at this time of night, the last patrols already out on their circuits and not due back until morning. But who else would be out here at the reaches of the Citadel's grounds, away from the rest of the company? In all her nightly jaunts, Ely hadn't bumped into another living soul.


Finally, as her eyes adjusted, she could make out what appeared to be a body lying prone in a slight dip in the ground. She hurried forward, the possibility of an accident or worse uppermost in her thoughts.


"Hello? Are you alright?" The total lack of reaction had Ely reaching for the person's arm and feeling for a pulse. Whomever it was, they were still alive. She placed a hand lightly on their rib cage....yes, and breathing too. A quick check provided no obvious injury but, as Ely searched, her hands found a smooth, rounded surface that had her rolling her eyes in disgust. Drunk then! I might have guessed. And out like a light. 


She couldn't tell much about the person. They were clearly female and equally clearly alone. Not a good combination when added to their inebriated state. Safer by far to move her. Well, she's shorter than me and doesn't seem to be carrying much weight on that frame. Maybe I can carry her. I certainly can't leave her here. 


Ely balanced herself in preparation, then began to slide one arm under the woman's shoulders, lifting her up and forwards, talking as she did so.


"Come along, now. Let's get you back to whatever barracks you belong in. Not doing yourself any good lying out here on this damp ground."


With an effort and some careful maneouvering, Ely managed to hoist the limp body over her shoulder. She staggered slightly, caught herself, and turned slowly. She'd taken only two steps back in the direction she'd come when a ear splitting yell broke the silence and the body on her shoulder started to struggle violently.


"Cut that out, you maniac!!" Ely snapped. "I'm trying to help you!"



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Arya shifted. She felt like she should be aware of something, the hair on her arms telling her someone was there, hands running over over her. She felt herself dragged up. No! She wanted to lie down again but couldn't muster herself enough to say anything. Her head was spinning. Why did Drea...? Her belly felt like it was in pain. She wanted to sleep. Drea images from her nightmare rode through her brain, and she yelled.


Her eyes snapped open and she heard the other speak. She didn't know who, she just knew her gut felt like it was turning inside out as she tore herself loose and fell, more then stumbled, into the nearest bush.


Her body heaved trying to rid itself of whatever little piece of anything was in her belly. Then as it stopped she let herself slide down, and hugged her knees, shivering. She did not feel well. She was aware she wasn't alone and part of her mind told her she should probably be more aware of her surroundings, but the pain in her belly made it hard to focus. She was so tired, she hardly noticed the tears slipping down her cheeks. She was cold. She felt around for the flask, wanting to feel warm again.



Being a stupid teenager

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The struggling form was too much for Ely to hold on to in her weakened state, and the female slid out of her grip, stumbling away to throw up in the nearest bush. She sighed, attempting to keep a grip on her irritation. It would be wasted on anyone this drunk.


The figure collapsed back onto the ground, wrapping arms around its knees, and shivering uncontrollably. A sorry sight. Ely was about to try speaking to the person again when the cloud cover parted sufficiently to let the moon light the scene. 


Light! She's just a child. Her brow furrowed in concern and she turned back, hunting the ground until she found the empty bottle her hand had outlined earlier. She raised it gingerly to her nose, sniffing cautiously. Scotch! In the Creator's name, who was irresponsible enough to give a youngster such strong alcohol?  The answer was probably nobody. The more likely scenario was that the girl had helped herself. Now the question was... why? Curiousity or some deeper issue? Whatever the reason, she was going to be paying for the imprudent indulgence soon enough... if she wasn't already.


Ely let the bottle drop, and returned to the girl, crouching before her. Reaching out with gentle fingers she brushed hair out of the urchin's face.


"Hey, I'm Ely," she began softly, "I expect you're not feeling too great about now. Let's get you somewhere more comfortable, alright? Do you have a name?"




Mothering Mode Engaged

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Her hair was brushed back and she looked into the face of someone, a woman. Her vision was a bit hazy. Drea. No, it couldn't be, she shook her head and blinked her eyes. Her vision was still hazy. She couldn't make out the details but it was not Drea, she was gone. Go somewhere, her mind spun, stables. The hay would be nice and cozy. Her tongue felt dry as she tried to speak. "Stab..stables," she wanted to hug her mare, feel the comfort of her breath, her scent, someone familiar.


The woman was trying to help her up. She felt so unsteady and the world wouldn't stop spinning. She was trying to focus and then remembered the woman also asked for her name. "A.D.," she grabbed a branch to steady herself as a shivering spell passed through her. "I'mmm Aaa.D." It was so hard to talk and she felt sick and parched. She was cold and it felt like this walk was taking forever. She just wanted to sit down. Better yet lay down, and curl up.

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Watching the girl grab at a branch for balance while a shivering fit took her, Ely was quite certain the stable block was not going to be their destination. Clearly something there was calling to her new charge but it would have to wait. 


Ely unhooked her own water flask from its spot on her belt and uncorked it. "Aydee? No? Wait, I have it. A.D. Good enough. Here," she wrapped one arm around A.D.'s waist to keep her upright and tipped the flask against her mouth so she could drink. "That's right, you drink up. It'll help. The alcohol has dried your mouth out, and being sick won't have helped."


A few minutes later, Ely had them underway. Their halting, stumbling walk meant that progress towards the Infantry barracks was slow. She kept up a flow of gentle chatter as they went, trying to put A.D. at ease, since Ely wasn't even sure the kid was properly aware of what was happening. "No, you don't want to sit there," she diverted A.D. away from a raised bank. "It's not too far to go now so just you put one foot in front of the other... you can do it. I've got you."


By the time she'd wrestled the girl back into well lit areas, Ely was convinced that herding cats might be more productive. Upon spotting a full horse trough outside one building, tackling the problem head on seemed a far  more efficient way to deal with things.


Moments later, A.D. was dumped bodily into that horse trough to sober up. 




Being practical

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The woman dragged her on. She could hear her unclearly far away, she was so tired. Arya felt like she walked forever, stumbling here and there. Part of her realised she would fallen over long ago if not for the woman, however then she could have laid down to sleep instead. 


She felt cold and warm from the exercise at the same time. She was still parched even though she had swallowed some water, but that was moving in her tummy and threatened to come back up.


The next thing she knew she felt shockingly cold. She was wet, then warm, and she was seeing black spots. Her head was starting to roll back though something told her it would be a bad idea. Her cheeks turned red in her pale face, though she couldn't see it. Stay awake, all her senses told her even as her eyes slipped close. Maybe it would be better to sleep, but part of her tried to open her eyes, though her lids felt like they were made of heavy rocks. It was all she could do to keep her head from falling, though it felt more like it was slightly rocking back and forth as she fought for consciousness. So tired...





Too many myths
People just assuming things that aren't true
There's too many myths
Coming between me and you
You might have your name up in lights
But you still have to keep your game uptight

- Van Morison



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Ely frowned. This wasn't the usual reaction to a dunking. The girl seemed worse, if anything, and Ely didn't like her colour one little bit.


Ely grabbed A.D.'s shoulders, hauling the youngster forward against her own shoulder and then shifting to wrap her arms around a small waist. In seconds, she had A.D. lifted once more and was continuing down the street towards the Barracks. Not the most comfortable position but it was the quickest way, and luckily Ely's block wasn't much further. She could hear moans against her back from the limp form so at least her charge was still conscious.


First things first, Ely stumbled awkwardly into her own room and let A.D. slide carefully onto the rug that covered the flagstones between the two beds, catching her head with one hand to prevent it banging on the ground. Hurriedly, she stripped the girl of her wet clothes, dried her off with the cloth hanging by the wash stand, and wrapped her in a thick woollen blanket. Getting her up again and into the spare bed required a fair amount of ingenuity and manhandling but eventually it was done. 


Ely found another dry cloth and used it to  briskly rub and chafe feet that felt like ice. Once she was satisfied that the circulation was improving, she pulled the bed coverings over the girl as well, and set about drying her hair. Thankfully, the Barracks were well heated so the girl was in no danger of getting ill from the brief chill, but Ely decided that a hot drink with some restorative herbs would be a good additional safeguard. Some hot water was soon boiled, then Marshwhite leaves were left to steep in it for a few minutes before a little Andilay Root was added and finally some honey to sweeten the taste.


Crossing back to the bed, Ely perched beside A.D., sliding her arm around the girl's shoulders, propping her up slightly.


"A.D., I need you to drink this. It'll help your stomach and clear your head," Ely spoke in a matter of fact manner but with a gentle tone as she held the cup to A.D.'s lips. "Just a little bit, then you can sleep and we'll talk all about whatever is bothering you in the morning."


Relieved, Ely watched as A.D. managed a few swallows and then let her lie down and settle for sleep. She seemed much more pliable now and she would be safe and warm here. Ely would get to the bottom of the story in a few hours. 




Night nurse

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Arya felt like she was sliping in and out of consiousness, trying to cling to it and focus, figuring out what was going on. She felt herself warm up and something warm came into her mouth and she felt heat spread through her body. She managed to catch a voice telling her to sleep and tired of fighting she let the blackness take her.




Arya felt parched, her head was feeling stuffed, not like she was hurt or had a headache just stuffed. She groaned  and tried to turn, but felt encumbered in something, slowly as she woke up she realized she as heavily packed in, and she flinched at the ligth as her eyes opened. She did not recognise where she was, and it worried her, what had happened, she tried to think and slowly things came back to her. She had a drink, more then one, obviously she had managed to get some sleep but this was not her room, not the stables or the infarmary, and not the glen she had sat down in so what had happened. 


She strugled up to sitting position and looked around confused, her eyes landing on a woman, she thougth she migth have seen her in passing before so she was still likely in camp, but she didnt know this one. "Hi.." she looked uncertain at the other, still feeling drowsy and heard her voice was raspy, so she cleared her troath and tried again "hi" she tried a smile after, "..um, where am i?"

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