I don't know if you've done it already, but Raspberry for the flower prompts?
Nope! Everyone ensnaring me with those cute fluffy prompts but not this one. ;0; Thanks!
The Grey Warden appeared in their village mid-raspberry season.
He rode into town on a horse fine and strong enough to be of any Orlesian lord’s pride, but he dismounted when he came to Elda’s door and with both feet flat on the ground was no taller than Erich when he was a gangly teenager of fifteen. For a moment, as though looking at the stranger through kaleidoscope lens, she thought it really was her brother coming home.
But he cast back the hood of his blue, shimmering cape and his hair was dark as ebony, not Erich’s carrot-red. Eyes too dark, too, and ears not long enough, everything wrong. Elda didn’t know him. Uneasily she set aside the basket filled with raspberries, wiped her juice-stained hands on her skirt, and took a few wary steps towards him. “Can I…” Anise glanced at the Grey Warden’s breastplate and her voice faltered. The last time she had seen that griffon, her brother had abandoned them for an adventurous life. “…help you?”
The stranger nodded. “Are you Erich’s family?” he asked, voice raspy and gravelly from lack of use. His eyes bore into her, though his face was tight in an almost-grimace. He didn’t want to be here.
And Elda didn’t want to answer. Very suddenly she knew exactly what he was here to say, and she didn’t want to hear it.
“What happened to him?” Her voice was shaking.
Mutely, the Warden turned and pulled an earthen urn loose from– from five or six more of the same, attached to the horse’s saddle. He held onto it for a moment as though checking to make sure it was the right one before he held it out to her.
“Erich wanted to go home,” the elf said. “That was his last wish.”
“So you brought his ashes back?” Elda said. She laughed, the only thing she could do as the beginning of panic and pain corroded her from the inside out. “So you brought his fucking ashes back to me, you fucking animal! My brother–”
Elda swung her hand at the urn, knocking it out of his hands and sent it crashing into the ground where it burst open like a chicken egg against stone. Fine gray ashes spilled out, only to immediately be snatched up by the winds and blown back to their faces.
It choked her nostrils and her mouth, and Elda spat on the ground by the Warden’s foot. “You shouldn’t’ve ever come here,” she snarled. “You shouldn’t’ve ever been here. Erich should’ve never heard your toxic, filthy lies. Go ply your fancy dreams of glory somewhere else, and I hope the flames of hell turn you into ashes like your glory’s turned my brother into. LEAVE!”
She snatched up the closest thing to her and hurled it at him. The overripe bundle of raspberries splashed open when it hit his temple, painting a nauseating reddish-orange into his dark hair. He bared his teeth at her for a split second, and in that split second gave Elda a pause out of fear, but he only looked away, inclined his head as though in a bow, then stiffly mounted his horse and was gone.
Left her alone in the yard with her brother’s ashes stolen by the winds. Erich would have turned twenty-one this year.
“Is that juice or blood?” Warden Octavia asked when Mordred returned to the woods’ tree line outside the village, drawing close enough that she could see the red on his face. She did not hurry to his side either way; knowing him, any wound there would have already closed long ago.
“Juice,” Mordred growled. He wiped violently at it and steered past her, back towards the main road. “C'mon. We have three more t'go.”
Octavia examined the caped but still small back for a moment, working her jaw, then turned her horse to follow him. Stated the obvious, because this was the only way she knew to express concern, “Your personally delivering the ashes will make no differences to the fact that they are dead. Unnecessary all the while, as well. Grey Wardens cut their ties with the world the moment they undertake the oath–”
“I know,” Mordred said curtly. He yanked the hood back over his head and pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes. Willed the guilt away, banished memories of a burning fortress full of screaming Grey Wardens from his mind. Best as he could.
can you please do steggy + drunk and accidentally revealing to everyone about their secret marriage? :-)
Peggy prided herself on being able to handle her liquor.
When she was growing up, she had doubled, sometimes tripled, the money she earned from her Saturday job by betting her brother and his friends that they couldn’t outdrink her (Michael learned quickly not to take her up on her challenges, but his friends were slower on the uptake). With proud defiance she would admit she had also used that tactic when she first joined the SOE; punching wasn’t always an option when it came to male officers who weren’t convinced that women would make suitable field agents, but drinking them under the table usually left an impression they wouldn’t forget.
And anyone who had met the Howling Commandos knew exactly what kind of praise it was when they were told that Peggy had spent years working with them in Europe and had only once been out-drunk by Dum Dum Dugan - and that, she liked to point out, was on a home brew the ingredients of which were still a mystery to her. Perhaps the only person she could never outdrink was Steve, and he was a genetically enhanced super soldier who couldn’t actually get drunk, so it was hardly a fair contest.
So all in all, Peggy was hardly a lightweight. But as the room starting spinning around her, the edges of her vision blurring like the world was shifting through a kaleidoscope lens, she couldn’t help thinking probably should have taken Steve a little more seriously when he warned her about drinking with Natasha Romanoff.