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Cole ([personal profile] killedwithlove) wrote2015-02-19 10:27 am

I can rewrite this if you'd sooner something else.

Returning from the strange place back to Skyhold had been a bit of a shock, but far less of one than the original trip the other way around.

What was more surprising to Cole was feeling an unfamiliar ripple and distress in the castle. He quickly made his way after it, blanking himself from people's notice to head deep into the Undercroft, past the smithy, into the very bowels of the mountain and keep itself.

Because it was unfamiliar to this place, but he was sure that he knew that distress.

Elizabeth.
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-01 08:42 am (UTC)(link)
By now one would think that she would be accustomed to waking up in worlds not her own. This might be the third time she has done so, but it is no less jarring or frightening. Elizabeth is all too alone in what appears to be the deepest, rankest part of a very old keep. Which is not at all reassuring. It smells of death and decay down here, and more to the point: it is damp, it is dark, and she can hear the distant rush of water. All of her worst fears rolled into one, supremely horrible package. She has been about to gain her feet, to take in a deep breath of air in order to scream—however great a risk that might be.

But just like once before, she suddenly finds herself not so alone. When Cole appears before her, she startles only because at the moment she is rattled completely. She takes in a sharp inhale of air and tenses up—and then rushes forward, needing to hold onto someone familiar, to ease the anxiety settling deep in her chest and the pit of her stomach. Close to him as she is now, she shudders, and grips more tightly to him.

"Are you really here, or is this a dream?" Leaning back, her eyes, wide and wild try to meet his own. "I.. I cannot be here. The walls are closing in on me."

He will feel it, the deep-rooted fear that she will be crushed by the dark walls surrounding her, or else remain underground for so long that she would never see light again. The sooner they might be quit of this part of whichever keep this is, the better.
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-02 03:36 pm (UTC)(link)
As his arms come around her, a realization suddenly smacks into her as though a tonne of stone has just tumbled upon her: "You remember me!" Her tone is one of surprise, the words nearly sobbed out as emotion overwhelms her. Elizabeth feels all tension flow clean out of her, and her frame bows forward while she clutches at him as though he may vanish at any moment. Like everyone else in her life. He is here, she is not alone, and that in the very least is a good thing. No more being mired in a new world in which she knows none.

Or in which those she has known repeatedly cannot remember her. The likelihood is high in the extreme that she will never again see her family, or the man she has loved and already begun to mourn. But she can deal with that, and heal so long as she can make friends here, and build a life for herself. And blessedly, it is he who perhaps knows her the best of all the friends she has made who is able to remember her. She leans back enough to look up at him and nods her head, as though in a daze. The sooner they can get out of here, the better.

"I have not seen the sun in longer than I care to remember. Please take me to this courtyard. I think there is.. much I must see and learn."

Where she will be able to breathe again. But before that, while they are still holding each other like this, she releases a deep sigh, and smiles at him.

"Thank you for not forgetting about me."
skjalf: (♕ The careful gown is mended)

[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-04 09:46 am (UTC)(link)
Too long as she seen those she has grown to care for come and go, only to return to her again with no recollection of ever having laid eyes upon her. It is a joy indeed that he has not forgotten.

"Yes." Elizabeth is merely gladdened to have had the ability to keep her word. She leans back a little, enough to watch him with a look of quiet gratitude while he smooths her hair back into neatness. As before, he seems to know her so very well without her having to say a word. It might have unnerved her in the first, but now she appreciates it very much.

As much as she does the fact that he leads her up to a part of the keep where she might see the light of the sun, and hear the rush of water. Her eyes grow wide, and she finds the need to shade them with her free hand. After so much time in darkness, the light is so very much brighter than she can recall. Without even thinking, she turns toward him, now with a smile upon her face. It is beautiful, and seems to warm her spirit. The absence of her loved ones will ever mark her. But she already has one friend here. Surely she can make more.

"I promised you that I would never, and I always did intend to keep my word." Her gaze grows gentle. "And I am glad that you did not. Many have, against their will."
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-05 04:45 am (UTC)(link)
The smell of smoke, liquid metal and ozone permeate the air, and she wrinkles her nose with a little laugh in response to his smile. Her mood has taken a drastic turn for the better now that she has been removed from the darkness of the bowels of this strange keep. Where they are, she knows not; his home, she might suppose. Which in the grand scheme of things makes her feel more at ease than she might otherwise.

He is familiar with this place and is aware that she is not. Thus, she can presume that he will give her a tour and enlighten her as they go. What Cullen and Nadia told her of this world is troubling, along with what she has heard from Cole. Maybe she can take up diplomacy in time in her own right, and set about improving things in this world. One day at a time.

"It is," she agrees readily, and reaches for one of his hands. Nice is such a simple word but is loaded with such meaning and feeling. Elizabeth understands, as he might realize. And she perks up at the mention of sweets, her eyes brightening. Just like any teenager, she has a sweet toth and a bottomless pit of a stomach to match.

"I would like that very much! I feel as though I have not eaten in aeons."
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I apologize for the lateness of this! I injured my hand and am in the process of recovering.

[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-12 05:56 am (UTC)(link)
The size and scale of this fortress is familiar to Elizabeth, reminding her of the older castles in her own country. Westminster Palace is a bit less stony, perhaps, but this place has an old-time charm which she finds that she likes, as she looks around. Her eyes are everywhere, examining all of her surroundings while she attempts to soak it all in. The pattern on the stained-glass windows is a familiar motif, one she has seen upon the armour of the Inquisitor she knew back in Teleios. It must, then, be the symbol of this institution. The cut and style of the clothing on the ladies and gentlemen around then varies dramatically, pointing out the fact that people of all sorts have come together in this cause. And of course, she cannot help but note the odd-looking throne set upon the dais. She wonders idly what it must be like, to shoulder the fate of all nations, and not simply one.

Elizabeth takes care to smile warmly and nod toward any who meet her eyes, and is pleased to receive a few in return. Her hand squeezes Cole's gently, letting him know that she is all right, and not nearly as overwhelmed now that she has a chance to see this place. To be out of the dark and be free to think has been good. Because she is at a small advantage here, she can recognize now, because she is not alone. One of this Inquisitor's allies in her friend. All in all, the situation could be much worse.

When they reach the portal of entry to the kitchen, she pauses, and awaits his return. He knows his way around while she does not, and he is clearly set to pilfer these pastries from the kitchens. far be it from her to give away their presence here. She gives him a smile as he returns, her eyes dancing with soft merriment.

"Might we eat these outside?" She has not seen the sun in a very long time. It had felt warm, even down in the undercroft. If the weather is nice, then they should take advantage of it. And she suspects they have a lot to talk about.
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-14 10:10 am (UTC)(link)
Naturally, Elizabeth takes a double take at the strange creatures housed in the stable. Her eyes grow wide, and she glances at him quickly before looking back at them in wonder. These are.. mounts? How strange! This world is so very like her own, and yet not in so many ways. But her attention turns from them to the people they pass on their way, and she smiles and nods at them all, including the stablehands and the bearded man. The latter seems a tad lonely, with a sad, distant look in his eyes. Perhaps she should speak with him later.

For the rest of the afternoon, though, she is more than content to spend time with Cole. Who has struck her as lonely, too. When he takes a seat, she does not hesitate to gracefully fold herself in the straw at his side, skirts pooled about her.

She smiles over at him, and places a gentle hand upon his arm. Being tactile now, she draws comfort from simple touches like this, and wonders if he might, too.

"And what do you say? Are they as delicious as they smell?" She allows him time to respond, and then gentles her expression completely. "My younger siblings ever loved sweets. Especially Mary. She and I were merely a year apart, and we pilfered many tarts such as these from the kitchens as children. And then cast the blame upon our sister Cecily if we were caught. Though Father always kept our mother from punishing us. I believe he found it amusing." Even if Cecily had not, though to their credit, the girls hadn't been caught often. The memory draws a soft smile to her face, and she sighs.

"It nearly feels as though they are here with us when I speak of them."
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-14 10:41 am (UTC)(link)
Well, that is certainly generous of him toward the other occupants of this castle, but Elizabeth is much like him in this regard, and thus nudges him gently with a knee. "That is sweet of you, Cole. But please, try a piece of one of mine, then. You might be surprised!" Her enthusiasm comes from a place of common ground between them: the thrill of discovering new things. Something she understands only too well, and thinks he deserves to enjoy. It's one of the best parts of living.

If he does not want them, then that is an entirely other matter. Elizabeth simply will not deny him something she personally finds to be enjoyable if she can help it. And in this case, she can.

"Is that what she is called? I have never seen anything like her before." And very likely won't see anywhere else but here. Though she is no less dainty with her food, Elizabeth is not shy about the fact that she bears a strong appetite today. Breaking off a piece of her own pastry, she consumes it quickly, and grins once she's had a taste. "It is rather good."

Sharing memories with him is easy, because of his empathic nature. With him, she is wholly unguarded. He knows her so well anyway, as he goes on to prove. She nods quietly, her look a wistful one.

"And he did until his last day upon Earth. My siblings and I could not have asked for a better father, nor my country for a better King." As a husband, he'd failed at remaining faithful. But that is neither here nor there when his emotional bond with her mother had trumped all else, save for the one she shared with him. "Three years. She always had a devil of a time, because she was a precocious child as it was."
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-03-20 09:45 am (UTC)(link)
"And what is a nug?" she asks in a softened tone, shifting away from him to the side ever-so-slightly so as to give him some space. From the manner in which he has squirmed at her touch, she can only assume that he needs some at this moment. Though she still remains close, and bites further into her pastry with a soft hum of delight. The fruit, honey and dough have combined to create such a lovely taste as she has not known since before her departure from England. It makes her a little homesick, but also happy, to find such familiarity here in an otherwise foreign landscape.

"I find some horses can behave much the same. I have loved horses and dogs since I was a little girl." And she will gladly offer some of her pastry to the nug as well, because she seems to be a sweet thing. Innocent. Animals are ever earnest, and neither judge nor hate others. Traits which Elizabeth has always admired in them.

As Cole's compassion has always drawn admiration from her. Dimples form in her cheeks, and she smiles quietly. "Sometimes friends share things with each other. You may not need to eat, but you can still enjoy the taste of this tart, I imagine. I would share that joy with you, because your happiness is of import to me. As mine is to you, and I will always be grateful for that."

Truly, he is of a sweet and generous nature. Elizabeth does not wish to alter that in him, but rather to reciprocate and mirror it, so that he may know some kindness in turn. "I will eat, I promise you."

There is no danger of that! Her appetite is a healthy one. And she is assuming that she will be able to eat at the evening meal, whenever it shall be held. In the meantime, she is curious as to what he is referring to. Or rather: whom.

"Whom were you originally speaking of, if I might ask?" Her features soften completely, and she smiles gently. "He and my mother were fortunate in one-another. They were each the safe harbour of the other. No matter how terrible the world might become, they always had one-another to turn to, and could trust implicitly that they could count on each-other. A deeper love than is told of them in the faerie tales."
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-04-04 10:00 am (UTC)(link)
With no shortage of fascination, Elizabeth observes the nuggalope consume every last crumb of the tart from Cole's hand. She smiles, as she turns her glance back to him in time to see him try it for himself.

"Really?" Her lips twitch, an out-and-out grin threatening to brighten her smile further. "For me, I taste it everywhere in my mouth. I bear a great fondness for sweets for that reason."

It is apparent that what she'd said has been forgotten, and she allows the topic to slide. She should remember that he already knows her far better than most. Leaning her head back against the smooth timber of the barn's wall, she hums thoughtfully to herself.

"Have you ever tried aught else before, perchance?"
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-06-01 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
Truthfully, this is a fascinating experience. Rather like watching her little sisters and brothers try new foods for the first time. Only Cole is an adult by comparison to them, and can better articulate things as he feels them. Watching him makes a smile come to her face and remain firmly planted there.

"It is light and sweet, yes? Flaky, but the fruit is also rich and sweet, in its own fashion." Elizabeth takes another bite of hers, and continues to smile. "I am gladdened by it."

He has eaten dog? She coughs once, but makes no attempt to comment to that. Instead, she takes yet another bite of her tart, and settles back into the wall of the barn until she is finished. Only then does she speak up.

"This land is like my own, yet not. Is it difficult to find one's place in it?"
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-06-02 10:35 am (UTC)(link)
That statement causes her to look at him sharply, with sudden understanding. That, she gets. Totally and completely. The months in Sanctuary within the abbey walls, cold and dark and penniless. They had all been destitute. She'd had to learn to cook while Anne Neville, the daughter of a lesser man never did.

"You are right. I have seen that, myself." She offers this freely, and reaches over to tentatively squeeze his arm. "I am glad that your circumstances have become better."

Quietly, she watches him, content to do so until he speaks to her again. She extends her free arm, gesturing as though to encompass the entire fortress and courtyard before them.

"In England, I was a princess. Then a bastard, and then I was taken from there. I have known clearly what my role and place was in both worlds I went to before this one. Yet here... I lack purpose. Everything is foreign to me. I have no family, and it frightens me. What am I to do here?"

Unless the Inquisition needs someone who can literally make it rain (and she's not even sure what an Inquisition is in this world), then she feels as though she is not of much use. To him, she might admit her fear. She trusts him.
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-06-03 06:37 am (UTC)(link)
"Perhaps not, but it is a new experience. Each food is different, and worth at least one taste, do you not think?" She understands what he is; she's seen it, how he can become unseen with a mere thought. To her, he is as a child, in a way; new to the world, experiencing everything for the first time.

And she would encourage him to try everything he could, were he to ask her. For now, she smiles at him with a sense of fondness. She feels very much the older sister in his company.

There are many things she can do here. By and large, she is most suited to politics. The thought of learning how to navigate among the nobility of this kingdom, learning who is who, is a little daunting. In time, she will see it as a challenge. For now? She is simply a girl out of place.

"I was to be a Queen," she admits quietly. "I was taught music and dancing so as to be pleasing to a foreign king and be wed to him. I would bear him sons, and that.." That would be it. Her eyebrows draw together in consternation. "But like you, I am more, now."

She can tell he's done some growing. His unending curiosity makes her feel lighter, amidst so much uncertainty. "I rather enjoy your company, you know."
Edited (html fail :|) 2015-06-03 06:37 (UTC)
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[personal profile] skjalf 2015-06-23 12:32 pm (UTC)(link)
She cannot help it: Elizabeth releases a soft giggle, and then shakes her head with a sheepish smile. This Josephine is a woman she must meet, surely.

"Any Queen who dares to go further is called the Bad Queen. My mother committed the unforgivable offenses of being common and deigning to offer counsel to her husband—which he often heeded. And she was hated by many or it."

Leaning back, she tips her face up to peek at the rays of the sun shining over one of the castle's turrets. "My father would agree with Josephine. He made the final decisions, of course, but many helped him make them. From his privy counsel, like those whom surely advise your Inquisitor to Parliament, which helped draft and implement laws."

Glancing at him again, she smiles. "And you have many here to help, yes? In your own way." As she has her own.