Varanim goes to find Zahara in the middle of the night, hands and face washed though her clothes still carry the smell of smoke.
zahara is resting, but uneasily. Her dreams have been better since Cerin had walked into them and changed their paths, but still they are not sweet.
Varanim contemplates the door for a moment, scowling a bit, then shrugs and knocks as politely as usual.
zahara jerks into wakefulness, her hand going instantly to the dagger under her pillow. She blinks and takes a breath. "Who is it?"
Varanim "An irritant. Come on, this would be an awkward conversation to have shouted through the door."
zahara raises a brow, then slips out of bed, pulls her hair back into a ponytail, and dons a robe before opening the door. "Come in, then," She gestures toward a "small" seating area.
Varanim "Oh, right, sleep," says Varanim on noting Zahara's appearance, as if she'd forgotten she might be interrupting something. She sprawls on a priceless couch and contemplates the Empress for a moment with a little frown.
Varanim "I didn't expect to be missed," she says abruptly.
zahara quirks a smile at the sleep comment, but merely seats herself in a comfortable chair, crossing her legs. "Why not?" she asks quietly. "I thought you knew I considered you a friend."
Varanim Varanim's frown deepens. "I'm not really in the habit of having those. I'm still not sure it's a good idea, but I guess I've decided to risk it." Then she grimaces a bit. "But I guess we are, because there's something I need to say that I find I can't say to any of the others."
zahara toys with her rings and says slowly, "I used to have many friends. Recently I find it to be a daunting proposition to make friends, knowing what might happen. Sometimes risk pays off, though..." She waits for Varanim to continue
Varanim "For a while now," she says slowly, "I've been holding back from certain avenues in my work. Whatever Lucent thinks, I'm acutely aware of the dangers of necromancy."
zahara nods slowly, "I know you are."
Varanim Still scowling at the ceiling a bit, she says, "It's never been important what happens to me in the end. But there's always been a risk that I'd become a problem--plenty of doctors catch the disease they're trying to cure."
zahara "I'm sure Lucent telling you how exactly that would happen, did not help matters."
Varanim "Oh," Varanim says with a brittle smirk, "exploring the hilarity of those predictions would take more time than I have right now. The point is, all that changed recently. I'm free to finish my research, because I can trust you."
zahara "Exactly...what changed while you were gone?"
Varanim waves her hand. "I'll explain that later--to everyone, and soon. Don't worry, no evasion on this one, I just hate repeating myself. What I wanted to say is... if I become an unfixable problem, in the months or years ahead, I trust you to kill me."
zahara nods slowly, accepting the delay, then looks up to meet her eyes. "If it comes to that, I will do this for you." She tilts her head to one side and smiles a little, "But I'd much rather if you'd come to me somewhere along the way to unfixable, and let me...work with you on fixing it first."
Varanim meets Zahara's eyes for a long moment, then nods. "I will." Then she smiles, briefly and brilliantly. "Wish me luck. I'm going to talk to Lucent in a bit."
zahara grins. "Good Luck... my friend."
Varanim winces a bit. "All right, I'm leaving before we start swapping bracelets or something. Get your boy in here to wear you out a bit--you need to sleep sounder." She pauses halfway out the door to lean back in, says, "Thank you," and goes.