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Varanim After the most recent kerfluffle, Varanim vanished for a few days, coming back late one evening through the gardens with her staff slung over her shoulders and a slightly furtive air replacing her usual off-key whistling.

Lucent is waiting for her. Hard not to notice, even shrouded in shadows as he was. Passing close to him, it was as if he took the entire place. Somewhat hunched, only the golden eyes appearing amidst the shadows, waving furiously on his sillhouette. "You lied to me."

Varanim jumps a little, then looks an uncomfortable mix of cranky and trying-not-to-sound-guilty. "I did?"

Varanim "I mean, that's possible, but it's actually pretty rare."

Lucent makes a sound almost like a growl, taking one step foward. The symbols of the maidens shine amidst the shadows, although their orbs are not seen. "The Green Lady. With LOVE to Varanim. I asked of her before. With all words. And YOU. LIED. TO. ME."

Varanim winces. "Technically, I think I just evaded, because it wasn't important. It's... possible I underestimated the craziness of the old owner's ex." She sounds much less confident in her snapping than usual.

Lucent "Oh, of course. Even when I mentioned her. Even when you knew Larquen was my friend. Even knowing I would want to see her, have words with her. Knowing EVERYONE I KNEW IS DEAD, you thought I would not want to talk with one of the few people who are not. Yes. VERY. DAMN. CONVINCING!" The Mars orb struck the ground close to her, breaking the perfect cobblestone path.

Varanim For a second Varanim looks taken aback, then the orb shatters the nearby path stone and she jumps to the side to glare at him. "It's not like I have her address," she says, rolling her staff of her shoulders and narrowing her eyes. "And no, I still don't share the fashionable obsession with the past travels of the shard I happen to carry now."

Varanim "It is NOT my job to play caretaker to your obsessions. I have said, repeatedly and clearly, that you should let it go."

Lucent "Oh? So I would stop caring? Stop trying to ask about her? Would you not LOVE that!" He steps out, marching towards her, "With her sending GIFTS to you! With Markuran lost because he did not heed the warnings right! Do you expect me to believe you are THAT STUPID?"

Varanim holds her ground. "I expect you to believe that I have no interest in trying to validate my life by scrambling for correspondences with things that happened to someone else! And if you could accept that, yes, I would love it!" She thumps one end of her staff on the ground for emphasis, cutting off her voice as she finally notices it's rising.

Lucent "Happenned to SOMEONE ELSE? That is clearly happening to you. RIGHT NOW. With LOVE! Did you laugh with her? Did your girlfriend tell you stories of how much a simpleton I was? You have always loved to call me that. Is that why you came here? Is that why you slept with me?!?"

Varanim "My girlfriend?" Varanim rakes a hand through her hair, looking incredulous. "I didn't... look, before this I didn't even know her name. And I've never--" she stops mid-sentence as if remembering something, then starts again. "This conversation is pointless. I don't know what she wants or where to find her."

Lucent "And you just expect me to believe that? After what she did with Quen in front of me? After what she is trying to do with YOU? To be blissfully unaware and just... just..." The Orbs were shaking, as if to express his own anger. Wanting to break something. He stopped only a step from her. "... is that how stupid you think I am?"

Varanim "Yes! At the very least, I expect you to believe that I don't WANT to care, that the last thing in the world that interests me is tracking down the psychotic girlfriend of my shard's days of youthful excess just so that I can ask her to please stop sending me people's SEVERED HEADS!" Varanim steps closer herself, practically shouting.

Lucent "Then SAY IT." Lucent, on the other hand, IS shouting, directly on her face. "SAY you do not love her! SAY you are not manipulating us! SAY it, damn you, without evading, without lying! Say that you want m..." Too, too close. "... just SAY it!"

Varanim "Oh, now you want me to follow your orders like a puppy?" Varanim's eyes narrow. "If you--if you actually need to hear me say that, you haven't been paying a damn bit of attention." She spins away, throwing her hands up. "I can't believe I was stupid enough to fuck you." Then she turns back and grabs his face between her hands, kissing him.

Lucent kisses her in return, tears stinging his eyes, throwing away her staff, the Coronal hitting the ground, closing his awareness to everything that is not her touch and her scent. "Damn you, damn you, you bitch, damn you... I hate you. I hate you."

Varanim "Stop talking," she says between kisses, and pushes him down among the night-blooming flowers.

Varanim ...

Varanim Some while later, Varanim begins fumbling about halfheartedly for her shirt, looking anywhere but at Lucent. "Did anyone believe you that nothing happened after last time?"

Lucent looks up at the Moon, his expression unreadable "No. I think Cerin knows."

Varanim "Well," she says very carefully after a moment, "I think we can agree--if on no other point but this one--that it shouldn't happen again." She sits up to begin dressing, still looking away.

Lucent wraps his arms around her belly, stopping her. "Tomorrow night. My room."

Varanim freezes. "I don't... oh. Really?" She reaches down to touch his arm, very lightly.

Lucent tightens his grip. "Yes." He holds her hand, nuzzling her neck. "Nobody has to know."

Varanim A little tremor goes through Varanim's shoulders, that might have been a shiver or a silent laugh, and then her grip tightens on his hand for a moment before releasing. "I'll be there."

Lucent does not let go of her fingers. "Varanim...?" His voice almost -- almost breaks down.

Varanim "I promise," she says, her own voice shaking, then lifts his hand up to kiss his palm before pulling away.

Lucent feels her going with pain on his face, looking away and up at the Moon, whatever he was going to say instead lost to his lips. "I will be waiting."

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