Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Tales of Jaycynda Ashleana and her associates.

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Jaycy Ashleana
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Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:17 pm

(( July 8, early morning ))

Eyelids fluttered and she drew a deep, shuddering breath, back arcing as her midsection lifted from the softness beneath her. Slowly the seizure faded and her form relaxed once more. Fingertips spread wide upon the fabric, tapping lightly to assess the depth and breadth of her resting place. A pillow, perfectly formed to her head, kept alignment in her spine and protected her posture.

Green-gold eyes flitted around, peering at the place around her without actual motion. Bookshelves lifted to the ceiling on either side of her unbroken and she could assume they fell to the floor as well. The third side, directly in “front” of her, contained tomes as well but also a space in the middle, a door - currently closed - to another place.

Her hand finally moved obviously, drifting from the silken spread to her own body. Flesh crept onto flesh as she discovered a distinct lack of clothing; her body was as nude as the day of her creation. (For creation it was, this clone of a once-Jaycy commissioned when her life became too heavy and lost.)

The silver-streaked redhead breathed in, slower this time, taking in the scents that surrounded her. Old books, and dust, and coolness. And something else. It held a familiarity that she couldn’t quite place; her brows furrowed as she struggled with the strangeness. She sat up, slowly pulling herself up at the waist and allowing her hair to fall down her back. Legs bent at the knee and then she twisted, to move and touch feet to the floor. Hands came to her lap and she confirmed that books ruled the room, covered every space inch of wall.

“Whe…” She coughed, bringing a hand up to her throat. “Where…” she croaked, “… am I?”

He stepped through the darkness, once more. There was a peace to this darkness. There was no screaming, no begging, no urge to destroy... or be born. No, this darkness was a calm one.

He had moved from the conversation with much on his mind. While he had long ago severed her tie to him, he could still feel the desire to hold her. And yet, this new stone was not the same. It was much like himself and his own changes. He no longer desired to be who he once was. He was still him, but different. He needed one, not many. A single treasure as rare and as pure as a newborn's laugh, bringing joy to the one who it was meant for. Perhaps it was he who had changed and not the stone.

His steps carried him through the darkness until they stopped of their own accord. He had no destination in mind, yet here he found himself in front of a door that stood on it's own.

He moved to the door and reached out. It moved on its own and opened. It would seem doors here knew what to do. He stood there, just beyond the threshold, as he looked within.

The door swung inward silently, producing no whisper to indicate motion from the wooden slab. It was a slow, graceful moment, and it took several seconds for the opening to complete. Her head turned in time with the door, edging in the direction that would allow her to see what lay beyond it. Her feet hung limply over the edge of the bed, legs too short to reach the bottom without moving closer to the edge.

Jaycy blinked once, twice, and then murmured a tentative “he… hello.” The frame of a man hung in the door, surrounded by a light that inhibited immediate recognition. Her hesitation in the greeting might have come the forced silhouette, or mayhaps from the creak in her voice, or from any other myriad factors.

Another attempt came, this time surer as she practiced. “Water … please.” Unseen, behind her, a simple end table sharpened into focus. On the top was a plain, see-through glass full of the requested drink.
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Jaycy Ashleana
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Re: Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:18 pm

Almost beckoned by the voice of the one who was within, he stepped through the door.

A stillness permeated the room. It wasn't like the room was holding its breath. No, it was more like peace had finally found a place it had long since been denied. Or perhaps the one that was within...

As he crossed the threshold, she spoke again. "Water ... please." He watched as the room responded to her request, but she didn't seem to see it. So, he lifted a hand and lifted the glass from that table, floating it gently towards her. He thought about stepping forward and bringing it to her, but he was loath to disturb her peace more than he already had.

To her, the air thickened once he passed into this place, this timeless space she found herself in. It wasn’t an oppressive feeling but rather a momentous one. Movements were slow, subtle and subdued in the elevated figurative viscosity around her as her attention’s direction reversed to find that glass nearing. First her gaze drifted from whence it came and then her body followed, head swiveling. The door behind the man followed suit, slowly swinging closed with just enough clearance to avoid colliding with him.

A hand raised and fingers curled around the glass before she brought it in for a sip. One, then another, and then it resettled, this time on her lap. Swallowing, she turned to the being with her. “Where am I?” she asked again. Her voice was soft, if a bit ragged, and held no condemnation or anger or much of any emotion at all. “Come… please.” Her other hand, unburdened by the glass, patted the bed next to her to clarify the invitation.

He didn't move for the longest time. A figure, carved from a granite mountain had more movement than he did, until he did move. His steps were placed as if each one was chosen, after long thought, where they were be placed. But there was no sound as he moved. He was a ghost to this place, or as near could be tell by sound alone.

He didn't bother to look around. His eyes were on her only. Those purple hues weighting the options before him, already taking long paths to see where they would lead with each word he would utter. There, he could at least avoid doing more damage than he already had done, if he walked these mental paths.

The inviting hand had moved back to her lap soon after it touched the bed, fingers curving around the glass in support of what was already there. She didn’t stare as she watched, blinking occasionally to keep her eyes from drying, but her head canted so-slightly as she observed his movements and methods.

As he finally reached the bed upon which she claimed as her throne, he stopped just before it, and looked finally from her to where she indicated, and again, weights shifted in his eyes as he measured each action against others. Finally, he turned and settled next to her, his gaze once more coming to look to hers.

"Here is a place of peace and rest. A place of ending and beginning." Here, he paused, thinking of the Primordial, but this was not there, and he didn't continue with the description further. For to do so would shatter the peace. "This is a place you have created to feel safe." A small smile grew as he looked around. "This is a room within the Library."

It was only after he sat next to her did she respond. Mere inches was the space between them and she neither sought to increase or decrease the distance. Licking her lips, green-gold eyes met purple as she weighed her next words. There were so many things to ask, so much she still didn’t quite understand.

Finally, she settled on her next query. “If I …” Jaycy started, then cleared her throat and imbibed another sip of water, “… if I am safe here, and you are here with me … why are you afraid of me?”
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Re: Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:20 pm

He didn't bother to look at her. Rather, his gaze found his hands which were folded together. He leaned forward and bit and his elbows rested there on his knees as he pondered a moment.

"I'm not afraid of you. I'm afraid of the damage that I've have, can, and will cause. You do not deserve that, and so I seek to find a way to save you from it."

“You’re afraid of yourself,” she amended, gently. “And you are afraid of me. You’re punishing yourself for things that haven’t happened yet, and you’re afraid that I could change you, and that you’d find you’ve been punishing yourself because it’s the easiest thing for you to do and because it saves you from being hurt from something.” A pause, then she resumed her monologue. “If you’re here, I must feel safe with you, no matter what’s happened. If you’re here, it must be because I feel I deserve you and don't need or want saving from you.”

She cast him a soft smile, extending her still-full glass of water in silent invitation. “What did we do?” In that question, there was no judgement, only compassion. There was no assumption that he was the cause of any wrongdoing alone. Also, the question gave an answer of her own … she didn’t yet know who he was in this place.

He nodded as she spoke. "Yes, I am afraid of myself. Of what I was, of what I could be. I have done much in my past to cause this fear, and if I continue down the road upon which I have been, then there is worse to come."

He pauses a moment, and looked up, and beyond the books, beyond the room, beyond this darkness. "We gave up." It was as simple as that, at least for him.

Jaycy lowered the offering arm, once more setting the glass of water on her lap. Fingers curved around the vessel once more. “What can we do?” came the next question.

He smiled as he looked towards her. "That is your decision."

She didn’t mirror his smile but the air around them remained warm, comfortable. Rather, her brows furrowed and she tilted her head once more. “In what way?”

"We are here where you are safe. This is your place. It is from here that you decide what we can do." Another pause, then he looked away and back to the door. "But there are some things that I cannot change. I cannot change the past, and I cannot change decisions that have been made. The only thing that can be changed is the path which goes forward."

“It would seem that whatever choice to be made should or even must be made with you, as you are here too. You even said we,” she replied with a creeping small smile. The words weren’t exactly chiding but rather warned him that he would have to take some agency in the any changes toward the future.

“The past is gone and of no matter to me. I suspect, in fact, the past has weighed you more than it ever did me.” A pause of her own.

“What path do you want to tread?”

“The path I wish to walk leads down death and destruction of worlds.”

“And this is a change?” Her brows lifted.

“It would be for you.”

The surprised expression eased, her face relaxing into that serene, stoic posture she’d maintained through most of the conversation. “I don’t think any version of me would want death and destruction,” she denied, giving a little shake of her head.

Little did she know.
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Re: Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:21 pm

“And I do not want it for you either, not by my hand. Which is why I have walked away from the path upon which I was on.”

“Then it is not the path you wish to be on.” Taking another small sip of the water, her hanging legs crossed at the ankles. “If it were, we wouldn’t be talking about it in this way.” The redhead sighed, softly. “I am at a loss, feeling I have only half the information and no direction to guide us.”

“What information do you want? Regarding me and my path? You are married, and have a family. I cannot be part of any means by which you are broken from them. I do not have any path anymore. I’m following a trail that is unmarked and could barely be considered even that.”

“Ah.” That single word conveyed at least some understanding of the deeper forces between them. “I am sorry, I... don’t remember who you and I are, to each other. I must love you very much, though,” she murmured, sighing once more.

“You said before that it was my decision. What do you feel my choices are?”

“Here? You have any number of choices. But I’m not sure what you choices you see before you. What I see is now what you see.”

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “As you said, I have a family. That much I know.”

The hand left the glass again and extended toward his hand, to touch, to grasp, but inches from contact she withdrew, slowly, fingers falling limp as she pulled away.

“I wish I could remember... who you are, why we are here.” The merest whisper of frustration seeped into her voice. “It’s hard to see choices when I can’t ponder consequences.”

“I can open the door, but what’s beyond that I cannot say. It could let you see what is, was, and perhaps will be.”

“Mayhaps we should try.”

He finally broke the line which he had drawn, and reached out to grab her hand. As he did so, the door to her peaceful world opened.

The door opened, and so did she. Contact, that connection, brought a gasp as her eyes flew wide. “Tass!”

She remembered. She recalled everything, from who he was, who they were, and what had happened that night. Her hand contracted around his, gripping tight.

“Yes. Now, where do you wish to go from here?”

It took her several moments before she could respond, jolted by the memories that were surfacing. The very air thinned, electrified and potent. That wave, though, passed and a returned heaviness filled the space between them as she tried to withdraw from his touch.

“I love you,” she began, simply. It was her turn to look away. She’d found the truth of this place; this was no safe haven. It was a prison... she’d ... this part of her had been locked away from the events of the night. She may not know yet what had happened since that night, but she remembered his sacrifice of love, and how it’d felt like parts of her were ripped away while “she” remained, and knew it was a consequence of their mutual actions. Even now she couldn’t feel a connection to the physical realm to return this bit of her.

“Can you return to the physical world?”
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Jaycy Ashleana
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Re: Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:22 pm

He didn’t let her go. He couldn’t, or more likely, he wouldn’t.

He didn’t turn his attention from the door, however, but he did respond. “I love you too.” It might have been said before, but here, it was truth and unfiltered.

“Yes, but I’m not sure it would be wise for me to go.”

“Go, and forget about me. For good, and completely.” All this time, since they’d both returned to Rhydin, she’d fought to remind him of his love, his humanity (so to speak), and temper his destructive and self-destructive leanings. No more. “Magick yourself if you have to.”

Again she tugged at her hand, to try and move it from his.

“With what is going on in the real world, I think it better if you go, love. You are the one who is needed there.”

“You asked my choice. I’ve made it,” she answered, sharply.

He stood then, and released her from his grasp. He looked to her a moment, then nodded. “As you wish. But know that I do not return to the world. And your body is destroying that which you have chosen to leave behind.”

“Then you’re not honoring my choice. I said for you to return. You said you wanted to change. There is no way for us to change together, given what you’ve just said.”

“I love you,” she repeated, “... and I want you to be happy. You’ll never be happy as long as you know me.”

Perhaps if she stared at the floor, he wouldn’t see the tears.

“No.. your choice is for you. Not for me. I love you as well, and I will always know you. There is nothing you can do to change that. I am who I am, and what I am.” He spoke those words once before, and he spoke them again.

“I love you, Jaycy. It’s that simple. But you hiding here does not change anything other than the lives you do care about and refuse to return to.”

“Why did you come here?”

“I was walking the darkness when the door appeared.... your door. I can only guess you called me.”

"I was sleeping," but that wasn't exactly a denial. "I woke and found myself here moments before you opened the door." She turned her face to him, finally, facing him with water-streaked cheeks. A long. shuddering breath escaped as she peered up to him, and then she turned away as if scorched.

"You sacrificed your love for ShadoWeaver; I'm sacrificing mine so you don't have to keep making your choice every day."

The room contracted; the door drew closer to the edge of the bed, the ceiling seemed not so high, the shelves seemed shorter, tighter.

He didn’t seem bothered by the room shrinking. In fact, he seemed to grow with it.

“Tell me, then. What, besides you, do I have to love? You have a family, kids. Yet you selfishly give yourself up. You sacrifice them. Not your love. I have nothing. No kids, no family. Nothing. Everyone I’ve loved has left me. The common factor in each of them is... me.”

"I never left," came the quick response. However, then, she fell into silence for several beats before speaking again, starting over. "Who do you have? Collie, and Maggie, and everyone who calls you grandpa. Everyone at the library, all those who look to you and love you and you can love in return. We are your family, Tass. You are my family. Why do you still think yourself less than the rest of my family? Why do you deny all of us, everyone who loves you, the right to be your family? You make yourself the common factor."

She finally pushed up from that bed and padded toward him, tears sliding anew as she sought his purple eyes. "You're calling me selfish, yet you're intentionally ignoring that you mean as much to me as anyone else, that I recognize you have as much right to be happy as anyone else. You say you have nothing. You have me. Even if it's not in all the ways you want, you. have. me." Each last word was punctuated, paused, highlighted. It was better not to remind him, she thought, that he chose not to have her in all the ways she'd offered.

"You talk about selfish. You sacrificed your love for an Opal. You sacrificed it for the ultimate selfishness.... so you didn't have to keep hurting for wanting me and denying yourself. So you didn't have to make excuses to keep from having to trust me to not leave you. Y’know how I know? When I offered myself to you, you said no but you still gave me something... your willingness to be open completely with me. We were lovers without the physical... partners. I was content with that, even happy. You, though, when you heard that we had to sacrifice something to return the Opals, the first, or mayhap the only thing, you could think of was your love, or yourself completely."

"You have everything, Tass. You just have to take it. You want to change? You want to find a new path? That's how you do it." Unspoken was the belief that the only way he could do that, or would do that, was if she wasn't there to complicate things.

"You are right." His voice was flat, even, but there was no anger to it, only acceptance. "I am selfish."
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Jaycy Ashleana
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Re: Sleeping Beauty and the Broken Old Man (ShadoWeaver)

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:04 pm

Her hand balled into a fist but not from anger; rather, to prevent herself from reaching out and touching his cheek. His simple words took the figurative wind out of her sails and she wasn't sure where to go next. Shaking her head, she finally looked down to the floor, breaking the intimacy of the eye contact.

He didn't have any fight left in him, it seemed, so he stood there, his voice that same even tone. "What do we do?" A circle of the question, from her earlier to him, and now from him to her.

Words caught in her throat, unwilling to come out even when she knew what needed to be said. Swallowing, she tried again, but as her mouth opened, she found herself unable once more. Say goodbye, she attempted yet again, and failed to vocalize. The very idea, the thing he needed ... to forget her ... would argue his point more than her statements of negation could disprove it. Everyone has left me.

She had family; it was likely that Psly couldn’t reunite this small bit of her with her physical body right now because if he was able, he would have found a way to "find" her. She hadn't forgotten nor forsaken Psly; this place, this time, simply was for her and Tass.

"I..." don't know, she meant to begin, but a glimmer of an idea began to take form and shape within her. What if there was a way for her to never leave him? Her eyes shifted from one spot on the floor to another and back again as she puzzled it out. Unconsciously, her hand drifted to find his. She was utterly bound to Psly as well as beloved mate; the blood they'd shared to save her entwined their fates. Mayhaps, here, where the laws of the physical didn't apply, she could meld herself with Tass and he could go home, whole, finally.

The difficulty lay in the execution. "Kiss me," she whispered, turning those green-gold eyes up to him once more.

He stood there for a long moment, letting her words ring in his ears. There was something more within those words, but he couldn't place it. Not here, not in her place in this darkness.

He turned to her and with little preamble, wrapped her up and kissed her. The kiss was one of love and caring. Of being with someone who mattered and helped make him a better person. Of life... and of sorrow. Yes, there was a melancholy that held its place within that kiss. But still he held himself in reserve, never giving fully and keeping that wall that he had built around him in place, solid, firm, thick.

The damnable wall. It was true, he'd honored the letter of the vow in the physical world; he'd been open emotionally, granting her vision as to some of his deepest hurts and needs. However, he hadn't honored the spirit of it, and that was reflected in this kiss. She'd moderated her own desires in that other plane before out of respect for his choice. However, here ... she held no shame or compunction.

Her slim, naked form pressed against him, molding to him, back bent slightly as she made for as full of contact as she could manage. Her hands came up to cup his cheeks in the kiss, holding him to her lips. This gesture, this offering blossomed as it progressed. A petal at a time, layers of emotion and care opened to him. Love, foremost. Love in all ways - tender and sweet and comfortable and old and even small hurts from the force of it. But there was also compassion, for his plight and for his pain, and the warmth that enveloped one as the softest of wrappings. There was hope, for his healing, and joy, at this moment. Each built upon the other, cascading as she deepened the kiss.

Heat came slowly, heightening, with the need and the desire that quickened her pulse from being so near him. She knew the wall was there, had known, and before this she’d never sought to breach it. Now, she would. Hips ground lightly into his, fingers pressing into the flesh of his face as a little mew escaped, soft in her throat. Let me in, please, my love, her mental voice crooned, tone aimed at soothing his reticence, softening the fortress that held him within brick by figurative brick. I need you.
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