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Sep. 25th, 2015


Wolf blood (Hannibal)

Since removing her cast, Arya had spent much of her time making her leg strong again. Some of it could be mistaken as a child playing--running around the grounds of Erik's estate and chasing after birds, or standing on her toes as long as she could. She also spent time sneaking out, which wasn't as hard as she had initially thought now that her leg was better. The City was large and strange, and she was hardly given a second look. She walked and watched and listened while she was out, and when she returned, rumpled and smelling of the burning fuel of the cars, nobody said anything.

When she dreamed at night, she saw the City in another way: sometimes low to the ground, sometimes high up, sometimes with the taste of blood in her mouth. But there were shadows almost as dark as those of Westeros, and lights almost as bright as the day, and sometimes in the day she passed places that she had seen as she slept.

She had food and shelter and a bed and clean clothes. There were no Lannisters or Freys. She could almost let her guard down.

Jun. 28th, 2015


Small Mercies (Arya)

The curtains in the kitchen were drawn closed against the morning sun - and against the raging pounding in the composer's head. Unlike many in the past, this particular drumbeat symphony was fueled by the gin-soaked excesses of the previous evening. He could still taste the liquor on his breath. He could smell it oozing from his pores. Despite having dressed as neatly and cleanly as ever, he still felt as ragged and dirty as the exhibit he once had been.

His binge had accomplished what he'd intended; it had taken his mind off his losses. First Christine, then Hannibal... Erik rubbed a black-gloved thumb over the handle of his coffee mug before taking another sip. Mourning them would not bring them back. He could not follow where Christine had gone, and he was not willing to join his friend -- at least, not yet, not while there was still the opportunity to seek and find and create beauty. The diva, that Magdelene Defoe, had coaxed him back toward his first love, and he couldn't leave it now.

A small sound across the darkened kitchen caught his attention, both because it was out of place and because it was far louder than his delicate head wanted it to be. When he looked, he saw nothing at first. Then, the small head of a small girl appeared on the other side of the kitchen counter. The girl.

"Arrie," he said, his voice whisper soft - not by design but by necessity.

May. 7th, 2015


Appearances are deceiving (Baba)

There was only so long that Arya could stay in Erik's mansion. Mag was nice, but there were only so many times that she could see the same person before getting sick of her. And there was a whole city out beyond the fence. Arya had only seen a glimpse of it before Erik's car hit her. She was curious. She was bored. She needed to get out.

Her leg was almost better now, she was sure. Her ribs felt better--she could take deep breaths without it hurting at all. She was positive that she would be fine if she went out on her own. It was just a matter of timing. So she waited and watched for a few days and planned it all out. Finally, she dressed in the clothes that she'd arrived in--the clothes in her room were all dresses, pretty dresses, and she could not sneak very well in them--and then she took Needle for protection and snuck out.

Arya limped along quickly, still in her cast but moving well despite that, wide-eyed at the sights outside of Erik's mansion. There--more cars. Now that she knew what they were, they weren't quite so frightening. They were just carts without horses, and she wasn't scared of carts. There--giant buildings of metal and glass. There--food. By now she had been out for some time, and was hungry.

The sign said "Cafe", and she could smell warm bread and other things. Arya knew what she looked like--no longer as skinny and undersized as she had been in Westeros thanks to regular meals, no longer dirty, but her clothes were still battered and her hair was still ragged. She approached the man at the counter, exaggerating her limp and making her eyes big and sad. "I'm so hungry," she said. "Do you have something to spare?"

The man at the counter didn't spare her a glance. "You either pay or you leave. Don't bother the customers."

Arya tried again. "Please," she said. "My leg hurts so bad and I'm hungry."

Mar. 6th, 2015


Underfoot (Mag)

Arya had never been a good patient. When she was very small, Winterfell had been swept by redspots: not a serious disease to children, but a potentially disfiguring one if the pustules were broken in visible places. They had itched horribly, and Septa Mordane had been driven to distraction trying to find ways to keep Arya from scratching and bursting them, potentially harming her chances for a good marriage later in life.

So it was here. Her leg itched in its cast, and she was bored in her room, and she hated the wheeled chair. Arya had always been an active child--Fat Tom had not called her "Arya Underfoot" without cause. She had nothing to do. So long before she had been given clearance by Hannibal or Erik, she was back on her feet--her foot, perhaps, was more accurate; though she leveraged the cast in a sort of awkward hobbling walk that became easier with practice--and slipped from the room.

She had only made it so far as the kitchen last time. This time she changed directions and began to wander further in, even navigating a staircase. She rested for a moment, taking the opportunity to make sure that nobody would come investigating the loud thumps that her cast and hopping steps had made on the ornate steps, and then turned to a long hallway filled with doors. She pressed her ear to the first one, listening for sounds from inside.

Jan. 22nd, 2015


Delicacy (Hannibal, Arya)

The girl he left in his kitchen was in pain. She suffered. She waited for him. The girl left in his kitchen was in pain. He was responsible for her. Erik drew his scattering thoughts back to Arie again and again. Above it all, she was a singular thread, iron and brutal and ugly, but nothing like the horrors left in the vacuum of Christine's absence.

His servants had relocated to basement storage the wheelchair that Hannibal once sent to his manor. On his way down to the storage room, Erik remembered to grab the phone. The doctor's number was still on speed dial - a courtesy and convenience built in for his servants (and his wife, his wife) when Erik was too ill to dial the number himself. When Hannibal's voice answered, Erik opened his mouth and said something - less than a handful of words. As soon as he dropped the handset on the last bit of furniture he passed, he forgot whatever it was he'd said. The door to the basement stairs closed behind him.

There were a few minutes lost to his memory. He could remember only the presence of old friends - the hand of rage on his shoulder, the breath of helplessness against the back of his neck, the claws of pain raking his chest. What had drawn him back? He looked at the handles of the wheelchair in both blood-speckled hands, knuckles stinging, then checked behind him. The basement door was destroyed, and the blood must have been his own.

A sound came to him, the siren bell, ringing. He walked with the wheelchair (the girl is hurting) to the door of his manor, straightening last night's rumpled shirt with one flattened hand. Hannibal. Yes, of course. Erik pressed the button that would allow the doctor entrance through the otherwise-inpenetrable security around his manor, then turned back toward the kitchen. Arie was waiting. She needed him.

Jan. 17th, 2015


Did anyone catch the number of that car? (Erik)

Everything hurt. Arya felt as though she'd been stomped by a horse and then thrown from a tall tree for good measure. Her head felt fuzzy. She groaned and opened her eyes, only to freeze immediately. This was no room that she was familiar with. It was beautiful. It made her think of Sansa and how much she would have loved a room like this. Her heart clenched and for a moment that hurt more than everything else.

Then it came back to her. Being somewhere new, being hit by--whatever it was--and being picked up by the strange man. Erik. Was this his house? Was there a maester here? Or a doctor? Whatever they called themselves? Whatever had happened between the morphene last night and waking up now, she couldn't just lie here until someone saw to her. Even if this place was safe, she knew nothing about it. Sliding out of the bed (and what a wonderfully soft bed it was--she'd never had a bed so soft as this) she limped painfully over to the fireplace, grabbing a poker. It would serve as a better crutch than Needle would, though she feared that she would be unable to use either as a weapon given how much it hurt to do so much as take a deep breath.

Arya made her way to the door and found it unlocked. She limped down the hall, her splinted leg and the makeshift crutch making it impossible to be sneaky.

Jan. 1st, 2015


Late Nights (Arya)

Erik had been working on his rearrangement of La Mer, which would be opening a week from today. He must have fallen asleep over his sheets, because when he lifted his head from his desk at the City Opera, his sheet music was still laid out in front of him and his ink pen had rolled to the edge of a picture frame of his wife. He retrieved the pen, capped it, set it aside, and stored his work for the evening.

The Opera House was quiet; it must have been far later than he knew. Frowning, Erik pulled on his gloves and started for the door. It was then that he noticed by the posters for the ongoing show: The City Opera was still in its run of Don Juan.

That show had complete its run some months ago, while he was still incarcerated. It was surely some sort of error, and Erik detested errors in his opera house. He would get to the bottom of it in the morning; tonight, he wanted to return home to his wife.

And so it came to be that he hurried down the steps in the dark, the street lamps casting shadows as often as they dispersed them. His car should have been been waiting for him. Irritated again, he pulled out the contraption that would page his driver and placed the call while standing on the sidewalk.