Title: All I Need Is the Air I Breathe
Description: tag; Killian
Savia Rossi - November 13, 2010 07:07 AM (GMT)
After all of the travelling, all of the watching and worrying and wondering, Savia now found herself in Narnia. Where exactly she was in Narnia, she had absolutely no idea. But, she decided, it didn’t matter. There were more pressing matters at hand – finding somewhere to stay, for instance. Somewhere she could get some much needed sleep, without worrying she was going to be discovered.
It was busy, this small town that she found herself in. People hurrying this way and that, though she didn’t know what the rush was, or where they were all headed. It seemed as though everyone had a purpose in mind, however, and that a good percentage of them were working together to do... something. At the moment, however, Savia didn’t care what they were doing. They could all be evacuating the town, and she was too exhausted to care. She just wanted to sleep. She felt physically ill from all of the fear and worry. Her head ached, her stomach tossed and her legs shook as she took one unsteady step after another. All she had was a small bag tied around her waist with a few coins she’d stolen from her previous master – she’d made them stretch. There weren’t many left, but she was confident that she would manage to find some sort of employ in the near future. Until then, she’d make due with a little less food and a lot more sleep. It was a short term arrangement – she had regained her freedom and she was going to make the best of it.
The caravan that she’d managed to stow away in was well out of sight and she’d come to the conclusion that no one had seen her, and that no one was coming after her to give her a hard time for sneaking into one of the heavily loaded wagons. She’d caused no harm – she hadn’t taken anything or used anything; she’d relied completely on what she’d managed to purchase in the city of Tashbaan. She’d felt guilty enough about catching a ride with them, but she’d seen the flags and she’d known that she had to go that way. Had to go with them to Narnia else she might never get her chance. If she stayed in Tashbaan, she’d be found. So she’d waited until they were otherwise distracted with the loading and settling in of the wagons and then she’d found a wagon that was ready to set off. Climbing aboard had been a nerve-wracking experience, desperate not to be caught and turned in.
There were heavy punishments given to slaves to attempted to escape. And yet she’d felt as though she’d had no other option. The alternative was unthinkable.
She shuddered; glad to once again feel the solid ground beneath her feet and not the wood of the wagon bottom. The constant bumping around had gotten tiresome and her whole body ached. But she was away from Calormen, away from Tashbaan. Away from the Lone Islands and away from Doorn and Narrowhaven.
In Narrowhaven she had been a slave. A moderately well treated but mostly overlooked slave who did what she was told to do and tried to simply stay away from the attention of her cruel-when-provoked master. And here... well, there was a good deal more potential. She could be whoever she wanted to be. She didn’t have to be Savia Rossi, one of the many children running around the Rossi house. But before she became anything, she told herself, she was going to have to find somewhere to stay, even if only temporarily. And as she had no idea where in Narnia she was, and didn’t know anyone here who might take her in, or offer her a place to stay in exchange for domestic work, she was going to have to be creative.
It was that decision that resulted in Savia sneaking into an empty barn, crawling into one of the stalls and digging into a pile of sweet smelling hay. She’d been in worst positions, she thought with a wry grin as she snuggled in. The hay was warm, and made a comfortable bed. As she shut her eyes, she felt her mind ease considerably. Tomorrow, she thought, feeling sleep claim her, tomorrow she would try to make a plan of action. For now, she needed sleep.
- - - - - - - - - -
The next morning
She slept until late in the morning, a luxury really, as she hadn’t had the opportunity to sleep in for ages. Savia felt more refreshed than she had in a long time, though she knew she probably still looked drained. Nevertheless she rose, brushed all the hay out of her hair and off her dress and attempted to comb her fingers through her hair. Not her best work, she surmised, but there was only so much she could do without a comb or a mirror. She braided it tightly, had a little something to eat out of her bag – stale bread, but it didn’t matter – and snuck out of the barn, hoping she wouldn’t be noticed.
Everyone seemed so busy again today, and as she got a better look she realized that in actuality, the town was in a bit of a mess. She’d heard a little about the war in Narnia, and for a moment she felt a flicker of fear. Had she set herself in the middle of a warzone? She couldn’t recall hearing if the war was over, and who had won. However, the people didn’t look like they were running around because they were afraid, or uncertain about their futures. They looked purposeful. So she followed, curious, to see what was going on.
They were rebuilding something, and that was all she could see. Rebuilding an estate or great important building, by the looks of it. She had no idea what had happened to it but she doubted anyone really wanted to be stopped to be asked about it. So she hung back, feeling out of place, wondering if she should be pitching in somehow. She didn’t feel any obligation to these people, nor their leader – however she didn’t wish to travel all across the country for a place to settle. This place looked as good as any other.
Tag; Killian de la Braose.
Word Count; 1053 words.
Notes; This will pretty much be epic.
Killian de la Braose - November 13, 2010 08:02 AM (GMT)
Killian had known even before returning to Bouchard that reconstruction was going to be difficult; which was a damn shame, because that meant that once he'd had his break from the end of the war, it was right off to work. Given, as the (new) lord of the land, he wasn't expected to do any of the manual labor himself. But, their generations-old philosophy still stood; a leader that worked alongside his people would be one dearly loved. As if Killian had needed any more convincing of that than having seen hundreds of the Bouchard peasants follow Sephen into the war against Miraz.
So, that was how he found himself hauling rocks towards the building site alongside his men. He had never seen the viscounty so busy before; every able-bodied man, woman and child was at work quarrying stone, plowing fields and sowing seeds, carpenters building homes and fences, though the largest job was clearly the reconstruction of the estate. Most of the rock was already available, thankfully, from the old estate, which left the task of finding a way to build it again. It wasn't going to look the same as the one their family had lived in for so long, but Killian figured it was time for a change in any case.
Putting down a wheelbarrow of smaller rocks, Killian arched his back and stretched, pausing to take a break. He had forgone his usual doublet and breeches in favor of his old riding pants and a loose shirt; the only thing distinguishing him from the rest of the throngs of people bustling around was a bright red sash around his waist.
"Lord Killian," One man came up to him, breathless as he bowed, and Killian recognized him as the architect. He was an elderly, heavyset man, but a brilliant designer nonetheless.
"The plan for the new estate is finished, my lord," The old man huffed, handing him the parchment and going on as Killian studied the plan. "It may be a bit smaller than the old estate, however, if we decide to build only with the stones remaining..."
Killian studied it a moment longer and nodded.
"Lets not make more work of it than need be. Show this to the other craftsmen, I'd like to see this as close to done as we can before winter comes."
The architect nodded hurriedly, waddling off perhaps bully some younger, leaner young thing to send the word along. Now that that was done... But, before he could go back to his work, Killian paused; there was a rather lovely young thing wandering about the area, looking rather unsure what to do with herself. Killian leaned against his wheelbarrow, waiting until she caught his eye and beckoning her to come over.
"Do you not yet have a job, love?" He asked.
Notes: Viscounty- area controlled by a viscount... like the Viscount of Bouchard. ;)
Savia Rossi - November 13, 2010 08:22 AM (GMT)
Despite feeling as though she ought to be contributing to, well, whatever was going on in some way or another, Savia didn’t really know who she ought to talk to, or what she ought to say. If she approached someone, they might notice that she was out of place, that she didn’t belong here. And she would very much prefer a way to blend in and be useful before anyone really noticed her – because if she was useful, they would be less likely to tell her to go off and find somewhere else to be.
She took a deep breath and contemplated going back to hide away in the barn. At least there she wouldn’t look so ridiculous – she could pretend she was utterly unaware of what was going on. Feign ignorance. Perhaps that was the best way to go. So she turned, then hesitated, and turned back.
It was then that she noticed someone looking at her, a man who appeared to be very much aware of his surroundings. Dressed like any other worker, save for the brilliant red sash tied around his waist, he, at the very least, seemed to know what was going on. As he beckoned her towards him she approached, supposing he could likely give her some direction or, if not, point her at someone who could.
“Do you not yet have a job, love?” He asked her.
Savia gave him a small, apologetic smile. Still, despite her uncertainties, she was cheerful – her spirits had improved a good deal, even from the evening before.
“No, I’m afraid I do not. Where might I be useful?” She felt a good deal better, having made up her mind that she would in fact contribute. Why shouldn’t she? She felt better than she’d felt in ages – strong again, and useful, and making decisions for herself. She would help, because she had no reason not to. But even more importantly, not because she had to. She was here, and it looked like whatever was being done was a large project.
It felt wonderful to make decisions for herself again.
Ooc::Shortish. Oh well. She answers his question. That's what's important. xD
Killian de la Braose - November 13, 2010 09:30 AM (GMT)
It was not far from Killian's notice that the girl (woman, he corrected himself) in question was a rather lovely young thing to behold, though with all the work that needed to be done, his mind was elsewhere. Especially if he didn't want Sephen on him if the estate wasn't finished when he claimed it would be. For a moment he paused, looking around for something she could do; she appeared a rather slender girl, so hard construction labor was immediately out of the question.
Not far from the construction site, weaving their way through some of the scaffolding and building materials, a flock of woman led by Margery made their way from one of the fields, each of them with an apron or basket laden down with seeds. When he and Sephen had fled Bouchard, they had harvested every last stalk from the fields before burning what was left, and now that months had passed since, the land was now primed for a hearty set of crops. The soot still in the fields, though, had left the women in their aprons and kirtles and hats dusted in a fine layer of ash and dirt, making them look almost like dryads.
Still, despite the sweat on their brows and the dirt on their clothes, the lot of them were chatting merrily, no doubt gossiping or haranguing some young lady about one of the young men driving a plow.
"You see them," Killian finally said, pointing towards the group of women, "They're sowing seeds in the fields. Margery, in the green dress and sun hat, will give you some seeds and show you how to plant."
Looking past the young woman, he gave a loud whistle to get Margery's attention; the older woman turned, shooting him an all-too familiar look of mock-annoyance before it broke into a grin.
"Margery!" He called to her over the ruckus of construction, "I have another assistant for you!"
With her free arm, Margery motioned her to come over. Killian turned back to the young woman.
"There you are," He smiled, "If you need anything, ask Margery. She's something of the second in command around here. There will be a break in the afternoon; everyone who works will receive a meal."
Savia Rossi - November 13, 2010 06:45 PM (GMT)
Savia took a moment to properly take in the sight of the man in front of her as he glanced around for something for her to do. She may as well remember what he looked like, she decided, in case she needed further direction. Although really, if she was honest with herself, that probably had nothing to do with the reason why she wanted to remember his face. So when he turned back to her, she gave him a bright smile and nodded as he pointed her in the direction of someone named Margery. She was informed that Margery – the woman in the green dress – would give her some seeds and show her how to plant. This was just fine with Savia, was relieved at least that she wasn’t doing any heavy lifting. She was still rather sore from being cramped up in a caravan for such a long time.
He caught Margery’s attention with a sharp whistle and the woman glanced over. Savia wasn’t sure to make of the woman’s glare, until it turned into a smile. Curious. Obviously the two were quite comfortable with each other, or at least amiable, which was, she supposed, all the better for getting things done.
Margery waved her over and Savia turned to the man who had given her the directions. “Thank you,” she said, heading off in the direction of the woman who was waiting for her. She dared a partial glance back over her shoulder but couldn’t really tell if he noticed or not, and then she hurried off to catch up with the women who were heading out into the fields. She greeted them with a shy smile and followed, being passed a basket of seeds along the way. She didn’t really join in on their chatter, feeling as though she really had little of anything worth saying, nevertheless she did pay close attention. She didn’t wish for any of them to think her aloof or uninterested in them. She just wasn’t particularly chatty.
Savia wondered who the man giving directions was - although she figured it was easy enough to tell a bit about him simply by how he was dressed and how he acted. Whoever he was, he was undoubtedly valuable to whomever owned this estate because she highly doubted a Lord, or whatever they had here, would trust the overseeing of his rebuilding of his home and re-seeding of his land to just anyone. Unless they were an irresponsible sort of person, but that wasn’t the impression she got either. Everyone seemed more than happy to work together for one common purpose – rebuilding, and repairing. She suspected that the war was over and that the land and its buildings had been destroyed in it. Why? Was this place important?
Whoever their leader, she got the impression that he was well enough liked and respected. Which was, as far as she knew, something that one didn’t find all that often.
The morning passed easily enough – once Savia got the hang of planting she found she could go about it quite proficiently. It wasn’t something she’d want to spend her life doing, certainly, but she didn’t mind it in the here and now. And it didn’t hurt that the women sowing seeds around her were just as cheerful and chatty as they’d been earlier that morning. Their mood had hardly been affected by the long hours in the sun, and Savia felt just as cheery. She was, however, getting weary and a little hungry – her mind wandered, and she wondered when everyone would stop to take a bit of a break.
Not long afterwards, everyone seemed to put down what they'd been doing and head off away from their work. Savia, who hadn't been paying much attention by that point, somewhat lost in her own thoughts, put down her own supplies and decided to follow.
She discovered, with some relief, that everyone was taking a break and having something to eat now. She joined the line somewhere in the middle and followed the procession, curious as to how it was being handled - though everything seemed rather orderly. As she followed the line and drew closer to the front, she realized that there were tables set up with bread and soup and that everyone was being passed a bowl of it and a piece of the bread. It seemed like a productive system to her - feeding the workers and making them feel as though their effort was at least appreciated was no doubt a wise move.
Thanking the woman who handed her a bowl of soup and a slice of bread, she was then faced with the delema of where to sit. Most everyone know someone else, whereas she knew no one. The women she had been working with had all broken off to sit with friends and family, and weren't sitting together as a group. But Savia had never really minded a little time on her own, so she settled down not so far away from the group as to look like she was trying to distance herself, but not close enough that it actually looked as though she was sitting with anyone. It didn't matter, really. She was here to rest and to eat. She would just have to try and befriend someone, or several someones, when she went back to the fields later.
Killian de la Braose - November 15, 2010 10:41 AM (GMT)
Even as the cooler autumn winds were starting to creep in, Killian still found himself sweating as he and the other men moved rocks this way and that; perhaps he'd been a bit overzealous when he'd talked about Bouchard being finished before winter... But, if he wanted to be obnoxiously optimistic, he could say something to the tune that at least they would not be sweating and worrying about sunburn if work continued into the cold season.
He wasn't worried though. Knowing Sephen, his brother would know how he liked to exaggerate and would find a way to send him a few more pairs of hands at least. Though as he tried to picture a centaur plowing a field, the image it conjured up was much too strange; Killian waved it off when someone asked if anything was wrong by the face he made. Still, the work required effort enough that he barely noticed the passing hours, pausing only to wipe his brow with his shirt. He was pretty sure that his back was going to be sunburned by the time the day was over, but at the very least he wouldn’t have to worry about heatstroke or something equally unpleasant; he wasn’t much use to his men passed out in a tent. But what felt like only an hour or so had apparently dragged out for nearly three, as they heard the bell of the bread line calling the workers in from their duties to rest their bodies and feed themselves.
It suddenly felt stiflingly hot, putting his shirt back on as he walked down the hill towards the lines for bread and soup; Caspian had been rather generous when answering his request for food for the peasants of Bouchard, which he suspected had much to do with the fact that Sephen had burnt the fields when they’d fled to prevent Miraz from using them for his own gain. Either way, Killian at least didn’t have to worry anymore how to feed the viscounty until the crops were ready for harvest.
”M’lord,” The workers greeted him, one of the cook’s grandsons coming out from behind the lines to give him his soup and bread. Hard though it was on his back, there certainly was something to be said for the respect it merited.
For a moment, his eyes scanned the area looking for a place to sit and rest, and almost landed on Margery until he noticed one young lady, the one from this morning, sitting off on her own. Given, he was hardly in a state of appearance he would’ve liked, but there wasn’t much to be done about it now.
“What’re you doing all the way over here by yourself, love?” Killian asked, putting on a conversational smile.
Savia Rossi - November 15, 2010 05:41 PM (GMT)
She really wasn’t minding the quiet, sitting on her own, even if it was a tad lonely. However Savia, who even after a mornings work, didn’t really feel as though she fit in. All these people knew each other, could sit comfortably and talk about their lives, be open with each other. And then there was her, the young woman who’d only recently wandered into this place with really no idea of where she was going. Have smuggled in on a caravan, no less, which probably made her all the more likely to be sent off. She couldn’t really tell them much about herself, because so much of her recent past had been eaten up by things she didn’t want to think about, things she was trying desperately to escape from. And so she figured it safer that she keep her distance, just a little, until she could figure out what her plan was. Would she stay here indefinitely, or only a few days before moving on? She wanted to stay indefinitely, because the little she’d seen was rather good. But that posed more questions than answers, so she was not yet sure.
She looked out towards the soup and bread line, noting how long it still was. People must have come pouring out from all over and she wondered just how many people were working on this reconstruction. Obviously a lot – she didn’t bother to try and count them all. She turned her attention to her soup – which was more than she’d eaten in some time now – and marvelled at the relative freshness of the bread. Compared to the bread she’d been carrying around, this was absolutely heavenly. She was adaptable – she hadn’t liked the change of quality of food when she was taken into slavery, but she hadn’t complained. Things could have been much worse. And then, on the run, when her food had gotten much scarcer, there hadn’t been much point or purpose to being miserable about that either, because she’d known that wasn’t going to get her anywhere safe. She could have good food again when she was free, that was all that she wanted.
And here it was, sitting in a bowl in front of her. Potential. Real potential for something different, something better.
As she glanced up, she noticed the man from earlier – the one who had given her directions – glancing around, as though trying to settling on a group to join. And then his gaze lingered on her and he began to approach, much to Savia’s surprise. She glanced down, picking off a small piece of her bread and setting it on her tongue. She’d learned that after so little food, particularly good food, she needed to eat slowly to let her body adjust else she’d get sick. And if she intended on helping again this afternoon, which she did, it wouldn’t do to be ill. That and she didn’t wish to draw any further attention to herself. Although it seemed that might be a useless goal, as the rather handsome man approached and finally stood directly in front of her.
“What’re you doing all the way over here by yourself, love?” He asked, smiling kindly at her.
Savia lifted her gaze, immensely glad that she was sitting. She considered her response quickly, though carefully. “I simply sat, sir, where I thought I might be most comfortable.” She gave him a sheepish smile. “I must admit, my talents, when it comes to meeting and befriending new people, are not so very strong. But then, being on my own has never truly bothered me.” She paused, shrugging. “Then again, should any wish to join me, I would not turn away company.” She was a rather easy-going person, and particularly over the last few weeks, she’d gotten used to almost complete solitude.
Then, supposing she should further the conversation a little, she turned her eyes to look over the site, the fields, anything that she could see. “I hope the morning's work proved productive," she added, not wishing to sound too ignorant. “It seems to be a rather big undertaking." She had been attempting to keep from seeming like she was particularly new to the area, but truly was curious. “What will this look like, when it's done?"
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