She was scared -- not for herself, but for him. This monster was so large, so dangerous, and -- why did Ingus look so small in comparision? The girl wanted to just take the both of them and Teleport elsewhere, somewhere they could be safe and happy and toge -- no. No, she wasn’t allowed to think like this.
Especially not now.
Her focus had wavered slightly, and Refia would have cursed at herself if she could spare the mindpower. No, he was depending on her. The long, complicated incantation flowed rapidly and quietly out of her mouth. Refia closed her eyes. All of her power had to go into this spell. She lifted her staff as the final syllables fell out of her mouth, driving a blast of blindingly white light through the monster. She watched in satisfaction as the Behemoth staggered and dissapitated.
There was the expected exhaustion from the spell, but she grinned in victory --
-- until she saw him. She had stopped the monster, yes, but not before it had reached Ingus. “No.” She dropped her staff and sprinted to her friend’s side. “No, nonono -- Ingus?” The girl’s hands glowed white as she tried to heal him. “Ingus, Ingus -- please --”
Post by HAUTECLERE on Nov 12, 2012 21:06:50 GMT -5
Ingus would not have been able to tell Refia whether the cuts on his cheek and the long gash that ran along his side were caused by the sharp, broken shards of ice from the Blizzaga, or from the beast's massive claws. His crimson cape and gambeson were blackened in some spots from the amount of blood they absorbed from his wounds. All he recalled was seeing the giant shadow of the Behemoth engulfed by the blinding light of Refia's Holy spell, and then there was an overwhelming pain in his side. It made him gasp for air, but he had a smile on his face anyways. Maybe, just maybe, there were ashes that were a part of the fires that burned in him two year ago that were just waiting to be kindled into flames once more.
Ingus pushed himself up from the floor, arms shaking as they struggled to support his weight. He felt Refia's healing white magic course through his veins, but he was too numb to tell what level of a healing spell she had used. He sat up with the new strength that the spell had given him, and he laid a hand upon her arm. Red blood from his gloves streaked across her white sleeve. His expression was radically different from its lost, abysmal dullness, and instead, Ingus had a content expression on his face.
"Don't exhaust yourself," he said to her softly, speaking as loud as his strength permitted. The last thing that he wanted was for her to expend her own energy on him. She still had unfinished business back at Kazus, new smithing methods to master. Ingus was still at a loss about what his purpose was, and if only one of them walked away today, he wanted it to be her. His own hand, fingers stained with blood, began to glow white as he channeled his own Cure spell into her.
Refia bit back tears that threatened to obscure her vision. “Don’t move!” she begged. She didn’t want him to be hurt any more than he already was -- why was he telling her to not exhaust herself, why was he using his magic on her? Why the hell did he think she was worth his magic when he was here, bleeding like crazy? “Stop -- Ingus, just --” She couldn’t find the words to say. Her breathing grew faster as she saw the extent of the damage.
She ignored her own fatigue, the massive headache that threatened to explode in her skull; she was a slow spellcaster, she knew that, but Refia didn’t give a damn about the repercussions of such frequent high-level casting. She was desperate. The girl gently pushed him down, using her body weight to keep him there. “Don’t struggle,” she panted. “I can’t lose you, Ingus. I - I can’t.”
Curaja. Her strongest curing spell. She tried to cast the spell as fast as possible, the tears finally forming at the corners of her eyes and rolling down her cheeks. What would she do if -- if she didn’t succeed? Please be okay, please be okay. Refia was willing to give up anything, go through anything, as long as he was healed.
What if one of her closest friends ended up dead because of her?
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2012 21:34:09 GMT -5 by excalibur
Post by HAUTECLERE on Nov 12, 2012 21:53:33 GMT -5
The white glow at Ingus' fingertips flickered, before going out entirely as he found that he no longer had the energy to hold the Cure spell, despite the fact that it was the most basic form of the white magic. And even if Refia didn't think that she was worth the last ends of his strength, Ingus thought the opposite. He would have continued to channel his Cure spell if it had been physically possible to keep it going. He knew that they were vulnerable outside the village as well, for all he knew, there could be a second Behemoth galloping towards them. He heard no other heavy footsteps though, despite his muffled hearing. He felt like he was underwater as each land feature began to blend with the other, and Refia's voice grew increasingly distant.
At first, Ingus resisted. "It's unsafe here," he insisted, though failed to make his voice stern, and it lacked the authoritative note he needed. He caved in, and eventually was coaxed onto his back. His cheeks were pale, moreso than they had been when Refia had first bumped into him. His eyes seemed to take on a warning, as if he was not going to be happy about the Curaja spell that she was preparing. The large gash on Ingus' side was not bleeding as freely, but blood continued to ooze from the deep wound.
Ingus reached up to touch Refia's cheek, and he now understood that it was all right to assume such a vulnerable position with her. He looked her straight in the eye, taking in the fat, wet beads that rolled down her cheeks and gathered at the tip of her chin. "Refia," he said to her, "it's going to be okay. You said it was going to be okay." He trusted her, and he was quite concerned about how upset she was by his physical state, but Ingus realized that had their situations been swapped, he would have felt the same way. The light was fading fast in his gray-blue eyes though.
He hissed in pain as the Curaja spell finally came into play, and forced his body's natural regeneration to speed up.
It was all she could do to keep up her spell for as long as possible -- the Holy had begun to take its toll, beating out a frenzied war beat on her cranium. She couldn’t give in, though; the fear that flooded through her as his eyes became duller was only assuaged by the need to heal him. There were no options in her mind; it was either save him or die trying.
Her glowing hands trembled when she heard his pain, but it only served to motivate her further. Any vestiges of magic she could find, all of her stamina and energy, every part of her went into this spell. She didn’t care that he didn’t want this, she didn’t care that he would have rathered she save herself.
Relief washed over her when the flow of blood had stopped; the situation was no longer quite as desperate as before. Suddenly, the white aura around her hands blinked out of existence -- and Refia swayed in her seat, throwing out an arm to support her. The overwhelming headache she was feeling was nothing compared to the joy of his survival.
And the sorrow of her failure.
She raised her hand to her cheek, holding Ingus’ bloodied hand in her own. The tears wouldn’t stop. “I’m s-so sorry. Ingus, I-Ingus, I --” Her sobs caught in her throat. He would never want her now. “I -- I should’ve been faster, and -- because of me y-you --” She screwed her eyes shut, terrified of the reproach that she expected to see in his eyes. “I’m s-sorry.”
Post by HAUTECLERE on Nov 12, 2012 22:27:27 GMT -5
His breathing came back harsh and ragged as beads of sweat gathered on his forehead. Ingus' hat had already been cast aside long ago, and his blond bangs stuck to his skin. Slowly but surely, oxygen came easier to his lungs, and it no longer felt as if there was a giant weight upon his chest that prevented him from taking easier breaths. He closed his eyes briefly before opening them to slits again, as if making sure that he was alive. The light from the afternoon burned his irises, but he relished the feeling anyways.
The hand pressed against Refia's cheek curled its fingers into a loose fist. "No," he said with a hoarse voice. "We're both -- " His chest quivered as he took another breath before speaking again. "Alive." And wasn't that all that mattered, that they had both survived? Wet tears continued to fall upon his face. Ingus managed a weak smile anyways. His hand moved to push loose strands of Refia's ginger hair behind her ear. "Don't cry," he whispered.
Ingus began to realize how exhausted he was from holding off the Behemoth, but also from neglecting his own body for the days before. His face was still pale from a combination of a near-death experience and his recent stresses. But he still managed to move the hand pressed against Refia's face to hook an arm behind her neck. Ingus lifted his head a few inches off the ground, and the most he could do was barely brush his lips against her own.
Yes. Yes, they were alive -- but the guilt that threatened to consume her was not so easily swayed. It was like she was stuck on repeat, the only phrases she knew how to say being his name and 'I'm sorry.' Even if he told her to stop crying, she couldn't. The realization that she could have lost him forever was enough to open the floodgates and let all of the accumulated pain and fear and loneliness find its way out.
Before she could comprehend what was happening, she felt the brush of his dry lips against her own. It wasn't even anything passionate -- just a single touch, and it felt as if her body had set itself on fire. Had he just -- did he really -- what? Refia's mind short-circuited, and her first instinct was to close her eyes and simply lean into him.
She wanted it. She hadn't known that she had wanted it until now, but -- wait. No. He must have been mistaken, disoriented from the attack. He had Princess Sara; compared to the princess, Refia was nothing. Even compared to the other women that Ingus undoubtedly came across in his travels, Refia could not compare.
Refia gently pushed him away, despite the sudden pain in her chest. "No, Ingus," she murmured softly. He didn't want this. He didn't want her. Who would?
He was just mistaken.
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2012 22:43:58 GMT -5 by excalibur
Post by HAUTECLERE on Nov 12, 2012 22:58:07 GMT -5
Ingus was already walking the fine line between consciousness and unconsciousness. But he was awake enough to feel Refia gently shy away from the touch. "I... understand," he said softly. Perhaps he had been mistaken then. He blinked, but seemed to accept Refia's words. The last thing that he wanted to do was force his feelings onto her. Still, he could not help but feel a slight ache of the heart as she spoke to him softly. Two years was a long amount of time. Perhaps she had found someone else, someone who was not plagued by constant nightmares of darkness and hallucinations of Xande's loyal fiends.
For the first time, Ingus realized that Phoebus had fled the vicinity. In a sense, he was relieved, for the Chocobo would have surely been eaten by the Behemoth, had he stuck around any longer. But the Chocobo's saddle bags also had all of Ingus' traveling supplies in them. He groaned inwardly at the prospects of having to find a new Chocobo and purchase new supplies. Still, it was a small price to pay if all of them had escaped with their lives. The oversized bird was probably happier on its own anyways.
His hand fell away from Refia's face, as he rested it atop his chest. The smell of blood, still fresh, clouded his sense of smell. It would only be a matter of time before the warm life essence attracted more monsters to the area. But although Refia had healed Ingus' potentially life-threatening injuries, he found that he was still very weak, and even the slightest of movements commanded his utmost concentration.
There was more though. Ingus could no longer tell whether the tears on his face were spilled from Refia's eyes or were the products of his own tear ducts.
She hadn't expected it to hurt this much, pulling away, but it was for the best. Ingus could do so much better than to choose her; he deserved someone better. As she watched him struggle to stay awake, the girl finally noticed the absence of the oversized birds -- and her intended means to carry Ingus to the safety of the Village.
Refia glanced around, then fumbled around in her pockets for a glass vial. Her vision was still swimming with tears -- from her previous scare or her current hurt, she didn't know -- but she eventually found what she was looking for. Uncorking the bottle, she downed the mixture that would give her strength. Her mind was still exhausted, but at least her fatigue had eased slightly.
"I'm ... gonna bring us to the Village," she said quietly, gingerly wrapping her arms around him once more. (So close, but so far.) She summoned the small amount of magic returned to her by the vial, casting Teleport on the both of them. The world around them bent in strange ways, the ground replacing the sky and the clouds swirling to become trees --
Then they were in the center of the Village, and Refia dropped to the ground. “Inn ... please,” she panted at whoever was passing by.
Her exhausted mind finally took its toll, and the girl’s eyes closed as she slipped into unconsciousness.
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2012 1:09:45 GMT -5 by excalibur