Oct. 13th, 2011

jaebility: (da // hawkward)
She stayed their wedding night - of course she did, what kinda bride would go runnin' off when the hall was still filled with guests? - but it didn't take long for her to stop smilin' at him and start spendin' all her hours in her lab. Laboratory like she was some sort of topsider mage or somethin', with her inventions to keep her company. Course it wasn't just her tools keepin' her occupied. Heh, though maybe she and Hespith used a few of those tools...

Everyone said she's done with him, but that didn't mean that Oghren was done with her. When she stopped comin' to bed at all, not even when it was his birthday or their blighted anniversary, he found himself a bottle instead of another wife and drank and drank and drank until it got easier to convince himself that all was all right in their house and that she'd come crawlin' back, beggin' and moanin' for him again.

They weren't dreams, since dwarves didn't mess with the Fade like surfacers, but sometimes he'd get in one of these dazes from all the beer and the echoes in their empty home that his sword made scraping against the stone sounded like her voice sayin' his name.

---

The marriage wasn't a farce, not exactly, not from the beginning. Oghren's charm was like a whetstone, rough and grinding, but it made her sharper, and she left their "battles" with grins and flushes, and sometimes beard-burns on her chest that itched under her armor.

The invention - Ancestor's take it, it was perfect and was worthy of a Paragon's title - filled a void that once had been filled by Oghren. He was always there getting in the way, upsetting her notes and knocking over experiments. When she lay in bed her head whirred with new ideas, new trials to start, and her hands twitched like they were moving for her tools, even when they ached for rest. She snapped and him, shoved him out of the way before her burnt down her bench, the whole blighted house. He whined when she didn't want to stop for a blighted dinner, threatened when she wouldn't leave for some blighted Proving. It got easier to just ignore him, and Branka got good enough that his presence didn't interrupt her studies, not even when he started to plead.

When she read about the Anvil, there was a click in her like a lever being pulled into place. Hespith stayed with her in the Shaperate, holding up candles for her to read the ancient tomes, bringing ink for her to finish her notes, rubbing her shoulders when Branka cracked them hard enough to dislocate them. And she listened. And she learned. And, unlike Oghren, Hespith believed.

It was no question, then, what Branka chose to take with her into the Deep Roads and what Branka left behind.

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a jar of jae

November 2016

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