“Ah, yes… hold on a moment.” He walked through his office again. Faith wasn’t particularly one for embarrassment. He called through to her. “Faith? I’m going to get Morgana some of your clothes!” The reply came back through a mouth full of bacon or toast or coffee and Wes accepted that as a yes, going back toward Morgana. “Follow me,” he said before going back up the stairs Morgana had just followed Faith down. He went to Faith’s room, pulling out some pieces of attire. He didn’t know which items Faith favored and which she didn’t. They seemed strange, no doubt, to the young woman, but they had nothing else. “Here,” he said, folding them into a pile and placing them into her arms. He then led her to the bathroom. Luckily, girls were always coming and going. Shampoo, tooth paste, hair brushes, they had those already. He grabbed everything he thought she might need from the closet and added those to her collection, though he was conscious she rather wouldn’t know what to do with some of it. “You turn this,” he said, gesturing to the tap and showing her what it did. “You get water. Careful with the one with the red on the handle. That one is hot.” He stood, awkwardly, wondering if he had forgotten anything.
It seemed that most of those within the castle walls were still slumbering. She had no way of gauging the morning hour. She found it just as strange, that in a place this size, with as many to be tended to, that there was no sign of servants. She followed, behind Wesley, without complaint, doing her best to observe the route that was taken and the oddities of the rooms. The torches were without fire, summoned, she could only assume by magic, without a spell, merely a press of a lever, upon the wall. The same, she came to realize, was said for the water. Surely, he was far more than some mere warrior, that he might command such elements as this, she marveled, accepting the items that he pressed into her arms. She was not… entirely certain what each of them were, but she saw too, that much of it held words, printed in perfect, tiny script upon their surface. The materials, of the objects, of the clothing, were strange to her. Foreign. So many things seemed similar… and yet as a whole, the entirety of this place was alien to her. “Marvelous,” she breathed, a smile touching her lips as she turned her wide eyes towards him. “Thank you,” she expressed, again.
The air was chilled, just as it often was north of the Scottish border. Wesley beheld the moors that spread out around the castle for many miles. It was a twenty minute drive to the nearest town. Farther to the nearest city. They said silence could drive a sane man insane, but Wesley appreciated the quiet, the space. He got precious little of it in the castle. This wasn’t exactly a hunting trip. More like a long walk, but he was prepared to fight if he needed to. Several of the slayers had offered to accompany him but he had politely declined the offer. He needed the breeze against his face, needed to watch the sun begin to set behind a miraculously clear sky. He hadn’t walked far when the sound of an electronic crackling drew his attention. He stood, stunned, fist clutching his weapon ready to strike at any would be attacker. There was a flash, like lightning only it didn’t come from the sky and crash down to earth. It originated just above the ground and spread out in a circular motion. Wesley stood frozen for a moment, torn between investigating and seeking back-up. Curiosity won out and at a quickened pace he moved forward, his feet sweeping through the long grass. He slowed as he approached it. He knew not what it was, the figure, not until he drew closer. It was only when he was on top of the crumpled form that he realized it was human. A girl. Or young woman, to be more precise. He didn’t have to look at her long to know that she was unwell. He dropped to her side, pressing his fingers to her jugular. A pulse. Yes. It was still there. She was alive. “Good god…” he said in awe, wondering where the woman had come from. He glanced around quickly, seeing no other signs of company. Hurriedly he removed his jacket, wrapping her in it. “Hello?” he called to her, his palm pressing against her face. “Can you hear me? Can you speak?”
The last that she had known, there had been only pain. Fiery, aching, unfathomable depths of it as her entire body struggled — struggled to breathe, struggled to fight off the poison that raged through her system, struggled to combat the systematic shutdown of muscles, and organs. Tears had christened her cheeks, staining her skin, half frozen now against her, though whether that was due to the cold of the air that touched her, or the tempest of magic and flurry of energy that had flung her so far off course, there was no way to know. Dizziness had followed the pain, conjoined with in it some twisted dance, though now, there was less of both. Rather, a dull numbness that crept through her limbs. A numbness that frightened her, in the recess of consciousness that she had tried with all of her strength to hold to. A numbness that she knew, somehow, was far more dangerous, than the pain. Breaths came, though they were shallow, and weak, and felt like sandpaper in her chest and throat, and the erratic, thrashing sound of her heart that struggled to maintain itself in her chest was all that there was, for what seemed forever, to distract her from the heaviness that climbed over her, through her, wearing her away into nothing. And then… there was something. A sound that might have been a moan was torn from her, as her form shifted, pulled upright, a searing lance of fire tearing through her stomach and chest, and somehow, it was enough to force her lashes to part, her pale jade eyes straining to search the features of the man who scooped her upwards into his hold. “Please….” She managed, to gasp, somehow, her body shuddering in his arms. “Please help me,” she whispered, her voice rasping and weak, and yet still there was a mingling of desperation and ferocity in her eyes as they met his.
He was almost terrified that she wouldn’t react. Wesley was no stranger to dead bodies. He had seen too many in his relatively short life. It was too short to have borne witness to so much. Her plea came to him, almost lost on the evening air, but he would not deny it. He pulled her to him, picking her up with some effort. She didn’t even have the energy to hold onto him. Whatever was wrong with her, Wesley knew that it was serious. She was fading and fading fast. Soon there would be nothing left but a corpse. He refused to let another person die in his arms. “Hold on,” he instructed her. Wesley wouldn’t refer to himself as an expert in dimensional portals, but he knew them well enough to have pieced two and two together. The sound, the flash, and the girl who seemed without the slightest idea where she was. He made his way back to the castle as quickly as he could, noting her heartbeat growing fainter and fainter. “I need a hand, here!” he called as he let the door swing closed behind him, rushing her to the medical bay where he placed her on the examination table. He touched a hand to her cheek, feeling nought but cold. “Do you know what happened? How were you harmed?” he asked, failing to receive any response, he shook his head, beginning to panic. Taking a breath to collect his thoughts, he attempted to calm himself. After a few seconds, an idea occurred to him. He wasn’t the most skilled of practitioners but he could manage this. He placed his hands above her, muttering an incantation. A warmth flowed through him and he felt the image burn into his brain. A boy, dark-haired, blue-eyed, a glass bottle. The word on it read “hemlock” in a rushed scribble. She had been poisoned. Disgust burned in him as he turned to search the medical supplies. He found it after some fumbling. An antidote designed to counteract most poisons. It was imbibed with magic. He was certain it could work. “If you can hear me, I need you to hold very still, okay?” Wesley stuck a needle into the top of the bottle before gripping the young woman’s arm to hold it in place. He found the vein, pressing the needle into it and pressing the syringe. He didn’t know how long it would be before the antidote took effect, but he hoped it was soon. She was turning clammy, her breathing less noticeable.
She felt the world shift, falling away from her, but there was still somehow less alarm in her at that, than there had been in the moments before. She had been flung, far and wide, though just how far she could not have imagined. She did not know how she had come to be where she was, or where that might be. What she did know, is that she had seen a kindness, an alarm, an anger in the stranger’s gaze, before the darkness had risen to swallow her again. What she did know, is that in those things, she had felt something akin to hope, and she knew, in that recess of her mind, that it was his arms that had lifted her up, holding her to him as they moved. And then she was drifting, lost in the sea of motion and the fatigue that crept through her with renewed fervor after his initial contact had forced her to consciousness. She was tired. So very tired. So very cold. There was only darkness. And then, for a moment, there was something else. A spark. A flash of energy that radiated through her, eliciting a shiver to pull through her, as the magic touched her, and for a moment, she could feel it – could feel everything. Her form, and her energy, her mind and her thoughts … for a moment, connected to his. Where her hands could not have found the strength to latch onto him, her mind held onto a reserve, clinging to that connection between them, that shared knowledge, the shared heritage, something that would bind them together more, in her mind, than near anything else. His voice filled the space between them. She tried to make some sound, some movement of acknowledgment of his words, but she accomplished none of it. She obeyed, nonetheless, not because she wanted to, or didn’t, but rather because there was little choice in the matter. She had long lost control of her physical self. Instead, all that there was, was the other her.
The her that was not attached merely to form, or consciousness, the her that existed somewhere in the emptiness, the space between them. She watched, with an odd sense of detachment, as he tended to her, worry and fretfulness written easily on his features, as he carefully smoothed back her hair, and wrapped her in a blanket, continuing to check her as the moments passed, checking her breath, and the rise and fall of her chest, and the beating of her heart. Strange, how she could feel his touch, but not her own self. She did not know how long passed. Her attention drifted, from herself, and her rescuer, to the room that surrounded them, to the oddness of it. Some of it seemed so very familiar. Books lined the shelves around them. Clearly, a sanctuary of a wizened and learned individual. A desk. Chairs. Glowing lanterns and chandeliers that hung on the walls and the ceiling above that gleamed with a steadiness that amazed her. Not even a hint of a flicker. And then… there was a shudder. A flash, of sensation, and she felt herself sinking, falling away, and with a gasp, her lashes parted, revealing gleaming, and bright green eyes that stared above her, wide and for a moment unseeing as she shuddered to life, the sting of tears in her eyes as the pain found its way back to her, back through her. And yet, still, she welcomed it.
She had remained unconscious for some time, and yet he had felt the warmth gradually return to her, felt her breathing return to that of a normal, healthy individual, hour by hour, moment by moment. He left her only for very brief moments, as if afraid she might vanish before his eyes. He had several books open around him as he watched her struggle through her condition, through the ills that the poison had inflicted upon her body. He read, searching for answers to the many questions that plagued his mind. The manner of her dress was strange. Old. It seemed like she had wandered from a Renaissance fair. She was lost, not only in her own body but in this world, thrust into a place she wasn’t meant for, thrust into a place she would feel confused, scared even. The seeming trauma that had occurred before her arrival here was evident enough without adding to it. With a small groan, she began to come to. Wesley sat up straighter in his chair, reaching for her hand. He wanted her to know that he was there, that she need not be frightened, though he was sure it would take more convincing than a mere touch. “Easy,” he said gently. “You’ve had quite the ordeal.” She turned away from the bright light, shielding her eyes from it. Light sensitivity. Of course. How was he to know she had never seen electricity before? He rose, dimming it slightly before turning to her side. “It’s all right. You’re quite safe now,” Wesley assured her.
His voice met her, once more, on the brink, as she forced her gaze to focus, to shift, flinching away from the bright light, and searching for clarity, for focus, as she struggled for control of herself, if nothing else. A hand found hers, and she clung to it without hesitation, her throat swallowing, harshly and painfully, her tongue attempting to wet her lips faintly, as the torchlight dimmed somewhat, and then once more his profile shadowed her, easing the light of the room a little. Her eyes turned, up towards his, and her pale fingers tightened against his hand as she watched him. His voice was unfamiliar, and yet somehow so, as was the tilt of his words, and the accent that burred them. It was not dissimilar to her own, and yet it struck her as entirely foreign. “Thank you,” she managed to eject, to scrape the words through her throat, raw and aching, and onto her lips and tongue, weaker than she would have preferred, but better than the nothing that had preceded them. She did not know how he had saved her life, only that he had, a fact which she knew to be undeniably true. “I… am in your debt,” she spoke, with the same difficulty, but the same insistence as well. It was not something that she admitted to lightly. The ward of the King was one that did not – could not – lightly utter such things.
She seemed more at ease now that the light had been dimmed. Wesley had many questions for the stranger but he thought it best to keep them to himself for the moment - at least the majority of them. During the brief moments in which they had been bound together by magic, he had felt her pain, fear, suffering. To have borne witness to it was bad enough, but for it to have rooted itself in his heart was another matter entirely. Nevertheless, he did not know who she was or where she was from. He did not know how she had come to be here. She still might be dangerous. He could not forget that. “You owe me nothing,” he said, trying to ensure his words sounded less gruff and grim than those he usually uttered. It seemed that he had all but forgotten how to be friendly. “I’m Wesley,” he said, shifting his chair closer to the edge of the bed to allow her to see him more clearly in the dim light. “You are far from home, I fear. What’s your name?”
She hesitated, for a moment, at his inquiry. Perhaps he noted it, in his close scrutiny of her. She did not know where she was, or who he was to her – or perhaps more importantly, who he was to her guardian’s kingdom, friend or foe. Surely, as a sorcerer in his own right, he had his grudges to bear against the King that would have put him to death… but then, she found it unlikely, somehow, that with all the kindness he had offered thus far, that he should turn a harsher hand against her now. “I am… the lady Morgana,” she expressed, her voice weak, and rasping still, but gaining some small momentum as the moments passed her by, and the residual effects of the toxin released their hold upon her mind, and her form. She watched him, as she spoke these words, gauging their effect upon him as she tried to ascertain just what they might mean to him. “Praytell, where is… this place, m’lord?” she inquired, as her hands slipped free of him to press against the mattress beneath her, attempting to pull herself a little more upright, with only minimal luck. “How is it that I have come to be here?” She inquired. She would have no way of knowing if he spoke the truth, any more now, than he did.
He should not have been surprised by the strange nature of her words. It was a miracle that she spoke English at all, though his knowledge of other-worldly languages was cast and he would likely have been able to interpret her eventually, he was grateful at least for this minor miracle. He saw her flinch ever so slightly at his question. From what he had seen, she had much to fear in the land she had fled. Her tones seemed to indicate that she had not done so on purpose. She likely did not even know what had happened to her. “Morgana,” he repeated, giving a small nod of his head and offering her a kind, yet somehow distant smile. “You’re in Scotland,” he said, unsure if the word actually meant anything to her. The accent she spoke with was of English origin, that much he could tell, but which England and more importantly, when? “The year is two thousand and twelve,” he added, swallowing slightly before looking toward her, anticipating her reaction. “Does that mean something to you?”
Her brows furrowed, slightly, at his continued words, and the unfamiliarity of the land that he offered, and she shook her head, albeit a little sluggishly. “How far have I been brought, from the kingdom of Camelot?” she questioned, trying, most likely without avail, to hide the flash of uncertainty that accompanied the inquiry on her part. She had no knowledge of how she came to be here… or even still, where here was in relation to anything that she knew. Or anyone that she knew. She struggled, to put some sense, to his last words, as he spoke of a year, a year that seemed… impossible. Surely, he had to be mistaken? Her arms rose, somewhat awkwardly, her limbs still not within her complete control, as she wrapped them around herself, her hands clinging to her upper arms and shoulders as she tried to convince herself that it was simply some misunderstanding. Surely, it was simply a difference in translation, or in the way time was measured. Elsewise, it would have been a difference of some nearly… seven hundred years. And that was… simply not possible.
Camelot? His eyebrow quirked slightly, certain that he must have misheard her words. Yet he was sure that he had not. His literary knowledge was not quite as vast as his knowledge of historical texts, but this would not have been the first time that tales of the supernatural, myths and legends from other realms had been brought into earthly fiction. “I… am afraid no such place exists in this dimension, other than… in stories.” He felt he must have sounded insane to her, and yet he knew that the situation itself was already rather insane. He looked her over once more. Her features, the manner of her dress, the words she used… No. This was not possible. Not at all. And yet… Wesley had seen so many impossible things. This was rather easy to believe in comparison to some of it. He shrank back slightly, very uncertain of his next words, careful of startling her further. “Your family name. It would not happen to be Pendragon, would it?” He asked, gauging her reaction.
Dimension? Her expression reflected her puzzlement at the term, clearly uncertain as to its use in the way in which he had used it. Stories? She found that… difficult to believe, that there could be any place so far beyond the reach of the might of Camelot that it was nothing but a tale. Still, she watched him, the way that he watched her with seemingly a more wary gaze now, and she felt her stomach tighten, even as her fingers did so, against her upper arms as she stared at him. She did not know whether she should be suspicious, affronted, or somehow relieved that he seemed to at least have come to recognize who she was. ”I am Morgana le Fay, daughter of Sir Gorlois and the Lady Vivienne… ward of the King of Camelot — Uther Pendragon,” she spoke, after what seemed an indefinitely long pause, though she knew reasonably it had been little more than a few moments in length. ”How is it you mean to say that Camelot… does not exist?” she questioned, after another hesitation, finding her throat tightening at the thought that perhaps, she had not thought it through enough, in his first words. Had something happened? What manner of catastrophe could have struck, that it might destroy an entire kingdom? Her eyes widened, as she recalled the last things that she had recalled, before — She swallowed sharply, her color dropping a shade or two as her words failed her, unable to speak any more than she already had.
This was going to require a delicate hand, Wesley could see. He had already confused her. “E-excuse me one moment…” he said quietly before rising from his seat. “I’ll be back. Please… stay put.” He was unsure how much strength had returned to her but he did not wish for her to test it. The last thing he wanted was for her to find herself even more lost. He stood, exiting the bedroom and walking to the downstairs library. Its collection was vast but he wondered what precisely they might have in the way of fiction. He had been looking in the entirely wrong books… He found something, after a brief search, flicking through the pages. While he was downstairs, he got her some water and some food from the kitchen before rejoining her upstairs. It occurred to him that she had never seen a water bottle before. Not a plastic one, in any case. He removed the lid for her. “Here. You should drink,” he offered as he handed her the bottle, placing the buttered bread on the nightstand beside her. “And eat, if you find you have an appetite.” He paused for a moment, clearing his throat. “Here…” he said hesitantly as he handed her the book. He wished not to hurt her feelings or alarm her. He had already made one mistake today. It seemed she either was unaware of her parentage or the stories had that part wrong. “There exists in our world an infinite number of new worlds, attached to it. I believe you came to us through a - well, for lack of a better term, a door that opened only briefly. It separated the world you know as real from the world I know to be real. In my world… there are legends, stories of your life and the lives of the people you know. Perhaps… somebody else has crossed through one of these doors before and brought the story back with them. I do not know. But this is the best I can think to explain.”
It was clear to Morgana that something that she had said had distressed her host — though how it was that he should be the one in distress was entirely unclear to her. ”Of course,” she acknowledged, as he requested that she wait as she was. Granted, it was highly unlikely that she would be able to muster the strength for more than a few steps, if she was fortunate, but she did not feel compelled to pass that along to him. It was unsettling, somehow, this wariness that crept into her mentality towards her rescuer, after the connection that had lingered between them as she had struggled to live — a conflict that she would have lost long before now if it had not been for his help. ”I shall wait.” She conceded. She did not know what caused his urgent exit. Had he gone to fetch another? Someone who could answer her questions more fully? She tried to put the pieces together, as he left her to the heavy silence left in his wake. None of made any sense, unless somehow, Morgause’s attack upon the kingdom has been… What? Far more brutal, than Morgana had given her credit for? Surely not even one with the magic that Morgause had at her disposal could dispel an entire kingdom? Was this, somehow, what she had wrought, in her ill-fated allegiance with the woman whom had come from nowhere? Her hand dropped, pressing to the silver and gold bracelet that encompassed a wrist. No… not exactly nowhere. But still, there was so much that made no sense to her. The time that had passed, the man’s unfamiliarity with her kingdom, yet knowing her name, it would seem, the name of her guardian…
Her troubled gaze diverted upwards, as he once more entered the room, and she stared in puzzlement at the item that he offered out towards her, though it became clear enough what the contents were, and despite the burning dryness in her throat she turned her head from him, in a vain attempt to hide the flush of color and the rush of tears that blurred her vision once more. How innocent a gesture… and yet how much hurt it was able to invoke within her. ”I…. ” Her throat tightened, and she forced herself to swallow, trying to conceal her tears as she accepted the strange goblet, managing something of a thin smile. ”Thank you,” she offered, though she made no attempt to drink from the water just yet. She was grateful for the excuse to set it aside, untouched, as he offered a book out to her instead, and she accepted it, the lightness of it something of a shock to her, bringing another look of confusion to her worn and wan features. ”Of… my life?” She questioned, her fingers running over the surface of the text, before looking back up to him. ”I do not understand,” She expressed, with some hesitancy. ”This.. kingdom, is not even… of the same world, as Camelot?” She questioned, the words themselves having made some sense, but seemed to connect to nothing.
Wesley felt the familiar pang of pity stir within his chest. It seemed strange. Like some emotion recalled from another time and another place. He was a watcher now. He had to remind himself of that regularly. Wesley was frequently finding himself surprised at having found himself in this position again, responsible for other people, responsible for an entire squad of troubles slayers, and now he was, for better or worse, responsible for the young woman who had practically fallen out of the sky and into his lap. It pained him to see the strained expression on her face, the mix of both hurt and confusion. “Your life… the lives of those you know, your kingdom… I do not know how such a tale came to pass into fiction here, but it would not be the first time real places, events and people have found their way into our consciousness under the guise of myths and stories.” Wesley wasn’t sure he was making any sense to the young woman. He seemed to be repeating himself. Though he wondered, if perhaps the fact you came from an alternate reality and your life was merely a story book in this one didn’t perhaps take more than one utterance to truly sink in. “No,” he confirmed in answer to her question, looking toward her with sympathy in his blue eyes. “There is no such place as Camelot in our world, other than in that book before you, and in ones like it. But… I will try and help you, as best I can.” His gaze held the meaning of his promise as it met hers with a gentleness. “I will do what I can to find a way to open the portal again and get you home. But we must nurse you to health first.”
Her kingdom. Her life. Her friends. Her allies. Even her enemies. She felt tears spring, hot and unwanted to her eyes, and she tried to shield them from him, her head tilting from him as she swallowed back a sound of misery. Gone. How had it come to be? There was so much she did not know. What had Morgause done? Why had Merlin done ….what he had done? Were the others safe? Arthur? Uther? “I must return,” she managed, after what seemed an eternity of silence, desperation in her voice, in her gaze as she turned her eyes up to meet his, filled with a kindness, a mercy, a compassion that she had once seen mirrored in her own, now filled with… what? Who was she, now? Who was she, here? “Uther — Arthur, they’re in danger,” she insisted, her heart aching. Had Merlin betrayed them all? It made her stomach clench, and the pain that echoed in her body seemed to return, in force.
"They’ll be fine," he assured her, though he was uncertain just how true those words were. She needed something to hold onto. A belief to make this even less stressful than it was already bound to be. "I’ll do what I can to get you back, but it might be difficult. I’ll need you to be patient."
Her gaze searched his, as he spoke, as he tried to offer her some comfort, but there was something beneath his words, some shadow in his gaze, that made her brow crease, and her fingers tightened against the text in her hands. If that was certain, he would have held utter confidence in his words. And just as quickly, followed suit in her thoughts, that perhaps nothing was certain. If this text was, truthfully, the history of Camelot and her life, and those of the others in the kingdom, and this part of it, her appearance here in this strange world, had not been written in it, perhaps nothing was certain. “Yes.” She managed, her gaze dropping from his, to glance down to the book in front of her. “Of course. I am… I am sorry.” She expressed, genuinely enough. “I… I am uncertain where.. to begin,” she expressed, finally, her gaze creeping back up towards his. “You have read.. this text, this history of Camelot?” she asked, after another slight hesitation, not sure what she wanted him to say.
He could tell she didn’t believe him. She was right not to, but she had great intelligence. That much he could already tell. Or at the very least, she was good at reading people. People didn’t usually figure out that he was a liar until a few weeks or months down the line. “No need to apologize,” he assured her, reaching out to put his hand on her arm momentarily. Her clothes were dirty. Torn. He’d have to find her some new ones. “You’re in a strange place, with a strange man. Being worried is…understandable.” He attempted to comfort her once again with a smile, though he didn’t do much of that, recently. At her next question, he gave a nod. “Yes,” he admitted. “Many years ago.”
A faded memory. A scrap of a fragment of imagination. That was all that she was to him… That was all any of them were, to him… to those here. Her lashes crept closed, and one hand rose, pressing to the bridge of her nose, as she tried to hold back her tears once more, easing up along her forehead and smoothing out her brow and scraping back through her hair as she brought her gaze back up to settle on him. “Yes,” she said, with the very faintest of a smile, at his assessment of the situation. “Though… I do not believe that I have anything to fear from you, my lord,” she admitted, though perhaps she should not have. Yet there was truth to it… and surely there was no harm in that? “You saved my life… and you are… “ There was a hesitation, a flash of a furrow of her brow. “You are like me.” She expressed, cautiously. She did not know what the laws were, of magic, in this realm, if they suffered under the edicts of one such as Uther, but if what he said was true, and this book held what he said it did, then her secrets were already laid bare. She found that disconcerting, and strangely comforting, all in one fell swoop.
"I… I am not a lord," he said, somewhat ashamedly, though he knew that she was just trying to be polite. That was her custom. Had he come from her time, her place, the title likely would have been accurate. He came from noble birth in the strictest sense, yet he wasn’t exactly what one might call ‘noble’. "It’s just Wesley, or Wes. We don’t… really call people that here. You’re right, though. I intend you no harm." He didn’t want to. Though if the memories of what he had read in her story were to be trusted, she might be dangerous, with the right motivation. Not yet though. Whatever had happened to turn her down the dark path, it hadn’t taken place yet. She was still just a scared and confused girl. "Like you?" he asked, looking at her quizzically as she spoke. "Like you in…what way?" He might think of a few, but he was curious to see which one she meant.
She watched him, curiosity plaguing her despite the turmoil… or perhaps as a welcome relief to it, of the situation at hand. Her throat ached. Her body burned. She found herself reaching for, hesitantly, the goblet of water that he had brought her. She did not believe that he would have meant her harm, and yet still, her hand trembled, just slightly, as she brought the cup to her lips, the odd crinkling sound of it distracted her still, but in the moment that passed, she drank, greedily, though discreetly, still. If he was not a lord… he was certainly a scholar. One did not surround themselves with these manner of objects, if they were not. “You are a healer, then?” She questioned. Her brows crept together again, slightly, and her teeth scraped over her lips as she returned the strange goblet to the table beside the bed where she was half sat. “I… You have… you have magic,” She offered, after a struggle, her heart surging in her chest, causing her body to cramp, and ache again with the rush of adrenaline that the confession made.
He gave a small smile, and then a chuckle, as she tried to discern what he was, how exactly to label him. He wasn’t entirely sure himself. What would he have been in her world? “No. Not a healer either,” he confessed, breathing a sigh. “I’m a soldier, I suppose. Though not the kind that you’d be familiar with.” Magic. Of course. Forget racial cleansing. People in this world ere identified by whether they had magic or not. Though, it was not quite the same in this dimension. “I… yes. Though my training is not very extensive.”
"It would seem that will be.. commonplace, in this world," She mused, as he went on to describe himself. There were few that she would have described as soldier that were as he was. Clearly wise, compassionate, intelligent — cautious, and wary, as well. She could see it in the way that he regarded her. He did not know what to make of her. She wondered, vaguely, what would become of her. "And … in this world," Morgana questioned, her fingers again curling around the edges of the book that she braced on her lap. "Is that… frowned upon? Magic. Is it… forbidden?"
"In this world… most people think magic to be the stuff of fairy tales. It’s not…forbidden, but if you were to confess to possessing it, most people would think you were insane. But those who know about it are free. They aren’t threatened. They aren’t hamed. So there is that comfort," he assured her. "You’re going to be surprised by just how different our worlds are. You should probably stay close to me."
There was… a strangeness, to his words, and yet there was no denying the truth in them. There was no hesitation, other than perhaps to find the right words. She could see no sign of deception. There was a sense of relief, that escaped, a weight that lifted from her, despite all the other questions that remained unanswered. A weight that she hadn’t even quite been aware that she’d been carrying, and she let her lashes sink closed for a long moment as she absorbed that knowledge. “Thank you,” she offered, sincerely, as her gaze rose to meet his again, to study him. “I expect… you will grow tired of my endless inquiries, before long,” she said, with a very faint smile again, as she reached again for the strange goblet. “I… feel as if I should apologize, still, or perhaps in advance, for… everything.” She admitted.
He shook his head, leaning back in his chair slightly. “No. No need to apologize. It would be… a change, to have someone around who might listen to what I have to say, or want to talk to me.” He sald, half jokingly with a small smile. “Later though,” he told her, rising from the seat. “You should rest. Your body will be tired from the poison.”
She found it curious, again. She found /him/ curious. How he could discard himself so lightly, when she had seen so much of interest and potential in him, in the short amount of time that they had passed together. “I think I shall be very grateful for your company, Wesley,” she spoke, quietly, genuinely. Her half smile faded, at his next, or rather, the last word, however, and she flinched, her head ducking down towards her chest, as her gaze traveled the title of the book in front of her. “Yes. I would imagine so.” she admitted, reluctantly. She did not want to sleep. She did not want to rest. She did not know what dreams would await her, in this place. She did not know if she even could sleep, with all of the questions that rattled around unanswered in her head. “Perhaps… I could ask for you to hold onto this… until I am… more recovered,” she said, after a clear moment of indecision, before she offered the book up towards him. “I do not believe I would rest, with it here,” She explained.
"Oh, um…yes. Certainly," he said as he took the book from her, lightly flicking through the pages. It might be an idea to read it again, to give himself an indication of who she was, what she had gone through. Though it seemed like rather an invasion of privacy. Not that it mattered now. She didn’t have much privacy any more. "I’ll be around. Downstairs, or in the castle somewhere. Find me if you need anything," he gave her one last lingering look before lowering his eyes. "Sleep well," he said genuinely, before walking to the door and exiting the room, shutting off the light as he left, realizing that she wouldn’t know how.
Castle. Yes, it seemed appropriate somehow. She managed a smile, if a weary one, at his words, her gaze softening a little as it met his. “Thank you,” she offered, in return, quietly. Her eyes widened, briefly, as the room faded instantly into darkness, but her eyes adjusted quickly in return, and she watched the room, in silence, for a long time after his departure. Her thoughts were chaotic, and flurried, and tears soon stole down her cheeks as she curled into the warmth provided by the bed beneath her, quiet sounds that faded eventually into silence as sleep took a hold of her and dragged her downwards.
Still, it was a somewhat restless night, as her body continued to fight off the effects of the poison, and her mind struggled under the weight of the revelations she’d been told the night before, and it was not long after the first hints of the sun began to creep through the room that she awoke with a gasp, pulling herself upright, her mind spinning, reeling as she tried to process just where it was that she … was. It all came flooding back, all too quickly, and it took her several minutes to force the tears again to recede. She used the last of the water in the strange goblet, to pour over her hands, and splash onto her features, doing what she could to straighten her disheveled appearance before she crept out into the hallway, uncertain where to begin looking, and not wanting to disturb anyone — not knowing what she would make of them, even if she did.
The sound of a door opening and closing caught her attention. The slayer had heard about Wes’ little house guest. She wasn’t exactly buyin’ the whole dimension story, Seemed a little insane, makin’ friends with knights and princesses and all that good fairy tale shit. She’d seen a lot, but that was taking the gravy a little bit. She arched an eyebrow as the disheveled little thing made her way out into the hallway. Girl looked like she’d been dragged through a lawnmower. “So you’re her,” Faith said in her unfamiliar Boston accent. “O’ Course…” She gave a small roll of her eyes, not exactly revealing what she meant by her comment. “Ya lookin’ for Wes, or you just gonna yell ‘demon’ at my iPod?”
The voice broke through the silence that hung in the early morning air, and she barely managed to refrain from jumping, as she turned a wary gaze towards the dark-haired girl that watched her from a little further down the hallway. Her words were… strange. Her accent was… difficult to understand, and alien, in entirety, but there were enough words that Morgana could interpret to get the… gist, of it, she believed. The woman’s body language, however, required very little effort to translate, and Morgana felt her chin tilt upwards, a little, her expression taking on a placid and yet regal expression at the same time as she studied the other woman. “I am seeking Wesley,” she settled on, after a barest moment’s deliberation as to which of the comments that sprang to mind she might actually put forth. She settled for… safe. For now.
Faith gave a small snicker, rolling her eyes. “And I thought Wes was all prim and proper. Nothin’ compared to you, princess. Actually, Giles takes the cake. Wes has darkened up a little recently. It’s workin’ for him. Scars an’ all. C’mon. I think he’s probably dozin’ off in his library or somethin’.” She gestured with her hand for Morgana to follow her, heading toward the stair case and leading their new guest to Wes’ library. She called it Wes’ because nobody else even bothered to go in there. Many a time had she caught him asleep with a book in his hands and whiskey on his breath. They’d even shared a few night caps in here themselves when Wesley was willing to have company. “Hey, boozy!” She called, knocking on the door lightly and then walking in.
Morgana’s shoulders stiffened, at the laughter that met her response, and she felt a prickle of anger start to form at the nape of her neck, at the way in which the woman spoke to her. She was — perhaps to her detriment — the least of her household to stand upon such things as formality, but she had still anticipated some measure of respect… and then, abruptly, she was forced to recognize that there might be no such thing afforded. She was not known here, despite the title, ‘princess’, that was given to her. She held no position here, other than what she herself was afforded. Or demanded. “My name is Lady Morgana,” she clarified, unwilling to spark a confrontation, though just as unwilling to let such crassness slide, entirely unattended to. She did not know what position this woman held… but that did not lessen her own, any. Her hands shifted, pulling up slightly on the edge of her dress mostly to give herself something to do with them, other than clench them, and she kept her head high as she followed down the hall, into the room that the woman led her into. A library. A massive one. She felt her anger fade, somewhat, awe taking over, as her gaze traveled the walls, massive and filled, with text after text after text. “Truly… magnificent,” she murmured, more to herself than anyone else, for a moment forgetting where she was, exactly — or why.
Faith gave a soft snicker aat her words. She was British and from the past or whatever. Shouldn’t have held out hope for a sense of humor. “Word of advice. That ‘lady’ stuff, we don’t really do that here. Kind of a first name only kinda deal. So, ‘Morgana’, I’m Faith. FYI, we gotta get you some new clothes, girlfriend, because you gonna look like you just stepped off Downton Abbey going around wearing that.” The library was empty and she found herself chewing the inside of her cheek for a second. If the broad had slept in Wes’ room and Wes hadn’t slept in the library, where the hell was he? She moved forward, heading to the adjoining office. “Wesley. Your girlfriend is up.”
It was clear, that she had somehow affronted the young woman who was serving as guide. Whether it was her presence alone, or her demeanor somehow that had done so, she did not know. What she did know, was that she found herself much preferring the company of her savior of the evening before, and she found herself casting a look of discontent towards the woman… though she attempted, still, to reign it in. “I shall bear that in mind,” she said, a little stiffly, though she still had to wonder if it was the manner of the girl’s speech or the words themselves that she could not understand for half of them. Her brows shot upwards, at the guide’s last words, and she again felt her chin jut outwards. She did not know what caused the instant reaction in her, or even what the reaction was. The terminology — the idea that the woman had made such sort of assumption — or the thought that he had referred to her as such. Surely, he had not? Her arms curled, crossing over her atomach, her hands settling on her elbow as she stood, silently, for the moment, watching the woman and waiting to see just where it was that she would be led to next.
Wes exited his office, his facial hair slightly thicker, his hair unkempt, wearing the same clothes he had fallen asleep in the night before. He hadn’t truly slept, just dozed a little at his desk while he was trying to do some research. He didnt even know what he was researching. He had made it about half way through the book she had left him with and then gone to the net. He was still no more clear about what had happened. “Faith,” he said tiredly, giving her a small nod. “Perhaps it’s best not to frighten our desk with bad manners on the first day, hm? Give her about a week, then she can start to dislike you for herself.” His words were half joking and Faith responded by giving him a little sneer and a nudge in the arm. “Hey, whatever,” she responded with a sly smile. “Gonna remember that while I make bacon. Not for you though. See ya,” she exited the room through the other entrance to his office, heading to the kitchen and leaving them alone. Wes seemed rather self conscious about his disgruntled appearance, clearing his throat as he tried to make himself more presentable. “Good morning,” he said quietly. “Sorry. I… I am not used to company, other than the girls. Please don’t be offended by Faith. She rather thinks she’s amusing.”
She was somewhat surprised, though perhaps she shouldn’t have been, at the relief that washed through her as she caught sight of the man who had saved her life, and seemed, for now, to be her only tie to this new world where she had found herself. He, too, had seemed to have slept little, his momentary shuffling of his weight and the movement of his hands to smooth back his hair and sort out his disheveled clothes brought a faint flicker of a smile to her lips. “Thank you, Faith.” She offered, forcing herself to maintain some semblance of civility, a slightly tight smile offered, though she failed, utterly, to discern just what the exchange between the two actually indicated. “I am sorry… if I have disturbed you,” she said to Wesley, once they were alone, as a indication of his attempt to straighten himself, something that she had attempted to do to as little avail as him, it would seem.. “I am certain she is… quite lovely,” she attempted, though she was not entirely certain that she managed to convey a sense of sincerity, though she did not actually mean any insult with the words. There would be much she would have to adjust to in this world. Including, it seemed, not being referred to as anything more than just… Morgana. “Girls?” she questioned, without thinking, the phrasing of it having caught her off guard somehow. “There are… more than one, like her?” She questioned, sounding a little more distressed than she might have liked to admit.
"Perhaps we are even more alike than I suspected," she suggested, with a half smile, at his first words, though one hand shifted, curling almost protectively against the bracelet that wrapped around one wrist. It was strange, not knowing just how much he knew. Or what else there was to know. "It is quite all right," she spoke, drawing closer to where he stood, glancing out after the other woman, and then back to him. "I am hardly in a position to pass judgment, and it is I who have intruded into your home… and into the lives of those under your care," she clarified, though she found herself at a loss to understand just what it was that he meant. Twelve others… but twelve other… what? Her brow creased, vaguely, as she watched him, though she sought to smooth it away. "I do hope that I was not… a predominant source of your unrest, this evening past," she offered, after a moment.
"Maybe you two will get along in time," he said hopefully. He shook his head at her next words, hoping she was not too concerned with him. She had just been poisoned and she was already walking around and worrying about other people. "Trust me, it wasn’t you keeping me awake. I was awake anyway. Um… do you want some breakfast, or something?"
"Perhaps," she acknowledged, with a wan smile, as her arms wrapped around her waist once more. "I am — at least I would like to believe so — accustomed to dealing with those with what others might call… troublesome dispositions," She said, with a faint flicker of amusement at the thought of what most would call her guardian… that being the least venomous of them, nearly. "Actually…" she admitted, a hesitation evident. "Your companion mentioned… the possibility of a change in attire?" She questioned, somewhat hopefully, though hesitantly. She hated to impose. "And perhaps…" her hand rose, to drift self consciously through her ragged curls. "Somewhere that I might… tidy up, a bit." She requested, mildly.
"Ah, yes… hold on a moment." He walked through his office again. Faith wasn’t particularly one for embarrassment. He called through to her. "Faith? I’m going to get Morgana some of your clothes!" The reply came back through a mouth full of bacon or toast or coffee and Wes accepted that as a yes, going back toward Morgana. "Follow me," he said before going back up the stairs Morgana had just followed Faith down. He went to Faith’s room, pulling out some pieces of attire. He didn’t know which items Faith favored and which she didn’t. They seemed strange, no doubt, to the young woman, but they had nothing else. "Here," he said, folding them into a pile and placing them into her arms. He then led her to the bathroom. Luckily, girls were always coming and going. Shampoo, tooth paste, hair brushes, they had those already. He grabbed everything he thought she might need from the closet and added those to her collection, though he was conscious she rather wouldn’t know what to do with some of it. "You turn this," he said, gesturing to the tap and showing her what it did. "You get water. Careful with the one with the red on the handle. That one is hot." He stood, awkwardly, wondering if he had forgotten anything.