mnt_raph: (Default)
[personal profile] mnt_raph
It's less than a day's ride from the Designated Tortoise to Corus, so Abigail and Raph saddled up Cloud and a loaner horse by the name of Colin and set out after just after lunch. They crossed into the city proper just as the shadows began to lengthen announcing the approach of night. Raph, who had spent his first few years in Tortall doing odd jobs in and about the city, had more than a few favors at his disposal. The best barn was open to the horses, while their people dined on the best fare at the best table, and later slept in the best bed the inn had to offer. Pretty damn auspicious way to start an Adventure, if Raph says so himself.

The following morning all travellers awoke refreshed and prepared for anything the day had to offer, which apparently a whole lot given the beautiful weather and overall quiet of the countryside. The group had only been travelling for a few hours when they reached that point in the journey where pleasant conversation falls by the wayside leaving only silence in its wake. The silence wasn't welcome. Making conversation was the only thing keeping Raph's mind from focusing on the any number of things he'd rather not be thinking about. Foremost on that particular list is the paranoia that at any moment he's going to fall off Colin.

In the nearly ten years that he has spent on this side of the door, Raph has only successfully ridden on Cloud for any extended duration. Horses, you see, make him nervous. So nervous that the horses, sensing this apprehension, can do nothing but react in kind. More than one has been guilty of throwing him from the saddle, and as such Raph has stuck close to Cloud and Cloud alone as much as possible. Cloud was there though out his seemingly endless Kane-like wandering of Tortall, and there was no way Raph was going to repay the poor pony's loyalty by making his cart his sorry ass around on another long journey. It just wouldn't be fair. Which is why during the four day trek towards the Swoop it will be Abigail riding Cloud, what with her being so much lighter than the bald Shang warrior riding to her left.

So far so good though, right? Colin seems to be behaving in spite of Raph's white knuckled death grip on the reins.

Date: 2009-04-27 04:25 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
Cloud and Abigail became fast friends on the road to Corus. It's true Abigail has long been in the pony's good graces thanks to carefully selected apples and other treats, but no relationship between mount and human is set in stone until significant time has been spent in the saddle.

Having found each other mutually agreeable, both pony and woman are far more relaxed than the man and horse beside them. Especially after Colin steps down on a stone and overcompensates. Amused at the look on Raph's face, Abigail starts to hum. She knows the words to the bawdy song by heart, but frankly she thinks it wise to do no more than share the tune.

Raph might bounce right off Colin's back, otherwise.

Date: 2009-04-28 02:18 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
A light touch on the reins signals Cloud to stop. The pony obeys without protest, and Abigail tilts her head to watch Raph's posterior ride by them.

"Mayhap if you relaxed it a bit, it wouldn't be such a bother," she suggests, laughter in her voice.

His tone might have been deceptively calm, but there's no mistaking the way his entire head blanched.

Date: 2009-04-28 03:19 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Sassy pants)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
"Aye, as calm as Mithros himself," scoffs Abigail. "So calm you're in danger of puttin' us all to sleep, not just your ass."

Shielding her eyes, she glances at the sky and the high sun. The road ahead is bathed in the heat of mid-day. Abigail is getting hungry and could use a rest herself, so she steers Cloud toward a copse of trees.

"Come. Have a meal, Raph. There's plenty of time to be calm after you've relaxed."

Date: 2009-04-30 01:31 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
Indeed. Abigail finishes tethering Cloud and smiles at the pony; between them, Raph's not fooling anyone.

Keeping her back to Raph to hide her smirk, she relieves Cloud of the weight of her pack and selects a spot under a tall tree with low, thick branches. Only when she's in the shade does she remove her secondhand traveling hat. It's not that she's opposed to a tan, just that she spends most of her waking hours in the tavern and isn't fool enough to go uncovered until she's adjusted to spending full days outside.

"'Tis," she agrees at last. "You'll get no argument from me, though no place can rival the valley for charm."

From her pack she pulls out bread, cheese, a corked bottle of wine and a meat pie wrapped in cloth. Today they'll eat well. Tomorrow they'll have to hunt.

"Bring that map of yours," Abigail suggests.

Date: 2009-05-01 04:59 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Sassy pants)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
Abigail sends him an exasperated look.

"And does that knowledge mean I can't look at it myself? I meant bring it from there-" she points at his pack "-to here."

The cork is removed with a sharp pop.

Date: 2009-05-01 06:27 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Sassy pants)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
That depends on what he means by long lasting ill effects. To some, the expressionless, unblinking stare Abigail turns on him until he puts the map in her hand might be thoroughly discomfiting, and it doesn't look like she'll be smiling anytime soon.

"If I thought that, you dolt, Goddess knows I would've been holdin' the map since the valley."

Date: 2009-05-01 08:49 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Look down)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
It's a measure of Abigail's own good mood, all things considered, that laughter eventually bubbles up her throat, chasing the stern look from her face. Aye, she loves him, in spite of his thick head.

"Pity your sense of direction is servin' you so well," she says, lips twitching, "and won't steer you right into the sea. Me'n Cloud could use a good laugh." Her eyes flick to the horse. "'Course Colin might help you along, the way you're tensin' up."

Unrolling the map, she runs her eyes over the coast road; and then she turns the map right side up.

Date: 2009-05-01 09:12 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
Abigail presses the bottle of wine into Raph's hands and sends Colin a wink, like she can somehow divine his feelings toward his rider. She can't, but occasionally there's been an irrefutable sense of the three of them versus Raph.

Or perhaps that's simply how she's kept herself entertained on the road.

"The sea looks close," she notes, voice quavering ever so slightly with excitement. "Won't be long, now."

Half a day, at the most.

"Goddess bless, I'm wantin' to see it."

Date: 2009-05-01 09:37 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
He can, and she'll probably enjoy it. Granting him an honest, bright smile in response, Abigail angles her head and asks, "One of?"

She's not above wanting him to elaborate.

"What else've you seen to tickle your fancy the same?"

The fingers she wraps around the neck of the bottle just happen to brush his, and her smile widens.

Date: 2009-05-01 10:28 pm (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Smile)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
Then there's no harm in Abigail shifting closer, allowing his arm to wrap more firmly around her, is there? She votes no, and smiles as she takes a drink.

"Once we reach the coast, we'll see a sunrise," she decides. "Then you'll have both together."

Her hand squeezes his, goes still.

"The most sun you'd see?"

Date: 2009-05-02 03:35 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Sassy pants)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
For a moment she's tempted to let the subject drop, in the hopes that maybe he'd get back to the neck nuzzling; but ultimately the ability to do so isn't in her makeup.

"When you were young," Abigail says, looking at him with mingled surprise and disbelief. "Sure, and I work nights one after t'other. Always have. I still fetch water and feed the horses, visit friends and take my brother a meal while Mithros lights the sky."

Date: 2009-05-02 04:03 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Sassy pants)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
"Mmm hmm. High enough to where you couldn't hear the people in the streets?"

Her raised eyebrow is practically audible.

Date: 2009-05-02 04:11 am (UTC)
tortallan_npc: ([Abigail] Look down)
From: [personal profile] tortallan_npc
"And the streets," she continues, slightly suspicious, "they must've been at the base of big hills?"

The response was easy, sure, but something is as off as a soured barrel of ale. But it's that same feeling, that lump right there in her chest, that she's had since he told her about the other tavern. Milliways. Lips pursed, Abigail considers how to proceed.

"Tell me," she says, leaning down to kiss the top of his head; she stays like that, gently rubbing her cheek against him.

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Raphael

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