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❄ Winter 69/70
[Meridian] You get what you need

Started by Odhrán Ó Dálaigh, July 14, 2021, 08:46:19 pm

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 14, 2021, 08:46:19 pm Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 09:45:12 am by Royal_Poet
The weather outside was grey and miserable. Lying in bed, he couldn't see much, but he could tell that the dark, grey skies weren't going away. Everything was unnaturally still. He missed Ard na Mara and the sounds of the nearby sea. Here in Knockturn Alley the only sound seemed to be the occasional opening and closing of doors. It made him feel tense, though in reality he had nothing to worry about. Séverin had situated him in a room on the second floor of Meridian. He appreciated that. When he'd first woken up it had taken him a moment to work out. The lavender wallpaper had seemed familiar, but otherwise the room was unrecognisable.

Somebody, Aoibheann probably, had built a shrine to the Ó Dálaigh family on his bedside table. Golden framed family photographs, a bunch of purple and white flowers - lisianthus maybe, he'd have to ask Talia to know for sure -, a candle; yes, there was certainly a rather feminine touch to how it had been done. His bed had several colourful blankets heaped on it. He thought he recognised a green one as having come from Helene's house. Wasn't that usually on her sofa downstairs? A small table had appeared in the room as well, packed with potions, runes and fresh mint. The smell of it was overpowering. Odhrán concluded that it was probably here because his mother knew he found it soothing. He regretted ever mentioning it now.

The last few hours had been deeply humbling for him. Friends and family alike had been in and out, fussing over him. He wasn't sure which bit had been the most humiliating. His sister's disapproving speech, his mother giving him a sponge bath and cleaning his hair with a charm, or Helene calling him a reckless fool. He'd eventually feigned tiredness just to have some time to himself. His head was hurting and his thoughts were disorderly. Séverin had brought him a potion for that, but Odhrán knew better than anyone that after the kind of trauma he'd suffered it would take some time for him to make a recovery.

He noted that he'd been left without his wand and without a book or magazine. 'Rest' had been his healers' orders, but he didn't know too much about switching off. He found himself longing for a gentle distraction to slowly ease himself back into the world. It would have been nice to have his journal, nicer perhaps to have his harp, though he doubted that he was well enough to get up and play. He'd tried to walk to the bathroom on his own earlier, and had to eventually admit that he needed help. Aoibheann, of course, hadn't minded. He did though. Yet another humbling moment in what seemed to be a series of them.

He could still hear people talking downstairs, which meant they still weren't done fussing. Was that Helene's voice? He didn't want to focus on it, but with little else going on, it was hard to escape it. Was she asking everybody to go home? Oh, she was saint. Or maybe she had been picking at his thoughts? Normally, he'd scold her for it, but this time he was quietly grateful. Trying to 'rest' would definitely be easier while people weren't hovering over him. He drifted in and out of sleep a few times while time passed in a paradoxically slow manner.

Eventually, he fell back asleep and rested as the midday sun warmed his room and filled it with ambient brightness. The dark weather had eased. When he opened his eyes again, he felt hungry. Bathroom first though. He tried to sit up in bed. His arm hurt and his ribcage felt as if an Ukrainian Ironbelly had tried to land on his chest. His breath came uneasy as he battled with the pain. He eyed one of the pain relief potions on the table near him and focusing his energy tried to summon it too him. His magic sparked briefly, then fizzled out. Great.

Odhrán hissed in frustration, took a deep breath and slowly counted backwards. When his chest stopped hurting he would make another attempt at it. A wandless accio wasn't that hard, now was it? He conceded that maybe he'd have to actually say the incantation.

"Accio," he tried out the word. "Accio. Accio." He found that he felt apprehensive to try again. What if the spell didn't cooperate again? He didn't like this feeling of helplessness. There had to something, some part of this he could have control over.

"Accio," he said again, his determination colouring his tone. The bottle moved on the table inching closer towards him. Good. Now he was in business. "Accio!" Odhrán growled at the bottle. This time, it had heard him. It speed towards him violently knocking over another potion bottle in its path. It clattered to the floor loudly. Damn. No doubt one of his minders would show up now and fuss some more.

Talia Bryce

Why was it that anything involving this Irishman was a whirlwind experience? Talia had snuck away at some point after everything was settled at Meridian to change and grab a few things from home and hastily took care of a few others before returning to everyone, Odhrán fully situated upstairs. Returning there had been a lengthy discussion downstairs about routine and scheduling, some other more detailed things that sounded private so Lia let her mind wander for a moment and waited for the conversation to circle back around. Everyone else sounded ragged, Helene most of all after all the work she had employed to treat him. Offering to stay, she said some thank yous to everyone and excused herself as the talk once more ventured into a direction Talia felt didn't involve her. A noise from above grabbed her attention, soft enough to almost be lost in the chatter downstairs but Lia felt it prickle at her senses and she decided to make sure someone wasn't attempting to get out of bed or do anything else absurd.

Picking up the stack of things she had brought from home, she padded up the stairs to the second floor. Leaning into the room, she sighed and rolled her eyes, head shaking at the mess on the floor.

"Can't take you anywhere can I?" Teasing, Lia bent down to grab the potion bottle from the floor a quick reparo to fix the chip along the neck of the crystal form. Setting one of the bottles back on the table next to the others, juggling some items tucked into her arm, she cast her eyes over Odhrán. He looked considerably better and actually had color in his cheeks, his eyes much less sullen. Concern melted away the closer she stepped to the bed and inspected him.  "Not trying to escape are you?"

Uncorking the one she assumed he was going for, she handed it to him and gave a smile. "Your stimulant, sir." She gave a cheeky smirk before rounding the end of the bed and peeked outside. No surprise he was still in pain after everything. She made a mental note to bring more upstairs later.

"You can't tell the others but I snuck some things past your wardens." Standing at the foot of his bed, she shifted the items under her arm and pointed a finger in his direction, her voice lowering.

"Right, so no squealing on me?" Judging how close in personality she felt they were, she knew if it was her in that bed she would be going positively stir crazy. "I brought a change of--well," Turning to face him she bit back a laugh, the smile giving her away. "Clothes.. No offense to your sister at all and honestly you look good in anything." A small laugh bubbled up, rubbing the back of her hand against her lips to cover the grin spreading wider and wider at the sight of him. Goodness... he really did look amazing in anything but she could only imagine how utterly shocked he was to have looked down at noticed his current outfit.

"Hope you don't mind I went through the closet in your office. Nothing fancy but probably a bit more... comfortable." Clearing her throat of another laugh, she held up a dark grey jumper that she had washed. Off the hanger it had smelled a little like it was living in his closet for some time and probably could do with a freshening up. Another shirt was draped over her arm, a black button-up with some sort of stain on the collar she had scrubbed at but in the right light was noticeable. Better than nothing she assumed and his family could bring more from home, that was one trip she wasn't ready for yet. "And a lighter shirt if you get too hot. At one point someone had the room so warm even I was far too toasty." Setting the options on the back of the chair closest the bed, her gaze lifted from his eyes to his hair and thought back to how he has been so keen on fixing it at the baths.

Digging into her purse, Lia revealed a small clam shelled compact. "Go on, one less thing for you to fret over." Handing the mirror over to him, she gave a nod at his hair. Not that she found it to be any less attractive but he seemed a touch frazzled.

"Some reading material, a book I noticed in your office that judging from the state of it looked to be one you're fond of... oh and something to keep your hands busy." Turning her back to give him a bit of privacy to compose himself, she set down a book along with what she assumed was an old sketchbook and pencils from his office. Leafing through the drawings she had noted plenty of empty pages he could at least doodle something on and keep him from getting too bored and lean into the temptation of wandering.

Letting out a long breath, she plopped down into the chair and met his eyes. "Did I forget anything?"

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Crap. He could hear somebody coming up the stairs towards his room. He felt a little bit of a panic welling up inside of him. He'd have to deal with people again and would likely be told off for sitting up and trying to take care of things by himself. Why did everyone have to insist on being so damn helpful? It was actually quite disturbing. He was expecting his mother or sister to burst into the room, but was surprised when instead he saw Talia. What was she doing here? Who had told her? A dim memory from the previous night reasserted itself. He'd thought he'd seen her and that she'd held his hand. It had seemed rather like a dream at the time. Oh Merlin save him, that had been real?

He flinched at the realisation. That meant she'd met his family. His sister. His mother. Helene who, she was clearly jealous of. Séverin. Why had nobody thought to warn him that Talia had been there? Damn. He gaped at her cute little remark, before blushing uncomfortably. "I'm sorry," he said to her in a contrite manner, feeling beyond mortified she was seeing him in this state. She sorted out his potion for him, which he gladly accepted, downing the liquid a litter faster than was perhaps advisable. Rather self consciously he realised that he had to look a right mess. The atrocious pastel green jumper his sister had foisted onto him was one thing, but the beige coloured pyjama bottoms and the state his face and hair were in was probably even more unflattering.

Of course, Talia commented on it right away. Odhrán winced. "No need to beat around the bush. I'm a right mess, I know. And I think Aoibheann is punishing me. You know, nothing says I disapprove of your life choices quite like this shade of mint. Should really be banned by the International Confederation of Wizards for unusual cruelty. I do thank you though for thinking of me. I'd like to rejoin civilised society if possible." His joking seemed to fall a little flat. His level of discomfort at being caught in this state was more than evident on his face.

Picking up on his unease, she offered up her compact mirror and he took it from her carefully, opening it up with a feeling of trepidation. He took a quick glance, before snapping it shut again. "I'm sorry," he mumbled nervously. This was a disaster. Here he was with the woman he felt deeply in love with, looking is absolute worst. If that didn't put her off it would be a miracle. They'd only been on two dates. It was hardly liked she'd promised to see him through for better or for worse. This was probably not how she'd pictured spending more time with him.

Surprisingly, Talia had yet more things for him. A book, his notepad, some pencils. It was really quite touching. "Thank you, thank you." How was it that she was taking better care of him than his own family? None of them had thought to bring him his notepad. Well, okay, maybe it would have helped his case if he'd actually ever discussed his drawing. He was awed and grateful and relieved there would be something to do now. She was amazing.

Then, a question, did he need anything else?

"Um, well, actually..." he started awkwardly. "If you wouldn't mind there are a few things you could get me." He hated admitting this. It was supremely uncomfortable, but he just knew she wouldn't let him get up and try to sort things out for himself. "If you head downstairs, there is a bathroom next to the lab. In that little cabinet in the corner I have a small purple bottle of twisted glass, that one please. Also, a taller green one. And a dumpy blue one. And on the top shelf there is a folding blade with an ebony handle. Also a clean towel, and a bowl of warm water, I'm sure you'd be able to find something in the lab. And my toothbrush and the tub next to it." He couldn't even look at her while going through the list. He felt beyond bad for asking. "I'd go myself, but I think you'd not be happy with me if I did. I'm sorry. If my mother is still here you could ask her. I realise this is rather more than you signed up for a little while ago when we agreed to court. You... don't have to look after me. You know that, right?"

Odhrán shifted uncomfortably, struggling with his emotions. "I'm sure you have better things to do with yourself. Please, don't let me keep you from anything." What he really wanted to know was who in his traitorous family had told her. Aoibheann seemed like the only logical option who'd have known enough, but he couldn't picture her calling on Talia. Maybe she had come by the clinic? That made more sense, but didn't explain his half-remembering her presence the night prior. Maybe that had been a dream after all? Was there a chance he was still dreaming and this was just an awkward figment of his imagination?

Talia Bryce

July 16, 2021, 01:48:43 am #3 Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 06:44:29 am by Talia Bryce
Sitting forward in her seat, she gave a nod and prepared to take note of everything he was asking for. Why wasn't he looking at her? Did he not want her here? Maybe it was a little too much, they did just barely come to the decision of what they might be to one another, at least for now. Mentally storing everything he listed off, she cocked her head to one side. Why was he apologizing?

"Hush." Talia fought the urge to roll her eyes, brushing his comment off with wave of her hand. "I may not have anticipated you doing anything this foolish so soon... but I'm very aware of what I signed up for." Standing, she readied to go downstairs and hunt for all the requested items. "And I know I don't have to, I want to." Had he not remembered anything from the other night, anything at all? No surprise there with how out of it he had been and the pain coursing through his body. "I'm afraid you're stuck with me. Your mother sounded like she wanted to stay but after last night she needed to rest. Really, everyone was pretty tired by the time we got you back here. It was quite... the night. You had us all worried..." She bit at the corner of her lip and cleared her throat not wanting to guilt him but the words had spilled from her before she could stop it.

Better things to do? A flicker of frustration licked at her inner thoughts. "Odhrán, don't." She warned sharply, feeling herself start to slip into a dark mood. Exhaustion from the night before and being drained emotionally had made her patience run paper thin. After everything from his sister giving her the news to the hospital and coming to terms with her own feelings in such a sudden rush of events, a part of her had been seething with the idiotic trip he had taken to Azkaban. Her jaw set in place as she drew in a breath.

Giving him a stern look, eyes darkening, Lia searched his face and tried to consider what to say to him. The pause in conversation was helping her to steady her nerves, not wanting to snap at him. He really had no clue did he? It didn't sound like he was simply fishing for a reaction from her. The expression on his face genuinely read as if he was sure she had more important things to take care. "You aren't keeping me from anything." Brows pulling together her gentle tone shifted, far more solemn than usual. "There is nothing better going on. Not that I would even think twice about changing my mindif something came up." Standing at the foot of his bed, she tore her eyes from his and rubbed at part of the bed frame.

"I'm where I want to be." Slowly she lifted her eyes, chin still tilted down. She had no intention of making him uncomfortable, though he did look it. Still, she couldn't leave. Well, maybe just the room and let him get some rest but otherwise she wasn't exactly comfortable leaving him on his own and had promised his mother she would help. On top of...other emotions swirling in a vortex internally. Rounding to the other side of the bed, she leaned in to give his hand a squeeze, the serious look on her face softening into a reassuring smile. "I'll be right back."


Retreating downstairs had been a blessing. The lack of sleep was allowing for things to creep under her skin with too much ease. Anger had been gnawing at the back of her mind after arriving home once they had arrived at Meridian. Knowing he was alive her mind immediately ran through a gambit of emotions while rifling through his closet and office before apparating home. There she only stewed more on what she was going to say to him once he was well enough to take a verbal lashing. Running cold water on a small hand towel she pressed it against the back of her neck to cool off. It wasn't like that would do any good either should she say something. Helene, his mother and sister had to have already said their opinions on the matter.

Gathering the things he had asked for, she took her time making sure the bottles had been the right ones. Purple twisted glass, tall green, dumpy blue.. ebony folding blade, check. Two towels just in case with his track record already of dropping things. Which made her take pause with her hand on one the thought of two making her think back to the note he had sent prior to their trip to Mallow. One hand against the wall, she hung her head and took in a breath. Holding it and counting before releasing it, Talia tilted her head back and stared up at the ceiling. She was just tired, that's all. Just need to wake up. Rolling her shoulders, she shook out both of her hands to get the blood flowing. As if the act of it would shake away all the negative thoughts and frustration. Hadn't she learned yet?

Towels over her shoulder, items in hand and bowl of water levitating alongside her she climbed the stairs and walked back into the lavender room. Quietly she set down the things on one of the tables. She wasn't sure she could trust herself to talk just yet beyond acknowledging she had everything he had asked for. Besides, if she started down that path she wasn't sure she would be able to stop herself once she began. It was dangerous to even let her mind wander as to what she would say to him. The quiet of her house had allowed for time to dwell on it and that had only resulted in plenty of tears and her chest becoming sore from heaving. Meaning she had, had to take longer to look presentable before returning to Meridian. No, it wasn't the right time. Not yet.

She brought the water over to the side table and set the towels on the back of the chair. Setting her hands on either side of the bowl, she heated the water silently casting testing it every so often to be sure it wasn't too hot.  Gaze sliding to peer at him from the corner of her of her eye, thoughts running wild.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

Talia tried her best to reassure Odhrán, but it didn't quite have the intended effect. He still struggled to make himself look at her and mumbled another vague apology for her inconvenience. It was strange. On the one hand he was glad for her company and on the other her finding out about what had happened made things between them very awkward. It brought his feelings for her into sharp focus and made him realise just how much he wanted to impress her. It also reminded him that getting involved with him and his family was probably not in her best interest. He'd been quite cowardly in his failure to tell her no. What kind of man dragged the woman he loved out of respectability into disrepute. The thought hit him heavily, sinking into his stomach like a stone. He was a horribly selfish person and here she still was trying to look out for him.

As she slipped from the room, Odhrán let out a sigh he hadn't even realised he'd been holding in. Time to take stock. Having finished his potion, the pain in his chest was starting to subside. He moved his left hand experimentally, as if trying to grasp the magic in the air. Odhrán could still feel the power surging around him, but it wasn't itching under his skin like it had done before. The magic felt safer, more stable. He leaned into the movement summoning a few silvery sparks. His muscles were sore, casting was uncomfortable, but he could still do it. He reached around the back of his neck, to ease a tense spot. Had someone taken off his necklace? Yes, yes, they had. He didn't need to check his hands to know that his rings were gone as well. Why? Was it not enough to take his wand? He knew he was supposed to be grateful to everybody and what they had done for him, but he didn't like being stripped of his possessions. How long would they keep in treating him like this?

He started aimlessly outside the window. His mind was going crazy. There were so many things he had to get on with. However, there was one thought that kept him petrified. He'd home back from Azkaban and everything had been fine. His mind had been intact, he'd coped. Sure, his magic had been unbalanced, but he'd been in control of himself until he'd taken that stimulant and shortly after started drinking. He'd done this to himself, hadn't he. Was it because he was too much of a coward to face dealing with the things he had learned from his father? He had to be a disappointment to the family for not just being able to handle it. He was just pathetic, wasn't he?

Aoibheann had assumed he'd gotten himself hurt seeking revenge. The truth of the matter was far less grandiose. He'd nearly killed himself getting wasted in a bar. It was so shameful. He'd thought he was better than this.

Talia returned, bringing him the requested items. He looked at the spread before him trying to work out which order to do things in to maximise the bowl of warm water he had and not requiring her to fetch a second. He sat perfectly still for longer than was comfortable, his mind unable to resolve how to deal with brushing teeth, shaving and doing something to sort out his hair. Normally, a situation like this was easily dealt with by holding some of the water in suspended animation, but that was a level of magic he wasn't prepared to attempt. Eventually, it occurred to him to  fill the empty drinking glass on the side table with some of the water and wet one of the towels with another part. He felt incredibly self-conscious doing so, as he knew Talia was probably watching him while trying to make sense of his actions. He thought he could feel her eyes on him.

Odhrán reached for the purple potion bottle and poured a little bit of the liquid into his palm. It was ridiculous how complicated things became without a mirror, without a sink, without a brush and bowl, without running water or a wand. He added a few drops of water to his palm, then stirred the potion with his finger, turning into a soapy lather. The room filled with the scent of brandy and shaving soap. Applying to the face was easy. He reached for the knife. Truthfully, he felt apprehensive about making an attempt at this when he couldn't see, but the charged silence in the room made him disinclined to ask her for the mirror again. It probably wouldn't be much help either. It was not like he had a free hand to hold it with.  

He took a deep breath and and decided to just trust that he could do an acceptable job without. Going a little slower than he usually would seemed to help. Sometimes, he had to use his fingers to check if he was getting the stubble. It had a strange, meditative quality to it. The less conscious thought he gave it, the easier the movements came. He cleaned the blade in the bowl a few times, lost in the task, though dimly aware that Talia was observing him. It felt terrifyingly intimate. His morning routine wasn't really something he'd expected to share with her today.

Done with one task he moved on to another. The dumpy blue bottle and wet towel were next. He wetted his hair with towel and rubbed some of the potion into his scalp with his fingers. Not his usual routine of washing his hair in the shower, but nothing a bit of magic couldn't fix. He let a spell flow through his hands, turning messy and greasy bedhead into clean and quite deliberately arranged floppy waves. Again, a mirror might have been nice as well as a comb.

"You know, you're allowed to make yourself comfortable," he said to her eventually. "I won't come to harm taking care of myself."

He cleaned his teeth with the water set aside in the drinking glass, finding he'd probably done quite well given the limitations he seemed to be stuck with. Looking at the dirty water that remained, he sighed. A vanishing spell seemed like another daunting task.

"How are you, Talia?"

He probably should have asked that sooner. He'd been pretty self-involved for the last few minutes. His eyes slid from the bowl to the shirts she had brought him. He should probably change. He bristled at the thought. Sure, she'd seen him wearing very little, but he hadn't been bruised and banged up the last time. He'd not even seen the state of affairs himself. No, he wasn't up to letting her share the moment of discovery with him.

"Have you rested? You look tired and worried."

Talia Bryce

Talia watched Odhrán every so often, sneaking glances and struggling to keep her eyes elsewhere. She desperately wanted to know what was going on with him. Why he had gone to Azkaban, what had he been thinking.. how he had even gotten to the hospital, if he even remembered. What was running through his mind currently. He wasn't casting or using any spells, that must be getting to him. She wondered if he was having trouble tapping back into his source. Had he been depleted more than they all expected?

Occasionally she would look away trying not to be overwhelming or hover. It seemed far more intimate being in a room while he shaved and groomed himself. She was about to offer but held herself back and instead busied herself tidying up some of the empty bottles on the table. Why was this so awkward? A strange tension hung stagnant in the air between them. Lia wasn't quite sure how to maneuver and it was starting to give her a tingle of nervous energy at her fingertips.

Perhaps he would want some quiet? She could leave the room. Opening her mouth to ask if he wanted some privacy, his voice instead broke the silence. Her cheeks tinted as she sat in the chair, scooting it back from the bed slightly to give him some space. "I know." Her hand lingered on the back of the chair before she finally took a seat. Come to harm himself, sure... as if she believed that. The whole reason he had been in the hospital and ended up in this state was because he thought he was able to do everything on his own. Her patience was starting to waver again, frayed and tattered.

"I'm fine." She said dryly. The question had made her feel uncomfortable. Almost the same tone he had used in the library after they hadn't seen each other for a month. Shrugging her shoulders, she brushed off the mention of resting. "I'll get to it when I'm home. I think someone else is stopping by tomorrow morning to switch with me." His mother? Or was his sister stopping in...? She couldn't remember, why were things far more fuzzy in her brain all of a sudden?

Yes, she was tired. Yes, she was worried. Her jaw set in place and mouth worked from side to side. Internally she could feel a heat pressing against her skull. Venomous thoughts sniping at her tongue. Had he really expected her not to be worried? Was she so far back in his thoughts that not only was she unworthy of a mention to his own mother but he couldn't be bothered to acknowledge what impact his little trip would have on her? On them? All that talk about being serious and implied feelings she had picked up on... or had she simply wanted to see that? Had that been something she created from his words and how he treated her and not how things actually were? Serious but not serious enough?

Words spiraled in her head. She would have understood had he bothered to let her know what had been on his mind with his father and this little trip of his. Or at least she would have tried to as much as she was able. Did he not trust her, after everything the last few weeks? She could only know bits and pieces but nothing of real value? All at his choosing. Perfectly catered to what he wanted her to know and saw fit. Absurd. Ridiculous. Selfish!

Talia couldn't even look at him for fear her eyes would set him ablaze. Now wasn't the time to bombard him, he was still healing and her laying into him was only going to impede that. And to what end? Only to serve her own needs? Curiosity? Wasn't that just as selfish? Not that she had held him at arms length and traipsed off headfirst into danger with absolutely no word at all. Whatever. What did she expect? This was all new and it wasn't as if they had any set understanding other than courting, which whatever that had meant to him was obviously different from her definition. That realization fed fuel onto the already roaring fire that was blazing within her.

"Oh, do I?" The icy tone left her before she could reel her emotions back in. Two sides of her clashed back and forth, only serving to drain her all the more. Magic thrummed in her hands and nipped dangerously at her skin. "I wonder why." Again... Talia didn't even flinch but shifting in her seat trying to force her nerves to simmer.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 16, 2021, 09:13:37 pm #6 Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 09:21:03 pm by Royal_Poet
The atmosphere was so heavy it continued to feel suffocating. He looked at her wearily and his heart split into two parts. There was the part of him that felt awkward, uncomfortable and just wanted some time alone and there was the part of him that wanted to pull her into his arms and comfort her. He didn't like seeing her upset and he liked it even less to be the cause of her upset. They'd been in that situation before. He felt overwhelmed by the thought that she would be so much better offer without him. And yet he didn't have it in himself to tell her to go away.

Odhrán tried to distract himself for a moment. Pointing his hands at the bowl of dirty water he started to vanish it. Normally, it would have been easy to accomplish such a spell in one lazy movement, but today he took it in small stages, doing a little at a time to not burn himself out in the process. Odhrán hated it. He was used to spells coming to him effortlessly. He always been very proficient and here he was just barely getting to grips with the easiest little spells.

She dismissed her need for rest and his mind unhelpfully provided him with a fantasy. Was the bed wide enough for them both to be comfortable? He could picture it easily, limbs intertwined, his hand in her hair, stroking it gently as she drifted off. Odhrán knew it wouldn't happen, things were too complicated between them to allow for such easy comfort. They'd talked a bit the last time they'd seen each other. The speed at which things moved between them was dizzying. He looked at her trying to work out if he was looking at the girl he'd been on two dates with or the woman he'd likely spend the rest of his life with. Exactly how did one behave in this situation?

"I worry about you," he told her honestly.

Silence seemed to be encroaching again and he became quite still closing his eyes. It seemed like they were playing some sort of mental tug of war trying to figure out who would break first. There was so much that flooded into his mind. Where did he even start? He was trying to manage a wealth of conflicting feelings. He wanted her close, no, far away. He didn't want to say a word, but he'd tell her everything. He wanted their emotional warmth and closeness back from that evening in Mallow. He owed her so many, many answers.

"This is impossible."

A pause.

"I don't even know what to say to you or where to start. I'm sorry you had to see this."

A more childish part of him flashed back to his conversation with her at the ministry. He'd pretty much begged her to let him say no. And then things had happened so quickly and so differently than expected. She'd drawn him to her and he'd been unable to resist her magnetic charm, beautiful smiles and delightful sense of humour. He'd fallen in love with her. Making an attempt to deal with his past had backfired and he they were: him injured, her hurt in other ways. He wanted to say 'I told you so.' All he managed was a sad look.

His mood flickered. Maybe, he should say 'come here' and cuddle into her. There was a big part of him which wanted that, but he was too proud, too tightly wound to allow such emotional frailty in his current state. He tucked on one of the blankets and awkwardly wrapped it around himself. Why did he suddenly feel so cold?

Odhrán held out his hand to her, offering it for her to take if she wanted it. "I don't know where to start. This is hard. Ask and I'll try?"

Talia Bryce

July 16, 2021, 10:03:36 pm #7 Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 10:06:26 pm by Talia Bryce
"This is impossible."

The pause that came after felt like an eternity.

What had he meant by that? What exactly was impossible? A spark of fear triggered a slew of insecure sensations. Was he talking about this moment right now, the hopsital, his trip, everything he had gleaned from that venture, or... them?

That was it? He was sorry she had to see this? What about everything else? She flexed her fingers feeling her temper flare up. A brilliant man boiling the contents of the past few days down into a simplified version of reality, that seemed unlikely. There was no thought in her mind that he was so thick headed. No, stop. Talia began to correct the flow of her thoughts. And why was he looking at her like that? Her expression hardened trying to navigate the torrent of waves in her head and heart. 

"How about at the beginning. Why did you even decide to go to Azkaban?" Her eyes lingered on his open hand. She was itching to fill the space with hers but kept her hands in her lap feeling the need to keep herself at a distance, protect herself somehow. Instead she tucked her hands into her sides, arms crossing over her stomach. Part of her was worried he would burn himself out having to relive all of that so soon but if he was offering to try then she supposed it was better than nothing. Still, her anger remained. Questions loaded like bullets onto her tongue, ready to fire off as she made an attempt to hold back not wanting to overwhelm him.

It made no sense to her for him to just decide to do this now. Years of nothing and then suddenly he just up and goes to see his father? At least his mother had known but still... she had been right in saying there wasn't really a way to stop him. He was far too stubborn.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 16, 2021, 11:01:57 pm #8 Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 11:17:57 pm by Royal_Poet
"There is more than one answer to this question and it's very complicated. Can you try to listen for a while and ask me questions after I've explained a few things? Is that okay?" He gave her a nervous look. He didn't want to answer this question, but he owed her an attempt at it.

"I'm not as good or kind or faithful as you might think of me. Do you remember what I told you about my sister? How she got injured in an accident involving an artefact from the Department of Mysteries? And that Audish obliviated her later? Well, let me tell you what I know."

He withdrew his hand, instead using it to support himself on the bed.

"Twenty years ago my father was in line to head up the Department of Mysteries. However, my dad was also politically inconvenient. Mild and progressive he didn't really fit into the bigger picture. Being a pureblood and married to my mother left his opponents with a problem. He was hard to remove from power and just killing him was not an option. An artefact was made to make him lose his mind. If he messed up at work, they'd have a way of dismissing him. Unfortunately, it was my sister who triggered the curse.

"Audish was paid to cover it up and the cabal conspiring against my family found a way to exploit this screw up to their advantage. Anyway, I'm telling you all of this so you understand that my father is innocent."

He paused, taking a moment to compose himself. Talking about this was difficult and it made him feel rather emotionally raw. He knew the admission he was about to make was a particularly hard one. His guilt over the matter was crippling. Still, he owed her. He owed her.

"However, this is what I know now, twenty years later. At the time when it happened, I did a shameful thing. I believed the story being spun by the media. It didn't feel right, but nothing much made sense. I didn't really say goodbye to him before he was taken away. I thought he was guilty. I never tried to see him because I hated him."

He found himself choking up. This officially made him a horrible person. Who didn't believe in the innocence of their own father? What had been wrong with him to ever question it? His dad had been so good to him growing up. And yet the things printed in the papers had made sense to him. They'd been so easy to believe.

"Anyway, I promise this is going somewhere. It's just, there's a lot you don't know yet. I had my first breakthroughs treating Aoibheann maybe four, five years ago. I wasn't all that clever. I never looked for foul play. I'd never thought someone would have wiped her mind on purpose. But then I got patients who'd been accidentally obliviated multiple times in Paris and once I'd seen the results in those patient where we knew what had happened I started looking at Aoibheann in a different way.

"And I realised I'd been wrong about, well, everything. I wanted to see him then, but Aoibheann needed me more. She was my priority. And the more time I spent not going, the worse I felt. I knew I should. However, going there... well, let's just say it's horrible and why take the risk empty handed? I could never work out who was involved and how. I had my suspicions, of course I did. But nothing solid. Not even a shred of proof."

Another break. He folded in on himself, curling into a tense ball with his knees hugged to his chest and his bare feet resting on the bed frame.

"Well, that changed in September. I met a woman at a fancy ball in Mayfair who immediately picked me out in a crowd. And trust me on this, nobody ever picks me at such events. My father is a convicted criminal in the eyes of society. Anyway, she dropped some hints around the names of some of the people involved in the cabal. I think she just got a kick out of humiliating me, but I think that's when I realised that things had changed. Aoibheann was better, she didn't need me anymore the way she needed me before... and I really owed him this. To let him know that I don't believe he did this to Aoibheann."

He reached out for a moment, then pulled back his hand again. He couldn't decide if he wanted to have contact or if it was better to steel himself against her reaction to all of this.

"It's not the only reason though. My breakdown... Talia, I was sick before I went to Azkaban. You knew this, right? I told you. I tried to tell you, anyway. I went while I still could. Before it got worse and worse I wouldn't have a choice on the matter anymore. I've been losing control of my magic for some time. I... don't know why that is. I'm kinda scared to find out. I've lost control with you a few times. Tripping into your thoughts when I didn't mean to. I think you've heard me in your mind a few times, no? That wasn't intentional, mostly."

He gulped. She would murder him. She would hate him.

"And there's more as to why now. I... have some friends in significant places. I'm sorry, can't tell you who or what exactly I know, but there are very dark wizards gathering against those of allegedly lesser blood and a lot of the names that were involved in my father's downfall are on the rise. I've seen them in the broken mind of patients I had in the clinic in the last few months. They torture people to the brink of death and I can live with a lot of things, but that's one stop to far even for me. One of my contacts came in with a patient like Aoibheann. Touched an artefact, ended up with a completely blank mind. Several layers of obliviate. I'm not okay with knowing who these people are and doing nothing."

He felt so exhausted making this confession that there were silent tears in his eyes. It was absurd. He'd not even told her the half of it and just this part of it was too much.

"And I have more reasons yet. It was inevitable that I went, Talia. I was always going to go there. So ask me what you want to ask."

Talia Bryce

July 17, 2021, 05:27:51 am #9 Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 07:15:35 am by Talia Bryce
It had better be complicated. If he flitted off to that place on a whim she probably would've strangled him herself.

Slowly she gave a nod in regard to his sister. Of course she recalled what he had told her. The moment he withdrew his hand she found herself regretting not just leaning into him but was desperately wanting to stand her ground. Keep a distance between them, enough space for her to breath and not become entangled in him so soon. Odhrán's expression looked pained, almost mournful and it tore at her to watch him as he spoke.

How could he be so hard on himself? He was still a child when this had happened, of course he had been confused and swayed by the stories that surrounded his father. That was nothing to be ashamed of, at least in her opinion. Doubtful from what she had heard of his father that the man blamed him at all or held any grudges. Even she found herself feeling should she be in his position she would have wavered. Honestly, what did anyone know at fourteen? Especially if it involved such a life altering thing like losing your father in that way, your family being pulled apart at all sides. Her body ached to be close and comfort him but she pressed her feet against the floor to try and keep from moving. Too afraid to speak up even to try and alleviate some of his guilt, she was worried about cutting him off and making him withdraw.

Nodding to try and gently urge him to continue, she leaned back in her seat. Her shoulders slumped and eyes rested on his. Earlier she had seen glimpses of his self-accusations when it came to his past but she hadn't realized the extent of it all. How ingrained that had become within him all these years. A venom eating away this entire time.

Her head shook at one point, biting at her lower lip. How could he talk about himself in such a way and not see he was quite the opposite? Especially admitting to his sister and care he took to heal her. The man sitting in front of her wasn't someone unkind, faithless, shameful. Digging at himself struck her so deep, her eyes clouded over at one point and she had to look down to try and refocus her vision. How could he not see that he needed to be kinder to himself? The decisions he made back then hadn't come so easily, she was sure of that and more so now hearing how he spoke about his past. That didn't ring true for someone that was so callous as he portrayed himself to be. Stubborn and selfish in some ways maybe but not this horrid person as he thought himself to be. 

She could see him retreating into his thoughts and slipping away as he paused. "You had to do what you felt was right, choosing your sister... I can't see your father blaming you for that. If anything he was probably thankful you were taking care of her when he wasn't able to." Again, she had the intense urge to reach out to him seeing him shift inwards on himself but kept at a distance.

Freezing at the mention of meeting a woman, she felt another flare up. She shifted in her seat, visibly uncomfortable and upset but continued to listen, pushing her attentions back to him. The phrase had picked open a wound she still wasn't aware of consciously, making her unable to accept his second attempt to physically reach out to her. However it didn't matter, even if she had wanted to relent and give into him his hand was already withdrawn. Digging her fingers into her side, she tightened her arms around one another closing herself off. Why had he wanted anything to do with her if this is how he was going to be? Making decisions like this, even with his past. Had this been her fault? He had told her he just wanted to be friends at first. Her cheeks blazed red as she stared intently at him.

He told her what exactly? Was he blaming this on her? She sat up straighter in her seat and crossed her legs. Was this supposed to be her fault? Take the blame for her not keying in to what he had said at the library? She had assumed he meant broken because he was emotionally unavailable. Not that his magic was literally spinning out of control and there was so much more going on with him. Even his family things he had sort of told her a little but not enough to fully understand. How had that been her fault? Even still, if he knew he was losing control and wanted to go before things got worse he could have very well told her. Warned her at the least. Hadn't they been on good enough terms for him to open up to her in that way?

She was working herself up and almost too angry to properly respond to his questions. She wanted to scream at him but cleared the feeling from her throat and steadied her voice. "So is this supposed to be my fault for not realizing you telling me that you were exhausted and broken wasn't you just pushing me away or being afraid of a relationship? I just should have known you meant you were spiraling?" A short pause to keep her calm. "And what do you mean, mostly?"

Not wanting to say more, rage starting to boil over and prickle at her skin, Lia sat in silence trying to gauge to worried look on his face.

More, I can't tell yous. She wanted to toss her arms up and snort but restrained herself. Oh, of course again he couldn't tell her. As much as she wanted to understand this was becoming exasperating or maybe that was from lack of sleep. Whatever, no it didn't matter. He was still holding her at arms length. Fine, fine... If he wanted that then she would oblige. Her knee bobbed up and down in thought but came to a dead stop when he delved further into his work. Torture...? Her stomach flopped in on itself.  She agreed it wasn't right to just sit by but why take this upon himself? And again... without even trusting her with this knowledge. Maybe it wasn't that he didn't view her as trustworthy or that they were serious enough, did he think she was too weak? That concept made her even more livid.

Talia wasn't sure what to think. How to process and still there were more reasons? Slowly she took bites of what he had said to digest it a little at a time and not drown in the knowledge he was giving her. His father being framed, Audish being so deeply rooted in this story, the guilt he must feel for not having kept faith in his father, his life being boxed up to try and put aside for his sister. All fragmented pieces she carefully set back together to try and look at the full picture. Bubbling over, she was unable to hold back.

"It isn't that you chose to go. Okay, that's part of it but the fact you couldn't be bothered to rely on others or at least allow them an opinion on the matter." She held up a hand feeling like he might try to stop her. "True, that is your decision to make but you should be thinking about more than just yourself. What about your mother or sister? Your aunt? Helene? Your friends that you clearly can't tell me about. This is exactly the same conversation we had when I tried to help you with that one patient and you wouldn't listen then. That was only a patient in the safety of your clinic, I can understand being overconfident but to take on something as big as this?" Coils of anger writhed against one another under her skin.

"You aren't unfaithful or unkind. What you are guilty of is being selfish." Blunt but she felt it needed to be said. In this vulnerable state or not she was so aggravated with how weak his excuses felt for the choices he had made. After seeing what it had done to his family that he did have still around him and friends, she wasn't going to be able to sit still anymore. "I'm sorry about what happened with your father and sister. Everything that your family has been through, that you've been through. But that doesn't mean you need to burden yourself so much with things and be so unwilling to lean on those around you. Odhrán," She sighed trying to expel some excess energy vibrating against her chest.

"You have so many people that care for you and would do anything to help you. Offer whatever assistance even if it isn't physically but mentally. Anything, a shoulder to lean on or ear to listen. Watching everyone help you at the hospital... I just, you have no idea. None at all. That breaks my heart for them and for you." Maybe that made her a bit of a hypocrite but not acknowledging the wealth of people he had who loved him felt like such a slap in the face. "Not just your family... Helene came. Merlin, even Seive-Mauvernay was there. Pyxis Abercrombie for goodness sake, who I have no clue how you two know each other but that's beside the point. These people showed up for you. You. And you act like you're alone in this, whatever this is. It's such a disservice to these people who love you, show up for you that you'd toss that aside and be so careless with your life. The impact you have on their lives that if something were to happen, you brush it aside like... nothing. Fling yourself into a situation that could have-" She was still having such a hard time saying it. "Could have killed you and almost did."

"Taking on this responsibility like you're the one who has to shoulder your burdens alone even with your father. It's childish. You're only doing more harm by handling it this way and I don't mean just to yourself. Your father may not have been able to be here for you all these years but you're fortunate to have people in front of you whether you recognize that or not. Hiding yourself away and holding people at a distance, even your sister. Yes, what you did I can't fathom the strength you have from that and I'm not saying you shouldn't have taken that on to heal her yourself but you can't use that as an excuse to not have lived your life up until now. You-" Her anger was starting to dissipate, deflating the stiff posture she had been clinging to. "You've been so busy looking behind you that you haven't even realized what's in front of you."

Searching his face to see if he was angry or not, she wanted to get up and sit next to him. Put an arm around him or hold his hand, something. But would he pull away like she had? What she was saying hadn't come from a place of wanting to cut into him, cause him harm but simply make him realize what his decisions did to those around him, the ripple they caused outside of his own world. Maybe he thought not allowing people in would keep them safe but it was cutting him off from living any sort of life.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

July 17, 2021, 02:59:39 pm #10 Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 10:07:07 am by Royal_Poet
It baffled him how she somehow made this about her. This was not what he had said. "Talia," he interrupted sharply. "None of this is your fault. And I didn't say that it was. I tried to tell you some things, best I could at that time." What was she even angry at. None of it makes sense. At first, he'd thought she was upset that he went to Azkaban, but now it seemed she was upset about something else.

She knocked the breath out of his lungs as she launched into a long diatribe that he should have told people. He had! There were plenty of people who had been involved. Here she was railing on behalf of his mother. She'd been in on it. She'd even given him some family photographs to take with him. Did she think he'd just set off in the middle of the night keeping his actions a secret? Somehow, that started to make him feel irritated.

What he was selfish? Oh, how dare she? He'd been sacrificing so much for so long and never asked for anything in return. How could she have the gall to tell him that. His eyes flashed angrily and she went on and on about how he should have consulted others and relied on their help. How was it selfish to not needlessly endanger people and to only involve those who actually had the means to do something.

What on Earth?! Pyxis had been there? Alarm was written all over Odhrán's features. And Talia knew his name? Just what had happened that night? He tensed up even more. She'd gone digging hadn't she? Oh Merlin, had Talia somehow managed to get involved in the dangerous stuff in his life? He struggled to calm his breathing, not dealing well with the idea that these two had now met.

"You haven't even realized what's in front of you," Talia accused. Odhrán snapped. "And what is right  in front of me? Tell me! You've known me for all of five minutes and you think you understand my life," he seethed angrily.

"You just assume that because I didn't tell you, I didn't tell anybody. My grandmother knew. My mother knew, my aunt Mia. My uncle Dorveny. I spend quite some time planning this. I didn't go alone. How do you think I even got in there? You can't just pop by Azkaban for a casual visit. A lot of people were involved in a lot of things to make this happen."

Hearing this nonsense just made him livid. His eyes narrowed and he scratched one his arm where his curse mark had reasserted itself as a dark splotch on his skin.

"You're not mad at me for not telling people or not trusting people, you're mad because I didn't tell you. Was I supposed to? You're not my wife."

His stomach was rioting and his blood was boiling with anger. Yes, he somehow understood. They felt so close, but in all truth they weren't at all. They'd only just met and they were still just getting to know each other. He'd been working on telling her things. She'd even said it was okay for him to take his time. Except now, she clearly felt differently and was pissed off for being kept out of things.

"And yes, I didn't tell everyone who cares about me. This wasn't up for debate. Seeing my father was a deeply personal thing I had to do. I've spent enough time in my life being a helpless bystander. For years I was nothing but a lost boy. I refuse to remain obscure and meek. I can do things. I have strength. I have power. I will not back down anymore and I will not accept being powerless just because I could get hurt. It's a risk I'm willing to take. This is my battle not everyone else's. As for my friends, well, Helene and I haven't been on good terms for months. Who are you to tell me off for not telling her? My sister is still unwell. She needs her energy to worry about herself, not me. Yes, I understand if I hadn't made it back she would have suffered, but if I base my decisions on what might happen in the worst case scenario I'm never doing anything of value again. That's not me and I think you know that's not me."

He looked Talia straight in in the eyes.

"And you, since you obviously don't know this. I didn't tell you because I bloody well love you. I'd never forgive myself if you got seriously injured in any of this. I've tried to let you go and give up on my feelings for you, but I'm too damn selfish to do that. Every time I've tried to put any distance between us to keep you safe, I couldn't bear it and just found myself wanting you even more. Nobody has ever done this to me. Sometimes it's just the way you look at me and my heart beats so fast it hurts. I'm not trying to dodge a relationship with you, I'm already in one. I think I'd not have gone if you'd asked me to stay and don't know if I could have lived with that. So I didn't tell you."

His anger seemed to ebb once these words were out in the open. His mood swapped from livid to bone shatteringly exhausted within a split second. Giving in to his tiredness he tried to lie down on his side, his breath still coming in heavy bursts.

Talia Bryce

July 17, 2021, 04:20:18 pm #11 Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 07:25:17 am by Talia Bryce
Talia's mouth gaped open wanting to yell at him. How could he not see what was in front of him? She had literally listed off a handful of people in his life, there had to be more. Yet any remark crumbled away. Known him all of five minutes? She shut her mouth and glared at him.

"I didn't assume anything!" Though hearing all the people he had told and how it had been in the works for some time stung. A lot of people were involved, another twinge of frustration.

"I know I'm not, you've made that clear on more than one occasion. I don't claim myself to be." She snapped wanting to say more but found herself far more wounded than expected by the way that fact had been thrown out into the open. "This is ridiculous, I shouldn't have even come here or bothered last night. You're right. I'm not your wife." She stood and angrily gathered up her purse, strap flailing against her hands as she made an attempt to sling it over her shoulder.

This was insane. She was insane! This, this argument was insane. He was wrong in accusing her of assuming. No, what she had done was even worse. Hoped. Hoped that they were on the same page after their last talk and how they had interacted. Hoped she hadn't been wrong about how he felt. Clearly, she was and it cut so deep into her she felt her entire body screaming. 

Not up for debate... A laugh of indignation bubbled up and came out as a snort, wrapping her arms across her chest and rolling her eyes. Maybe in another instance, and quite possibly with more sleep, she would have admired how he spoke about himself now as opposed to earlier. Ugh, he needed to stop that scratching-forcing her hand to stay at her side and not reach out was almost excruciating.

"Obviously no one." She snuck in partway through his tirade, growling through her teeth. Meeting his gaze she seethed hotter. "No, I don't know you." Hot tears were starting to sting her eyes.

"Don't you dare-" Her fingers dug under the space between her arms and her ribs. "Don't say that to simply to pacify me." How badly she wanted to just let the words wash over her and comfort her but she was burning too hot. So angry she was sure her skull was starting to split in two. Rubbing at her eyes trying to press away the tears trailing down her cheeks, Talia gritted her teeth and turned away from him.

How... how can he slam her with the reality she was not his wife, brush her off and claim she has no right at all to be involved in his life because of their limited time together and yet expect her to take that admission seriously. It felt more like a slap to the face. Was he mocking her? Had he somehow 'tripped' and stumbled his way into her thoughts and saw how she felt and was using that? Whether he was protecting her or not that wasn't up for him to decide no more than it had been for her to make his mind up about seeing his father.

She stood frozen in time listening to his unsteady breathing. Choking down her own breath and squeezing her eyes shut to try and gain some stability. Take hold of some level of calm. Something, anything other than this piercing anger spreading throughout her. Nothing, she had no words. Anything she had wanted to say earlier had vanished from her mind.

Her eyes traced over the walls and found their way to his figure. She couldn't bring herself to move. Sit beside him and try to comfort him. The medical side of her brain was scolding her for riling him up and putting him in a fragile state. It made her feel guilty. At the same time a piece of her was beginning to direct her anger from him, inward. Love or not, serious or not. She had come with her own selfish reasons for looking after him, same as at the hospital but now she felt herself distanced more. If this was only hurting him why keep up? He may be suffering from other ailments but now she was adding herself to that list. Fantastic.

Holding her breath, she dropped her purse to the floor and strode over to the table. Clinking a few potion bottles around she looked for something to help settle his pain again, calming... aha here we go.

Twisting off the cap, she poured it into glass and gave it a stir, the contents swirling together and mixing thoroughly. Stepping back over to his bedside she motioned for him to sit up, offering help should he need it. She needed to set herself aside from this, detach for a moment and focus. He needed a healer...not her messing things up or his emotional state. "Drink this...please." Sitting on the edge of the bed she held out the glass to him, a sort of peace offering. Fighting wasn't going to get them anywhere, only him worse off than he was.

Deitha Albron

It had been quite the week - first the trip to Azkaban with all its unintended consequences, then she'd popped in looking to see if Odhrán was okay, and bumped into his sister, which turned into a small excursion out looking for the man, before shipping him off to St Mangled's for fear of not knowing what else to do.

She had, of course, dropped by to see how he was, only to be told that he'd been sent home - which given how serious his condition had seemed, seemed rather unlikely, but then again, a lot of what happened around Mr Ó Dálaigh seemed rather unlikely.

So it was with a little trepidation that Deitha - and Bonehead, of course, not that Bonehead was full of any such nervousness - found themselves at the entrance of Meridian again. She was about to knock, not wanting to just barge in unannounced, but when concentrating she heard voices through the door. They weren't loud but they also weren't entirely calm.

Deitha looked down at her furry companion as if Bonehead would have the answers but a simple doggy face looked back up. "You're no help," she muttered to herself, before furrowing out the small key Aoibheann had given her. Turning it in the lock, then opening the door as quietly as she could, she heard the voices above her.

It sounded like Odhrán was home, at least and someone was with him. It sounded a lot like a female saying - quite snarkily, it had to be said - "Don't say that to pacify me."

Was Odhrán married? He didn't seem the type - but then again he was a healer and he wasn't going to share all his personal comings and goings with her, just a patient. Well, maybe not so much 'just' anything after the events that had transpired. She hadn't quite worked out what their relationship was, but she knew it wasn't ever going to be quite the same healer/patient deal ever again.

Whatever it was, it doesn't sound violent, so they headed for the stairs - she had no qualms about bringing Bonehead along... dogs had a calming effect on heated situations, especially dogs that were pretty dopey by human standards. And Bonehead certainly was... the best friend she could ask for but certainly not the brightest.

She hadn't wanted to see his bedroom, but she guessed, well, that was where things were at - and the woman by his side... too young to be his mother or aunt, no resemblance so not another sister... and too angry to be anything other than a girlfriend.

Awkward. She smiled wanly as she launched into her sort of unplanned pitch. Focusing on Odhrán first, she began, "Hi... I, uh, just came by to see how you were doing. I didn't want to leave you at St. Mangled's but I honestly didn't know what else to do with you after we found you. After, well, everything that happened, I was worried about you, came to check up on you."

Turning to the lady stood next to him - which, Deitha had to admit, she was rather pretty, perhaps even out of his league pretty - she smiled in the hopes of being charming and disarming. "I don't think we've met... my name's Deitha Albron and I'm a friend." It sounded awkward even to her as she said it but she didn't know how much this mystery woman knew.

Waiting to see what would be made of her unexplained and unexpected entrance, she mused that she was just glad that she hadn't gone with the bright and garish festive outfit she'd worn last time she'd come here, but something more staid and demure. There was a part of her internally wondering if something with a bit more of a cleavage would have been more apt, but she reminded herself that none of her being here was about being part of something in any way romantic.

Odhrán Ó Dálaigh

"Talia, please." He didn't know what reaction he had wanted from her, but this wasn't it. Anger was rolling off her in thick waves and it felt almost unbearable to be in the same room as her. "I didn't mean to hurt you. If... No,..." he was struggling with words and just couldn't find anything to say that seemed right. He looked at her standing there, eyes closed fighting her anger and he felt his heart breaking for her. He should have had the strength to turn her down. He was making her miserable just like he had feared he would. It was the last thing he wanted for her.

He felt as if she wasn't really listening and he didn't have the strength to make himself heard. He curled in on himself more and ignored the potion he was being offered. "I know I hurt you a great deal and that you're very angry with me. But... please believe me when I say that I didn't do it out of a lack of affection for you. Or because I don't want you. I'm not trying to appease you."

The air was so tense he just wanted to cry to get some relief. Then someone was at the door. Oh, Merlin's beard. What now?

The first thing through the door wasn't human, but rather a goofy looking dog with a spotted coat. Odhrán forced himself to sit back up despite his overwhelming tiredness. The owner of the dog followed. Pigtails. Traditional gown. Miss Albron. Deitha, he corrected himself mentally. After their little adventure together it would have been weird to stick to formalities.

"Deitha!" He exclaimed, his argument with Talia momentarily put on hold in his mind as he flashed the new arrival a weak smile.

She'd been worried about him? Oh, the irony of that. No, no, no, he'd been worried about her. He inclined his head to the side and gave her a careful once over. His slow reaction time meant that Deitha had to introduce herself as his mind played catch up with the situation. Right, he had to pull himself together. As Deitha finished speaking, he cut into the conversation. "Deitha, this is my girlfriend, Talia. We were just having a rather spirited discussion about something. I apologise if you..." he had no idea how to finish that sentence. He didn't think it mattered. He looked at Deitha and was confident that she understood.

"Please, come, sit with me. I want to see how you're doing as well. How's your mind? How are the dreams? Were you okay sleeping the last two nights? Is the treatment still holding? I never imagined it would get tested against dementors lapping at your memories."

Odhrán shakily held his hand out to Bonehead for her to sniff.

"And I believe I owe you a great thank you. I don't know where I'd be without you and Aoibheann." Something said a few moments earlier made it to the surface of his thoughts. "St Mangled's was the right choice to have made. There weren't any other options. I'm sorry to have given you such a fright. I know you've been worried about me for a while."

Decided that his strength was wearing he eyeballed the potion Talia had wanted him to drink. "Could I have a glass of water with that? I think you're right, Talia, I probably should have that."

Talia Bryce

July 17, 2021, 10:59:39 pm #14 Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 07:32:12 am by Talia Bryce
Fine, if he was going to wallow... Talia withdrew and stood up, drink in hand. 

Talia's face flushed as the newcomers joined them. She smiled and watched the dog make it's way into the room.  Odhrán's reaction shocked her. He sounded far more cheerful seeing the woman.

Girlfriend... She wondered how much of that was for her benefit or to smooth over the awkward tension in the room. The woman seemed kind and was quite pretty. Her eyes fell and she busied herself at the table again.

Moving from the bed as he asked the woman to sit with him, Talia felt her anger subside and immediately be replaced with some other more troubling emotions. Was she also a patient? Why was he so worried about her? Her mind raced to catch up, obviously missing pieces of this conversation. It made her start to become increasingly uncomfortable. What exactly was going on there? Again, Lia was in the dark and found herself struggling to just accept that.

How is it that this woman was getting a kinder response to her worry? Apologizing to her about giving her a fright. Worried about him for awhile? So this Miss, Mrs? Deitha Albron woman had picked up on things Talia hadn't despite him saying he clearly told her.

Oh...now he wants to drink. Chewing at the inside of her cheek she nodded stiffly. Casting some cooled water into one of the empty cups, she carried both back to the bed and set them on the side table. Keeping her gaze to herself she decided she should excuse herself. This woman had only been here for seconds and was far better company. She was also getting the feeling there was something between them, serious that Odhrán wasn't going to want her to be privy to.

"I'll let you two catch up. It was nice meeting you." Offering a smile to Miss Albron, struck by her eyes but peeling her gaze away, Lia grabbed her purse again.

"There's extra potions on the table should he need anything else and a change of clothes." Swinging the strap over her shoulder, she gave a quick glance around the room.

"I'll just be downstairs." For how long she wasn't sure. She had told his mother she would watch him but it wasn't exactly like he needed her to be in the room at all times. Excusing herself from the room, Lia closed the door behind herself to give privacy and slowly descended the stairs.

Once downstairs she felt herself crumble, shoulders shaking and tears spilling from her eyes. Covering her mouth, she decided it would probably be better to gain some privacy herself in the bathroom to try and compose herself.