One more try. Fizzle, pop, then .... nothing. Chimera stomps her foot in frustration, grumbling under her breath, then opens the book once more. Just as a few of those words the chaplains don't like are about to roll off her tongue, she hears a voice behind her, "Hey you. New dress?"
Biting off her exlamations, she turns to see Felix appraising her curiously. She scolds herself silently, (Great! Just great! Cursing and losing my temper both ... ughhh.) She's so busy berating herself for acting so childish that his comment about her dress almost escapes her notice ..... almost.
" Not new, but clean. I think I drug half the garden back on the other one today." Which was the truth, though she keeps to herself that it's not the only reason. "I don't think I've seen you wear that before ..." Felix indicates the pendant sewn to the velvet choker around her neck.
In an attempt to keep what she's thinking from showing on her face, she sets the book down and reaches for her bag. " I got it when I got the fabric for the dress. Like it?" Inwardly, she cringes at sounding like she's brushing it off so lightly. Pulling the bundle from her bag she turns to him. He grins, "Yeah, I do."
That's all it takes. Her cheeks flush, her grin brightens, and there's no hiding it. A small voice in the back of her mind is saying (Just say thank you silly.) But for some reason she can't quite put her finger on, those words never reach her lips. Instead, she offers him some of the treats she brought him from the garden, and starts talking about spells and gadgets. All the while, very aware something is different.
They straighten out a few problems with her studies, then fall swiftly into her favorite part of her training. This is the part where she gets to just talk with her mentor, understand better what he believes, and why. The chaplains have their angle on things, which she must learn and respect. They're not wrong .... but there are gaps in their methods that Chi isn't willing to ignore, even if they sometimes do. A painful lesson learned the hard way these past months, while Felix did battle with something they didn't know how to fight.
A twinge of that fear reminds her just how close they came to losing him. Listening to his voice, she remembers how scared she was that she may never hear it again. Watching his expressions, she remembers what it was like to see only pain there, and being helpless to take it away for him. She remembers how furious it made her that the chaplains offered only their skills in health and healing, but did not take care to listen to what he was really trying to tell them ... until it was too late.
As if reading her very thoughts, Felix encourages her more passionate approach, but also cautions against "losing it" in front of those she means to help. She knows he's right, and that she has to work on that a bit, but they both know she'll never be able to master " The Look". That stone faced, unreadable, unmoved expression the chaplains tend to wear to hide their own emotions. Good and gentle people, all of them, with genuine care for others. They just try so hard not to feed another's worries that they end up scaring the hells out of them. In times of crisis, that can make things a whole lot more complicated. Broken bodies or broken hope ... people are hard enough to reach through their trauma.
A calm comes over Chimera as it finally dawns on her what is different. Those little things that had been taken away ... the simplest things, gestures of trust, were coming back. Felix's manner is quiet, comfortable, more himself than he'd been since this all started. In turn, Chi feels a weight lift from her heart. He's letting her know, in his own way, they're gonna be okay.
Sage L'Lac'nala La'Throtep
" Let us endeavor to pursue the ineffable and see if we may not eff it after all" ~Svlad Cjelli