|Re: Uncertainty Principle- A Runaway Bride ending story (eventual RxL)|
Subject: Re: Uncertainty Principle- A Runaway Bride ending story (eventual RxL)
by Blurble on 2010/6/27 20:43:29
She’d bought a down blanket, sold in a stall with a pink and brown canopy that had smelled like lavender.
It was unbelievably comfortable.
It was sort of like sinking into warm, smushy, comfortable goodness. Actually, it was like sinking into warm, smushy, comfortable goodness.
And it had been on sale!
It just made getting out of bed rather difficult.
She supposed anything good had to come with a downside…
Vaguely she realized that she had apparently drifted off, yet again.
“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???”
…now that wasn’t nice at all. Someone was pounding at the door. And being incredibly rude about it, too-
She sat bolt upright in her bed.
The competition! The competition!
She was off running as soon as her feet hit the ground, grabbing clothes, food, anything-
“Are you out of your mind?” Lars hissed, as she opened the door, panting. “How could you possibly sleep in late today?”
“It’s important to get a good night’s rest,” she said, a little sulkily.
“Night being the operative word. Night. The sun’s been up for ages.”
“Anyway, I’m here now.”
“Right. Yes. Let’s go!” He grabbed her hand as they dashed down the hallway and into the street.
Once outside they slowed down a little.
“It’s fine,” Lars said, in the tone of someone convincing himself. “The opening ceremonies don’t start for an hour. We have plenty of time to get there. Let’s just hurry.”
It was rather frustrating, getting from the school to the palace square. The vast rearrangement of the streets in Veldarah- the closing of some, the opening of others- had made an already circuitous route into a labyrinth. They dashed in a southerly direction as best they could manage, then of course had to navigate their way in what ended up being roughly a concentric circle before they managed to head northwards again.
When at last they arrived at the central plaza, they were both sorely out of breath. They pushed their way past the gathering crows and made it to the entrance, where a guard stopped them.
“The audience has yet to be admitted,” he said.
“We’re not audience, we’re participants,” Lars said, flashing their badges.
The guard gave their badges a fleeting glance before waving them towards a corridor on the side.
“Opening Ceremony’s starting in ten minutes,” he said, in a tone of utter boredom. “Hey! You! No sneaking in!”
They headed down the hall and into a room filled with bright lamps, where a lady with with-blond hair handed them both ceremonial robes before rushing off to attend to someone else. The entire room was a flurry of frantic activity.
“We have to wear these?” Rhen asked. The hems of the robe had been weighted, so that it was rather hefty to hold- or wear.
“It’s traditional,” Lars said. “But you can just put it over your regular clothes.”
She did so, fumbling a bit. This whole thing felt surreal.
“Are they going to be explaining to us what we’re supposed to be doing?” She said, as she pulled her arm through the other sleeve. This was the sort of robe that did not merely lie on you- it draped.
“As far as I can remember, it’s also traditional that candidates have not the slightest clue what is going on.”
“Oh. Just great.”
“Look at it this way- you’re going to have to go with the flow anyway, you might as well enjoy it.”
“Right. Can you help tie this—um-- sash-thingy?”
“Sure,” he said, and wounds it around here and pulled it tight-
“Sorry, I’ve only ever done this once, I can’t really remember- Alright, I think I got it. Pray it doesn’t come undone in the middle of the ceremony.”
“Wow. Lars. You truly inspire confidence.”
“I know, I’m pretty amazing at that.”
They laughed quietly, nervously together, and then an attendant came and directed them towards a door and Rhen felt her heart begin to beat staccato in her chest, even as she told herself to be calm, even as she willed herself to be calm, still she could feel her breath catch in her throat.
This was ridiculous. After all, the worst that could happen was simply that she’d humiliate herself in front of an enormous crowd of people.
But the tension refused to ease, even as she breathed deeply she could feel herself trembling from sheer nerves.
Lars put a steadying hand on her shoulder.
“You’ll be fine,” he said.
“You’re looking kind of queasy yourself,” she said.
“I am?” He said, and then- no, she had no idea how he was able to do that- he wiped his face clear, closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them again his usual cocksure smirk was plastered across his face.
“You look like a smug, arrogant bastard,” she said, amused.
“Excellent. Exactly the look I was going for,” he said. “Try it yourself.”
“Er,” she said.
“Or at least swagger a little,” he offered, as a compromise. “We need to walk out there looking confident.”
She took yet another deep breath and managed to walk steadily, at least, while Lars strutted in front of her so ridiculously she nearly laughed-
Except then they were out the door and a wall of sound hit her and-
She’d known there would be a lot of people.
She just hadn’t quite realized how very lot a lot was.
Involuntarily she put a hand to her mouth in shock.
The stadium was enormous. Gargantuan. And it was crammed with people, row upon row of seats rising towards the ceiling, and the roar of the crowd…
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” boomed a voice- now how did they manage to do that?- “may I present the finest Swordsingers and Sorcerors of Veldaraaaah.”
“Bow,” Lars hissed, and they bowed, in a whoosh of cloth, some eighty-odd people bowing together-
“Are we the youngest ones here?” She hissed, in a panic.
“Shhhhh,” he whispered back. “Among the youngest, almost definitely yes”
They rose from the bow. A hush fell over the crowd.
“And to welcome them here today, may we present- an exhibition from the students of our own illustrious Academy for sorcery and swordsinging!”
An endless line of students emerged from some door somewhere and marched into formation in front of them.