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shri: (» is all yours)
From: [personal profile] shri

She settles into the camp easily.

That is to say, she knows how to mind her own business, fall in line and get on with it. Not make waves, and avoid whatever stares she might catch. Catches them, because of course she does. Because she's meant to not let too many people know who and what she is - a lengthy discussion she has with Rick. If preferable, she explains, no one outside of them needs to know. He counters, much like Daryl did the same, about what the blackwater could mean, mean for them all, and it goes, for some time, until she comes down harsh on it. If he wants her assistance, a warrior who could not die, that could walk into walking dead and walk back out without him having to risk anyone else and all she might do for them, he will not question her over it. The warning is clear, she will abide peaceably, but if anyone was fool enough to try and take it from her, they'd find themselves dead soon enough thereafter, and it would be on his head for their mistake. He agrees after that, to keep it amongst themselves, to keep word about is as discreet as possible. The last thing they need is it getting out to other surviving groups less than savoury.

So it means, within an hour, everyone else in the camp knows. The woman with gold in her hair that rode stiff-backed into the churchyard like something out of a story, the queen with no kingdom from a world that's been lost a long time ago. The knights were half myth less than forty years ago, tales that grow tall in each telling and she knows she's no exception. Though she'd rather been hoping most of them would react like Daryl and Rick, just raise their eyebrows and carry on with it. But, rather, she finds the odd feeling of being ghosted like they might touch her and find gilding on their fingers for the experience. Royalty isn't something people really consider anymore, the knights of the blackwater, even less so. She supposes it's to be expected. It stings, wants to spit she has no salvation to give them, only a chance that there was blood to be shed for. But that was the point of the blackwater, and her shoulders roll with it - all hope and none for herself.

So she approaches it as pragmatically as she could. Keeps her head down and puts her hands to work. Her skills, she makes those clear, are on offer to whoever has need of them. Some attempt to counter what is hissed at her back as an insult when it becomes clear she won't be sharing that vial at her neck: Queen, like she didn't have anything to give them if not immortality - what was with these Americans? Did they assume they were all Mad King George and his useless family on their throne? she bristles with the insult. Not of being all glamour and no ability, but being related to them - and she corrects it however and whenever she's able. Whether that's pitching in with cooking or putting a blade into a Walker's head. No task, she makes clear, is too low for her. She doesn't have that sort of pride. She never did.

Once, and only the once, is it settled by a swift knee into someone's stomach with spitting words that if anyone was going to get the jump on her, they'd need to have started three centuries ago. Like dogs snarling, bearing down with her place assured. After that, it becomes much easier to get on with her business in assisting. Shows what she has to give - that is to say, she lived and grew up in times before the world became so removed from its death. A time before refrigerators, easily available ammunition, clean water, for instance. How to stretch a little food a long way or help it keep longer. Things that they had figured out, granted, but just some experience assisted with from time to time from having to live this as ordinary.

Other times, however, she has to be shown. Isolating herself for the last seventy years has its own price. For one thing, she has no idea what to do with most of the electronics, some of the guns they carry, other parts of machinery. Tries not to let her pride sting as she's the one reduced to having to being teased when she doesn't have the faintest as to what they're talking about, or when she speaks of something as normal, and it isn't. When it had happened from her Great-Grandchildren was one thing, and when Carl takes her aside to explain things, she can swallow it - but it's hard to swallow the flustered ire when she's used to be sure and in control of everything around her. ( What even was an - an 'MP3' anyway? File types that weren't - paper? She finds herself missing Tesla to help her make sense of it most of all. )

Times like that, she finds him, to at least centre herself back into something she can do, does know. Helping him with skinning, tanning, helping him make extra bolts in a relative silence of work she knows. Cleaning her weapons with him. If she can't, she's tending the horse that's become so clearly hers in their progress, just liked she promised she would to it the first day. Becomes at least for her, a odd point of stability, between the two processes, of being in his presence, of dealing with words - old woman, grandma, majesty - that she can shove back just as hard when she needs to, it humanizes, stabilizes, keeps her steady where she needs to. Though she'd never say as much, when he goes for her throat, so to speak, where they're all dogs yanking at each other, there's always a breath of relief for the motion. Because he'd seen it, seen her gasping on her pain that ought to be death, wonders if he told Rick about that too, or if he kept it to himself, but it means at least, she can be something of herself. Comfortable, even if perhaps she shouldn't be. Keeps her both feet on the ground where she gets yanked into this and that, into teaching and being taught and what it means to live past the end of the world and have to start again.

Which is to say, all of it, just becomes life, once more. Lived in each and every day, difficult, struggling and she survives in it best, because that is what it had been what life had always been for her. It goes on, she finds her place in it again, and it simply is. Doing just that, when she finds herself face to face, polishing the gold she has worn for near two hundred years down, working out the blood from the links in the chain, looping it over her fingers to flick out the water as she looks up to him and - the rather cross expression on his face that her eyebrows raise for. Her constant art in being mild in the face of other people's ire. Something that is definitely all courtly habit, or as Carl had called it, once, her 'queen' face after she had told him the story about how the Jhansi ki Rani did battle with the British Lycan in a fortress made of stone on top of a great cliffside edge. ( Whatever... that meant. The observation of children could be merciless, sometimes. )

"I suppose that look means I have done something?" What for, however, she cannot think. Sometimes she knows, she teases too much, but he comes back quickly with that, they shove, and it's over with. This time, she can't think of anything she's done.

Date: 2016-11-19 11:46 pm (UTC)
shri: (» now we've become the ghost)
From: [personal profile] shri
Bad habits - she always talked like she expected to be listened to, without pause and consideration for other's feelings. Used to just swallowing most of it when it's back at her, and that was the price of ruling and then the time afterwards. No one said being immortal made them considerate, made them wise or all knowing, that was definitely the greatest of the myth because it made them nothing but human if but older and more bitter. Her encounters with Galahad had said as much of where she might end up, given enough time.

Seems she'd become just that too.

But it still hits low, breathing out, it hadn't been her intention to drag up something painful in her stories. "I meant only that we drank more often because of the issues with water - that perhaps we could do something the same." Her mouth opens, shuts - it doesn't matter what she meant, did it? She stands, dropping her jewellery into the water she'd been using for cleaning. "I will speak to her. I never intended..." Moves like she's ready to move past him to her.

Date: 2016-11-20 12:50 am (UTC)
shri: (» we will never be bought or sold)
From: [personal profile] shri
Her glance is anxious to it - casting her eyes back to her, then back to Daryl, later, she's maybe thinking. She can give something in apology. About learning to live with these things.

Easy as anything, she rises to the bait, "it's not about being lit." The word is far too proper and wrong coming out of her mouth and done to be mocking. Because it's a joke at this point, something Carl and anyone younger than her - read: just about all of them - like to make her do and say. Force her to say words she doesn't understand.

"Unless you think you can't handle your liquor to stave off, oh, I don't know, dysentery. Because I can assure you that's not a romantic tale."

Date: 2016-11-20 04:03 am (UTC)
shri: (» people talk to me)
From: [personal profile] shri
Her eyes roll, huffing down at him where he gets himself comfortable on the ground. Realising how quickly he's gotten her off track and that's - she really isn't sure about that. He does it too well, gets her all sharp and distracted where usually she can keep her head. Because as he does, backing down from her even in the same space that he got her worked up, she's just that - distracted from what she'd done.

"Nothing I can't handle." Bites back like he's a small dog she'll just pick up by the scruff of his neck and put him back in his box. Just like he did with her now.

Date: 2016-11-20 10:03 pm (UTC)
shri: (» we are the hearts)
From: [personal profile] shri
True to form, she is just that with his offer: wary. Her hand taps by her leg, her head tilts as she watches him before she moves. The bite on the inside of her lip that's consideration as she moves her weight on her feet. Then she settles her shoulders, turns back to what she had been in the process of cleaning and comes back to him. It's quick, in its way, she's nothing if not direct, sometimes.

She drops herself by his side, the bowl of water in front of her, somewhat mollified with his offer of distraction. The brush of her knee to the outside of his leg as she gets herself settled, her head dipping back down over her work, the small scouring brush to work free the grim and blood from the links in the chain. She takes more care over this then she does over herself.

"I'll come with you, should you wish it." Automatic offer that comes forward without even looking. She's better when she's moving, she always has been and she hates to let other people go alone, no matter what she may pretend.

Date: 2016-11-20 10:26 pm (UTC)
shri: (» we go together)
From: [personal profile] shri
It's - well that's a compliment if it's shrouded, isn't it? "Ah," and she peers harder at her work, direct little scrubbing motions on the metal, occupying herself in it rather than meeting his eye where she's aware of it on her.

He sees too much, he always does, whether anyone else ever notices that he is - but a lifetime of being watched in courtly matters, then being hunted, makes her keen on it. Fine, when she's doing the watching, makes her drop her own gaze when it's back at her. Which quite probably, is just a little hypocritical, all the looking she does and how much she never holds her tongue about it.

His second point though, that makes her scrunch her face up. Oh, no, no, no, no. She can see exactly where that's going.

"Well, you would know better than I the kinds of buildings available now, and their construction." Just hang onto that first point and roll with it. "Between the two of us, we can find something... suitable, I am sure."

Date: 2016-11-20 10:38 pm (UTC)
shri: (» forever singing)
From: [personal profile] shri
Damn it all if he's making it hard for her to be obtuse. She picks another link with another bit of hard stuck grime and mud and blood to continues scrubbing at it fixedly.

"It is rather a hallmark of civilisation, I'd wager." Clears her throat, pointedly. "I am sure Rick will consider it carefully."

Her head dips lower, where was the ground to swallow her up? Perhaps if she willed it hard enough, Shiva or Devi would take pity on her and drag her under before she got stuck.

Date: 2016-11-20 10:54 pm (UTC)
shri: (» now they whisper it)
From: [personal profile] shri
Her teeth fit on the inside of her lip, worrying against it in thought. A nervous habit from girlhood. Thinking over what he's saying. Or rather, that she isn't exactly sure.

"How novel, I've never voted before." It's flat, curter than she means, but said and that's that.

Then, at last, she straightens up, her fingers curling up sharp and around the gold in her hand, letting it dig into hands that were never soft. Taking assurance in the bite against her skin. He's - closer than she expected when she pulls up to meet his face, not shying from it, rather she lowers her voice in proximity. A hiss that peels back from her teeth, a swallow that sits heavy in her throat in the firelight, whispered between them. "Out with it then, whatever it is you've been asked to say to me." Flatly accusing, perhaps, she doesn't like being coerced like that.

Date: 2016-11-20 11:20 pm (UTC)
shri: (» we are dancing through the smoke)
From: [personal profile] shri
Oh but that stings. He couldn't hit her any lower and she wants to hit him in return, maybe less than metaphorically. It's clear on her face before she smothers it down, twitching like a live wire, an exposed nerve like he'd bared it under a blade. Hurt, bitter, angry, and she snaps back to the metal in her hand, knuckles turning white around it like she might just anyway.

Because she's trying to think of something to say. Something sharp and half as mean as she wants it to be. To tell them they're all fools, all idiots. She's a Queen of a dead kingdom. What hope can she give them? What on earth can she do for them that she didn't already do for her own people, a long time ago, only to watch them burn?

It wells hot, and angry and bitter in her throat, stings in her eyes, the choking on smoke that she's tasted for years that she had to devour in order to avenge them as they screamed and were slaughtered down to the last child. Her people, her people, her people and she's lying to herself, she knows, if she doesn't already think of this group as just the same. Hers to care for, to do everything she could for. Like she's spent every hundred years since then trying to do what she couldn't to start with.

She can't, she can't, she can't.

Galahad, Tesla, Devi, the men and women of Jhansi, her little boy in her arms, her impoverished of Whitechapel and the soldiers at Normandy. All hers, all looking to her, all dead - and she cannot -

The breath she pulls into herself is wet and sobering. "No. I will not."
Edited Date: 2016-11-21 12:15 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-21 02:02 am (UTC)
shri: (» are too vicious to tell)
From: [personal profile] shri
Like always, she shuts it down where her life - who she had been before in its reality is not what she ever offers up. Battle stories of warriors in gleaming metal and raised swords is one thing.

Slaughter is another.

"It's not for discussion." She's shifting, getting ready to stand up. "Wake me when it's time to go. I am going to rest before we leave." She doesn't really need to sleep, the blackwater will do most often, and she takes longer shifts at the worst hours because of it.

Date: 2016-11-21 03:09 am (UTC)
shri: (» we said our dreams will carry us)
From: [personal profile] shri
It's half-hearted when she wakes - startled from her at best cat nap when he drops the bag on her face. But she kicks out, not hard meant, just swings at his legs as if she means to knock his legs out from underneath him in a belated 'good morning to you, too.'

Struggles up, sitting there with a yawn as she stretches, letting her back pop into place after sleeping on the ground. "Are we riding? Or walking?"

Date: 2016-11-21 05:20 am (UTC)
shri: (» they used to shout my name)
From: [personal profile] shri
"Sedan - we have a sedan -" A frown, who on earth had a sedan chair? Who on earth would carry them around?

A second where she's groggy waking up and then she blanches as she catches up with the rest of his sentence. "Oh, an automobile... of course." Clears her throat, clearing the sleep out of her system, as she straightens. "I am perfectly capable of driving if you would prefer that." Up onto her nose, then onto her feet as she takes out her hair from the night before, tugging it loose so she can run her fingers through it.

Date: 2016-11-21 06:21 am (UTC)
shri: (» tragically we fall like the arrows)
From: [personal profile] shri
She sniffs all insulted dignity as she gathers up her gear. Which is numerous so far as she had too many weapons: the sword, the long knife, the pistol and the rifle. But what was super-human strength if she didn't use it? A few minutes to arm herself, tie her hair back up, wash her face and hands. Not the best morning person in the world, but at least it's done quickly with military efficiency.

When she finally gets into the car with him. It's some light dig back at him as she settles herself into the seat - and she still sits proper like she's riding her, haha, high horse. "I am a perfectly acceptable driver, I have plenty of experience."
Edited Date: 2016-11-21 09:51 am (UTC)
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