A Sort of Fairytale: Chapter 7

I don’t really feel like putting an authors note up but if anyone has rec’s for GOOD spashley fics, go stick em in today’s PG please. Even if you’re a lurker and by doing so your lurky status becomes unlurked!

Rating: U

* * * * *

Chapter 7

Katia surmised that the young girl must be one of the hardiest people she had ever met. Once awake and eating, Red healed fast, at least physically. The young redhead seemed a little more at ease with Marta, the blonde’s ministrations aiding the girl along to better health. She seemed less comfortable with Katia, the only other person who came into the cabin.

The knife seemed to help, though. Red gripped it like a talisman, never letting it go. Even when she was washing, it was held firmly in one hand, never more so than when Katia was in the room, though.

For her part, the brunette tried to be out of the cabin as much as possible. Hendrik had taken to the idea of trenches with vigour and was now erecting some kind of earthworks on the other side. Katia took it upon herself to keep an eye on him, making sure none of it got too out of hand. She also met frequently with Guillaume, discussing the possibilities of another raid for food-gathering.

Her taciturn lieutenant was the only person, other than Marta, who never minced his words with Katia; however, he only ever muttered a few words at a time, so he probably did not have time to be all that diplomatic. If she wanted a straight answer with no sarcasm, Guillaume was her man. If she wanted a scoff, Marta was always on hand. Should she ever want her ego stroked, everyone else seemed willing to fall over themselves so to do, although she had no idea why and she had never indulged in that sort of fishing.

Right at that moment, though, Katia was resting. Sitting on the small platform outside her cabin with her feet propped up against the railing, she watched the camp in its late afternoon sleepiness. They were so far set into the woods that they had yet to be raided, ever. In fact, Katia was fairly convinced that no-one even knew where they were. In the quiet safety of their haven, most people had come to be at ease. This was never more obvious than siesta time.

Stretching her arms, she heard the rumble in her stomach and grinned. Siesta time had to give way to dinner at some point. Moving the leather curtain aside carefully, so as not to rouse the sleeping redhead in the bed, Katia stepped into the dim light of the cabin.

Blinking to the adjusting light, she found her guest sitting up on the side of the bunk. Red was wearing a simple white tunic that Marta had found somewhere. It looked good on her, although still showed the angry red gashes on the girl’s soft white thighs, those scars which made Katia so very angry.

As the brunette stepped into cabin, the injured girl recoiled a little, clutching the beloved dagger to her chest in defence. Katia considered stepping back out but decided against it. The only time she spent in her own house these days was when she was sleeping. She did that in the less-than-comfortable hammock that now hung permanently in one corner. It was time that Red got a little more used to her presence. If they were going to be sharing the same space, they would have to acclimatise to each other.

Despite the dim light, Katia caught Red’s eyes shifting towards the table and made an educated guess.

“Hungry?” she asked.

Red didn’t answer.

“Me, too,” Katia pressed on, assuming Red’s side of the conversation in her head. “I’ll make us some dinner.”

One of the cooks in the compound had brought around some fresh bread that morning, and there was plenty of cheese and dried meat around. Food would become a lot more scarce in the winter months but, for now, there was enough to eat. Making up two plates of simple fare, Katia carried one over to the bunk. Ignoring the other girl’s frightened look and, once again, her recoiling, she handed over the plate.

There was a long pause before Red took it, with what almost ended up being a snatch.

“Want to eat outside?” Katia asked in a friendly voice, like it was something they did all the time.

For the first time ever, the girl actually replied, shaking her head firmly.

“Okay, well, I’m going to open up the door, let some light in.” It wasn’t a question, just a statement, and Katia proceeded to do just that. Red flinched somewhat at the light, but it was not long before the draw of food overtook everything else.

In companionable silence, they both ate, Katia sitting in the doorway and enjoying the calm air outside and, at the same time, keeping an eye on her guest. When they were both finished, she was surprised by the young redhead offering up her empty plate. She took it with a smile, and put it to the side with her own.

“Want to come outside for a few minutes, for the sunshine?”

Red shook her head rapidly.

“Even with me? I’ll make sure no one comes near you?”

Red shook her head again.

“Okay, well, I’m going to leave the door open for a while. You should get some sun while it’s still out.”

Taking some steps back, Katia sat back down in the doorway and watched the light fall to the bunk, where the young girl obediently sat in the square it made.

As the daylight dwindled, Katia was surprised to see Red get up off the bunk under her own steam. The girl made her way over to the water bowl and drank from a goblet, before standing within a few feet of the door and looking at Katia with some considerable uncertainty. The brunette got to her feet, carefully facing her young guest.

“Can I get you something?”

Red shook her head again. It seemed to be the only answer she was capable of giving Katia.

“Can I… do something for you?”

The young girl looked up, then down, and then tentatively touched her right thigh.

“They hurt?” Katia looked concerned. “I’ll get Marta.”

To her surprise, the girl shook her head even more vigorously and held a hand straight out, as though to stop Katia leaving although without touching her. The brunette moved forward a few paces and then held up her own hands, showing that she was unarmed and safe.

“Do you want me to look?” Katia had never felt more uncertain in her life. It felt like Red was making some motions towards her now, but she didn’t want to make a wrong move and scare the girl away.

The girl shook her head again. It was only when she winced and reached out, grabbing the side of the table to steady herself, that Katia realised the young thing was about to fall. All caution aside, she was by Red’s side in an instant, keeping her on her feet.

“Come on, back to bed with you.”

They limped, slowly, across the small cabin and back to the alcoved bunk on the wall.

Despite her recent refusal to have Katia anywhere near her, the slender young girl allowed the taller brunette to help her back into bed before cuddling under the covers and moving away. Her green eyes remained wide open though, watching the older woman carefully.

Katia sighed. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

There was no response though. Whatever communicating Red had planned on doing with the older girl was clearly over. It was a pity though, Kate had thought she was almost getting through. Almost.

Instead, she sat down in the doorway, weary and confused. She was so unsure of how to convince Red that she was of no danger that it was starting to genuinely upset her. And that just made her more angry at Barnabas and his men, and the disaster they wrought throughout the land.

The disaster and destruction they had wrought in her own life had been bad enough. Sitting in her doorway, watching the world outside her small cabin, she could see dozens of other people similarly affected. Not one of these people remained untouched.

They were all victims, as much as Red was.

And if only she could get Red to see that, maybe the girl would start to feel a bit safer. Because there was no way Katia was going to let anyone hurt her again.

Ever.

5 Comments

  1. DaniZGE
    Posted 20 March 2009 at 7.13am | Permalink

    I didn’t realise you had posted a chapter 7! I am so happy. I look forward to reading these updates. Thanks again for continuing this story. Like in Finally on the Ground, I am enjoying the different setting. Also, I appreciate how you tell more than just the love story. It’s nice to read about your characters as individuals because it takes the focus from the “inevitable”. All your stories do this. You build your characters so well. Hahaha, and this isn’t even Spashley! So the “inevitable” is a mystery! I love this story!

  2. DaniZGE
    Posted 28 August 2009 at 8.39pm | Permalink

    Hello? Missing the story. Know you’re busy. Just a big fan.

  3. NGreenblatt
    Posted 4 June 2010 at 7.47pm | Permalink

    What, no more? But I wanna see what happennns, whinewhine.
    Goshdarnit. Guess it serves me right for being a newbie lurker.

  4. kree
    Posted 31 August 2010 at 7.58pm | Permalink

    V intrstn!When r u gonna conclude this write up?

  5. Happygojulie
    Posted 2 January 2017 at 2.27am | Permalink

    I’d love to see how this ends.

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