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A rose but only twa
ladye_bright wrote in milliways_bar
It is another lovely summer's night at Milliways. Outside in the fading light, a breeze rustles the grass and leaves, and the lap of the lake on the shore provides a pleasant descant. The air is warm enough to be comfortable; cool enough to be invigorating, to make a couple draw close to share warmth.

Surely the evening is far too beautiful to spend indoors. A flat stone by the lake may serve as well as a barstool, and grass better than hard wood floors, and clouds and stars better than beams and rafters.

(The Queen finds the bar too small and enclosed, too busy, to be pleasant for long. She is a creature of the woods and groves, where one can walk beside another for an hour and hear nothing but the forest -- and never be seen, if one knows the trick of it.

But this little world is too fascinating to avoid entirely. Besides, a queen does not neglect those she has claimed as friend. And so she has settled herself on the grass beside the lake, near the woods and far from the smithy, heedless of her fine dress.)

[ooc: Pre-emptive warning for slowtime; otherwise, open for tags from any and all!]

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She hesitates -- then reaches out slowly to take his hand.

"If you think it best . . ."

(the three paths again, but this time a shadowy figure in a gown is standing at the crossroads, gazing fearfully down the broad smooth path

a hint of flames just over the horizon at the end of the path, and the sense of an overhanging threat

shift -- a royal court, a green lawn, music, dancing

shift -- a procession of horses, all hung about with bells and lights like fireflies, is making its way down the winding path, led by)

The vision ends.

(The Queen is extremely proud of her glamours. A touch of truth, no more, to entice and convince, rarely hurts.)

Johnny stared around, the vision shifting. But there was something here. A warning. Danger.

"I think you might be in danger, there was a fire, and there was somebody afraid on a path. I'd like to have a closer look where you come from? I could find out more how to help you that way. Maybe at your court?"

She looks startled.

"Oh -- in danger? From--"

Her eyes widen, and she ducks her head. "Oh, no."

Johnny stepped closer to her with concern.

"What? What's wrong?"

After a moment, she looks up at him, tentative.

"Sir -- do you truly think you could help, if you came to my country?"

He nodded, "Of course. I could get a better idea, and more clues there. I just want to help."

And she begins to smile.

(Triumph flickers in her eyes.)

Standing, she extends a hand, palm up. "Then will you come with me? The way is long."

He missed the look in her eyes completely, and took her hand, "I will."

Part of his mind though wondered how seemingly final that phrase sounded as he said it.

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