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Distant, Cool
walksindeath wrote in milliways_bar
Sabriel has been upstairs a lot these last few days. Reading, mostly - she isn't sure where the books on Charter Magic come from, but they are similar to ones she knows are back at the palace in Belisaere, and form a small but interesting collection on the little bookshelf in her room.

(She'd be less likely to admit that she slept for almost a full day after healing Sameth, but that didn't speed her studies up any. Healing magic has always been a necessity, but never her gift.)

She has been looking for any information on Dead things such as Sameth described, and that she felt tainting him. There isn't much. Therefore, as she orders tea from a waitrat, she is keeping her eyes open for anyone that looks a likely source of information.

[OOC: Guess who's insanely busy for the next few weeks? This guy! But plot is fun, and I'm determined to keep Sabriel at least mostly up to date. Slowtimes and handwaving will be my friends, just as an early warning, but I'm here for a few hours tonight.]

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Some time later....

The front door opens. It's hard to see what exactly lies beyond, aside from a quick glimpse of weak sunlight and dead grass, even more quickly shrouded in a swirl of dust as a figure steps through.

Blodwen shuts the door behind her, and turns to look out over the room.

It's as Sameth said a little earlier.

Even through the hazy feel of death in varying and confusing stages all around her; waiting for it, Sabriel can feel the difference.

Her head turns towards the source, suppressing a shudder at the wrongness that her senses scream at her, and watches the form that looks like a woman.

It does not take long.

Her diamond-bright, stone-hard glance flicks over the bar and its patrons, assessing and dismissing -- and then falls on the dark-haired woman, and stops.

After a moment or two, she smiles.

Sabriel puts her tea down.

Then she gathers her robe, stands, and makes her way through the crowded bar to where the figure in red waits.

She doesn't smile back, but neither does she touch the Charter, or reach for the bells slung across her chest. There is no harm in being polite.

"Hello, cariad."

Low and carrying, those two words, and sweet as well-- the same sweetness as that one would find in too-ripe fruit.

"Something there is that is so familiar about you, somehow."

Her unblinking gaze flicks to the mark on the other woman's forehead and away again.

"Have we met?"

"About you too," Sabriel says evenly, stopping a step or two away, close enough to converse quietly without getting too close.

Even this near, she can feel it - the crawling, nauseating sense of Death where it shouldn't be and the cold burning of magic that hates life. Not quite the same, it couldn't be that simple, but terrifyingly familiar all the same.

"I think you have encountered my son."

You should meet his mother, the fire-creature had said, and so it would be no hardship at all for her to guess, even were there need.

Her smile brightens.

"The little blacksmith with the violent temper -- Sameth, she said."

A beat.

"The Abhorsen in Waiting, he told me." Blodwen makes a 'tsking' sound. "A shame it is, that he should have been so careless."

"Careless is one word," Sabriel says carefully.

She can debate that with Sameth himself later and elsewhere.

"But whether he was or not, it is a shame either way."

"Oh, to be certain," she agrees. "Why, how worried you must have been!"

"I will not deny that I was concerned."

Sabriel's tone is calm but goes a little clipped as she remembers how dulled Sameth had seemed by her poison.

"I would like to know whether it is likely to happen again."

"Better to ask your son, dear," she chides, lightly.

"He it was who struck first, after all."

"I have instructed him not to do so again," Sabriel agrees pleasantly.

"But I find it better by far to prevent carelessness from both sides, if I can."

This is, admittedly, most often done by violent means. But what little time she has spent in Belisaere has taught her that diplomacy occasionally has its place.

"If you can, yes," Blodwen says.

Strangely enough, there is no weight of threat in the words.

"What is your name, cariad?"

There doesn't really need to be.

"I am called Sabriel," the Abhorsen tells her. "And yours?"

"Blodwen will do," she tells Sabriel. "It is how I am best known here, to be sure."

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