[identity profile] beautysleep4.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] tdr_backup
~She knows she should not be so flattered by Hal's attention and compliments. She is a betrothed princess all but wed if not for this evil spell. And yet, after centuries of wandering alone and friendless it is impossible for her to dismiss it as her due though she would have done so without a thought in her own time and place. But it is not her time and place, nor does she have her prince while her new champion is handsome and articulate and chivalrous to a fault. He is good company, lifting her spirits when they threaten to sink like hapless creatures in the surrounding mire or listening to her stories of a world he knows nothing about and surely has no interest in save that she does.

They are picking their way through the swamp. Both have had more than enough of the damp and the chill not to mention the myriad of nasty little creatures which threaten to make a banquet of any shade they might catch. Beauty is waving away a swarm of giant hairy gnat-like things when she feels the first strange sensation. A quick searing pain as if she has strained the muscles. Perhaps she has she thinks for the mud is constantly pulling against them as they trek through it. She begs Hal for a bit of a rest. They are at the bottom of a dip with yet another pool stretching out before them. As she gazes across the dull grey landscape she spots figures on the top of the next rise. They are not close enough for recognizable features and yet there is something naggingly familiar about one of them.

Harold~she has not yet become so informal that she uses the diminutive of his name~do you see those people up there? They seem to be coming this way, do you think it is quite safe to stay?

Date: 2010-04-13 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*Hal has been more than happy to talk about anything with her. The stories of her old home are fascinating- it's as though he's talking to a walking time machine. A very beautiful walking time machine. It takes a lot of effort not to make a fool of himself by falling or sinking into the muck due to a distracted, misplaced step. Something keeps pulling at his muscles too, but he assumes it's his body being unused to living in quicksand. It's painful, but nowhere near as bad as the bamboo earlier and far more easily explained so he doesn't bother to mention it.

When he follows her gaze his stomach tightens like a wire. He's used to making snap decisions but Hell doesn't forgive mistakes. He peers ahead, putting his arm protectively in front of her without realising.*

I don't know. If we keep low in the grass we'll be able to get a good look at them before they see us. They're definitely humans, aren't they?

Date: 2010-04-14 11:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*Hal allows the frog to chew on his boot; throwing it into the swamp could jeopardise their position. He sticks close and crawls alongside her out of defensiveness and curiosity.

His arm is ripped by another pain and he just manages to stifle a grunt and keep his elbow from buckling beneath him. He rocks back onto his heels and listens in on what the newcomers might be saying, while holding his arm in his lap.*

*He whispers as quietly as possible.* Be careful- don't go much further.

Date: 2010-04-19 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
Are you all right?

*Wesley's "help the helpless" response kicked in when he heard Beauty's cry, and he responded immediately. He sees almost as immediately that Hal has caught her, and he takes a second to size Hal up. He wants instantly to like him; he gets a good vibe from him, but experience has made him mistrustful so he puts up guards, drawing back slightly and assuming a closed posture.*

You don't belong here on Five, either, do you?

*he extends his hand, wincing only slightly as the muscles pull oddly tight.*

Pryce. And you are...?

Date: 2010-04-19 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] severus-snape1.livejournal.com
*Snape catches up and studies Hal closely while giving away no hint at what he's thinking. He does note that Hal seems to have the Level One mist accompanying him, so he feels somewhat better about the possibility of his joining their group.

But he does regret running; his legs really ache now from the extra strain on top of the endless aches that have begun to plague him.*

Date: 2010-04-20 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*Hal stays crouched beside Beauty in defense, but he instantly warms up to the two men because they seem perfectly cordial. He's also a little too trusting. Seeing Lilah is a relief- he's truly glad that she's alright.

He puts on his nicest smile to speak, stands, and shakes Wesley's hand eagerly.*

Hunt. Friends call me Hal. You're right, we're not from Five. But boy are we ever glad to see some friendly faces.

*He wants to go back to Beauty to make sure that she's alright, but the hope of allegiance has to come first.*

Date: 2010-04-20 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] severus-snape1.livejournal.com
*Snape cracks his sore finger joints and cracks his neck a bit as he stands slightly behind Wesley, almost like a secret service agent. He does not smile at Hal, but on the other hand, he does not frown, either. He merely waits for Hal to acknowledge him or for Wesley to introduce him.*

Date: 2010-04-20 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
*Wes accepts Hal's handshake and immediately analyzes it: firm, confident, but not dominating or threatening. He returns it in kind.*

Pryce. Wesley. And this is my companion Snape.

*He purposely shortens his own name both out of habit, out of brevity, and out of paranoia. He never knows when someone might know his family's name and can't be certain what it might mean if they did. He looks around now for Lilah.*

Date: 2010-04-20 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noshoesinhell8.livejournal.com
*Lilah has crept closer but is still hanging back from the group, watching warily to see which way the wind blows, or in this case, which way the swamp muck flies. She can't admit it to herself, but she's actually a little glad to see Hal. He was treating her a lot nicer than Wesley is. Beauty she's not so sure about, though. The little tramp still looks stunning draped in muck and leeches. It isnt' fair. She watches the men greet one another while appraising the sitch, and the look on her face suggests she doesn't care one way or another how things go, so long as a decision is made quickly.*

Date: 2010-04-23 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*Ever the gentleman, he does indeed introduce Beauty to the others.*

Mr. Pryce, Mr. Snape, this is *He decides to omit 'Her Royal Highness' in case this seems pretentious of him* Princess Beauty.

*He steps to one side to allow her to handshake or curtsey, or however princesses greet people.*

Date: 2010-04-28 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] severus-snape1.livejournal.com
*Snape nods deeply and solemnly. He decides that he does not wish to give too much information about his wizarding background, as he is not certain whether Beauty is the sort of princess to cringe and wail and point accusatory fingers at wizards and witches, or if she is the sort of princess who honors and respects them, or if she is somewhere in between. He knows he has no powers here, but that might not make a witch-burner any more tolerant.*

I am Severus Snape from Spinner's End, a scholar of many things.

Date: 2010-04-29 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
*Wesley takes in Beauty's composure and bearing and immediately marks her as genuinely titled. She appears to be medieval, French from the cut of her gown, and not terribly crazy. He really isn't certain how to behave around a princess, contemporary or medieval, so he averts his gaze and diverts the conversation.*

Neither of you are native to this level. You've escaped your levels, just as we have. How?

*He's instantly suspicious. It seems an awful lot of shades they've encountered have done just that. It doesn't seem likely that it should be all that easy to accomplish. Is it possible that they're being allowed to wander the levels for some reason?*

Date: 2010-04-30 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*Hal answers him out of habit for assuming a dominant role in groups.*

I believe I just wandered out- as difficult as that was- but I didn't realise it was something noteworthy. Though now that you mention it, Hell does seem a bit too organised to allow that sort of thing to go on a lot.

*He stands straighter and pulls his shoulders back just imperceptibly. He's around much older men, so he's quick to try and prove that his youth isn't a hindrance.*

How did you escape?

Date: 2010-05-03 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deadwesley1.livejournal.com
I needed to move on.

*He gives no more of an explanation than that before gesturing for them to follow and saying "It's possible there's safety in numbers. You are more than free to join the two of us *notably excluding Lilah* if you like.

Date: 2010-05-06 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*He looks to Beauty before answering tentatively.*

That sounds good. What do you think, Princess?

*He gives the word 'Princess' with as much politeness and dignity as he can, so it doesn't come off as sarcasm.*

Date: 2010-05-11 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halleyscomet1.livejournal.com
*He dutifully presents his arm, grinning a little. He likes having this much trust bestowed in him. He then nods to Wesley.*

Alright, lead the way.
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