Conor scoops up Erica from the floor of the now devastated house in his thick strong arms. As he rushes for the door and to the appropriate joining of the Ways, Erica’s head picks up a bit as she mutters weakly “Did I get him?”
Conor looks over at the massive crumbling hole where a nice suburban bathroom wall had been. “Aye lass,” he replies, and Erica reflexively relaxes at his familiar accent, “I dinna think anyone canna survive that.”
Erica’s slight smile faded, replaced by a frown of worry and sadness. “Oh…” was all she replied before her head dropped down again into unconsciousness.
Erica awoke to the familiar sounds of her own room, soft and muddled street sounds telling her it was morning. A nearby and vibrant purr came from beside her, and she reached out to pet Hobbes’ soft fur.
"Welcome back to the land of the living. I was afraid that the doctor had given you too much of that poison you call medicine, would have liked to have paid him a visit if you hadn’t pulled thru." Hobbes tenor was distinct and clipped, a practice he had adopted after watching too many CSI shows, but Erica gave him an extra head rub to rub out his unspoken worry.
“Sorry to spoil your sport, Hobbes. Maybe next time.” Erica’s voice was weak and tired, and she lay there happy that she wasn’t dead. “How did I get here?”
“Conor brought you,” Hobbes mused as he got up to reposition himself closer to her face. “That changeling grows stronger by the day, he may become a threat to us.”
Erica laughed noiselessly. “Conor will never be a threat to us, not ever, I know him.”
Hobbes eyes narrowed as he turned his head more fully towards hers. “Do you? You are certain?” he asked with more than a little sarcasm.
“Yes,” Erica replied, worry knitting her brow again. "Conor would never hurt us, no matter what…
Hobbes leans in that special way that Cats lean in to their soon-to-be-dead prey. “But someone? Who? What has happened?”
Erica’s frown gained strength, and a tear rolled out of her faux eyes. “I think I killed someone.” She nearly sobbed in admitting it, but she kept a lid on her emotional thunderstorm for now.
Hobbes was less than impressed. “Really? That’s all? Your species kills each other in the hundreds every day, you’re worried that you’ve added to that list. Its kill or be killed out there sweetie, get a grip.”
Erica batted a hand at Hobbes, causing him to start up and then move further down by her feet. “No Hobbes! I mean, I think I killed someone, with magic!” The anger of her words help to dry her tears a bit, but they still flowed slowly as she sat up. There was a bizarre numbness everywhere, and she felt unusually blind due to the fuzziness of her senses.
“Oh this is a magicy White Council thing, isn’t it? One of those pesky Laws?” Hobbes lay across Erica’s ankles languidly.
Erica’s voice crispened further. “Yes, Hobbes, one of those pesky Laws, ya know, the ones where a big guy in a grey cloak comes in the night and chops my head off, those Laws.”
Hobbes’s ear perked up a bit. “Well good thing you don’t know any wardens, then.”
Erica sat for a moment, head hung down. "But I know a White Council Wizard who saw the whole thing, and would be honor bound to report me to the Wardens if he saw me break one of the Laws."
Hobbes sat up fully at this. “Oh. Well, are you sure that you actually killed someone? You are blind, you know.” Hobbes ducks a narrowly missed pillow.
"Someone was going after Ren, in the bathroom of this house. I panicked. We had been fighting for a while, and I had an arrow in my leg (Hob:“nice”) and I hit him with everything I had left. And I mean everything. I don’t think I’ve ever hit someone that hard before. I think I blew up that bathroom. Oh god I hope Ren is ok…" Panic settled in firm as she tried to get out of the covers. Hobbes leaped up and put his paw against her chest, not so much forcing her down as asking.
“Erica, Conor said everyone made it out fine, and for you to get some rest. Please.” Erica paused for a moment, then slumped back down on to the bed. “Besides,” Hobbes continued, “I’m sure that whatever big bad you were fighting could have taken your best shot or two, right.”
Erica lay there, facing upwards and not moving, trying to get her head to stop swimming. “It was a man, inside a threshold. He had no powers or stuff working. He was just a man…”
Erica quietly began sobbing, for the act that she had committed in haste if with good intentions, for the friends that she had let down by losing control, and for the life she loved that she feared would be struck from her, snickety snack, in the dead of some Summer night. Hobbes let her cry, cuddling up to her chest and purring softly. Erica held him, tightly, and cried herself back to sleep.