Issy grunted and shifted slightly in her sleep, and nuzzled closer to the warmth beside her. Warmth. She blinked awake quickly, despite the earliness of the hour, blushed, and a moment later, quietly slipped from his bed. Not without lingering a moment more… it was so nice there, so warm compared to the desolate chill of the Plaguelands outside. Besides, it wasn’t like they’d done anything… no, he hadn’t needed that, she thought. She just needed his presence, and maybe, she thought, he just needed the same. Some comfort. 

She cricked her neck, took a sip of water from the flask, and slipped outside as silently as she could manage. These lands… she sniffed the air. She was wary of the silence, of the eerie setting. But this had meant something, once, to him and to others, and it needed to be so again. An empty house would crumble and wither, but if you threw some life into it it could last forever. 

Issy left the bulk of her armor in the small cottage, despite her misgivings. She needed freedom of movement, cool air. Her bow and dagger would be near by. She would work, and she’d get too hot in full mail, even out here. A pine branch was snapped off a tree, and she stomped into the chapel. Start here. Sweep, and sweep, move the loose rubble into holes and gaps that needed it, and once more begin to stack the stones high. Begin building again. When he awoke, there would be a place of peace for him, and she would safeguard that.

Author Wallaroo
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