Nerys And Cassie (Angst warning)

.:Nerys and Cassie part 1:.

Cassie leads Nerys along the corridor to one of the few empty rooms available. She slips a key out of a pocket in her apron and opens the door to let Nerys in. “It’s only small, but the larger rooms were taken earlier in the evening.” She suddenly looks shocked. “I’m sorry, I forgot to ask if you wanted me to bring anything to drink or eat up, I’m sorry.” She wipes her hands on her apron, “I’ll go and get something.” She moves to go back downstairs.

———-

As Cassie starts panicking Nerys gives a light laugh, and before she can start to move places a light hand on the barmaids shoulder, gently pushing her into the room before entering herself and looking around. “Sssh, this is fine. No drinks, no food, just us.” She takes the key from the lock and closes the door. She wanders round the room checking for anything untoward, then sits down on the bed, testing the springs much as a child would. She puts her bag out of the way, and throws her jacket on top of it, and carefully puts the door key on the small table by the bed. “Relax.” She stretches out. “Been a while since I had a bed to sleep in.” She looks at Cassie with a raised eyebrow.

———

Cassie stifles a nervous giggle as Nerys looks at her, feeling the other woman’s eyes running over her. She wrings her hands, then reaches behind her back and undoes the ties to her apron, folding it and placing it next to Nerys things. “What happens now?” she asks, fear and trepidation creeping into her voice.

——–

For a moment Nerys seems lost in her own thoughts, her hands playing with a ring on her right hand. *Weeks since I slept in a bed, how long since I shared one with someone who wasn’t Vak and out of bounds? Was I wrong, leading her here, or am I so lonely I’m getting desperate? * She hears Cassie’s voice, which breaks her train of thought, and she pulls off the ring and reaches over to put it in her bag. She smiles, not the fake smile she’s worn all evening but a genuine, if slightly tired smile. “Now? You stop fidgeting and sit down.” She pulls her boots off and rubs her toes, “then we talk.” She moves so that she’s sitting cross-legged on the bed and gestures for Cassie to do the same.

———

Relaxing slightly, Cassie follows and sits on the edge of the bed, unlacing her boots before pulling them off. She climbs onto the bed so that she can arrange her skirt so that she can sit comfortably. “Right, what do we talk about? I mean, I know nothing about you, I don’t even know your last name, you know nothing about me, and I’m talking rubbish right now aren’t I?” Her shoulders sag as she relaxes and closes her eyes briefly, trying to make sense of things in her head.

———

Nerys sighs. She’d expected this, that she’d have to explain everything, but she’d hoped the other woman wouldn’t be quite so nervous. “Well, I guess I start from the top then don’t I? My name is Nerys Briar, I’m from Calsmeer although I’ve seen the world in my life, I normally travel with another woman, Vak who is my oldest friend. I tend not to stay in one place for long, my family, who I am somewhat estranged from have made it clear that they can find me whether I want to be found or not.” She runs her hand through her hair, “There isn’t much more to me really, other than I make my money by selling what I can make, or by not getting myself killed. Your turn I guess.” She stretches out and waits for Cassie to respond.

———-

A brief look of panic flickers across Cassie’s face as Nerys mentions another woman, but swiftly pushes the thought aside for later. She undoes the tie that has held the hair from her face, letting it fall down over her shoulders, and tries to form a coherent sentence. “It’s just me and me mam at home now. My dad died a few months back and my brother lives in the next town over with his wife and family. I’ve worked here for a year now. I suppose that’d be me really.”

———–

“Hm.” Nerys stretches, rubbing her shoulder. “So you’ve never left the town?” She asks.

———–

Cassie shakes her head. “Never wanted to. I suppose I will sooner or later, when there’s nothin’ ‘ere for me.” She lowers her eyes briefly, before looking back up. “Are your shoulders sore?” she asks in a voice close to a whisper.

———–

Nerys continues rubbing her shoulder, bruised from her heavy bag, and nods when Cassie asks if they hurt. “I’m carrying around far too much in that bag. I sometimes wonder how I fit it all it!” She stretches her neck from side to side, and then leans forward, stretching out her arms to the end of the bed. Cassie shifts out the way a little, and Nerys laughs. “Sorry, that bag and too many nights on the road.”

—————

Cassie shakes her head, and mumbles something about “crazy travellers” before slipping off the bed. A look of bemusement spreads across Nerys’ face, before Cassie stands next to her at the top of the bed and motions that she move further down.

————–

“What the?” she starts to protest, by Cassie places a hand in front of her face to silence her.

————-

“Just move down, and trust me.” Nerys complies, and waits for whatever is going to happen next happen. The bed creaks slightly as Cassie climbs back on, arranging her skirt so that she can kneel behind Nerys. She places her hands lightly on Nerys’ shoulders, and pauses. “Where abouts?” she asks.

———–

Nerys shrugs, “My shoulders, the top of my back.” she pauses for a moment. “You don’t have to.”

———–

As Cassie starts kneading at the muscles, she thinks. “I know I don’t have to, but you strike as the kind of person who hates talkin’ face to face. Besides, you’re stiff as a board.”

———–

Nerys stifles a small snigger, to which Cassie rolls her eyes. “I’m sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve been close to anyone, enough to trust them. People have a tendency to die.” Nerys’ tone is somewhat sombre, and she lowers her head, her mind deep in memories.

.:Nerys and Cassie part 2:.

“What about your friend, Vak?” asks Cassie.

————

Nerys shakes her head slowly, “She’s a friend, nothing more. I trust her completely but her duties and my way of life seem to conflict sometimes,” she sighs, “I wish I could see my family, my mother.”

————-

Cassie relaxes a little, “So there’s nothing between you and Vak then?”

————-

Nerys laughs, “No, and she’d kill me if I tried anything. She made that much clear when we first met.”

————-

A knot makes her hiss slightly, and Cassie apologises, “What about your family?”

————-

For a moment, Nerys seems to stiffen up again, then relaxes, but stays silent for a while, unsure of what to say. At last she speaks, her voice quieter than before, her words faltering. “My mother vanished when I was a child, I thought she was dead after I’d spent months searching for her. I moved on, found work and built up my life. I met Vak and we spent our days wandering round, getting each other out of trouble, then she became a squire and things started going wrong.” She pauses as Cassie finds a spot on her back that makes her shiver, but quickly composes herself. “I was introduced to the joys of court life,” She explains sarcastically. “That one time I was there, I spent the entire evening being asked if I had been away travelling, having curious looks directed at me, and I had no idea why. Then there she is; my mother, on the arm of the man who has been trying to get rid of me for the last year.” She shakes with unshed tears. “I’m the daughter of the man who has been trying to kill me, who I have been trying to bring to justice. The one thing that I’ve wanted for the last nine years brings me more misery and confusion.” Finally the sobs break through, and she pulls away from Cassie, drawing her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them.

————

As Nerys talks, Cassie works her hands over Nerys’ back, listening to the woman, but denying her curiosity and not interrupting. She allows herself a brief smile when she finds a point on Nerys’ back that causes her to shiver, but continues in silence. *Don’t, she needs to let this out, that’s what mam’d say. She’s not much older than me, shouldn’t’ve had this. But do I need to be gettin’ myself involved?* She sighs and continues, changing her movements from working the knots out tired muscles to rubbing Nerys’ back in what she hopes is a comforting manner. She feels the sobs overwhelm the other woman, and allows her to pull away, and watches her curl up, somehow reminded of a small child.

————-

Tears flowed and thoughts raced through Nerys’ mind faster than she could grasp them. *I shouldn’t have, she’ll hate me, why am I crying? I haven’t cried over this since it happened. I’ve never told anyone, not even Vak, she doesn’t know. She’ll hate me. please! Touch me, say something. Let me know whether you hate me or not. Please.*

—————

Eventually she couldn’t bear to watch the other woman. She thought to leave, get out while she still could, but realised that to do that would be wrong and ruin any chance of even friendship. *Do I go to her or not? If I don’t, will, she think I’m using her, or that I don’t care? But if I do, she seems the type that keeps these things bottled up, she’ll think that I think she’s weak, which I… Oh this is gettin’ me no-where.* Slowly, so not to scare the sobbing woman, Cassie crawls over to her, and lightly places a hand on the red shirted shoulder. Nerys flinches slightly at the unexpected contact, but doesn’t pull away, a fact that Cassie takes as permission to move further. Leaning over, Cassie places her other hand on Nerys’ opposite shoulder, turning her so that even though Nerys’ face is down turned, the two are facing.

———–

Nerys stills as she is forced to turn round, fighting the urge to lash out or bolt. She keeps her head down, and refuses to look up, even when Cassie tries to meet her gaze. *Well, this is it. Time she tells me that I’m worthless and she hates me, and she’s leaving. Good job Nerys.* Her shoulders fall, all strength leaving her body, waiting for the bed to shift as the other woman leaves.

———-

But the only movement she feels is Cassie’s arms, as they wrap around her. For a moment the young bar maid stares into nothing, a silent prayer gracing her lips, begging for patience and strength to carry this through. Stillness engulfs the room, the only sound coming from Nerys as she sobs softly into Cassie’s shoulder. After a moment, Cassie finds the courage to move, slowly rubbing the others back, murmuring softly. So consumed by her concentration, it takes her a while to realise that her hand is no longer in contact with the rough cotton of Nerys’ shirt, but uneven skin. She tenses and quickly pulls her hand away, trying to ignore the tiny whimper from Nerys as she does so.

———-

*Hm, human contact. She doesn’t hate me. No, maybe she does.* A small whimper escapes from Nerys’ lips as Cassie moves her hand from her back. Slowly she blinks and focuses her eyes before looking up at the blonde framed face nervously smiling down at her. “Why d’you stop?” she mumbles.

———-

“Sorry, I, I don’t want to do anything that I could regret, and I want to know where this is going first.” She stammers out in one breath, before hiding a yawn behind her hand.

———

Nerys nods. “I can understand. I’m not looking for a one night stand. I’ve had more of those than I care to remember, and I want something more. Whatever we do, it’s not something casual, neither of us will regret it, at least not now.” She stands up and pulls off her shirt, revealing a scarred back covered by chest binding. She pulls open her bag and takes out an over-sized blue shirt, which she tosses onto the chest of drawers before starting to unwind the binding cloth. “I like you Cassie, and I think I could get to like you a lot more over time.” She continues talking with her back to the bed, completely unconcerned about her state of undress. She shrugs the shirt on and turns back to face Cassie. “I haven’t been chasing you all evening just to get you into bed. I’m a good judge of character, and if I’m perfectly honest, I’m somewhat lonely.” Her face falls a little, and she slumps back onto the bed.

———-

Cassie had slowly moved round the bed, following Nerys’ movements as she changed from her travelling clothes, astounded at the others completely relaxed attitude. “I,” she started to say before stopping and thinking. “I’m glad you’re not just chasing my body, but I really don’t think I’d be able to travel with you all the time.” She goes to say something else, but finds herself lost for words, her mind reeling. *What the? She’s actually interested in me, rather than my body. An actual relationship, when was the last time one of those happened?*

———-

Nerys smiles slightly. “That’s the point. I don’t want someone to travel with me. I have travelling companions, and I don’t want to put you in that much danger. I want someone who isn’t off running the risk of getting killed, someone who has a normal life away from all the awful things I have to deal with. Someone who I can come back to and relax with and forget the world and my family.” She pauses to think, scratching her back. “And before you worry, I don’t just want someone to sit at home and cook and clean and all that stuff. I’ll have you know I’m a damn good cook!” She jokes at the end. She then starts peeling off her battered trousers, inspecting the seams that possibly need repairing, and laying them over the back of the chair.

 

.:Nerys and Cassie part 3:.

Cassie laughs slightly at the comment about cooking, and pulls at the lacings on her bodice, pulling the confining cloth off to leave a loose blouse. Talking to Nerys’ back isn’t something she really wants to do, but the silence is beginning to get to her. “You keep mentioning being in danger, and your family. Why?” she asks quietly, stumbling over the words trying not to upset the other woman. “You said that your father has tried to kill you, but surely that isn’t happening all the time?”

———-

Nerys freezes as Cassie mentions her father, her mind racing. Silently she moves over to the bed, taking Cassie’s hands in her own. “There are things happening that I’m not comfortable talking about. I will tell you, but now isn’t the time. I swear I will keep you safe.” She pulls Cassie’s hands close to her body, “Whatever happens, you’ll be as safe as I can keep you.” She bows her head down for a second, before lifting it back up and releasing her hold on the fair skinned hands. *So pale, so smooth. How much blood over mine? I will keep her safe, if it kills me, if I have to… no, what’s the point. I will protect her, and no doubt Vak will. I guess I really have fallen head over heels here.*

———–

Cassie winces as Nerys freezes and opens her mouth to apologise when Nerys crosses over to her and takes up her hands. Though she’s touched Nerys’ hands over the course of the evening, she’s shocked at the scars and calluses that cover the skin. *I must seem so naive to her…* Her train of thought is broken as Nerys talks. Though she wants to know what Nerys means, the pained look tells her that now really isn’t the time. Nodding mutely, she looks at the pillows, the weariness from working a long shift and the emotional drain taking its toll. As Nerys lets go of her hands she stands and pulls off her outer skirt and stockings, then climbs onto the bed, pulling at Nerys’ arm. “Come on. Lets sleep, or something,” she blushes slightly. “I have to work in the morning.” She pulls back the covers and waits for Nerys to join her.

———–

Nerys sighs. She too is tired, more so that she has been in a long time, but her mind is racing, and she fears sleep will not come easily. She allows herself to be pulled into bed, smirking at the blush. “Don’t worry. I won’t jump you in the night.” she laughs. She pulls the covers back up and sits, half facing Cassie. Gently she places her hand on a flushed cheek and gently kisses Cassie for a moment before pulling back.

———–

Trusting the other woman, Cassie stretches out her legs, and faces Nerys. She doesn’t jump when lips press against hers, and for the moment they are there she leans into the touch, relaxing back when Nerys pulls away. “What do you… I mean, are we… um…” she looks flustered and waves her hands, trying to express what she means.

———-

“Just sleep Cassie. I told you I wasn’t in this for your body, I just want to know you’re here.” She places a silencing finger on Cassie’s lips as she speaks, before sliding down the bed so she’s lying on her back.

———-

Cassie nods, and follows so the two are lying side by side. Nervously she turns on her side, so she’s nestled against the other body and tentatively drapes an arm over Nerys’ stomach, her hand brushing the mattress, her head resting by the others’ shoulder.

———

Nerys’ arm encircles Cassie’s shoulders ad her hand rests on her hip. Her other hand lies on Cassie’s arm and slowly she relaxes.

———

Cassie moves so she’s closer to Nerys, and with a final yawn she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.

——–

Nerys plants a light kiss on Cassie’s head, and lies back, staring at the ceiling. *Give me some time before he finds me again. Let Bob be safe, and Vak. Let the three of us get out of this mess in one piece as soon as possible. Let mum and Arican be well out of my way for the time being, and let me have some piece and quiet for once.* After a while she too drifts off into a dreamless sleep.