This takes place after the events of Forgebreaking and after the fall of Theramore.
Aely stood in the little washroom of their apartment, hands over the sink, ripping the remains of a glass out of the palm of her hand. It hurt, but not enough. The tumbler had shattered satisfactorily against the bar, but Kyraine had to go and get Verne, and he had to go and try to heal it.
Numbly, she looked at the little glittering shards in the sink, washed pink with blood and warm water. She spat, tasting the sour remnants of bad whiskey, and dug the last bit of glass out of her palm. It fell with a clink against its brothers. Her hand oozed red down the side of the sink.
Look at yirself. Na better than fuckin' Bittertongue. Go oan. Wallow in it.
She wrapped a linen bandage tightly around her hand, gritting her teeth. No better than Bittertongue indeed. She wasn't sure where the line was - The utter catastrophe of the summit. Malkavet and the condition of Shaila on her rescue. Having razed a fortress to the ground, only to find that Beltar wasn't there. The loss of the freed slaves she'd tried so hard to give a better chance to. The destruction of everyone and everything in Theramore, the last remaining stronghold with ties to the North.
But it didn't really matter where the line was, this crossed it.
Sensless bloody loss ay life. What a fuckin' waste.
She briefly fought a battle not to attack the wall behind her, gave up, and slammed her hands into it anyway. Neither gave way, and the low gutteral growl in the back of her throat turned to a full blown scream, turned to deep, wracking sobs. She collapsed into the wall, beating against it weakly with her bandaged hand, reopening the wounds. The white linen turned red. Aely gave herself up to the sobbing, sliding down and sitting on the floor, letting the hurt and loss and hatred pour out of her like water.
Eventually there was nothing left. Nothing but the still, small voice of her own mind.
Wir at war, Aely Caltrains. Ye've been ta war before. Time ta start actin' like it.
She sat for a moment, thinking about that. And then she took a deep breath, stood up, swept the glass shards out of the sink into the trash, splashed some water on her face, and left.
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