The Annoying Journey - Sam

   
"What kind of name is that?" Sheldon asked through a large yawn... which died as his brain finally put together what had just been said. He looked at the Avatar with a mixture of awe and horror, then snapped to attention. "I beg your pardon, sir."

Journey somehow kept his face straight. "No need. You've had to keep up with Sam here for the last few months. I imagine that was difficult."

"A delight and an honor, sir."


"Have you ever been to the Trade Islands, Sheldon?"

The Helminite frowned. "No sir. Is that, uh, where the wedding is?"

Adorable... Samantha took a seat once more. "You can sit if you'd like Shelton. I do have to let a few people know I'm leaving and that'll take at least a few hours. When would be a good time for you, Journey?"

Sheldon gratefully took a seat and eyed the wine. It was way too early for drink, but gods it'd be nice to forget what a complete and total ass he'd just made of himself in front of an Avatar. What was it about Sam that meant she thought nothing of Journey himself sitting at her table?

Journey shrugged. "I can wait, Sam. It's been a while since I've been through this part of the Roughlands and I wouldn't mind the chance to poke around, see what's different. I noticed the forest has changed - how awesome is that?"

Sam wasn't sure how to answer that question. It was amazing and disturbing at the same time. It was change for the better and a sign that she had actually done something, and yet it left an ominous feeling in her core as though it was too good to be true. "It's hard not to notice." She took another sip of wine, trying not to gag on it again.

Sheldon tilted his head, more awake now, watching Journey drain his wine glass as if it were water. "I've heard a lot of stories about the Roughlands, but so far, I haven't seen anything really scary here. Should I assume that I'm lucky?"

Journey chuckled. "The Roughlands is where the idealistic come to die. Or, they survive and become unstoppable. One of the two. It's one of the most dangerous places in the world. Maybe the Elven Wild can compete. Maybe."

"Don't be insulting Shelton. I'm right here, and I am scary. You just haven't made me angry yet." It was hard to read Sam through her smile which could mean anything at that moment: that she was being cute and poking fun, or being serious and just in a good mood, no one could be sure. "I should get started on those goodbyes. If you'll make sure everyone is ready, including the horses, I'll meet you out front in, oh let's say, three hours, and we can leave then."

She patted her friend's shoulder and stood, pausing to address Journey before leaving. "Thank you for the drink, and the pains you're taking for Sel. I don't have much to offer, but if there's anything I can do to thank you, or to repay you for including my companions, let me know." With another respectful nod, she turned to head for the loft.

Sheldon decided Sam was joking and gave her a quick salute, not getting up when she did. The others were still sleeping and he had a mind to let them for another half an hour. Journey's smile faded as he grew serious, holding Sam's gaze. "Selarenia deserves all the happiness she can kind in this life time. It's little payment for her sacrifices, but it's the least I and Heaven can do. You deserve the same thing, Sam. If you have need, you have but to call on me. I may not be able to come quickly, but I will if I'm able. I know what you've done; I know what it's cost. My ways hold no price for you."

Something in what Journey said made Samantha pause and blush slightly. Why the avatar's words suddenly made her feel more appreciated than anything her friends or family had ever said was unclear to her. It was the same thing with the crest the town guard had given her a few days earlier. Perhaps it was because she felt as though those close to her gave her a free ride and always went easy when she was being a total pain in the butt. It had taken Shelton weeks to work up the guts to say as much.

After a puzzled moment, she stepped back to the table, her smile fading to something more serious. "I'm not sure what exactly you're refering to, but thank you." She gave him a light kiss on the cheek and the returned to the task of heading off to see Toby.

As usual, the sound of bickering reached Sam's ears before she reached the loft's front door. "...impossible to adequately protect yourself and those who shelter under your wing when you simply don't know what you're facing," Karthias sternly.

"I know what I'm facin'," Toby shot back angrily and something thudded loudly on the floor.

"But not what she can do," Amanda said quietly. "Now hush, you'll wake the kids."

Sam simply walked in because nobody was stupid enough to just walk into Toby's territory uninvited, and he always seemed to know she was coming anyway. Karthias might jump into protective stance, but since she expected that, nobody would get seriously injured from it. "They should be up already anyway. ...and whom are we arguing about this morning?" She lingered in the doorway prepared to dodge, or not.




 

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