Briana blinks. Is that such a surprise that she chasing the dragon? What does he think of her, that she would just move along or something? But... to answer his question...
"Uhh... yeah. Well, tried to find a job, too, but usually people prefer workers who can *walk.*" And that have nice clothes. And that know something about these funny gizmos people use here.
Nate nods a little. "I'm just glad you were able to find him so quickly. That had to be the strangest encounter I've had in a long time... to send me away, knock you out, then just... walk off. That's part of why I went after him, too -- to find out what happened to you, and then to find out what in the world he wanted."
Yeah... pretty obvious that he still doesn't know who 'that magma dragon' was. He hasn't seen Bri's kaiser out of her body before, and though it would make sense if he put it together... it's still odd.
Bri plays with the fingernails of one hand with the other hand, feigning incredible interest in those motions. She feels guilty over it, even though she wasn't the one at fault.
"He wanted to get me on my own, I guess."
Nate looks at her thoughtfully for a moment, trying to decipher exactly what she's feeling. Not hard to tell there's more there than what she said... lots more.
His voice is still calm, all the same. "... what happened when you found him?"
"I killed him," She says bluntly, without even thinking. She then sighs deeply, voice soft and quiet. "No, I just wanted to. We talked for a little while and tussled for a bit before coming to find you." She has no idea how to bring up who the dragon really was to Nate. Particularly since he will probably understand it about as much as she does.
Nate starts a little at her first response, then relaxes when she amends it, so to speak. There's still something about her shortness, though... .... wait. Waiiit. "You both came to find me?" He only sensed one ... dragon. One dragon. Her true-sight image isn't funny anymore, either.
"So that was all a test?" His tone is more of testing his theory than anything else.
Bri sighs softly, then just nods in response as a lump catches in her throat. All a test... testing her... *hurting* both of them just to test her. All of his pain was just a test, and he wasn't even involved.
Her test. Her fault.
Nate hardly knows how to respond to that brief nod, guessing at what she's thinking again. It isn't like Bri to be like this... something must have really hit her about all this. He's too used to dragon-tests to consider that she might be blaming herself, at least at first.
He moves a hand to gently cover one of hers, watching mainly her eyes. "Bri... what's on your mind?"
Bri can't bring herself to look up at him, even if keeping her head down is starting to irritate her sore back muscles. Her hand twitches a little, but she doesn't jerk away -- he just surprised her. True, she *is* uncomfortable, but mostly because she has little to respond with.
She clears her throat quietly, looking down and forward. "... a lot." She can't word it and she refuses to send it to him. She can feel the heat behind her eyes that signals she may cry again, but she's trying to refuse that, too.
Nate tucks his hand lightly under hers when she doesn't pull away, not sure whether to press or not. In the end, though, he decides just to let her take it at her own pace instead of 'constantly' prompting her... so he just scoots a little closer, or as much as she seems comfortable with, and remains there, trying to be supportive.
Bri shakes her head a little and straightens up. Urrrg... she's gonna be worse tomorrow, too, she can tell already. She winces slightly from the pain, but her expression is mostly bland when she glances over to Nate for the first time in awhile.
"I dunno... I'm just really upset. Was really upset."
Nate nods slightly. That it was her kaiser that attacked us? That she thought I was dead and gone? That we both got hurt in this ordeal? He knows all of those are possibilities... probably more than one. As far as what to say to that, though, and without sounding patronizing at the same time... erg. He thought it might get easier, and it's getting harder instead.
"You know... the second test I ever had was fighting against Bahamut. He just grabbed me and pulled me through a portal... and the first thing I saw was my father lying face-down, out cold, like Bahamut had already fought him and won." When all else fails, relate a similar experience, he figures. He remembers that test like it happened yesterday, and it's already been over seven years since.
Bri smirks wryly... that *does* help some, though she could never say what she's thinking aloud... her kaiser isn't the only bastard, hmm? But... compassion. Don't let Nate think you're smirking at his misfortune -- right.
"Oh... sheesh. Bet that upset you."
Nate can't help but almost laugh at the smirk and her response. "Sheesh is right. I was ready to either grab Dad and get out of there, or rip Bahamut apart... and he proceeded to call me a coward for it. Which of course ticked me off even more..."
Bri arcs a brow. Sooo... she's not the only one who's had her reaction tested? "So what'd you do?"
"I told him I wasn't afraid of anything... and he told me to act like it. He said my dad had already failed to protect his people, and now it was my turn... and if I failed, there wasn't much hope." ... which, at the time, there wasn't... egad, he doesn't want to relive that any time soon.
Bri tries to keep her reaction private, but she really feels that a lot of the older dragons are complete assholes. Which, I'm sure, makes her kaiser very happy, especially when referring to Bahamut.
"I see." So go on... if you want. I'll try not to get angry *for* you here.
Nate isn't certain, but he does take that as a prompt to continue. "As it turns out, it wasn't so bad... I just had to survive against him for a while, now that I think back. Dad was fine, once it was all said and done... well, once I saw him again. That was back when he was spending most of his time on Dragonhome instead of at the castle."
Bri shakes her head again, features somewhat disgusted. "Yeah, but all the deception... ugh." She adjusts her throbbing right leg, trying not to let on just how much it hurts from taking all her weight the last few days -- at least her pants were somewhat sturdy and kept her from getting much more than bruises in her little fall back there. Her bruises... on top of the bruises she... already had...
How many days ago was that? The sudden thought churning in her mind prompted her to count back. Shouldn't her wounds be healed by now? Or at the *very* least, started healing? She sends that query to her kaiser, who sends back calmly that even regeneration needs fuel, and that she is fortunate to have retained the health she has with the poison she'd somehow managed to ingest.
*That* grabs her attention, and her renewed vigor. What??? Her eyes narrow as she tries to figure that out. Where would she pick up poison? Some kind of plant scrape when she fell? What'd she do after that -- oh. You didn't--
Her kaiser insists he didn't poison her, somewhat indignant. Yes, she's angry with him for the test, but *really*...
Bri furiously tries to figure out where the poison came from when the thought strikes her -- if her regen is barely keeping up with this poison, maybe she should --
^ROW^ :: Find food and water and get some rest, perhaps? ::
Nate blinks as all that emotion crosses her face at once, but he lets her converse with her kaiser or herself, whichever is happening -- he can only guess the former, since she hasn't come out and said anything to him, and her emotions are cycling pretty quickly.
Thus, he waits for another few moments, keeping her hand in his...
Bri very bluntly tells her kaiser to 'shut up,' even if he may have a valid point. She realizes the truth in it, but she's not about to admit to her weakness, much less that her kaiser is right. She is not a child, and doesn't need coddling right now.
"I'm gonna check something..." She closes her eyes, trying to chase it down metabolically, but she's not really getting anywhere. She's been a little fuzzy for awhile, ever since... the cavern, right?
In any case, she opens her eyes, glancing to Nate as she tries to figure out the where of it. "That didn't really work.."
"What didn't really work? What just happened..?" If there was a revelation, it flew right past him... and though he recognizes the signs of her mental concentration, that doesn't narrow it down a whole lot, given the number of psionic abilities she has by now.
Bri scowls softly, fully aware that if Nate finds out, he'll waste energy on finding the stuff and tring to heal her of it. So what should she tell him...?
She glances over to him again, tempted to lie to him, but... sigh.
"My regen. It's not broken... but it's pretty busy right now."
Nate's brain instantly rattles through the number of things that could be keeping her regeneration 'pretty busy,' especially given how powerful hers is. He simply assumed it had 'turned off' somehow when they first came to this world and her burns didn't regenerate right away...
"... so it's been busy ever since we left the castle world? Busy enough not to heal you..?"
Bri shakes her head. "Nah... think I was just tired at first. Then the cavern thing where I didn't really *have* -- "
This is too complicated. "^ROW^ says there's some poison. Atop everything else, it's a little too much." He's already worried, might as well give him *some* certainty.
Nate actually doesn't panic and try to heal it. "Oh, good grief... no wonder. And if you've been searching for food for the past few days..." He knows Bri better than to think she'd ask for hand-outs. She *did* mention trying to find work, too... but she's probably half-starving.
Bri winces at the mention of food, very reluctant to admit she's only had two meals since she's seen him last. errg, that *this* would come up... *not* fair...
She studies her fingernails, which are kinda dirty yet. Yuck. At least that keeps her from being hungry. "Haven't had much, no."
Nate nods just a little. "I'm sure I could convince them to cook up something for us downstairs... I haven't eaten yet tonight, either." That'll be step one in helping her recover... not that she seems to want much help right now, but still. As long as they'll accept his coinage, that is. His memory pops back to the jaw-dropping look the 'healer' gave to Amalric upon seeing his dragon-coins.
Bri glances over to him -- he really hasn't eaten yet tonight either? 'cause if he's lying to her, she'll smack him good. As it is, she'll eat if he does. "Oh... well, if you want."
Ughhh... like I don't wanna live... maybe I'm too tired to care right now or something..." It is surprising to her that she really *doesn't* care to eat and that she's being so lukewarm to Nate, too.
Nate grins and gets up, setting her hand on her leg or somewhere equally convenient. "I'll be right back, then..." It suddenly hits him that he's starving -- probably because of all the regen he's trying to do at the same time. In fact, it surprises him that she isn't a little more ravenously hungry than ... well, than she doesn't seem at all, right now.
Bri nods to him, managing a slight smile to add to it, though it takes some effort. "Okay -- thanks."
Nate smiles back at her, that lifting his mood some. He turns and heads on out, tempted to stop first at Amalric's room to see if he has any currency he's willing to trade... but no, these people seemed anxious enough to trade for the coins. Downstairs he goes.
Bri pulls her cast up onto the bed, that taking an incredible amount of effort to do through the pain. She hurts everywhere... and she's soooo tired... maybe she'll just curl up here for a moment.
Bri slips out of her shoes, letting them drop to the floor. She works her way under the blanket with some considerable effort, but once she does so, she sticks to the side of the bed away from the wall. Before she's even aware that she's somewhat comfortable, the girl is out, to the slight amusement of her kaiser. ROW sends a quiet message to Nate that dinner now may not be feasible -- Briana has fallen asleep.
Nate pauses on the stairs, and for some reason, a little smirk comes over his face. Cute... real cute. He shakes his head, but continues downstairs, eventually bartering his way into a halfway-filling meal of mostly meats and breads; guess vegetables are a lot harder to come by on this world.
He comes back upstairs afterward, quietly sneaking back into the room and removing his shoes, then sliding into bed beside Bri as-is, being very careful not to jostle her. He can't resist a light trace on the back of her shoulder, though, as he closes his eyes. Rest well, my Briana...