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Author Topic: Forget-me-not. [Mara]  (Read 833 times)

Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« on: March 12, 2018, 12:11:15 PM »
[ may, 846 ]

"I'm not hanging back and waiting for you!" Axel called over his shoulder, looping around a tree nonetheless, accelerating with a touch of gas to gain height.

It was a typical lesson of practising with omni-directional gear, skating trees and dealing with any Titan dummies they'd come across. Mara had sought him out for her partner, claiming that she needed extra practice and that she wanted to see how he handled speed to learn. Of course, he'd immediately agreed, and promised to at least show her some of the techniques he was working on perfecting. He knew he wasn't the best of his class for sure, and even more doubtful on the entire 104th Cadet Corps, but he still reckoned he was one of the best.

It was his speed that he was most confident with. Landing was hazy, he hadn't yet worked out how to land properly at speed without either jogging along thin air until his feet touched the ground - which usually resulted in him tripping - or landing on a branch beside the trunk and then sliding down the bark to the ground. Mara was better at that, he reckoned, but he didn't want to admit that he was struggling at anything. Especially when she'd acted relieved when he promised to show her how he handled it.

Rushing past a closer copse of trees, he fired a hook to the next tree and yelled back over his shoulder, "Titan ahead!" The wooden structure leered through the trees, neck stretched fowards and up, the cushion unmarked. They'd gotten there before any others at least. "I'll take it from the east, you go from the west," he shouted, applying gas and firing off a second hook to change direction.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 11:09:33 PM »
Mara wasn't too proud to admit that she was not the most skilled of cadets. Since her friendship with Axel had blossomed, she'd noted that he wasn't especially keen on pronouncing his weaknesses even when she offered to work with him. He'd refused to spar with her at first, until she'd finally convinced him, only to lose early in. It hadn't been hard to work out why he'd refused on that - after apologising, he had kept up his honest streak of pointing out that she was better suited to spar with 'people at her level'. If it weren't for her aches, she might have been insulted.

Practising with ODM gear was different though. He'd easily enough agreed to that, to her immense relief. She confessed to her own inability to handle it well. So when he declared that he wouldn't wait for her, Mara stammered out, "Wait! I told you, I can't--" But he'd already gone.

Her hands fiddled clumsily with her gear, panic briefly crossing her face before she found the right hold and charged forwards. It took her a moment to remember to fire the first hook, and then kicked in the gas in an attempt to catch up. He was fast, she had to admit, but he also wasn't going straight. Instead, he moved around trees, while she found a beeline to follow and gain ground on him. Is he doing it deliberately to hang back for me, or is this how he always is? she asked herself.

There was no time to ask, as he called out about a dummy.

"Go from-- what?!" she yelled, watching him swerve to a side with wide eyes. Did she follow him or go in the opposite direction? He liked to cover everything he could, so maybe opposite? Was he giving her a chance to go for it dead on instead? So many questions! And he not close to ask.

She chose to go straight on, eyeing the cushion. Okay, she could do this. Maybe he wanted to see how she handled it and then he could tell her how to improve. Retracting a hook and firing off the next one, she continued on, removing her blades and raising them up as she neared. There it was, right in front of her.

A shadow fell over her face. "AXEL!"
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 04:22:23 PM »
He was too tied up in the mission, however fake, that he had to accomplish. Teamwork was important, it could save lives - by splitting off, a Titan could only follow one if it was quick enough, leaving at least one person to get around to the nape. The likelihood of both being eaten by the same Titan would decrease, or so he theorised and had proposed to others as a possibility. Plus, if one missed, the other could take it.

As he was faster, by splitting off directions and going for it, he would be able to slice the cushion nape open and move out of the way before Mara took it. Blades raised, he flung himself with a burst of gas towards the nape. He was in the process of pulling them forwards when she appeared in his line of sight, also going in for the nape.

Panicked, he added more gas, spiralling up and yet catching his ankle on her poised blades.

With a cry of pain, he tumbled down, failing to reach the hand grips in time to fire off a hook. A patch of grass and flowers just barely cushioned his fall, and he groaned, face down. A leg angled upwards, blood seeped from the side of his ankle and trickled down his calf. It had been deep enough to sting and pulse, though thankfully he'd avoided most of the blade. Any lower and he might have passed out. The sharpness of the blades were hardly the most friendly of tools. It exercised more caution to use the real deal.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 02:28:23 PM »
Horror filled her as she watched his approach, which doubled as he went to correct himself. She, too terrified to remember anything, frozen in the air, did nothing. It tripled when she felt the tug on her blade, and realised it had cut him. Kicking in some gas only once he was already falling, she fired off a hook and used it to pull herself closer, landing relatively neatly despite the panic bubbling up within her. Her blades dropped to the ground. He groaned on the ground, and blood trickled over his skin.

"Axel!" she said, trying to provoke a proper verbal response. Blood made her feel a little sick, but she knew she had to check on the injury. With her eyes screwed up, she moved over and then opened them. It wasn't deep enough for her to overly panic, but it still looked not great.

How was she going to stop the bleeding though? If they were going to get back, then she'd have to carry him maybe. Small as he was, she wasn't sure if she could manage that. It didn't sound as if there was any water around to clean it either. "I'm going to use my jacket to wipe up some of the blood," she told him, grateful for the day's warm weather.

Removing her jacket, she pressed the inside of it against the cut, trying to soak up some of the blood and stem the bleeding.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 03:53:55 PM »
Pain throbbed in his ankle, and the warm trickle of liquid down his leg didn't help. Hearing his name called, he managed another groan. "I told you..." he grumbled, pressing his cheek against the leaves he'd crumpled, "Go from the west." There was no way she had come from the west as he'd said if she had made it to the nape at the same time as he had. There were rules for a reason. Orders for a reason.

Not uttering a complaint at the idea proposed, he twisted his neck to try and watch her. She was better at the medical side of support than he was, he expected. Mara was soft, looking for others above herself more than he, and not a force to be reckoned with on the training grounds. It would make more sense for her to focus on ways of helping others than training herself.

"Ow!" The feeling of fabric pressing to the cut intensified the stinging sensation. Gritting his teeth through the pain, he tried to relax as long as he expected it to take. As soon as he felt satisfied with the time - barely ten seconds - he jerked his knees and pulled his legs to himself, rolling over onto his back.

Axel pulled himself to sit, shooting a dark glare at her. "If you listened to me, that wouldn't have happened. And you didn't even pull the blades down when you noticed me. How slow are your reactions?" Though the sting was fading, his tone grew harsher as he thought more on the mistakes that had caused the accident.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 09:39:10 PM »
As he reminded her of what he had said, some colour drained from her face. West! Of course it had been west, when he had gone... some way. But that made sense, to split up... he must have had it all timed out, she realised. "I'm sorry," she mumbled, but focused on dealing with his cut first. It would do him no good if she left it. Given his tendency to grumble, it would just increase it.

Pulling her jacket away as soon as enough time seemed to have passed, she checked the cuts. The blood glittered, but hardly spilled out, which was something. As he spoke, she searched the undergrowth, looking for any sign of yarrow. It was in season, so some must have bloomed by now.

"I couldn't hear you," she admitted, spotting a bunch of white petals and crawling over to them. "I thought, maybe, you... I don't know what I thought. I'm sorry, I did it wrong, I know I did, and I really am sorry," she said, her voice trembling. No, she wouldn't cry, but she didn't think she could speak for much longer. Why had she made such a mistake? Now he was angry with her.

Mara plucked yarrow from the ground, shuffling over on her knees to the fallen boy. "I can help with this, I just need to crush it up," she mumbled, staring at the leaves and then popping them into her mouth. Bitterness filled her mouth as she chewed, collecting them with her tongue and spitting it onto her hand. "It might sting a little," she added, brushing the wet mix onto his cuts.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 09:06:25 PM »
As she explained and apologised, his eyes darkened. So there wasn't even an excuse for it. The tremble in her voice was the only thing that softened him. It sounded like she meant it. Through all his conversations and time spent with her, he knew she must. Though he couldn't forgive her quite so easily, he did nothing more than grumble over it for the moment, waiting as she collected the herb.

If there was one thing he could trust her on, it was knowing she was good with medical training. Pairing up on occasion in class had taught him that she was better at it than he. "What is it? What will it do?" he questioned, seeking distraction and education simultaneously. As long as she made sure it wouldn't keep bleeding. He didn't want socks heavy with blood while he limped on back to the barracks.

Axel gasped as the yarrow covered his wound, the sting cooling the heat at the bloodied spot. "Might," he growled, shooting her a quick glare. "Seriously though, why didn't you sheathe your blades? You didn't answer that. I get that you probably didn't hear me but come on." He just couldn't understand the thought process. If it had been him beneath her, he was certain it would never have happened. Which helped nothing. Either way, it had happened.

Forgiving her so quickly would be his next challenge.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 08:25:49 PM »
"It's yarrow," she explained lightly, fixed on making sure the chewed leaves were fully covering the marked lines of his injury. "It stops bleeding, and can also stop infections. It can help with a lot of other things too, but it's useful like this. Chewing it helps release more so it'll work faster. I think. Or maybe dry is better..." She heistated, struggling to work out which version was said to work best in situations such as these. But it was already done, so she'd just have to hope it worked well for him.

His grouchiness continued, but she tried to ignore it. After all, he was in pain. "I said, I'm sorry. I can't do anything to change it," Mara murmured, sitting back and keeping an eye on the bloody, leafy wound. "It felt like I just... froze, I guess. I saw you, and then I didn't know what to do, so I just... kept going. I didn't know how to stop. It was like I forgot everything." Her speech sped up as nervousness gripped her, expecting him to sting her with his words in return for her stupidity. She had hurt him, after all, and it had all been because she hadn't just asked what he'd said, or done anything to avoid the accident.

What would the others think? Maybe they'd think she was an idiot as well, and then how was she going to graduate? She'd have to go back home maybe, and do nothing, never knowing what she was really meant to do.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 01:37:39 PM »
Yarrow. He'd have to remember that. Trust Mara to know the medicinal uses of plants. Her little flower obsession had creeped him out at first. He remembered her offering him some kind of flower bracelet once, and the look of disappointment when he'd refused to wear something that would just fall off his wrist or die before the day's end. Axel still refused to wear anything like that, but he'd at least held his tongue when she brought them up.

At least the plants still had some usage. The best he could think of was the odd decoration to the bakery's creations. Lavender sprigs...

Removing himself from the memory abruptly, the boy listened to her explanation. She was upset, and getting more upset. Was she going to start crying? "Okay," he said with a resigned sigh. "I understand. That doesn't mean you're off the hook or anything," he added quickly, before her chirpiness could interrupt him, "but I get why you didn't avoid it."

He shifted his leg, groaning with the strange feeling of the plant pasted to the wound, and the sting of the cut. "We're going to have to get back to the rest of the class. I'll have to see a medic anyway," the boy muttered, thwacking a flowered twig by his head away from tickling his cheek.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2018, 11:03:08 AM »
Tears hadn't quite brimmed at her eyes, but a feeling of overwhelm attacked her sinuses, threatening them. Mara kept as calm as she could. It wasn't that she was worried about him seeing her cry, but she expected it would only irritate him. Then again, a lot of things seemed to annoy the boy, even if they were quite uncontrollable.

As he spoke, she blinked at him, warm hope rising as he said he understood. It didn't fade at the idea of her not being off the hook - whatever that was supposed to mean. "I won't do it again," she promised.

Getting him back to the others was going to be difficult. Maybe he could balance and use his gear to propel himself? Or she could carry him, but she felt that wouldn't go over well. She wasn't great at manoeuvring as it was, let alone carrying somebody. Though practice was practice. "I could try carrying you back, if you like?" she suggested, looking down at the straps across her body, then glancing back to him.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2018, 11:52:31 PM »
"Better not," Axel grumbled, staring at the ground as though it had personally offended him. A moment later, his eyes raised and fixed on her. "Next time, I'll get you back," he added, with an edge of teasing to his voice. It was close enough to humour for it to accompany a smirk, a simple twitch of his lips at the corner. He would. Somehow.

Scoffing at her suggestion, he shook his head. "No, thanks. You'd probably just drop me into brambles." The words were harsher than he intended, and in that heartbeat he saw the damage they did. Too far, not casual enough to be seen as the joke he'd hoped to make.

"Mara." His hand reached for hers, curving over the dainty knuckles until his fingers overlapped the back of her hand. Even shielding from view the little white scar she'd earned somehow. Maybe he'd ask one day. "It's fine. You made a mistake. I'd like to hold that against you," he confessed, supposing honesty would be more appreciated. "But I can't. You're too... you to do that."
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 12:38:24 AM »
His playful tease elicited a smile from the girl. It shattered at the harsh words that followed her suggestion. Did he think so little of her? Her lower lip trembled. Then the tears she had been holding back slipped down her cheeks. Perhaps it were true. She was weak, and as small as he was, as light as he seemed, it would be difficult. If she dropped him, it wouldn't just be his ankle that hurt.

From height, or even landing improperly, it could kill him.

Her hair covered her face as she let out blubbering sobs. Once the gates had opened, the tears didn't want to stop. She was a quiet crier, but it felt loud in the silence of the forest.

Mara felt his hand pass over hers, clutching. The warmth settled her a little, but it was what he said she latched onto. Her fellow cadet's soft words soothed her fears, and she let herself drown sorrows to his voice. "Thank you," she whispered, still shielded by her hair. "I'm sorry, Axel. I... I didn't m-mean for you to get hurt." That much, she was sure, he knew, but she had to say it.

"We could... walk b-back together. I can s-support you?" Her questioning tone betrayed her anxiety of messing up once more.
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Re: Forget-me-not. [Mara]
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2018, 08:23:37 PM »
Axel didn't handle crying very well. While it was nothing to be ashamed of, he was certainly averse to dealing with it. He wasn't a comforter, he never had been, and he felt, being strong-willed as he was, that it wasn't something he was particularly expected to be. Holding onto Mara's hand was the extent of his ability to soothe. A few awkward pats of his finger were as far as he could go.

"I know you didn't. If it were intentional, I'd know, and you wouldn't be standing there," he pointed out. His tendency to get into fights wasn't unknown. Nobody trying to hurt him would be able to go this long without a punch already thrown. Besides, Mara was about as threatening as a rabbit.

Thinking on her offer, he nodded in agreement. "That'll work."

With a grimace, the boy shifted himself and let go of her hand. With it placed upon the ground, he pushed against the dirt and managed to lift his backside from the undergrowth. "Help," he grunted, reaching out with his other hand.
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